Strombabble: Tiresome Lockout News Instantly Replaced by Tiresome Luongo Trade Speculation

Thomas Drance
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. 

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Sedins Hint that they might still Play for Modo if the NHL Season is Cancelled

Thomas Drance
January 04 2013 02:38PM

Based on the Daniel Sedin quote above, it sure sounds like it.

Read past the jump for more.

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Canucks Total Player Charts

Thomas Drance
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.

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Cap Crunch: Vancouver's Amnesty Buyout Candidates

Thomas Drance
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.

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Canucks Story Lines to Watch for in 2013

Thomas Drance
January 01 2013 06:06PM

From the trade of beloved rookie Cody Hodgson, to the team's unceremonious first round exit at the hands of the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, to the mystifying, frustrating NHL lockout - 2012 was a tough year for the Canucks and their fans. If you want to relive a bleak twelve months, Harrison Mooney broke it down exhaustively over at Pass it to Bulis on Tuesday morning.

Rather than looking back at the wasteland that was the Canucks' 2012, we figured we'd look ahead to what promises to be a very intriguing 2013. I've singled out five primary story lines that I anticipate we'll be following closely in the new year, and you can read all about it on the other side of the jump.

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