June 22 2016 06:30PM
So here I am, minding my own business, writing some draft junk, and what ho! A Canuck won something at the NHL Awards? After that season?! Well I'll be.
Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin is the 2016 recipient of the NHL's King Clancy Trophy, awarded to the NHL player "who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community."
June 22 2016 04:38PM
The NHL Awards are right about to get underway in the newest league market of Las Vegas, Nevada, and we can't help but feel left out. Nobody on the Canucks is a nominee for anything performance related (Henrik Sedin's community involvement gets him a nomination for the King Clancy Award, though). That's crazy when you think about it; we really thought Jim Benning had GM of the Year locked up as a gimmie. But we shouldn't look back in anger; the league can do whatever it wants, as long as we know what matters! Yeah!
...we're actually really petty and made our own awards. Get your podiums ready!
June 22 2016 04:28PM
After years of speculation and a drawn out application process, the NHL has finally announced that the city of Las Vegas has been awarded an expansion franchise. The new franchise will be the NHL's 31st team and will begin play in the 2017-18 season. This is the first time the league has expanded since the 2000-01 season when Minnesota and Columbus joined the league.
This long expected announcement affects the Vancouver Canucks in a number of ways. First, the Canucks will be gaining a new divisional and conference rival, as the Las Vegas team is set to join the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. Second, the team is set to receive a big fat cheque in the amount of $16.6 million as their portion of the $500 million expansion fee that Vegas will have to pay.
Most importantly, it means that there will be an expansion draft at the conclusion of next season, and the Canucks are assured to lose one player. There has been plenty of speculation on this topic as well, but today the rules were officially released. Let's take a look.
June 22 2016 01:00PM
The Vancouver Canucks enter the heart of the off-season with little room for error, as they continue towards their goal of remaining competitive while all the while building towards the future. They've already invested significant assets and cap space on players expected to help them get back into the playoffs. There's also no disputing that the Canucks are trying to find the future stars in the draft. Through both avenues of talent mining, they emphasize intangibles, like character, toughness and leadership -- virtuous and undoubtedly important attributes.
What remains in dispute, though, is the value surrendered, be it in terms of salary cap space or assets surrendered, for players who don't meet the investment in goals. Canucks GM Jim Benning and President Trevor Linden have invested heavily in players like Erik Gudbranson and Brandon Sutter, parting with draft picks and players on favourable contracts, like Nick Bonino and Jared McCann, placing unnecessary constraints on their ability to stockpile at the draft and spend in free agency.
The Canucks are now in a position where they will look to spend most of the team's cap space on a goal scoring free agent forward and search for fewer needles in the drafts haystack with fewer picks to spend. It's all a work in progress, but we can explore the price paid at Rogers Arena in the interim.
June 22 2016 11:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks season has long since passed, but the data that helps us connect the dots that drew their third-last finish are just starting to come together. I'm talking about microdata that points to the 'hows' and 'whys'. In this case, neutral zone statistics.
If you've been paying close attention, you'll have noticed that I've been providing periodic updates on how the Canucks have fared through the neutral zone this season. Specifically, how well they've performed at attacking the opposition's blue line. I collected this data by accounting for every zone entry, noting which player is responsible, how they entered the zone and how often they failed.
It's taken me quite some time, but I've finally collected that data for all 82 of the Canucks games this season -- and another 150 or so for other teams. I'll share the results and make sense of my findings, on the other side of the jump.