August 19 2014 10:17AM
Admittedly, one of the reasons we bumped the age cutoff for this series this time around was to include someone of the ilk of Henrik Tommernes, who is set to turn 24 years old any day now. That distinction makes him the elder statesman of this list of players, and puts him a cool 6 years older than the youngest of the bunch (Jake Virtanen).
Yet despite his relatively advanced age for these purposes, Tommernes remains an intriguing prospect. The fact that he has dropped from 9th to 15th in our rankings since last summer is hardly an indictment against his play - which was for all intents and purposes a successful first go around the North American game - but moreso a testament to the collection of talent the Canucks have managed to bring into the pipeline since then.
August 18 2014 11:05AM
18-year-old Swedish defenseman Gustav Forsling was drafted in the fifth-round by the Vancouver Canucks at the dawn of the Jim Benning era this past June. An undersized, well-rounded defenseman out of the Linkoping system, Forsling has yet to debut at the senior level over in Sweden though he's been on the Tre Kronor's radar for years, and has competed internationally at the U16, U17, and U18 level.
Read on past the jump.
August 16 2014 08:00AM
Now that the Stats Wars are over, I expect the next bastion of hockey traditionalists to fall to be the role of fourth line
energy guy designated fighter. Because, really, having a guy like Colton Orr taking up a roster spot is literally pointless.
If you missed it, Trevor Linden was on Team1040 a couple of weeks back and he openly questioned the role of fighting in hockey. Interestingly, Linden also singled out Coach's Corner as one of the leading influences in promoting the need for that role. Can't wait to see Cherry stomp on his "Trevor Linden for Rookie of the Year" button.
Anyway, Linden's bigger point is that this mentality that you need an enforcer to protect your stars or provide an energy boost, or shift momentum by doing some face punching, has been coached in. But if you look around the league, the successful teams have started taking that option away from their coaches.
August 15 2014 12:06PM
It was three years ago to this day that the hockey community learned of the passing of former Vancouver Canucks enforcer Rick Rypien, at the tragically young age of 27. As is generally the case when such a sobering incident strikes, the natural reaction is a feeling of shock. How could this have happened? He seemed to have had so many things going for him.
In reality, no one is immune from the personal struggles that accompany anxiety, depression, and all other forms of mental illness. Individuals from all walks of life are susceptible to it, regardless of how successful or happy they may seem. We were reminded of this all too unfortunately when Robin Williams took his own life earlier this week.
We've come a long way as a society with regards to understanding, and accepting this reality, but it'd be foolhardy and naive to think that the stigma has completely dissipated. There are still those that think this makes you look weak, as if it's an inherent character flaw that will prompt others to think of you differently.
Let today serve as a good reminder that there's always someone out there - whether it be me, or someone else you may feel more comfortable reaching out to - that you can talk to, and that things are never really as bleak as they may seem. If you'd like to learn more or help the cause out, you can do so here (an initiative started by the Canucks organization to help spread awareness).
With that, here are some of the more beautifully and eloquently penned words remembering Rick Rypien from over the years.
Nation World HQ
August 15 2014 08:05AM
The analytics debate rages on, how much does "character" matter, player profiles, ice bucket challenge, Wayne Gretzky and more in this week’s Roundup.