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.
July 11 2014 01:37PM
In what may be the most important move they make this off-season, the Canucks have brought in a professional bartender to spruce up the beverages at Rogers Arena. Too bad it didn't happen last year, given how much time Canucks' fans spent crying in their already watery beer. Hopefully Jay Jones' first order of business is to add a little character to their draft beer selection.
On the flip side, if only Trevor Linden and Jim Benning realized that what their draft pick selections could use is a little less character...
Oh well, maybe next year they can bring in a professional scouting team. Sigh.
Nation World HQ
July 11 2014 10:29AM
July 11 2014 10:19AM
At the start of the offseason I think I was one of the few supporters of the notion of heading into the upcoming 2014-15 season of play with the combination of Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom manning the crease. What is there not to like? In them you have two young goaltenders, both with good track records of success in the AHL, that would cost pennies and allow the team to deal with bigger issues (like icing a true second line).
But alas, hockey management typically is much more risk-averse than us armchair general managers and Vancouver management did not feel secure with this combination, clearly. While I understand their line of thinking that doesn't mean that I agree with it. I don’t want to spend much time on the Miller acquisition because that has already been dealt with ad nauseam on this platform; rather, I want to take a deeper look at the younger of the two goaltenders, Jacob Markstrom, as we start looking ahead towards next season.
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.