NHL Notebook: Vancouver Canucks gauging market to dump contracts, Ed Olczyk, Keith Jones considered finalists for Philadelphia Flyers president, and more

Photo credit:Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
11 months ago
The Vancouver Canucks are reportedly gauging the trade market as they look to clear salary cap from their books.
According to PuckPedia, the club is already $1.59-million over the cap ahead of next season, and still have a number of spots to fill.
And on Wednesday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live, Frank Seravallli reported they’re already chatting with other teams about potential moves to free up cap space.
Tyler Yaremchuk: As we inch closer to the offseason, one team is not just expected to be active, they’re going to be forced to be active. When you look at the fact that they have no cap space. That is the Vancouver Canucks. I feel like I’ve asked you this question a thousand times over the last calendar year but what the hell are the Canucks going to do?
Seravalli: Well, they need to shed salary. There is no doubt about that, they can’t really be active in anything else because as it stands right now they essentially have negative cap space. So if you’re thinking that the cap is going to be $83.5 million, they’ve still got some people to sign and they’re currently at $83.3 million. Of course, injuries and LTIR could factor into this slightly but the fact of the matter remains, I’m told the Canucks have been active in recent weeks, gauging prices from around the NHL as to what it would take to dump some of their contracts.
The main focal point is that the Canucks are active on trying to move Conor Garland’s salary. You heard Brock Boeser say at the end of the season that he doesn’t really want to be traded. It’s still certainly possible that they find a new home for Boeser. And they always have a break glass in case of emergency play with J.T. Miller before his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1. Garland is someone they’ve really keyed in on with the term remaining on his deal he might provide some flexibility. So Garland is one name that they’ve been focusing on.
But Tyler, they’ve learned that it’s going to be expensive to pull off moves like that and get someone to take on a contract like that at nearly $5 million over the next number of years. It’s a lot to ask and a very steep price so they may have to look elsewhere and get creative and that is something general manager Patrik Alvin has done is kept an open mind throughout the process of what he may have to do over the next number of weeks.
Yaremchuk: You look at Conor Garland, almost 20 goals last year and that’s not a terrible year by any means but that cap hit and term is what’s going to make it difficult to move. It will be interesting to see what happens in Vancouver over the next couple of months.

Flyers president search narrows

The search for a new president of the Philadelphia Flyers has narrowed down, and according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the role could be filled by Friday at the latest.
Here’s what he had to say about it on Wednesday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live.
Yaremchuk: The Philadelphia Flyers have been searching for a new president of hockey operations for quite a bit of time. Are they nearing the final stages, have they made progress?
Seravalli: I believe they are Tyler. I believe that an announcement is expected to come in the next couple of days here, by Friday, if not on Friday itself. And I believe that this search has been now whittled down to two finalists. Coincidentally enough, they’re both on Turner Sports, and that would be Eddie Olczyk and Keith Jones. Jones, of course, has long ties to the Philadelphia Flyers organization. He has been a player for the team and has been a team broadcaster for a number of years. Olczyk, after hanging up his skates, had a stint as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins before spending much of the last 17 years or so broadcasting across the NHL.
Both of these guys are known personalities with well-known cases in the industry. It’ll be interesting to see how these shake out here in the next couple of days because they are two qualified candidates to be the front-facing presence for a Flyers executive team that is expected to include Danny Briere as GM, as well as John Tortorella as head coach having a big say in the decision-making process.
They’re well on their way in Philadelphia and now are nearing the final stages. They cast a pretty wide net, and conducted a lot of different interviews with candidates over the last number of weeks, including John Chyka, Scott Mellanby… Chris Pronger and Doug Wilson received inquiries as well.

Woll’s time to shine

The Leafs are rolling with Joseph Woll in net on Wednesday evening as they face elimination in game four. The Florida Panthers have rolling Toronto so far in the series with three decisive wins, but as The Leafs Nation’s Steven Ellis opines, it’s Woll’s time to show what he’s got.
Had everything gone to plan this year, Joseph Woll would be laser-focused on leading the Toronto Marlies to a Calder Cup trophy.
That can still happen, with the next round kicking off this week. But, in true Toronto Maple Leafs fashion, nothing went to plan in the crease this year. And that’s why Woll is starting in Game 4 against the Florida Panthers to save Toronto’s season.
No pressure, Joe. It’s just the biggest game of your life.
We’ve seen backups come in and shock the hockey world in games like this, so there’s hope. And Woll has had an incredible season, going 6-1-0 in the NHL and 16-4-1 with the Marlies. Daily Faceoff’s Mike McKenna is a believer. Now that Ilya Samsonov is out, with no return in sight, there’s no room for error as the Leafs look to become the fifth team in NHL history to get out of an 0-3 series deficit.
The Leafs need to take this series one game at a time. But that also means Woll needs to play like his career depends on it.
It seems like a near-foregone conclusion that the Leafs will look to move on from the oft-injured Matt Murray next season. Murray is healthy right now, but coach Sheldon Keefe still elected to go with his 24-year-old rookie instead in the team’s most important game of the season. Regardless of what happens, it looks like Woll should factor into Toronto’s plans next year, but a win today could help instill some confidence.
Keefe told reporters earlier this week that he has confidence in Woll, and they better. The Leafs have tried different lineup combinations throughout the series and made nothing stick. Giveaways have been a disaster, and the (s)core(less) four of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares are 0-for-49 in shots in the series. After a brutal third game, the Leafs need to tighten things up at both ends of the ice and give Woll the adequate support he needs.
The Leafs are all-in on Woll, the new ride-or-die. Even if Samsonov comes back healthy in the series, it might make the most sense to give free rein to Woll and let him run with it. He has never played in an elimination scenario like this, but that’s part of the fun. Look at what Akira Schmid did against the Rangers (and ignore his play against the Hurricanes).

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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