Nation World HQ
July 18 2014 09:12AM

The most boring stretch for any hockey fan is between now and early September. We do our best to scratch that hockey itch below.

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Comets Militia: Down on the Farm

Josh W
July 15 2014 12:19PM


In the past year or so my interests as it relates to hockey have shifted towards the analysis and of prospects specifically. With the Canucks acquiring their own farm team only a short drive from where I live I think I paid more attention to the Utica Comets this past season than most fans and probably a good chunk of Vancouver's pro management team, as well.

It's a funny business, really, because even the most minuscule of NHL moves can have major repercussions on the AHL affiliate. There was a point during last season when the Canucks drudged through an inordinate amount of injuries, having to make do with call-ups from Utica. The Comets were already a team that noticeably lacked top-end talent without these substitutions, so the end result was an interesting one to say the least.

This coming season is shaping up to be an even more interesting one (but for different, better reasons) in Utica, following the litany of moves the Canucks have made throughout this offseason.

Just past the jump we'll take a look at the prospective lineup for the Utica Comets in 2014-15, which could have a legitimately exciting influx of young talent should the parent club go with a more veteran-based approach with its own roster.

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Hip Hip Hu-VEY! Canucks ink talented 23 year old

Dimitri Filipovic
July 14 2014 01:52PM


News broke Monday afternoon that draft day acquisition Linden Vey will accept his 1-year, $735k qualifying offer from the team.  

Considering the vast number of connections - his name is Linden, he played for the Medicine Hat Tigers for 5 years (4 of which were under Willie Desjardins), his name is also Linden - and the fact that they went out of their way to land him in the first place, this was a no-brainer move for the Canucks. Most importantly, though, he seems like a solid bet to help make some things happen offensively next season for a team that desperately needs it wherever they can get it.

This just goes to show you that where there's a will, there's a Vey. More on the two-Vey deal just past the jump. 

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Five Hole for Food Comes (Back) to Vancouver!

Dimitri Filipovic
July 14 2014 11:24AM

.. will you? [Photo via Jason Kurylo]

We devote a lot of time and digital ink over the course of the year playing up the role of the cold and calculating members of the Smylosphere. We mercilessly disparage commonly used hockey narratives like grit, heart, and character because they're, for the most part, things we can't really quantify. So we put as little stock as possible into them, instead focusing on tangible metrics that we can integrate into our analysis of the game.

While the divide between however you choose to define the 'old school' and 'new school' crowd has definitely been progressively shrinking over time, there's still a rift there that some people can't get over. Some things will always be up for debate, and there will always be a crowd out there that remains dubious of what you're trying to sell them regardless of how well-reasoned and thought out it may be. That's perfectly fine; imagine how mundane the internet would be if we all agreed about everything?

There is one thing I think we *can* all agree on, though -- hockey is great, but finding a way to use it as a vehicle for positively influencing people's lives and helping out those that are less fortunate than ourselves is the best. That's what we're talking about here today.

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This Canucks Season Hinges On Draft Selections

Graphic Comments
July 11 2014 01:37PM

It's all about draft selection.

In what may be the most important move they make this off-season, the Canucks have brought in a professional bartender to spruce up the beverages at Rogers Arena. Too bad it didn't happen last year, given how much time Canucks' fans spent crying in their already watery beer. Hopefully Jay Jones' first order of business is to add a little character to their draft beer selection.

On the flip side, if only Trevor Linden and Jim Benning realized that what their draft pick selections could use is a little less character...

Oh well, maybe next year they can bring in a professional scouting team. Sigh.

Anyway, the draft is done and it's not like they made bad picks, it's just that they could have made better ones. So let's move on to taking a look at just what Jim Benning has planned for this team.

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