Mar 112015
The new faces of the Vancouver Canucks

The new faces of the Vancouver Canucks

Monday’s gutsy win over the NHL leading Anaheim Mighty Ducks was emblematic of the transformation that has taken place in Vancouver over the past twelve months. Last season, when faced with adversity, the Vancouver Canucks broke. Management broke, the coach broke and the roster broke. Last night, while being thoroughly outplayed by the best team in the league (at least in the standings) the Canucks did not break. They rose to the challenge and gutted out two points that they desperately needed.

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Jul 152014

It's a Rant!

I have had a problem with no trade clauses (NTC) for some time. Basically ever since the Dany Heatley fiasco in the summer of 2009. Since then we have seen players hold their GMs hostage during trade negotiations. First they demand a trade and then they blow all of their team’s leverage by a.) going public and b.) providing laughably short lists of teams they are willing to go to. Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Why are you hating on the players? It is the GM that agrees to NTCs. Well, you are absolutely right. Continue reading »

Apr 072013

1) Obviously this was a big week for trades in the NHL. But I was still surprised at how little was made of the Jay Bouwmeester move. St. Louis acquired the minute munching defenceman for a conditional 1st round pick (if the Blues miss the playoffs it becomes a 4th round pick this year and a 1st round pick next year) and two middling prospects. Bouwmeester has taken a lot of heat for his play in Calgary, but to be fair most of that is directed at his monstrous cap hit. On any team in the league he has the skill set to be a solid top pairing defenceman and should help secure a playoff birth for the Blues. In my mind, this was the most underrated pick up of the week.  Continue reading »

Sep 032012

1.) Vancouver Canucks: The biggest problem the Canucks have heading into the 2012-13 season is that they have two of the top goalies in the world under contract. The back-to-back defending President Trophy winners shored up their d-core with the addition of Jason Garrison and should see youngster Chris Tanev patrolling the back end on a nightly basis. Ryan Kesler’s injury is worrisome, but his early season absence is mitigated by the overall weakness of the Northwest division.

2.) Los Angeles Kings: The Kings emerged as a powerhouse team during the 2011-12 post season. And with almost the entire Stanley Cup winning roster returning for the 2012-13 season, there is every reason to believe the Kings will finish atop their division. It will be interesting to see whether the Kings can maintain the torrid offensive output which saw them cruise to the cup last spring, but with Jonathan Quick between the pipes the Kings will have an opportunity to win each and every game. Continue reading »

Jul 252012

I wasn’t convinced that the Predators would match the offer sheet for Shea Weber largely because I didn’t think they’d have enough money. By matching, they clearly do. In the grand scheme of things, nothing has changed – the Flyers still have plenty of cap space and Weber is still in Nashville.

Not many people are surprised the Predators matched. I am somewhat surprised, since I didn’t think the Preds would or could invest more than 15 per cent of their franchise value in one player. Shea Weber may be a franchise superstar, but any contract with big money and long years has considerable risk. The obvious example would be Ilya Bryzgalov, who put up less than stellar numbers in year one of his monster contract. For a money-conscious team that’s an enormous investment for a single player, though Weber has missed only nine games over the past four seasons.

Forget about the bogus statement released by the Predators, which talked about how keeping Weber was a hockey decision. That was the easy question to answer for Poile. The infinitely more important question is (and forever will be) whether or not the Preds have the money.

I’m not so sure we’ve seen the end of this. Yes, it’s possible David Poile could turn around and hand Jakub Voracek, the Flyers’ only significant RFA, an outrageous offer sheet, but I’m not talking about retaliation. I’m not convinced Weber wants to stay in Nashville, and with no Ryan Suter that team is weaker and further away from winning the Cup, and Weber has repeatedly said he wants to win.

I’m willing to bet anything that Shea Weber will be leaving Nashville in three years.

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Apr 242012

I’ve officially changed my stance. In my previous post, I thought that Vigneault should be given the benefit of the doubt, having led the Canucks to two straight Presidents’ Trophies and a Finals appearance. But after Mike Gillis’ press conference today, I’ve done a complete 180.

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Apr 012012

The Good

-Good news for Canucks fans this week as GM Mike Gillis announced that he expects both Daniel Sedin and Kevin Bieksa back in time for the start of round one of the playoffs. Despite their recent 6 game winning streak, the Canucks need both of these players to make a successful run this spring. Max Lapierre has 4 points in the two games he has spent filling in on the top line. Continue reading »

Feb 272012

I understand why Mike Gillis dealt Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian. It simply makes hockey sense – with Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler in the fold for years to come, there simply wasn’t any room for Cody Hodgson in the top six, and the Canucks are really looking to add some size and scoring on the wings. The Sabres have been awful this year and the team looks to be in for a complete shake-up. Even though Derek Roy stayed put, there’s little doubt that changes will be made at some point. But here’s what I don’t get. Why did Mike Gillis pull the trigger now?

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Oct 292011

Another week in the books, another week chalk full of surprises. Montreal decided to shake things up by firing an assistant coach while a slumping contender made a (somewhat) major move to acquire some scoring depth. And surprise! Edmonton is still surging. Here are some points to consider from the third week of the 2011 NHL regular season. Continue reading »