September 28 2016 09:00AM
Well, it doesn't sound like Jacob Trouba will sticking around Winnipeg much longer. According to multiple reports this Sunday, the disgruntled, unsigned defenceman has demanded a trade from the Jets. Apparently, that request goes as far back as May, too.
Trouba, 22, just finished his entry-level contract and will need to be signed by whichever team acquires his rights. I've heard an assortment of different numbers regarding annual average value, but the overarching theme is that he's going to want more than $6-million per season. Which, frankly, is about the going rate for a defenceman of Trouba's calibre.
So, knowing what it will cost to sign Trouba, what would you package to acquire him from the Jets? Conversely, why wouldn't you trade for Trouba? Try to be realistic. Luca Sbisa and Jannik Hansen isn't making it happen.
September 26 2016 03:00PM
The Vancouver Canucks training camp is officially underway, and the pre-season isn't all that far behind. We're so damn close to the regular season. Even closer than the last three or so times I pointed out how close we were.
The Canucks added Jack Skille to a professional tryout and Jacob Trouba's demanded a trade. That's what's happened in the last week or so. Oh, and of course, the Canucks camp and scrimmages from Whistler. This, after the Canucks held their annual Young Stars Tournament in Penticton. Everything is happening.
This is where the inane small-talk ends, and I get to your questions. You know the drill.
September 26 2016 01:00PM
When the Vancouver Canucks moved on from Alain Vigneault in advance of the 2013-14 season, the move was understandable if overdue. Even Vigneault's most ardent supporters recognized that he'd passed his best before date. Less palatable was the Canucks decision to replace him with John Tortorella.
It wasn't just that the two represented opposing philosophies and approaches. Frankly, it was that Tortorella's style just hadn't adapted to the rapidly evolving NHL. Certainly nothing from his time with the New York Rangers suggested as much. And you know what they say about a leopard changing their spots -- they don't.
You could point to his storied and colourful history as a motivator and not be wrong in that context. More concerning, though, was that his systems were easily exploitable and often were. Sure, it was refreshing to hear 'safe is death' after years of the Canucks' conservative nature with leads, but it didn't make practical sense over an 82 game season.
Watching the United States struggle mightily as they did invoked flashbacks of this most forgettable of Canucks seasons. In case you thought a year on the sideline might afford him the opportunity to change his approach, that hasn't been the case. And with the implementation of new zonal tracking software, we can quantify the extent to which Tortorella's human-wave forecheck hurt his team in the Round Robin portion of this tournament.
September 21 2016 09:48PM
While both of tonight's World Cup of Hockey combatants entered their showdown with a spot in the semi-finals assured, there were high stakes at play for this clash between Canada's hockey establishment and the European conglomerate cobbled together for this tournament's sake.
A win tonight and the victor would avoid Team Sweden and wait out a match with Team North America or Team Russia -- opponents that seem favourable relative to the Tre Kronor.
With tonight's 4-1 victory, Canada now awaits either their time honoured cross-Atlantic rivals in Russia or some of their country's young in the semi-finals. And they made it look so, so easy. Without Shea Weber, Ryan Getzlaf and Carey Price, the Canadians dispatched Europe in short order, outshooting Europe 46-20 in the process.
September 21 2016 03:00PM
When you're into this stage of the off-season, you're talking mostly about tryouts and free agency when it comes to roster construction. Generally that means older players on the fringe of the NHL for professional tryouts or the players that slipped through the cracks in free agency.
With the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton having just come to a close, that's not the case at this exact moment, though. The Canucks invited players were, for the most part, draft eligible. Those that weren't could sign a professional contract at any time -- though, depending on the timing, etc. so too could the draft eligible players.
Now, based on what you've heard and what you've seen from the weekend's events, who among the invites do you think is worthy of a contract or an invite to the Canucks main training camp? I'm particular to Kyle Maksimovich. And you?