Tag: Linden Vey

Slovakia v Canada - Semifinal - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship

Canucks’ biggest question: Where’s the upside?


Not long after Trevor Linden was named the Canucks’ president of hockey operations in 2014, he bemoaned the lack of young players making an impact for the team.

“I like the people we have in [our] core positions, but they need support from the bottom,” Linden said. “There’s a gap between the core players and what’s coming from below them. There hasn’t been a real push from the bottom and that’s created issues.”

That narrative still applies a year later. Even if 20-year-old center Bo Horvat can build on his impressive rookie season, the Canucks will likely need more from their youngsters in order to remain a playoff team.

Jacob Markstrom is one player that could make a significant impact. The 25-year-old goalie, coming off a stellar season in the AHL, will be Ryan Miller’s backup in 2015-16. For a bubble team like Vancouver, goaltending could very well be the difference between making and missing the postseason.

There’s also Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft. The Canucks are hoping the 18-year-old winger can be the power forward they once hoped Zack Kassian could be for them.

“[Virtanen] can play the skill game and the physical game,” said director of player personnel Stan Smyl, per the Times Colonist. “He can go through people. He can hit people, and he doesn’t care who he hits.”

Virtanen still has to make the team, but he should be given every opportunity to do so. Otherwise, it’s back to junior.

Then there’s Frank Corrado, the 22-year-old, right-shot defenseman who will try to help replace Kevin Bieksa.

And Sven Baertschi, the 22-year-old winger who’s shown promising signs since being traded to the Canucks from Calgary.

And Linden Vey, the 24-year-old forward who conceded that his “preparation last summer wasn’t what it needed to be.”

Ronalds Kenins, Hunter Shinkaruk, Brendan Gaunce, Nicklas Jensen, Jared McCann, Cole Cassels, and Alexandre Grenier are among the other prospects to watch.

It’s no secret that the Canucks have an aging core. The Sedin twins are 34. So are Alex Burrows and Radim Vrbata. Dan Hamhuis and Chris Higgins are 32. Miller is 35.

It’s also no secret that the Canucks did not draft well for a number of years. From 2006 to 2012, the only players they selected that have played in the NHL and remain in the organization are Corrado and Jensen.

Hence, Vancouver’s failure to remain an elite team, and hence, the need to become better at identifying and developing talent.

Related: Vote on whether the Canucks will make the playoffs

Vey admits his ‘preparation last summer wasn’t what it needed to be’

Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks

While 10 goals and 14 assists aren’t exactly terrible numbers for a rookie, Linden Vey knows that his first season with the Vancouver Canucks did not match expectations.

Though he started relatively well, registering 12 points in his first 22 games, his production fell off dramatically. In the end, he was a healthy scratch for five of Vancouver’s six playoff games, and it was fair to question whether he could play center in the NHL.

“Sitting out (in the playoffs), I already had a lot of time to look at where things went wrong,” Vey told TSN.ca. “I was really honest. My preparation last summer wasn’t what it needed to be.”

Vey, who just turned 24, was acquired last summer in a trade with the Kings. He was essentially gifted a spot on Vancouver’s roster, despite having skated in only 18 NHL games up to that point.

Vey should once again be given a chance to play regularly in 2015-16. While centers Henrik Sedin, Nick Bonino, and Bo Horvat remain in Vancouver, the options beyond those three are limited, as the Canucks don’t have Brad Richardson or Shawn Matthias anymore.

“I’ve already worked the hardest I ever have in a summer,” Vey said. “In every league I’ve played in, I made a big jump in my second season. … Last season, I wasn’t the same player that got me to the NHL.”

Canucks hand Markstrom two-year, $3.1 mil deal

Jacob Markstrom

The Vancouver Canucks announced that they have agreed to a two-year deal with goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

His contract will come with a $1.55 million annual cap hit, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The 25-year-old is set to enter the 2015-16 campaign as Ryan Miller’s understudy after Vancouver dealt Eddie Lack to Carolina on Saturday in exchange for the 66th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft (Guillaume Brisebois) and a seventh rounder in 2016.

That trade was controversial, in part because Lack was a fan favorite coming off of a season where he posted a .921 save percentage in 41 contests and due to Markstrom’s struggles at the NHL level. In 50 career games, Markstrom has a 3.19 GAA and .896 save percentage.

At the same time, Markstrom posted 1.88 GAA and .934 save percentage in 32 games with AHL Utica in 2014-15 before leading the team to the Calder Cup Final with a 2.11 GAA and .925 save percentage in 23 playoff contests.

That was enough to convince team president Trevor Linden that he’s ready for the next level.

“I think if you look at the history of, whether it be Corey Crawford or Ben Bishop, or these types of players and how they perform at the American Hockey League level, and look at stats and numbers, you can put Jacob in that category,” said Linden. “He’s had an excellent year. He needs to continue to develop at the National Hockey League level, and we’re going to give him that opportunity.”

Vancouver also signed Linden Vey to a one-year, $1 million contract tonight.

Related: Linden defends Lack trade, thinks Canucks will have ‘real good goaltending next year’

Vancouver signs Linden Vey to one-year extension

Linden Vey

The Vancouver Canucks announced that they have signed Linden Vey. Although the team didn’t release the terms, it’s a one-year, $1 million deal, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Vey was eligible to become a restricted free agent after completing a one-year, two-way deal that was worth $735K at the NHL level.

The 23-year-old forward was taken in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. After a few strong seasons in the minors and a promising 10-game showing with the Kings, he was shipped to Vancouver last summer in exchange for a second round selection.

With the Canucks he scored 10 goals and 24 points in 75 contests while averaging 13:10 minutes per game in 2014-15. He only dressed in one game during Vancouver’s 2015 playoff series against Calgary though.

Santorelli would sign with Canucks: agent

Mike Santorelli

Not even 30 years old, Mike Santorelli has already played for five NHL teams.

In fact, the 29-year-old has bounced around so much that he just finished his second stint with one of those teams, the Nashville Predators.

According to his agent, he’d consider a second stint with another of his former teams, the Vancouver Canucks, when he officially becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“I’m sure he would — he loved playing for his hometown team,” J.P. Barry told News 1130 Sports.

Santorelli, a Vancouver native, had 10 goals and 18 assists in 49 games for the Canucks in 2013-14. But despite “100 percent” wanting to stay in Vancouver, he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Maple Leafs this past summer, as the Canucks lacked a roster spot for the versatile center.

The Canucks may have room now, however, as Brad Richardson and Shawn Matthias are both pending UFAs. And while Henrik Sedin, Nick Bonino, and Bo Horvat are all expected to play center next season, 23-year-old Linden Vey failed to prove he can be an effective, everyday NHL center this past season.

That’s not to say the Canucks will definitely have an interest in Santorelli, but if they can get him for a hometown discount, it may be something they consider.

Related: They were chanting Mike Santorelli’s name last night in Vancouver