September 18 2015 02:30PM
Hilarious young Hamhuis training camp photo courtesy: @VanCanucks
The Vancouver Canucks opened training camp in Prince George on Friday morning, and while injured head coach Willie Desjardins wasn't there, you can rest assured that his lieutenants were busy executing his plans during the club's first on-ice session of the season.
Desjardins made headlines last fall by putting Daniel and Henrik Sedin with Radim Vrbata right from the get-go at training camp, and then riding that line for several months. It's a maneuver that allows us to read way, way too much into the trios and pairs that Vancouver's coaching staff have composed on Day 1 of camp.
So let's get into it!
September 18 2015 12:19PM
Not everybody agrees with the general mindset of Canucks Army. I think that goes without saying. For example, look at Jake Virtanen; those who disagree with us are quick to point out that we dislike him. This isn't actually true - we like him, believe he'll be a good player, and hope that he'll develop into what's expected of him.
Our issue with a Virtanen isn't the player himself, but what he represents: bad decision making and incomplete thought processes. When he was drafted, it appeared that the Canucks left safer bets with higher upside on the board due to secondary perception. As the great philosopher Batman once said, a symbol is incorruptible and everlasting.
We do our best on this site to be analytical in our thoughts, and we try to judge the processes rather than the result itself. So when Jim Benning states that he wants to "retool on the fly", we're going to take that at face value and assess his choices in that context. If he stated he was opting for a full-on, tank-centred rebuild, we'd probably be bigger fans of the process so far.
In fact, let's engage in a thought experiment. Let's pretend that the on-the-fly talk is just for PR, and assess what the team has done from the perspective of an attempt at a "bottoming out" rebuild. This involves trading players with value as soon as possible, being bad for a few years, drafting high, and then developing your own core. How do Benning's decisions look under that mindset?
Nation World HQ
September 18 2015 06:45AM
Jake Virtanen stands out in Van, Harvey the Hound one of Flames All-time greats, Nylander will make it hard on Leafs, Ehlers ready to make the jump, protecting Connor McDavid, the NHL's growing image problem and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Draftkings.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 17 2015 04:35PM
My twenty-minute long dream of bringing a miniature hockey net into the stands for every Alex Elder point shot that goes wide and out has come to a devastating end.
The Vancouver Canucks revealed a new security plan for the 2015/16 season, which includes airport-style metal detectors at the doors.
September 16 2015 06:51PM
The selection of Jake Virtanen with the sixth-overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has long been a contentious subject in this space.
In the weeks prior to Virtanen's selection and thereafter, the so-called "experts" at this site have thrown endless shade at Canucks management for this supposed reach. In place of Virtanen, the brain trust of Canucks Army have trumpeted more prolific, if one-dimensional forwards in his place.
One such player was Nicolaj Ehlers. With dynamic offensive abilities - he managed 104 points in 63 games - the suggestion seemed fair in a vacuum. But hockey isn't just a goal scoring contest and Virtanen showed as much this weekend.
With that, I invite you to join me on the other side of the jump for three examples of how he separated himself from Ehlers over the course of the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton last weekend.