Linden Vey

Getty

Report: Flames sign Linden Vey (Updated)

Glen Gulutzan is bringing a familiar face from Vancouver to join him in Calgary.

Per News 1130, former Canucks center Linden Vey is set to sign a one-year, two-way contract with the Flames. The move would be a reunion of sorts — Gulutzan was Vey’s assistant coach in Vancouver for the last two years — and provide Calgary with a right-handed center, something the club is sorely lacking at the moment.

Vey, 24, was often criticized during his tenure in Vancouver, despite relatively decent offensive production — 10 goals and 24 points in 75 games two years ago, and four goals and 15 points in 41 games last season.

His lack of physicality and questionable defensive prowess ultimately cost him, however. He was placed on waivers last season and spent a good chunk of time with Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica.

After the year he wasn’t given a qualifying offer by the Canucks, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Following the season, reports revealed Vey had been dealing with some significant family issues over the last three years. In 2013, his father was charged with conspiracy to murder his wife (Vey’s mother), and was found guilty on two counts following his trial in early June.

Update: Per Calgary’s Fan 960 radio, Vey has indeed signed a one-year, two-way deal.

Justin Schultz headlines list of RFAs not extended qualifying offers

Getty Images
1 Comment

After hoisting the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this month, Justin Schultz could soon be joining another NHL team.

The Penguins didn’t extend Schultz a qualifying offer Monday, which means he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Already facing a cap crunch, Pittsburgh, had it opted to give Schultz a qualifying offer, would have to match his entire $3.9 million salary from his one-year contract in 2015-16.

The Penguins acquired Schultz from Edmonton just prior to the trade deadline, with GM Jim Rutherford praising his offensive upside, while admitting Schultz needed work in the defensive end.

Schultz played in 15 playoff games for Pittsburgh, adding an assist in the Cup-clinching win. However, it was shortly after winning the championship that it appeared his price tag would be too much for the Penguins.

Related: The Penguins are playing Schultz to his strengths

More notables:

Joe Colborne

The Calgary Flames did not offer the 26-year-old Joe Colborne a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. He hit career highs in goals (19) and points (44) — also with a career-high shooting percentage of 19 per cent.

He wrapped up a two-year deal, worth $1.275 million.

The Flames also didn’t qualify center Josh Jooris and goalie Joni Ortio.

Ortio split the 2015-16 season between the Flames and their AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat. With Calgary, he had a 7-9-5 record with a .902 save percentage, and was waived to go down to the minors, where he also struggled.

In a bid to bolster their goaltending situation, the Flames acquired Brian Elliott from the St. Louis Blues at the draft.

Brett Connolly

Once the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Brett Connolly didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Boston Bruins, after scoring nine goals and a single-season career high 25 points in 71 games with this season.

He was playing on a one-year, $1.025 million contract.

From CSNNE.com:

He struggled to produce offense even though he spent long stretches playing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand last season. Still, he was the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft and the Bruins gave up two second-round picks to Tampa Bay for him less than two years ago, so the move is somewhat unexpected.

Landon Ferraro

Another interesting decision from the Bruins, who claimed Landon Ferraro off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings in November. The 24-year-old forward, on a one-year deal worth $600,000 for 2015-16, had five goals and 10 points — all with the Bruins as a member of their bottom-six group of forwards — this past season.

After getting claimed by Boston but before he played a game for that franchise, Bruins coach Claude Julien described Ferraro as a “reliable” player.

Linden Vey

Jim Benning, at his first draft as the Canucks general manager, used a second-round pick to acquire Linden Vey from the L.A. Kings, but the Canucks did not qualify him Monday.

That doesn’t come as much of a surprise, with Vey reportedly expecting the Canucks not to make him a qualifying offer.

The 24-year-old Vey scored four goals and 15 points in 41 games this past season, after he was recalled from AHL Utica.

Prior to the beginning of this past season, Vey was put on waivers and eventually sent down to the minors, before getting recalled. In his first season with the Canucks, he entered training camp and was immediately given first-unit power play duties. He ended up scoring 10 goals and 24 points that season.

Off the ice, however, Vey has been troubled by family turmoil. Last month, it was reported in The Province newspaper that Vey’s father, Curtis, was set to go to trail on charges of conspiracy to murder his wife.

Brandon Pirri

The Ducks acquired Brandon Pirri from the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline. A year removed from a 22-goal season in Florida, Pirri then had three goals and five points in nine games with the Ducks.

From the Orange County Register:

Pirri is arbitration eligible and with 14 combined goals with the Ducks and Panthers last season, he could get a bump up from his $975,000 salary and the Ducks appear to want that slot open for a cheaper, more multi-dimensional forward.

— Brandon Gormley

According to the Denver Post, the Colorado Avalanche didn’t tender a qualifying offer to 24-year-old defenseman Brandon Gormley, once a 13th overall pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2010.

He has been unable to turn that into an established position at the NHL level.

He struggled in Colorado, eventually getting put on waivers. He split time between the Avalanche and San Antonio Rampage in the minors.

According to the aforementioned report, the Avalanche also plan to buy out the contract of 36-year-old defenseman Brad Stuart.

Report: Linden Vey does not expect qualifying offer from Canucks

Getty
3 Comments

Linden Vey does not expect to receive a qualifying offer from the Vancouver Canucks, according to a report by News 1130 Sports.

The 24-year-old center is a pending restricted free agent. He’ll become unrestricted should he not be qualified. His cap hit last season was $1 million.

Acquired from the Kings two summers ago, Vey had just 15 points in 41 NHL games last season. He started it in the AHL, clearing waivers in October.

Suffice to say, it was not the season that he’d hoped for. If not for all the injuries that the Canucks suffered, he might have spent it entirely in the minors. 

Of course, little did many know that, since 2013, Vey had been dealing with a serious personal matter. It was revealed in May that his father would be tried for conspiracy to commit murder. Earlier this month, his father was convicted on that charge.

Where the future lies for Vey’s hockey career remains to be seen. Some believe he should seek a fresh start in Europe; others still see potential for him as an NHLer.

The Canucks could still sign Vey even if they don’t qualify him. But as of right now, they’re expected to go with Henrik Sedin, Brandon Sutter, Bo Horvat and Markus Granlund as their four centers. Brendan Gaunce can also play the middle, should the need arise.

Linden Vey’s father facing trial for conspiracy to murder wife

Getty Images
7 Comments

Vancouver Canucks forward Linden Vey said that “everybody has something to go through.”

But not everyone is facing a situation like this.

Vey grew up in a town of fewer than 1,000 people, was coached by his father at an early age and is close to his family. Now, Vey’s father — Curtis — is set to go to trail on charges of conspiracy to murder his wife.

Curtis and Angela Nicholson, who is also being accused of conspiracy to kill her spouse, were allegedly having an affair. Police claim that the plan was for Curtis to kill his wife in a house fire while Angela’s husband would have died of a drug overdose.

The two were charged in 2013. Their trial is scheduled for May 24.

This was unknown to the public at large until Tuesday when Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province published his article about it. As Botchford told PHT’s Mike Halford and Jason Brough in an interview on TSN 1040, he waited until the season was over to release the story, partly because the rink has been Vey’s sanctuary.

Had this story come out during the season, he would have likely been confronted about it often.

Still, it’s hard not to look at the 24-year-old Canucks forward who has been struggling to establish himself in the NHL over the past few years and wonder how much of what he’s had to go through has impacted his professional life.

“It’s a tough situation for me,” Vey told The Province. “Sometimes, when you have something like that weighing on your mind, it’s tough to be super focused.

“But I do have a great family and support system.”

Canucks re-sign Granlund for two years

AP
9 Comments

The Vancouver Canucks announced today that winger Markus Granlund has signed a two-year contract extension. The reported cap hit is $900,000.

Granlund, 23, was a pending restricted free agent. He was traded to the Canucks in February, with winger Hunter Shinkaruk going to Calgary in return.

It was a controversial trade in Vancouver, as Canucks fans had been eager to see what Shinkaruk could do at the NHL level.

But for GM Jim Benning, it was Granlund’s versatility that made the difference.

“He is a two-way player that can play in any situation and up and down in our lineup,” Benning told reporters. “He can play left wing, he can play center, he’s a good penalty-killer. He has got good skill. For his time in the [AHL], if you look at his stats, he’s almost a goal every two games player. He has got good skill. We like his competitiveness, he is not afraid to compete hard in battles. Those are some of the things and characteristics we like about the player.”

Granlund had two goals and one assist in 16 games after joining Vancouver.

The Canucks still have a handful of pending RFAs on the payroll, including Sven Baertschi, Emerson Etem, Linden Vey, and Andrey Pedan.