The Nation Notebook: Vanek to Vancouver, CBJ signs Wennberg, and Danis Zaripov

Christian Pagnani
September 04 2017 07:00AM


The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don’t quite deserve their own article.

The Vancouver Canucks signed Thomas Vanek to a one-year deal. Columbus locks up their top center. Russian winger Danis Zaripov is eligible to play in the NHL despite his suspension overseas. And more PTOs are being signed each day.

Vanek and Vancouver

The Canucks signed Thomas Vanek, who should provide scoring help and fetch a mid-round draft pick at the trade deadline. Although, Vanek was on a 64-point pace in Detroit and only yielded a third-round pick from Florida last year.

Teams seem to know who Vanek is at this point. He had the lowest time-on-ice of his career last season and teams weren't willing to give up a lot for him despite his scoring. Vanek's still a good scorer, he just can't play serious minutes at even strength anymore. 11 forwards in Detroit played more per game 5-on-5 than he did.

The Canucks already have a similar, better player like Vanek in Sam Gagner. Vancouver signed Gagner to a three-year deal this summer, whereas Vanek only got one year. They will help one of the worst scoring teams last season, but won't threaten their draft position too much as both are limited even strength players who play a lot on the power play.

The Canucks' focus is on acquiring talent through the draft. Vanek should provide some scoring without jeopardizing their lottery position, and then net them a decent draft pick later on in the year.

Columbus signs Wennberg

Columbus signed Alexander Wennberg to a six-year contract worth $4.9-million per year. The 22-year-old center scored 59 points and played the most of his career last season, filling the void Ryan Johansen left when he was traded to Nashville for Seth Jones.

Wennberg’s contract is a reasonable bet for a young center. $4.9-million wouldn’t be ridiculous even if he only remains a 50-point player. The deal looks even better if he can improve upon the 13 goals he scored and become a guy who surpasses 60 points regularly.

Zaripov Watch

Danis Zaripov is currently suspended by the Kontinental Hockey League and International Ice Hockey Federation, but able to sign in North America, according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

The 36-year-old winger has been a good scorer for Metallurg Magnitogorsk the past few years, with 45 points in 56 games last season.

Zaripov will get a shot to prove his scoring can translate to the NHL despite his age, with two offers already on the table according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Artemi Panarin and Alex Radulov proved they could score in both leagues, and the Vegas Golden Knights made a two-year $9-million dollar bet Vadim Shipachyov can do the same. There’s no harm in seeing if Zaripov can be another KHL-to-NHL success story, and he probably won’t cost as much as Shipachyov or Radulov did.

PTO Season

More PTOs are being signed as NHL training camp draw near.

Ryan Malone is going to Minnesota Wild camp after not playing since 2014-15. Will a player like Cody Franson manage to secure a contract or have attend camp somewhere on a PTO? Would Jarome Iginla do the same?

Players like Alex Chiasson and Daniel Winnik are still capable of providing something to an NHL team, yet both remain unsigned.

I like to read and write about sports. I'm @chrispagnani on Twitter.
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