Where and when you can watch Cole Cassels in the 2015 Memorial Cup

After Cole Cassels out-scored Connor McDavid in the OHL Championship, he was deservedly named the OHL Player of the Week. On Thursday, he earned further plaudits by being named the CHL Player of the Week, beating out the Kelowna Rockets’ Rourke Chartier and the Rimouski Oceanic’s Jan Kostalek for the award.

Starting Saturday, Cassels will once again need to best these top players and more, as he faces them and their teammates in the 2015 Memorial Cup.

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Watch the Utica Comets clinch a berth in the AHL’s Conference Finals [VIDEO]

Congratulations are in order, and not just to the Utica Comets who beat the Oklahoma City Barons in Wednesday night’s Game 7 to advance to the AHL’s Western Conference Finals, but also to me. Why, just yesterday morning, in setting up the big contest, I said this: “Like all Game 7s, this will probably be a goaltender’s duel.” I said that! Me! And it has quotation marks on either side of it! That’s a direct quote. I am so knowledgeable.

Yes, Game 7 between the Comets and Barons was a goaltender’s duel, as the two netminders combined to make 74 saves on 75 shots, keeping the game scoreless until well into the third period, no doubt terrified to give up the first goal. After all, since 1992, teams that have scored first in the AHL Game sevens have gone 47-13.

The only thing worse than giving up the first goal is surrendering the only goal, however, and that’s what poor Richard Bachman did at 7:11 of the final frame. The hero was Alexandre Grenier, who, I should note, got a mention in my write-up yesterday as a potential hero. It is as though I am some sort of hockey genius. And the Toronto Maple Leafs still have an open GM chair…

I’m just kidding. You couldn’t pay me enough to do that job, and I say that even after seeing what they gave Mike Babcock.

Anyway. Here are your game highlights.

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State of the Franchise: Forwards, where depth at centre is still an issue

Today we continue our look at the Canucks depth charts before kicking off the rampant speculation that inevitably surrounds the NHL entry draft and opening of free agency. Yesterday we delved into the defence, where the Canucks will have some difficult decisions to make.

Now it’s time to look at the forwards, take stock of the Canucks cupboards, and realize they need to pick up a few more centres from the store.

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Five things to know about the Utica Comets’ big Game 7

It seems like only just yesterday we were touting a big playoff matchup between a Canucks prospect and a (highly probable) Oilers prospect. But it wasn’t. It was last week, when Cole Cassels may not have shut down future Oiler Connor McDavid, but at least outproduced him.

And now, once again, future Oilers and future Canucks will be going head-to-head, albeit in a game of modern hockey, and not the Plutonian hockey that the Canucks and the Oilers of the future will be playing. (That’s too far in the future. By the time the NHL moves its base of operations to the icy reaches of Pluto, one imagines the likes of Sven Baertschi and Darnell Nurse will be long gone.) Down in the AHL, the Oklahoma City Barons and Utica Comets, Edmonton and Vancouver’s farm teams, respectively, will be doing battle in a Game 7 Wednesday night with a trip to the Western Conference Finals on the line.

Here are five things to know about this matchup.

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State of the Franchise: Defence, where waiver eligibility could force the Canucks hand

Before we head into the crazy season of the NHL entry draft and free agent frenzy, it’s a good time to take stock of the Canucks current state of affairs. What does the Canucks depth look like at each position? Who do the Canucks still need to re-sign? How will the Canucks current players and prospects affect their decision-making this off-season?

Let’s start with the defence, where the Canucks are pretty much all set on one side, but have significant decisions to make on the other.

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The Prospector: Cole Cassels heads to Memorial Cup, Jake Virtanen makes professional debut

The Prospector is a semi-regular feature on Pass it to Bulis where we pan the Canucks prospects pool in search of gold.

This week, we look at Cole “McDavid Kryptonite” Cassels, along with Jake Virtanen, Sven Baertschi, and Alexandre Grenier in the AHL playoffs.

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Stick in Link: Canucks prospect awards; Bonino leads USA to bronze

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond once or twice a week during the off-season. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Dan Hamhuis and Team Canada dominate Russia, win World Championship gold

It wasn’t even close.

Canada completely out-classed Russia in the gold medal game of the 2015 World Championship, winning their first gold medal at the tournament in 8 years and first medal of any colour in 6. They finished the tournament undefeated, out-scoring their opponents 66-15. After surviving scares against Sweden and, surprisingly, France earlier in the tournament, they wiped the floor with Russia, winning 6-1 and silencing the Russian contingent in Prague, while earning cheers from both the Canadian fans who made the trip and the hometown Czech crowd happy to see Russia lose.

The lone Canuck on Team Canada, Dan Hamhuis, adds a World Championship gold medal to his trophy cabinet, to go with two World Championship silver medals, and, of course, Olympic gold.

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Spitballin on theme songs, a villain’s lifelong dream, and Tony Gallagher’s dystopian future

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

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Canucks end fretting, sign Jordan Subban to entry-level contract

Despite repeated assurances from Jim Benning that he would get a deal done with Jordan Subban, fans were freaking out. The concern seemed a little over-the-top, as the Canucks had until June 1st to sign Subban to a contract and fans seemed to start worrying the day after Subban’s OHL team, the Belleville Bulls, were eliminated from the playoffs.

The delay in signing Subban was attributed to everything from Subban intending to intentionally remain unsigned and re-enter the draft to Benning hating short players. When Benning signed Mackenze Stewart to an entry-level deal earlier this week, some saw it as a sign that Subban was on his way out, as if Benning saw Stewart as a replacement for Subban. It was all a bit overblown.

Those worries can be safely set aside now, as the Canucks signed Jordan Subban to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 20-year-old is expected to start next season with the Utica Comets, though he is eligible to return to Junior as an overage player.

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