Canucks Army Presents: The Top Articles of 2015


As the clock inches closer to midnight, we begin to bid farewell to a very interesting year for the Vancouver Canucks, and for Canucks Army. The team has left some angry, some sad, and nearly everybody a wonderful blend of insane and confused. Meanwhile, on our humble abode, we’ve lost some of our best staff to greener pastures and added a new wave of bright, creative talents to further cement CA s one of the premier sources of hockey information, not just in Vancouver, but in the world. We’ve had hundreds of great pieces hit the digital press over the last year, but here are the ten that were seen by the most eyeballs.

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10. Psychic or Voodoo: Why aren’t Jim Benning’s trades coming back to bite him?

“That being said, though, the 2015-16 has begun in a pretty amusing manner in terms of the choices that Benning has made. It should definitely be notable that not a single player that Benning has relinquished has come back to bite him yet. Things may be different in a couple of months, but for now we can speculate whether Benning is psychic or if he’s been using some dark magic to hinder his former players.” – Jeremy Davis

9. The top 10 best Kevin Bieksa moments from his Canucks career

“Kevin Bieksa isn’t as serviceable as he once was, but he will be missed by many Canucks fans. Bieksa competed hard every night, brought entertainment, and played some awesome hockey, which meant a lot to Canucks fans throughout the last decade. Really, the only thing that Bieksa didn’t give to Canucks fans was a legitimate explanation for the Juice nickname. ” – Grainne Downey

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8. Draft Theory: On Risk and Reward

“Through the use of PCS% and PCS Pts/GM we can estimate both the risk, relative to draft position, and reward, relative to the player’s closest peers who have come before them. By definition, replacement level players are easy to find through free agency or the waiver wire, so it really makes little sense to use valuable assets on players with replacement level upside.” – Money Puck

7. A look at Cole Cassels’ Monster Season

“Most players that accomplish what Cassels did as a 17-year old don’t even grow into the two-way beast that Cassels is at 19, and it looks probable that the Canucks have a future NHLer on their hands. It’s a testament to how far Cassels has come since scoring just 3 goals as an OHL rookie, and a good sign for the future. Cassels will need to continue to improve and translate his game to the AHL next year if he is going to become an NHL regular, so he’s not out of the woods yet as far as development goes.” – Rhys Jessop

6. What do the Canucks have in Jordan Subban?

“All in all, Subban was an excellent value pick in the 4th round of 2013 because he represented a better than average chance at becoming an NHL asset relative to other players available at that time, and allowing him to walk after two more promising seasons would’ve been rather poor asset management. Subban is a very solid prospect with NHL upside that has continued to refine his game in the OHL, but he still has a ways to go before he’s an NHLer. He’ll likely join the Utica Comets next season and compete for ice time on a crowded right side, and if everything goes well, hopefully we’ll see Subban in the NHL sooner rather than later.” – Rhys Jessop

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5. Canucks Army Post Game: The End.

“This train of thought is bullshit. Blind support is nothing if not the single most vapid and superficial level of sports fandom, and if you’re reading this blog I assume you’re well beyond that point. If you get angry at the team, if you get sick when they lose, and if it genuinely bothers you to see them struggle, you’re a true fan. If you take the time to break down and analyze what every single microscopic transaction means for the team and it’s future, you’re a true fan. If you’re invested enough to take the time to read and share a 1,200 word article on Ashton freaking Sautner, you’re a true fan.” – Rhys Jessop

4. Laurence Gilman, Hockey Innovation, and the future of the Canucks’ front office

“Now we also know Gillis saw the writing on the wall two years ago, about the same time many of us began crying for a rebuild, but we know how that went. I think it’s safe to assume Gilman too saw the folly in the current plan, and his opposition to the recent moves led to his eventual exit. Sometimes being the voice of reason can be a pretty short-lived position.” – Money Puck

3. 5 Things: The Canucks’ summer isn’t going great

“Vancouver fans have plenty of reason to be pissed off at Jim Benning and Trevor Linden, the former of whom is still apparently learning on the job after all these years in the second position with Boston, and the latter seems like he was mainly hired because, hey, Everyone Likes Trevor Linden. The amount of goodwill he’s gone through in these first several months on the job, though, seems to be testing fans’ patience.” – Ryan Lambert

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2. First Look: Canucks pay too much for Brandon Sutter

“Hockey is a goal scoring contest. The guy who helps your team score the most goals, whether it’s through strong defense, potent offence, relentless physicality, or sublime skill, is the best player. Brandon Sutter, despite his strengths being things held in high regard by the greater hockey world, has not helped his team score the most goals in the past. Let’s just hope that Sutter’s impending contract extension is closer to $2 million in AAV rather than $5M.” – Rhys Jessop

1. Three Prospects the Canucks should avoid at the 2015 Entry Draft

“All in all, the Canucks have put themselves in a position where finding a future above-average NHLer will be difficult, even in this draft. Still, certain guys pose larger risks than others, and certain guys’ upsides probably aren’t as high as the eye test alone would seem to tell you. The Canucks may have legitimate interest in Bittner and/or Carlo, but there are compelling reasons for avoiding the two towering juniors.” – Rhys Jessop