August 02 2016 11:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks have been trying to trade Luca Sbisa for a while now. It's the worst kept secret in town.
Summing up the Canucks plans in the wake of free agency, Jason Botchford of The Province had this to say on the handsomely compensated defenceman.
Some around the league suggested a possible Luca Sbisa trade was being discussed this weekend.
If true, it would make sense because Gudbranson is essentially an upgrade on Sbisa, who will be battling for ice time on the third defensive pair.
Which only confirmed much of what I heard elsewhere. The fact that every hypothetical trade the Canucks have been involved in features the Swiss rearguard doesn't really fan the fires, either. Vancouver's run out of room for Sbisa and don't have the time or space to afford him a chance to reward their once defiant faith in him.
Finding a partner has proven difficult, though. Think of all the question marks on the Canucks' blue line and consider for a second that Sbisa's future therein isn't guaranteed, even with the $3.6-million owed him for the next two season. It kind of makes sense.
I've seen worse players with worse deals in murkier salary situations dealt, though. So colour me unconvinced that this is an immovable player. It just might require a little creativity on the Canucks part. Let's look at three such ways they might accomplish this.
August 02 2016 09:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks were among the league's worst defensive teams last season no matter how you slice it. They finished in the bottom third of the league in every underlying shot-based metric worth paying attention to and 23rd overall in goals against per game.
Good luck convincing me they're not aware of this on Pat Quinn Way, too. The wealth of resources they've pooled into addressing this ill suggests addressing it is paramount to their short term vision of competing for the playoffs next season.
The addition of Loui Eriksson, though mostly remarked upon for the goals added, will plug the first hole ageing has wrought on the Sedins' game -- defensive play. Philip Larsen's zone exit and entry data would indicate he's a sound bet to stretch the ice better than those who filled his role in the season prior. Erik Gudbranson should, in theory, make the Canucks a tougher team to play against and slow the opposition in the neutral zone.
And all this says nothing of the players entrenched in the Canucks system. Barring the dreaded 'sophomore slump' players like Ben Hutton, Nikita Tryamkin and Andrey Pedan could figure every bit as prominently as some of the players purchased to insulate them. At the end of the day, though, the Canucks have to ask themselves if that's enough.
August 01 2016 01:05PM
The Canucks right now got me like...
Alright, you've got questions and I've got answers. Let's do this.
July 31 2016 01:10PM
After advancing to the Calder Cup finals in the 2014-15 season, Utica experienced a transition year with the likes of Jordan Subban, Cole Cassels, and Ashton Sautner making their professional debuts. Despite the newcomers, Travis Green coached the team to a playoff-permitting 38-26-8 record before falling in the 1st round.
The jump from major junior to the AHL is by no means an easy situation. While some Canucks prospects struggled to adapt, others used their time in Utica to build and improve upon their skills. Travis Green recently spoke with Rob Williams of Daily Hive to give a report on a few notable Canucks prospects.
July 30 2016 12:31PM
The kids are playing Pokemon and Clinton's running for president, so this week we're throwing it back to the 1990s with a classic Sedins photoshoot, a number-crunching Trevor Linden, and more!