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Old
03-11-2010, 08:48 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by Drop the Sopel View Post
I think Gillis had the right idea with that trade though. Sometimes the player just doesn't progress like you had hoped and thought he would. I'd have a bigger problem with the pro-scouting if Samuelsson wasn't providing exceptional offense from the 2nd line and Ehrhoff hadn't excelled the way he has.

I like the idea of taking on projects like Bernier. If he doesn't pan out, move him for a small loss, if he does pan out, you've got a steal on your hands.

As it sits right now, it's not a very good trade. However, it was still the right move at the time IMO.
Yes, I agree on this point. Sometimes you have to give a bit more for unrealized potential. If it doesn't hurt you, it's low risk and potentially high return. But it's quite clear from the quote Gillis considered him a top 6 forward at the time of the trade, and a PP asset, not could be, might be with the right training, when he peaks etc., and based on that alone, it's an overpayment.

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Bernier's still a young guy, not like he's reached his peak yet
This is a valid point when you talk about players like a young Bertuzzi, players who every once in a while give you a flash of what they could be, all the tools, just a matter of consistency. Bernier doesn't have consistency issues. He consistently shows no upside beyond a 3rd liner. I just hope he can become one of the league's best in that role.

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03-11-2010, 08:59 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by FruityPants3 View Post
I understand what you are saying, but they paid a premium in assets and salary for a 3rd liner, and from the way Gillis spun it at the time, they felt it was worth it because he was a top 6 player.
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.

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I'd say poor pro scouting, and they probably could have gotten a better contribution off the UFA market (~$2m) and had two more prospects in the system right now. That 2nd would also have landed a better acquisition for the playoffs than Bernier will probably be.
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.

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I understand your point about games played, but it's not like he was a huge part of the team's success. Someone has to play those games.
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.

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03-11-2010, 09:46 PM
  #28
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Yeah, he produces well for a top 9 player. I'm not debating that. He's just a huge cockblock in a top 6 role, which is why I implied he had the potential to become an elite 3rd liner. I hope he does. The guy just gets really ugly points and is simply void of top 6 talent.

I meant the picks as an either/or, but my timeline was off. Either two prospects (after this draft) or the 3rd round prospect and a deadline acquisition this year.

As for unsung hero, I don't think it's that strong an argument for Bernier. That's pretty much the "Rudy" of awards, the guy who tries hard and everyone loves, but doesn't have the skillset or head to be 'sung.' It's also not picked by the team, and previous winners were Ruutu, Sopel and Cooke. Not a ringing endorsement.

And this might sound weird, but I'd be happy if Bernier could just become a more honest Matt Cooke. Just go out and bang and crash, and bounce the occasional puck in the net off your knee.

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03-11-2010, 09:56 PM
  #29
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Nobody with credibility projected Bernier to become a power forward in the mold of Bertuzzi.

A better goal was/is someone like a Dustin Brown, Dustin Penner type big body - a nasty player who can stand in front of the net and shovel in garbage. And while Bernier has not exactly met expectations, he's had a least a bit of success at that role.

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03-11-2010, 09:59 PM
  #30
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Bernier needs to start listening to death metal and just think about **** that pisses him off. Maybe he will take out Kane and his career highlight will be knocking Kane out of the playoffs as the Canucks win the cup

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03-11-2010, 10:02 PM
  #31
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I only bring up Bertuzzi in response to those who go on about "power forwards taking longer to develop." While that's true, the ones that do 'develop' show signs of it coming.

I'd be ecstatic if he developed into a Brown or Penner. I guess I just want to see some progress in that direction.

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03-11-2010, 10:15 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by FruityPants3 View Post
I only bring up Bertuzzi in response to those who go on about "power forwards taking longer to develop." While that's true, the ones that do 'develop' show signs of it coming.

I'd be ecstatic if he developed into a Brown or Penner. I guess I just want to see some progress in that direction.
Well, to keep things in perspective, Edmonton fans were waiting two years to see Penner make some progress in that direction. And just look at that salary, and his acquisition cost. Things could be worse.

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03-11-2010, 11:23 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by FruityPants3 View Post
Yeah, he produces well for a top 9 player. I'm not debating that. He's just a huge cockblock in a top 6 role, which is why I implied he had the potential to become an elite 3rd liner. I hope he does. The guy just gets really ugly points and is simply void of top 6 talent.
Obviously he can't handle the puck like a "top six player" but he's got a good shot IMO when he does get it off with a bit of time and space (which is rare, and something he needs to work on - either getting some space or getting a good shot with little or no space).

I don't think Bernier is the type of player who becomes a brilliant scorer. I think he has the potential to be a mobile, physical player who plays a good two way game, screens and tips well and can actually score the odd goal from twenty to thirty feet out.

We're talking 45-55 points and a good all around game.

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I meant the picks as an either/or, but my timeline was off. Either two prospects (after this draft) or the 3rd round prospect and a deadline acquisition this year.
Fair enough.

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As for unsung hero, I don't think it's that strong an argument for Bernier. That's pretty much the "Rudy" of awards, the guy who tries hard and everyone loves, but doesn't have the skillset or head to be 'sung.' It's also not picked by the team, and previous winners were Ruutu, Sopel and Cooke. Not a ringing endorsement.
My bad about the voters. Other previous winners of the award were Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows... Cliff Ronning..

I think the truth lies somewhere in between - ultimately role players having good years are the types of guys who win that, but I don't think that's anything to sneeze at.

Don't get me wrong - I think Bernier has to improve on his play so far as a Canuck to be considered a good acquisition - at this point I'd categorize the trade as.. reasonable, I guess.

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And this might sound weird, but I'd be happy if Bernier could just become a more honest Matt Cooke. Just go out and bang and crash, and bounce the occasional puck in the net off your knee.
Doesn't sound weird, although IMO Bernier will consistently outscore Cooke over his career.

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Old
03-11-2010, 11:29 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by roddy View Post
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.
This doesn't appear to be true. Bernier had 18 points in 39 games prior to January and has averaged 14:24 in ice time this season, probably a bit more prior to the injury. Assuming it was around 15 minutes, I found 20 guys with better points-per-game than Bernier but fewer minutes, and 27 with more ice time but fewer ppg.

The thing is, the latter list is very heavy with checking forwards like Madden, McClement, Grier, Halpern, etc. If you remove those guys, who get their icetime because of their defensive play, the list is reduced by half or more.

And if you look at a statistic like GVT (http://www.puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=233) that attempts to measure overall contribution, Bernier is in the bottom half of the group with icetime similar to his - 15th out of 23 guys with 14:24-15:00 minutes per game.

In short, there doesn't seem to be much statistical evidence that Bernier has been a particularly good third-line producer, even prior to the injury. And his first-half points pace was slightly better than the previous two seasons.

(Funny coincidence: the guy that seems to be the most similar in the league to Bernier this season in terms of ice time, production, age, and cap hit is Drew Stafford - who's also out indefinitely with a groin injury.)

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03-12-2010, 12:09 AM
  #35
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where are you referencing these up to day GVT numbers from?

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03-12-2010, 12:10 AM
  #36
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Sorry, I think when I was looking at that originally (a few months ago) I was looking at even strength ice time. As I've mentioned in this thread Bernier's powerplay production is not up to snuff so he falls back to the pack when you look at overall ice time.

If you check the 2009-10 VUKOTA projections for Puck Prospectus you'll see that Bernier is 7th on the team in ESGFA, ahead of players like Samuelsson, Sundin and Wellwood.

You mention that guys like Madden, Grier etc justify their ice time with stellar defensive play - obviously it's a bit different, and it's particular to his situation here in Vancouver but I think it's worth stating that Bernier's strong physical play is of special value to the Canucks considering the rest of the forward group.

If he'd played 65 games at the pace he's gone this season he'd be top 50 in the league for hits among forwards - the only other Canuck in that group is Tanner Glass and we're probably best off with him on the fourth line.

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03-12-2010, 02:06 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
where are you referencing these up to day GVT numbers from?
behindthenet.ca added them a few weeks ago.

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Old
03-12-2010, 03:01 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by roddy View Post
You mention that guys like Madden, Grier etc justify their ice time with stellar defensive play - obviously it's a bit different, and it's particular to his situation here in Vancouver but I think it's worth stating that Bernier's strong physical play is of special value to the Canucks considering the rest of the forward group.

If he'd played 65 games at the pace he's gone this season he'd be top 50 in the league for hits among forwards - the only other Canuck in that group is Tanner Glass and we're probably best off with him on the fourth line.
I agree that his strength and physical play is useful. The problem is, I don't think we have the team to take advantage of it properly. Bernier looks best when he's along the boards, digging the puck out and feeding it to somebody else. But we don't have many guys who can sit in front of the net effectively, so he gets stuck doing that. And he just doesn't have the hands for it. I think his awful PP numbers (he actually gets fewer points per minute 5-on-4 than 5-on-5) bear that out, because he's pretty much always in front of the net in that situation, where with 5-on-5 he's on the wing and in the corners a lot more.

So where to put him so he plays his best? Burrows, Samuelsson, and Grabner fit better with the Sedins and/or Kesler-Raymond, both in theory and from what we've seen in actual play. Third line, then - but none of the other guys we have for that line now and in the near future are really what Bernier needs: a big body that can park in front so he doesn't have to.

So Bernier is going to continue in a less-than-optimal role if he sticks around here, and he's a little expensive for the kind of production that results from that. We're probably better off moving him - and he may well see a jump in his production if he winds up on a team that can use him better - and replacing him with someone who's cheaper or at least can finish effectively from the slot.

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03-12-2010, 04:35 AM
  #39
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But remember this: who will AV play in his stead, as Hansen will eventually return to AV's dog house? Will he call up from the moose? Grabner maybe? Shirokov possibly? No. We will see more of Hordichuk, Rypien, Johnson, and Glass. You can say many things about Bernier but at least Bernier isn't as bad as Hordichuk, Johnson, Rypien and the steadily worsening Glass.
How do you know Hansen will get back into the doghouse, if he continues to play well he won't.

How do you know they won't call someone up from the farm.

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03-12-2010, 05:45 AM
  #40
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How do you know Hansen will get back into the doghouse, if he continues to play well he won't.

How do you know they won't call someone up from the farm.
Well, obviously it's just my line of thought, but I base it on the fact that AV doesn't seem to like Hansen too much, and has in the past scratched him without just reason. And also based on AV's tendency to ice "tough" gritty players over skilled offensive players in his bottom 6 which is understandable, the bottom 6 is usually made up of grinders. Furthermore it appears AV has a man-crush on Hordichuk, there's no other reason to play him, he's terrible, Johnson as well, Rypien hasn't been very good either yet they see consistent ice time over a player like Matt Pettinger, who is arguably a better player than Hordichuk and friends.

25 points in 43 games (0.581 PPG) in the AHL isn't bad, and when we had him up here, he was playing pretty well, at least better than Rypien, Hordichuk, Johnson. In comparison Shiriokov is said by many to be having a pretty good year in the A', and yet he has 40 points per 63 games (0.634 PPG), not a whole lot better than Pettinger's numbers and that does not take into consideration that Pettinger is a much better defensive player than Shirokov is. And despite this, we haven't even heard a peep from the organization on Pettinger's status, or possibility of being called up. Definitely not a game changer, but having him on the 4th line would make me feel better whenever they're on the ice, vs. having to fear that Johnson is going to go down to block a shot and have the opponents skate around him, and Hordichuk's general lack of speed, puck handling ability, shooting ability, passing ability, fighting ability, and all round skill.


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Old
03-12-2010, 05:45 AM
  #41
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Yes, I agree on this point. Sometimes you have to give a bit more for unrealized potential. If it doesn't hurt you, it's low risk and potentially high return. But it's quite clear from the quote Gillis considered him a top 6 forward at the time of the trade, and a PP asset, not could be, might be with the right training, when he peaks etc., and based on that alone, it's an overpayment.
I agree as well that the risk was worth it. If he can at the very least develop into a decent third line player (he's got 20 goal 40 point upside) then we'll at least get a 2nd round pick back for him if we do decide to trade him away.

Guys like Bernier tend to get picked up at the trade deadline for a 3rd maybe even a 2nd round draft pick. We gave up 2 picks to get him but if we do need to trade him away we should be able to get at least a 2nd or 3rd back for him which makes our cost for Bernier basically a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick and for what he's provided us so far it's not a bad return.

I agree it hasn't turned out to be a great trade by any means but at the same time the potential is still there and who knows perhaps Gillis will be able to package Bernier in some deal and get us an even better asset.

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03-12-2010, 08:53 AM
  #42
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Originally Posted by Lard_Lad View Post
I agree that his strength and physical play is useful. The problem is, I don't think we have the team to take advantage of it properly. Bernier looks best when he's along the boards, digging the puck out and feeding it to somebody else. But we don't have many guys who can sit in front of the net effectively, so he gets stuck doing that. And he just doesn't have the hands for it. I think his awful PP numbers (he actually gets fewer points per minute 5-on-4 than 5-on-5) bear that out, because he's pretty much always in front of the net in that situation, where with 5-on-5 he's on the wing and in the corners a lot more.
Interesting point - I think he has improved in the role of a big guy who screens and tips pucks this year and he reportedly spent time working on getting off shots in close quarters, but there's pretty much no way he'll develop the scoring touch in close of a guy like Holmstrom.

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So where to put him so he plays his best? Burrows, Samuelsson, and Grabner fit better with the Sedins and/or Kesler-Raymond, both in theory and from what we've seen in actual play. Third line, then - but none of the other guys we have for that line now and in the near future are really what Bernier needs: a big body that can park in front so he doesn't have to.
Well when you add in Raymond you're talking about four wingers with three available top six spots. So Bernier should be able to play on the third with at least one linemate who is able to put the puck in the net.

I think a good option (for next year at least) would be something like Bernier and Grabner, centered by - Hodgson, Wellwood, whoever. As you mentioned Bernier does a lot of his best work digging out the puck along the boards and from what we've seen Grabner does a great job of finding open areas and getting off quick, dangerous shots. Bernier may not be the best gargbage man in the league but he sure is willing to follow the play to the net.

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So Bernier is going to continue in a less-than-optimal role if he sticks around here, and he's a little expensive for the kind of production that results from that. We're probably better off moving him - and he may well see a jump in his production if he winds up on a team that can use him better - and replacing him with someone who's cheaper or at least can finish effectively from the slot.
I dunno. When I think about this scenario I think about who we might get to replace Bernier - the only options that are as physical and cheaper and that we can actually acquire have literally 0 hope to be productive offensive players.. and making the trade off for a guy who is as productive but less physical leaves the Canucks with one of the softest top nines in the league (if we're not there already).

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03-12-2010, 10:15 AM
  #43
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I agree as well that the risk was worth it.
Don't like Bernier, never liked Bernier, didn't like the acquisition when it happened, didn't like when Gillis then went and RE signed him.

But all that said...

It wasn't a completely boneheaded GM move. There were plausible reasons for making move...so I just file this one under "you win some, you lose some".

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03-12-2010, 11:07 AM
  #44
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Nobody with credibility projected Bernier to become a power forward in the mold of Bertuzzi.

A better goal was/is someone like a Dustin Brown, Dustin Penner type big body - a nasty player who can stand in front of the net and shovel in garbage. And while Bernier has not exactly met expectations, he's had a least a bit of success at that role.
I always worried that he might be a power forward in the mold of Jim Sandlak.

Sadly, I think I might be right.

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03-12-2010, 11:55 AM
  #45
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I always worried that he might be a power forward in the mold of Jim Sandlak.

Sadly, I think I might be right.
And what the **** would be wrong with that?

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03-12-2010, 12:41 PM
  #46
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Well, to keep things in perspective, Edmonton fans were waiting two years to see Penner make some progress in that direction. And just look at that salary, and his acquisition cost. Things could be worse.
I started to comment about how at least Penner was making significantly more of an offensive contribution, which is true, but then when you look at the age differential that might not be fair to Bernier. I keep forgetting he's still only 24.

Roddy, I think we agree for the most part. I'd love to see him with a clearly defined role in the playoffs.

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I always worried that he might be a power forward in the mold of Jim Sandlak.

Sadly, I think I might be right.
His indifference the last few weeks was reminiscent of the 'house.' Hopefully that was just the injury.

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03-12-2010, 01:05 PM
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And what the **** would be wrong with that?
LOL. Well played.

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03-12-2010, 01:05 PM
  #48
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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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03-12-2010, 01:07 PM
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Peter Griffin
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Just imagine if Gillis had managed to steal Backes from the Blues. Although the whole "Kelly's a great gal" would've never happened. Hmmm, yea, better that St.Louis kept Backes.

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