May 10 2016 01:00PM
I'm sort of in draft mode right now, so the only players I took on for the Year in Review series are the Sedin twins, who I am a big fan of. The twins had an interesting year, in which they were diametrically opposed in a lot of ways. They're production and underlying numbers weren't that far apart, but it sure seemed like their level of play was at times. Daniel was healthy for the majority of the season, while Henrik... not so much.
While there was lots to celebrate when it came to Daniel, most of Henrik's season was dark and brooding. He was either getting crunched into the boards, or stiffening up, or breaking down, or getting angry. Very angsty.
That said, he did manage to have a couple of neat moments, though they were usually ruined by something else. Read on to find out how! It's Henrik Sedin's Year in Review.
May 10 2016 11:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks, hamstrung financially and short of options, came to Matt Bartkowski in free agency hoping to unearth the defender that ate big minutes in the Boston Bruins top four en route to a Stanley Cup appearance.
That is to say that Canucks general manager Jim Benning bet on the mostly positive knowledge he had of Bartkowski's game as a member of the Bruins himself against a rough 2014-15 season to the contrary. Though Bartkowski never found his footing in Vancouver, there were brief enough glimpses of what might have driven his favourable outputs in seasons prior. Chief among them, his ability to carry the puck.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, that's the good - and all of the good, too. The thin veneer his nifty footwork afforded him cracked endlessly as the end-to-end rushes turned to goals against and a skyward glare thereafter. Coyote ugly as this was to the naked eye, it's not like the underlying data did him any favours, either.
Then again, Beth Bartkowski's TV appearances might have made all the turnovers worth it...
May 10 2016 08:00AM
Coming in at 43rd in our consensus rankings is Sault St Marie winger Boris Katchouk, who is a player that won't wow you on the ice but will do the little things to generate offence.
He may not be a flashy player but for a second round pick, he is someone that teams will be attracted to.
May 09 2016 05:00PM
Though usually a versatile, if underappreciated element in the Vancouver Canucks bottom six, Jannik Hansen shed that label this season en route to a 20-goal campaign, riding shotgun alongside the Sedins.
Hansen steadily built his case in sparse ice-time over the five seasons prior, proving up to the task whenever called upon to fill in as the third Sedin. Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins bought in, putting the Danish grinder on the top line in the injured Brandon Sutter's stead, bucking convention and reaping enormous rewards for his trouble.
While the on-ice product left little, if anything to be desired of Hansen this season, the strides he made off the ice were every bit as profound and impactful. As the Canucks ship inched closer towards the iceberg, Hansen, who finished the season a 30-year-old, grizzled veteran of eight seasons, became increasingly vocal as a member of the Canucks leadership group.
Rare are the players who looked exceptionally good this season, but Hansen certainly has a strong case. Let's delve deep and unearth the underlying reasons why...
May 09 2016 01:00PM
The Vancouver Canucks haven't been relevant for an awfully long time. Such is the plight of the eliminated team that finishes third last in the entire league.
All the more so now that the college free agent market has all but withered. Wouldn't you know it, it couldn't have finished as the grande fait accompli that might make this season somewhat palatable. I mean, sure, the Canucks did land Troy Stetcher and Michael Garteig... then Drake Caggiula spurned them for the Edmonton Oilers. That's gotta hurt. I mean, Edmonton over Vancouver. Just think about that for a second. Or don't.
Yet through the malaise, you fine people keep peppering me with questions for the Monday Mailbag. All of which I'll gladly answer, on the other side of the jump.