September 08 2016 09:00AM
Anne-Marie Sorvin: USA Today Sports
I like to think of Jim Benning's first off-season as the Canucks General Manager as his best work to date. We often talk about the difficulties associated with rebuilding through the draft while remaining competitive, but for a summer, at least, Benning straddled that line with deft efficiency.
For the most part, each move aligned with his stated goal to address what he felt were the Canucks most pressing needs. Chief among them was forward depth and in the acquisition of Derek Dorsett, in particular, you get a sense of how the Canucks were going to hit the development and contention birds with a single stone.
Sure, the Canucks surrendered a draft pick (their own third round selection in the 2014 draft) for the privilege, but Dorsett had long been among the league's best fourth liners -- a bizarre, yet noteworthy distinction. Aside from that, Dorsett's pugilistic nature and leadership qualities add value for a club trying to infuse their lineup with youth on an annual basis.
You can accommodate the latter of those qualities at a cost so long as the player holds up their end of the bargain on the former. That hasn't been the case, though. And much like the Linden Vey acquisition made in that same summer -- just moments after Dorsett's -- we're getting closer to the point where we might have to acknowledge that a sound process decision hasn't bore fruit.
And much like Vey before him, we're at a point where we have to ask ourselves if the Canucks are better off without Dorsett.
September 07 2016 07:00PM
The World Cup of Hockey is back after a 12-year hiatus and set to start in just over a week. Whether you care about the tournament or not, that means hockey is on the horizon and semi-competitive hockey at that.
Now, there are a few key differences between this year's incarnation of the on again, off again tournament but none as interesting as the two motley crew rosters assembled under the auspices of European and North American affiliation. If you like an underdog or the story of a rag-tag group of people from varying backgrounds, etc. look no further.
Basically, it's two non-Canadian teams you can cheer on more or less guilt free. I mean, maybe more so for Team North America, but still. Which has me wondering, which of the participating teams at the World Cup of Hockey are you cheering for? Sticking with Canada? Or are you going off the board?
Tell me who you're cheering on and why!
September 07 2016 05:27PM
Manny Malhotra is easily a fan favourite in Vancouver. Known for excelling defensively as well as his community engagement, it is hard to find reasons not to like him. If one were to summarize his career in just a few words, he would be a leader, a mentor, and a warrior. When Mike Gillis shut down his career as a Canuck, most would not blame him and his family for sensing bitterness towards the organization. However, clearly those thoughts can be put to rest with the news that has quickly circulated throughout Vancouver. After much speculation that he was searching for a coaching role in the NHL, the Canucks officially announced his appointment as a Development Coach.
September 07 2016 09:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks and Team Canada don't exactly have a long and storied history. There have been a total of twelve international hockey tournaments featuring Canada's best professionals at the highest level - thirteen if you include the 1972 Summit Series - since the franchise entered the NHL.
And for much of the organization's 46-year existence, the Canucks were either an awful to mediocre team or else one whose best players carried foreign passports. During the franchise's most recent run of success, for instance, the Canucks were led, in addition to a number of Canadians, by a bevvy of Swedes, Americans, Germans, Danes, and Finns. It was not a function of being a poor team - quite the opposite - but rather the international flavour of the Canucks roster that limited its relationship with Team Canada.
September 05 2016 12:23PM
Photo Credit: Adam Hunger/USA TODAY SPORTS
If any of you were planning on picking up a Team Sweden jersey ahead of this year's World Cup of Hockey, you'll notice that they'll look a little closer to your Canucks jersey than initially anticipated. Not that that's a bad thing; quite the opposite really, as the Sedin Twins will wear their NHL letters on their international jerseys later this month.