Mike Gillis had a busy day on Friday, signing Mathieu Schneider and acquiring Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich in exchange for Daniel Rahimi and Canuckz.com favourite, Patrick White (that was sarcasm by the way). Lets take an in-depth look at everyone they acquired and everyone they let go:
Who did they let go?
Drafted in the first round in 2007 by former GM Dave Nonis, White appears destined to be yet another first round bust. The Canucks went off the board a bit to take him (he was projected to go in the 2nd round), and it looks like a mistake. In two years with the University of Minnesota, White has 26 points in 81 games. Last season he finished 10th in scoring on his team. If White turns out to be an NHL player, it’ll be a shock, if he turns into a star, it’ll be a miracle.
A third round pick from the 2006 draft, Rahimi hasn’t shown much promise. He hasn’t been exactly knocking on the door fighting for an NHL spot, and was probably let go because they don’t see him making much of an impact in his career.
Who did they acquire?
Ehrhoff was the key to the deal with the Sharks. The smooth skating 27 year old German has been a consistent point producer over the last four seasons. He’s a “puck moving defenceman”, and excels on the power play. The Sharks got rid of him to shed salary, even though he has a pretty fair deal, paying him $3.1 million per season for the next two years.
Brad Lukowich will bring experience, dependability and two Stanley Cup Rings to the Canucks blue line. He has one year left on his deal with a cap hit of $1.567 million. Not bad for a guy with his experience who is still only 32 years old. He’s also a BC boy.
Old man Schneider is now 40 years old, but he had a very productive season last year. Once re-acquired by Montreal, he kick-started their power play until getting injured. That’s the key with Schneider, how much gas does he have left in the tank, and can he stay healthy? Time will tell. Still a good signing, as it’s low risk (a one year deal worth reportedly $1.5 million) and potentially high reward. Schneider is a proven power play specialist, something the Canucks desperately needed. He also has a Stanley Cup ring, which now gives the Canucks three players on their roster that have won a Stanley Cup. I can’t remember the last time the Canucks were able to say that.
So what’s next? The Canucks now possess 8 NHL d-men making more than $1.5 million and 14 NHL calibre forwards. They’re also over the salary cap. This means that someone has to go, and probably a defenceman. You can’t have two defencemen sitting in the press box making more than $1.5 million a season. So who is on the way out? Some were speculating Bieksa on the radio Friday afternoon, but I can’t see Gillis getting rid of a guy like that. It remains to be seen who goes, but don’t count out Gillis asking Mitchell or Salo to waive their no-trade clauses.
Meet “THE GERMANATOR”!
In the latest development in what can now be considered an unusual career, the pride of Salmon Arm, Dave Scatchard will be trying out with the Canucks in training camp. Scatchard began his career with Vancouver as a 21 year old in 1997. He was a 2nd round pick of Pat Quinn (makes sense, Pat Quinn LOVED picking big centres, regardless of skill sometimes), but only proved to be a serviceable checking centre with some bad Canucks teams of the late 90s.
Scatchard was part of the trade that was supposed to fix the Canucks goaltending woes (of course it didn’t) when he was shipped off with Bill Muckalt and Kevin Weekes for Felix Potvin. With the Islanders, Scatchard had 4+ productive seasons, notching 27 goals in 2002-03. Inexplicably, his career took a nose dive after the lockout. He signed a big four year contract with Boston, was traded to Phoenix after only 16 games, and then had two sub-par seasons with the Coyotes before getting his contract bought out. Injuries contributed to this, but he still had an amazingly quick exit from the league, playing his last NHL game at only age 31.
Scatchard is only 33 years old at the moment, which should suggest that he may have something to give. That being said, I would be downright shocked if he made the team with players like Ryan Johnson and Rick Rypien already signed to contracts. Best case scenario for Scatchard: he signs a league minimum salary two-way deal and then gets called-up to play on the 4th line when Rick Rypien inevitably gets injured. If he gets that and shows what he can do, maybe he can get his NHL career back on track. It’d be great to see him make it back in the league, but I just don’t see it happening.
My best memory of Scatchard will ALWAYS be when he fought Joe Thornton…
Every Tuesday, Canuckz.com profiles a Canadian sportscaster. Sometimes they’re sportscasters we like, sometimes they’re ones we don’t. Today’s sportscaster is someone we love to hate: Michael Landsberg.
Landsberg first broke onto the national scene as a reporter for TSN’s Sportsdesk in the 80′s (I still think they should call it Sportsdesk, but that’s another story for another day). He was my favourite anchor when I watched Sportsdesk in the early 90′s when he got his current gig as host of Off the Record. That’s when my opinion of Landsberg changed.
Off the Record, for those that don’t know, is a sports talk show that combines celebrities, athletes and sportscasters, talking informally about the sports news of the day. The only problem for those that don’t live in the Greater Toronto Area is that guests are often Toronto sports personalities/athletes and/or talk about the Leafs, Raptors, Blue Jays, Argos a ridiculous amount of time. TSN is never more the “Toronto Sports Network” as when this show airs.
No doubt, Landsberg has a huge ego, he’s not very likable, but I have to admit, he’s entertaining. He was on the Blake Price Show on Team 1040 when he was in town for the Junos in March. He was so cocky, but totally entertaining. He had no problem talking about himself or how great he makes his show, but he didn’t give the standard run-of-the-mill answers.
So do we like Michael Landsberg? I’m still not too sure, but we keep watching him, and I guess that’s the point.
One of the best episodes I’ve seen of Off the Record (amazingly it had TWO Canucks and NO Leafs/Raptors/TSN anchors/Toronto Community Channel personalities/etc.). Find out how Kevin Bieksa “punted” Shane O’Brien…
Reports are circulating that Luongo is about to sign a six year deal worth over $6.5 million per season. If this is true, it would make sense for them to announce it after the Olympic orientation camp (as to not upstage that event) and to do it while Luongo is in Western Canada, where he can fly to Vancouver after the orientation camp (I assume he has spent most of the offseason in Miami or Montreal).
If it’s a six year deal worth under $7 million per season, I think it’s a steal for the Canucks. Don’t believe the bandwagon douchebags that think you can’t win with a high priced goalie. They’re the same douchebags that were saying you can’t win the Cup with a Swedish captain (until Lidstrom did it in 2008) and that you had to be filled with a bunch of goons after Anaheim won the Cup in 2007 (Pittsburgh won without any last year). The fact of the matter is that there are many ways to win a Cup and you don’t have to play this ridiculous copy-cat game to do it.
In the 2nd installment of Canuckz.com’ s 2010 Olympic hockey tournament preview, we’re taking a look at the team that’s opening their orientation camp this week: Team Canada.
IIHF World Ranking: 2nd
Top players in 2010: Crosby, Iginla, Getzlaf, Niedermayer, Luongo, Brodeur
2006 Olympic Result: 7th
What’s in their trophy case? 1972 Summit Series, 1976/1984/1987/1991 Canada Cup, 2004 World Cup, 2002 Olympic gold medal
Canuckz.com’s predicted 2010 roster:
Clearly, Canada has the best depth of any of the teams in the competition. Lately it appears to be in vogue to predict Team Canada and leave out Joe Thornton and/or Dion Phaneuf. The truth is though, if not Thornton, then who? I know he was disappointing in the playoffs, but lets not get silly. He wasn’t the only player to have disappointing playoffs last season (if you can call 5 points in 6 games disappointing). Somehow he’s pegged as a playoff choker and someone like Marc-Andre Fleury is pegged as a playoff hero, despite the fact that he was 8th in GAA and 9th in SV% during the playoffs. Now Thornton wasn’t amazing in the playoffs, but what about Nash (3 points and his team was swept), Iginla (4 points in 6 games and yet another first round exit), or Lecavalier (only 67 points and his team was one of the worst in the league)? Not many out there have a team missing Iginla, Nash or Lecavalier. As for Dion Phaneuf, he had a brutal season last year, but he won’t be that bad again. Look for a bounce back season for him and a spot on Team Canada to go with it.
I also think that Martin Brodeur will be the starter on this team, unless he is drastically outplayed by Roberto Luongo in the first half of the season. Both should get starts in the preliminary round.
The other hot button issue this week will be the question of who will captain Team Canada. The main candidates are Crosby, Iginla, Niedermayer and Pronger. I don’t think Crosby will be named, he’s never played in an Olympics, and putting any extra pressure on him is unncessary. Iginla makes sense, he’s well respected and will be in his 3rd Olympics. Not to mention that most of his peers think of him as the best leader in the game today. Having him as captain with their top player (Crosby) and a veteran defenceman (Niedermayer/Pronger) would be best.
So how will they do in 2010? It won’t be easy, but they have to be considered favourites along with Russia. Playing on North American sized ice should help, as should home ice advantage (although it will also add pressure). You’d have to hope that they can do better than the 7th place finish in Torino and return to the form that won them gold in Salt Lake.
Dan Murphy of Sportsnet is reporting that the Canucks are about to sign Mathieu Schneider. That’s a pretty reliable source, which could mean that Gillis has finally found his puck moving defenceman. I know he’s old, but at the right price (about $2 million per season lets say?), he’s a perfect fit. Stay tuned…
Update: still nothing new to report, he’s probably coming to Vancouver, but nothing has been announced yet. While we wait for an announcement, how about a look back at one of the better moments in Schneider’s career, the 1993 Stanley Cup Final (Desjardins gets the goals, but Schneider’s on the other point!). Enjoy!
With Team USA beginning their orientation camp this week in Chicago and Team Canada starting theirs next week in Calgary, what better time to get an early preview on the 2010 Olympic Hockey tournament that is only 6 months away. For the next few weeks Canuckz.com will preview each of the contending nations. Today we preview Team USA.
IIHF World Ranking: 5th
Top players in 2010: Parise, Kane, Stastny, Thomas, Miller, Rafalski
2006 Olympic Result: 8th
What’s in their trophy case? World Cup in 1996, Olympic Gold Medal in 1980
Canuckz.com’s predicted 2010 roster:
The 2010 Olympics will mark the beginning of a new era of USA Hockey. Gone are most of their key members of their World Cup in 1996 such as Richter, Leetch, Roenick and Hull. The 2010 team will be a lot younger, with the likes of Parise, Stastny, Kane, Kessel and Ryan all playing key roles, despite all being 25 years of age or less. As Team USA general manager Brian Burke loves to mention, they ought to be considered underdogs behind the likes of Canada, Russia and Sweden.
But Team USA has a lot to look forwards to. To start with, for the first time since Mike Richter they are well positioned in goal, with either Ryan Miller or Vezina trophy winner Tim Thomas between the pipes. They are a bit thin on defense, but their forwards have a lot of speed and skill. Sound a bit like that young team in 1996 that won the World Cup? They begin play in pool A with Canada, Switzerland and Norway, so a top 2 finish in the round robin is almost a certainty. The IIHF may have them ranked #5 in the world at the moment, but I think on the small North American ice surface, they will at least make the semi finals in Vancouver.
Is Iceland in the competition this year?
On Tuesday the Detroit Red Wings signed Todd Bertuzzi to a one year, $1.5 million deal. This is an interesting deal on a few fronts. First, anytime a team decides to roll the dice on big Bert, it’s interesting. Second, it’s Bertuzzi’s second tour of duty with the Wings, he was a late season addition with Detroit in 2007. And third, Bertuzzi, at least on paper, it’s a bargain. He actually put up respectible numbers with Calgary last season, notching 44 points in only 66 games. Of course it’s the defensive liabilities and attitude problem that scares away most teams.
If there’s one team that has the leadership base to deal with Bertuzzi, it may be Detroit. And if there’s one coach to harness Bertuzzi, it may be Mike Babcock. Detroit is the only team in the league in which signing Todd Bertuzzi makes sense. Detroit is a team where he can play on the 2nd or 3rd line, and fade into the background a little bit.
Call me crazy, but I’m still a bit of a Bertuzzi fan. During his best years in Vancouver (2001-02 and 2002-03), he was arguably the most dominant player in team history. Just think about it. Pearson Trophy winner Markus Naslund played for Vancouver at the time and teams spent all their time coming up with game plans to stop big number 44.
In case you needed a refresher…
Every Tuesday, Canuckz.com profiles a Canadian sportscaster. Sometimes they’re sportscasters we like, sometimes they’re ones we don’t. This week it’s one of the best in the business, Ray Ferraro. Ray Ferraro is almost like the Troy McClure of the broadcasting business. He could start every broadcast with “Hi I’m Ray Ferraro, you may remember me from TSN, Sportsnet, Team 1040, NBC, Canucks TV PPV…”. What I like about him is he’s not afraid to tell it like it is and offer REAL insider information. Too many ex-players are unwilling to really tell you what happens behind the scenes and criticize players. Ferraro has no trouble doing either (remember when he ripped into Patrik Stefan after this?).
I think Ferraro is at his best when on with Pratt and Taylor on the Team 1040. He has great chemistry with them, and I think the open format of talk radio allows him to really let loose. The format also allows them to play “Brass Bonanza” every time he’s introduced.
Not since Pavel Bure has a Canucks sixth round draft pick generated so much interest before ever playing an NHL game. The Canucks signed their 2006 draft pick Sergei Shirokov on Monday. This begs the question: so who is this guy exactly? Well, Shirokov looks like he has the potential to be a steal of a draft pick. Last season, he lead CSKA Moscow of the KHL in points with 41 points in 57 games. Not too shabby considering his age (22) and the age of the other players he’s playing against. Of course, there are many examples of players who dominate in Europe and fall flat on their face in the NHL (hello Pavel Brendl, hello Jiri Dopita) so this should be taken with a grain of salt. Regardless, the Canucks might have an unexpected blue chip prospect on their hands here. He’s probably a long shot to make the team this year, but could be in their plans by next season.
And now for the best news of the Canucks signing a Russian player, Ra-ra-rasputin! Enjoy…
Recent PostsPopular Posts
- It’s time to fire Alain Vigneault May 15, 2013 42222 commentsIt%27s+time+to+fire+Alain+Vigneault2013-05-15+16%3A37%3A33Robhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.robthehockeyguy.com%2F%3Fp%3D4222
- Hug a Leafs Fan May 14, 2013 42170 commentsHug+a+Leafs+Fan2013-05-14+17%3A46%3A44Robhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.robthehockeyguy.com%2F%3Fp%3D4217
- They’re just not good enough: Canucks get swept by San Jose May 9, 2013 42130 commentsThey%27re+just+not+good+enough%3A+Canucks+get+swept+by+San+Jose2013-05-10+05%3A28%3A46Robhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.robthehockeyguy.com%2F%3Fp%3D4213
- Playoff Time! Sharks vs Canucks 1st Round Preview April 29, 2013 42040 commentsPlayoff+Time%21+Sharks+vs+Canucks+1st+Round+Preview2013-04-29+08%3A02%3A44Robhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.robthehockeyguy.com%2F%3Fp%3D4204
- Ryan Kesler December 2009 Calendar Wallpaper!!! November 30, 2009 77324 commentsRyan+Kesler+December+2009+Calendar+Wallpaper%21%21%212009-11-30+10%3A12%3A02Binh+Hohttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.canuckz.com%2F%3Fp%3D773
- Bieksa to Columbus? Got to Love Offseason Rumours July 2, 2010 169120 commentsBieksa+to+Columbus%3F+Got+to+Love+Offseason+Rumours2010-07-02+19%3A17%3A52Robhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.canuckz.com%2F%3Fp%3D1691
- Concerning Stats Making Canuck Nation Uneasy Before Game 6 In Nashville May 8, 2011 280916 commentsConcerning+Stats+Making+Canuck+Nation+Uneasy+Before+Game+6+In+Nashville2011-05-09+06%3A26%3A26Robhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.canuckz.com%2F%3Fp%3D2809
- Mitchell Talks with Team, a New Assistant Coach, more Larscheid Rumours and more! August 5, 2010 177314 commentsMitchell+Talks+with+Team%2C+a+New+Assistant+Coach%2C+more+Larscheid+Rumours+and+more%212010-08-05+20%3A09%3A54Robhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.canuckz.com%2F%3Fp%3D1773