The thread in which I invite people to explain how AV hates young/skilled players
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01-19-2013, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Originally Posted by
So we're doing an amazing job then. I guess there is nothing left to say.
First of all, if you're not going to give Crawford credit for feeding the Sedins icetime and being the first person to give icetime to Kesler and Burrows I think you have selective memory.
Burrows played 43 games for Marc Crawford before he was fired and in that same year, played 33 games for Alain Vigneault in Manitoba.
Second of all, Burrows and Kesler were given opportunity by AV in a time where there was a talent vacuum here. Who else was going to get played? Cowan?
In AV's first season, Henrick, Morrison and Cooke were all ahead of Kesler on the depth chart. They also had Linden, Chouinard and Santala at centre (ignoring the late season trade for Smolinski) but of these guys, only Linden was used much. But AV pushed for the trade to dump Matt Cooke, chose to play Linden on the 4th line and put Burrows and Kesler together. In fact, you could probably attribute Linden's greatly reduced role and decision to retire to Kesler's emergence as a 3rd line centre.
AV's true colours are showing here and as a previous poster mentioned, he is risk averse. That means he isn't going to be an ideal coach as far as developing a guy like Shroeder
It wasn't AV's decision to send Schroeder down. Gillis said as much yesterday in a rather prickly morning radio interview. At that point he said IF Schroeder is sent down, he will be back up shortly and will play meaningful games for the Canucks this year. But he also hinted at some of his reasoning. With a 48 game, compressed schedule, they have to plan for injuries. He mentioned Booth, but also said there are groin injuries in every training camp in the league. He also emphasized that the last time the league ran a compressed schedule, it was the NJ Devils and their stifling trap style defense who won the Stanley Cup while the Rangers (odds on favorites) barely made the playoffs. He emphasized the need for good defense as every game is so important. It follows that this influenced the decision to carry 9 defensemen.
I mean, we trade for Kassian...and he ends up playing 2 minutes less per game here? Even when he was basically in the doghouse in Buffalo at the time and had been eclipsed by Foligno?
Personally, I think the Hodgson - Kassian trade was a bad move, but time will tell. None of us knows what CoHo was really like in the room. As far as Kassian's role, he really wasn't ready last year for a bigger role.
This year he will have his chance. Wingers don't have anywhere near the defensive responsibilities of a centre. Kassian isn't expected to carry an offensive line. He can play, really anywhere from the 4th to 1st line as needed. When Schroeder makes the team, he can probably move to the wing if needed, but for the most part, he has to make it as a 2C.
Meanwhile if anyone has the temerity to bring up Grabner or Shirokov, we're going to hear the 'one-dimensional' crap again. Despite the fact Grabner left and scored 30 goals and played the penalty kill in NYI.
And you know what? Grabner MIGHT, when all is said and done, turn out to be one-dimensional. BUT WE NEVER BOTHERED TO FIND OUT. That's what I have issue with and you guys can keep mentioning 27+ year old guys who got their start as much under Crawford as AV and had no competition for roster spots.
I'll give you Shirokov. I don't think he was handled well, at it very may well be that he didn't fit the role AV wanted or needed from a centre at that time. Unfortunately, we lost this player as a result.
With Grabner it has been explained many times. I'll do it one more time.
When Grabner was traded, Mike Gillis knew there was a lot of depth on the wings. We had Raymond who was coming off a 25 goal season, who brought much of the same game as Grabner and was far better defensively. We also had Samuelsson and Burrows ahead of him. Grabner was not an ideal 4th liner - most people figured he was a top 6 or nothing type of player. Gillis also knew that Hodgson and Shirokov were going to be in training camp. There was a very good chance that Grabner would not make the starting roster and in order to be assigned to Manitoba,
he would have to go through waivers
. There is no way he would clear waivers (as he didn't when Florida waived him), so they would either have to tie up a roster spot for a player who was probably going to be in the press box most nights, or lose him with no return.
You also have to acknowledge that there is a big difference between the top 6 forward in Florida (where he didn't make the team) or the Islanders and the top 6 of a team that wanted to contend for the Stanley Cup.
Add to this rationale that also needed depth and quality on the blue line. Bieksa was coming of one of his worst seasons, Ohlund was gone to Tampa and Salo was injured. Historically, the NHL season is tough on defensemen, so Gillis wanted to use a roster spot to carry veteran depth on defense rather than an extra one dimensional winger.
If was the right decision to trade Grabner. We didn't have the option to see if he could make it on the 2nd line here.
Whether Gillis got enough value in return is another question. I think Ballard, at the time, was consider a pretty solid top 4 defenseman. The 1st round pick ended up being Quinton Howden.
You know what else bugs me about our player development?
For all of AV and our vaunted ability to 'make the best of what we have' we have NEVER HAD A STABLE FOURTH LINE FOR YEARS.
This despite bringing in some good FA veteran guys. Where is our King Williams Nolan line? And don't tell me those guys were amazing prospects and high draft picks either.
Seriously - a stable 4th line? There are a tonne of reasons why the 4th line is always going to be in flux.
A stable 4th line is completely at odds with your views about giving young players a chance to make the team and developing from within. Not everyone can start with the Sedins, and AV has demonstrated a strong preference for a stable 3rd line.
A stable 4th line infers veteran players. Veteran players are for the most part waiver eligible, so when you have injuries or need to make roster moves, you have to expose these guys to waivers.
The 4th line is an extremely tough mental role. Rick Rypien struggled mentally with this role and I have heard interviews with Donald Brashear where he said he was terrified every time he was tapped to go out and "dance". In the current NHL fighting is less of an emphasis, but bringing a constant, grinding physical presence is still a mental challenge.
Fourth line needs also vary by opponent and game plan. For come opponents you want the 4th line to do no more than eat up some minutes and not get scored upon. For others, you want to impose a physical impact on the game. It takes different personnel for each.
The young players who end up on the 4th line - most have ambitions to be more than a 4th line role player. Some graduate to the 3rd line (Hansen) others transition to become 4th line veterans and fall into the waiver eligible group. So guys like Bliznak, Bolduc, Brown and probably at some point Volpati come and go. Rypien was a special case - a mid-career veteran who could play every day (when healthy) and was worth holding a roster spot for.
Lapierre is a perfect 3rd/4th line player and as long as he doesn't want a huge payday, will likely be retained for exactly that reason. I also see Dale Weise sticking around for a while.
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