June 18 2016 06:00PM
The list of teams that the Vancouver Canucks have been bested by at the draft since Jim Benning took the job as General Manager is a short one. That's the advantage to having a master scout running the show.
That's why Canucks fans get frustrated when the club they cheer for surrenders draft picks in trades, much like they did when they acquired Erik Gudbranson. In the wake of that trade, Vancouver has but two selections in the first hundred picks. That's less than ideal for a club that should probably be rebuilding and just finished their season in third-last place.
I wouldn't write off the Canucks addressing this in the coming week, though. There are a few different ways they could bolster their position in the top half of the draft and I'll try and touch on three such options on the other side of the jump.
June 18 2016 04:35PM
After two disappointing, injury-plagued seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Tom Gilbert will be hitting the open market on July 1st looking to prove that he can still be an effective contributor on a team's back-end.
After a few great seasons in Edmonton, and brief but respectable stints in Minnesota and Florida, Gilbert's play fell off the rails in his most recent season in Montreal, where he posted the worst CF% of all Habs defenders, and managed only a single point at even-strength, despite being the beneficiary of some very favourable deployment by Michel Therrien.
While there will certainly be more attractive blueliners available in free agency, Gilbert's services are unlikely to command much in the way of money or term, so he could be a nice low-risk addition for a team looking to a mobile, veteran presence to their lineup.
We'll examine whether or not the Canucks are a fit after the jump.
June 18 2016 08:00AM
June 17 2016 05:00PM
The Canucks made me very happy yesterday when they announced that they'd signed Sven Baertschi to a two-year extension. Most people who consistently read my material, and anyone who has listened to any of my podcasts knows that I’m not shy about my affinity for Sven Baertschi. I firmly believe that his offensive creativity and vision, along with an underrated two-way ability, gives him an inside edge to become the Canucks’ most skilled player as the Sedins enter their twilight years.
It was brought to my attention recently that not everyone in Canucks territory is quite as infatuated with Sven as I am.
Sad state of affairs when Canuck fans are super excited about Baertschi. How he is now, does he even crack roster any time from 2008-2013?— Cody Dame (@cdame94) June 15, 2016
I'm not sure how pervasive this opinion is, but ,needless to say, I was upset. Putting aside the nonsensical narrative that he was "invisible" in the first half of the season, I thought everyone was fully on board the Baertschi train by now. After stewing over it for awhile, I decided to do some digging and come up with a firm answer.
Has my rosy perception of Sven Baertschi been that influenced by how awful the team has been in general? Is Sven Baertschi really that good, or is he just “bad team good”? That is, are the Canucks as a team so poor that they make Baertschi look more impressive than he actually is? Let’s find out together.
June 17 2016 03:00PM
Happy Friday, readers! Celebrate the end of the work week with some Sedin soccer, a dog (duh), a sad-fanniversary, and more!