Which Canucks Are Due to Break Out?

J.D. Burke
November 23 2016 09:00AM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

No matter how the losses mount, the Canucks remain upbeat. You hear game after lost game about how well they felt they played. That they just couldn't get a bounce, and so on.

That commentary often falls on deaf ears, but I've always felt there was some semblance of merit therein. It's hard to get too invested in their lofty shot totals since they're trailing in perpetuity, but they've had their nights all the same. And their league-worst 960 PDO indicates that they truly have been among the least lucky teams this season.

Considering the extent to which this team's struggled to score goals though that shouldn't be overly surprising. I want to peel another layer off the onion and see which players are suffering this misfortune on a personal level.

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Why the Canucks Would be Wise to Sign Bo Horvat Long-Term

Ryan Biech
November 22 2016 01:22PM

The Vancouver Canucks have an interesting off-season ahead of them, with quite a few contracts coming off the books.

Some are older players heading towards unrestricted free agency, many of which likely don't figure beyond another year with this franchise. There are, however, a couple pending restricted free agents who are obvious building blocks for the Canucks to take care of, too.

I want to focus today on Bowie Horvat.

Selected 9th overall in 2013, Horvat has come in and been a bright light, and that's why the Canucks should lock him up long term, as soon as possible.

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Future Free Agents: Brent Burns (UPDATE: Sharks, Burns agree on eight-year, $64M extension)

Cam Lewis
November 22 2016 11:00AM

Future Free Agents is a semi-regular feature on NHLNumbers profiling players from 2017's potential free agency class. 

Brent Burns is one of the NHL's elite defencemen, with the skill and presence to completely control the game when he's on the ice. If the San Jose Sharks somehow allow him to hit the open market this summer, Burns is the kind of player who can singlehandedly make another team quite a bit better. 

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Was firing Bob Hartley the right move?

Pat Steinberg
November 22 2016 10:00AM

The first quarter of the 2016-17 season for the Calgary Flames has been tough to swallow. They're well below .500, they can't get out of their way on special teams, and highly paid star players are playing underwhelming hockey. 

I take calls and read texts after every Flames game and follow along as best I can on social media, and I can tell you there's been plenty of handwringing over Calgary's decision to fire Bob Hartley in May. Did the Flames make the right call? For me there's a very definitive answer.

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Brendan Gaunce Hitting his Stride With the Canucks Defensively

J.D. Burke
November 22 2016 09:00AM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

It's easy to take Brendan Gaunce for granted. He's not the most imposing player physically and doesn't often impress himself upon the scoresheet either. But make no mistake about it, he's making his mark.

In a year where development has become something of a taboo talking point around Pat Quinn Way, Gaunce finds himself a staple in the Canucks bottom-six at 22-years-old. He's had different linemates, played in different roles and at different positions too.

The one constant? He's helped the Canucks' suppress opposition offence in each scenario. He's among the team's best players in that regard, and the coach is taking notice.

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