July 10 2014 11:03AM
Winning has a funny way of changing perceptions. When you win, all of a sudden everything you do turns to gold. You can stumble, you can make mistakes, but those get swept quickly under the rug under the bright lights of winning. Likewise when you lose, all of a sudden everything you do is seen as yet another sign of your incompetence. Anything you do can and will be used against you in the Court of Fan Opinion Law.
Mike Gillis enjoyed both sides of this equation during his time with Vancouver. Despite initial concerns about an agent with no previous front office experience running the team, Gillis quickly turned those criticisms aside by not only simply being different than his predecessor Dave Nonis (anything you do to differentiate yourself from the old losing regime is a bonus, which is probably why Dave Nonis, a Burke protege, was never really embraced in Vancouver), but more importantly, just by winning.
July 09 2014 07:18PM
The Vancouver Canucks held their annual summer summit on Tuesday night, which consisted of a Q&A between the team's season ticket holders and the three main guys that have been brought in this offseason to turn things around.
If you either weren't there or haven't gotten around to tuning in to it yet, you can watch the 80 or so minute session on the team's Youtube channel right here. We transcribed the event last year and in hindsight it turned out to be a rather interesting thing to look back on, so we've done a similar sort of thing this time around.
As you'd expect from such a thing there was a whole lot of pandering, back-patting and gratuitous remarks, but in picking through the bunch there were also a few specific talking points that stood out from the pack. The transcript - sans the awkward 10+ minutes devoted to discussing the hospitality component of Canucks games (acknowledging that poutine is the best) - is just past the jump.
July 08 2014 01:11PM
Apologies for the horrendous pun in the headline, but we needed a way to spruce this post up. After all, it's technically relaying information that we were all privy to from the moment the news that Willie Desjardins was going to be the team's next head coach broke.
So while it's more of a technicality than anything, it's still one that allows us to expand on the situation behind the Canucks bench some more. It's also conceivable that it's the last piece of tangible news for a while. We'll get into it just past the jump.
July 07 2014 12:19PM
The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are one of the most forward-thinking and progressive hockey organizations on the planet. Under the leadership of young GM (and friend-of-the-blogosphere) Kyle Dubas, the Hounds have quickly vaulted to the top of the OHL standings, finishing this past year 4th in points in a brutal Western Conference.
Dubas and coach Sheldon Keefe place a great deal of value on analytics, and track Corsi, zone starts, and zone entry stats in order to gain a better understanding of what meaningful contributions their players make over the course of a full season.
There is no one better to give a detailed, analytic-focused breakdown of Canucks 1st round pick and Greyhounds centre Jared McCann than Kyle Dubas himself. After reaching out to Canucks Army to address some of our concerns with the selection of McCann, Dubas generously agreed to answer a few questions we had about McCann and help Canucks fans gain a better understanding of the 17-year old kid who will hopefully turn into the centrepiece of the Ryan Kesler trade. You're going to like what you hear.
July 07 2014 10:22AM
The first step of the "retooling" job that Jim Benning inherited with this roster involved trading away locker-room malcontent Ryan Kesler. The move was bound to clear up cap space necessary to not only keep their own RFAs like Chris Tanev and Zack Kassian around, but also dip into the free agent pool.
The fact that Kesler had essentially given the Canucks a list of one and a half teams he'd waive his no-trade clause for allowed Canucks fans and media to preemptively temper their expectations on the prospective return. Then the inevitable happened.
Ryan Kesler was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and the 24th overall pick in this year's draft. You figure that the Bonino component of the package would be the centerpiece in the eyes of the Canucks, given that he's currently viewed as the favourite to fill the spot the guy he was traded for successfully occupied for years prior.
Is Nick Bonino really a capable 2nd line center option, though?