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06-01-2010, 02:03 AM
  #226
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Originally Posted by tesplen View Post
What?

Dude, the SM-Liiga and KHL are on a much higher level than the ECHL.

Also, as you stated, we already do sign guys out of the ECHL (Burrows). Lots of teams do.

The team employs individuals whose sole job it is to travel the country/continent/world and scout players. A good prospect is a good prospect, no matter what league he comes from. If our scouts see a guy they think might have what it takes, why not give him a shot? Are you the owner? Why do you take issue with signing guys from these leagues? It's not your money.

Obviously Sweatt has talent in spite of his small stature, and has had tremendous success in high-level European leagues. I think it's a good signing, even if he does just end up playing for the Moose/Salmon Kings.
Good post, agree completely. If we don't sign them and give them a chance, you'll never find people like Alex Burrows. Sure, the odds aren't that great, but you will never find any of these gems if you don't take a chance on any of them, guaranteed.

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06-01-2010, 03:48 AM
  #227
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Size is relative, and in fact when we talk about 'size' with an NHL player what we generally mean is 'strength'. Usually the two are correlated, obviously, but not always.

Evan Oberg is over 6'0" but because he's so slightly built he's weak/tiny for an NHL defender.

Francis Bouillon is only 5'8" but is built like a tank at over 200 lbs. and has no issues playing in the NHL at his size. Hits like a truck, in fact. Same with forwards like Domi or Tootoo, or Raffi Torres.

Sweatt is built a lot like Bouillon and given his strength and skill level, there's every reason to think he might have NHL upside, provided his defensive reads and hockey sense in his own zone are up to scratch.

The only advantage a guy who is 6'0, 200 has over a guy who is 5'8, 200 is his longer reach. The reason most 5'8 guys can't play defense in the NHL is that they top out at 175 or 180 lbs and can't get over that without being fat/sluggish.

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06-01-2010, 10:37 AM
  #228
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^Oberg's main task for the summer should be to bulk up a bit, for sure. Not an issue with Sweatt.

I'll be interested to see how Sweatt does at camp. He's certainly built himself a solid pro resume with his experience in Europe.

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06-01-2010, 01:13 PM
  #229
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Originally Posted by MS View Post
Size is relative, and in fact when we talk about 'size' with an NHL player what we generally mean is 'strength'. Usually the two are correlated, obviously, but not always.

Evan Oberg is over 6'0" but because he's so slightly built he's weak/tiny for an NHL defender.

Francis Bouillon is only 5'8" but is built like a tank at over 200 lbs. and has no issues playing in the NHL at his size. Hits like a truck, in fact. Same with forwards like Domi or Tootoo, or Raffi Torres.

Sweatt is built a lot like Bouillon and given his strength and skill level, there's every reason to think he might have NHL upside, provided his defensive reads and hockey sense in his own zone are up to scratch.

The only advantage a guy who is 6'0, 200 has over a guy who is 5'8, 200 is his longer reach. The reason most 5'8 guys can't play defense in the NHL is that they top out at 175 or 180 lbs and can't get over that without being fat/sluggish.
And there is also an advantage for an equally heavy but shorter player in that they have a more stable centre of gravity. Crosby is an artist at using this to hi advantage against bigger players.

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06-01-2010, 01:18 PM
  #230
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From what I have heard, Chicago isn't planning on tendering a contract to Lee's brother Bill - a former 2007 2nd round draft pick.

This kid has world class speed and is supposed to be fairly responsible in his own zone. Would love to see Gillis try and reunite the Sweatt brothers.

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06-01-2010, 01:35 PM
  #231
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Originally Posted by The Drunken Crunker View Post
From what I have heard, Chicago isn't planning on tendering a contract to Lee's brother Bill - a former 2007 2nd round draft pick.

This kid has world class speed and is supposed to be fairly responsible in his own zone. Would love to see Gillis try and reunite the Sweatt brothers.
Wow, I find that a little surprising. Bill Sweatt was a guy who had my interest in the '07 draft, definitely wouldn't be opposed to Gillis trying to snag him, although I wonder why Chicago wouldn't tender him an offer?

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06-01-2010, 01:42 PM
  #232
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Originally Posted by Mr. Canucklehead View Post
Wow, I find that a little surprising. Bill Sweatt was a guy who had my interest in the '07 draft, definitely wouldn't be opposed to Gillis trying to snag him, although I wonder why Chicago wouldn't tender him an offer?
With all the guys in line for raises in Chicago, I can't see them trade away a cheap skilled player. He'll probably go to replace a skilled player on the Blackhawks' roster they have to trade due to cap concerns.

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06-01-2010, 01:45 PM
  #233
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Originally Posted by Mr. Canucklehead View Post
Wow, I find that a little surprising. Bill Sweatt was a guy who had my interest in the '07 draft, definitely wouldn't be opposed to Gillis trying to snag him, although I wonder why Chicago wouldn't tender him an offer?
If he was a 1st round DP then couldn't they recover a 2nd round pick this year? They may feel there will be better talent at that position.

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06-01-2010, 01:53 PM
  #234
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With all the guys in line for raises in Chicago, I can't see them trade away a cheap skilled player. He'll probably go to replace a skilled player on the Blackhawks' roster they have to trade due to cap concerns.
it's not a question of trade... they haven't tendered him a contract offer, and the rumours seem to suggest that he's not going to sign with the Hawks. He's just finished 4yrs of college, and as a 2007 pick needs to be signed soon (IIRC the deadline for 07 picks has passed, but for those coming out of college have a later deadline?).

He could be a UFA this offseason... and if he is, wouldn't be surprised to see Gillis make him an offer.

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Originally Posted by Lycanthropyre View Post
If he was a 1st round DP then couldn't they recover a 2nd round pick this year? They may feel there will be better talent at that position.
he was a 2nd round pick... there is no compensation for losing him.

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06-01-2010, 01:53 PM
  #235
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Originally Posted by Lycanthropyre View Post
If he was a 1st round DP then couldn't they recover a 2nd round pick this year? They may feel there will be better talent at that position.
He was a second rounder so no compensation.

Hmmm i think there may be merits to this rumour, looking on the Hawks forum. Supposedly, they have to sign him before this week ends and i can't find him anywhere on capgeek, so no contract has been signed yet (it is only Tuesday though). I wouldn't be opposed to giving him a chance on the Moose.

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06-01-2010, 01:59 PM
  #236
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Billy Sweatt's biggest asset that the scouts were raving about were his speed and his ability to make plays at top speed. His production seemed to hold steady through his first three college years before a productive final campaign, but he was also a member of the Bronze medal USA WJC team in 2007.

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06-01-2010, 02:39 PM
  #237
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Originally Posted by nuckfan in TO View Post
it's not a question of trade... they haven't tendered him a contract offer, and the rumours seem to suggest that he's not going to sign with the Hawks. He's just finished 4yrs of college, and as a 2007 pick needs to be signed soon (IIRC the deadline for 07 picks has passed, but for those coming out of college have a later deadline?).

He could be a UFA this offseason... and if he is, wouldn't be surprised to see Gillis make him an offer.

he was a 2nd round pick... there is no compensation for losing him.
The Blackhawks have his rights until August 15. Even if the Blackhawks were to tender him an offer he could simply wait until August 15 as he would then become UFA. As long as an NCAA player plays out his 4 years he becomes UFA in the year his class graduates as of 15 August.

So for NCAA players who complete 4 years, the team lose their rights as of August 15 in the year the player completes college. That provision seemed surprising that the NHL would not have pushed for the deadline June 30 in the year following the player's graduation. In that case the player would have had to sit out a full year before becoming UFA, play pro in Europe or sign a deal with the NHL club holding the draft rights.

It is not as if the NHLPA would have been resistant.

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06-01-2010, 02:40 PM
  #238
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I just read a bit about Billy Sweatt, and if signing Lee is part of a masterplan to get Billy on board, I'm all for it. Just picturing a future line up with Raymond, Kesler, Grabner, Schroeder and Billy Sweatt is making my pants feel a bit tight.

Of course we'd need size to go along with it, but that speed would put the terrors into opposing defenders.

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06-09-2010, 01:13 PM
  #239
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Interview with Sweatt

http://thecheckingline.com/blog/jame...iew-lee-sweatt

Quote:
JE - How would you describe your defensive style of play?
LS - My defensive style of play has evolved over the last three years of my professional career and especially in the last year or so. Early on in my career, I was much more of a “run-around” kind of d-man that utilized my feet to play guys tight man-on-man. This style, while successful in college, didn’t really work out at the pro level and I have had to adjust my game. I play a body-position, containment defensive style where I use my footwork to always keep my body position between the attacking player and myself. I gradually take time and space away and I try to finish checks on guys whenever advantageous for me to do so.

JE - How do you think you will make the leap from playing in Europe to playing in the NHL or AHL?
LS - I am not worried about making the leap from the leagues in Europe to the NHL or AHL. The NHL will be an adjustment, in terms of size, speed, and skill, but that is why we all play the game; to be in the NHL, so I am not worried at all about trying to adjust to it, I will find a way.

JE - When playing hockey what do you excel at the most what is the best aspect of your game, and what makes you better than other defensemen?
LS - I would say my drive to compete in any situation is a stand-out attribute of mine, as well as my offensive abilities, especially on the PP, where my shooting skills from the point, either a one-timer or a wrister, create a lot of opportunities in front of the net.

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06-09-2010, 02:10 PM
  #240
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Wow, that's a pretty extensive interview. The writer needs help with the concept of punctuation, but aside from that, Sweatt's dedication, confidence, and intelligence are really impressive. Mentally he's a high-end guy. Let's hope he's got the whole package.

I'm now a fan of Lee Sweatt. I'm pulling for him. In any case, with the four new young talents coming in on the D, not to mention Hodgson and Schroeder up front, it's going to be an interesting camp.

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06-09-2010, 02:25 PM
  #241
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Good find. Seems like a pretty bright guy, and he gives his side of his poor production in the KHL (although I'm a little suspicious of that, he claims Riga played defence-first but they were actually near the top of the KHL in both GF and GA.)

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06-09-2010, 03:41 PM
  #242
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I'm becoming a Sweatt fan too, and won't be surprised if he becomes Bieksa's replacement (RHS, 3rd pairing dman that can play the PP). Won't bring the same fighting ability I'm guessing, but he comes with a cap hit more in line with the role he'll be playing.

I can see our 5-7 dmen being:

Rome-Sweatt
Alberts

And as long as Gillis finds a way to replace/upgrade Mitchel's roster spot I'd be fine with that.

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06-09-2010, 04:23 PM
  #243
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Originally Posted by alternate View Post
I'm becoming a Sweatt fan too, and won't be surprised if he becomes Bieksa's replacement (RHS, 3rd pairing dman that can play the PP). Won't bring the same fighting ability I'm guessing, but he comes with a cap hit more in line with the role he'll be playing.

I can see our 5-7 dmen being:

Rome-Sweatt
Alberts

And as long as Gillis finds a way to replace/upgrade Mitchel's roster spot I'd be fine with that.
Forgot about the RHS factor. Tanev's a RHS as well. Both could possibly have a bit of an edge because of that.

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06-09-2010, 05:26 PM
  #244
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incredible article/interview, one of the best I have read in a long time.

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06-09-2010, 05:40 PM
  #245
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Originally Posted by alternate View Post
I'm becoming a Sweatt fan too, and won't be surprised if he becomes Bieksa's replacement (RHS, 3rd pairing dman that can play the PP). Won't bring the same fighting ability I'm guessing, but he comes with a cap hit more in line with the role he'll be playing.

I can see our 5-7 dmen being:

Rome-Sweatt
Alberts

And as long as Gillis finds a way to replace/upgrade Mitchel's roster spot I'd be fine with that.
If that's the bottom end of the depth chart on defense I'll be extremely disappointed. Even if Gillis signs a Hamhuis or Michalek to replace Willie Mitchell you're looking at a lateral move at best from what we had this year IMO.

Mike Gillis has to find 2 top 5 defensemen through trade or free agency before the start of the season - anything less will be a failure IMO.

Throw Adrian Aucoin on that bottom pairing and things look a lot better...

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06-09-2010, 05:43 PM
  #246
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I've been rooting for Sweatt to make the team ever since this signing was announced. He put up extremely admirable numbers in the Finnish league as well as tying/breaking 30 year old records.

That interview displays how intelligent Sweatt is and how dedicated he is to turning into a Brian Rafalski type of player.

Quote:
JE - How would you describe your defensive style of play?
LS - My defensive style of play has evolved over the last three years of my professional career and especially in the last year or so. Early on in my career, I was much more of a “run-around” kind of d-man that utilized my feet to play guys tight man-on-man. This style, while successful in college, didn’t really work out at the pro level and I have had to adjust my game. I play a body-position, containment defensive style where I use my footwork to always keep my body position between the attacking player and myself. I gradually take time and space away and I try to finish checks on guys whenever advantageous for me to do so.
I have never heard of a player analyze his game so much other than two or three cliche words--I'm tremendously impressed, you can tell Sweatt works really hard at improving his game.

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06-09-2010, 08:44 PM
  #247
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I use my footwork to always keep my body position between the attacking player and myself
out of body experience?

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06-10-2010, 02:55 AM
  #248
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[QUOTE=Drop the Sopel;26209686]
Quote:
If that's the bottom end of the depth chart on defense I'll be extremely disappointed. Even if Gillis signs a Hamhuis or Michalek to replace Willie Mitchell you're looking at a lateral move at best from what we had this year IMO.
I disagree. Edler and Ehrhoff will have one more year of development under the belts next year. going into next season, they should both be better than anyone we had on our blueline this year. if this post-season can be taken as an indication, both will be 22+ min/night guys for us next year and will upgrade our 1st pairing.

Rome played very well before he got injured just before the playoffs. AV was using him as a top 4 guy, and he didn't look out of place at all. then if Sweatt can be more stable than Bieksa, the 3rd pairing will be improved by subtraction. now, I don't expect Sweatt to put up 40 points or be able to log 23 minutes (not that Bieksa could; AV just thinks he can), but a smart, simple game is what the third pairing needs.

If Sweatt can't provide it, and MG trusts his pro-scouting, then you have a solid fall-back in AA. and I'd also expect a few veterans in camp on try-outs like at this year's camp, to ensure some competition.

but the UFA signing would be key, needing to be at least a legit #3 and someone that is strong on the PK. my first choice is Kubina, but there are plenty of options out there, especially when you include the trade route. but of course, it's easier to identify a need for a top 3 dman than it is to acquire one.

Quote:
Mike Gillis has to find 2 top 5 defensemen through trade or free agency before the start of the season - anything less will be a failure IMO.

Throw Adrian Aucoin on that bottom pairing and things look a lot better...
which just makes adding 2 top 5 guys tougher. I do agree with you; ideally two guys are added, and at least Bieksa is gone. if KB, Willie, and SOB can all be upgraded, then hooray! but the other approach is to get the best top 4 player money can buy, and ride two pairings and have an inexpensive 3rd pairing.

last years top 7 (ignoring Schneider issues, injuries, etc) of Salo, Edler, Ehrhoff, SOB, Mitchell, Bieksa and Rome cost us $19.18m.

a top 6 of 7 of Edler, Ehrhoff, Salo, Rome (@.8m), Alberts, Sweatt (capgeek has him at $.650m) would cost $12.28m. that gives $6.9m just to get back to last years dollar figure, not even considering any increased cap space.

one option is to spread that out in two or three different directions. maybe re-sign SOB instead of Rome (add $1m, so $5.9m to play with), add Hamhuis ($4.5m, so $1.4m) then use Sweatt's caphit or get rid of Alberts to sign Aucoin at around $2m (might need to dip a bit into the new cap space, depending what kind of interest around the league there is in Aucoin).

Hamhuis-Ehrhoff
Edler-Salo
SOB-Aucoin
Alberts

the other option is to target whoever you feel is the best available dman and throw whatever it takes to get him signed. there's no potential UFA worth $6m this year imo, so $6m can likely get you whoever you want. if Gillis decides to blow his wad on one high-end dman--Neids, Gonchar, Kubina--and run with a cheaper 5-7 I'm okay with that. if Hamhuis is Gillis's #1 target and it only takes $4.5m to sign him, then I'm on board with spending more at the bottom of the depth chart.

but if it takes $6m to bring in Neidermayer, or Kubina is Gillis #1 target and it takes $5.8m to pry him off the east coast, then so be it. imo we're better off adding one top 3 defender than we are adding a #4 and a #5.

of course, this assumes and relies on Gillis and AV having actually seen Sweatt play and feeling he can step into a limited role next year. certainly not a prediction on my part.

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06-10-2010, 11:40 AM
  #249
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[QUOTE=alternate;26223564]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drop the Sopel View Post

I disagree. Edler and Ehrhoff will have one more year of development under the belts next year. going into next season, they should both be better than anyone we had on our blueline this year. if this post-season can be taken as an indication, both will be 22+ min/night guys for us next year and will upgrade our 1st pairing.
Edler and Ehrhoff aren't the problem. They were both big minute players this season.

The Canucks usually have at least one defenseman out of the lineup for probably 40 games a year. Assuming just one guy goes down you're left with Rome, Sweatt and Alberts occupying half of your backend - that's a huge problem IMO. What happens if 2 guys go down? I don't even want to imagine what the defense would look like then...

Ideally Gillis finds 2 defensemen in free agency and Willie Mitchell is cleared to play and given a 1 year contract. IMO this is the best way to get some balance back into the defense...

Hamhuis Ehrhoff
Mitchell Salo
Edler Aucoin
Rome

IMO something along those lines gives the Canucks much better depth. Rome is a guy that can step in when injuries hit and give you solid, dependable minutes. Aucoin is coming off a good season where he played on the Coyotes top pairing and could seemlessly slide into a top 4 role when the inevitable Mitchell/Salo injuries strike - Edler as well can take on tougher minutes...

I have a feeling Adrian Aucoin will be a bargain in free agency. He provides a similar skillset and game as a Pavel Kubina but probably at a fraction of the cost. I'd like to see him targeted as a possible Shane O'Brien replacement - he's the perfect anchor for the bottom pairing IMO.

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06-10-2010, 06:17 PM
  #250
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Originally Posted by DreamCatcher View Post
I have never heard of a player analyze his game so much other than two or three cliche words--I'm tremendously impressed, you can tell Sweatt works really hard at improving his game.
This is also the first time I've ever heard a player describe his game in such detail and go into specifics. Normally you just hear stuff like "I try to keep it simple", "make smart decisions with the puck", that sort of thing. Sounds like an intelligent player indeed who has been using his smarts and his low center of gravity to his advantage. There's probably been more than one or two forwards who have gone into the corners against him thinking they could have at him due to his small stature, but ending up getting knocked on their own rear ends by his strength.

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