Will John Tortorella Help to Develop the Young Players?

Jeff Angus
July 17 2013 12:07PM

Ryan Callahan - Wikicommons

According to Mike Gillis, the Canucks will be utilizing more young players in the lineup for this season – partly out of necessity (salary cap), and partly because the team has some young players who are primed for NHL duty.

Will Tortorella be able to integrate young players into the lineup better than Alain Vigneault did in his tenure in Vancouver? Was Vigneault “good” or “bad” at coaching young players? He wasn’t a coach who communicated a lot with his players, but there have been numerous head coaches who rely on their assistants for building player relationships.

Let’s take a look at Tortorella’s tenure in New York as a means of comparison.

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A (Very Early) Look at the 2013-14 Canucks Lineup: The Defensemen

Jeff Angus
July 11 2013 12:47PM

Ryan McDonagh, who flourished under John Tortorella - WikiCommons

The Canucks still possess a solid team, especially on the back end. There is a lot of negativity surrounding the team right now though. The Canucks were swept in round one, they fired head coach Alain Vigneault this summer, and the inaction from the front office has removed a lot of the optimism that was once ever-present surrounding this team.

Much to the surprise of absolutely no one, the Canucks bought out defenseman Keith Ballard last week. And to the surprise of a few, they shopped Alex Edler at the draft. Moving Edler would have taken a very, very nice return, and I think the team just wanted to get a feel for the trade market.

Assuming the team goes forth with the defensive group they have now, how are things shaping up for this coming season?

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A (Very Early) Look at the 2013-14 Canucks Lineup: The Forwards

Jeff Angus
July 09 2013 12:02PM

Zack Kassian - Wikimedia Commons

The dog days of summer won’t set in for a few more weeks, but the craziness of the past few weeks (heck, since January) has finally started to slow down. We will be rolling out a lot of prospect content in the coming weeks, too. The Canucks have had a pretty bare prospect cupboard since… ever, but thanks to the Cory Schneider trade and a highly-touted prospect falling into their lap, the future looks a bit brighter.

But how about the present? Let's take a look at some potential line combinations for opening night.

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Should the Canucks Sign Matt Cullen?

Jeff Angus
July 05 2013 10:40AM

Nice 'stache - courtesy of WikiCommons

The Canucks need a third or fourth line center. And getting a guy with some offensive ability in case of another Ryan Kesler injury makes a lot of sense. Could veteran center Matt Cullen be that guy?

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Should the Canucks Sign Jonathan Blum?

Jeff Angus
July 03 2013 09:33AM

Jonathan Blum - WikiCommons Media

The former Vancouver Giant star defenseman has been cut loose by the Nashville Predators. The team decided not to qualify him – and they are looking to trade his rights before he becomes a free agent on Friday.

Does Blum make sense for the Canucks? The 1st round draft pick from 2007 (23rd overall) has had an up and down start to his NHL career in Nashville, and he has fallen out of favour with the management. There simply isn’t any room for him on the Predators back end, especially with the drafting of Seth Jones and the development of Victor Bartley, Ryan Ellis, and Mattias Ekholm. The recent acquisition of TJ Brennan from Florida didn’t do much to help Blum’s chances of making the team, either.

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