Canuck Comings and Goings
There has been plenty going on in Canuckland since our last post, but somehow life has gotten in the way of our valued commentary. Here is a recap:
Jeff Tambellini - After starting the season on an incredibly high note, he regressed completely and by playoff time was a healthy scratch. Clearly, on a team of this calibre, his opportunities to play will be limited to third or fourth line duty which is not a good match for his skill set.
Tanner Glass - It was hard to dislike this guy; he gave you everything he had. The trouble was that wasn’t much - an NHL effort from a guy with borderline AHL skills. Always a favourite of coach Alain Vigneault, who will be the new teacher’s pet?
Rick Rypien - Have the Canucks ever pampered a player so much who played so little? At any rate, the love affair is over. When healthy (physically or mentally, take your pick), he provided speed and incredible toughness, but dependability should count for a whole lot and it seems it finally has.
Raffi Torres - It’s hard to imagine that the Canucks could have expected more of Torres. Say what you will about his bowling ball antics, he was about the only Canuck that consistently intimidated the opposition. Apparently, the Canucks were only prepared to do another one year deal with him. How many more auditions must the guy give?
Christian Ehrhoff - Everyone did the right thing here. The Canucks offered him fair money in relation to how their defense is currently configured. And Ehrhoff has found himself on a good young team with $40 million in his pocket. We’ll miss his power play skills, but not his purse swinging.
Alexandre Bolduc - One of a lengthy cast of characters who played portions of the season on the fourth line, the wonky shouldered francophone provided size but little else.
Guillaume Desbiens - See Alexandre Bolduc, replace “wonky shouldered” with “wonky handed”.
Marco Sturm - For the money, he is a reasonable gamble. He has the skill set to play on the top two lines, but does nothing to address the ever present issue of size and grit.
Andrew Ebbett - The Canucks become his sixth NHL team in his very brief career. This move is a head scratcher. Not only does this acquisition move Cody Hodgson to sixth on the depth chart at centre ice (at least in terms of NHL experience), Ebbett is a tiny skill player.
Mark Mancari - From the Buffalo system, he provides size and a shot. Along with Ebbett, likely to spend the year on the farm team.
Steven Pinizzotto - An agitating winger who at age 27 has yet to play his first NHL game, the advance press is that he provides a Brad Marchand like pestiness though we say don’t believe the hype.
Alexander Sulzer - A German defender who has played roughly a full season at the NHL level, Sulzer is being added to provide depth to the defense.
Matt Climie - A goaltending prospect from the Coyotes system, we’ll bet that he never plays an NHL game with the Canucks.
After these moves, the Canucks’ talent and toughness have been depleted and with little left in the over priced free agent market, any improvements will have to occur via trade.