Building A Contender - Part 5 - Conclusion

money puck
August 21 2015 12:00PM

Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports

Canucks fans have spent a considerable amount of time over the past couple months debating the recent moves made by management. The individual complaints are fairly wide reaching, but a lot of our concern comes down to a high degree of skepticism around management's plan of rebuilding on the fly.

Read on for the conclusion to our series on Building a Contender.

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CanucksArmy Prospect Profile 2015: #11 Nicklas Jensen

J.D. Burke
August 21 2015 10:00AM


In his three years since being drafted by the Vancouver Canucks, Nicklas Jensen has never slipped outside the top five of Canucks Army's annual prospect rankings. As recently as a year ago, Jensen registered as high as fifth. 

Whether this was an indictment of the dearth of prospects within the Canucks stable (it was) or a testament to Jensen's potential (that too), it bears mentioning as we reflect on a development trend that's taken a turn for the worse over the past year. 

Selected 29th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Jensen is running out of time to show his mettle as an everyday-caliber NHL player. Jensen also happens to check in at eleventh in our organizational prospect rankings!

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
August 21 2015 06:45AM


Pavel Bure's Legends Hockey League, Trevor Linden defends GM, is Babcock really better than Carlyle, Flames new arena, Sam Bennett at centre, McDavid and Hall get head start on season, free agency and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen

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CanucksArmy Prospect Profile 2015: #12 Thatcher Demko

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
August 20 2015 04:30PM


Canucks fans don't want another goaltending controversy. The fanbase - shaken, perhaps, by the events of the past three years and painfully aware that all it’s going to take for a Ryan Miller/Jacob Markstrom controversy to heat up is a single hot or cold streak - would probably wecome some peace, quiet and stability in net for about a decade. 

The bad news is that we’re probably going to be dealing with another one of these goalie battles in a couple of years. The good news is that Thatcher Demko’s upside appears to be worth the eventual re-aggravation.

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How to Build a Contender - Part 4: The Difficulty of Acquiring Elite Talent

money puck
August 20 2015 01:14PM

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Photo Credit: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

In the opening instalments of this series objectively looking at how teams can best build a contending team, we introduced the concept of Goals Above Replacement (GAR) before moving on to explore the impact of aging on player performance, and what sort of salary cap structure is maintained by successful teams

What we've found should come as no surprise. 

The teams with the highest goals against replacement won the most games, and were most frequently among those competing for the Stanley Cup into mid-May and June. When looking at the make up of these teams, it wasn't just that they had a high overall team GAR, but they had two or more players with elite level GAR, typically at least one with a GAR over 15 and one with a GAR over 20. Again, this should come as no surprise. Its the stars and superstars that move the dial in the NHL. Depth matters in the playoffs, but this is how it's always been.

How do teams go about procuring these types of rare talents? Let's investigate in Part 4 of our 'how to build a contender' series.

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