Sedin Twins Power Sweden to World Championship Gold

Thomas Drance
May 19 2013 03:54PM

Henrik Sedin gives a post game interview after scoring two goals in a championship victory.
Image courtesy RadioSporten.

The Sedins were widely criticized for "no showing" in the NHL playoffs earlier this month, as the Vancouver Canucks were eliminated in short order at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. The criticism was a bit much, considering the failure of Vancouver's penalty-kill and the fact that the twins had a couple of really good games (games two and three) despite limited support from the rest of the Canucks lineup...

Following the inglorious playoff ouster, the Sedins joined team Sweden at the World Hockey Championships which were hosted in both Sweden and Finland this year (and last year too for that matter). In four games in the tournament the twins and linemate Loui Eriksson carried team Sweden offensively, giving the Tre Kronor a vicious, explosive power-play that powered the Swedes past Canada, Finland and Switzerland in the elimination rounds, and all the way to a gold medal victory on home soil. I suppose it's a nice way to cap off a disappointing - albeit quietly impressive season - on a winning note.

Read past the jump for more.

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Report: Alex Edler's Suspension for Staal Hit Could Extend into Sochi Games

Thomas Drance
May 18 2013 06:51PM

Alex Edler was functionally kicked out of the World Championship tournament for a brutal knee-on-knee hit on Canadian centre Eric Staal in the quarterfinal match between the Canadian team and the Tre Kronor on Thursday. Sweden won the game three-to-two in a shootout, and then defeated Finland's mens team on Saturday to advance to the finals.

On Saturday Eric Staal got some good medical news in that he won't require surgery, and is expected to be ready for the start of next season. Alex Edler, however, and perhaps deservedly, got some tough news on Saturday. The latest reports surfacing from Swedish media outlet Aftonbladet on Saturday afternoon suggest that Alex Edler's suspension may extend into the 2014 Olympic tournament in Sochi. National team manager Tommy Boutsedt even described Edler's punishment (via Google Translate) as "basically a lifetime ban."

Read past the jump.

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Bigger? Faster? Younger? Tougher? How About Better?

Jeff Angus
May 18 2013 01:01PM

There isn't one single way to win in the NHL. 

NHL teams often look to the recent Stanley Cup Champion(s) for some insight into how to construct a winning roster. The Washington Capitals went away from their successful run-and-gun strategy because a defensive Montreal team stymied them back in 2010. Washington finally found success again this season, largely because of a return to a more offensive brand of hockey.

After watching the Bruins and Kings steamroll their way to the Cup in 2011 and 2012, respectively, many teams (including the Canucks) have placed a mandate on getting bigger. With fewer infractions called in the postseason, bigger players are at more of an advantage. They can use their size to wear down smaller opposing players, and the speed factor isn’t as pronounced with an increase in obstruction.

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Chris Tanev's Next Contract

Thomas Drance
May 16 2013 12:08PM

Tanev must've forgot his cigarettes.
Photo by John Russell NHLI/Getty

With the salary cap declining for the first time ever the Vancouver Canucks are facing a pretty crunchy salary cap situation heading into this summer. A lot of Vancouver's flexibility here will be determined by a Roberto Luongo trade, and whether or not the Canucks can clear his deal off the books without retaining salary. For what it's worth, I think they probably can and worst case scenario they can place him on waivers where he'd probably be claimed. 

Assuming Luongo's salary is cleared and Keith Ballard is bought out, and I thought that was a foregone conclusion even before he didn't dress for a single game this postseason, the Canucks will have roughly 10.5 million left over to sign eight players (including one top-9 forward)*. That's not a lot of spare change.

(*) These figures are per capgeek and assume that Eddie Lack and Frank Corrado are on Vancouver's roster next season.

One situation that will be particularly fascinating to watch is the team's negotiations with restricted free-agent, fancy-stats darling and third-pairing defenceman Chris Tanev. Tanev isn't the type of player one typically associates with an exorbitant contract, but he may well have more leverage this summer than your typical restricted free-agent. We'll get into it after the jump.

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Big Changes Coming? Five Core Canucks Who Could Be Traded

Jeff Angus
May 16 2013 10:01AM

Last weekend, I shared some thoughts on the five most valuable Canucks. The list was met with some criticism (mostly – why did I even make it?), as many wondered the point to rank players that will likely never get traded.

First off – if Wayne Gretzky can get traded (sold), than any player can be moved. Who saw Philadelphia moving Jeff Carter and Mike Richards a few summers ago? 

And secondly, it is always good to do an evaluation of all players, from top to bottom. Dan Hamhuis doesn’t get the credit he deserves from Canucks fans for how good he is on a consistent basis, and Daniel and Henrik Sedin are still elite two-way forwards, even if their offensive production isn’t where it was a few years ago.

Anyway, today’s list looks at the five most valuable and tradable assets in the organization. Could the Canucks conceivably trade the Sedins? Sure, it could happen. But the odds of such a trade are very, very, very low.

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