July 04 2012 12:17PM
Over the course of this morning, speculation grew and grew that Minnesota would be the landing spot for coveted free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Then it happened, leaving most Canucks fans to wake up and discover that Independence Day had been cancelled, and the Wild had stolen the show.
Parise and Suter are two players whose statistical influence matches the narrative that surrounds them; both are said to be fantastic hockey players, and the numbers back this up 100 per cent. They have played tough, tough minutes in their careers and have succeeded while doing so.
Do the additions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter make the Wild the Canucks' chief rival for Northwest Division supremacy? Let's have a look see...
July 03 2012 02:46PM
That's pretty much all you need to know right there. The freer you are, the more expensive you become. Just ask Ryan Suter or Zach Parise.
July 03 2012 01:43PM
Newly minted Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison was, like many of Mike Gillis' recent draft picks, a "late bloomer." Garrison went undrafted and didn't even break into the NHL until he was 24. At 27 (he'll turn 28 before the beginning of the 2012/13 season) he's only played two and a half seasons of NHL hockey, and needless to say that isn't the deepest track record for a guy who was just signed to a six year deal...
In his first half season in the NHL (2009/10), Garrison was a sheltered third pairing defenseman who got his teeth kicked in by NHL competition. In his first full season (2010/11) he played extremely tough minutes in a shutdown role with Mike Weaver, one of the most under-rated players in the league, and fared extraordinarily well against top-level competition. Then last season (2011/12), Garrison received the gift of playing full-time with Brian Campbell, an extraordinary offensive talent, in a contract year. His offensive production exploded.
So how will Garrison fare in Vancouver without Brian Campbell on his left-side? Was his 16 goal season a mirage? Also, how responsible were Weaver and Campbell for Garrison's success over the past two seasons?
These questions are pertinent - the Canucks just made a significant commitment to Garrison (six years and a full no-trade clause). In the minds of many Canucks fans, and observers around the league: Jason Garrison, the White Rock native with the staggeringly powerful point shot still has a lot to prove. So let's wade into the data and see what the numbers can tell us about Garrison's play the past two seasons, and his offensive breakout last year.
July 02 2012 09:39AM
'Twas the night before a frenzy and all through the league, every pundit was prepping for long weekend fatigue...
The big day turned out to be rather uneventful, with only a few notable names finding homes. That said, it was a good weekend for the Edmonton Oilers - they won the Schultz sweepstakes and retained the still very effective Ryan Smyth on an extremely reasonable deal. Those additions and others across the Nation were set-up and discussed yesterday by LT and a wide range of guests, including Terry Jones, Tom Lynn and Bruce McCurdy.
This is Nation Radio.
July 02 2012 09:36AM
After allowing Vernon born forward Andrew Ebbett to hit the open market yesterday, today Mike Gillis and the Canucks reeled the journeyman back in with a one year, two-way contract worth 600k in the show, and 300k in the American Hockey League. As per Darren Dreger:
Andrew Ebbett signs with Vancouver - 2 way deal 600/300.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 2, 2012
Andrew Ebbett is a depth forward, but he's a particular type of depth forward in that he can legitimately handle a top-six role over the short-term. While he's not a world beater, or a point-per game player in your top-six, he can help your second line outshoot their opponents and be reasonably productive in that spot. Last season he contributed five goals in eighteen games (something of a mirage, seeing as how he shot 18.5%) but in 2008/09 he played 48 games on Anaheim's second line (mostly with Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne) and chipped in 32 points.
Read past the jump for more.