May 31 2012 12:03PM
Over the past several years it has grown into a hackneyed cliché: "Twitter has changed the game." The phrase is paradoxically both new, and well-worn from gauche over-use, but I'll be damned if it isn't completely true.
Yesterday, for example, a Twitter user known as "@SamJam99" tweeted that the Canucks and Leafs had agreed upon a deal for Roberto Luongo, and were simply holding off on the announcement until late June or early July. Often times a rumour tweet of this nature will surface (@IncarceratedBob tweeted that the deal was "80% complete" just last week) and everyone will write it off. @SamJam99, however, has beaten the mainstream media on three major occasions over the past several years.
He first gained notoriety when
he was the first to accurately state that the Canucks were going to file tampering charges against Ron Wilson and the Leafs over their Sedin twins comments in the summer of 09. (Update June 6: SamJam didn't break the story, so much as he made noise with an on-line petition. I apologize for the inaccuracy of this particular statement). In the fall of 2011, he was thirty minutes ahead of TSN on the exact particulars of the David Booth for Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson swap. In February of 2012 he beat TSN by a similar margin with again, the exact particulars of the buzzer-beating Hodgson for Kassian trade on trade deadline day.
Again, this isn't some dude guessing about what the Canucks are going to do, this is a kid who had Sulzer and Hodgson heading to Buffalo in exchange for Gragnani and Kassian thirty minutes before any mainstream outlets were reporting it. He correctly had Sulzer in the trade damn it - so you know he wasn't just guessing.
A kid with a shady, reliable source is one thing, but it's just one part of a larger tableau of what's been a particularly fascinating, "game-changing" season for the Canucks on Twitter. It has been so odd, and so unique, that I think it's worth discussing further.
Read past the jump.
May 30 2012 09:31AM
It appears that the Canucks have signed 21 year-old forward prospect Alex Friesen, who recently finished up his overage season with the juggernaut Niagara Ice Dogs, to an entry level contract. That's according to the Twitter account associated with Pro Vision Sports, a Toronto based agency that represents Friesen. Here's the official press release from Canucks.nhl.com announcing the signing.
Read past the jump for videos of a smaller dude absolutely destroying bigger guys with massive hits, and a bit of analysis.
May 29 2012 03:05PM
The Canucks had a rotating door of third line centres last season, and never really found the right fit.
Despite a second straight season at the absolute top of the league table, the Vancouver Canucks were unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs in the first round this Spring. Changes are clearly required to put this club over the hump, but the front-office has elected to return the entire coaching staff (a move we generally support) so those changes are going to have to come in the form of roster moves this offseason.
We're spending this week looking at the Canucks' areas of need, for a series quite creatively dubbed: Canucks Team Needs. Yesterday we looked at the team's gaping hole in the top-four of their defense-corps, and today, we'll turn our attention to club's most pressing need: a reliable tough-minutes centreman for the third line.
Read past the jump for more!
May 28 2012 12:56PM
Beyond Bieksa and Hamhuis: the Canucks defense-corps is a big question mark going into this offseason.
As the ink dries on Alain Vigneault's long-awaited (and controversial) contract extension, and with the brush fires Vigneault started with comments regarding Kesler's injury and Luongo's trade request more or less extinguished by Mike Gillis - we're probably in for a slow week (or two) of Canucks news. To help pass the time we'll be running a series this week that looks at what didn't quite work for the Canucks this past season. We'll diagnose some issues, poke at some holes in the roster and discuss some possible offseason remedies for what ails Vancouver's hockey club. We're calling it our "Canucks Team Needs" series, and it starts today with a look at the blue-line.
Read past the jump for more.
May 25 2012 10:04AM
For months now, it has looked likely that highly regarded prospect defenseman Justin Schultz would take advantage of a rarely used CBA loop-hole, withdraw from school, spurn the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and become a free-agent on July 1st. According to Bob Mckenzie, that's exactly what has happened today:
Word out of Wisconsin is ANA draft Justin Schultz filed paperwork to quit school. Neither Ducks nor Schultz's reps responding for comment.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 25, 2012
So the process has begun by which Justin Schultz will become a free-agent on July 1st, however, there is one more wrinkle.
Read past the jump.