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|2013–14 Vancouver Canucks · NHL|
|General Manager|| Mike Gillis|
(to Apr 8)
|Coach|| John Tortorella|
(interim, Jan 19 – Feb 2)
|Alternate captains|| Kevin Bieksa|
|Average attendance|| 19,814 (101.0%)|
|Goals||Ryan Kesler (25)|
|Assists||Henrik Sedin (39)|
|Points||Henrik Sedin (50)|
|Penalties in minutes||Tom Sestito (213)|
|Wins||Roberto Luongo (19)|
|Goals against average||Roberto Luongo (2.38)|
Vancouver's off-season began after they were swept out of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs by the San Jose Sharks. On May 22, 2013, two weeks after their elimination, the Canucks fired head coach Alain Vigneault, as well as assistant coaches Rick Bowness and Newell Brown. Following Vigneault's departure, general manager Mike Gillis conducted head coach interviews with John Stevens, Glen Gulutzan, Dallas Eakins, Scott Arniel, and John Tortorella. Ultimately, it was speculated that former New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella would be hired by the Canucks, after he was spotted arriving at the Vancouver Airport on June 21. These reports were confirmed on June 25, when Tortorella was formally introduced to the Vancouver media. Coincidentally, a few days earlier, the Rangers had hired Vigneault to become Tortorella's successor as head coach of the Rangers. Gulutzan was later hired as an assistant coach, as was Mike Sullivan, who had previously been an assistant under Tortorella.
Another major issue for the Canucks heading into the off-season was their goaltending situation. Given that the salary cap for the 2013–14 season would be reduced by $6 million from the 2012–13 season, it was speculated that the Canucks would not be able to hold onto both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. Most trade rumours were centred on the 34 year old Luongo, despite the fact that his contract carried an annual cap hit of $5.33 million, and was set to expire at the end of the 2021–22 season. In the end, Luongo's contract was simply too much to move, and it would be Schneider leaving Vancouver: a deal with the New Jersey Devils sent Schneider to New Jersey, in exchange for the Devils's first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, which was used to select Bo Horvat.
With the cap shrinking the Canucks had limited space to sign new players. As a result Vancouver could not afford to pursue top end free agents like Jarome Iginla or Nathan Horton. Instead they used their cap space on restricted free agents Dale Weise, Jordan Schroeder, Kellan Lain, and Christopher Tanev, as well as unrestricted free agent role players Brad Richardson, Yannick Weber, and Mike Santorelli. The Canucks also signed unrestricted free agent Andrew Alberts, after his previous contract with the Canucks had expired at the end of the 2012–13 season. Richardson was brought in to center one of the bottom two lines in a checking role, add girt, and provide the team with another reliable face-off man. Alberts and Weber were competing for the sixth defenceman spot in the pre-season. Weber was also seen as a possible power play contributor as a right handed defenceman with a hard shot, potentially playing a similar role as former Canuck Sami Salo. Santorelli not initially expected to make the team, but instead add depth to the Canucks new American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Utica Comets.
Entering training camp Tortorella promised to make changes to the way the Canucks played and asked more of all of his players. He wanted to make the team tougher to play against. Some of the qualities he felt would accomplish this feat were a hard forecheck, protecting the puck, being strong along the wall, and an increase of shot blocking. The Canucks finished the 2012–13 season as the 27th ranked team in blocked shots while the Rangers finished sixth. Tortorella also stated that he would use the Sedin twins on the penalty kill. The Sedins had asked Vigneault to help on the penalty kill, but he decided not to use them in order to keep the rested for their offensive role. Upon hearing they would be killing penalties Henrik Sedin stated "It's something that I think is a big part of becoming a great player. You have to be on the ice for all situations. For us, we were counted upon to score goals, and if we didn't, then we were terrible. I think you grow as players when you play all situations." Tortorella put the Canucks through a physically demanding training camp. Players were asked to run 2 miles in 12 minutes and were put through a series of intense skating drills. Tortorella believed he could learn about his players when they were exhausted and asked to give a little more.
For the second consecutive year, goaltending was a focus going into camp. After choosing to keep Luongo, the team did not hear from him. He also fired his long time agent, and hired new representation. The move set off speculation that Luongo would not report to training camp and would try to force a trade. Shortly after the change in representation his new agents announced that Luongo would be at training camp. In his first interview following the Schneider trade Luongo stated that he looked into voiding his contract, but he planned to honor it and wanted to re-establish himself as an elite goaltender. The Canucks also had a battle for the back-up position, between Eddie Lack and Joacim Eriksson. Lack had been seen as the heir apparent to the back-up role, but following a season ending injury after playing only 12 game in the AHL his role was put into question. Eriksson was signed to a two-year two-way entry level contract with the Canucks in the off-season after helping Skellefteå AIK to the Swedish Hockey League championship. Though neither player had any NHL experience Lack was seen as the front runner because of his one-way contract.
At the start of preseason, Vancouver hoped to begin a youth movement potentially adding six rookies to the team. While the goaltending situation was almost assured of adding one of the rookies, forwards Hunter Shinkaruk, Brendan Gaunce, Nicklas Jensen, and Horvat were attempting to make the team. Defenceman Frank Corrado was looking to secure a regular spot after he played the final three regular season and four playoff games for the Canucks in 2012–13. When asked about adding youngsters to the line-up Tortorella stated "We’re not going to force it, but we need to get some kids in our lineup." In Vancouver's first preseason game Shinkaruk and Gaunce scored goals while Lack stopped 25 of 27 shots in two periods of work. Vancouver lost the game 3–2 to San Jose as the Sharks out shot the Canucks 42–15.
Two games later, they played the Edmonton Oilers in what turned out to be an eventful game for the wrong reasons. Winger David Booth was scheduled to return to the line-up for the first time since an ankle injury ended his previous season in March. During the morning Booth suffered a groin injury and did not play, though he made his return in Vancouver's next game. Jordan Schroeder became the first casualty of shot blocking suffering a hairline fracture in his foot after being struck by a Nail Yakupov shot. Jensen was checked hard into the boards and sustained a shoulder injury. Dale Weise delivered a check to Taylor Hall striking the Oilers' forward in the head. Hall, who had hunched over to help protect the puck from a defender, later stated that the hit was "probably a mistake on both parts" and "I have to have my head up". Hall was uninjured on the play and stayed in the game while Weise received a two-minute minor for a check to the head. As the principal point of contact of the hit was Hall's head the hit was reviewed by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan who suspended Weise for the remaining three games of the preseason. Later in the game Zack Kassian attempted to deliver a body check to Sam Gagner, who made a hard stop to avoid contact. Kassian, now out of position, began a spin move while swinging his stick towards Gagner. Kassian's back collided with the boards during his spin causing him to lose his balance helping to drive his stick into Gagner head. Gagner suffered a broken jaw on the play, eventually missing the first 13 games of the season. Kassian was assessed a double minor for high sticking. In a post game Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins called the play "A disturbing play by a disturbing player". During his disciplinary review of the play Shanahan stated that while he accepted Kassian's claim that he did not intend to strike Gagner in the head he was responsible for his actions and suspended him for eight games, the reaming three preseason and five regular season games.
With a week remaining preseason, Vancouver assigned Eriksson to the Comets giving Lack the back-up goaltender job. Eriksson made only one appearance in the preseason and stopped all nine shots he faced in relief. The move was seen as a way for Eriksson to have more playing time while adjusting to the smaller ice surface in North American rinks. In the battle for the sixth defencemn spot Alberts struggled in the preseason. In four games he registered 17 minutes in penalties, and was on the ice for eight goals against. Weber was inconstant. He played in five preseason games alternating good and bad games. In his first, third, and fifth games he combined for one goal and three assists, with a +4 rating, while in his second and fourth games he recorded 1 assist and a −4 rating. The duo struggled in the second to last preseason game against San Jose, combining for a −6 rating. Corrado was played well enough to be considered among the teams top eight defenceman, but was assigned to Utica. The decision to have Corrado play in the minor was made to allow him to play more minutes in every situation as a means of helping his development. Just prior to the Canucks 23 man roster being set, following the end of preseason, they claimed defenceman Ryan Stanton off waivers. Stanton had only one game of NHL experience, but was brought in as a possible replacement to Alberts in order to keep a balance between right and left handed defencemen. Up front the youth movement failed to take hold. Guance was sent back to the Belleville Bulls. Despite having a good camp, Gaunce was outplayed by fellow prospects, Horvat and Shinkaruk. Tortorella also felt that Gaunce needed to improve the tempo and the pace of his game and he would benefit from playing more minutes. Due to the injuries and suspensions it appeared that Horvat and Shinkaruk would start the season with the Canucks. However just days before the roster was set Vancouver acquired forwards Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh from the Carolina Hurricanes. Following the trade Horvat was reassigned back to the London Knights, Shinkaruk remained with the team, but was returned to the Medicine Hat Tigers to make room for Stanton. As with the rest of the prospects Vancouver was pleased with their play, but wanted to do what was best for their development. Helping to make the decision to return the prospects to their junior teams was the emergence of Santorelli. Despite the Canucks initial expectations Santorelli had a strong camp where he was one of Vancouver's best forwards. He earned the trust of Tortorella who played Santorelli in all situations helping him make the team.
Vancouver opened the season in San Jose. Jason Garrison scored a goal, as a member of the top power play unit, to give the Canucks the lead. Vancouver gave up four consecutive goals losing the game 4–1. Having Garrison play with the top unit was seen as a change in philosophy from the previous season. Garrison was originally brought in to help an inconstant Cauncks' power play however, he played sparingly with the top unit as the Canucks finished twenty-second in the league for power play percentage. In the game Alexandre Burrows blocked a slap shot on a penalty kill and suffered a hair line fracture in his foot causing him to miss 12 games. The Canucks earned Tortorella his first win as head coach in second game with a 6–2 win over Edmonton. In the team's third game Lack made his NHL debut, against the Calgary Flames. Vancouver started the game slowly and for the first two periods Lack held the team in the game giving them a chance to win the game. Tortorella altered his lines to get the team going, including splitting up Henrik, and Daniel Sedin, which was rarely done by Vigneault. The Canucks eventually won the game 5–4 in overtime on a Santorelli goal. Despite giving up four goals Lack earned praise for his performance. Following the Calgary game Vancouver faced off with the New Jersey Devils. The game was the first match-up of Luongo versus Schneider. Both goaltenders tried to down play the match-up, though Schneider admitted he was trying to outplay Luongo. Vancouver won the game in overtime with a second straight game-winning goal by Santorelli. Vancouver re-matched to San Jose on October 10, again losing 4–1. In the game Alexander Edler hit Sharks' rookie Tomas Hertl contacting Hertl's head and knocking his helmet off. Hertl was not hurt and no penalty was called on the play, but Edler was suspended three games the following day for the hit. The NHL Department of Player Safety deemed the hit illegal as the principle point of contact was with the head. The length of the suspension was increased due to Edler's status as a repeat offender. Tortarella believed that the suspension effected Edler negatively as the season progressed causing him to be more tentative defensively.
Vancouver lost their next game at home before starting a seven game road trip, their longest of the season. The Canucks were down in first game of the trip against the Philadelphia Flyers, when Tortarella again split the Sedin twins resulting in a comeback win for Vancouver. While the Canucks were fining ways to win their power play was struggling going 2-20 and being ranked twenty-seventh following the game in Philadelphia. There was a sense that the Canucks were not getting enough chances to produce a consistent power play, they ranked twentieth in the league in power play opportunities. While the Sedin twins practiced on separate lines following successful stints apart from each other, ultimately second line centre Ryan Kesler was moved to right wing to join Henrik and Daniel on the top line. In their next game against the Buffalo Sabres, Roberto Luongo made 25 saves helping Vancouver to a 3–0 win. It was Luongo's 63rd career shutout, giving him sole possession of fifteenth place all-time breaking the tie with Turk Broda. The Canucks lost their next two games, before recording three straight wins finishing with a 5–1–1 record, making it the most successful road trip in team history. The winning streak moved the Canucks into a first place tie in the Pacific Division with San Jose, though Vancouver had played a league high 13 games. Kesler recorded six goals and three assists on the trip which helped him earn the NHL's Third Star of the Week Award. Vancouver split their final two games finishing the month with a 9–5–1 record, finishing October in fourth place in the division, three points behind San Jose. Although the Canucks were competitive concerns were raised over the high amount of ice time Tortarella was giving his top players and if that would were them down as the season progressed. Kesler and the Sedin twins led the league in total ice time among forwards and trailed Sidney Crosby in terms of average ice time for forwards.
On the first day of November Vancouver signed the Sedin twins to matching four year $28.5 million contract extensions. The following day before their November 2 game, the first of the month, Vancouver retired the number 10 in honour of Pavel Bure. Bure played seven seasons in Vancouver scoring 254 goals, including back to back 60 goal seasons. He won the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year as a Canuck and was integral part of the teams 1994 Stanley Cup Finals run. To further honour Bure the team also changed the name of one of its end of the year team awards from the Most Exciting Player Award to the Pavel Bure Most Exciting Player Award. Bure called it a "great night" adding "It's probably the biggest honor you can get. I'm really pleased." Vancouver won the game 4–0, with their second goal coming on the power play. It was just the fifth power play goal for the Canucks on the season as they continued to struggle with the man advantage ranking twenty-eight in the league. During the game Burrows taunted Maple Leafs' forward Phil Kessel, by making slashing motions with his stick in reference to an altercation Kessel had with John Scott earlier in the season. This taunting led to a scuffle and both player receiving fighting majors. Also during the game Leafs' forward Dave Bolland was injured on a hit by Kassian. While finishing his check Kassian's skate came off the ice and cut Bolland's ankle cutting a tendon. Kassian stated after the game that he felt it was a clean hit, but added "Obviously, people are going to talk especially with my suspension before. But there's nothing there." Toronto's GM Dave Nonis noted that the injury was accidental.
Following the Toronto game Vancouver set out on a four game division road trip. There was a belief that how the Canucks did no the road trip would indicate how the team would ultimately finish in the Pacific Division. Before the first game of the trip, against the Phoenix Coyotes, Vancouver made some personnel changes. Booth was assigned to Utica on a conditioning assignment to help strengthen his groin and get more ice time to help get up to game speed. Dalpe was called up to replace Booth after a conditioning stint of his own. They also changed their Power play set-up changing to four forwards one defenceman. Raising questions was Tortarella's decision to use Dan Hamhuis as the lone defenceman on the power-play. Hamhuis was more known as a shutdown defender and did not have one of the Canucks more powerful shots from the point. Vancouver led the game late, before giving up the tying goal with 1:15 reaming. The game went to a shootout where Phoenix took the lead, Henrik Sedin had a chance to tie, but lost control of the puck and did not register a shot. Henrik Sedin did however, extend his point streak to a career long 12 games and Hamhus scored a power play goal. With the power play conversion the Canucks were still twenty-sixth in the league at 10.9 percent. Two days later the Canucks defeated San Jose, breaking a nine game losing streak to the Sharks. Vancouver lost the final two games of the trip with a combined 8–2 score. Henrik Sedin went scoreless in the final three games of the trip, posting a –5, and being demoted to the second line. Returning home the Canucks faired no better losing five of six games posting a 1–2–3 record. In all five loses the Canucks were tied or leading the game in the third period. Before the team's November 28, game in Ottawa Totarella challenged Luongo to make more saves at important times of the game to help Vancouver earn victories. He also moved Kesler back to center after he had failed to score an even strength goal in 12 games. In the game Daniel Sedin scored his 300th career goal becoming the third player in franchise history to reach the mark, behind Markus Naslund and Trevor Linden. In the final game of the month Vancouver matched up with the Rangers and former coach Alain Vigneault. Daniel Sedin said of the game "I know our former coach is over there, but once you get into the game you're not going to think too much about it. He was with us for seven years and he meant a lot to this franchise, so it's going to be fun seeing him again but once the game gets going we want the two points, and so does he." Tortarella further stated "I'm not going to lie, it's a little weird for me coming back ,but once the game starts, it's about playing and trying to find a way to get a win." The Canucks lost the game 5–2, finishing the month with 31 points four points out of the final playoff spot.
Canucks players in the Olympics Edit
For the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia the NHL took a two week break to allow players to represent their countries at the ice hockey tournament. Several Canucks players were in the running to represent their respective countries. When potential players were invited to orientation camps in the offseason for Olympic teams, seven Canucks players were invited, all of whom made their respective national teams.
Following the Winter Classic Kesler became the first Canuck to be officially named to his national team. After the announcement it was reviled that Kesler had not been a lock to make the United States National Team. Team USA's management had concerns over his declining play over the past two injury riddled seasons. Kesler's strong start to the season alleviated management's concerns. Five days later Weber was named to Team Switzerland. He was one of eight NHL players on the Swiss National Team. On December 7, 2014 both Canada and Sweden announced their teams. The Sedin twins and Alexander Edler were named to the Swedish National Team. While the Sedins were locks to make the team Edler was questionable due to the fact he was injured at the time of the announcement and he had to serve a two game suspension. During the 2013 IIHF World Championship Edler delivered a knee-on-knee hit Eric Staal, which resulted in a four game suspension and he served the fist two during World Championship. Later in the day Luongo and Dan Hamhuis were named to Team Canada. Luongo won a gold medal for Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics as the starting goaltender. Though at the time of the announcement it was unclear if he would return to the same role of if Carey Price would take over those duties. Hamhuis was a bit of a surprise to make the team, especially after having a rough start to the season. Helping him make the team was being left handed and head coach Mike Babcock wanted a balance or right and left handed defenceman. An eighth member of the Canucks organization was named to an Olympic team as prospect Ronalds Kenins joined the Latvia National Team. Kenins made the team after having a strong Olympic qualifying tournament.
With Canada and Sweden facing off in the gold medal game, the Canucks players were guaranteed to win at least four medals. Additionally, with the U.S. and Finland facing off in the bronze medal game, American Ryan Kesler had an opportunity to be Vancouver's fifth medallist. However, Finland earned a 5–0 victory over the U.S. in the bronze medal game, so Vancouver's only Olympic medals would come from the gold medal game. Team Canada finished the gold medal game with a 3–0 victory over Team Sweden, so Dan Hamhuis and Roberto Luongo returned to Vancouver with gold medals, while Alexander Edler and Daniel Sedin returned with silver medals.
Post season Edit
John Tortorella was fired from his position of head coach soon after the regular season.
|1||y – Anaheim Ducks||82||54||20||8||51||266||209||116|
|2||San Jose Sharks||82||51||22||9||41||249||200||111|
|3||Los Angeles Kings||82||46||28||8||38||206||174||100|
|1||y – Colorado Avalanche||82||52||22||8||47||250||220||112|
|2||St. Louis Blues||82||52||23||7||43||248||191||111|
|1||z – Anaheim Ducks||82||54||20||8||51||266||209||116|
|2||San Jose Sharks||82||51||22||9||41||249||200||111|
|3||Los Angeles Kings||82||46||28||8||38||206||174||100|
|R||(Top 2 qualify for playoffs)||Div||GP||W||L||OTL||ROW||GF||GA||Pts|
bold – Clinched Playoff spot, y – Clinched Division, z – Clinched Conference
Divisions: CE – Central, PA – Pacific
Schedule and resultsEdit
|2013 Pre-Season Game Log: 2–4–0 (Home: 2–2–0 ; Road: 0–2–0)|
|1||September 16||San Jose||3–2||Vancouver||Cannata||18,910||0–1–0||Recap|
|5||September 24||Vancouver||0–5||San Jose||Lack||15,149||1–4–0||Recap|
|6||September 26||NY Rangers||0–5||Vancouver||Luongo||18,910||2–4–0||Recap|
|2013–14 Game Log|
Legend: Win (2 points) Loss (0 points) Overtime/shootout loss (1 point)
Stats updated as of March 2, 2014
†Traded to Canucks mid-season. Stats reflect time with Canucks only.
‡Traded to another team mid-season. Stats reflect time with Canucks only.
Bold/italics denotes franchise record.
Awards and honoursEdit
|Ryan Kesler||NHL Third Star of the Week (week ending October 27, 2013)|||
|Roberto Luongo||NHL Third Star of the Week (week ending December 8, 2013)|||
|Ryan Kesler||Cyclone Taylor Trophy (team MVP)|||
|Eddie Lack||Fred J. Hume Award (unsung hero)|||
|Dan Hamhuis||Babe Pratt Trophy (best defenceman)|||
|Zack Kassian||Pavel Bure Most Exciting Player Award|||
|Henrik Sedin||Cyrus H. McLean Trophy (leading point-scorer)|||
|Ryan Stanton|| 1st NHL point|
1st NHL assist
|October 6, 2013|||
|David Booth||200th NHL point||October 6, 2013|||
|Dan Hamhuis||200th NHL assist||October 6, 2013|||
|Eddie Lack|| 1st NHL game|
1st NHL start
1st NHL win
|October 6, 2013|| |
|Henrik Sedin||800th NHL point||October 15, 2013|||
|Chris Tanev||100th NHL game||October 17, 2013|||
|Ryan Stanton||1st NHL goal||October 17, 2013|||
|Brad Richardson||400th NHL game||October 19, 2013|||
|Darren Archibald||1st NHL game||October 25, 2013|||
|Darren Archibald|| 1st NHL point|
1st NHL assist
|November 2, 2013|||
|Ryan Kesler||600th NHL game||November 17, 2013|||
|Zack Kassian||100th NHL game||November 17, 2013|||
|Jeremy Welsh||1st NHL goal||November 22, 2013|||
|Ryan Kesler||200th NHL assist||November 22, 2013|||
|Dan Hamhuis||700th NHL game||November 22, 2013|||
|Daniel Sedin||300th NHL goal||November 28, 2013|||
|Eddie Lack||1st NHL shutout||December 9, 2013|||
|David Booth||400 NHL game||December 14, 2013|||
|Kevin Bieksa||500th NHL game||December 22, 2013|||
|David Booth||100th NHL assist||December 22, 2013|||
|Jason Garrison||100th NHL point||January 8, 2014|||
|Tom Sestito||100th NHL game||January 10, 2014|||
|Joacim Eriksson||1st NHL game||January 15, 2014|||
|Kellan Lain||1st NHL game||January 18, 2014|||
|Kellan Lain|| 1st NHL goal|
1st NHL point
|January 21, 2014|||
|Alexandre Burrows||600th NHL game||March 2, 2014|||
|Darren Archibald||1st NHL goal||March 8, 2014|||
|Nicklas Jensen|| 1st NHL point|
1st NHL assist
|March 10, 2014|||
|Henrik Sedin||1,000 NHL game||March 12, 2014|||
|Nicklas Jensen||1st NHL goal||March 14, 2014|||
|Daniel Sedin||800th NHL point||March 27, 2014|||
|Mike Zalewski||1st NHL game||April 12, 2014|||
|Frank Corrado|| 1st NHL goal|
1st NHL point
|April 13, 2014|||
|Mike Zalewski|| 1st NHL assist|
1st NHL point
|April 13, 2014|||
|Kellan Lain||Fastest fight to start an NHL career (two seconds)||January 18, 2014|||
|Eddie Lack||Canucks rookie record for most shutouts (3)||February 28, 2014|||
|Eddie Lack||Canucks rookie record for most consecutive starts (19) shared with Corey Hirsch||April 7, 2014|||
The Canucks have been involved in the following transactions during the 2013–14 season:
|June 30, 2013|| To Vancouver Canucks:|
1st-round pick (9th overall) in 2013
| To New Jersey Devils:|
|September 28, 2013|| To Vancouver Canucks:|
| To Carolina Hurricanes:|
4th-round pick (96th overall) in 2014
|February 3, 2014|| To Vancouver Canucks:|
| To Montreal Canadiens:|
|March 4, 2014|| To Vancouver Canucks:|
| To Ottawa Senators:|
|March 4, 2014|| To Vancouver Canucks:|
| To Florida Panthers:|
|March 5, 2014|| To Vancouver Canucks:|
5th-round pick in 2015
| To New York Rangers:|
Claimed via waiversEdit
^ 1: The NHL uses a point system for their standings that awards two points for a win and one point an overtime or shootout loss. The denotation of a teams record is wins-losses-overtime/shootout losses.