June 10 2013 09:59AM
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons
The news broke over the weekend that Edmonton Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish was poised to fire Ralph Krueger and replace him with Marlies bench boss Dallas Eakins - the brighest, shiniest thing on the coaching market this June. Krueger was fired over Skype this past weekend and at some point later today Eakins will officially take over as the twelfth headcoach in the history of the Oilers as an NHL franchise, and the team's fourth coach in the past five years.
This was disappointing news for some Canucks fans, who understandably wanted the Canucks to bring in the highly-touted, high-cheekboned, young Marlies coach. Maybe they got their hopes up a bit too high when Dallas Eakins had a second interview with the Canucks late last week.
Ultimately while Mike Gillis hemmed, hawed and preferred to wait to interview the likes of John Stevens, his former minor league headcoach Craig MacTavish struck quickly, and almost impulsively, in choosing Dallas Eakins as "his guy."
We'll look at the Dallas Eakins hiring through the prism of Vancouver's own search for a new headcoach after the jump.
June 08 2013 12:55PM
There has been some chatter so far in this offseason about the prospect of dealing Alex Edler, he of the six years and $30M remaining on his contract.
A powerplay quarterback on a long-term, reasonably priced deal could be an attractive commodity on the market, the story goes, and thus Edler is perhaps the Canucks' second best trade asset behind Cory Schneider.
Personally, I think there are other ways to improve the team without moving Edler, who has been one of the NHL's top puck-moving defensemen and power play point men for the past several years. The table below shows Edler's power play resume, highligthing times when he was top-30 among defensemen (a "top on a team" kind of rank).
June 07 2013 01:05PM
Following the heartbreak of 2011, the playoff failure of the Canucks vs the Kings highlighted a lot. Had the team forgotten its strengths? Was Ehrhoff really *that* important? Mike Gillis was faced with having two elite number one goalies, a probable lockout and huge expectations.
Was the time right for a new approach?
Ultimately, GIllis still beileved his core could overcome and remain a top contender in the West.
June 06 2013 02:30PM
What do you do when you've collapsed a foot short of the summit of K2? (Yes, I know in real life you likely die. Go away.) Do you run quickly back down to the bottom and say, "The plan sucked, let's do something completely different"? Or do you say, "Crap, that was so close, let's have another go..."
That was the dilemma facing the near-champion Vancouver Canucks two summers ago. Protection against horrible memories means avoiding a recap of the 2011 Final, but let's consider this point: the team failed because of injury as much as it did because of poor execution.
In any case, success does not come from standing still - how did Mike Gillis shuffle his deck in 2011?
June 06 2013 08:51AM
Dale Weise and Max Lapierre - Wikicommons Media
On Tuesday, we looked at Vancouver's search for a left winger to play on the fourth line. My suggestion was to sign UFA winger Blake Comeau, or to find a player in the AHL (much like the Canucks did a few years ago with Tanner Glass).
The Canucks have absolutely zero organizational depth in terms of checking line left wingers. However, that isn't the case on the right side. Dale Weise and Zack Kassian are both solid fourth line options. Kassian, ideally, will play a bigger role with the club in 2013-14. Is Weise the best possible option for the fourth line?
Let's take a look, shall we?