Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tis the season to be signing players~ FA UFA RFA LALALLALA

The Vancouver Canucks are in a bit of a pinch this coming off-season. Before signing Ryan Kesler and Taylor Pyatt, they had a lot of roster spots (9-ish?) left to fill, and not a lot of money to do so. Of course, I'm sure everything will work out in the end, but the question this off-season is whether the Canucks would be coming back with a team similar to the previous season. Dave Nonis (Canucks GM) has already indicated that this might be the case, but icing a team like last season may have its advantage and disadvantage.

For one, it took the team a long time to come together after that major overhaul last season. As soon as they found the chemistry with each other, they played much better down the stretch and more importantly, played like a team. The one downside is whether you will see the same kind of offensive production coming out from the same group or not. Of course, after Christmas, our offense was much better compared to how we began the year, but most of the time it still wasn't enough.

In any case, here are the (long) list Canucks Free Agents with my small comments on them. (compiled by this website and Syntax @ the Canucks Offseason Movement Tracker)

Jan Bulis, (III) - Bulay, Bulay, Bulay. I've always been neutral with him... I don't hate him, nor do I love him unconditionally, but most of the time I think I've always liked him. Towards the last half of the season, he definitely improved his overall game, through some encouraging from his father. I wouldn't mind seeing him back so he can finish what he started in the last half of the season and prove himself to the Canucks fans that he isn't so bad after all.
Jeff Cowan, (III) - Became a cult hero after the "bra" incident and I would only really want to see him stay because of this, otherwise, he's pretty replaceable.
Rory Fitzpatrick, (III) - Another cult hero because of the all too famous "Vote for Rory" campaign. Again, see reasons for Cowan, except he's a pretty reliable 6th/7th d-man, too, who plays for league minimum.
Wade Flaherty, (III) - with the plethora of goalies in the system, I wouldn't mind if we don't resign him. I feel bad that we weren't able to give him a chance to play for the big club though.
Lee Goren, (III) - Definitely not going to re-sign with the Canucks.
Josh Green, (III) - Again, replaceable but a good depth (?) player to keep. Pretty reliable in the PK.
Trevor Linden, (III) - Dave Nonis and Alain Vigneault has been vague about whether they want Linden back, both refusing to comment saying they don't want to influence his decision about retirement with their comments. He will probably be back for another season, the problem really is the $$$ part. He already stated last year that he will be looking for a raise once he proves himself. The problem there is, he is not exactly #1 in the FA priority list and would most likely get the last piece of the pie. I'm sure he will consider taking another paycut to stay. He's still brings valuable experience to the club, so it won't be so horrible to see him re-sign.
Mika Noronen, (III) - Gone. X(!
Taylor Pyatt, (III) - Re-signed for $3 million-ish / 2 years. ($1.5 m-ish / year)
Sami Salo, (III) - Re-signed for $14 million / 4 years + NTC.
Bryan Smolinski, (III) - I don't think he will re-sign with Vancouver. He has always expressed his desire to remain in Chicago, where his family is.
Brent Sopel, (III) - At first, there were happy feelings when Sopes was traded back to Vancouver. He's saying he's willing to negotiate (possibly take a paycut?) to sign with the Canucks again in the off-season, but now he has changed his tune, etc. We have good depth at defence already, especially with a good crop of young ones coming up. It won't hurt if we don't re-sign Sopes. I'd miss calling someone "Sopes" though.
Yannick Tremblay, (III) - He's a bit scary in the defensive zone, but he was a key cog for the Canucks farm team, Manitoba Moose. I doubt he'd re-sign with Vancouver (probably with the Moose), and as I said, we have a pretty good depth for defencemen already.

Josef Balej, (VI)
Jason King, (VI)
Brad Moran, (VI) - Probably going to Europe, he has signed with a German team already, but I wouldn't mind seeing him return.
Brandon Reid, (VI) - Also signed with a team in Europe, not sure if it's the same team as Moran, but I believe it's still in the German league.
Prestin Ryan, (VI)
Dany Sabourin, (VI) - Sabby. Good ole Sabby. Despite his poor start, though I hardly blame it on him as the Canucks couldn't score for the life of them in those losses, he ended his season in spectacular fashion. Replacing Roberto Luongo in that famous Game 5 OT against the Ducks, he held the fort for Luongo who was using a different kind of fort. Definitely want to see him back, but I also want to see him get the ice time he won't get with the Canucks so he can prove himself as a great back up goaltender in the league, and possibly more.
Tommi Santala, (VI) - Yeah... No. The legend of Santala has come and gone.
Nathan Smith, (VI) - We have no depth at center so I'd like the Canucks to keep him.

Juha Alen, (II)
Tyler Bouck, (II)
Artem Chubarov, (II) - Don't think he'd be leaving Russia anytime soon.
Ryan Kesler, (II) - Re-signed for $5.25 million-ish / 3 years.
Kirill Koltsov, (II) - Just signed with a RSL team, and with the non-existent transfer agreement with Russia, it's harder to get him to come here than before.
Lukas Krajicek, (II) - Good, young, mobile defenceman who I wish we'd re-sign just to see him given more minutes and develop his game.
Drew MacIntyre, (II) - Never really saw him play, but I know he was pretty effective for the Moose.
Rick Rypien, (II) - Injury-prone. Yeah sure he brings grit to the team, and it is kinda sad he's #1 in our "center" prospect depth charts, but he is fragile.
Jesse Schultz, (II) - People were speculating that he might be the one to replace Anson Carter in the Sedin line after a wonderful season in the Moose for 05-06. Sadly that didn't come into fruition as he only saw time in the big club during a call-up and Taylor Pyatt was the one destined for the third twin slot. Also, he wasn't able to replicate his "performance" in 05-06 for this past season in the Moose. Again, I don't know enough about him to say whether I want him back or not.

I think that's it for the Canucks free agents. :B Now I just can't wait for the draft!


Objectionable Conduct said...

I know enough about Jesse to know that he's highly yummy to look at. I say keep him based solely on that.

Seriously, I'll do a blog about him.

McPhizzle said...

I would have to agree with OC - Jesse has been sugary sweet to look at for many-a-year and always seems to work his touchie off... well, at least he did back in the day! Plus, who wouldn't love to see him and cousin Nick in a handshake line next season in the playoffs?