May 18 2013 01:01PM
There isn't one single way to win in the NHL.
NHL teams often look to the recent Stanley Cup Champion(s) for some insight into how to construct a winning roster. The Washington Capitals went away from their successful run-and-gun strategy because a defensive Montreal team stymied them back in 2010. Washington finally found success again this season, largely because of a return to a more offensive brand of hockey.
After watching the Bruins and Kings steamroll their way to the Cup in 2011 and 2012, respectively, many teams (including the Canucks) have placed a mandate on getting bigger. With fewer infractions called in the postseason, bigger players are at more of an advantage. They can use their size to wear down smaller opposing players, and the speed factor isn’t as pronounced with an increase in obstruction.
May 16 2013 12:08PM
Tanev must've forgot his cigarettes.
Photo by John Russell NHLI/Getty
With the salary cap declining for the first time ever the Vancouver Canucks are facing a pretty crunchy salary cap situation heading into this summer. A lot of Vancouver's flexibility here will be determined by a Roberto Luongo trade, and whether or not the Canucks can clear his deal off the books without retaining salary. For what it's worth, I think they probably can and worst case scenario they can place him on waivers where he'd probably be claimed.
Assuming Luongo's salary is cleared and Keith Ballard is bought out, and I thought that was a foregone conclusion even before he didn't dress for a single game this postseason, the Canucks will have roughly 10.5 million left over to sign eight players (including one top-9 forward)*. That's not a lot of spare change.
(*) These figures are per capgeek and assume that Eddie Lack and Frank Corrado are on Vancouver's roster next season.
One situation that will be particularly fascinating to watch is the team's negotiations with restricted free-agent, fancy-stats darling and third-pairing defenceman Chris Tanev. Tanev isn't the type of player one typically associates with an exorbitant contract, but he may well have more leverage this summer than your typical restricted free-agent. We'll get into it after the jump.
May 16 2013 10:01AM
Last weekend, I shared some thoughts on the five most valuable Canucks. The list was met with some criticism (mostly – why did I even make it?), as many wondered the point to rank players that will likely never get traded.
First off – if Wayne Gretzky can get traded (sold), than any player can be moved. Who saw Philadelphia moving Jeff Carter and Mike Richards a few summers ago?And secondly, it is always good to do an evaluation of all players, from top to bottom. Dan Hamhuis doesn’t get the credit he deserves from Canucks fans for how good he is on a consistent basis, and Daniel and Henrik Sedin are still elite two-way forwards, even if their offensive production isn’t where it was a few years ago.
Anyway, today’s list looks at the five most valuable and tradable assets in the organization. Could the Canucks conceivably trade the Sedins? Sure, it could happen. But the odds of such a trade are very, very, very low.
May 15 2013 06:36PM
Well, that was quick, wasn't it?
Heck, the Canucks dropped out of the first round faster than it's taken me to do this recap. Ok, maybe not. But it's close.
I suppose we should look on the bright side. I mean, at least we didn't lose our shirts this time around. This time, it was quick and painless. No, wait. That was last year. I guess this year it was Niemi and painless?
Anyway, the point is that the emotional investment just wasn't there this time around. That's a good thing, because most of us are probably still emotionally bankrupt after 2011. I mean, can you imagine if we were Leafs' fans?
May 15 2013 08:26AM
Henrik Sedin (top left) is probably thinking "don't you dare so much as breathe on Mike Smith, Zack."
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
On Thursday morning (Pacific Time) team Sweden, who are being led by the Sedin twins, will face team Canada in the quarter final of the consolation prize tournament known as the World Championships. Team Canada is led by Steven Stamkos and Claude GIroux, but their team also features Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis as well as former Mike Gillis client and jerkpuck all-star team starting goaltender Mike Smith. The Canucks and Mike Smith, of course, had their moments (several moments actually) this past hockey season.
Henrik and Daniel debuted for the Tre Kronor on Tuesday against Denmark. After the game, in giving a rather colourful scouting report of team Canada to the Swedish press, Henrik Sedin really went out of his way to describe Mike Smith as a "diver." Read past the jump.