Canucks reportedly close to signing SHL MVP Anton Rodin

Jared Clinton
Anton Rodin (via CanucksTV)

Anton Rodin’s first foray into North American hockey wasn’t very successful, but it appears the 25-year-old is ready to give it another shot with the Canucks.

According to TSN 1040’s Tony Gallagher, Rodin is close to signing a deal to join Vancouver next season following the completion of the SHL campaign.Vancouver’s News 1130 is reporting a deal could be done this week. Rodin, who scored 16 goals and 37 points in 33 games, was recently named the SHL’s MVP even though he missed more than one-third of the season due to injury.

Rodin was a second-round pick, 53rd overall, by Vancouver in 2009. He signed his entry-level deal in 2010, but didn’t come over to North America until the 2011-12 season. After failing to make the Canucks out of camp, Rodin spent 111 games over the next two seasons with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, where he scored 14 goals and 41 points. He headed back to Sweden in 2013, but Canucks GM Jim Benning has acknowledged previously that signing Rodin is an option.

“We still own his rights so we could sign him and bring him back if that’s what we decide,” Benning told the Vancouver Sun’s Brad Ziemer in November. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Kings, Milan Lucic in early stages of contract talks

Milan Lucic (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Kings left winger Milan Lucic is among this summer’s top potential unrestricted free agents. The 27-year-old power forward is enjoying a fine season with the Kings, on pace for a 20-goal, 55-point campaign.

Lucic is completing a three-year, $18-million contract, earning $6.5 million in actual salary this season. On March 8, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported Lucic’s agent and Kings management exchanged contract proposals. He also said they’re in the early stages of talks which could take a while, pointing out how long it took the Kings to re-sign Anze Kopitar earlier this season.

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Watch Ryan Miller pull puck off goal line with desperation glove save

Jared Clinton
Ryan Miller (via NHL)

The Vancouver Canucks might not have much left to play for, but netminder Ryan Miller doesn’t look like he’s even close to giving up, especially after he made a handful of outstanding saves Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Canucks were trailing 3-1 midway through the third period, but Miller almost singlehandedly kept the Canucks within striking distance with a miraculous reaching glove stop. The save was the result of some unfortunate luck, but not even a pair of bad bounces could get the puck past Miller: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Dan Hamhuis could be popular free-agent target

Dan Hamhuis.

More than a few eyebrows were raised at the trade deadline when the Vancouver Canucks didn’t move pending UFA defenseman Dan Hamhuis. Carrying a full no-movement clause, the 33-year-old blueliner gave the Canucks few acceptable destinations (Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars) via trade.

Canucks management received grief from Vancouver fans and pundits over their inability to trade Hamhuis for a return. The blueliner, meanwhile, hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the Canucks this summer.

If Hamhuis and the Canucks part ways in July, he won’t lack for suitors via free agency. Despite his age and recent injury history, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports the Blackhawks, Stars, Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins had “genuine interest” in the veteran defender. While that undoubtedly stemmed from his status as a potential playoff rental at the trade deadline, one of those clubs could revisit their interest in him.

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Prospect Need to Know: from ‘don’t bother’ to ‘do not miss’

Moose Jaw's Noah Gregor (photo by Stephen Simon/Moose Jaw Warriors)

Welcome back to my weekly wrap of the prospect world. It’s a big time for college hockey, as the Frozen Four tournament looms and a few teams are still vying for bids to the 16-team showdown. This weekend’s conference tourneys will decide everything and some bubbles will unfortunately pop. For some who miss, however, NHL contracts await. R.P.I. goalie Jason Kasdorf, for example, just signed with the Sabres, who acquired the big guy’s rights from Winnipeg in the Evander Kane deal. Let’s take a look at some other names you need to know:

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Jacob Markstrom made a gutsy, barehanded save to pull puck off goal line

Jared Clinton
Jacob Markstrom makes a barehanded save (via NHL)

There’s still one season remaining on Ryan Miller’s contract in Vancouver, but 26-year-old Jacob Markstrom is still auditioning to be part of the Canucks’ future between the pipes. When it comes to effort, he earned an A-plus Monday night.

Markstrom took the net against the Winnipeg Jets for his fourth start in eight games and he was challenged early and often. After being beaten twice in the first frame, Markstrom wasn’t about to let any pucks by him easily for the rest of the night, and in the back half of the first period that meant he had to spend almost a dozen seconds tending goal without the use of a stick or blocker.

It looks just as crazy as it sounds — watch Markstrom protect his hand — and the play by the young netminder it even more gutsy when he reaches out in the midst of the scramble to pluck the puck off the ice and get a whistle: Read more

Prust, Canucks come to ‘mutual decision,’ winger’s season over due to ankle injury

Jared Clinton
Brandon Prust (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Brandon Prust’s season is over as he has left the AHL’s Utica Comets to rehab an ankle injury he suffered earlier in the season. Prust, 31, played only 35 games for the Canucks after being acquired in the off-season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

There may still be several weeks left in the season, but Brandon Prust’s 2015-16 campaign has come to a close.

The Canucks announced Thursday they and Prust have come to what the club is calling a “mutual decision” to allow the 31-year-old winger to return to his home to rehab an ankle injury he suffered earlier in the campaign. According to the Canucks, they will provide supervision for Prust for the remainder of the season, but he will no longer play for the AHL’s Utica Comets this season. Read more

Nikita Tryamkin and Vancouver’s “hot tub” rebuild

Ryan Kennedy
Nikita Tryamkin (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Vancouver Canucks announced last night that the team was bringing over 6-foot-8, 240-pound Russian defenseman Nikita Tryamkin for the rest of the season. This will be fun for Canucks fans, since the team’s three wins in its past 10 games doomed any playoff hopes from here on out.

How will the new import work out? We’ll find out soon enough. But Tryamkin is the type of player Vancouver needs for the future, because this squad isn’t structured for a full-scale tank job. Instead, the Canucks will need to undertake what I like to call a “hot tub” rebuild.

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