Train with Gary Roberts & Steven Stamkos

Steve Dangle
July 19 2013 07:49AM

Gary Roberts.

Usually when you come face-to-face with a glare like that, it means you done goofed, or you play for Ottawa. Now it could be because you’re training with him and Steven Stamkos.

Wait what?!?! Oh, you heard me.

Gary Roberts as in the man-beast who terrorized the league for parts of three decade. Steven Stamkos as in the guy who sniped 60 goals in a season. You could be hanging out with these guys. Well, not really “hanging out,” per se. Allow me to explain…

The offseason is getting shorter and shorter. You can’t just let your fitness go to crap in the summer, because once the season fires up again, you’ll look like a pylon out there.

Enter: the last team standing

The Nike Hockey Facebook experience at lets players create a team with their friends and show how they’re dedicating the summer to training. The page has training videos designed by Gary Roberts, and Toronto’s strength and conditioning coach from 2002-2009, Matt Nichol. Obviously, these two guys know their stuff.

But Steve, what’s in it for me? I’ll tell you, whatever your name is!

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Does Jannik Hansen Have Top-Six Ability?

Jeff Angus
July 18 2013 10:49AM

Jannik Hansen - Wikimedia Commons

286. That is the number of players who were selected ahead of Jannik Hansen at the 2004 NHL Draft, back when the draft was nine rounds long. Hansen quickly turned out to be quite the find by the Canucks scouts, adapting seamlessly to the North American game in the WHL with Portland in 2005-06.

Hansen went on to have a very good season as a 21-year-old in the AHL, recording 21 goals and 43 points with Manitoba in only 50 games. He would go on to play a few more AHL games over the next couple of years, but by 2008 he had established himself as a full time NHL player.

And he has only continued to get better year after year. 

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Chemistry - Do Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows have it?

Cam Charron
July 17 2013 01:05PM

Reading over Blake's post from yesterday, stumbling across this line, and though back to a day when such a statement would be considered sacrilege:

Burrows hasn’t shown a strong chemistry with Kesler in the past...

The truth is that Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler don't often play together at even strength any more, and when they do, the Canucks tend to get out-scored. This probably something to do with the fact that when Burrows is sided up with Ryan Kesler, the two face some extra-ordinarily tough competition. There's no way to quantify that unfortunately, but we CAN say that Kesler's primary parter on the penalty kill over the last five seasons has been Burrows.

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Will John Tortorella Help to Develop the Young Players?

Jeff Angus
July 17 2013 12:07PM

Ryan Callahan - Wikicommons

According to Mike Gillis, the Canucks will be utilizing more young players in the lineup for this season – partly out of necessity (salary cap), and partly because the team has some young players who are primed for NHL duty.

Will Tortorella be able to integrate young players into the lineup better than Alain Vigneault did in his tenure in Vancouver? Was Vigneault “good” or “bad” at coaching young players? He wasn’t a coach who communicated a lot with his players, but there have been numerous head coaches who rely on their assistants for building player relationships.

Let’s take a look at Tortorella’s tenure in New York as a means of comparison.

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Should Alex Burrows Drop to the Second Line?

Blake Murphy
July 16 2013 12:25PM


Last week in this space, Jeff Angus broke down the current forward crop. Obviously it’s early, and he said as much, but something caught my eye when he drew up the potential top-six:


Putting Zack Kassian with the Sedins rather than Alex Burrows is a pretty major change. After all, Burrows played over 400 even strength minutes with the twins this past season while Kassian played just north of 100.

I wanted to take a look and see how this may impact the top two lines if Angus’ intuition is correct.

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