June 12 2013 01:51PM
Image via Wikimedia Commons
He was a surprise late entry to the group, but John Tortorella brings what fans and media in this town have wanted for so long. He's a brash personality that holds players accountable. He has Stanley Cup experience. He has a grizzled, no-nonsense attitude and he doesn't speak French. Clearly, everything fits.
You got the sense in the Eastern Conference this year that the New York Rangers, Torts' old team, weren't really into it. After the big offseason acquisition of Rick Nash, the Rangers stumbled out of the gate, kept stumbling through midseason, stumbled into the playoffs and tripped over their own sticks in a seven-game playoff win over the Washington Capitals. Their only post-first round victory came thanks to Tuukka Rask stumbling all over himself and letting in the reelist blooper you'll ever see.
So the Rangers weren't good last season. The Rangers have banked on their goaltender and their goaltender alone for two straight playoff runs, winning three rounds in two seasons, but that ultimately resulted in John Tortorella getting fired... Read past the jump for more.
June 12 2013 08:29AM
Mock drafts are popular this time of year, and we’ve decided to do something a little different at the Nation this summer. Instead of presenting our picks, we’ll show consensus rankings and offer up scouting reports, than ask our readers to vote on the order they would select those players in.
We start with the top-10 selections.
June 11 2013 10:23PM
On this particular Tuesday in mid-June we chewed over the possibility of an offseason mega deal between the Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers, reacted to Canucks goalie coach Rollie Melanson's rather explosive interview in a small New Brunswick daily, and used Keith Ballard's current contract situation as a point of departure with which to discuss Retained Salary Transactions and Compliance Buyouts.
More Canucks news, most of it about John Tortorella, after the jump.
June 11 2013 04:13PM
How do you solve a problem like Keith Ballard?
Image via wikimedia commons.
To put it kindly, Keith Ballard's Canucks tenure has been forgettable.
The likable defenceman with speed to burn made sense as an acquisition at the time, but he never really earned the trust of Vancouver's coaches, and was rarely able to keep a spot as high sixth on the blue-line depth-chart. In the 2013 postseason Ballard didn't dress in a single postseason game, with raw rookie Frank Corrado and lumbering Andew Alberts playing on the team's third pairing instead...
Keith Ballard will turn thirty-one in late November. He has two years and according to capgeek.com 8.4 million dollars in actual salary and salary cap-hit commitments remaining on his contract. With the Canucks pressed up against the cap this offseason and deep along the blue-line, a 4.2 million dollar depth defenceman is not a luxury item the team can afford for another year. With that, let's look at several ways the Canucks could potentially remedy their situation as it pertains to Mr. Ballard.
Read past the jump.
June 11 2013 11:59AM
Screencap via Jason Botchford.
When Mike Gillis fired his coaching staff in late May, goaltending coach Rollie Melanson was retained. And why not? Cory Schneider has improved enormously under Melanson's tutelage, Roberto Luongo has made some tweaks to his game under Melanson that have paid off, and the Canucks have been right at the top of the league in save percentage in two of Melanson's three seasons with Vancouver.
Yesterday, Melanson gave a very candid interview to L'Acadie Nouvelle, a french language newspaper in New Brunswick, which was picked up by RDS. In the interview, Melanson discussed on the record his ultimate desire to return to Montreal as a coach, the easy to avoid Vancouver press, and the "deterioration" of Carey Price's game in Melanson's absence. We'll unpack Rollie's comments after the jump.