August 14 2016 10:00AM
*Note: None of this happened. Mike fell asleep in the sun and dreamt the whole thing up.
After years of threatening separation and narrowly decided referendums, Quebec has finally done the unthinkable and seceded from Canada. The formation of the sovereign nation of Quebec will undoubtedly shake up the national economy, abruptly alter our demography, and forever change our cultural landscape.
The reverberations of this seismic shift will be felt far and wide and even the hockey world will not be insulated from its impact. With the World Cup of Hockey less than a month away, Quebec has already filed and won an emergency injunction with the National Hockey League that will allow it to field a team in the tournament. Wasting no time, Équipe Quebec unveiled its twenty-three man roster earlier this week as it prepares to make up for lost time in the lead up to September.
No less than two days removed from the secession, it’s clear that Quebec has already set the wheels in motion to start charting its own course in the hockey world. How this will impact the game over the long-term is unclear, but for now, we can take a closer look at Quebec’s World Cup team and how it can expect to fare in the tournament.
August 14 2016 08:00AM
College free agents are exciting. Some of it is due to the fact that any new prospect choosing to go to your team is always pretty cool; a lot of it is that there's pretty much nothing going on in the hockey world in the middle of August, so a new free agency period opening is always going to draw interest.
This year's big fish is Jimmy Vesey. He was drafted by the Nashville Predators, but rather than sign with them, he elected to draw things out until free agency.
Kevin Hayes was in the same boat two seasons ago. While there was some talk of him coming to Calgary - his two Boston College linemates were already drafted by the Flames - he ultimately elected to play in New York, where he has thus far put up just over half a point per game with 81 points through 158 games. Pretty good for a free agent pickup, but hardly anyone's saviour.
What boat will Vesey fall in?
August 13 2016 08:37PM
One of the subjects I see Oilers fans talk about at length is the protected list for the expansion draft next summer. History tells us that we are far away from knowing the actual list—the 2016-17 season will have an enormous impact on the decision. Even with that understood, I am not sure we can be certain about the names who will be protected on defense. Darnell Nurse (in photo by Mark Williams) is not eligible for the expansion draft, but could have a major impact on the final protected list.
August 13 2016 09:44AM
Photo Credit: Brad Rempel/USA TODAY SPORTS
Back in 2014, I wrote an article about Randy Carlyle's effect on Corsi for players on the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was the end of Carlyle's second full season behind the bench after taking over for Ron Wilson part-way, and it seemed like a good time to reflect on how the coaching change had affected possession. The conclusion was stark: virtually every player who played for both coaches on the Leafs saw their Corsi fall, usually precipitously, after Carlyle replaced Wilson. The effect was so strong it could be seen mid-season the year both men coached the Leafs for part of the season.
The Leafs have now finished their first full season with Mike Babcock behind the bench, roughly a year and a half after Toronto decided it was time to move on from the Carlyle era. Since we've now got another coaching change to look at, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the idea and see if the Carlyle effect is apparent in reverse.
August 12 2016 01:00PM
The Colorado Avalanche are in need of a new coach, and may be on the verge on turning a new leaf. Patrick Roy resigned his post yesterday as head coach and vice president of hockey operations due to disagreements with general manager Joe Sakic. In a statement, Roy said "I have thought long and hard over the course of the summer about how I might improve this team to give it the depth it needs and bring it to a higher level.
To achieve this, the vision of the coach and VP-Hockey Operations needs to be perfectly aligned with that of the organization. He must also have a say in the decisions that impact the team's performance. These conditions are not currently met.” Sakic, for his part, described being caught off guard by Roy’s resignation, saying that he believed the two of them were on the same page as far as decision-making went. In any event, a new era is about to begin in Colorado, so let's take a look at what that might mean.