June 16 2014 03:00PM
It's tough to preview an offseason, or gauge the likelihood of certain moves, when the new faces of Vancouver Canucks hockey operations - particularly new general manager Jim Benning and new president Trevor Linden - have shallow track records as top NHL decision makers. Linden has already proven himself an effective salesman and alliance builder in his new job, but he's never worked in an NHL front office (or any hockey front office for that matter). We've seen Benning give advice in documentary snippets from hockey operations meetings, but this is his first go as an NHL general manager.
Though Linden and Benning have given a myriad of interviews since taking over, we know little about their plans or preferences. Come to think of it, I don't think anyone even has a good sense even of how the dynamic duo's internal decision making process is going to work.
There's one major data point available to us, however, and it speaks volumes. It's the way that Ryan Kesler saga has, to this point, unfolded.
June 16 2014 01:58PM
The Rangers deploying advanced systems tactics
Welcome to this week's version of the Journal of Hockey Analytics. The final game of hockey for the 2013-14 season has been played, which means that all of your favourite bloggers and writers will now be turning their attention towards the future; the draft, free agency, and trades.
So for your slow Monday at work, continue past the jump for analysis of draft picks, and lots of cool little nuggets regarding neutral zone data and luck!
June 16 2014 10:57AM
Now that the unspoken gentleman's agreement between the other 28 teams waiting for the two still competing for the Stanley Cup is over with, things should start picking up in the hockey world. The first order of business will be a medley of compliance buyouts across the league, as the final window to do so opened itself back up last night and will remain open all the way through to June 30th.
Our buddy Thomas Drance has gone ahead and compiled a list of "things you need to know" regarding the compliance buyouts, in case you need to brush up on them. They're handy because of the nice touch-up they can do on one's salary cap, wiping the slate clean and essentially handing a team a do-over of sorts.
After buying out underachieving defenseman Keith Ballard last summer, the Vancouver Canucks have just one of these "weapons in the arsenal of the collective bargaining agreement" remaining.
On Vancouver's books at the moment is one likely and two possible buyout targets. Let's evaluate the possibilities, downsides, and potential benefits of buying out each contract.
June 16 2014 10:13AM
Our Top 10 draft prospects begins with a little guy out of Switzerland named Kevin Fiala, whose name has risen in draft circles since the midterm. He leapt from 11th to 3rd among European skaters in the Central Scouting rankings, and ESPN prospects guru Corey Pronman had Fiala ranked 6th overall, which is usually enough for the average Canucks Army pundit to do a little bit of digging on the guy.
And it appears at least four of us really liked what we saw.
June 16 2014 10:12AM
It has now been well over two months since we introduced the concept of the Scotiabank NHL Debit Card on this platform. In that time, if you took my advice and registered you’ve not only given yourself a chance to win all sorts of snazzy little goodies, but you’ve also probably had some noteworthy encounters in the times you’ve taken it out of your wallet to see the light of day.
I know I have.