August 01 2013 12:21PM
The Sedins have a right to look tired, considering the load they carried for the Canucks last season.
Image via Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck.
Over at NHL Numbers, Travis Yost published a fascinating research piece today, which I figured merited some discussion on this platform. Essentially, he took each Western Conference team's most regularly used 12 forwards (based on even-strength time on ice), and broke them into 4 tiers. After doing so, he took into account each individual's corsi (a proxy for possession, but you already knew that), before adjusting it for zone starts. You'll note that the strength of competition was not factored into this assessment.
But why tiers? Given the amount of line tinkering that goes on over the course of a season - due to injuries, lack of production, or Alain Vigneault simply mistaking his lineup card for a blender - I like the idea of separating the top 12 into tiers, rather than strictly labelling lines 1, 2, 3, and 4. At least for these purposes. Most of the time, the two will line (pun intended) up anyways.
Past the jump we'll take a closer look at what Mr. Yost found when compiling the numbers for the Canucks, and what it means. I'll give you a little hint for what to expect: thank your lucky stars that the Sedins are a thing.
July 31 2013 02:43PM
Chris Tanev is not signed yet to a National Hockey League contract. That is okay. Several players are not signed to National Hockey League contracts that will play hockey games this season, and many of them are more valuable than Chris Tanev. Notable unsigned restricted free agent defencemen are Alex Pietrangelo, Jared Cowen, Cody Franson and T.J. Brodie.
Each defenceman has their own strengths and own weaknesses. The point of this post is not to attempt to guesstimate just what Tanev will make on the open market, but just to point out just how little leverage Tanev has in these negotiations.
July 30 2013 11:44AM
We all know that the Vancouver Canucks find themselves in a cap bind, and therefore, are unable to bring in any players that would qualify as making a big splash. So with that in mind, it's all about housekeeping these days; they re-signed restricted free agents Jordan Schroeder, Dale Weise, and Yann Sauve. They also brought in the likes of Colin Stuart and
Gilbert Brule Zach Hamill, who will more than likely serve as depth players in Utica.
On Tuesday morning, they made another move that likely won't do anything to whet the appetite of the fans: Latvian forward Ronalds Ķēniņš was signed, with the deal's exact terms yet to be released.
Read on past the jump to get to know Ķēniņš a little better.
July 30 2013 10:53AM
"This right here, kids.. this is value."
Image via Canucks.com.
Every summer come July 1st, we see team's break the bank to sign players to lucrative contracts that they'll likely wind up regretting down the road. Yet they still do it, for some reason, and will continue to do so for years to come. Without conducting any sort of formal study, I'd venture to guess that the largest percentage of mistakes made by most GMs come on that day, when they find themselves getting caught up in the "frenzy", spending just for the sake of spending.
That has the agents of even relatively competent defensemen licking their lips, I'd bet. At every marquee NHL event - whether it be the trade deadline, or draft day, or July 1st - it seems like defensemen are a hot commodity. Every single team is looking for help at that position, and the demand far exceeds the supply. Which is why we see contracts such as Mark Streit for 4 year, $21 million or Dennis Wideman for 5 year, $26.25 million happen. Well, either that, or because Paul Holmgren and Jay Feaster are incredibly incompetent.
Recently, we've also seen a trend of teams placing a premium on locking up their young defensemen long-term, paying big bucks mostly based off of potential. As every day passes, and every new contract gets signed, I think to myself just how awesome the one Dan Hamhuis signed (6 years, $27 milliion) with the Canucks back on July 1st, 2010 is.
Read on past the jump for more on just how much value Hamhuis' contract provides.
July 29 2013 02:59PM
I have no doubts that Brendan Gaunce and Bo Horvat will eventually be the Tag Team Champions of the world, so the picture above comes without pause. I tried to somehow pun their names into a Franklin & Bash photo, but that didn't work either. Instead, that's "Bo Dallas" in his wrestling underwear. Sorry.
Anyway, Gaunce and Horvat will be getting a big chance to impress in early August, as both have been named to Team Canada's World Junior Development Camp roster. Horvat was named before the draft (the London Knights pimped it here) and Gaunce's addition was announced per a team press release in late June. Hunter Shinkaruk will also be attending. These items have been a bit under the radar but with the camp starting soon it's worth talking about.