June 18 2012 03:04PM
Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis: just a couple of guys who know how to clear the crease.
Though he's performed as well, or nearly as well, as any defenseman on the roster over the past couple of seasons, Kevin Bieksa's play has been a source of perpetual frustration for many Canucks fans. You know a fanbase has an irrational, bi-polar relationship with a specific player when that player begins to accrue false narratives that "explain" their play. For Roberto Luongo, it's that he's a choker. For Mason Raymond, it's that he's a "perimeter player." For Kevin Bieksa, you can pick your poison - he only plays well in contract years is a popular one, but the idea that he's not good at defense (demonstrably untrue) is another favorite.
The way the story is usually told, Kevin Bieksa's defensive play turned around when Dan Hamhuis arrived in Vancouver. Once Hamhuis arrived, Bieksa stopped his positional "swimming" in Vancouver's own end, cut down on his unforced errors with the puck and was magically transformed into a reliable defensive presence along Vancouver's blue-line.
Read past the jump for more.
June 18 2012 08:36AM
Aaron Volpatti does something that Darcy Hordichuk can't...
Be on the ice at the same time as the opposition's top-line.
Occasionally, albeit rarely, a story like Aaron Volpatti re-signing with the Canucks - falls through the cracks and we don't comment on it for a couple of days. On Friday, however, Ivy League graduate, pugilist and Revelstoke native Aaron Volpatti re-upped with Vancouver's club on a one year deal worth $600,000 in the NHL, and $105,000 in the AHL (or the maximum amount an AHLer can be paid without requiring re-entry waivers when he is shuttled between the big club, and their affiliate).
Read past the jump for more.
June 17 2012 03:13PM
It has been rumoured for weeks now that free agent defensive centre Samme Pahlsson, most recently of the Vancouver Canucks, would retire from NHL hockey and sign with Örnsköldsvik club team Modo of the Elitserien (SEL). According to Swedish sports journalist Jonatan Lindquist of Expressen, that deal looks to have been finalized. Says Lindquist:
Modo will hold a press conference tomorrow at 13:30 Swedish Time (4:30 AM PST). It's expected that they will announce the signing of Samuel Pahlsson. Pahlsson has been open to the possibility of returning home, though Modo doensn't normally hold Press Conferences when they sign players.
June 17 2012 10:17AM
Less than a week until the draft boys and girls and the anticipation is starting to build. Will the OIlers pick Yakupov, Murray or trade down? Do the Leafs finally convince someone to take Luke Schenn? Will Calgary trade one of their "big three" contracts? Will everyone in the arena boo the Canucks organization again?
These questions (and more) will be answered in Pittsburgh this coming Friday/Saturday. For now, we're left speculating with folks like Jonathan Willis, Brad MacPherson and Kent Wilson.
This is Nation Radio.
June 16 2012 08:15AM
The NHL Draft is only 6 days away, and for the Canucks there's a lot of uncertainty, especially in goal. One thing that is certain, however, is that Luongo is the best goaltender in franchise history and it's not even close. We've put together an infographic to convey Luongo's dominance over his six seasons in the Canucks net, so click past the jump to check it out!