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Photo Credit: Image: NHL.com

State of the Blog

With J.D. Burke stepping down as managing editor of Canucks Army, I am honoured to take on the title.

J.D. did tireless work that made every one of the writers lives easier and I hope to provide the same level of support and work ethic that he showed every day.

With the holiday weekend in the rear-view mirror, figured it was a chance to have a post about where we stand as a blog and what you might be able to expect going forward.

Current Writers

Really excited to have the writers that we have. Cory Hergott (aka Comets Cory) has been killing it with his coverage of the Utica Comets. Harman Dayal has been doing really extensive and through work at a variety of angles. Jeremy Davis provides countless hours of work behind the scene that makes every one of us look better.  Janik Beichler provides some really interesting video analysis pieces that take hours to complete. Jason Hamilton did a fantastic job on the post-game reports to close out the year and Cat Silverman is a huge help in pinch-hitting when we are stuck. Lastly, Petbugs will continue to do his thing.

Jackson McDonald will continue to be doing the Monday Mailbag, WWYDW, and other features – along with adding the analysis work that he has been doing. Jackson will be assuming the role of associate editor for Canucks Army and will be expanding his footprint in assisting me.

It was not announced here but Vanessa Jang did mention on twitter that July 2018 was her last month with Canucks Army. She is a huge loss in terms of content and social media. Really excited to see what the future holds for her.

My goal with all of the above writers is to help them take steps forward and allow them to spread their wings. They form a fantastic base of content with a variety of angles.

Future Writers

Since taking over, I’ve already received a few inquiries about joining Canucks Army.

There has obviously been some criticism about missed content over the last year. Our goal is to cover everything but it is important to remember that this is a hobby for many of us. Some of us have young families, some have school, and others are just hobby writers for fun. Please keep that in mind going forward when asking for content and be aware that our goal is to provide in depth analysis that isn’t available anywhere else in the Canucks blogosphere.

We will continue to look to add voices to fill in the gaps in coverage. Someone who can do post-game reports and analytical based posts will be the main targets.

If you are at all interested in being a contributor to CanucksArmy, you can reach out to me at ryanbiech@hotmail.com

From Me

When I first started blogging, Canucks Army was the premiere blog to write in Vancouver.

I originally applied to write here, with zero background, and was ‘cut from camp’. It was disheartening at the time, but Thomas Drance told me to get writing, improve it, and one day there should be a chance. Less than 18 months later, he reached out to me and added me. Never would’ve thought that I would be in charge of the site in the future. Given some of the names that have run the blog, there are huge shoes to fill.

Many of you know that writing isn’t the strongest part to my analysis – I struggle with the grammar side of it. So although there will be some editing required for this role, there will be others that will be assisting me in this aspect and working hard to improve it on my own.

Think of me as the manager of the site. Directing the ship towards being the premiere analytical blog that Canucks Army is known for.

As for content from me, my goal has been to take the step into the hockey side of the business (instead of the media side) – so expect a lot of articles from me with that endgame in mind. More long-form pieces with a variety of angles that may not be specific to the Canucks and that includes scouting reports of the various 2019 Draft eligible prospects.

I will work tirelessly every day to listen to every concern and try my best to fix them. Some are not possible, some I will disagree with, but I will make sure to listen to all feedback. If you have a concern, my email is provided above.


The Canucks season is just over a month away and it should be an interesting season.

I will be taking this time before the season kicks off to talk with the current writers, find new ones to add, and to work out the best possible plan for next season.

  • Sandpaper

    Thanks Ryan and good luck with the new position.
    A couple suggestions, if I may, an edit button for the site would be appreciated and the commentor, The Real PB, would be a nice addition to your team.

          • truthseeker

            Personally you can count me as someone who doesn’t want an edit button. I like the fact that what people say is here for good and they can’t go back and change what they say if they get caught out.

            The odd grammar/spelling etc…mistakes can simply be corrected via an add on post.

            Status Quo for me.

          • Chris the Curmudgeon

            I have always thought there should be a statute of limitations on an edit button. As in, you can edit something for the first 15 minutes after posting, in case you hit submit by mistake or find an obvious typo or double post or something, but then after that your post stands and you can’t go back and alter it if it’s full of idiocy. That’s a tall order though.

            Otherwise, good luck with the promotion, and sad to hear that Vanessa is gone. Maybe you can all dig into your massive production budget to get Corey a few trips out to Utica to catch some live games there too: the guy does yeoman’s work on a hard portfolio and I’m sure would really love the chance to scout his charges in person…what do you say?

          • Canuck4Life20

            Sometimes when I’m using my phone the comments post automatically before I am finished. Then when you can’t go back and edit them you look rather dumb.

      • DJ_44

        We need an edit button, but it should be available for 10 minutes after posting then disabled (common feature). This allows for annoying spelling and grammatically corrections, but does not allow alterations of opinions well after the fact.

        Nevermind….what Chris said.

        • liqueur des fenetres

          You can’t take the 20 seconds needed to proofread a post yet expect 30+ people to waste 20+ seconds trying to decipher your pearls of wisdom. Btw, the you and your here are not referring specifically to you, but to the cabal that has cumulatively spent exponentially more time complaining about the lack of an edit button on this free site, than proofreading what they have written.

  • Defenceman Factory

    Thank you for this update Ryan. I know I speak for most regular readers of the site when I say your work here is appreciated and we look forward to your leadership of the site.

    Two requests; Everyone loves the Blackfish, please keep it going. Also please be vigilant on moderation of the comments section. There are a small number of people who only post to insult and incite. Clarity of what CA considers trolling and quickly removing offending comments is appreciated as is dealing with those who post under multiple user ids.

  • Gampbler

    Good luck Ryan and the rest of the team! I truly appreciate the effort of all of you whether I agree or not on each article. I do look forward to checking it on a daily basis, so keep up the great work.

  • BJPeters02

    Look forward to seeing where to steer the ship Ryan! You’ll be great and have a great team to be working with.

    RealPB does have good posts so he would be a good addition if he/she is willing.

  • Dirty30

    Definitely disappointed to see Vanessa go — she brought a unique and refreshing take to Canucks coverage.

    Would definitely welcome contributions from therealpb— good writer with good insight.

    Edit button — there must be something!

    Trolls — yes, traffic impresses the advertisers, but other CA sites don’t tolerate it so why particularly does this one?

    This is one of the best Canucjs sites out there — paywall or not — but the trolls detract more than anything else.

    • Dahlenfan

      I was disappointed to hear vanessa Jang has left. She reported. There wasnt bias or opinion. I liked her articles because it was what a good reporter does. List the facts and let the reading discern what they think. Not be told what to think. I’m a huge canuck fan and read every article I can find on the canucks. Most are have a negative feel to them but at our present state of things the canucks are a mess. I am in the thinking that a gm isn’t really able to be judged till 5-7yrs later. It takes a long time for the vision to show its self. I’m just glad that jd left. I had a hard time reading his articles because of the clear bias he has. Botchford is a negative guy but you can tell he wants what is best for the Canucks. Jd just wants to throw shade. He is the only person here that I disliked. I’m sure he did a lot of work for this blog. I’m sure he did a great job. He has a lot of respect for him from his peers. Just because gretzky was a great player doesn’t mean he was a good coach. Obviously he wasnt. Just as jd is probably a great behind the scenes guy. Stay behind the scenes and stop spewing your bias opinion. We want our opinion. Not yours. Keep to the facts.i think Ryan is going to do a great job at both aspects of this job

      • LorneM

        It is a blog! If you don’t want opinions then just watch the game and find the mindless facts for yourself. Reading an article with an opinion is way more entertaining (regardless if I agree or disagree with the opinion) then just a mindless wall of facts

        • Dahlenfan

          All I meant was he has a clear hate on for the canucks. Too much so to give an unbiased article. People are allowed their opinion. But he clearly was not a canuck fan. Doesn’t care if they do well or not.
          Botchford is seen in the same light as JD. Big difference between the two is botchford actually cares about the Canucks and is making constructive criticism. JD doesn’t give a crap and spews the same things over again. I’m not trying to go on a I hate JD tangent because it’s not what it’s about. It’s called fair reporting. I don’t want cheerleading drivel and I don’t want hate on the team reporting either. Somewhere in the middle. Jackson Macdonald says things about the Canucks too. So do others but its constructive criticsm

          • LorneM

            Alright fair enough. I still don’t agree that JD was as overly negative as you seem to think, but I’m glad you cleared up what you meant. The line “we want our opinion” made me think you just didn’t care for opinions in articles at all.
            I think we can all agree that constructive criticism is good, but I always felt that JD did offer constructive criticism (just was bordering on rather harsh a lot of the time). Also to say that JD didn’t give a crap is a harsh conclusion. To run a free blog for so long and pump out so many articles showed that he did certainly give a crap.

          • Dahlenfan

            That line about our opinion came out wrong. Should have re-read my post. I’m coming across as anti JD. So I’ll just finish with this thought. I’m sure he did a good job behind the scenes. I’m sure he gives a little turd. Like one you squeeze out after eating too much bacon. But to not have to listen to the constant stutter guddy and others bashing I will be happy. I wasnt happy about those pick ups either. But the canucks aren’t in the mess they are in because of those players. I could tolerate JD and he could be informative. But here is an analogy. If you have a coworker that constantly complains and you have to put up with it. You aren’t happy necessarily happy when they leave but you are glad you don’t have to TOLERATE it anymore. I have no more to say bout JD. Wish him the best of luck

  • Kanucked

    Ryan always appreciate your contributions to the blog (along with all the other writers whether I agree with them or not).

    Aside from your insights, what I like most about your style is that is very straight forward and your analysis is transparent. There isn’t a hidden agenda.

    I appreciate this approach.

  • “JD did tireless work…” I had no idea he did that

    Sorry to see Vanesa leave. Good luck girl.

    Canucks Army should be about the Vancouver Canucks.
    Look at what Oilersnation has done over the last number of years covering the Edmonton Oilers. Good job to the guys there. Can’t say the same for CanucksArmy.
    Writing 100 articles covering 100 draftees, is something you enjoy, but should be posted under the nation network and shouldn’t interfere with important Canuck events. Don’t use family as an excuse and don’t say it’s a hobby, making it ok to do a poor job. Think about your audience.

      • Canuck4Life20

        Is that a serious question? You missed multiple post-game write-ups. You had no post-season wrap-up of any kind (except for an excellent in-depth review of the Comets). There has been a half-hearted effort at getting player reviews out but you are still working on them. There was minimal coverage of the actual draft other than posting some quick prospect profiles that had previously been written about the players, some of the content from writers on other sites. You had trouble completing your ‘mid-season prospect profiles’. But we always had a weekly mailbag with plenty of ‘I have no clue’, ‘Sorry, but I just don’t have access to that type of information’, and the always brilliant insight ‘I’m a strong believer in always taking the best player available’. Please compare the number of article about the Canucks posted on this website to the number of articles about the Oilers and Flames on their respective sites and don’t even try and tell me that it has been close over the past year. Some of us come here to read about the Canucks and could care less about your 93rd ranked prospect profile.

        Sorry to be harsh, I know you guys work hard on that stuff and enjoy it, but I skipped over most of those articles. I agree with what sandpaper says below about prioritizing family too. There is a limited amount of time when you have a young family, so you need to make the most out of the time that you do have. I think that you would be hard pressed to argue that you are using that time to produce content that the average reader on this site is looking for.

        • Defenceman Factory

          I’d like to put a bit of a different spin on the concerns you have raised. The readership here would like more content. We see the level on the Oiler and Flames sites and are a bit envious. This is in no way intended to criticize the work ethic or priorities of the writers but the Alberta sites do seem to have more contributors and more substantive articles. WWYDW and Monday Mailbag are great features but yes a bit fluffy. I don’t see this as either/or but rather a desire for more. Not posting on every minor development with the team isn’t the issue although it struck me as funny how angry JD got about the feigned outrage over not covering last years development camp. There was a genuine desire by readership for a CA take on that development camp although some that raised it were downright rude.

          All that said we all realize this is a free site and we appreciate what we get here. Readership wanting more is an indication of the quality of the site much more than a critique of its writers. Unfortunately not everyone is diplomatic in providing their concerns.

    • Sandpaper

      Backup Bob, I usually agree with your thoughts, but, totally disagree with your thoughts about making excuses.
      Anyones family should be the most important part of life, not writing about a Troy Stecher signing, because you/others need to read about it here.
      The man and his family were on vacation, let it rest.

    • LorneM

      It is a free blog so what gives you the right to dictate what they can and can’t use as an excuse. And they haven’t missed anything canucks related except for a couple of post game recaps as far as I can remember.
      I seriously don’t understand how you Canucks Army writers keep doing this job when the majority of the commenters are just so negative all the time. I’ve thought they’ve done an amazing job covering the Canucks since 2013 (when I started reading) and I look forward to more of the same.

      • Canuck4Life20

        Please see my response above. If you think that the content on this site is anywhere near what it was 5 years ago I’m just not sure what you were looking at back then. The negative writing on this site is what garners the negative responses from the readers in my opinion.

    • DogBreath

      C’mon this group is volunteers. Hopefully we all prioritize family over CanucksArmy (but use it as an escape). I can’t imagine giving the time to pull one of these articles together with regularity and balance family at the same timeline. Good on all of you who do it. And thank you.

    • Rodeobill

      Explaining to an audience that writers are real people with complex lives and situations is fine, everyone deserves some sympathy.

      Being a professional is about something different, and excuses should not enter the equation. If you do not see this as a career, and it is a hobby, then no big deal, let people lash out in the comments section, but making excuses can be a slippery slope, especially if they creep into the part of your subconscious that informs your choices (well I can just use this as a good reason for why I didn’t act professionally). This is really weird to communicate, and I mean it in the most benign way, but my humble suggestion to writers of this site is don’t make excuses if you take this job as a serious thing and professionally (I would if I was you, many of the writers here are good and deserving of that). If things happen, and people are unhappy, let them be, accept it, and do better if you can. Providing context for events is one thing, making excuses looks unprofessional and furthers things in that light. II kinda think that’s what Backup bob was maybe getting at.

      Also, I’ve never seen a problem with your writing Ryan, furthermore the tone of your articles is intelligent and written with balance and integrity, I know some people really are sticklers for Grammar, but I think the message is much more what I care about.

  • TheRealPB

    Good luck in the new gig — it really is still the main place to go for a Canucks-related discussion online. Totally agree on Blackfish and I love Cory’s columns on the Comets; the AHL is such a different beast and it helps to have a closer look at how our prospects are doing. If there’s a way to get any guest columns on prospects in the NCAA, juniors or Europe that would be great too (deeper dives focusing on a particular player if possible). That might be too much of a reach but something to consider.

      • TheRealPB

        That’s very kind, though I’m fairly middling at my day job and not sure I’d be much better at adding some real content to this site. Unless they want me to write an ode to my all-time favorite Canuck, Thomas Gradin, I’d do that in a heartbeat, even though I know there were better players than him, but it’s his play that made me fall in love with hockey to begin with.

    • Reid755

      Hey Ryan, if TheRealPB wants to write an ode to Thomas Gradin, why don’t you invite him to do so? It would be a good way for him to get his feet wet (so to speak) and I’m sure many of us would enjoy reading it.

      Heck, if others wanted to write similar pieces about their favourite players (past or present), it could add to the variety of content on this site.

      These pieces could be posted on a ‘slow news day’, when there’s a lack of current topics to cover.

      Anyways, just a thought. 🙂

      • PQW

        So we have an unknown newbie pitching a self righteous blowhard like realpb to the staff here now? NO THANKS, the site is just fine without muppets like PB getting in on the act boring us to death ffs.

        I personally want to see more content from cutting edge writers like Jackson, petbugs and Jeremy D who keep you no-lifers (posting here ALL SUMMER?!) honest and in check. CA cannot let the lunatics run the asylum and thankfully they won’t! #nofreeloaders #keepitreal #backinyourbaskets #petbugsrules #offseasongetalife

        • Locust

          “CA cannot let the lunatics run the asylum” – that is truly funny coming from you – not that you’d get that.
          #littlemansyndrome #sponsoredtroll #bandcamper #dicklesstroll

          • PQW

            Still angry and humiliated after I outted you as the ONLY posters to use the same lame retorts i see…keep sucking on the sour grapes no-lifer….
            “with his douchebaggery.” – Bud Poile
            “Second paragraph douchebaggery” – Locust

            “Somebody needs a snickers” – Locust
            “Speaking of bums – where’s my Snickers bar?” – Bud Poile

            Whoopsss – Nextttttttttttttt

          • Canuck4Life20

            Brilliant detective work skipper. Some hashtags would have really got your point across though. You should compare JD Burke and the completely unrelated poster freud next.

          • Defenceman Factory

            PQW you are recognized for your douchbaggery by every reader of this site. I give Locust credit for coming up for a term that describes some of the snide, unfounded snipes needlessly included in otherwise reasonable articles and also a term perfectly befitting of your persona.

          • Locust

            PQW – So if I get this right, two posters using the same two words is somehow being outed…?
            Boy are your parents in for a surprise…..
            #nomorecloset #lonelyboy #morecowbell

        • crofton

          Funny how you trash people for disagreeing with JD or JM or whomever, but you’re so against an opinion that is contrary to yours that you don’t even want him to have the opportunity to write it. Hypocrisy at it’s finest

  • TD

    Congratulations Ryan, I think many of us were very happy to hear you are the new managing editor. I have thoroughly enjoyed your articles, especially the Blackfish report. I respect how you can be critical without being negative.