Luong Time Coming: Luongo traded to Panthers

Thomas Drance
March 04 2014 02:56PM


It took two years of controversy, countless false alarms, another high-end goalie being traded, an emotional press conference at the 2013 NHL trade deadline, and a complete fanbase meltdown at BC Place this past weekend. But finally, mercifully, Roberto Luongo has been re-assigned to Vancouver's Eastern Conference affiliate traded to the Florida Panthers.

Luongo has confirmed the deal and even tweeted out an emoticon of a palm tree. Obviously he's excited about going home. 

Coming back to Vancouver is a package that includes Jacob Markstrom - who Eddie Lack used to backup in Brynas - and probably forward Shawn Matthias. The Vancouver Canucks are reportedly, and unsurprisingly, retaining a portion of Luongo's salary in the transaction supposedly 15% or 800,000. You have to retain an equal proportion of both salary and cap-hit under the league's retained salary transaction provisions so, yeah. Also the Canucks are sending Stephen Anthony to Florida. He's not a prospect and that's just a book keeping part of the deal.

Click past the jump for more.

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Team USA eases Ryan Kesler into inevitable heel turn and other Olympic notes

Thomas Drance
February 10 2014 03:31PM

NHL players spent Sunday travelling to Sochi on a series of charter flights, and got right down to it on Monday by practicing with their respective national teams. 

Where in the lineup are Canucks players slotting in for Teams Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Latvia and the United States? Who has replaced Henrik Sedin for the Tre Kronor? Are you ready to deal with hating Ryan Kesler for a couple of weeks? Read past the jump.

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Nicklas Jensen continues to turn season around with natural hat-trick

Thomas Drance
February 10 2014 11:27AM

After a cataclysmic start to the 2013-14 American Hockey League season with the expansion Utica Comets, Vancouver Canucks prospect Nicklas Jensen has managed to fil the net constantly over the past several weeks. On Sunday night Jensen capped off his recent hot streak, which has seen the Danish international player score 10 times in his past 15 games, with an impressive natural hat-trick on against the loaded Rockford IceHogs (the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks).

That a struggling but highly touted 20 year-old forward has simplified his game, upped his shot rate, and has found an enormous level of success lately is good news for the Canucks. It's also worth breaking down a bit further and we'll do so on the other side of the jump.

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Top Prospect Stock Watch

Thomas Drance
January 15 2014 10:34AM


Photo via PHT

On Monday our pal Corey Pronman published his "midseason top-50 NHL prospects" list (Insider only) over at ESPN, and three Canucks prospects made the list (or two did, and a third player was an honourable mention). While CanucksArmy favorites Ludwig Blomstrang and Brendan Gaunce were inexcusably snubbed (and now Pronman has to fight Tom Sestito, which sucks for him); Frank Corrado, Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk all made cameo appearances in the top-50.

Let's discuss the respective seasons those three prospects are having, and breakdown Pronman's comments after the jump.

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Heat Maps: On Shot Location and the Canucks' Sputtering Power-Play

Thomas Drance
January 14 2014 11:57AM

 
Henrik Sedin in his office on the right side half wall.
Image via wikimedia commons

For fans of the team, Vancouver's power-play has been extraordinarily frustrating to watch this season (and for a couple years now, truth be told). While the Canucks are generating shots-a-plenty with the man-advantage - in fact they're generating 5-on-4 shots at an elite rate this season - the finish just hasn't been there. The club ranks in the bottom-10 in the league in percentage of converted power-play opportunities after 46 games, a ghastly number that makes zero sense when you consider the skill possessed by the club's top-end personnel.

Some of the club's lack of power-play success is a result of pure, unadulterated bad luck; and indeed Vancouver's 5-on-4 team shooting percentage is second worst in the league. While the puck has begun to bounce in Vancouver's favour somewhat more often over the past month, and will probably continue to do so, I tend to think there's more going on here than just "bad bounces".

Read past the jump.

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