Because it's the Cap: Vancouver Canucks

J.D. Burke
May 25 2016 02:00PM

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Over the next month, we at NHLnumbers are going to be taking a look at where each team in the league currently stands based on what we learned from them last season, and where they realistically can and should go this summer with the resources and cap space they have.

The Vancouver Canucks and their fan base just endured one of the worst, most drawn out and fruitless seasons in recent memory. That's no small order given that the Canucks are just two seasons removed from the John Tortorella era, in all its infamy. They set out to make the playoffs and failed. Miserably. They wound up finishing third last in the entire league and are now further in their halfway-rebuild to show for it.

Of course, one could hardly blame the Canucks or they're management team entirely. There was no accounting for the injuries to Brandon Sutter, Dan Hamhuis, Henrik Sedin, etc. that riddled the Canucks lineup at the most critical parts of their season. I don't think anyone expected Radim Vrbata to fall so far off from last season. The Canucks didn't help themselves last off-season, but it's not like they were loaned any by lady luck, either.

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Because It's The Cap: Columbus Blue Jackets

Jeremy Crowe
May 24 2016 11:00AM

Coming into the 2015/16 season, there was a sense of optimism around the Columbus Blue Jackets. Their 2014/15 campaign was rife with injuries, even in the face of career seasons from Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno. The team added Brandon Saad in the off-season, and with hopes of a healthy campaign from the majority of the team, many, many, many, many outlets pegged the Jackets to return to the playoff picture.

That positivity ended about eight games into the season, after a pathetic 0-8-0 start, resulting in the firing of head coach Todd Richards. In one of the more mocked moves of the season, the team decided to willingly give up a second round pick in order to hitch their wagon to John Tortorella as their long-term coaching solution. It didn’t help. Lack of depth and blueline scoring, an entirely inadequate defense, Sergei Bobrovsky forgetting how to goalie for large stretches, and the continuation of the injury woes from 2014/15 wreaked havoc on the Blue Jackets, submarining the team before October was even through.

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2016 Draft: Which Swedes Fit The 51% Rule?

Shawn Reis
May 23 2016 09:10AM

With the draft one month away it's time to start ramping up our focus towards it even more.

Most of the talk so far has been surrounding the real top tier players of the draft like Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine.  But there are six more rounds past the first one, and there are plenty of future NHLers that'll come out of this draft that up until now you've never heard of in your life.

Luckily, we have little tricks to help us try and identify who those players might be.

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Because It's The Cap: Edmonton Oilers

Cam Lewis
May 23 2016 09:00AM

Over the next month, we at NHLnumbers are going to be taking a look at where each team in the league currently stands based on what we learned from them last season, and where they realistically can and should go this summer with the resources and cap space they have.

It’s pretty easy to look at the Edmonton Oilers’ 2015-16 season and say it was a complete disaster. I mean, you wouldn’t be wrong to view it that way, considering the fact they finished second last in the league standings and allowed their playoff drought to reach a decade in length. Their 31 wins are barely an improvement from all the way back in the 2009-10 season when they had 27, which is when they officially started tanking and their oil change began. 

If you told Oilers fans after they drafted Taylor Hall first overall that summer that the team would be fooling around in the league’s basement with a 31-43-8 record six seasons later, they most certainly wouldn’t have believed you. If they did believe you, they probably wouldn’t have assumed the rebuild was a total dud, but instead, the season’s failure was the result of unfortunate circumstances. And that wouldn’t be entirely wrong. 

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Because It's The Cap: Toronto Maple Leafs

Shawn Reis
May 22 2016 10:01AM

Over the next month, we at NHLnumbers are going to be taking a look at where each team in the league currently stands based on what we learned from them last season, and where they realistically can and should go this summer with the resources and cap space they have.

Leafs Twitter has been ablaze in recent weeks about what the best practices for the team would be this summer.  Should the team try to sign Steven Stamkos or not?  Should the team trade up or down with their second first-round pick?  What defensemen should the team go after?  How about the goalies?

I can't give you any definitive answers there, but what I can hope to do is clear the picture up considerably.  In taking a closer look at what the Leafs have both hockey-wise and salary cap-wise, we can begin to better understand what the Leafs both can and should do to help the team not just next year, but even more importantly, in the many years to come.

Let's begin.

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