August 05 2013 09:36AM
Image via Matthew Henderson
This is less a prospect profile about Alex Friesen and more an editorial comment on the state of the Vancouver Canucks prospect system pre-2013. My ranking of Friesen at No. 13 in the Canucks' system, which I understand is the highest that anybody gave him, was not based on any new information we learned in the 2012-2013 campaign, but just a general observation that he's further along in his development and I haven't learned anything about him over the last 12 months that would take away from the fact that I could "potentially see him play in the National Hockey League someday".
Not much in the National Hockey League, mind you. If you click on his profile from last year, you'll see that Friesen played an important role on recent Niagara Ice Dogs teams as the lead defensive centreman on the team. He's basically a more physical, offensive Manny Malhotra, which I suppose any NHL team would love to have, but it's unrealistic to project his junior talents to the majors at this point.
Read on past the jump for more on Friesen, our 20th ranked prospect in the Canucks system.
August 01 2013 10:32PM
It's still the summertime doldrums here at the Nation. With little news expected in the next few weeks before things heat up prior to the season starting articles involve projections, speculation, rumours and British people bombing down hills after a wheel of cheese.
And today we present an article on the new trash button and what it means to society. If you want an article about EV/60 or something else substantiative keep on truckin soldier. If you want to know why we created a trash button that will probably lead to fist fights in the comments section for all eternity read on.
This is an article about the business of the Nation and nothing more. You have been warned.
August 01 2013 12:21PM
The Sedins have a right to look tired, considering the load they carried for the Canucks last season.
Image via Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck.
Over at NHL Numbers, Travis Yost published a fascinating research piece today, which I figured merited some discussion on this platform. Essentially, he took each Western Conference team's most regularly used 12 forwards (based on even-strength time on ice), and broke them into 4 tiers. After doing so, he took into account each individual's corsi (a proxy for possession, but you already knew that), before adjusting it for zone starts. You'll note that the strength of competition was not factored into this assessment.
But why tiers? Given the amount of line tinkering that goes on over the course of a season - due to injuries, lack of production, or Alain Vigneault simply mistaking his lineup card for a blender - I like the idea of separating the top 12 into tiers, rather than strictly labelling lines 1, 2, 3, and 4. At least for these purposes. Most of the time, the two will line (pun intended) up anyways.
Past the jump we'll take a closer look at what Mr. Yost found when compiling the numbers for the Canucks, and what it means. I'll give you a little hint for what to expect: thank your lucky stars that the Sedins are a thing.
July 31 2013 02:43PM
Chris Tanev is not signed yet to a National Hockey League contract. That is okay. Several players are not signed to National Hockey League contracts that will play hockey games this season, and many of them are more valuable than Chris Tanev. Notable unsigned restricted free agent defencemen are Alex Pietrangelo, Jared Cowen, Cody Franson and T.J. Brodie.
Each defenceman has their own strengths and own weaknesses. The point of this post is not to attempt to guesstimate just what Tanev will make on the open market, but just to point out just how little leverage Tanev has in these negotiations.
July 30 2013 11:44AM
We all know that the Vancouver Canucks find themselves in a cap bind, and therefore, are unable to bring in any players that would qualify as making a big splash. So with that in mind, it's all about housekeeping these days; they re-signed restricted free agents Jordan Schroeder, Dale Weise, and Yann Sauve. They also brought in the likes of Colin Stuart and
Gilbert Brule Zach Hamill, who will more than likely serve as depth players in Utica.
On Tuesday morning, they made another move that likely won't do anything to whet the appetite of the fans: Latvian forward Ronalds Ķēniņš was signed, with the deal's exact terms yet to be released.
Read on past the jump to get to know Ķēniņš a little better.