Presidents' Trophy banners fly forever

Thomas Drance
July 28 2014 12:40PM

The Vancouver Canucks' new management team seems content with what they've accomplished so far this offseason, based on how they've operated over the past three weeks. Since locking up arbitration eligible defenseman Chris Tanev in early July, the club has been content to lock up 2014 first-round draft selections Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann to entry-level contracts and take care of the housekeeping in Utica (with deals for guys like Brandon DeFazio). The Canucks roster as it stands, is the one we'll see on the ice to start next season.

On the surface its been an offseason of upheaval, punctuated by a new president, a new general manager, a new coach, a new friendly but decisive style of operating, a new franchise villain, a new oft-criticized star goaltender, and a handful of new players - none of them, really, top-of-the-lineup pieces (Radim Vrbata, aside). Looking a bit deeper though, at least in terms of the organization's posture heading into next season and the into future, the changes seem cosmetic.

In the big picture, what's the difference between the 'reset' of the summer of 2013 and the 'retool and reenergize' of the past six weeks? Cap space and decisive action. Aside from that, the goals of the franchise and the identity of the core is unchanged. 

Let's unpack this a bit further after the jump.

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Robby Fabbri, Nikita Scherbak and how QoT can impact draft stock

Thomas Drance
June 24 2014 01:01PM


What follows is a guest post written by @bryan_nikkel and @moneypuck_ on the subject of how playing for an excellent team in the CHL impacts player production, which in turn impacts how teams and scouts value draft eligible players. Are there any hidden gems leading the attack with little help for overmatched CHL teams whom the Canucks might target with the second round pick?

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Linden's Web: the Canucks might not be a cap team, and other nuggets from Linden's 1040 appearance Friday

Thomas Drance
June 20 2014 11:40AM

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Canucks president Trevor Linden was interviewed at length on the Team 1040 on Friday morning. As you might expect, we have a bunch of scattered thoughts about some of the topics discussed, so read past the jump for that.

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It makes sense to shop Jordan Schroeder, but he should be qualified

Thomas Drance
June 19 2014 01:21PM

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The Vancouver Canucks are reportedly shopping undersized, underachieving 2009 first round draft pick Jordan Schroeder, according to the News 1130 Sports twitter account. It's not a huge surprise to hear that the organization aren't counting on a player like Schroeder going forward - he's a diminutive natural centre, who has battled a myriad of injuries already in his career, and hasn't produced like a future top-six mainstay since he left college.

That the organization is "very unlikely" to extend the soon to be 24-year-old forward a qualifying offer, which News 1130 Sports is also reporting on Wednesday, is a bit of an eyebrow raiser though. We'll wade into it after the jump.

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Ryannuendo: The Kesler Saga has already told us a lot about Vancouver's new hockey ops. team

Thomas Drance
June 16 2014 03:00PM

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It's tough to preview an offseason, or gauge the likelihood of certain moves, when the new faces of Vancouver Canucks hockey operations - particularly new general manager Jim Benning and new president Trevor Linden - have shallow track records as top NHL decision makers. Linden has already proven himself an effective salesman and alliance builder in his new job, but he's never worked in an NHL front office (or any hockey front office for that matter). We've seen Benning give advice in documentary snippets from hockey operations meetings, but this is his first go as an NHL general manager.

Though Linden and Benning have given a myriad of interviews since taking over, we know little about their plans or preferences. Come to think of it, I don't think anyone even has a good sense even of how the dynamic duo's internal decision making process is going to work. 

There's one major data point available to us, however, and it speaks volumes. It's the way that Ryan Kesler saga has, to this point, unfolded.

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