Does it make sense to play Radim Vrbata with Brandon Sutter?

Thomas Drance
September 22 2015 01:59PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

When the Vancouver Canucks elected to remove top sniper Radim Vrbata from a line with the Sedin twins, the Canucks' top playmakers, the idea was to help spread out the club's offensive production throughout their lineup. 

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Preseason shot block has Canucks' Higgins in a walking boot

Thomas Drance
September 22 2015 12:29PM

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Photo Credit: Marilyn Indahl/USA TODAY Sports

It seems likely that Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins will start this hockey season on the shelf with a foot injury.

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Reading too much into the Canucks' training camp lines

Thomas Drance
September 18 2015 02:30PM

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Hilarious young Hamhuis training camp photo courtesy: @VanCanucks

The Vancouver Canucks opened training camp in Prince George on Friday morning, and while injured head coach Willie Desjardins wasn't there, you can rest assured that his lieutenants were busy executing his plans during the club's first on-ice session of the season. 

Desjardins made headlines last fall by putting Daniel and Henrik Sedin with Radim Vrbata right from the get-go at training camp, and then riding that line for several months. It's a maneuver that allows us to read way, way too much into the trios and pairs that Vancouver's coaching staff have composed on Day 1 of camp. 

So let's get into it!

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Through trying times, Hunter Shinkaruk is still smiling

Thomas Drance
September 15 2015 11:09AM

Photo Credit: Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

If you've watched Vancouver Canucks prospect Hunter Shinkaruk play hockey at all, what stands out as much as any of his particular on-ice skills, is the joyfulness that he brings to the rink. It's a joyfulness that becomes especially pronounced when he scores. 

In his rookie year as a professional, Shinkaruk bounced up and down the lineup with the American League's Utica Comets. Coming off of major hip surgery, Shinkaruk was snake bit to begin the year. From October through to February, Shinkaruk appeared in 54 games, and while he averaged better than two shots on goal per contest (a very healthy rate), he scored just seven goals. 

It was tough sledding for the 2013 first-round pick, but he's put that trying period behind him going into his second season as a pro. Has the organization though?

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5 most interesting quotes from Jim Benning's interview with Bob McKenzie

Thomas Drance
September 14 2015 08:58AM

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Screen cap courtesy:

The awesome thing about the Penticton Young Stars tournament - aside from the high pace of the games, the intriguing talent on the ice, the weather, the proximity to good wine, great golf, a gaggle of writers, and the glorious Okanagan beaches - is that there are four general managers, four head coaches (most years), and the entire scouting team from all four Western Canadian NHL teams. It's basically a hockey reporter's Mecca.

That's especially true if you're a stone cold boss like TSN's Bob McKenzie, who sat down for lengthy conversations with the general managers of every team at the tournament this weekend. You can watch his 20-plus minute interview with Canucks executive Jim Benning here

Click past the jump to read our summary of the five most interesting quotes Benning gave McKenzie this weekend.

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