Jets - Free Agents, Trades, Rumors, Speculation - 2012-13 (Part XI)
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02-27-2013, 12:16 PM
Good Canadian Lad
Join Date: Oct 2006
Canucks have placed rugged forward Aaron Volpatti on waivers. Honestly, I hope Chevy makes yet another waiver claim here. Volpatti could be a solid player who will add solid defensive play and lots of physicality and toughness, ideally on a line with Wright and Slater as he can play either wing. Miettinen is unreliable with injuries, Wellwood has been useless, Thorburn is losing his role on the team by the game it seems, Tangradi in my honest opinion isn't a fit at the NHL level.
Wright - Slater - Volpatti could be quite the combination of very solid defensive play, physicality and toughness. Could even bump Wright up to 3rd line LW and role a 4th line of Volpatti - Slater - Peluso/Thorburn.
I know we've got some bodies at forward, but i'd try and do something to make way for Volpatti, I think he could fit in much like Wright has been. I like players like this, and Wright, for example, because they can play in your bottom 6 and have a defined role, and excel in that role, which to me helps build identity throughout the team. Volpatti right now through projected 80 games is on pace for 210 hits, which in all of last season would rank him 16th overall in the NHL out of hits by forwards.
I could see Chevy not bothering here given our numbers and depth at forward, but in my own opinion I am not sold on a few of the passengers we're carrying in the bottom 6 at this point in time and I personally would shuffle the deck there a bit given the amount of unreliability Noel has encountered this season with a few guys.
Nonetheless, he played for the Moose in 2010-2011, and Noel coached him, so he and TNSE will have some familiarity.
Volpatti isn’t overly big – he’s listed at 6′, 215 pounds – but he does add physical play and defensive responsibility in a depth role. He’s fought four times in 2013 already – twice more than the entire Oilers team – and fought five times in an abbreviated 2011-12 season, including a spirited tilt with Edmonton Oilers’ behemoth Andy Sutton. Despite relatively limited ice-time, he’s also second among Canucks forwards with 42 hits this year.
But while pugilism and willingness to hit are Volpatti’s best-known attributes, he’s also done strong work in a defensive role for the Canucks. Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault has for some time now pioneered a new approach to using depth lines, deploying his fourth line as defensive zone specialists. The four forwards (and five of the top-seven) to see the highest percentage of their even-strength shifts start in the defensive zone last season all played for Vancouver, and Volpatti was one of them, starting four out of every five non-neutral zone shifts in his own end of the rink.
In three years with the Canucks, Volpatti has started 122 5-on-5 shifts in the defensive zone and just 49 in the opposition’s end of the rink. While the Canucks have generally been out-shot in these situations, they’ve fared well this year – with Volpatti on the ice, Vancouver actually has a slight edge in shots despite the heavy defensive assignment.
Last edited by Guerzy: 02-27-2013 at
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