How Will John Tortorella Utilize his Top-4 Defensemen?

Dimitri Filipovic
September 12 2013 09:12AM


Could the Sedins bring Jason Garrison and Alex Edler along for the ride this season?
Image via Canucks.com [Jeff Vinnick].

There has been plenty of speculation this summer regarding what we can expect to see from John Tortorella in terms of player usage, and deployment, once the season gets underway. He has already come out and explictly said that the Sedins will be utilized as penalty killers, in addition to everything else they provide for the Canucks. There has also been a lot of chatter that his preference is to put Burrows and Kesler back together, opening the door for Zack Kassian to try and regain the early season success he had playing next to the twins last January.

But what can we expect from the back-end, which is widely viewed as a position of strength for this team. While coaches certainly change their habits and tactics depending on the assets they have at their disposal, they're still creatures of habit when it comes to the way they like to run things. And thankfully, we have enough of a sample size from John Tortorella as a coach to make an educated guess as to how he'll deploy the team's defensemen this season.

Read on past the jump for more on a potential adjustment Tortorella could make that would pay dividends for the Canucks.

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Media Day with the Players, Coach, and General Manager

Dimitri Filipovic
September 11 2013 12:59PM


Z z Z z Z z Z
Image via Gráinne.

Training camp officially got underway this morning, with the players (plus coach and GM) meeting with the media to answer questions. While Alex Edler and Dan Hamhuis obviously weren't too interested in the proceedings - who can blame them, it was generally devoid of anything too insightful - there were a few things that I figured were worth pointing out, and pivoting off of. 

If you'd like to watch it for yourself, feel free to go here. But right past the jump I'll look at some of the more prevalent quotes and topics of discussions from today's media day.

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Young Stars Classic All-Stars

Kevin McCartney
September 11 2013 10:31AM


24th overall pick Hunter Shinkaruk shined at the prospects tournament.
Image via Ward Perrin.

One of the most interesting parts of the annual Young Stars tournament is seeing the talents of these young prospects relative to each other. With different systems in place, different ways of organizing lines, and even different levels of intensity about the tournament between franchises, wins and goals mean less than the process in evaluating player success. As one of the Nations Network scouts at the tournament, I thought I'd give my standouts, but in the hockey honoured tradition of naming All-Star teams. 

It's a small sample size, so these aren't necessarily the best prospects, but instead the prospects who had the best showing in the tournament. Still, I bet we see the majority of these names in NHL sweaters within a few years. 

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Canucks Training Camp Set to Get Underway

Dimitri Filipovic
September 10 2013 04:47PM


Image via Stephen Dyrgas.

While talking about prospects and thinking about the future has its moments, I'm sure we're all ready to see the familiar faces of the Canucks get back onto the ice and compete. Thankfully, the time for that is rapidly approaching as the team's main training camp is set to kick off tomorrow (Wednesday September 11th). While it's still not quite game action, it certainly provides intrigue as jockeying for open roster spots heats up. Keep in mind that the regular season opener is a measly 22 sleeps away.

Read on past the jump for the roster, and the schedule.

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The Big Reveal: Our Staff's Individual Prospect Rankings

Dimitri Filipovic
September 10 2013 11:41AM


"Oh, they finally revealed their individual lists?"
Image via Justin K. Aller/Getty Images.

One of my biggest pet peeves in sports is the fact that the voting for awards isn't made public after the fact. I don't know about you, but I'd take it much more seriously if I knew who was voting for what. If you're going to have the right to vote, you should disclose it, own up to it, and face the music (which sounds an awful lot like the inevitable wrath of fans that don't agree with you). So, for the sake of transparency, we're releasing our individual rankings for all to see.

I know, I know, it's long overdue. After all, our series concluded nearly two weeks ago. The plan was to actually hold off on disclosing them until Corey Pronman released his Top 10 for the Canucks. But we couldn't wait any longer. Without further ado, they're being presented to you on the other side of the jump.

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