March 01 2014 05:28PM
Dating all the way back to April 17th, 2013 when the NHL announced that the Canucks and Senators would be competing in the "Heritage Classic" (as part of the 6 outdoor games to be played in the '13-'14 season), there appeared to be quite a few flaws with the plan.
Looking past the fact that it was an oversaturated and transparent cash grab by the league, from a storyline perspective it sure seemed odd to have the game feature two teams that have as little history with each other as possible, having played only 31 total times since 1992.
When your main marketing angle is "these two franchises played for the title back in 1915!", you're reaching. Then there was the fact that it was set to be played in March, which in Vancouver, generally doesn't lend itself to prototypical outdoor hockey weather (though apparently they knew something we didn't, because it has been snowing up here in the past week).
Even taking all of that into acocunt, there were still plenty of people that were excited about the fact that their city would be hosting an outdoor game, and that they'd get to witness it up close and personal (even if it meant spending their life savings). But leave it to the Vancouver Canucks to Canuck it up by creating a self-inflicted goaltending controversy on the eve of the game, which has somehow, someway managed to overshadow a regular season game between these two well known rivals. Even if it's being played in a CFL stadium.
March 01 2014 02:54PM
[This post was written by JD Burke. If that name sounds familiar, it's because you've probably either seen him on Twitter, or read the handful of Evening Headshots posts he has done for us in the past. Anyways, he ran this thought-provoking article on Brad Boyes which he wrote by me, and I figured I'd share it with all of you.]
Every offseason it feels as though a swathe of worthy contributors are cast aside in the rush to overspend for marginally better players, with a slew of complementary narratives that give the illusion of talent - see Clarkson, David.
Last summer, these contract-worthy players gathered en masse in Florida, courtesy of professional tryouts from Dale Tallon and the Panthers. One such player was Brad Boyes; he of the 40-goal campaign once upon a time, and consequent free-fall from grace only two seasons later.
At this point we all know he’s available. The Panthers are 15th in the Eastern Conference and 17 points out of a wild card spot. In true Florida Panthers form, that screams "trade deadline seller". With that being the case I think it’s well worth exploring whether Boyes should be on the Canucks radar. And do that I shall, right after the jump.
March 01 2014 11:31AM
GILLISBERG! [Image via The Stanchion]
Yesterday afternoon we ran a new feature we'll be doing on Fridays called "The Watchability Index", in which we lay out the weekend's slate of games in the NHL, and rank them based on how entertaining they promise to be.
The Canucks and the Wild are an easy call to be on the bottom of the list (to go along with Calgary/Edmonton, for some perspective and context) because of the long and storied history these two teams have of playing mind-numbingly boring hockey every time they meet. Unfortunately, the ranking was on point, because good god did that 2-1 shootout win by the Wild ever make for putrid television.
I apologize for not getting this recap up last night. There were some unforeseen circumstances that got in the way. But let's get real: if you were hanging around anxiously waiting for some analysis on that game between the Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild last night, you've probably got bigger problems going on in your life.
February 28 2014 04:13PM
I've never seen the British version of House of Cards, but you'd better believe I'm going to go burn through all of those in a weekend while awaiting the third season of the American Netflix version. People offering up comparisons between the two shows rather than actually discussing them in depth sort of grinds my gears; no matter how the American version holds up to the British, it's still an excellent show.
What I like the most is the show's treatment of the journalists. Most are hard-working and, just like the politicians the show is focused on, manipulative and scheming to get what they want. In the first episode, a young, female reporter with a daily broadsheet offers to be Kevin Spacey's mouthpiece in the press. It's a good arrangement - she gets stories, he gets to manipulate political discourse.
This is related to hockey, I swear.
February 28 2014 12:49PM
Who is Mike Gillis trying to reel in?
I generally try to make a point of refraining from jumping in on rumour-mongering. I don't have any "inside" sources, nor do I pretend to. My job is to analyze things tangible things that we do know, like player performance and team trends. I don't have "an anonymous source" whispering things into my ear.
Generally speaking I know as much as about all of the trade talk as Twitter tells me, which is a dangerous game; for every report going in one direction, there's quickly another attempting to not only refute it but also argue the opposite. Around this time of year we have to be careful in deciphering what's real, and what's a BS smokescreen, all of which can prove to be easier said than done.
But at this point I feel fairly confident in speculating about the Ryan Kesler trade rumours. Numerous trusted sources (basically everyone other than the player and his agent, *cough cough*) have come out saying they've heard the same thing - Ryan Kesler has in no uncertain terms made it clear to the Canucks that he'd like to move on from the organization.
So with that in mind, let's spend some time looking at the potential landing spots, and even more importantly, the potential returns Mike Gillis and his staff could be looking for in return for their best two-way player.