January 07 2013 12:28PM
Not pictured: test tubes and lab coats.
In a conference call with the media on Sunday Afternoon, Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis gave an intriguing answer to a question regarding the impact a shortened season will have on his team:
"It's different in that you don't have the luxury of a full season to experiment.
You know, we were planning on introducing a number of young players, now I'm not sure how that's going to work out with a shortened schedule. We'll have to see what the conditioning level is of our players, we're confident it's going to be high because of the standards that are set here. And injuries.
Obviously with a 48 game schedule you don't have any room for experimentation or introduction unless a player is ready to play and ready to contribute. That's going to change the dynamic not only for us, but for every team in the league.
We're going to have to go with our best players every night no matter what to make sure we get into the playoffs."
In the context of the way Cody Hodgson's deployment changed over the course of his time with Vancouver last season, how the Canucks manipulated their understanding of matchups and territorial deployment to inflate his stats and trade value, and bragged over the summer about their ability to "design success" for young players; I figure this quote deserves a bit of rumination.
Click past the jump for more.
January 07 2013 10:12AM
Luongo practices in a Canucks jersey in Florida this morning.
Photo credit: Farhan Lalji.
With the new collective bargaining agreement days away from ratification and the transaction window re-opening for NHL clubs, reporters like TSN's Farhan Lalji and the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley have descended on Coral Springs, Florida - home of the Florida Panthers practice facility - to cover the drawn out but possibly, finally imminent Roberto Luongo trade.
This morning Roberto Luongo has been photographed non-stop at a practice session in Coral Springs. Not that it's Luongo's intention but when you're wearing a Canucks jersey and practicing with a former Maple Leafs goalie coach at the Florida Panthers practice facility: you're going to draw the media's attention. It's unavoidable.
So the frenzy is upon us and there are more grainy practice photos of Roberto Luongo (like the one Farhan posted above, of Luongo wearing a Canuck practice jersey) on Twitter this morning than there are famous fakes of mythical beasts like the Sasquatch or Loch Ness. This is particularly appropriate since, by weeks end, Luongo could concievably make it into the cryptozoological journals and become a chimerical creature of the sort the world hasn't seen in nearly a decade. I'm talking of course about a consistently competent Maple Leafs goaltender.
We'll look at some of the pressure points and moving pieces in a possible Luongo deal, recap media chatter, parse some quotes, and try to find our bearings. Read on past the jump.
January 04 2013 02:38PM
D.Sedin on maybe going home to play if season axed: "We're going to talk to Markus (Naslund) in the next few days. You have to be prepared."— Elliott Pap (@ElliottPap) January 4, 2013
Based on the Daniel Sedin quote above, it sure sounds like it.
Read past the jump for more.
January 03 2013 04:17PM
Among nerdlinger types who value advanced stats in hockey, ice time is seen as perhaps the single most invaluable stat. Tom Awad, for example, has argued that ice-time is the best proxy we've got at the moment for determining overall player value.
If you're like me, and tend to think that NHL headcoaches, who are paid millions of dollars to maximize the effectiveness of their hockey teams, have a better overall grasp of which players are effective in particular roles than your average fan or hockey scribe; then understanding the way a player is deployed can tell us an awful lot about that individual's skillset and value.
In an effort to visualize this concept in an accessible way, Ben Wendorf came up with the "total player chart" in a must read NHLnumbers post in mid-December. On Tuesday he put together detailed charts for every Canucks player over the past five seasons (the image at the top of this post is the TPC for the Canucks last season), and I figured I'd share the images and caption them with some analysis for your reading pleasure. Read on past the jump for more.
January 02 2013 04:59PM
In discussing our "top Canucks story lines to watch for in 2013," we briefly discussed the likelihood of a salary cap that would fall significantly (by as much as 14%) by 2013-14 in a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). With the league reportedly standing firm on a 60 million dollar salary cap for the 2013/14 season, the upcoming cap-crunch should make for cap-wizard Laurence Gilman's "greatest test yet."
There could be some balm for the Canucks' cap-itch in the form on a "one time amnesty buyout" provision, but even so, balancing the need to ice a contending team, and retaining the services of Alex Edler, with the necessity of getting under a 60 million dollar cap in 2013/14 could prove to be a painful proposition.
Let's look at some of the team's options.