July 15 2015 12:43PM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
After forcing his way out of Vancouver, former Vancouver Canucks centreman Ryan Kesler was dynamic in leading his new team, the Anaheim Ducks, to the Western Conference Final this past spring. And now he's been rewarded for his stellar work with a massive 6-year, $41.25 million contract extension with no-trade protection.
That's an awful lot of money for a 30-year-old centre, and Kesler will be 31 by the time his extension kicks in, who has gone under the knife with a good deal of frequency over the past five years. On the other hand, it's probably market value for a defensive ace and special teams stud with a well-earned reputation for elevating his game in the postseason...
July 15 2015 10:00AM
With dwindling cap space and a limited amount of openings throughout the Canucks lineup, the likelihood that they can find a free agent which advances either their short or long term goals has become increasingly unlikely. At best, the unrestricted free agent pool offers players at the 27 or 28 year old mark, so cross-out
no on getting younger. In the case of these players, the signing team is generally paying for peak performance right as they are exiting that wheelhouse, so you're not exactly building a core group either.
This has forced teams in a cap crunch or with a stated goal to get younger to find alternative means of team building in the asset-free-cost market. High-profile college free agents have been hitting the market with increasing frequency, but they are still relatively few and far between. A newer, more readily available pool of asset-free-cost talent is coming directly from Europe and more specifically the KHL.
Last year it was Jori Lehtera leading the charge and so far this year it's been the likes of Artemi Panarin and Sergei Plotnikov, among others. Yet, strangely enough, one can't count Andrei Loktionov among them. With no KHL commitment for the 2015-16 campaign and a vocal desire to return to the NHL, is Loktionov a player the Canucks should pursue? Catch me on the other side of the jump to find out.
July 14 2015 02:02PM
Every year at the NHL Entry Draft a number of teams make really smart decisions on their picks (Islanders, Jets) while other teams seem to fall on their face (Bruins). At the end of the 210 picks, inevitably there are players every year who are not chosen despite showing potential to be better than average picks. This makes these players currently Unrestricted Free Agents and available to be signed to contracts by teams who feels they have potential.
Looking back at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, MoneyPuck used PCS to look back at those players who had a high chance of success at the NHL level. (Un)surprisingly many were invited to teams camps and many went on to become important players on their teams, invited to World Juniors, and some were even signed to NHL teams.
With a current baseline of 8% of forwards and 5.6% of defencemen drafted move on to become NHL regulars, we can use PCS to look back at the 2015 draft and see players who should be invited to camps and are good bets to spend an ELC on.
July 14 2015 12:07PM
Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports
The hockey season may be over and done with, but the wound that is this last season as a Vancouver Canucks fan is still relatively fresh. There's plenty of meat left on these bones and with the draft and the opening of free agency now in the rear view mirror, it's time we got cookin'.
The process starts with a series of player-by-player reviews for the season that was. Today's will be centered on the first half of the Canucks-Swiss equation, Yannick Weber. Otherwise known as, the consolation Weber.
Let's break it all down on the other side of the jump.
July 14 2015 09:03AM
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
Since the dawn of hockey analytics, there has been a goal of summarizing the total value of an individual player's contribution into a single number. The team at war-on-ice.com has made significant advancements in this area over the past year, culminating in the introduction of their Goals Against Replacement, or GAR, metric.
GAR incorporates most of the key quantitative metrics we know to be of value including, faceoffs, penalties drawn/taken, and various shot metrics in different game states in order to calculate how many goals a player's efforts would contribute to a team versus a replacement level player. You can read more about the background of this stat in their blog here.
The team at War On Ice was nice enough to let me play around with the data, in the context of what we can expect from the 2015-16 Canucks. Let's get into that after the jump.