October 04 2014 02:15PM
This summer, we've spent no shortage of time debating the merits signing Ryan Miller as a potential "upgrade" in the Canucks' net. This has less to do with my feelings on Miller than it does my belief that Eddie Lack provides the Canucks with comparable play in net, at a fraction of the cost.
But, rapidly declining ticket sales and the need to satiate an increasingly disinterested fan base necessitated Ryan Miller's acquisition, at least in the eyes of rookie GM Jim Benning. Can you imagine the reaction of a casual fan upon hearing the Canucks were set to enter the 2014-15 season with Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom as their goaltending tandem - they of the combined 87 NHL starts?
Based on the atmosphere at Rogers Arena - no matter the situation or time of year - it's all too apparent that the casual fan is the one that needs reassuring. They turn the lights on. Would an open approach, one that put winning first, not be equally as satisfying? Probably not. Instant gratification, and what not.
It's a shame a goalie as serviceable as Eddie Lack is the victim of this. For a look at what played into this decision and what to expect going forward, find me on the other side of the jump.
October 03 2014 08:30PM
Oh, where to begin with Zack Kassian? The hulking forward has been much maligned since being dealt to Vancouver from Buffalo in the now infamous Cody Hodgson trade, battling issues with discipline and consistency, as well as struggling to earn ice time under two consecutive Canucks head coaches. Still, despite his perceived on-ice struggles, Zack Kassian managed to solidify himself as a good NHL hockey player under John Tortorella.
Kassian was buried in the defensive zone, saw little in terms of powerplay time, and was saddled with Brad Richardson at even strength, but still managed to lead the Canucks in rate scoring and carry positive possession numbers. Will he continue his growth this year, and perhaps earn himself the trust of new head coach of Willie Desjardins?
Read past the jump for more.
October 03 2014 06:00PM
threw a slight curveball at teams this summer when they announced the new
What had initially been figured to be a spike up to $71M ceiling actually levelled off at $69M, leaving a couple of teams in a cap crunch.
That, in turn, left the teams that had proportioned their financial resources more wisely with an opportunity to pounce, with the potential of making a smart acquisition of a useful player that the cash-strapped team wouldn't otherwise want to part with. One of those cash-strapped teams is the Chicago Blackhawks, finding themselves over $2M over the $69M threshold at the moment. As a result, a name that has been routinely popping up in the rumour mill has been their young third-pairing defenseman Nick Leddy. Is this a player that the Canucks
should be inquiring about? Well..
That, in turn, left the teams that had proportioned their financial resources more wisely with an opportunity to pounce, with the potential of making a smart acquisition of a useful player that the cash-strapped team wouldn't otherwise want to part with.
One of those cash-strapped teams is the Chicago Blackhawks, finding themselves over $2M over the $69M threshold at the moment. As a result, a name that has been routinely popping up in the rumour mill has been their young third-pairing defenseman Nick Leddy.
Is this a player that the Canucks should be inquiring about? Well..
October 03 2014 01:27PM
It's Friday, and with the dawn of a new season rapidly approaching, we've decided to revamp an old favorite: "Cheers and Jeers!"
This regular feature was originally started by Canucks Army forefather Cam Davie during the 2011-12 hockey season. Now that I'm the old hand at this here Canucks hockey blog (that happened... quickly), I figure it's my turn to carry on, carry on tradition.
This week, I give a high-five to the Canucks' suddenly promising stable of young talent and the Smylosphere in general, while I point and laugh at Luca Sbisa and the Edmonton Oilers.
October 03 2014 11:45AM
If you're an avid reader of Canucks Army, you're all too aware that we're generally fans of hockey players named "Chris". From Tanev all the way to the subject of today's player preview, Chris Higgins.
It's not hard to understand why today's Chris - he of the Higgins variety - is the subject of much praise and adulation this side of town. Since joining the Canucks at the 2010-11 trade deadline, Higgins has provided a level of versatility and cost-effective play from the middle-six that most teams dream of.
When discussing Higgins, this gets brought up considerably more often than not. Put him on the second-line and watch him roll; like he did in the 2011 Playoff run. On the third, he's even more dangerous. It's safe to say there aren't many players as malleable as Higgins; who seemingly works well with just about anyone.
A trend that I'll look at in-depth, on the other side of the jump.