Friday Afternoon Headshots January 18th

Thomas Drance
January 18 2013 03:39PM


Ryan Kesler bags groceries at save-on on Thursday in Vancouver.
Image via /R/Canucks Redditer: Saki604.

The Canucks made their final cuts today to get their roster under the 23-man limit in advance of Saturday's season opener at home against Anaheim. They re-assigned nine players to the Chicago Wolves in all including Jordan Schroeder, Bill Sweatt, promising banger Darren Archibald, Anton Rodin, Andrew Gordon, Peter Andersson, Derek Joslin, Kevin Connauton and Joe Cannata.

Kevin Connauton, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was born and raised in Edmonton, responded to his demotion with a pretty funny riot joke on Twitter:

Mike Gillis spoke with David Ebner of the Globe and Mail about the scientific, objective work the Canucks do with #fancystats and their "human performance plan." If you're a regular Canucks Army reader you'll likely be familiar with many of the concepts discussed (obviously it's extremely hard to get new information out of the team on this subject, and they're right to guard proprietary information like hawks) but this is a fantastic round up and an absolute must read take.

Speaking of Mike Gillis, he appeared on the Team 1040 and was a bit of a grumpy gus all things considered. For example he bit Scott Rintoul's head off while calling out the toady's in the Toronto media. It's concerning that Mike Gillis sounded as agitated and frustrated as he did, I suppose, but still the entire thing is pretty awesome.

Read past the jump for more Canucks news and sardonic quips.

In a similar vein, Ben Kuzma has a really interesting bit posing the question: did Mike Gillis waited too long on the Luongo trade front. My personal view on this: if the best offer the Leafs put on the table included Tyler Bozak as a centerpiece, then waiting was absolutely the right call. 

Hey this is fun, Scott Burnside puts the Minnesota Wild ahead of the Canucks in his pre-season ESPN power-rankings. Because that's not hilarious at all. LeBrun will restore balance next week after the Wild lose to the Avalanche, and probably several other teams this week.

My goal total projection series continued over at the PlayNowSports blog with a look at expected blue-liner production (Tanev not included) and a conservative estimate on how many goals Zack Kassian and Chris Tanev might score this season. I've got Jason Garrison pegged for seven goals this season, which would be pretty neat. 

Jason Botchford, for what it's worth, was very impressed with Jason Garrison's puckmoving ability in Thursday night's full-team scrimmage. He says Garrison looked like Christian Ehrhoff out there, you know, except without the elite skating ability or the third-pairing quality gap control. 

Finally, this is pretty hilarious. Kesler tells a lucky season ticket holder that he's been selected to take part in an honorary "we're really sorry about the lockout!" face-off before Saturday night's home-opener. The fan in question keeps Kesler on hold for about five minutes because he was in the middle of a Pelvic Exam. Yep:

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 Fredrickstein
January 18 2013, 08:28PM
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Pity comment...

Maybe you should stick to bashing other teams so you could actually generate some web traffic

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#2 Duderoni
January 18 2013, 10:39PM
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@Fredrickstein

Nah... He can leave that to the hacks I see on other team blogs.

You gotta be kidding if you think Drance and Canucks Army don't get good traffic. One of the best hockey blogs out there period, never mind for the Canucks.

Keep up the good stuff guys. I love being edutained!

Some more of Round Table posts later on in the year would be awesome too!

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#3 Kent Wilson
January 19 2013, 12:11AM
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From the Gillis article..."according to statistics analyst Paul Kukla..."

Kukla is a lot of things, but a stats guy? Not really.

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#4 Antro
January 19 2013, 06:57AM
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Gotta say that the Ebner article reads like advertising. "Calling all potential free agents, we do management right." I know it's important, and part of getting players to sign for less, but still , Ebner might have tried to find a more critical perspective than just repeat Gillis' talking points. Henrik's playing time is also limited by the fact that Kesler gets lots of 5v5 assignments (for example). But nice to see bloggers' names turning up as authorities (go Cam Charron!).

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#5 Patrick Johnston
January 19 2013, 10:16AM
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@Antro

You raise an interesting point - It's always a dilemma when you are writing a profile of someone; how important is it to just let the speaker's words stand for themselves? In this case, who would be able to speak on what the piece is focusing on? Charron struck me as a pretty good choice.

One of the problems with doing a story like this is that statistical analysis in hockey is still rather new as a mainstream concept, so who do you go talk to? Should we have heard more from Charron? Maybe, but in the end, this is a story about what *Gillis* does; leave it to the reader to make a judgment about his approach to management.

Also, flip the question on its head - did you learn things about Mike Gillis that you didn't know before?

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