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JamesB last won the day on May 1 2015

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  1. Thought I would weigh on in on the minor controversy over the apparent decision to move Gaudette to the press box and play Motte. The controversial part is keeping Schaller in the line-up with Gaudette is out. In a recent interview Green made some interesting comments that I think are relevant to this decision and to the decision to send Baertschi through waivers to Utica. Green said that "analytics" show that a large and increasing amount of play is on the boards" (or something like that). This is an interesting use of analytics and does not relate to looking at Corsi numbers. Some of the team, including the Canucks, are using video to identify where things happen on the ice and apparently they have focused on board play. And don't forget that over the summer the Canucks hired Ryan Biech, who is a great local analytics guy, as video coach. Anyway, one thing Green likes about Schaller is that he is apparently good on the boards--better than Baertschi and Gaudette on this dimension. (And I have heard comments that Leivo and Motte are also pretty good on the boards). And, to be honest, Gaudette's last game was probably his weakest. Personally, I like Gaudette a lot (and Baertschi) and want to seem them both do well. But Green probably knows what he is doing and is probably getting good input from Ryan Biech.
  2. 1. I have this as an official "steal" for Marky (at least on my scorecard). 2. Pearson continues to look good and so does Hughes. 3. EP picked up an assist and scored a big shootout goal, but he still does not look like he has found his rhythm. I am not sure that the answer is to hesitate less and shoot more. I think EP has to play his game, and his game is built on offensive creativity, although he does have an excellent shot. However, both EP and Boeser are missing too many shot. On good opportunities they are sending more pucks high and wide than last year, when a lot of those pucks went in the corner. It could just be the law of averages, but I think EP has not fully adjusted to his greater muscle mass and that his accuracy and timing will improve, I also expect Boeser to continue to improve. I was more frustrated by off-target shots than by excessive hesitation. 4. It seemed to me that Leivo had a lot of good chances (which is good) but killed most of those chances by mishandling the puck (which is bad). Obviously Benning and Green think he was better than Baertschi, but I can see why a lot of people think that decision is questionable. I admit that Leivo plays with more intensity and I guess that is what they want. 5. I was surprised to see Virtanen credited with only one hit. I thought he made a few good hits and contributed to the physical game tonight, although he continues to disappear at times. 6. Still disappointed by Ferland. I did not notice many good plays from him tonight and did notice quite a few misplays. According to Corsica he had the worst 5-on-5 Corsi among forwards on the team tonight. (Hughes had the best 5-on-5 Corsi on the team tonight and the highest expected goals for.) 7. The third period was all Philly, but the Canucks were trying hard, including getting hurt blocking shots (Sutter and Schaller). 8. The Canucks were fortunate to come away with two points tonight, but there are some good signs. Miller and Myers both look like good additions to the team.
  3. As James Bond (spook007) says, it was a great game for Canuck fans. At lot of reasons to sigh in relief. Here is my list. 1. Not a big surprise, but it was a relief to see Bo finally named Captain. I can understand why the Canucks would wait until the home opener of the 50th anniversary season, but it still seems like it has been a long time coming. And it was a relief to see him finally get a point late in the game. 2. Big relief to see Hughes get his first NHL goal. Hughes was great, According to CorisiCa, he was the team leader in expected goals at 5-on-5 and he was also great on the PP. 3. Big relief to see the team get its first PP goal of the season. 4. BIg relief to see EP get his first goal of the season. 5. Big relief to see Miller play well. I am feeling better about giving up a first round pick. 6. Big relief to see Gaudette get his first point of the season (and get a lot of chances, like in preseason.) We were all expecting these things. Nice to see them happen tonight. And there were some positive surprises. 7. Who was the guy wearing Sutter's number? Whoever he was, he looked fast and offensively creative--and picked up 3 points. Playing him on a line with Gaudette as center worked surprisingly well. 8. And who was the guy wearing Tanev's number who scored a nice goal on a great feed from Hughes? And some other good things: 9. Marky played well again. So did Pearson (despite taking a bad and unnecessary penalty while on the PK). I also liked Myers. And Edler was a rock on the PK again, as well as scoring a goal (although Quick makes that save at least 19 times out of 20 when he is on his game). But it was not all rainbows and ponies. 1. The Canucks deserved the win, but 8 goals is misleading, Quick had a terrible game -- one of his worst in the NHL -- and the Canucks got two very lucky goals. Admittedly the Canucks also had a crossbar (Boeser) and a post (Virtanen) but still, a game like tonight normally produces maybe 3 or 4 goals, not 8. Too bad we could not have had one of the lucky bounces against Edmonton instead when we really needed a bounce. 2. Some the players are still not looking 100%. Ferland was at fault on the first LA goal and he just does not look good out there. Also, Boeser got a nice assist on Tanev's goal, but he seemed to miss a lot of shots-- high, wide, blocked, and he just ended up with 1 SOG despite a lot of opportunities. And that SOG was into the goalie in a situation where I expected him to bury the puck in the corner. Still, the fact that he was getting chances is positive. Still not sold on Leivo, although he got a nice goal late. 3. By the way, although the Kings outshot the Canucks by a big margin, a lot of that was due to the "chasing team" taking a lot of shots and some of it was due to more PP time. In terms of expected goals at 5-on-5, the Canucks had small lead. So full credit to the Canucks for the win but with equal luck and equal goalies, it is probably a close game. And LA was tired after just playing in Calgary, and on the road. But, overall, this game was a good foundation as a home opener.
  4. Good point. I would like to add a couple of other very, very tired jokes that I hope can be retired. 1. Sarcastic comment "BUST" after a guy has one bad or mediocre game. 2. Sarcastic comment "THE SKY IS FALLING IN" or "PANIC" after the team has one bad game or one disappointing loss. I would also suggest a moratorium on jokes related to injuries. Maybe that will reduce the number of injuries (and I guess I just violated my own proposed moratorium.)
  5. 1. The Oilers started strong but, overall, the Canucks outshot, outchanced, and outplayed the Oilers tonight. Not by a big margin, but the Canucks were unlucky to come away with nothing. 2. The best player on the ice tonight was Draisaitl. And it was disappointing to see Kassian play so well given that the Canucks basically paid to get rid of him. 3. On the plus side, Hughes looked very good tonight. So did Myers. And, no surprise, so did Edler. In fact, as Green said post-game, the entire D looked good. 4. So what went wrong? First, while Marky made some good saves and none of the goals were "bad" goals, the Oilers had the better goalie tonight. The first Edmonton goal was partly due to poor rebound control as Marky gave up an unnecessary rebound on a fairly easy shot to allow the scoring chance to develop. The second goal was a good shot by Kassian, but the angle was not great. McDavid's goal was a great individual effort but it was discouraging to see McDavid beat Sutter, Hughes and Tanev and then have the last line of defence (i.e. goalie) unable to make a big save. One game is small sample, but Marky will need to raise his game if the Canucks are going to make the playoffs this season. 5. Also, the "bottom six" narrative continues. Ericksson was good on the PK but, aside from that, I hardly noticed him. Schaller was also a non-entity and does not play PK. Beagle was Beagle -- good defensively but cannot generate offence. And I continue to be underwhelmed by Sutter. Virtanen was not bad, showing some energy and leading the team in hits. 6. The PP looked pretty good but they needed to bury the puck. I can't help thinking that the first unit Canuck PP would be better with Baertschi instead of Leivo. And , like Mr. Canuck says, why the f*** didn't Gaudette play. I have him ahead of Schaller, Eriksson, and Virtanen. And, while Sutter is better on the PK and deserves to be on the ice, I would rather have Gaudette at 3C and put Sutter on the wing on Beagle's line and have a genuine shutdown line.
  6. 1. I was surprised to see Baertschi put on waivers. Listening to Benning's interview is sounds as though a key reason is that he was not able to make either of the two PP units (and obviously does not play PK or shutdown). Baertschi has consistently been good on the PP over his career and has consistently scored at a second line level in terms of PPG. However, both JB and TG said that Baertschi did not seem 100% in pre-season. No-one said "concussion risk" or "concussion aftermath" but I bet that is part of the story. And, for the same reason, I did not expect him to be claimed on waivers. Also, as Nuxfan says, the Canucks would not mind losing Baertschi on waivers. His cap hit of 3.4 million is on the high side. (And that is another reason he is unlikely to be claimed.) 2. Not surprised about Goldy. Along with a lot of others I have been claiming for a while that i) Goldy would be waived and ii) Goldy should be waived. I expect him to clear. 3. With Biega it was always a question of whether the Canucks would carry an 8th guy on D, I think Biega will probably clear but he might not. He is a great 7th or 8th man -- a good teammate who can sit in the press box and play when needed -- and play a high energy game. 4. With Luke Schenn going on waivers today, my guess is that the Canucks put in a claim on him. Would love to see him back as 7th man. 5. It surprises a lot of people that Loui and Schaller were kept in preference to Baertschi. They both had a pretty mediocre camp. However, as I have repeated may times Loui is good on the PK and on shutdown and it sounds like that was the key reason to keep him over Baertschi. He won't score as much though, so there is a genuine tradeoff there. I don't think Schaller is out of the woods, If the Canucks do claim Schenn my guess is that he gets waived. 6. Great news that Boeser is healthy and ready to go. WIth him in the line-up the team looks better than it has at any time in past 4 years.
  7. In pre-season, Sutter had a face-off win percentage of 41.9%. Gaudette was at the 46.4%. (The leaders were Horvat at 73.1% and Miller at 72.7%) Yes, that is a small sample, but Sutter was at 48.5% last year. Gaudette was only 40% last but he improved a lot over the summer and improved over the course of the preseason and was well over 50% in the last two games. I think it is at least 50-50 that Gaudette does better on the dot than Sutter this year. Gaudette is not as good as Sutter defensively but he appears to be better offensively, and is improving all the time. He makes his linemates better whereas Sutter normally has a negative effect on the production of his linemates. If the Canucks want a third scoring line, Gaudette is a better option for center. Sutter still plays a valuable role on the PK and playing shutdown, but he does not need to be in the 3C to do that. I would play him on the wing with Beagle at C on a shutdown line. I like Gaudette much better than Kesler. I am not saying he will be a better player, just that I like him better. And I suspect he is a much better teammate. Kesler was never good for team morale, although the overall tone was set by the Sedins so his negative influence did not have much effect. I have changed my official position on Eriksson. All pre-season I have been saying that i) he will be on the team and ii) he should be on the team. I thought it was close. Both his cap hit and term are way too high but, on balance I thought he helped the team right now. But he had a terrible game against Arizona. The team was crushed in scoring chances when he was on the ice (10-2 against according to Pass it to Bulis). He also made some key mistakes and, as for any positive effect, was completely invisible -- no shots, no hits (of course) but not even any "shot assists". I have been pushed into negative territory on Loui. I still have him ahead of Goldy and Schaller, but if the team needs one additional spot to make room for Gaudette even after waiving Goldy and Schaller, I would waive Eriksson. On the numbers game, there are 28 guys left in camp, but 3 of those guys are injured (Roussel, Boeser and Fantenberg). If they all go on IR, only two other guys have to be dropped and I think the obvious calls are Brisebois (leaving the team with only 7 Ds) and Goldy. If Boeser is healthy, as we hope he is, one more cut is needed. I would go with Schaller (who also had a terrible game against Arizona). If Fantenberg is also healthy and the team wants to go with 8 Ds, then I would waive Eriksson.
  8. A lot of the post-game discussion is about Gaudette and Virtanen, and for obvious reasons. I have my opinion on that, but first a few general comments about the game. 1. The Canucks were outplayed by a significant margin. The second period was particularly bad. 2. Marky played well and kept the Canucks in the game. If EP had scored instead of hitting the post in the last minute, Marky might have ended up with a "steal". 3. I don't think the back-to-back excuse works--at least not much, as a lot of guys did not play yesterday and the Canucks are at home. And, in the data, playing back to back is a bit of a disadvantage, but all that big. 4. So, what did go wrong? The D gave up quite a lot tonight. Hughes struggled and I think he tipped in one of the Arizona goals. The key to his defensive play has been controlling the puck. The other team can't score if they don't have that puck. But it is a lot harder to control the puck in the NHL than in college. He is forced to defend a lot more. And most opposing forwards are bigger and stronger than him. Still, he should keep doing what he is doing and not retreat into a defensive shell or start playing "a simple game". If he is going to make it in the NHL he needs to play a creative game and he will improve quickly as he adjusts to the NHL game. 5. I think Myers also struggled in his own end quite a bit and he was responsible for one of the Arizona goals as he gave the puck away and lost the resulting footrace. Still I like his game as long as he is not asked to do too much. 6. And, while Beiga, Brisebois, and Chatfield all played hard, I think they all gave up a lot and got trapped in their own zone quite a lot. Edler was the best D by far. And the D will tighten up a lot with Benn and Tanev and Stecher back in there. 7. On to the forwards. The EP line scored a nice goal but I do not like the line of EP, Leivo, and Ferland. Yes they were the best Canuck line tonight but the line with EP is always (or almost always) going to be the best Canuck line. The question is - does playing with Ferland and Leivo maximize EP's value. I think the answer is no and it is related to EP's pre-game comments about not controlling the puck enough. Ferland plays a "simple game". That is okay and he can be the third guy on a line with EP and Boeser because Boeser, like EP, has a high hockey IQ and thinks the game a high level. He and EP complement each other and Ferland can be valuable in the corners, in front of the net, playing solid defence, and adding toughness. But with Leivo instead of Boeser on the line, EP just does not have enough complementary skill to work with. Obviously getting Boeser back is very important. 8. Ok, finally the big questions marks -- what about JV, Gaudette, and Goldy. Everyone is saying this is a hard decision. I don't think it is. JV played poorly tonight and had a poor pre-season but he should be on the team, as Roger says. He does not have the inner drive or the hockey IQ to be a top 6 forward but he can be a decent 4th liner. And, if put on waivers he would be picked up. It probably comes down to Gaudette vs. Goldy (assuming Motte makes the team and the Canucks go with 7 D for the time being while Fantenberg is injured). Here is the comparison. Gaudette had a great camp, Goldy had a poor camp. Goldy makes some good offensive plays every game. But he is not a good finisher. He does not seem to focus enough to actually bury the puck. And he is not consistent. He will make a good offensive play or have a good shift then disappear for a while. But the big problem is his defence. Tonight, on the Arizona short-handed goal, he could have stopped the goal but was coasting back toward the net instead of getting there before the goal-scorer. And, of course, as a winger he does not take face-offs, and he is a very soft player. His skating is good but not exceptional. Gaudette is good defensively. He can play PK. He can potentially play shutdown. He can take key defensive zone faceoffs late in the game. He can play with an edge. And I would say he has more offensive skill than Goldy. He might not look as flashy but think he sees the game and thinks the game well. He is also younger and is more likely to improve. He is taller and, as he fills out, will contribute more to physical game. But most importantly, he has a great attitude. He always works hard and, like Horvat and EP and Boeser, is always trying to improve his game. That is the kind of team mentality you want. And I don't think Goldy would be picked up off waivers at this time of year. So my forwards are: Miller, EP, Boeser (if he is healthy) Leivo, Horvat, Ferland Baertschi Gaudette Pearson Eriksson Beagle Sutter 13th man: Motte 14th man: Virtanen I don't this is what will happen. It is just what I would to.
  9. Traditionally, a lot of teams play their expected starting line-up in the final preseason game. The Canucks are not doing that. Horvat, Miller, Pearson, Sutter, Beagle,Tanev and Benn are all healthy scratches tonight. Personally, I would have rested EP as well. He came to camp in great shape, does not need "practice games" to get his focus back as he is always focused and, based on his last game, his timing looks good. Even apart from the risk of injury it is a long season and I would give him as much rest as possible. I also would have rested Edler and Hughes. As for Gaudette, I was hoping he would not play on the grounds that he was on the team. But he is playing again. I guess he has to be one of the best guys on the ice just to stay in consideration for a spot. Personally, I think it is a no-brainer to keep him. If he is sent down the party line "we play the guys who earn it" would look ridiculous. It is never completely true given the realities of the waiver wire, but Gaudette has earned a spot on the team. His 5-on-5 defense has actually been good. He has not been good on the PK, but the Canucks have two very good forward PK combos without him (some mix of Beagle, Sutter, Loui, and Motte) and don't need him in that role. There have been plenty of rumours about Benning working the trade wire either i) in case Gaudette is good enough to make some else like Sutter expendable or ii) as Per says, just to make room for Gaudette by trading a guy who is currently waiver-eligible like Goldy or maybe Motte or Schaller or even Virtanen if the right deal can be reached. But my view is that no trade is necessary to keep Gaudette. The Canucks could go with 7 Ds and maybe Brock will start the season on IR. And I would keep Gaudette over Goldy or Schaller even if one of those guys did have to be waived. At this time of year, I think both would clear. Anyway, the team is using tonight as a final opportunity for a lot of guys to prove their case to stay or go (having rope as bownky says). It is interesting that even Gravoc, Brisebois and Chatfield are in the line-up although I am guessing that is so other guys can rest rather than because they are in the conversation for spots on the big team. But MacEwen, Virtanen, Schaller, Goldy, Motte, and Eriksson, along with Gaudette, all have another test tonight. I would have thought that Leivo is also fighting for a spot but the buzz seems to be that he is in. Beiga seems to safe as 7th man given the injury to Fantenberg, even if the Canucks do keep only 7 healthy Ds, but I think he also needs to show something. Anway, let's hope the Canucks finish on a positive note in terms of the score and without any more injuries.
  10. My observations on tonight: 1. The Canucks managed to lose by a lop-sided score despite outplaying Ottawa by a big margin in the first half of the game and outshooting them by a big margin overall. Part of it was goaltending, part of it was mistakes, part of it was bounces (luck), part of it was special teams, and part it related to lack of finishing skill. A lot of the Canuck shots were low probability shots. I think the "scoring chance" differential was lower, although still in the Canucks favor. 2. As for the question of who makes the team, Gaudette was best Canuck on the ice tonight. He scored a nice goal, set up a nice goal, won a lot of puck battles, was very good on the back-check and could have easily had a couple more points. He was also 67% in the face-off circle, although I don't know how many face-offs he took. As I have mentioned before, if the Canuck really want a third scoring line, Gaudette is much better as the C for that line than Sutter or Beagle. He has to be on the team. 3. Baertschi was always going to be on the team but he solidified his position tonight. And maybe he should play with Gaudette. 4. On the negative side, I think Goldy gets waived (and I think he will clear). He made a few good plays but would then make a lazy play or a poor decision. At this stage he may be trying too hard to avoid mistakes with the result that he is sort of paralyzed out there. But there no comparison between Goldy and Gaudette right now. (Actually, I guess we can compare them and Gaudette wins hands down.) In my opinion Jake was also disappointing tonight. Like Goldy, he would make a good play then disappear for a while. He ended up with two shots -- one was a decent shot off a nice pass from Gaudette late in the game. The other was a mistake. It was on the PP and the Canucks were moving the puck well until Jake took a long wrist shot with no traffic in front. That was a bad decision, giving up possession in a high danger situation. Neither Goldy nor Virtanen helped their cause tonight, particularly Goldy. 5. The difference between this game and the last Ottawa game was special teams, and that has a lot to do with personnel. It not a big shock that the PP is not as good with EP and Boeser and Edler not playing. (And, yes, Edler is the best PP d-man on the team, although Hughes obviously shows a lot of potential.) But the PK also struggled, giving up 2 goals in less than 25 seconds. When Eriksson has played the PP has been good. When he hasn't played the PP has struggled. I am not defending his contract (especially the term) but, right now, I see him as the best PK forward on the team, as is consistent with data. Not having Edler also hurts the PK. 6. It is rare that anything negative can be aid about Horvat. But tonight he made giveaways that led directly to the 1st and 5th Ottawa goals. He made a few good plays, but he looked out of sync tonight and he was one reason the PP did not do much as his passes were not sharp. 7. Miller had a lot of chances tonight and was highly visible, but he could not bury the puck. (Reminding us of how much the team will miss Boeser if he is out long). 8. There has not been much discussion of Pearson, but I have been disappointed in his his play. He is very much a "straight line" player, which is okay, but he seems to lack offensive creativity and the rest of his game is ok but not exciting. I can see why he has been playing in the bottom 6 most of the pre-season. If he is in your top 6 then your top 6 is probably not that good. 9. Finally, another piece of good news. MacEwen was highly visible, playing a tough physical game. I don't see how he makes the team but he is close and could be an early call-up. Bottom line: the loss was disappointing but the game probably clarified the question of who makes the team. And it is great to see Gaudette continuing his strong play.
  11. I agree VanIsle. In general I like Green, but I don't like his approach to dirty hits. When asked by the media about the Boeser hit he used the term "hockey play" at least twice and seemed very defensive. Well, yes, the play occurred during a hockey game, so I guess that makes it a hockey play but, in my opinion that play should not be part of the game. Or at least it should be heavily penalized -- 5 minutes plus a suspension. Green is obviously sensitive about the criticism of him and team last year when the team did not respond to a couple of dirty hits, particularly when EP got a concussion. I think he deserves criticism. I think he made two mistakes with this situation. 1. The obvious mistake was the lack of pushback. As ilduce says, there are a lot new faces and it is important for a positive team culture to take hold. And a positive team culture requires standing up for your teammates. The Canucks do not have enough of that, especially with Schenn gone. 3. Green made another mistake. Boeser should not have returned to play after the initial hit. Quite possibly the initial hit did not do too much damage but playing again and jostling around, even with light hits. can make the damage a lot more severe. That is why concussion protocol exists. Boeser should have gone into "in-game" protocol right away after the hit- where the player sits out for 15 minutes or so and then is checked for signs of concussion. A very important factor with concussions is minimizing harm by not aggravating the injury. Immediate rest is the best strategy, especially in a meaningless pre-season game. I hope hope this is minor and that he is fine in a week but if it is worse than that, it is quite possible that Green deserves some of the blame. 4. The league is also at fault as they have been dinosaurs on concussion issues. It would easy enough to pretty much take that hit -- the hit from behind into the boards -- out of the game just by penalizing it sufficiently. 5. It has been pointed out that Boeser put himself in a vulnerable position. And that is true. But, personally, I prefer a game where skill players can make plays without having to worry about dirty hits and don't have to hold back to avoid being in a "vulnerable position"..
  12. The quote from Travis is a pretty hard-hitting quote. And I agree with buddyguy that it is likely targeted at JV, Goldy, and Schaller and a couple of other guys. In my view the Canucks were the better team tonight. They outshot LA by a significant margin and had the run of the play for long stretches. What hurt the Canucks was a lot of penalties, a poor PK, and mediocre goaltending. As for the goalies, I am not saying that either guy gave up "bad" goals, but both guys had a couple of goals that appeared to go more or less right through them. I am not sure if they were having trouble picking up the puck, or if it was an issue of screens, or positioning, or just bad luck, but both guys gave up a lot on a fairly small number of shots. And it is not like LA had a lot of grade A chances. I think it is time to send both McIntyre and Backman to Utica (after clearing waivers). On the PK, the Canucks struggled, giving up 3 PK goals. The guy they miss on the PK is Eriksson, who did not play tonight. Beagle also did not play tonight. Eriksson's PK work is under-rated.. In the numbers he has been the best PK forward on the team over the past two years -- better than Sutter, better than Motte, better than Horvat, and even better than Beagle (and much better than other guys). He does not take face-offs, but he is very effective. The best two-person forward combo the Canucks have had in that period is Eriksson and Beagle in the second half of last year. (I am talking about numbers, not just my opinion from watching games, although the numbers coincide with my opinion.) As I have written before, I think Loui makes the team out of camp. The Eriksson/Beagle combo is the key to a good PK in my view (along with better goaltending). I am afraid it is time to send Boucher and MacEwen to Utica. Boucher does not have a complete game and Big Mac is not good enough either defensively or offensively at the NHL level, although he is very good at AHL level. Hope he continues to make progress. On D, Chatfield and Sautner should both be sent to Utica soon in my view. EP and Boeser did not do a lot tonight, but EP should have had an assist on the Leivo's goal. He moved the puck to Edler, who passed the puck to Leivo. For Boeser, we could not expect a lot tonight, His next game will be more meaningful. JV and Goldy continue to disappoint. They just did not have much of an impact on the game, although JV did pick up a second assist on the the last goal. But that play was all Hughes and Gaudette. And that brings me to the positives. Hughes looks very good. With the stitches in his lip and his sore back from the cross-check he took in the last game I thought he might rest tonight. But he was very good. He made a great play on the final goal but skated well and moved the puck well all game. I think he is living up to expectations, and that is saying a lot. And Gaudette continues to impress with two more goals. Yes, he struggled a bit defensively. He was behind the play on a couple of the LA goals, and did not look good on the PK. But he is making things happen and is in the play every time he is on the ice. To me, his mistakes look like the kind of thing that can be corrected and I love his attitude and his effort. And I like his skills. I would keep him on the team. That leaves some tough line-up decisions. I don't see a spot for Goldy or Schaller right now. Roussel will start on IR. The Canucks could keep 14 forwards and only 7 Ds. Or they could make a trade to open up a spot. But probably there will be a tough decision involving Gaudette and Motte.
  13. As Roger says, the Canucks had a very good game. No significant flaws. I was very interested to watch the "bubble" guys. They are making Green's job hard in that quite a few guys are making a statement. And I am sure Green is happy about that, Here are some comments. 1. Rafferty was very good. He scored the first goal on a nice shot from the blueline and had a number of other good chances. He played with confidence and was around the puck a lot. He also had 3 hits. He could be a dark horse to stay with the team out of camp. 2. Gaudette obviously had a good game. He was playing very hard--playing a very high energy game. He was almost trying too hard at times, but he had a lot of good chances and buried a really nice goal late in the game. He is making a statement that wants to be on the team out of camp. 3. Eriksson is on the bubble, but he had a good game tonight. He was very good on the PK, as always, was very sound defensively, as always, and made some nice plays in the o-zone, picking up a couple of assists. He has to be on the team out of camp,. 4. Jasek won't be on the team out of camp, but he played well, including getting a nice goal. He showed a lot of poise on the PP. He is a long way ahead of Lind and Gadjovich at this stage. Ferraro also played a high energy game. He won't be on the Canucks out of camp but if he continues like this he will probably earn himself a contract. 5. .Motte played a high energy game, with 4 shots on goal and 3 hits. Schaller and Leivo weren't as good as Gaudette and Motte, but they were pretty good. 6. I would also mention Baertschi. He is not on the bubble as he will obviously be on the team, but he is trying to make a statement about playing top 6, and he was impressive tonight. Like Gaudette, he was trying too hard at times and but he was dangerous with the puck all night, especially on the PP. He showed creativity with the puck and scored a very nice goal. He was also credit with 3 hits. He looked good with Horvat (who had an excellent game). The bubble guys who weren't playing tonight must be feeling the pressure. It will be interesting to see how they respond.
  14. My two cents: 1. I have to give credit to Benning. This is a good deal for the Canucks. I was thinking that a 3-year deal would maybe come in with an AAV of 6 million, and even that would be pretty good. Getting under 6 million is excellent. 2. I was thinking a deal would be 3, 4, or 6 years. Obviously neither side wanted a one-year deal-- going through all this again next year. And the Canucks would not want a 2-year deal with EP and Hughes coming up in two years and and with Eriksson and Luongo still on the books. After 3 years a lot of room will open up, as noted by Heffy. The Canucks would not want 5 years because Boeser would no longer be an RFA after 5 years. Teams usually think that their best chance of getting a guy on a reasonable post-RFA contract is to negotiate a long term deal while he is a still an RFA. The Canucks would have liked a 6-year deal but the most they could offer given their current cap situation was about 7 million in AAV and obviously Boeser did not think that was enough. 3. By taking this deal instead of the 6 years x 7 AAV, Boeser gives up (7 - 5.875)*3 = 3.375 or 1.125 per year for the next 3 years. But he can make that up if he gets more than (7.0 + 1.125) = 8.125 a year for the following three years. Given expectations about what is likely to happen to the cap and projecting Boeser's trajectory, I would put his expected AAV at about 9 million per year for those years. So, apart from discounting, I would expect that Boeser gains about 3*0.875 = 2.65 million in total expected value by taking this deal instead of the 7 x 6 deal -- not a huge difference, but something. And there is also the chance that he gets a significantly bigger contract in year 4 if things go really well. Still, if I were Boeser, I might have taken 7 x 6. 4. One thing that made this deal attractive to Boeser was the high salary in the final year -- following the pattern of some other reasonable "bridge" deals. Boeser's QO will be 7.5 million for year 4 so he will get at least that in years 4 and 5 (assuming that he remains healthy and plays well enough that the Canucks want to keep him), and could then cash in with a big payday in year 6 when he is a UFA. That is the min and he could do better. I think that Benning has really improved his cap management. After some questionable deals early in his term as GM, including Eriksson and the Sutter re-resigning, among others, he has been pretty good. Horvat is on a good deal and so is Boeser. And this year's UFA signings look much better than in previous years years.
  15. It does not usually pay to get caught up in semantic issues, but I can't resist. 1. The word "holdout" is commonly used in a variety of ways. It is common to say that player who has not yet signed despite efforts to sign him is a "holdout". For example, see this article from the NHL website: https://www.nhl.com/news/kyle-turris-ends-holdout-signs-two-year-deal-with-phoenix-coyotes/c-602703 The URL makes it obvious. The NHL says that Turris ended his "holdout" by signing a contract, 2. The word "holdout" is not defined in the CBA. At least I did a search and did not find anything under hold out or holdout. So there is no "official" NHL definition. That means we are left with just ordinary language. I just search in Google and the first definition that popped up was from the Oxford Dictionary, which is: "an act of resisting something or refusing to accept what is offered." "refusing to accept what is offered" seems to fit this situation pretty much exactly. 3. Obviously we need some word to describe guys who are not at camp because they have not yet agreed on contracts. Calling them "guys who are not at camp because they have not yet agreed on contracts" all the time would be kind of inefficient. Holdout seems like a good word to use instead. If Alf or anyone else has a better word, feel free to use it. Bottom line: I am holding out on this. I think "holdout" is the right word.