Not a coaching candidate profile: Lindy Ruff

Cam Charron
May 28 2013 01:29PM

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Of all the names that have surfaced thus far in the search for the next Vancouver Canucks coach, Lindy Ruff is one of them. And it's odd that his name keeps coming up. There's no shortage of NHL teams that are run like a banana republic in regards to coaching, where the name on the coach's office is often printed in masking tape rather than anyone splurging on a $10 engraving that you can get done at the mall. Yet it took more than a decade for any of the major faces in the Buffalo Sabres organization to face the proverbial firing squad.

Ruff, who failed to turn a team with new money into a team that made the playoffs, took the bullet, but most analysts could probably deduce that the issue in Buffalo was the frivolous spending of general manager Darcy Regier. After years of icing competitive teams on a budget nowhere close to the cap, Regier wasn't a scrupulous with Pegula-bucks, spending buckets of money on Ville Leino and Christian Ehrhoff, trading for Robyn Regehr, opening the books to re-sign Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford, and then throwing it all away by trading for Steve Ott last summer.

The team stunk. Awful, awful, awful, and Ruff bit the bullet, though through no fault of his own. Read past the jump.

Read Article | 9 Comments

Defending the records of Alain Vigneault and Mike Gillis

Cam Charron
May 24 2013 03:43PM

The three guys leaving on the jet plane shouldn't be blamed for the ravages wrought by father time.
Photography by Jeff Vinnick via

When the NHL came out of the last lockout, Markus Naslund hit unrestricted free agency for three days. The Vancouver Canucks got him under contract—three years, six-million per—and the city breathed a sigh of relief.

Nobody, I guess, told then-general manager Dave Nonis that you can't bank on 32-year-old players to bring you the same Art Ross-level scoring touch. With Naslund locked up through his 34-year-old season, a 30-year-old Todd Bertuzzi and a 30-year-old Brendan Morrison, the general feeling in Vancouver was that this team, at the end of their prime years, would get a couple more kicks at the can under Nonis, who spent his first offseason keeping together the same group that Brian Burke had assembled.

Read Article | 35 Comments

Microanalyzing Canucks faceoffs issues

Cam Charron
May 03 2013 12:30PM

Quick observation on faceoffs based on Game 1. This seems to be the target for Vancouver Canucks observers and I don't particularly get why. Any microanalysis on faceoffs I don't like to trust. For one, the NHL is inconsistent in properly rewarding winners and losers of draws. For two, virtually anybody who looks at faceoffs on a macro-level usually finds inconclusive evidence that teams that are good at winning and losing draws help teams win a lot of games.

There's some evidence to indicate that faceoffs have a hand in puck-possession, but it's not the thing. Vancouver, New Jersey and Ottawa all seemed to do well at overall possession, calculated by shot differential statistics, this season without being particularly proficient on faceoffs. Boston, San Jose and Chicago are good at draws.

It's a thing but it's not the thing.

Read Article | 6 Comments

Canucks to Corrado: "Hey, be better than Chris Tanev"

Cam Charron
April 22 2013 12:24PM

Frankie Corrado is many things and I'm sure his story will be told by somebody with access over the coming days. He was one of the last cuts to the Canadian World Junior team, a late-blooming fifth-round pick from 2011 and an ex-Sudbury Wolf who was traded to the Kitchener Rangers at the OHL trade deadline this season. He is also too old to have a name with "-ie" tagged onto the end of it. Most importantly for our purposes, he is a right-shooting defenceman now on a roster that has little.

This is a particularly thin roster the Canucks have on defence right now, stretched thinner thanks to injuries to Kevin Bieksa, Chris Tanev, and now Keith Ballard. Tanev and Bieksa are the unfortunate injuries and who knows how long Bieksa's "day-to-day" will last.

Read Article | 8 Comments

Cory Schneider's odd career trajectory

Cam Charron
April 09 2013 02:50PM

The amazing thing about Cory Schneider's career is the lack of valleys along the way. You can't point to a grouping of ten games in a row where Schneider's performance has been substandard except for right at the start of his career.

I've organized a chart looking at Schneider's career save percentage cumulative and from a rolling 10-game average. After the jump…

Read Article | 4 Comments