The Vancouver Canucks will not be signing Linus Karlsson or Toni Utunen this summer, according to Rick Dhaliwal of Sportsnet. Both prospects will stay in Europe for at least one more season to continue their development. Karlsson, acquired from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Jonathan Dahlen, was a third-round pick last June and spent this season in the Swedish second league, where he put up 18 points in 52 games. Utunen meanwhile played the season in Finland’s top league after being a fifth-round selection by the Canucks last year. Vancouver will retain both their exclusive draft rights.
Dhaliwal also notes that the team may re-sign restricted free agent Reid Boucher, but no decision has been made at this point. Boucher played just a single game with the Canucks last season, but was a force at the minor league level with 62 points in 56 games. The 25-year old is arbitration eligible however, meaning that if the team issues him a qualifying offer he could file and force a potential one-way deal. Boucher has 42 points through 133 NHL games.
- If you thought your job was complicated, imagine what it must be like for Kelly McCrimmon. The newly promoted Vegas Golden Knights GM is also still the owner of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, and today announced that the team will not be bringing back head coach David Anning. This comes after McCrimmon also relieved Wheat Kings’ GM Grant Armstrong of his duties last month, leaving huge gaps in management for next season. While his junior club is searching for a coach and GM, McCrimmon also has to navigate the upcoming NHL draft in which the Golden Knights hold five picks in the first three rounds.
- Darren Dreger was on TSN radio today discussing potential buyout candidates, and noted that Corey Perry will have a market around the league if he finds himself an unrestricted free agent suddenly later this month. Perry looks like he will be leaving the Anaheim Ducks one way or another this offseason, and Dreger suggests the Edmonton Oilers as a team that may kick the tires on him as a veteran leader to help Connor McDavid turn things around. Perry currently has two years remaining on his current contract that carries a $8.625MM cap hit, but could be an attractive option at a much lower number if he happens to be bought out.