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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Mailbag Part Two: Goldobin’s Next Contract, Josh Ho-Sang, and Duty Now For the Future

I think Sven Beartschi is a reasonable comparison to make. After a breakout season in 2015-16, Baertschi signed a two-year deal paying him 1.85 million per season. Goldobin is looking like he could be on his way to establishing a better track record at this stage of his career that Baertschi, but I still think a short-term deal somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2 million AAV is the most likely outcome. Ask me again when the season is over and my answer may be different.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really a catch-all single stat to measure player or team quality. At the team level, Corsi is the best indicator of which teams are playing the best two-way hockey, but since there’s more than one way to skin a cat, it’s not always predictive of team success. Expected goals are an interesting step in the right direction, but unfortunately the best model is no longer active and the models that are currently available in the public sphere have yet to prove they hold significant predictive value.

The best thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the strengths and weaknesses of things like shot shares (Corsi, Fenwick), rate stats (P/60, G/60, FA/60, etc.) and to do your best to keep up with the great work that’s being done tracking microstatistics by people like Corey Sznajder. Once you do that, then you can consider what a player is being asked to do, and use these statistics to consider whether or not they are playing well within their prescribed role. For example, in some instances, you may be better off judging a shutdown defender based on the rate of shots they’re conceding (FA/60) as opposed to the sum total of the shots being conceded and created when they’re on the ice (Corsi, Fenwick) in some instances. It’s also important to look at how players perform at different strengths. A player like Brandon Sutter, for instance, doesn’t always bring a lot of value at even strength, but helps his team on the penalty kill.

To learn more, a great place to start is Rob Vollman’s Stat Shot, which is billed as the ultimate guide to hockey analytics.

As far as bad statistics go, just don’t listen to anyone who’s trying to sell you on the importance of plus-minus or on-ice save percentage. They’re peddling snake oil.

Teams are moving away from the 2D formation and rightfully so, it’s proven to be less effective. You’re correct in pointing out that they allow too many scoring chances, though. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Canucks have the sixth-worst scoring chance-differential on the power play. That has a lot to do with how much time Derrick Pouliot, who has far and away the worst rate of scoring chances against on the power play among Canucks defenders, has spent manning the point. At this point, I’d say it’s Alex Edler’s job to lose. I wouldn’t mind seeing Troy Stecher get an opportunity, too. Either way, anyone who’s playing the point this season on the first unit is essentially keeping the spot warm until Quinn Hughes makes the team.

I highly doubt it. I’d imagine it’s going to take some serious injuries in the top six before we see Reid Boucher again. I also wouldn’t single out Eriksson or Granlund as the ones to go. For me, that conversation has to begin with Tim Schaller, who’s brought absolutely nothing to the Canucks lineup so far this season.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I think the Nylander contract is good news for the Canucks. I’ve heard 8 million dollars bandied about a lot over the last few months as a possible AAV figure for Boeser’s second contract, but now that a reasonably comparable player has signed for under 7 I don’t think that’s happening. In Pettersson’s case, I think it’s far too early to say. There’s a good chance by the end of this ELC he’s consider a cut above the other two.

The Jets are the more complete team at the current moment, but the Leafs are slightly better positioned long-term and play in an easier division. It’s a toss-up right now. I’ll give it to the Jets but that may not last long.

I’d be in favour of it, for the right price of course. With Lou Lamoriello in charge in Brooklyn it’s hard to imagine a worse situation for Ho-Sang to find himself in, or that the Isles would be looking for much in return. If they could get him for a mid-to-late pick or a B-level prospect it’s definitely something I’d explore. I have no idea what the Islanders would be looking for in return, though.

Brandon Sutter coming back and improving the Canucks PK won’t be enough to save their season by a long shot. As far as Scherbak is concerned, he does seem to fit the mold of a player Jim Benning might have some interest in, but the Canucks just don’t seem that inclined to pick up players on the waiver wire. More intriguing players have been available in the past and they’ve looked the other way, so it’s tough to say.

Right now we’re heading in the other direction. The connection has been made before, though not nearly often enough for my liking, between impending climate-related catastrophe and the rise of far-right nativist and anti-immigrant policies around the globe. With virtually no meaningful action being taken against rising temperatures in the United States, sending troops to the U.S.-Mexico border is effectively the biggest climate change-related policy in modern history. If meaningful action is not taken soon to combat climate change, we’ll be seeing migrant crises that make the current one look like a cakewalk in fairly short order.

In many ways, the “culling” you’re speaking about is already happening in the United States, albeit indirectly. Millions of people are uninsured, underemployed, and even without access to clean drinking water. It may not be as explicit as saying, “we’re going to cull the undesirables”, but it has the same effect.

Now this is an interesting question. Industrial capitalism, particularly in the North American context, is poorly equipped to deal with the prospect of a post-work society. It’s something modern progressives are frankly pretty poorly equipped to handle, too. I won’t spend all day pontificating but I think it’s obvious that should we find ourselves with the society you’re describing on the horizon, it would require changes in our cultural attitudes about the value of work, but more importantly the vast redistribution of wealth and resources and the restructuring of the economy.

The good news is, you and I will both have boiling sea water in our lungs long before that ever happens.

I don’t really have anything to say about this, I just wanted to include it.

      • Killer Marmot

        It’s a special kind of dunce who equates climate change to a “political view”.

        Climate change is the penultimate “political view.”

        Why? Because it’s not like science has said “This is exactly what is going to happen and this is exactly what we must do to avoid to.” Rather it’s fraught with uncertainty and tradeoffs. We don’t how much climate warming is going to occur, we don’t know what the ramifications are going to be, we don’t how what resources should be put to avoiding versus dealing with it, we don’t what the true costs are going to be, we don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know. The most deceived people are those who claim the situation is simple.

        That makes it profoundly political.

        • Dirk22

          Climate change itself is not political. There are models for temperature increase over the next 20-80 years and beyond along with the effects of sea level rises, drought, precipitation deficits, economic impacts, ecological impacts etc. This is not political because there is a consensus in the scientific community. Unless you’re a flat earther or something of that nature this is not up for debate.

          The response to this is obviously very political. Politicians who have to cater to their base and the economy have to either balance their actions and at certain points gain the wrath of both sides (Trudeau) or just completely chalk it up to fake news (like your boy Trump).

          Of course it is not a simple situation. Who said it was?

          • Killer Marmot

            Of course it is not a simple situation. Who said it was?

            An extraordinary number of people, who cast the situation as black-and-white and cut-and-dried without little acknowledgement of the daunting scientific, social, and economic complexities in play.

      • Dirty30

        Everything is political by definition. And history has demonstrated that climate changes whether we are driving it or not. What’s not addressed is that our contribution to climate change is destroying the things that can’t be replaced — air, water and food — while concomitantly adding hundreds of millions of humans to the mix every year.

        Even if half of the world’s population died tomorrow, it only took 50 years to double the population so this conversation would simply be happening all over again.

        The worst thing done by politicians etc has been ignoring the brutal impact of population growth. “Climate change” is bandied about as a euphemism for a harsh reality — we are a scourge on this planet simply by virtue of our burgeoning numbers.

        Apocalyptic doom … what a way to ruin a good cup of coffee.

      • Holly Wood

        Excuse me Jackson, now that’s not true is it. I have asked you 4 times in the last two weeks if you can clean up this blog by either exposing or punting some of the suspected trolls that post under multiple user names, including once on WWYDW. You have never answered or responded to that one. This site has many thoughtful, respectful commenters that need to endure a few immature knobs. Your attention to this matter would be appreciated.

      • Jackson McDonald

        Oh and saying I have the same political views as Justin Trudeau shows a complete lack of understanding of the political spectrum. He’s a centrist neoliberal shill who’s not nearly bullish enough on climate change and I’m significantly to his left. Sorry to trigger you

  • Killer Marmot

    With virtually no meaningful action being taken against rising temperatures in the United States, sending troops to the U.S.-Mexico border is effectively the biggest climate change-related policy in modern history.

    The “caravan” has nothing to do with climate change, and everything to do with the fact that Honduras is a violent, impoverished, crap-hole country with a corrupt, incompetent, faux-democratic government.

    • Me

      Oh god.
      Are you saying we’ll soon be seeing caravans of Americans headed here?
      Violent… check.
      Impoverished… check (well there are rich people, but Honduras has those too)
      Crap-hole… (eyes their current president) BIG check.
      Corrupt… check.
      Incompetent… Another BIG check.
      Faux-democratic… Yep…. Washing people off the rolls because they’re poor (or Indigenous), throwing ballots in the garbage because they go against your candidate, running the election apparatus WHILE running for Governor…. Looks like we better get ready for the caravans.

      • Killer Marmot

        I know you’re not being entirely serious, but…

        If anyone thinks that the U.S. is anything like Honduras then they’re completely untethered from reality. People don’t appreciate how bad some countries are. The fact that Hondurans are willing to leave everything behind and risk their lives to get to America should tell us something.

    • Moosekayak

      I would suggest asking New CanucksArmy writer Shipley about Honduras. He might have some interesting info for you on *why* “Honduras is a violent, impoverished, crap-hole country with a corrupt, incompetent, faux-democratic government.”

  • kermit

    The only good thing about the current state of politics in the US is that nobody is on the sidelines anymore. Every one of us has a well formed opinion on pretty much any issue. And although I agree with much of the above, I would prefer to read it somewhere other than in a hockey blog.

    • I’d argue that everyone having an opinion about everything is part of the problem with contemporary politics. No one can be well-informed about everything, and people prefer to rapidly form ill-informed opinions about issues and then become entrenched in those positions despite countervailing evidence, rather than just saying “I’m not sure about that”.

  • I highly recommend everyone look up the term “wedge politics” and determine if they’ve fallen victim to it. The “populism” in the States is just a variation – it’s us vs. them (i.e. the “elites”). It’s just an excuse to get people to zero in a few differences and foster hate rather than cooperation based on shared values and experiences. We get the same crap from Canadian politicians – the Conservatives do it all the time (e.g. Stephen Harper trying to generate the “niqab controversy”) as well as the Quebec separatists / racists (e.g. religious symbols – banning face veils but apparently Christian crosses aren’t religious symbols). Social Justice Warriors do the same thing except with “left wing” issues.

    The only real solution is education, critical thinking and having space to have open, rational discussions. Something that’s discouraged but chronic underfunding of public education, oligopolies running media channels, and bad parenting.

    • wjohn1925

      Really well put, but such a weird discussion on CA. People with thoughtful comments can have them about anything it would seem. I expect the trolls to surface soon (the sun is going down) and rant and rave about a lot of nonsense. Of course, there is a hockey connection since we all know that in hockey if you don’t ever come off the wing (right or left) and gravitate towards the centre, you’ll always be a fringe player who doesn’t offer much benefit to the team…Anyway…

  • Kanuckhotep

    When Menes Aha united Upper and Lower Egypt c.3100 BCE to create the 1st nation state on Earth (as opposed to city states) inevitable bureaucracies, hierarchies and societal structure arose. 5,000 years later what’s changed significantly? Politics is really about the common man who keeps everything running and not elitist fat cats mishandling your tax contributions. It was the same then and it is the same now. Go Canucks Go.

  • Holly Wood

    Can we please stick to hockey on here. Sports in general and especially professional sports are a great distraction to The ongoing circus of political nonsense that we are subjected to every day. Don’t mess with it.

  • DeL

    I like to comment on politics and other issues such as lifestyle and entertainment……..in their proper forums. I read and comment here because guess what, I want to know what fellow commenters think about the Canucks and their travails or successes, the later being few and far between lately.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      “That’s a real good team over there”…
      “It’s not easy to score goals in this league”…
      “I liked his try tonight”…

      Ugh….listening to TG is like some weird continuation of hell begun by Willie D.

      It’s interesting to see how many teams around the league are fully capable of scoring goals at a pretty regular pace. Maybe if the team wasn’t benching their 3rd best scorer….
      Oh well, another loss for the Canucks, another win for TeamTank 🙂 Just gotta hope neither TG nor JB is around to see any of the fruits of their labour.