May 29 2014 09:30AM
The NHL's version of speed dating is going on this week. For players, it's their first real glimpse of what the next level will entail. It’s exciting and also a little scary at the same time.
May 27 2014 05:47PM
I don't have the tweet handy, but I distinctly remember Bob McKenzie going on a radio program a few weeks ago and gently, in a which he seems to always do so expertly, pointing out that GM candidate Jim Benning wasn't exactly one for the spotlight. That he was a simple, understated guy that wouldn't "wow!" you.
Maybe even more understated than Benning himself, though, was McKenzie's preemptive warning of the new Canucks GM's persona. After an introductory press conference so tame that Thomas Drance compared his charisma to that of a "pair of brown dockers", he joined Dave Naylor and Dave Hodge on TSN Drive to dispel the notion that this is a sample size issue.
Luckily for Jim, the guy that brought him into the fold appears to very well be the perfect complement to his particular skillset on paper, and he appears to be quite cognizant of that. He discussed his working relationship with Linden, the core of the team, and the direction he envisions things going in his most recent public appearance on Tuesday afternoon. We'll get into all of it just past the jump.
May 27 2014 11:47AM
Nathan Smith played just 4 career games with Vancouver after being drafted 23rd overall in 2000.
By now, you've all read my last article wherein Sham Sharron outdrafts the actual Vancouver Canucks in a neat little thought exercise meant to illustrate just how poor the Canucks' amateur scouting has been since 2000. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read it here. You can also read real-life Cam Charron's follow-up that addresses why an exercise like this may yield the surprising results it does here.
The point of that article wasn't to say "this is how Vancouver SHOULD have drafted", which some apparently took it as. It was instead meant to point out that if such a(n admittedly) faulty method - which ignored half of the world's hockey talent - can produce better results than what Vancouver was actually doing, there is a massive problem in the Canucks' amateur scouting that must be addressed immediately.
What the last article didn't do though was put into perspective how woeful Vancouver and their scouting department has been at finding any NHL talent through the draft relative to the rest of the NHL. That is what we'll do here. Read past the jump to be filled with even more sadness and regret.
May 26 2014 01:05PM
Courtesy of @GoalieWays
Welcome back to this weeks Journal of Hockey Analytics to help with all your boring Mondays at work, and all your future hockey analytics research. In this week we look at how simple drafting rules can beat scouts, reviewing some raw season long zone entry data and even some junior level analytics to analyze Griffin Reinhart.
For all your links, continue past the jump!
May 23 2014 04:59PM
New Canucks general manager Jim Benning faced the fans and media for the first time on Friday, and it was quickly apparent that his commendable accomplishments over a long career in hockey stand out far more than his public speaking skills. Though he was forthright and balanced, Benning doesn't seem to have the sharpest tongue. He ducked multiple questions on Friday with the old "it's my first day on the job!" dodge, he started a large number of sentences with a distracting, drawn out "well," and his syntax is littered with "like" and "y'know."
In a telling moment towards the end of the Q&A with season ticket holders that preceded Benning's formal introduction on Friday, the modest lifelong scout was asked about his immediate plans for the near future and he listed an itinerary. No seriously.
"From here I'm going to the announcement," Benning joked, "then on Sunday we're flying to Toronto, and we start the scouting combine on Monday, so we're going to be there through the following week interviewing the players for this years draft, after that we'll start in on interviewing for the head coaching position and from there we'll head right up to our meetings in Whistler, and that's about where it ends for me right now..." at which point Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden jumped in, put a halt to the rambling, and talked about "definitely hitting the ground running" and interviewing "the next crop of Vancouver Canucks, which is really exciting." Essentially, or at least as it seemed to me, Linden threw his new general manager a lifeline in that moment.
Read on past the jump.