February 21 2017 07:00AM
This is a four-part series analyzing where each NHL teams stands heading into the trade deadline based on the context of each division, and the short- and long-term implications of buying or selling with the expansion draft around the corner.
The Atlantic Division is complete wide open. Every day, depending on who happens to have a game, the standings shuffle up and down, as only a whopping twelve points separates first from last in the division. The Canadiens have a closing window that their general manager will surely try to capitalize on, while the Red Wings, Sabres, and Lightning, have had disappointing seasons and could sell. In the middle are the Senators, who nobody expected to be playing so well, the Leafs who still have their eyes on the future, the Panthers who are finally playing at a high level, and the Bruins who, uh, who knows!
February 20 2017 05:12PM
If you're every bit as fascinated with the composition of your favourite team's roster as you are their on-ice performance, then it's the most wonderful time of the year. We're just nine days out from the NHL trade deadline. It's about to get real.
Were I writing this a month ago, this is where I imagine I'd set the bar for an inactive deadline not entirely dissimilar from last year's. What a difference a couple of weeks can make. The Canucks have moved, if ever so slightly, from their unshakeable position of unwillingness to ask players to waive no-trade protection. They seem, at the very least, open to it as a possibility; the players themselves, too.
Regardless of how much the Canucks accomplish at this year's deadline, it's shaping up to be every bit as compelling as last season's. Is Vancouver a seller? Perhaps a buyer? Do they do nothing at all? Let's dive in and see where the Canucks stand going into this most crucial period.
February 20 2017 01:54PM
Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports
I've been having an internal debate over these last few weeks over why the Canucks have held at 46 salaried player contracts for the season.
At a glance, flexibility seems the most obvious reason. With 46 contracts, the Canucks can add players without too much handwringing. There's value in peace of mind, and by not overextending themselves it's likely the Canucks granted themselves just that.
However, another angle has come to the forefront. It's one I'd given consideration to but never credence, without definitive information to reaffirm it. What if the Canucks are saving contract spots for their NCAA prospects so that they might use games this season as an ace in hand and entice them to sign? With the possibility of burning a year of their ELC as a carrot to dangle?
February 20 2017 11:00AM
In the week leading up to their break, the Canucks won one game and are barely clinging to their hopes of making the playoffs. Hopefully the Canucks and their fans will have a nice, stress-free week off from Canucks hockey. For now, here's the best that I can do with what this team gives me to work with:
February 20 2017 11:00AM
The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don't quite deserve their own article.
Where have all the trades gone? By this time last year, we had already seen multiple deals happen. Also, Sidney Crosby scored his 1000th point in just his 757th career game, prompting debate as to whether he's been under-appreciated as a generational talent.