After a year in which the goaltending situation was, at the very least, super awkward, it’s no secret that the Canucks have to trade Roberto Luongo this summer.
It’s become Mike Gillis’s biggest boondoggle as a General Manager. The biggest obstacle isn’t necessarily even Luongo’s contract; it’s Gillis’s insistence on getting fair value in return for the beleaguered goaltender.
Luongo’s contract really isn’t as onerous as it seems and I suspect that most GMs around the league know it. A cap hit of $5.3 million is pretty reasonable for the quality of goaltending that Luongo provides year after year. But NHL GMs also love a bargain and the situation in Vancouver has them thinking they can get something for nothing. In their minds, Gillis needs to get rid of Luongo more than they need to acquire him.
So, when it was suggested that the New York Islanders might be interested in acquiring Luongo, some suggested that all Vancouver would get in return is Rick DiPietro, who the Canucks would then buy out. Now, if the Canucks got something else in return (say, a prospect like Nino Niederreiter or Brock Nelson), then that trade makes sense for the Canucks. Otherwise, it’s insanity. At that point, the Canucks may as well just buy out Luongo for a little bit more and not run the risk of the new CBA’s “Luongo rule” coming back to bite them.
That the idea that the Canucks would take DiPietro — and only DiPietro — back in a trade for Luongo was even raised as a serious possibility speaks volumes about what the media thinks of the Canucks’ situation. That’s when Darren Dreger chimed in to make the Canucks seem even more desperate, suggesting that if Luongo doesn’t get traded, he won’t even report to training camp.Continue Reading —›
Considering the rotten luck that David Booth has had since he arrived in Vancouver, be it on the ice in his dismal shooting percentage or the various and sundry injuries that have kept him off the ice for long stretches, you could forgive the right winger for trying to manufacture a little luck this offseason.
Or a lot of luck. Four-leaf clovers are lucky, sure, but David Booth needs more luck than that. He needs at least five leaves. And so, after finding a four-leaf clover, Booth slyly tucked another clover behind it and tried to pass it off on social media as a rare five-leafer.Continue Reading —›
The 2013 off-season is going to be an interesting one for the Canucks. Mike Gillis has an extremely important decision ahead of him in making his first head coaching hire as a General Manager. This decision will likely define his tenure with the Canucks and determine how long that tenure lasts.
But he also has some important decisions to make in regards to player personnel. Roberto Luongo has to be traded at some point and there’s the possibility that other trades are on the horizon. Meanwhile, the Canucks have the option of using a compliance buyout or two to free up capspace.
There are also numerous holes in the roster that need to be filled. The Canucks’ lack of centre depth hurt and the team’s third and fourth line lacked consistency and an identity. Gillis needs to decide which pending free agents to re-sign and which to let go, which will help determine that identity.
He has reportedly made the first such decision, and it’s a blockbuster: two more years of Tom Sestito.Continue Reading —›
Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.Continue Reading —›
My good friends Mike Murie and Jeremy Wiebe host CIVL radio’s official sports talk show, Mike and Jere on the Air. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable show and both Mike and Jeremy have a very broad base of sports knowledge.
On Sunday night, I joined them for the entire hour-long show, discussing the firing of Alain Vigneault, Rick Bowness, and Newell Brown, as well as a few of the head coaching candidates for Vigneault’s former position.Continue Reading —›
Do you want to bet on who will be the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks? If so, you might have a gambling problem. You should probably seek help.
But if you still want to gamble on Mike Gillis’s big decision, you can. Sports gambling website Bovada.lv has released odds on the Canucks’ coaching decision, with Lindy Ruff the odds-on favourite.
(Actually, I lied: Bovada.lv appears to have removed the odds and option to bet on the next head coach of the Canucks from their website. I’m sure if you ask around, however, you’ll find someone to take your action, particularly if you actually do want to bet that Ruff will get hired. Nothing gets deleted permanently from the internet, however, and we have Bovada’s odds, courtesy of The Buffalo News.)
Let’s break down the odds and take stock of just how likely each candidate is to be hired:Continue Reading —›
One criticism of the Canucks that I have frequently heard, either in the comments section here, on Twitter, or from fans I know offline, is that the Canucks don’t have enough legitimate snipers. Great scoring chances were wasted, these fans say, by players who just weren’t able to finish them off. They stop short of calling them illegitimate snipers, because it’s rude to question someone’s parentage like that.
Golden opportunities that end up hitting the goaltender’s logo tend to loom large in people’s memories, particularly if they come at key points in a game. So I wanted to take a look at the statistics and see whether the Canucks actually are below average when it comes to finishing their chances.
Turns out they may have a point.Continue Reading —›
To the surprise of absolutely no one — save Rick Bowness, whose dismissal leaked before Mike Gillis could get ahold of him and wound up being fired by his own daughter — the Canucks blew up their coaching staff on Wednesday. Bowness, Newell Brown, and most notably, head coach Alain Vigneault were all let go.
And now we look forward. The Canucks are still a team on the cusp, a veteran group that may still be in their window, and it’s going to take the right type of coach to get them over the hump. But what type of coach is that? Thursday morning on the Team 1040, the hosts polled listeners with the following three options: the fresh face, the second-chancer, and the NHL proven guy. But those aren’t the only options — not even close. Let’s take a look at those and more.Continue Reading —›
Earlier this morning, Harrison asked just how long Mike Gillis was going to drag out the decision on what to do with Alain Vigneault. Apparently the answer was “this long.” Louis Jean from Quebec outlet TVA reports that Vigneault, along with associate coach Rick Bowness and assistant Newell Brown, has been fired by the Canucks.
I, for one, am shocked.Continue Reading —›
We’re now officially two weeks into the Vancouver Canucks’ 2013 offseason, and thus far, nothing has been accomplished. (In this way, it’s a lot like the short postseason that preceded it.) This is especially frustrating for those that have been waiting well over a year for Alain Vigneault to get fired, and now that it seems a foregone conclusion it will be happening this summer, they’d like it, like, right now, please.
It certainly does seem like the decision has already been made. On Tuesday, both Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger said about as much. On the Team 1040, McKenzie said he “expected” it, adding, “all things being equal, I can’t imagine the Vancouver Canucks come back with the same coach they had, and I can’t imagine it dragging on much longer than it has.”
Darren Dreger was equally blunt on TSN later that same evening.
“Over the course of [last] weekend, it sounded as if the Vancouver Canucks were making a decision on Alain Vignealt and they would announce the decision and ultimately his dismissal at some point this week,” Dreger said. “So best guess is going to be Thursday or Friday, but it definitely sounds like Vancouver is headed in a different direction.”Continue Reading —›
It’s easy to make too much of Daniel and Henrik Sedin’s performance at the World Hockey Championships this year, but it’s also easy to make too little of it.
When Daniel and Henrik joined Team Sweden in Stockholm, they made an immediate impact. Sweden was 4-2 prior to the Sedins joining the team and had gone 2-for-31 on the powerplay. With the Sedins in the lineup, Sweden won 4 straight enroute to the gold medal and went 5-for-15 on the powerplay. Daniel scored 6 points in those 4 games, while Henrik went off for 9 points, including 4 goals.
As a result, numerous Canucks fans began wondering why the Sedins couldn’t perform that way for the Canucks. If they could dominate at the international level, why couldn’t they do the same in the NHL?
Here’s the thing: they totally have. And I’m not talking about their Art Ross winning seasons; I’m talking about this last season.Continue Reading —›
Immediately after their elimination from the 2013 NHL postseason (with similar immediacy, even) Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin, alongside the madman Alex Edler, accepted the invitation to the World Hockey Championships.
We’ve heard it time and time again: the Worlds mean a very different things for European hockey players. And it’s true. But these Worlds meant even more to the Swedish players, because Sweden wasn’t just a gold medal hopeful — they were the host nation. A win on home ice would make them the first host nation to win the tournament in 27 years, and to underscore how long ago that was, three of the eight nations in that 1986 World Championships — Czechoslovakia, West Germany, and gold medal host the Soviet Union — no longer exist.
On Sunday, Sedin-led Sweden (or Swedin, as it’s known when Daniel and Henrik are in the lineup) got it done, bringing gold to the land of the midnight sun.Continue Reading —›
While the World Hockey Championships are a bit of an afterthought in North America, they’re a much bigger deal in Europe. This is particularly true when it comes to the rivalry between Finland and Sweden, which apparently dates back to 1932.
At the 2010 Olympics, Sweden beat Finland 3-0 during the round robin, but was eliminated before Finland could get their revenge. Finland went on to win the bronze medal. They got their re-match, however, at the 2011 World Championships, trouncing Sweden 6-1 in the gold medal game. The long and storied rivalry will continue on Saturday, as the two countries face each other in the semi-finals after Sweden stunned Canada in the shootout on Thursday.
It’s not surprising, then, that Ilta-Sanomet, Finland’s second largest newspaper, would rile up some nationalistic feelings in the Friday edition of their paper. They did this, however, in one of the most regrettable ways possible, publishing paper dolls of Daniel and Henrik Sedin wearing high heels with cut-out dresses to attach to them.Continue Reading —›
Team Sweden eliminated Team Canada from the quarterfinals at the World Hockey Championships Thursday, winning in a shootout despite ignoring years and years of evidence that Daniel and Henrik Sedin should not be used in such situations. Both twins missed on their attempts, and yet, somehow, Team Canada still found a way to lose. That’s incredible.
Anyway. With the loss, Dan Hamhuis’s World Championships are officially over.
But so too are Alex Edler’s. While the rest of his brethren from the tournament’s host nation will move on to the semifinals versus Finland — the archnemesis with which they share the weirdly suggestive-looking Scandinavian peninsula — Edler has been suspended for the remainder of the tournament after his kneeing incident with Team Canada captain Eric Staal.Continue Reading —›
Canucks fans have been wanting Alex Edler to play a more physical game for years. He’s proven in the past, to Drew Doughty, for instance, that he can be an effective and devastating hitter, but he has been frustratingly inconsistent with that side of his game.
Edler is such a low-key guy that one of his defining traits is his ability to take a nap almost anywhere. That seems to seep into his play. He remains calm and relaxed on the ice, but never seems to get riled up enough to throw a big hit. He certainly never seems to get emotionally involved enough to get angry and throw a dirty check.
That’s why it was shocking to see him go knee-on-knee with Eric Staal during Team Sweden’s game against Team Canada at the World Championships. It was an ugly, ugly hit that will likely see Staal miss significant time and earn Edler a hefty suspension.Continue Reading —›
Chris Tanev had a solid season for the Canucks, showing that he’s ready to step into a larger role next season. He even spent some time in the top-four alongside Alex Edler. It seemed like he instantly developed chemistry with whoever he played with thanks to his calm, simple style of play.
Tanev is also a pending Restricted Free Agent this off-season, leading to an interesting question. How much is Tanev worth? He doesn’t do any one thing noticeably well. He doesn’t put up points and doesn’t hit. What he does do is make smart decisions with the puck and a good first pass out of the zone. He plays largely mistake-free defence, which is a nice switch for Canucks fans used to Kevin Bieksa and Alex Edler, who are far more high-risk.
It was revealed today that Tanev would be representing himself in his contract negotiations, with help from his dad, Mike. That makes things a little more complicated, as Tanev’s dad will likely spend the entire meeting with Gillis saying awkward, embarrassing things, causing Tanev to roll his eyes and say “Daaaaaad” at least twice.
Here are 18 things you can expect Tanev’s dad to say during his son’s contract negotiations.Continue Reading —›
After two early playoff exits, the second and most recent an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, I think it’s safe to assume that the Vancouver Canucks are in need of some changes this summer.
Mike Gillis called it a “reset”, but I doubt he actually meant beginning at the start screen. My guess is he’ll input the passcode, Megaman 2-style, to start back at the robot masters gauntlet in Dr. Wily’s castle or something.
That was an extremely alienating metaphor. Basically, while the Canucks aren’t about to come back next season with 20 new faces, you have to make a few adjustments to a group keeps dying on Woodman (dammit, sorry again), so, yes, some moves are coming.
Here is a move I think Gillis should make: trade Roberto Luongo.Continue Reading —›
A player’s statistics in a shortened season can be difficult to evaluate, partly because we’re so used to seeing numbers after 82 games. A 30-goal scorer in a normal season is a 17.56-goal scorer in a 48-game season, which just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
So, in order to ease the evaluation process a little, I have pro-rated the Canucks goals, assists, points, penalty minutes, and shots over 82 games. While we have no idea what might have occurred over games 49-82 if they had actually happened, this should at least give us a better picture of how well each player performed compared to previous seasons.Continue Reading —›
It’s the NHL playoffs, which means it’s time for television newscasters and personalities who haven’t the first clue about hockey to start pretending like they care about the NHL. This is particularly true for those on NBC, the American rights holder for the NHL.
Poor Jimmy Fallon was clearly asked by his bosses at NBC to work the NHL into his show on Monday night. Games have already been shown on NBC Sports Network and CNBC, but the main channel will start showing games starting on Saturday, May 18th, and clearly want to build some buzz. Fallon has shown an ability to create some virality in the past and NBC hoped he’d do the same for the NHL playoffs.
One problem: it’s not that Fallon doesn’t know the first thing about hockey — he doesn’t know the second, third, or fourth thing either. One of those things he doesn’t know is how to pronounce the names of any hockey player with a name more complicated than “Ryan.” Fallon worked the NHL into one of his existing bits — Late Night Superlatives — with simultaneously hilarious and horribly awkward results.Continue Reading —›
Gerald Morton is a part-time Zamboni operator, PhD Candidate, occasional lecturer at Vancouver Island University and former hockey target. He’s written two guest posts for Puck Daddy, and he comes to us now with something to say about the failed 2013 campaign of the Vancouver Canucks.
If you want to write a guest post for PITB, by all means, reach out to us at email@example.com. We’re always happy to showcase other writers.Continue Reading —›
Immediately after the Canucks were eliminated from the postseason, Dan Hamhuis, along with the Canucks’ swedish contingent and Nicklas Jensen, accepted the invitation to World Hockey Championships in Stockholm.
Steve Yzerman and Lindy Ruff, Team Canada’s GM and head coach, respectively, must think highly of Hamhuis. With his arrival, Yzerman all but declared his team-building job complete, despite P.K. Subban becoming available. And as for Ruff, he handed Hamhuis huge minutes in his debut: The Canucks’ defenceman led all Team Canada skaters with 22:38 of ice time in a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic. (One suspects this was either Ruff playing his best all-around veteran defenceman in a tight game, or this was an otherwise unemployed Lindy Ruff trying to show Mike Gillis, who may or may not be looking for a new coach, how well he gets along with Dan Hamhuis. But I digress.)
Hamhuis was even more impactful in his second game, a 4-3 overtime win over Slovenia. The Smithers native was on the ice for just two goals in Canada’s come-from-behind victory: Team Canada’s first goal and Team Canada’s last goal.
On their last, the Community Man pitched in in a big way, making a beautiful pass to Steven Stamkos, the best guy to pass it to, for the overtime winner.Continue Reading —›
If you wanted to hear that Mike Gillis was going to blow up the Canucks’ roster and mass-fire the coaching staff during his press conference last Thursday, you were likely gravely disappointed. Gillis has never been one to make a hasty, emotional decision and he was disconcertingly calm as he answered questions about the Canucks’ disappointing season and the unceremonious four-game sweep that ended it.
Gillis stayed away from drastic words like “rebuild” and instead pushed the far less dramatic “reset” repeatedly. Which is silly, because everyone knows you only need to push reset once. Pushing it repeatedly is pointless. Besides, sometimes you have to take the cartridge out and blow on it before it will work properly.
“Five years ago, we came in here and reset this organization, and it’s time to do it again,” said Gillis, referring to 2008, when he was first hired to be the General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks.
Looking at what Gillis did then may help us know what to expect during the coming off-season. How much of a “reset” did Gillis institute when he joined the organization?Continue Reading —›
With the exception of the Vancouver PD, who will be saving several million dollars on beefed-up police presence thanks to the Canucks’ early playoff exit, most of Vancouver is pretty sour on the hockey team since their sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. But if you need some cheering up, here’s a little tidbit about former Canuck Cody Hodgson that should make you feel a little better about that trade.
Hodgson finished the year with 15 goals and 34 points, second on the Sabres to Thomas Vanek in both categories. THAT’S NOT THE PART THAT’S SUPPOSED TO CHEER YOU UP. Offensively, he was very, very effective. His 2.91 goals per 60 minutes put him ahead of guys like Claude Giroux, Nicklas Backstrom, and Brad Richards.
But the Canucks’ concerns regarding Hodgson were always on the defensive end, and there, according to John Vogl, Hodgson still had a lot of work to do. The guy’s about as one-way as downtown Cordova Street.Continue Reading —›
Considering how short the Vancouver Canucks’ 2012-2013 season was in the end — with 34 games lopped off the front part and a piddly, depressing 4 added to the back part — one can understand why a few might be happy to join their respective national teams at the World Championships. These guys were hoping to play somewhere in the vicinity of 100 games this year. Instead, they played about half that.
And thus, it’s off to Scandinavia for several Canucks.
Denmark will get Nicklas Jensen, but not Jannik Hansen, who stays home to recover from an injury. It’s a bummer. They could have used Hansen, especially since he becomes insane the moment he sets foot on international ice. Meanwhile, Team Sweden will get the largest contingent, as you might expect since the Canucks have a lot of Swedes: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Alex Edler flew home Friday to don the Tre kronor.Continue Reading —›
Canucks fans are all too aware of how David Booth spent the NHL lockout. It was a bone of contention for quite some time, exacerbated by his season-ending injury that cut short any possibility of quieting the controversy with his play on the ice.
But it turns out took a break from enraging liberal-minded Vancouverites in order to enlarge the minds of some teenaged Michiganders. Booth recorded a video for Lutheran High School North, his alma mater in Macomb, Michigan, teaching the students the Word of the Week — “nefarious” — and it’s both horribly awkward and outrageously hilarious.Continue Reading —›