October 02 2014 09:30AM
When looking at the moves Jim Benning made to insulate Willie Desjardins with familiar faces, it's reasonable to start with the acquisition of Derek Dorsett from the New York Rangers. It's often the lost quantity in what was a whirlwind of moves in the days leading up to and during the draft, but that's not to say it wasn't lacking in importance.
The acquisition of Dorsett, if nothing else, validated all the talk leading up to and surrounding the beginning of the #Lindenning era. There was a decidedly unusual amount of attention paid to the fourth line by #Lindenning insofar as they paid SOME attention to it at all. It was of course Trevor Linden who wrongly stated that Shawn Thornton was an important player. Similar sentiments were echoed by Benning, who talked ad nauseam of building a fourth line.
It also showcased Benning's ability to maximize the diminishing return that Ryan Kesler handcuffed management into. It's often forgotten, but the acquisition of Dorsett is essentially an extension of the Kesler trade; the Canucks used the third-round draft pick they acquired from the Ducks on, you guessed it, Derek Dorsett.
We know courtesy of Scott Cullen's brilliant research in 2009 that, at best, a pick with the 85th overall selection has a roughly 21% chance of playing 100 games in the NHL during his career. If all goes to plan, Dorsett should see about 82 this season. That's more than three quarters of the way to a probability based victory for management!
How well will he play in those 82 games? Meet me on the other side of the jump to find out.
October 01 2014 08:00PM
Last year was one to forget for Alex Burrows, as the pesky winger spent most of his season dueling with a series of factors that by themselves would prove nearly insurmountable obstacles. Crammed into one injury shortened season, they were just too much to overcome.
When looking for an explanation as to what went wrong for Burrows in 2013-2014, injuries almost immediately come to mind, but the all too apparent disconnect with
new ex-Canucks head coach John Tortorella surely didn't help either. These factors and a cumbersome PDO managed to drag Burrows season to the ground and keep it there for a good long while.
Is this indicative of the direction Burrows career is heading in? Find out on the other side of the jump.
October 01 2014 04:25PM
When murmurs of a possible Ryan Kesler trade first surfaced on the internet, Canucks fans were understandably somewhat pensive. After all, here was a two-time 70-point scorer who had eclipsed 40 goals not too long ago, won a Selke trophy, and was a special teams monster, and Vancouver was going to trade him. Those guys just don't come around all that often, so even though Ryan Kesler was no longer RYAN KESLER, it still seemed imperative that Vancouver got an A-grade prospect in return.
Instead, Kesler used his NTC to force a trade to Anaheim, where Jim Benning was unable to acquire any particularly young assets aside from the 24th overall pick, spent on a very-good-but-not-great prospect in Jared McCann. What Benning was instead able to acquire was a cheap, cost-controlled 26-year old centre who scored 22 goals last season, and would have finished 2nd on the Canucks in both goals and points in Nick Bonino. Those guys also just don't come around all that often, so if that's what Nick Bonino is going to be, Vancouver has themselves a valuable asset.
But that's the big question here: what exactly is Nick Bonino?
October 01 2014 12:59PM
With the Vancouver Canucks 2014-2015 regular season set to begin in just one week, you may have noticed that CanucksArmy has been kind of light on season preview-type content. As Dimitri promised back in the summer, we did have plans for an extensive pre-season series, but some recent changes to our staff put those plans on hold. Well, the show must go on, and it must go on in bigger and better ways than it did last year, so not having a season preview was out of the question.
Starting today, we'll be running a handful of individual player previews each day until the start of the regular season, focusing mainly on all the highs and lows (and oh, there were lows) of the ill-fated 2013-2014 campaign from hell, and what we can expect from each player this coming season. First on schedule is one of the anchors of Vancouver's blueline: Kevin Bieksa.
September 30 2014 12:18PM
Courtesy of @BrendanMBurke
Up in Vancouver, fans are holding their breaths to see which players are going to survive the final cuts at training camp and make the Canucks roster, with much of the focus being on young players like Bo Horvat, Nicklas Jensen, Hunter Shinkaruk and … Cal O’Reilly? But down in Utica, AHL training camp has officially begun today as 37 players took to the ice. The AHL does not have roster limits, such as in the NHL, but you can only dress 18 players a game. As per UticaComets.com the training camp roster contains:
Forwards (21): Darren Archibald, Carter Bancks*, Matt Caria*, Brandon DeFazio, Dane Fox, Alex Friesen, Brendan Gaunce, Alex Greiner, Wacey Hamilton*, Dustin Jeffery, Eric Kattelus*, Patrick Kennedy, Ronalds Kennins, Kellan Lain, Stefan Legien*, Alex Mallet, Cam Reid*, Lane Scheidl*, Curtis Valk*, Mike Zalewski, Steve Zalewski*
Defense (12): Peter Andersson, Alex Biega, Jeremie Blain, Ben Blood*, Adam Comrie*, Travis Ehrhardt*, Spencer Humphries*, Kent Huskins, Kane LaFranchise, John Negrin, Bobby Sanguinetti, Henrik Tommernes,
Goalies (5): Joe Cannata, Tony Capobianco*, Jacob Markstrom, Joel Martin*, Joacim Eriksson
(Asterisks indicate the player has been invited on a Professional Try-Out (PTO))
Continue past the jump to meet these Utica Comets hopefuls.