Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: May Long Weekend!

article_c6da0aef-04b9-440b-bb80-4996d443015e

It may be the May long weekend, but Canucks Army never sleeps, cause sleep is the cousin of death. Which is to say that we don’t take this Victoria Day thing overly seriously, and are still hard at work.

It’s the season of prospect profiles and year-end pieces for each individual player on the Canucks roster. A good time to be alive, indeed. Next up are free agent profiles, but I don’t want to tip my hand too much. Suffice to say, there’s even more great hashtag content on the way.

For now, though, I’ve a bevvy of Canucks related (and not Canucks related, frankly) questions to answer on the other side of the jump. 

In retrospect, I feel as though everyone has done a grave disservice to Dineen by ranking him well outside the first round. Alex Wheeler of Jets Nation did an excellent job profiling the undersized, yet highly productive defender for the North Bay Battalion and therein showcased his pGPS of 50% and pGPS P/GP of 0.35. That said, the sample set is 14 players — not overly conclusive.

Honestly, Brennen, I think there very definitely is a strong case for Dineen as a first round selection. Especially in a world where Logan Stanley and Dennis Cholowski are getting serious consideration for that distinction. I had Dineen 47th, but that ranking seems ridiculous now and is subject to change between now and the draft. 

Usually “stay-at-home defender” and “defensive defenceman” is code for bad at hockey. At least in the scope that the mainstream media often invokes that label — Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Luca Sbisa, Clayton Stoner, etc.

The beauty of Chris Tanev is that he genuinely is an exception to that rule. One of the best metrics to adjudge a defender’s ability is Fenwick — or unblocked shot attempts. Look at this handy graph from www.stats.hockeyanalysis.com and you’ll find Tanev as the league leader (by a sizeable margin) for aiding in his teammate’s ability to suppress unblocked shot attempts.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 11.05.51 AM

I don’t know if Tanev is the best defensive defenceman in the league — frankly, if pressed I would side with Hampus Lindholm — but he’s certainly in the argument among the top five.

Yes, and it’s a member of the percussion family.

All that I ever ask of the Monday Mailbag questions is that they don’t get too personal. This one is borderline. I’ll do my best to serve this question justice all the same.

They are both bae. Of this much, there is no debate. Pressed, as I am now, I would choose David Schlemko as the preferable option — sorry, Andrei Loktionov. They’re both excellent depth pieces in their own right, but Schlemko is still in the NHL. That was the deal breaker.

via GIPHY

It has to be the perfect mix of excellent luck on the home front and anything but on the other six within their division. Which is to say that a full season from Brandon Sutter, Alex Edler and Henrik Sedin would go a long way towards giving the Canucks a fighting chance.

The real lynchpin, though, is Anton Rodin. The Sedins can produce first line offence and this team really isn’t that much closer to the playoffs unless they have quality depth scoring behind them. If Rodin can shatter expectations, then the Canucks have the faintest chance. 

Is all of the above an acceptable answer? Really, the Canucks should just avoid the premier names in free agency no matter their stripes. Of the three, I’m most concerned with Milan Lucic. There’s a player already in decline and on the wrong side of the ageing curve. Also, some of the work done by MoneyPuck on www.Hockey-Graphs.com indicates his type of player deteriorates very quickly into their mid and late thirties. 

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekkalainen is wholly incompetent, but expecting him to trade away the selection to Jesse Puljujarvi seems absurd. I very much doubt that the Canucks can make an offer even worth their time reviewing. 

  • I think things might be getting a tad ridiculous when we start talking about 27-year-old players as over the hill. That said, unless the Canucks can get Lucic at a major home town discount, they should steer clear.

    The biggest problem with the Canucks last year, I think, was defensive depth. The offense dried up because they were hemmed in their own zone and with Edler, Tanev and Hamhuis all missing significant time, had no one to get the puck up the ice. Edler, Tanev, and Hutton are all solid bets for next year but everyone behind those players are huge question marks (or just not very good). If the team wants to make a serious push to the playoffs sooner rather than later, they need to bring in another top-4 defenceman and either a dependable depth option or hope that Tryamkin, Pedan, Subban, or another player in the organization steps up.

    • According to the best definition I cold find on Urban Dictionary:

      “Bæ/bae is a Danish word for poop. Also used by people on the internet who think it means baby, sweetie etc.
      Bae I love u so much

      Brian, my bae

      I just made a bæ”

      For what it’s worth, it appears to signify ‘before all others’.

      #becauseweareold

  • Mattchu

    Jarmo Kekkalainen may or may not be wholly incompetent, but Friedge did throw out that he might be willing to shop #3 in his quest to replace Johansen. Elliotte generally does not blow smoke, so I’m pretty sure that someone had a conversation somewhere with CBJ about swapping #3 for a 1C/potential 1C. As long as it doesn’t end up killing our C depth, I don’t see the harm in pursuing the possibility.

    • Andy

      We’re unfortunately in the same boat of needs for a 1C. The only way I suspect it works is if we somehow get EDM’s #4, and then offer to swap so they can draft Dubois and we can take Puljujärvi…

      collue me extremely doubtful.

  • Mattchu

    Tanev is #1 Fenwick… maybe suggest value of the statistic?

    Shea Weber is 110

    Big Buff 119

    Bouwmeester 189

    Brett Burns 182

    Vancouver ex-Canuck Garrison 121 (OT winner saturday)

    Mitchell Girardi last 197&198

    Canucks Weber 58 Hamhuis 54

    Looks like maybe a bad thing?!

    • Mattchu

      No. He’s #1 in shot suppression relative to his team based on fenwick events. That’s what that graph is showing. Also, the discussion wasn’t about best overall defenseman but defensive defenseman.