Did the Sedins "Lose a Step" Last Season?

Thomas Drance
November 05 2012 01:19PM

 

For a Stanley Cup starved fanbase that roots for an aging team, a team has come oh so painfully close without raising the ultimate mug, the "championship window" is a constant source of argument and scrutiny. I'd argue that not since the Hussites of the 14-hundreds, or more recently Bill Gates, has a single person or group of people ever been so preoccupied with "windows" in the history of human kind.

The most often cited reason for the Canucks' finite championship window is the age of the Sedin twins. The Sedins turned thirty-two in September (on the same day, if you can believe it!) and the list of players who've produced 100 point seasons after the age of 32 is very short indeed.

Some folks, even some folks who write at this blog, have looked at the twins' decline in production last season and have become convinced that the Sedin twins have begun to submit to the power of father time. But looking over the data from the past five seasons, I see little evidence that the Sedin twins have "lost a step" or that last season's slip in production represents the beginning of a downward trend in their NHL careers.

I'll explain myself at length after the jump. 

Read Article | 18 Comments

Strombabble: Oilers Tease a "Wow Factor" Trade for a Goalie, While Leafs Brass Visit the Valley

Thomas Drance
November 02 2012 08:33AM


Luongo-to-Edmonton trade chatter has heated up over the past two months.
Rich Lam/Getty Images

Over the past few months as we've been strombabbling about Roberto Luongo's future, the star goaltender has been laughing at us on Twitter (well, not us specifically, but he's certainly been having fun with the speculation). On Halloween he dressed up as an Edmonton Oilers goaltender (probably his childhood hero Grant Fuhr) and tweeted a photo of it, causing mostly laughter.

But the laughing stopped when Kevin Lowe addressed the Edmonton Oilers' trade posture, throwing gasoline on the "Wow Factor" trade rumour that was floated earlier in the week by team employee Bob Stauffer. Certainly the Oilers appear to be a team interested in improving their roster by using the trade market (that sound you heard was a million Oilers fans, all crying out at once in worry), and sound willing to spend in order to shore up their situation in goal.

Read on past the jump.

Read Article | 6 Comments

Roberto Luongo Mocks @HockeyyInsiderr With New Twitter Avatar

Thomas Drance
October 30 2012 11:39PM

 
Luongo's new Twitter avatar.
Designed by @thestanchion.

 It's striking that Luongo's digital persona is recieved so differently by the public than his "real" life image as a professional athlete.

Despite a sparkling NHL resume and mountains of evidence to the contrary: Luongo been called a choker, a diver, emotionally frail, a basket case, a whiner, a guy who "can't win big games," oh, and in the sports column equivalent of a stroke: "weak sauce." 

In the digital space that Luongo occupies deftly on Twitter, however, it's a totally different story. For his Tweets, Luongo has been called innovative, brilliant, mysterious, "subversive" and "the most interesting athlete in hockey." 

Pictured above is the new Twitter avatar for @strombone1 the unconfirmed confirmed Roberto Luongo Twitter account. The image is simple but it's pretty much perfect, and it's worth breaking down why.

Read on past the jump.

Read Article | 5 Comments

Jannik Hansen Takes a Second European Vacation, Signs with Tappara of the SM-Liga

Thomas Drance
October 30 2012 08:32AM


Photo Credit: Nick Didlick/Getty Images North America

For the second time in as many years, Jannik Hansen is headed for a European vacation. I don't mean this literally of course but last season Jannik Hansen followed up on a breakout 2010-11 season that saw him morph into a playmaking, hard-hitting super pest with a listless, non-physical campaign in 2011-12. As a result the illustrious "#shap crew" coined the nickname "European vacation" for him, and that nickname was then popularized by Jason Botchford.

Well this time it's for real, as Jannik Hansen has agreed to a deal with Tappara of the SM-Liga (the Finnish elite league). Per the official Tappara Twitter feed:

In case you were wondering how they say "Canucks" in Finnish, wonder no more! "Canucksissa" it is. [Correction: via Eetu Huisman "Canucksissa" means "in (the) Canucks". We don't have prepositions in Finnish, we have suffixes."]

Read on past the jump for more.

Read Article | 0 Comments

Zack Kassian Leapfrogs Cody Hodgson in Young Player Rankings

Thomas Drance
October 29 2012 11:50AM


Tanev and Kassian celebrate their bright future.
Photo credit: Gerry Kahrmann, Vancouver Sun.

Since the Canucks traded Cody Hodgson (and Alexander Sulzer) for Zack Kassian (and Marc-Andre Gragnani), friend of the blog and ESPN and Hockey Prospectus prospect guru Corey Pronman has consistently stated that Buffalo "recieved the best player in the deal." That is until today, when he released his top-50 rankings for players under the age of 23. On that list (which, features two Canucks skaters in Zack Kassian and Chris Tanev) Zack Kassian has leapfrogged Cody Hodgson, who only appeared as an honorable mention.

Read on past the jump.

Read Article | 9 Comments