Thread: Injury Report: Bernier out 4-6 weeks
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03-12-2010, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by roddy View Post
I've had this discussion a bunch of times so you'll excuse me if it sounds like I'm trotting out a bunch of points I've made before, it's because I am.

If you look at Bernier's spot on the depth chart he is a third liner but if you compare his scoring over the last couple of years (and to January 9th of this year) he is producing at a top six pace. There are only a handful of players in the league who get Bernier's ice time and outproduce him. There are however, a ******** of players Bernier outproduces while getting less ice time.

Pitseleh has pointed out that Bernier underproduces on the powerplay, which is true - although I would argue that he has improved somewhat at tipping the puck, and I would also make the point that the guy screening a goaltender with the man advantage is not going to get a point on a play where his screen prevents them from stopping a shot from the outside.

As for the UFA signing - well, nobody planned to be paying Steve Bernier $2m+, but even without considering that who signed for the same or less that would have been better?

Mikael Samuelsson, Keith Tkachuk, Steve Reinprecht, Bill Guerin, Doug Weight, Ruslan Fedotenko, Chad Larose, Radek Dvorak, Petr Sykora, Todd Bertuzzi, Jason Williams, Travis Moen, Mark Recchi, Georges Laraque, Bobby Holik.. those are the kinds of guys you get for your $1.5-2.5m on the UFA market.

I don't like many of therm more than Bernier, not all of them fill the same type of role he does and I don't have much reason to believe the Canucks could've signed them to the same deals they signed with other teams.

As for the picks, you can't have it both ways. Either we have two future prospects, or we have one and a deadline acquisition. Perhaps we don't get as much of a contribution from Bernier in this playoffs as Ottawa, Washington, Buffalo and Boston get from theirs but ultimately only one of those teams is coming out of the East and they are all likely losing their new acquisitions come July.

Didn't Bernier's teammates vote him the unsung hero of last year's team? By definition the winner of that award isn't going to have played a "huge" role but I'm willing to bet his teammates and coaches appreciate his presence more than the average Canucks fan seems to.
This is a great post. It's an interesting discussion because with the group of forwards we have right now, it's a lot more difficult to crack our top 6 than on other teams. No question about that. Hell, the Raymond/Kesler/Samuelsson line could leave tomorrow and become the Thrashers top line probably.

So the question is, although Bernier drops off statistically and there's no way he can make our top 6 barring an injury what is the best way to handle him?

If a case can be made based on your stats, in terms of Gillis selling him to another team is that the best route? If Gillis can convince another manager that Bernier is a second line player and is likely to only get better is that something you're inclined to explore?

Regardless of the how and why Bernier came to make 2.0 M a season, is he somebody you want to carry at that salary? I'm of the opinion that Berniers best days are ahead of him, but I'm also starting to think he just needs more opportunity to do so. The guy from what I've heard has a bit of a confidence problem and gets down on himself, but if he's in a situation where he's more or less guaranteed top 6 ice time and powerplay time maybe that's actually what he needs?

I'm inclined to trade him in the summer barring some kind of miracle play in the playoffs (which obviously seems even less likely now that he's recovering from an injury -but who knows).

I think if you wait much longer, his potential becomes more stagnant and he quickly turns into another Pyatt whereby teams were once willing to give something up for him but now his value is just so low you're not getting much in return.

The other thing to consider is that while Bernier is clearly having a rough year this season, next year could be different. I for one never expected Kesler, Burrows, Samuelsson, Raymond or the Sedins to play as well as they have this season. It's a pretty amazing accomplishment that all those players have elevated their game this season (or at the very least haven't gotten worse). We likely wouldn't have predicted which of these guys would have the seasons they did either. In the summer it could have been Bernier, Wellwood, Grabner or Shirokov? And what if next year one of these guys takes a small step back but Bernier takes a small step forward? All of the sudden you feel good about moving Bernier up to our second line and (for the sake of argument) feel equally as good moving Raymond back down a line.

It's a bit presumptuous to assume our top 6 group will play as well as they did this season, isn't one of them bound to have an offseason?

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