The Nuck Stops Here: Pre-Draft Rumors, Qualifying Offers Made

‘The Nuck Stops Here’ is an exclusively Vancouver Canucks column that runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays


2015-16 Schedule Announced

The following is a press release from the organization:

VANCOUVER, B.C., – The Vancouver Canucks, in conjunction with the National Hockey League, released their 2015.16 regular season and pre-season schedule today. The Canucks open the regular season with an exciting home-and-home series against 2015 playoff rival the Calgary Flames, beginning on Wednesday, October 7th at Calgary, followed by the home opener on Saturday, October 10th at Rogers Arena.

The 2015-16 NHL season marks the third year of a league-wide, four-division format providing fans the opportunity to see every team in every arena. Marquee match-ups highlighting the Canucks schedule at Rogers Arena this season include the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, October 27, the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, November 21 and Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, February 13. The busiest night of the week is Saturday with 15 games, followed closely by Tuesday and Thursday when 14 games are scheduled each night in 2015.16.

The Canucks schedule features 29 games against Pacific Division opponents, 21 games against remaining Western Conference teams and another 32 games against Eastern Conference clubs.


October 7 Season Opener @ Calgary Flames
October 10 Home Opener vs Calgary Flames
October 27 vs Montreal Canadiens
November 4 vs Pittsburgh Penguins
November 21 vs 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks
February 13 vs Toronto Maple Leafs
April 9 Regular season finale vs Edmonton Oilers

(Credit: Cecelia Gulius/Utica Comets)
(Credit: Cecelia Gulius/Utica Comets)

Qualifying Offers Made to Jacob Markstrom, Adam Clendening, Frankie Corrado and Sven Baertschi

The Canucks have qualified the contracts of goaltender Jacob Markstrom, defencemen Adam Clendening and Frankie Corrado and forward Sven Baertschi. Markstrom was acquired from the Florida Panthers just prior to the 2013-14 trade deadline (as part of the Roberto Luongo trade), Clendening was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks for d-man Gustav Forsling, Baertschi was sent to the Canucks from Calgary for a 2nd-round pick, while Corrado was taken in the 5th round in 2011. All four are expected to play in the NHL this coming season.

Rumours and Analysis

Zack Kassian
Will Kassian step up for the Canucks this year? (Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE)

Zack Kassian Being Shopped for a 2nd Round Pick?

TSN 1040 morning radio personality Bro Jake has reported that the Canucks are shopping power winger Zack Kassian, acquired for Cody Hodgson at the 2012 trade deadline, for a 2nd-round draft pick. Kassian was selected 13th overall in the 2009 entry draft, but hasn’t been able to fully establish himself as an NHL scorer, at times due to major injuries. While there likely isn’t much meat too this rumour (it hasn’t been reported by any other sources), it would likely be worth it for the Canucks to simply keep the hulking forward even if there was, and see how he progresses in the 2015-16 campaign.

Kevin Bieksa Asked to Waive NTC?

The story of Thursday morning was whether Jim Benning had indeed asked veteran defenceman Kevin Bieksa to waive his no-trade clause, or if it’s merely speculation that Benning has shopped the gritty blue liner around. While some have said that Bieksa has agreed to waiving under certain circumstances, others are saying that conversation has yet to happen. Heading into the draft, Bieksa is thought to be shopped heavily, and will likely fetch a pick somewhere in rounds two to four.

UPDATE: Jim Benning had this to say on the rumours: “We haven’t asked players to waive their no-trade clauses, but that’s not to say we won’t.”

(Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
(Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Interested in Milan Lucic?

One player the Canucks have reportedly shown interest in is Bruins power forward Milan Lucic. While Lucic is a polarizing figure among Canucks supporters and he had a sub-par year in 2014-15, there’s no denying that when on his game, Lucic is a force to be reckoned with, and would without question improve any forward corps. For a team that still to this day has a reputation for being a pushover, Lucic would do a lot to change that opinion. A potential deal would reportedly involve a defenceman, with Alex Edler being a name that has come up. It seems unlikely that anything will come of this, but it’s still a storyline worth watching.

Pulse of the Fan base

Question: Are you in favour of the Canucks drafting the best player available at #23, or would you take a defenceman?


– Really easy for me, best player available.

– We need Defense, no matter what, best defenceman available. Even in Utica it was apparent better defense would have helped us against the Monarchs, and Utica is our future. Big, tall, mean defenceman please.

– Defenceman or a center is my preference, depending who is available. I would rather see them draft Jansen Harkins than Brandon Carlo, but if they could get Kylington, Chabot or Meloche, I’d be happy.

– At 23rd? Defenceman

– BPA no matter what. Defense if that player happens to be BPA but it’s highly unlikely. Always BPA, it’s not even a question

– Best D at that point or best player available at the 23rd pick. If they make a trade to move up to pick in the top ten or even top five… then a top forward would be good.

– The best player available. Good talent is hard to find, whatever the position.

– Best player possible, then trade for an experienced d-man.

– By taking the best player, the upside is better rather than reaching to fill a need.

– I’d say best player available. We need offence too.

– BPA but have a small bias for d-men.

– I used to always go with best available, but with 4 forwards ahead of any defensemen on our top prospects list based on THN Future Watch…. We need an impact defenceman.

– I think we’d all prefer that stud defenseman, but if someone like Colin White is still available, it’s hard to pass up. So BPA.