Kukla's Korner Hockey
“The only thing I worry about is effort and I think from some guys right now, the effort is not there. It’s not good enough. I think those guys know who they are. I think it’s embarrassing if you’re not giving the effort every night. Shift in and shift out, game in and game out, it has to be there otherwise it’s going to look like this.
“I think it’s been an issue most nights. Early on, we won some games because we had enough guys battling. It’s about learning to win those one-on-one battles. We’re there right now, trying to battle. But we’re not winning them. That’s a big difference. You got to go in there demanding the puck. We have too many instances where that’s not the case. If you don’t get that most of the shifts, most of the nights, we’re going to lose 3-2 and 2-1 like we have this year. There’s a reason we’ve lost all those one-goal games.”
-Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks after a 3-0 home loss last night to the St. Louis Blues.
More on the game from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
It should sum up this hauntingly disappointing season.
Not so much the 5-2 loss (Winnipeg). More the coach’s reasoning why.
When it was over, asked to pontificate on what went wrong yet again, the Canucks head coach laid out a jaw dropper of a rationale.
In fact, he suggested he foresaw it happening too, with the way his team approached their morning skate.
First, as a backdrop reminder, the Canucks have one of the worst home records in the NHL. Consider, they have three fewer home wins than the Oilers in the same 35 home games.
Monday they had their chance to win three straight for the first time this season. But the didn’t come close, instead suffering another humiliating loss, in what looked like a men-v-boys matchup against the most disappointing team in the NHL.
“In the morning skate, I could tell we were light in the morning skate, thinking good things were going to start happening,” Willie said. “We were going to be able to come to the rink and just play and good things were going to happen.
“It never works that way, it just doesn’t.”
Plays like the one below sort of proves Willie Desjardins' point...
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
With an eye sharpened through decades of weighing and measuring hockey talent, Jim Benning quickly formed a determination on Nikita Tryamkin.
“He’s 6-foot-7, he can skate and he can make a first pass,” the Canucks general manager said before Wednesday night’s game against the visiting Arizona Coyotes. “Those guys don’t grow on trees.”...
The Tryamkin signing is meaningful on a couple of different levels for Benning’s organization but the most important might be the signalling of a new generation of Canucks defencemen.
Just 21, the massive blue-liner will play some games for the Canucks down the stretch where he could be joined by Andrey Pedan, the 6-foot-5, 213-pounder who has impressed (six goals, plus-19) in Utica this season.
The prospect of having the twin towers on the same blue-line is beyond enticing for Canucks fans but the Tryamkin deal comes with a caveat.
via Ben Kuzma tweet,
Henrik Sedin won't play in Los Angeles on Monday. Heading back to Vancouver for further evaluation.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Dare to dream, Tank Nation, dare to dream.
Still, as much as that draft pick offers an enticing proposition for the faithful, it's unlikely that player will make a significant impact next season. That raises the question, "what will these Canucks look like in 2016-17" and that's why the last five weeks of this season are so important.
Put it this way: Friday, they'll host a town hall meeting with their season-ticket holders but their most effective renewal campaign might take place between now and Apr. 9.
Thursday night, the Canucks again offered some evidence that the road back to respectability might not be as long or as circuitous as it's sometimes seemed this season. As was the case in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Islanders, they were led by the kids. Jake Virtanen was their best forward for the second straight night. Sven Baertschi scored his 13th goal of the season. Ben Hutton played 26 minutes on the blueline.
As for what that portends next season, who knows? The Canucks' will still be young enough to qualify for day-care subsidies. They'll struggle to score goals and the blueline remains a massive source of concern.
But there's also something intriguing about the group that will be taken into next season.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
Hamhuis is not the bad guy here. He exercised the rights given to him by the six-year, $27-million contract Mike Gillis signed him to in 2010-11.
The 33-year-old never wanted, still doesn’t want to leave Vancouver. Loves the city. His family is rooted in the community. Hopes to re-sign with the Canucks come the summer.
But in the meantime, the team has missed the chance to get whatever return might have been had for a solid citizen who could be a good team’s No. 4 defenceman on a playoff run. Surely that was worth something, to somebody. Benning couldn’t find it.
The Canucks, as an organization, didn’t move quickly enough, clinging to their playoff pipe dream too long. And Hamhuis didn’t move quickly enough, deciding too late that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to chase a Cup for a couple of months instead of plodding along here for the next six weeks with the walking dead.
At heart, even with nothing to look forward to this spring, he wanted to stay a Canuck.
We used to admire guys who didn’t want to leave. Now, we think they must have a character flaw.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
For the first time in the plodding Hamhuis will-he-or-won’t-he saga, the Canucks most important asset finally admitted he’s open to a trade.
“We’d like to stay,” Hamhuis said. “But we have an open mind to going, possibly to the right fit, if that’s what (the Canucks) want to do.”
This represents significant progress.
The Canucks already missed a chance to pry a top prospect from the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks were seriously into Hamhuis but he apparently wasn’t willing to say “right back atch-ya.”
The Chicago trade discussions got far enough Hamhuis was presented with a chance to waive. What followed was a long delay, which could be interpreted as waffling, and the Hawks moved on.
Enter Dallas, the team long rumoured to be the front-runner in the Hamhuis sweepstakes.
The Stars have not only needed defence, they have had a hole on their blueline’s left side.
But they also have GM Jim Nill, who trades like a predatory shark.
more and Boston is also mentioned...
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
The Vancouver Canuck could be the best affordable defenceman in advance of the NHL trade deadline Monday — especially with the New York Rangers expected to take pending unrestricted free agent blueliner Keith Yandle off the market — and that’s where the ongoing fiddling has become more pronounced for Hamhuis. He’s a pending UFA, who would have to waive his no-trade clause to be moved, and he has gone back and forth with the issue that needs to be resolved quickly.
“We’ve been working through some thoughts and to be prepared,” said Hamhuis. “And certainly, if going is the direction, we would have to give them (Canucks) some time to make a deal happen.”
The Smithers native took a hometown discount to sign here for six years at $27 million US as a free agent, after his rights were traded from Nashville to Philadelphia and then to Pittsburgh. He left money on the table. He would hit the jackpot in free agency on July 1 because joining a Stanley Cup contender at the trade deadline would only increase the value of a proven defender. Hamhuis was on world championship title teams in 2015 and 2007 and won gold at the 2014 Olympics.
added 5:02pm, Vancouver and Calgary releases are below...
from Thomas Drance of Sportsnet,
And in team president Trevor Linden, the Canucks have a uniquely credible salesman in place to peddle patience and hope in a marketplace that has – in the past and throughout this season – proven skeptical of supporting teams that aren’t winners.
Now, what this all means for the upcoming week remains to be seen. Pending unrestricted free agents like Dan Hamhuis and Vrbata could net the club significant futures if they’re dealt, but their respective situations are complicated by injuries and no-trade clauses.
Can the club find Brandon Prust a new NHL home? Will they consider dealing a productive player with term, like Hansen?
It’s a fool’s game to project what Canucks management will be able to accomplish between now and the deadline. There’s nothing straightforward about navigating a barren marketplace with assets that have some measure of control over their own destiny.
What’s readily apparent though is that no matter how the team performs on the ice between now and Feb. 29 the Canucks have to try and be busy on deadline day; sellers for the first time since the turn of the century.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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