February 25 2015 09:00AM
With Vancouver's unwillingness to part with a top prospect in a potential Evander Kane deal, some of the dialogue around the team seems to have shifted from "playoffs or bust" to beginning to plan for a future post-Sedin twins. Whether we want to believe it or not, the Vancouver Canucks are not a legitimate Stanley Cup contender in 2014-2015, and don't project to be in 2015-2016 or a couple years beyond that either, so a succession plan is necessary. And given the success of younger players like Zack Kassian and Bo Horvat of late, the Smylosphere seems more and more open to being patient for a couple of seasons before handing the keys to Horvat and company.
Still, it's unlikely that we see Jim Benning go all-in on the next era of the Canucks this season. If we were in charge of the team, we'd likely look to move pending UFAs Shawn Matthias, Derek Dorsett, and Brad Richardson at the deadline and turn the bottom end of the Canucks roster over to the Ronalds Kenins of the world, but we're also not under the same pressures as Vancouver's actual front office. There are certainly differing incentives at play for the people in charge of the team and us fans, and these different incentives could push the Canucks into making the decisions that don't explicitly benefit them in the future.
Join us after the jump to explore some of the reasons why the Canucks could be buyers come trade deadline day.
February 24 2015 02:13PM
After an impressive 4-0 win over the Metropolitan-leading New York Islanders on Sunday, the Canucks have traveled to Boston to take on the slumping Boston Bruins. Both teams saw a significant player go down with a long-term leg injury recently, and both teams are scraping and clawing to make the playoffs in their respective conferences.
It's not a matchup that has the firepower it once did, but these are still two heated rivals that have motivation to put forth their best efforts tonight. Read past the jump for a preview.
February 22 2015 02:00PM
With the Evander Kane trade now squarely in our rear-view mirrors, Canucks fans have had time to digest missing out on bringing a high-octane and exciting hometown boy back to where he played his junior hockey. More importantly though, bowing out of the Evander Kane sweepstakes might have also meant missing on a Tyler Seguin-like situation - an opportunity to improve your team for the next five years by adding a young and dynamic player to the roster.
Evander Kane is a high-end shot generator and a first-line goal scorer at just 23, and the Canucks don't have a prospect in their organization that's likely to be that. Management hopes that Jake Virtanen could turn in to that player one day, but based on what history tells us about the Jake Virtanens of the world, that's unlikely. Still, even if Vancouver missed out on a better player, the structure of the current roster and ages of the prime assets in the organization indicate that Jim Benning made the right call in refusing to part with a top prospect, and therefore passing on Kane.
So why didn't a Kane to the Canucks trade make sense for Vancouver? And what does this mean for Vancouver's approach to the upcoming trade deadline? We'll get into it after the jump.
February 22 2015 12:21PM
The Vancouver Canucks continue their Eastern road swing this afternoon, visiting the Metropolitan division leading New York Islanders. With their win over the New York Rangers on Thursday, the Canucks pulled themselves to second in the Pacific division, but a loss over the lowly Devils prevented them from putting some daylight between themselves and the Wild and Sharks. As it stands, the Canucks sit just two points out of a tie for 9th in the conference, so this afternoon's two points are critical.
Read past the jump for a preview of this afternoon's game.
February 20 2015 01:31PM
After a thrilling come-from-behind win against the New York Rangers last night, the Canucks are back in the saddle this evening as they face a struggling New Jersey Devils squad that's scored fewer goals this year than any non-Buffalo NHL team. The Devils are playing some atrocious hockey of late as their possession numbers have cratered since the firing of Peter DeBoer. Still, it won't be easy for the Canucks as they're on the second leg of a road back-to-back, and every win is critical to keeping themselves in the playoff race.
Read past the jump for a preview of tonight's tilt.