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Sami Salo's 2006-2007 season

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10-16-2013, 06:40 PM
  #1
discordant concord
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Sami Salo's 2006-2007 season

I always thought he was an underrated player, but this struck my eye. I think if he consistently played around 70 games a year he'd be considered to be one of the top 10 defencemen of the past decade, and certainly one of the best two-way defenders.

Pretty remarkable that in 07 he was tied for first in defencemen GWG (with 6) and led defencemen with 3 OT goals, despite missing 15 games to injury. D-men put up big numbers league wide that year, and he was tied for 10th with 14 goals. He also only played about 21 minutes a game.

He also played for a Vancouver team that lacked offensive firepower. They were bottom 10 in PP % and GF. Although they had the Sedins, their roster was dominated by scrubs and grinders (Naslund was pretty ineffective and I'm surprised he had 60 points).


Last edited by discordant concord: 10-16-2013 at 06:57 PM.
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10-16-2013, 06:54 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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few people love salo more than me. but i don't think he'd really have reached that top 10 level. i have him at his best alongside aucoin, ohlund, hamrlik, and guys like that. very good guys, not ideal #1s but serviceable in that role, but great #2s and you're laughing if you have him lower than that (as we did some years).

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10-16-2013, 07:01 PM
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discordant concord
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ok top 10 of last decade might be a stretch. but surely top 10 calibre between 2006 and 2009.

i also feel he was underplayed because Vancouver had decent depth and because he was so injury prone that they didn't want to risk it.

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10-16-2013, 10:10 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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he was/is an unbelievably smart player. fantastic slapshot from the point, obviously, but the thing i always loved about salo, and the one thing i thought he was truly elite at, is his ability to hold the zone. bourque-like.

with all due respect to hamhuis, or diduck/babych, mitchell and salo was the finest shutdown pair i've ever seen in a canucks uniform.

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10-16-2013, 10:55 PM
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Dissonance
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Salo's best stretch of play was probably in the first half of 2005-06, before he got hurt colliding with a teammate at the Olympics.

He was certainly the #1 in Vancouver at the time, ahead of Ohlund and Jovonovski, and arguably a top-10 defender in the league. Deadly point shot, rarely made mistakes defensively, could play in any situation, was logging 24 minutes a night...

But I don't think he ever sustained that level of play beyond that season. He was always a fantastic two-way defender, but not quite Norris-caliber. Injuries always seemed to throw him off. On the bright side, the Canucks got away with underpaying him for so long because of those injury issues.

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10-16-2013, 11:27 PM
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TAnnala
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Salo might be the unluckiest player due to injuries, ever. The guy was literally snake-bitten.

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10-17-2013, 05:10 AM
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the edler
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It's strange how a player can be so prone to injuries without having a playing style to blame. I mean, he wasn't unphysical but he didn't throw his body around like Neely, Lindros or Forsberg either.

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10-17-2013, 06:46 AM
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It's strange how a player can be so prone to injuries without having a playing style to blame. I mean, he wasn't unphysical but he didn't throw his body around like Neely, Lindros or Forsberg either.
Well, some of his injuries were pretty freak: getting a testicle ruptured by a slapshot, getting bitten by a snake while golfing etc. :-)

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10-17-2013, 09:00 AM
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Never understood why Ottawa traded him. Imagine having a d-core of Salo, Redden (prime), Chara and Philips

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10-17-2013, 10:03 AM
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Well, some of his injuries were pretty freak: getting a testicle ruptured by a slapshot, getting bitten by a snake while golfing etc. :-)
Plus the time he tore an Achilles tendon playing... floor hockey. Pretty sure Salo hurt himself in every way possible.

He always seemed to take his bad luck in stride, though. One of my favorite Salo stories, from 2010:

Quote:
Prior to the start of this year's playoffs, he stood in the Canucks' dressing room wearing a surgical mask over his face and holding a bottle of disinfectant, which he sprayed at reporters.

"Somebody was saying today I had an infection," he said at the time. "If I had one, I wanted to put [this] on so you don't get it."

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10-17-2013, 07:46 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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but snake bite, ruptured testicle, crazy infection, or sopel's cracker, or penner's pancake, etc., aside, to me the funniest salo injury was when he fell down his basement stairs carrying groceries from his car and his mother-in-law and kids found him hours later lying on the floor unable to move. think he broke his collarbone that time. just picturing him lying there with his life flashing before his eyes for the one millionth time makes me chuckle.

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10-17-2013, 08:16 PM
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kaiser matias
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He really was great to have on the Canucks for all those years. You could only ever expect him to play about 60 games a year, but in those games he was awesome, with that great slapshot.

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10-17-2013, 09:48 PM
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Salo has got to have some of the most rotten luck any professional hockey player can have.

The 40+ injuries including freak snake-bite and floorball incidents totalling over 200 games he couldn't play in.

Lost in Finnish league final (1997)
Lost in Olympic final (2006)
Lost in World Cup final (2004)
Lost in World Championship final (2001)
Lost in Stanley Cup final (2011 in Game 7)

I just remember him toiling out there in Game 6 vs Chicago in 2010, playing with a ruptured testicle, and he was still the best defenceman on the ice for Vancouver that night. A true warrior. As bad as I felt after the Cup Final loss, I wonder what Salo must have been feeling, to know that he'd probably spurned his last chance to win a major hockey trophy.

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10-18-2013, 01:17 AM
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Hardyvan123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer Time View Post
Salo has got to have some of the most rotten luck any professional hockey player can have.

The 40+ injuries including freak snake-bite and floorball incidents totalling over 200 games he couldn't play in.

Lost in Finnish league final (1997)
Lost in Olympic final (2006)
Lost in World Cup final (2004)
Lost in World Championship final (2001)
Lost in Stanley Cup final (2011 in Game 7)

I just remember him toiling out there in Game 6 vs Chicago in 2010, playing with a ruptured testicle, and he was still the best defenceman on the ice for Vancouver that night. A true warrior. As bad as I felt after the Cup Final loss, I wonder what Salo must have been feeling, to know that he'd probably spurned his last chance to win a major hockey trophy.
Despite all of his injuries, Salo is kind of like the unsung hero, he has actually played in a hell of a lot of hockey games at a very high level for a very long time.

Very under rated IMO.

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10-18-2013, 02:53 AM
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RorschachWJK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer Time View Post
Salo has got to have some of the most rotten luck any professional hockey player can have.

The 40+ injuries including freak snake-bite and floorball incidents totalling over 200 games he couldn't play in.

Lost in Finnish league final (1997)
Lost in Olympic final (2006)
Lost in World Cup final (2004)
Lost in World Championship final (2001)

Lost in Stanley Cup final (2011 in Game 7)

I just remember him toiling out there in Game 6 vs Chicago in 2010, playing with a ruptured testicle, and he was still the best defenceman on the ice for Vancouver that night. A true warrior. As bad as I felt after the Cup Final loss, I wonder what Salo must have been feeling, to know that he'd probably spurned his last chance to win a major hockey trophy.
Yeah, a pretty depressing list there but that's what you'll get when playing for an underdog team that overachieves almost every single tournament...only to fall a little short at the grande finale :-) Finnish international hockey history in a nutshell for ya :-)

But like someone said, none of this can be pinned on Salo, the guy is the epitome of a warrior.

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10-18-2013, 12:31 PM
  #16
feffan
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Salo for sure was one of the 10 best defenders in the leauge for a couple of years after the second lockout. At least in my book. It´s sad to look at his GP - two times above 70 GP in 14 seasons... Well, last he actually played 46/48... The times they are a-changin'?

A seldom talked about what if, that blueline that could have been:
If Jovanovski with the Canucks reached that level one thougt after the 96 playoffs...
If Salo wasn´t injured just about every time you thougt "Well, this time it seems like he gets to play for a while..."...
If Öhlund hadn´t got a puck to his eye entering his third season...

I really believe Öhlund would have been challenging for the Norris in his prime if not. Adding a healthy Salo that probably would at least have been a steady 10-20 defender in the leauge and a Jovanovski (reaching his potential or not...) would have made for some blueline. Canucks history would have been a little different with a bit of luck there. (And you could add Näslunds shoulder and Bertuzzi becoming a shell of his former self...).

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10-18-2013, 01:35 PM
  #17
vadim sharifijanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feffan View Post
If Jovanovski with the Canucks reached that level one thougt after the 96 playoffs...
bure would never have been a panther.

Quote:
Originally Posted by feffan View Post
If Salo wasn´t injured just about every time you thougt "Well, this time it seems like he gets to play for a while..."...
sigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by feffan View Post
If Öhlund hadn´t got a puck to his eye entering his third season...

I really believe Öhlund would have been challenging for the Norris in his prime if not.
agreed 100%. we're talking poor man's bourque in his prime if ohlund hadn't lost all that peripheral vision. the real "what if" of canucks defensemen: so smart, so strong, really good mobility for such a huge guy, and with so much offensive potential that disappeared when that puck hit his eye. great first pass, could skate the puck, he'd have been a 50 point (in the DPE) PP QB while still being a top 5-10 defensive guy in the league. as it stands, he was the greatest defenseman in canucks history anyway, but man...

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