July 18 2014 11:30AM
The following article was written by Jordan Clarke, whose work you're likely familiar with if you've been a reader of this blog for longer than just the past few months or so. He's back from his soul searching mission, and we're happy as ever to have him back. Enjoy.
"Change is Coming”, or so says the Vancouver Canucks' latest marketing slogan.
While the fact that the team feels they need to spell this out for everyone doesn't say much for the intelligence level of the average fan, it does tell you how desperate they are to rebuild their image in the eyes of Vancouverites.
While every piece of NHL PR seems to scream "please like our sport", in Vancouver it's "please like us". The front office and coaching staff is now stocked with humble, unassuming "hockey people", and the prospect pool is beginning to look like it follows the same CanCon regulations as your local rock station.
The rebuild is on, in image as much as player personnel. Trevor Linden, Jim Benning, Willie Desjardins, even the first round selections from last month -- it’s all about airing out the stench of the last few seasons. The mishandling of Roberto Luongo, the sudden trading of Cory Schneider, the John Tortorella hire, the one playoff win since 2012, the team’s MVP asking out. All of these issues are now buried, and the team is finally free to build a new identity for itself and its city.
Nation World HQ
July 18 2014 09:12AM
The most boring stretch for any hockey fan is between now and early September. We do our best to scratch that hockey itch below.
July 15 2014 12:19PM
In the past year or so my interests as it relates to hockey have shifted towards the analysis and of prospects specifically. With the Canucks acquiring their own farm
team only a short drive from where I live I think I paid more attention to
the Utica Comets this past season than most fans and probably a good chunk of Vancouver's pro
management team, as well. This coming season is shaping up to be an even more interesting one (but for different, better reasons) in Utica, following the litany of moves the Canucks have made throughout this offseason. Just past the jump we'll take a look at the prospective lineup for the Utica Comets in 2014-15, which could have a legitimately exciting influx of young talent should the parent club go with a more veteran-based approach with its own roster.
It's a funny business, really, because even the most minuscule of NHL moves can have major repercussions on the AHL affiliate. There was a point during last season when the Canucks drudged through an inordinate amount of injuries, having to make do with call-ups from Utica. The Comets were already a team that noticeably lacked top-end talent without these substitutions, so the end result was an interesting one to say the least.
This coming season is shaping up to be an even more interesting one (but for different, better reasons) in Utica, following the litany of moves the Canucks have made throughout this offseason.
Just past the jump we'll take a look at the prospective lineup for the Utica Comets in 2014-15, which could have a legitimately exciting influx of young talent should the parent club go with a more veteran-based approach with its own roster.
July 14 2014 01:52PM
News broke Monday afternoon that draft day acquisition Linden Vey will accept his 1-year, $735k qualifying offer from the team.
Considering the vast number of connections - his name is Linden, he played for the Medicine Hat Tigers for 5 years (4 of which were under Willie Desjardins), his name is also Linden - and the fact that they went out of their way to land him in the first place, this was a no-brainer move for the Canucks. Most importantly, though, he seems like a solid bet to help make some things happen offensively next season for a team that desperately needs it wherever they can get it.
This just goes to show you that where there's a will, there's a Vey. More on the two-Vey deal just past the jump.
July 14 2014 11:24AM
We devote a lot of time and digital ink over the course of the year playing up the role of the cold and calculating members of the Smylosphere. We mercilessly disparage commonly used hockey narratives like grit, heart, and character because they're, for the most part, things we can't really quantify. So we put as little stock as possible into them, instead focusing on tangible metrics that we can integrate into our analysis of the game.
While the divide between however you choose to define the 'old school' and 'new school' crowd has definitely been progressively shrinking over time, there's still a rift there that some people can't get over. Some things will always be up for debate, and there will always be a crowd out there that remains dubious of what you're trying to sell them regardless of how well-reasoned and thought out it may be. That's perfectly fine; imagine how mundane the internet would be if we all agreed about everything?
There is one thing I think we *can* all agree on, though -- hockey is great, but finding a way to use it as a vehicle for positively influencing people's lives and helping out those that are less fortunate than ourselves is the best. That's what we're talking about here today.