August 02 2012 03:08PM
Even during the 2010-11 season - when the Canucks were outrageously deep along the blue-line - right side defensive depth was something of a challenge for the club. Vancouver's blue-line depth chart is something of an LSAT logic game, and there are tonnes of exclusions, which, seemingly make no sense. You'd think Alex Edler should be skilled enough to play his off-side, but he's been a qualified disaster there in limited minutes. Same goes for Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard...
In the two summers since 2010-11, the Canucks have lost three mainstays who regularly filled in on the right side of the blue-line depth chart: Christian Ehrhoff, Sami Salo and Aaron Rome. While the rapid development of Chris Tanev has helped to answer some of the questions along the right-side, this remains an area where the club lacks relative depth.
One of the reasons that we were so high on Jason Garrison going into this offseason, was his ability to play the right-side. But I recently went back and watched through about 20 Florida Panthers games to get a feel for Garrison's handle of the right-side, and I noticed that for the most part, he only spent time on the right-side when playing on the power-play...
Read past the jump.
August 02 2012 10:21AM
Max Lapierre was one of the most consistent and effective forwards during Vancouver's ill-fated Stanley Cup run in 2011. He went up against some of the best centers in the Western Conference, and in keeping his head above water against tough competition - he fared pretty well for himself.
Despite his success in the 2011 postseason, Lapierre hasn't really been given the opportunity to center the third line in Vancouver since. While his game may be better suited to fourth line minutes (he stays fresher, which, allows him to play a high energy brand of hockey each time he hops over the boards), I can't shake the feeling that Lapierre deserves a long look on Vancouver's third line.
Why? Let's find out.
August 01 2012 09:47PM
As the calender turned from July to August on Wednesday, Canucks management had still yet to address the club's need for another centreman, prefearbly one of the "third-line" variety.
With Ryan Kesler recovering from labrum surgery, the club's sudden lack of depth down the middle could be compounded and exposed (in the unlikely event that the 2012-13 season starts on time). Asked at the draft (after selecting mostly centremen), if the middle position was the team's biggest need this summer, Mike Gillis cryptically answered: "hypoethtically," so it's no wonder that centres like Dave Bolland and Nick Bjugstad have surfaced in rumours regarding thepotential return for Roberto Luongo...
Or perhaps the Canucks will address their need for centre depth by signing a large 37 year old who remains available on the open market. To that effect, Ben Kuzma posted over at the White Towel on Wednesday regarding a conversation he'd had with Jason Arnott's agent (and brother) Wade Arnott, who described his client and the Canucks as having a "mutual interest" in cutting a deal.
So does Arnott make sense in Vancouver? Yep. Read past the jump.
August 01 2012 10:58AM
Thrilled to be joined by Manny Malhotra for this Sunday's— Patrick Burke (@BurkieYCP) August 1, 2012
@vancouverpride parade. Unprecedented step by the Canucks organization here.
Manny Malhotra faces some of the toughest circumstances in the league. He has a very specific job: win defensive zone draws, clear the puck and change. It's not glamorous work, and it depresses his individual plus/minus numbers, which, in turn leads to questions about his effectiveness. But he does his job well, and handles himself with perpetual class.
That class is on display again. It was announced today, per an official press release on Canucks.nhl.com that Manny Malhotra has agreed to march in the Vancouver 2012 Pride Parade taking place Sunday August 5th, alongside Vancouver's Gay Men's Hockey Team "The Cutting Edges" and Patrick Burke of You Can Play.
Read on past the jump.
August 01 2012 08:42AM
Over the last couple of days, I've looked at all of the forwards chosen in the 2012 and 2011 entry drafts. Today, we're moving on to the great Taylor v. Tyler debate of 2010. Two years out, those two players are still at the top of the pile, but many of the others in the top ten aren't yet playing in the NHL. If you've read the methodological explanations already, feel free to skip down to the results.
In the chart below, I've taken each player's goals, assists and points, converted them to a "per game" rate, multiplied them by the league equivalency number, and then expressed them as an "NHL equivalency" assuming an 82-game NHL season. As you may have guessed, each league has a different equivalency number. I've used this article for the translations from the KHL (multiply offense by 0.83), SEL (0.78), CZE (0.74), FNL (0.54), NCAA (0.41), WHL (0.30), OHL (0.30) and QMJHL (0.28),and this article for the translations from the USHL (0.27), AJHL (0.16), and BCHL (0.14). With these players getting older, there are now only a few leagues that have drafted players but no translations, and if you're playing there (ECHL, minor European league), that's probably a bad sign.