Tag: Roberto Luongo

2015 NHL Awards - Trophy Display

No parka needed: Players ponder possible NHL team in Vegas


The drive to bring an NHL team to Las Vegas one way or another has been a big story for some time, yet it only makes sense that the subject is cropping up when much of the hockey world is fighting off sunburns and/or hangovers in Sin City as we speak.

While the process – which would likely come via expansion – is creeping along slowly, players seem intrigued by the idea … and maybe a little frightened.

For one thing, Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Ladd pointed to the obvious weather advantages, as the Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno reports.

“You talk to any human, whether they play hockey or not, they’d rather go to work in shorts and a T-shirt than a parka,” Ladd said.

(One almost wonders if Jets fans collectively cringed at that commentary, although at least he was discussing parkas and not parks.)

The Las Vegas Review-Journal collected a few players’ thoughts on the matter (from Carey Price praising a “glamour city” to Jonathan Toews’ typically serious approach), including Florida Panthers rookie Aaron Ekblad discussing the rather obvious about temptations.

“I think there are a lot of places where you can get in trouble,” Ekblad said. “We’re professionals. I think we can learn to adapt to working and living in a place like Las Vegas.”

Honestly, Ekblad’s teammate Roberto Luongo probably said it best, though:

Even if Vegas does get a team, it will take a while. It sounds like quite a few players would be more than fine – though a little apprehensive – about such a concept.

Benning: Canucks waiting ‘for the domino effect’ in goalie market


In 2013, the Vancouver Canucks, then under former general manager Mike Gillis, had goalies Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo and decided to send the former to New Jersey for the ninth overall pick.

In 2015, Jim Benning, entering his second year as the Canucks’ GM, is facing a similar decision in the goaltending department with the first round of the NHL Draft now just six days away. It’s not a Schneider-Luongo situation, but with Vancouver needing draft picks, and three goalies with varying degrees of NHL experience and success in Ryan Miller, Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom, a decision looms.

The Canucks select 23rd overall, but as of right now, they don’t have another pick until the fourth round in what is considered to be a deep draft.

Benning made it known immediately after the trade deadline that he’d like to recoup picks for the draft.

Markstrom, who was the backbone for the Utica Comets in their run to the AHL championship series, is a pending restricted free agent. Lack has one year remaining on his current deal, which is cap-friendly at $1.15 million.

Ben Kuzma of The Province reported this week that Benning has taken trade calls from other teams on both Markstrom and Lack.

Any potential move the Canucks make at this position might be dependent on what, if anything, happens with New York goalie Cam Talbot. Previous reports had as many as six teams having “some interest” in Talbot.

“There’s good depth in the second round and I’d like to have a second-round pick but it’s a balancing act for us,” Benning told The Province newspaper in Vancouver.

“It might not be a pick but a way of making our team better — we’re looking at all options. But I think I’ll be able to figure something out on that (draft pick) because when one goalie goes, they’re going to move on to the next guy. We’re waiting for the domino effect.”

Related: Canucks might move a goalie, but it won’t be Ryan Miller

UFA of the Day: Shawn Matthias

Tuukka Rask, Shawn Matthias, Dennis Seidenberg

Check PHT every day until June 30 for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Shawn Matthias

Canucks GM Jim Benning said yesterday that Matthias would probably test the market on July 1. The club doesn’t have the cap space to re-sign the 27-year-old forward, who came to Vancouver as part of the Roberto Luongo trade.

Matthias is coming off a quietly productive season. Following a slow start, he finished with a career-high 18 goals, and he did so in a bottom-six role with barely any time on the power play.

In fact, his 17 even-strength tallies ranked second on the Canucks, behind only Radim Vrbata’s 19.

“I would love to be back,” Matthias said in April, per the Vancouver Sun. “But, in the business side of things, you never know what could happen. It’s a salary cap world. I mean, if I go to July 1st, I’m going to do what’s best for myself. So we’ll see what happens.”

Matthias’s expiring contract came with a cap hit of $1.75 million. Safe to say he’ll be looking for a good-sized raise.

Matthias is listed as a center but spent much of 2014-15 on the wing. His most common linemates were center Brad Richardson and winger Zack Kassian.

Click here for more UFAs.