: The Province:
Sami Salo - Healthy, Lovin' It and NOT Planning to Retire
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04-02-2012, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
It's nice to see Salo have a healthy season, and I hope he does really well in the playoffs for this team, but retired or not, I don't see Salo as part of the plans next season.
He is another year older, and after this season, and given his history, the chances are that he'll be back to his old injury-prone self again... will Gillis lock up a top-6 spot for him? I don't even know if Salo believes that... his comment "I'll be playing somewhere next year" seems to sound like even he believes that he may not be in the Canucks plans next season.
Gillis doesn't make such decisions on emotions... he's let Ohlund walk, then Mitchell walk... and given the preference he has to fast-skating players, I'd guess he'd rather go younger on his blueline next year, instead of trusting that a 37 yr old Salo will have another healthy season next year. Even with Salo, though the biggest miracle has been that he's been healthy, there has been a slight drop-off in his play overall this season, as should be expected with his age. Shouldn't we expect another possible drop-off next season, even if he manages to stay healthy again (which would be another miracle).
I'm a big Salo fan and am glad he's been part of this team over the years, even with all his injury problems... great guy, class act, and has been one of our best overall dmen at both ends of the ice over the past several years - when he's played. But he's not getting any younger, and one healthy season now doesn't dismiss the fact that he's much more likely to have another injury-riddled season following that. Given Gillis' direction with this lineup over the years, I think he'll keep Salo as a backup option, but will first try and bring in a younger, faster, more durable player to fill that role next season. If he can't find that guy, then he'll approach Salo... and I think Salo realizes that... he'll probably give the Canucks a bit of time before signing elsewhere. I think he's even resigned to the fact that if he's back next year, it'll probably be elsewhere.
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