July 30 2013 10:53AM
"This right here, kids.. this is value."
Image via Canucks.com.
Every summer come July 1st, we see team's break the bank to sign players to lucrative contracts that they'll likely wind up regretting down the road. Yet they still do it, for some reason, and will continue to do so for years to come. Without conducting any sort of formal study, I'd venture to guess that the largest percentage of mistakes made by most GMs come on that day, when they find themselves getting caught up in the "frenzy", spending just for the sake of spending.
That has the agents of even relatively competent defensemen licking their lips, I'd bet. At every marquee NHL event - whether it be the trade deadline, or draft day, or July 1st - it seems like defensemen are a hot commodity. Every single team is looking for help at that position, and the demand far exceeds the supply. Which is why we see contracts such as Mark Streit for 4 year, $21 million or Dennis Wideman for 5 year, $26.25 million happen. Well, either that, or because Paul Holmgren and Jay Feaster are incredibly incompetent.
Recently, we've also seen a trend of teams placing a premium on locking up their young defensemen long-term, paying big bucks mostly based off of potential. As every day passes, and every new contract gets signed, I think to myself just how awesome the one Dan Hamhuis signed (6 years, $27 milliion) with the Canucks back on July 1st, 2010 is.
Read on past the jump for more on just how much value Hamhuis' contract provides.
July 29 2013 02:59PM
I have no doubts that Brendan Gaunce and Bo Horvat will eventually be the Tag Team Champions of the world, so the picture above comes without pause. I tried to somehow pun their names into a Franklin & Bash photo, but that didn't work either. Instead, that's "Bo Dallas" in his wrestling underwear. Sorry.
Anyway, Gaunce and Horvat will be getting a big chance to impress in early August, as both have been named to Team Canada's World Junior Development Camp roster. Horvat was named before the draft (the London Knights pimped it here) and Gaunce's addition was announced per a team press release in late June. Hunter Shinkaruk will also be attending. These items have been a bit under the radar but with the camp starting soon it's worth talking about.
July 29 2013 01:40PM
Back on May 16 during the World Hockey Championships, Alex Edler hammered Eric Staal with a brutal looking knee-on-knee hit. On the 17th, the IIHF handed down an open-ended suspension, one that was to be for the remainder of the tournament and...ellipses. There was no closing date to his suspension.
Now that the NHL and IOC have an agreement in place for NHL players to participate in the 2014 Sochi Games, the situation needs to be sorted out. That's why Edler recently had a hearing with the IIHF Disciplinary Committee, one that doesn't seem to have gone well for the 6'3" lefty.
July 26 2013 12:22PM
If they weren't comfortable with travel by now, they will be after this season.
Image via Canucks.com [Jeff Vinnick].
The Vancouver Canucks have been enjoying the perks of being in possession of the NHL's golden ticket over the past four seasons. No, I'm not talking about the one that gets them into to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory (although now that I give it some thought, I'm sure they all wouldn't have minded if that were the case). I'm actually referring to the one that had them situated in the deplorable Northwest Division, which had them facing cake competition on many a night.
That all changed once the league decided to implement its divisional realignment, which will be in place until at least 2016 (hey, maybe there is some credence to the theory that the league really does hate the Canucks?). The NHL released its schedule roughly two weeks ago, and we took a look at some of the more notable dates on the docket. We also went through a rudimentary breakdown of the new format, which has the Canucks in the revamped Pacific Division (which now features the Ducks, Kings, Sharks, Coyotes, Flames, Oilers).
I've decided that now would be as good a time as any to take a closer look at some of the quirks of the schedule, and what it has in store for the Canucks. What's in store for them?
Read on past the jump for some thoughts on the schedule.
July 26 2013 10:17AM
There aren't very many ways that this Roberto Luongo saga can end. For the second consecutive year, questions surrounding Roberto's future will be the centre of discussion at Canucks training camp, but for now, it appears he'll be there.
Turns out, Luongo won't go the "walk away from the team and have my contract voided and lose the remaining $40-million on my deal" route. New agent Pat Brisson yesterday confirmed that Luongo would at least be at camp, and for the foreseeable future, Luongo is the Vancouver Canucks' starting goalie.