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-   -   Mason Raymond appreciation thread (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=690130)

Outside99* 10-08-2009 03:51 PM

Mason Raymond appreciation thread
I have been very impressed with Mason Raymond so far this year. This looks like a breakout year for him.

He is so much stronger on the puck than last year, his forechecking has also improved, he is more confident handling the puck, he continues to be one of the best PKers out there and his back-check is simply phenomenal. Even during the usual shoving matches after the whistle, he doesn't get pushed around as much as last year it seems. The main area that I think he needs to improve is seeing his teammates and passing more.

Some behind the net stats:
PK - very good, same level as Burrows and Kesler (and much better than Rypien and Johnson). On for 1 goal.
Even strength - excellent. generating 50+ shots per 60 and giving up less than 20. Has NOT been on the ice for any even strength goal (although he did jump off the ice just before CBJs 1st goal).
Kesler and Samuelsson's stats are close to Raymond's mostly because of last night against the Habs. Before last night, Raymond's #s were clearly better than everyone else except the Sedins and Burrows. He will make that line so much better.

I have to admit, last year I was so-so of Raymond mostly because he was pegged as top 6 but couldn't get it done. Once he was "converted" into a 2 way, penalty-killing 3rdl liner, his contribution became positive again. Even this summer I was saying that with Hodgson and Grabner likely to graduate, Canucks should trade him. Most people on this board didn't think Canucks would get much for him. Look at him now, no way he gets traded and his value must be rising (although the rest of the league has 29 other teams to worry about so it takes them time to realize how good a player is).

He'll be an RFA this year, what kind of contract is he going to get, $8M for 4 years? What are your impressions of Mason Raymond so far and how important do you think his contribution to Canucks' success will be this year? I'm hoping he's going to get 25 and 25 this year for 50 points, am I being overly optimistic? Or is this going to be another disappointing year with an early fast start that fizzles by December?

Balls Mahoney 10-08-2009 03:53 PM

I've been one of Raymond's biggest critics over the years but the kid has won me over. I can't believe what a tenacious player he's becoming and he is slowly beginning to think the game on a NHL level. His style also fits Kesler's like a glove and the two play well together. I'm all for keeping him in the top six for the time being and maybe cementing him there. The kid has all the tools and is slowly developing a tool box.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm a fan of Mason Raymond.

I'd think 4.5 mil over three years.

Zorbane 10-08-2009 03:58 PM

The time on the fourth line last year REALLY paid off.

Vote for Rory 10-08-2009 03:59 PM

I've tried to be a fan of Raymond since he started with Vancouver, but it has been very hard. I love what the guy can bring to the table, but he just never seemed to be able to put it together. Last year was huge for him, he really worked on his defense and became great at it really.

I never would of thought that Raymond could be the type of player he is turning into, it's really quite amazing.

tesplen 10-08-2009 04:00 PM

Yeah, he's looked pretty good so far. He looked good in pre-season and I was worried that wasn't going to carry over into the regular season, but so far it looks like he hasn't missed a step and is still playing just as hard and confident. Hopefully he can continue to improve and not fade as the season wears on. Last season was disappointing because Demitra predicted Raymond would score 30 goals playing with him, and that never materialized. I'll be happy if he can chip in 20+ playing with Kesler.

KDizzle 10-08-2009 04:03 PM

I'm a fan of Mason Raymond.
But I'm going to wait until about midseason to shower him with accolades.

So far, he's shown grit along the boards, a willingness to drive to the net and take punishment. He appears to be following a development curve similar to Kesler despite coming into the league later.

But appearances can be deceiving, so that's why I'm going to wait a few months before I make those extrapolations more definite.

Wayne Maki 10-08-2009 04:05 PM


Originally Posted by tesplen (Post 21494442)
Last season was disappointing because Demitra predicted Raymond would score 30 goals playing with him, and that never materialized. I'll be happy if he can chip in 20+ playing with Kesler.

I don't think Demitra is the best judge of talent. Apparently Pyatt plays like Tkachuk and Raymond plays like Gaborik.

I really like Raymond's game now. He has made huge steps from that skinny little rookie who was forced into our top six.

LostMyGlasses* 10-08-2009 04:15 PM

So far he looks good after 3 games, and I think I attribute it to him becoming more physically involved in the play.

Obviously driving the night and scoring that beauty last night is a prime example. I remember against Calgary and the Avalanche he was one of our more physical players.

He obviously is never going to be dominant physically, but if he can still get in those tough spots and deliver good a few good tolchocks in between- he can be an effective player.

CCF23 10-08-2009 04:44 PM

He seems a lot more stable this year. You can tell he bulked up a bit. The last couple years he's been pushed off the puck much too easily. I was also VERY encouraged to see the type of goal he scored last night. Last year he would have taken the puck wide, behind the net without question. It's nice to see him show that killer instinct and drive the net with confidence. The kid has the potential to be a real nice 2nd liner.

lush 10-08-2009 04:55 PM

I along with many other people criticized him quite a bit during his rookie year and subsequent sophomore season. I honestly think that fan expectations for Raymond were initially too high.

For example, when Kesler was drafted he was for whatever reason pegged as a third line player with the hope he could become an elite second line checking forward. Case and point, nobody expected him to put up serious numbers on a second line.

Raymond on the other hand was pegged as a top 6 player and people (including myself) expected him to start scoring as soon as he made our team.

The reality is that both guys aren't all that different. Aside from the few obvious differences, they both have good speed, they can both check and forcheck very well, they both were fairly unimpressive until they filled out more and got the confidence to compete physically, etc.

I also think the tenacity of both Burrows and Kesler has really helped show Raymond how to succeed (especially in an AV system).

R0bert0 Lu0ng0 10-08-2009 05:05 PM

All I can say is that AV playing him on the fourth line and even having the nerve to scratch him as obviously ruined Mason Raymond as an NHL player.

wilty00 10-08-2009 05:07 PM

The one thing I have definitely noticed about him is that he doesn't get pushed around anymore; he doesn't take as much **** from the big guys as he used to.

B-rock 10-08-2009 06:00 PM

I've been a proponent of Raymond's since day one. I've defended his play when quite a few around here wanted him traded. He shouldn't have been slotted into the top 6 when he was. It was too early. But Nonis couldn't figure it out and did it anyways. I've been saying all along that you don't trade a player after he's played only 1 full year in the league. 1 year is nothing. I think he's played now almost a year and a half and we're starting to see what kind of player he could be, now that he's gotten stronger, more confident, and more experienced. His is the same story as the Sedins. They looked like they'd never be able to compete their first 2 or 3 years, and now they are dominant players. Raymond showed flashes since day 1 but was too weak and inexperienced to be very effective. 1 1/2 years later and he's showing that he is quite capable.

I'm not going to say I told you so, as we really don't know what he will do, but I'll always maintain that young players who show talent should never be traded away before at least 4 years in the league. Especially so, when these young players show that they have a good attitude and commitment to bettering themselves. These guys come back to haunt you as a GM.

RandV 10-08-2009 06:09 PM

I remember last year people fans were always hard on him for doing a lap around the offensive zone then losing the puck. Now you're beginning to see why you shouldn't give up on players before they've fully developed. If we go back to the Sedins early days in a Canucks uniform, the criticism was similar. They'd spend the shift cycling the puck down low in the offensive zone, but could never get it to the net and score. It wasn't until they added strength and fully adapted to the NHL grind that they became legit scorers. The talent was always there, they just couldn't utilize it in the NHL until they grew up a bit.

Personally I've been sort of expecting the same thing out of Raymond, to a lesser extent. His skating is a unique talent, even if it doesn't get him anywhere yet lets see what he can do with it when fully developed.

blader91 10-08-2009 07:11 PM

im really happy he isn't tripping over the blue line anymore and it looks like hes gettin use to skating that fast and stopping

hodgson will probily take 3 years in the nhl to get his skating to where it needs to be aswell

God 10-08-2009 07:20 PM

The goal he scored last night reminded me of the one Ovechkin scored against the habs.


I feel bad for Price.

topheavyhookjaw 10-08-2009 07:24 PM

He's looked good so far, I think it was an extension of his play in the playoffs after Demitra went down, him and Kesler played well together, and he started being more physical. He's not gonna be Brendan Morrow, but if he can play with enough of an edge that he can initiate contact, force turnovers and get to the net he will be a solid forward for us.

hackey 10-08-2009 07:26 PM

The Big Mase had 10 points playing 13 games last year... He was on absolute fire.... He had arrived!

Then he ended up with 23 points playing 72 games.

So keep the man love on hold.

opendoor 10-08-2009 07:42 PM


Originally Posted by hackey (Post 21498848)
The Big Mase had 10 points playing 13 games last year... He was on absolute fire.... He had arrived!

Then he ended up with 23 points playing 72 games.

So keep the man love on hold.

I don't think people are impressed by his point total this year (1 point in 4 games) but rather how he looks on the ice. In that respect he definitely looks better than last year and hopefully that translates into more points.

Britton 10-08-2009 07:48 PM


Originally Posted by hackey (Post 21498848)
The Big Mase had 10 points playing 13 games last year... He was on absolute fire.... He had arrived!

Then he ended up with 23 points playing 72 games.

So keep the man love on hold.

This has nothing to do with his point totals. It's the way he's been playing since the playoff's last year. His game has taken a totally different turn, he's been physical, he's been a pest, and he's going to the net. It's like a light went on and suddenly he realised what he has to do if he wants to be successful.

Hooligan on E 10-08-2009 11:12 PM

My Raymond jersey's looking better and better these days... yup-yup-yup! That was one scary off-season.

David Booth Fan 10-08-2009 11:32 PM

He sure played Shirokov off the big team.
Raymond has been our best player minus the Sedins.
For the time being, he has earned his top 6 spot

NuxFan09 10-08-2009 11:45 PM

This kid's a keeper. I said in the offseason, his speed alone makes him invaluable and untradeable as speed isn't something this team necessarily has an abundance of. He's continuously thought of as one of the fastest players in the league by analysts and his goal last night showed how speed kills in today's NHL. Now that he's combining that speed with poise, confidence, and experience (plus the offensive skill level he already possesses) he's turning out to be a good top 6 option with Kesler.

My original prediction: 24 goals, 22 assists, 46 points for the Racer. Let's see what he can do from here on out. I'm rooting for him!

elriz 10-09-2009 12:09 AM

im taking a wait-and-see approach as ive been burned in the past, but still, i've been stoked on Raymond again ever since this moment


Karl Hungus 10-09-2009 12:10 AM

Raymond always had the speed and the ability to carry the puck but what's improved is his strength and conditioning. He looks much more confident knowing that he's not going to get smacked every time he's near a defender. If he continues to bulk up I could see him being really tough to handle.

We need to give big props to Canuck management who've got everyone to buy into the idea that we need to be one of the best conditioned teams in the league to be successful. I'm not sure if it is Walter, Takahashi or Gillis that is making it happen but they've found a way to get though to players and generate results.

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