Reason for pessimism, reason for optimism

canucks nhl versus ahl affiliate

The above chart is inspired by a tweet from JapersRink. So what the heck is going on here?

First off, between 2006 and 2009, the Manitoba Moose had a pretty good record, better than the Canucks in 3 of 4 years and only slightly worse in that 2006-2007 campaign.

Notable (young) Moose back then included:

  • Alexander Edler
  • Mike Brown
  • Nathan McIver
  • Jannik Hansen
  • Mason Raymond
  • Michael Grabner
  • Alex Bolduc
  • Rick Rypien
  • Cory Schneider

Many of those players were on the Canucks during their three dominant NHL years of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Perhaps not key players, but they were good supporting pieces. Schneider only took over as starter in 2008-09.

At Oilers Nation, Jonathan Willis has found a pretty strong correlation between an AHL team’s success and an NHL team’s success three years down the line. The Canucks and their affiliates have seemed to support that trend: While the NHL Canucks were successful in the early 2010s, their affiliate was not. Part of that has to be because outside circumstances meant the Canucks had to break the link to their longtime AHL affiliate Manitoba, but a bigger part of it is that the Canucks have drafted poorly over the last few (many) years.

Since the start of the lockout-shortened season, the Canucks have 497 man-games (out of a possible 2340) played by players below the age of 25. Only 96 of those have been played by Canucks draft picks: Jordan Schroeder, Nicklas Jensen, Frank Corrado, and Yann Sauve.

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canucks under 24

Sure, the Moose between 2006 and 2009 didn’t produce notable NHL stars, but they plugged a few holes on defence and the third line, even if their key players and scorers were AHL veterans like Lee Goren and Jason Jaffray.

So it remains concerning that not only did the Canucks have a poor season this year, but so did the Utica Comets. That being said, a prospect system is easy to build up, taking one or two drafts, and the Canucks had a pretty good one in 2013. They’ll graduate Hunter Shinkaruk out of it to the pro system next year, and he’ll join Dane Fox and Brendan Gaunce. Gaunce, taken in 2012, could join Ben Hutton in marking a better-than-expected draft class in 2012, as Hutton led Hockey East in defensive scoring as a sophomore, which seems notable.

I continue my comparison between the 2014 Vancouver Canucks, a team whose unlucky powerplay and below-average PDO contributed to an otherwise good roster missing the playoffs, to the 2012 Montreal Canadiens. The 2012 Hamilton Bulldogs were also a pretty lousy team, finishing 34-35-7 and missing the playoffs. On that team, only Louis Leblanc and Gabriel Dumont played any games for the 2014 Montreal Canadiens, a team that looks poised to sweep a good Lightning team out of Round 1 of the playoffs and doing so with four players 24 or younger: Lars Eller, PK Subban, Brendan Gallagher, and Michael Bournival.

Connection? Sure… why not? After all, all the Canucks have to do is trade their young, exciting goaltender for a 20-year-old leading scorer of an AHL team (whoops), develop a 6-foot-200-pound-plus defenceman into an NHL regular before his 21st birthday (nope), hit on a young scoring forward with a late round draft pick (lol) and give more minutes than deserved to a player based on his birth certificate (easy).

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NOTE: I really don’t know anything about the AHL other than what the data tells me. It is terrifically boring, low-scoring hockey.

  • The Benevolent Orca



    I’m pleased to announce that the Montreal Canadiens have beaten the Tampa Bay Lightning in a series sweep.

    Eat and drink it up my fellow Canadian hockey fans because you never know when the master is going to throw crumbs from the table again.

    Laugh Out Loud.

    Yours truly and sincerely, G.B.B.

  • The Benevolent Orca

    – the call on ot against tampa explains why the league has no credibility

    – worst is kerry rugs fraser on tsn defending that and every call. slimy little moth piece for the big wigs in the league

    – the refs are now no better than a monkey circus, shoe shiners of the owners, only there ad extra weight of the grand scheme

    – canucks fans are not far off about the refs, the vermin was always coli campbell and his cronies

    – nothing more than quick rich scheme made in the usa.

    – no sense in going to the contest when the winner is already decided.

    – montreal may make it to finals but they will not win the cup

    – operation hook line and stinker

    • The Benevolent Orca

      That’s the nhl for you. Karma does reach some teams though, LA is down 3-0 to the Sharks. Jonathan Quick’s arrogance and the LA fans
      ” you’re welcome” tweet to the Canucks is karma at its finest. LA has a good team but this year they can’t rely on the Canucks for one round, and they are finding out that it’s alot harder to face real opponents for a change.

      The Hawks will be wiped out cause the pied piper has come to collect for all their cheap shots they’ve given out over the years.

      Boston will not win the cup this year and that will be the best gift any Canucks fan this year can have. Cheap shot teams like Boston will be relegated back to their chokey former selves sooner or later

      Look for the Kings or the Hawks to cut some costs should they lose the first round this year, which could mean a less competitive team the next year.

      In other words, they may pull off a ” Gillis”.

      Boston my even Gillis their team if they don’t win the cup this year.

        • Mantastic

          Then tell me how you are enjoying the Canucks, the Oilers, the Flames and the Jets in the playoffs this year, smart ass?

          Do yourself a favor and open your wallet for the owners again, that’s all you’re good for.

          • Mantastic

            the Canucks, Oilers, Flames and Jets are bad teams that don’t deserve being in the playoffs this year and I’m fine with that, I’ll enjoy the other great playoff series.

            you on the otherhand complaining about karma this and that, should probably take your head out of your ass. Kings won the cup that year during that tweet, Hawks won again last year. yeah Karma got them good!

          • Mantastic

            Karma can happen at anytime dim wit.

            And speaking of karma, 44 years and no cup. that’s karma gift wrapped for you.

            Speaking of head in asses… do you still believe the Sedins will bring you the cup?

            Think about it before you answer and karma has to come and teach you a 45th lesson.

  • The Benevolent Orca

    True reason for optimism is the Sharks vs Kings series. One team got better just by hiring the right coach for its players, and the other got younger on the fly.

    Ohh wait they are both in our division!

    • Mantastic

      Oh please the coach is just one piece of the puzzle. The Canucks still haven’t been able to evaluate their own talent or there lack of.

      Try pointing your finger at the group, then you will be getting closer to the real problem.

  • Mantastic

    Question out there and keep it in the realm of the possible…. Please Oiler trolls!

    Since Tanev is the only substantial Dman without a no trade clause, would anyone consider trading him for an Evander Kane?

    I’m pro because is set to become a steady puck mover with a right hand shot that can actually hit the net. Kane would bring youth and power that could be paired with Kassian/Jensen that could change the dynamic of the team.

    Against Tanev may become as good a defensive Dman there is and Kane could be another Kassianish headache??

    Truth is we would love to unload Edler/Garrison Ect but they won’t approve a trade to the Winnipeg with a non playoff team.

    Have to give something to get something!

    • Mantastic

      Tanev straight up for Kane? Not a chance, not even close. To land Kane we would have to actually give up what was rumored to be asked for Kesler (i.e. good roster player, blue chip prospect, and a top draft pick). If it included Tanev you are likely looking at Horvat and next year’s first or Gaunce and this year’s first to land Kane. Young power forward with 200 points already in the NHL — but frankly I don’t think there’s any way we have the pieces to land him. If he’s on the open market there are teams with better assets to land him.

      I am, however, loving Almaric’s poorly written conspiracy theories. I’ve always been suspicious of slimy moth pieces. Damned untrustworthy insects…

      • Mantastic

        I don’t think we should part with what they’re asking for Kane. We don’t have much depth in the system as it is. Also, I don’t want Kane’s crap attitude out here. That malcontent can stay out in Winterpeg.

        I am all for dealing our vets for multiple young pieces. Kes should get us a solid return. Edler may get us some nice prospects. Higgins and Hansen are nice complimentary pieces and could be packaged up to land us a solid player or prospects. I’d see what Tanev could get us.

        Time to dump the core…or as much of it as we can.

        • Mantastic

          I agree that the asking price is likely going to be too high and the impact on our system as a whole (thin as it is) too much. You can never tell whether it’s worth it or not — in some ways it’s similar to the Kessel deal in that he had a similar kind of points history as Kane at the point at which he was traded. Would TO rather have Seguin, Hamilton and Knight than Kessel? Probably (though Boston probably wishes they still had Seguin too).

          BTW the “crap attitude/malcontent” bs about Kane is ridiculous. I hope those rumors get him out of that dumb situation with fans and coach.

      • Mantastic

        Sorry guys the words “Straight up” were never mentioned. My point is that Kane would be the center piece and Tanev would be the piece that Winnipeg would want. Winnipeg’s payroll is just above the ceiling……

        I don’t think a Blue chip prospect would have to go, but Hansen and a pick.

    • Mantastic

      If you go around the league and ask the all the fans and players about Tanev the first thing they will say is…WHO?

      You Cliff Clavens and mouthpieces for the Canucks are hilarious.

      And no, the Jets will not give you cain for…TANEV? WHO THE F%^K is TANEV?

  • Mantastic

    You Canuck fans sound like the losers who are never satisfied with their own girl so they have to pick up every other guy’s girl.

    If you rubes hadn’t sat around and supported Gillis all those years maybe you would have had a better team and you wouldn’t have to look elsewhere.

    Good luck trying to get someone to swap their Audi for your Feistas.

  • Mantastic

    Gawd I haven’t watched playoff in years and the first time I tune in I find the game and the program have gone to boring as hell. Glen Healy and Ray Feraro? Those two boneheads are now on TV? When former bench warmers are now on TV trying to sell the game, you know you’re in trouble.

    Healy sounds like he hates his job and that he’s got an axe to grind with everyone while Ferraro will do and say anything for any sort of rating.

    Bush Tools. What the NHL needs to further promote the game. The Milbury Boston bush factor.
    NHL, the world’s most corrupt boring game on earth.