Michael Row the Boat Ashore

For most of their 38 years of existence, the Vancouver Canucks have done stupid things. The Cam Neely trade, the V-uniforms, sending Bertuzzi out there to define the franchise for another decade and on it goes. If you go back in Canucks playoff history there are more than an average number of dumb penalties, stupid coaching decisions and rosters made up of 12 guys who can all do one thing and not another.

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19 Responses to "Michael Row the Boat Ashore"

  1. mc79hockey says:

    I haven’t said too much about Gillis LT but I saw that you were critical of him earlier this summer and I mentally disagreed with you.

    He certainly hasn’t done what Kevin Lowe did in the face of a disappointing season: go out and throw money on the first guy who says yes. We all saw the results of Lowe’s work last season though and I think that even his supporters would have to admit that the reason for the much more successful season wasn’t the guys who Lowe threw a ton of money at but, rather, that a lot of guys who were question marks came through.

    There wasn’t a lot out there that made sense for Gillis and the Canucks this year at the price. I like what he’s done, in that he’s saved his fire (because we all know that someone, somewhere always comes available and that the price in terms of talent isn’t always that steep; hell, look between the pipes in Vancouver for evidence of that) for when there’s a target available who will help the team and at an appropriate price.

    I’m inclined to think that, in addition to being a courageous guy, he’s a pretty bright one. Shame that he’s in the NW.

  2. Paper Designer says:

    They’re like a bad sitcom that has jumped the shark more than once, where the writers keep adding new plot twists in an attempt to win over audiences.

    Okay. Maybe there’s not that bad. We should reserve that comparison for the New York Islanders.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Tyler: I’m pulling for the guy because he’s really unqiue and that has to be a good thing for fans.

    But I think he’s been played for the back half of the summer.

  4. Schitzo says:

    They’ve dug themselves into a pretty deep hole. Barring some major talent coming in via the UFA route, I don’t see how they have the bargaining chips to get better. Between Burke and 18-wheelers, their pipeline is pretty awful.

    If Luongo would be willing to grit out a rebuild, I don’t think you move him. He’s not approaching his best-before date. But if he is even a possibility to move on to greener pastures, deal him.

    Should they decide to blow the whole thing up, can you imagine the return they could get on Luongo, the twins, and maybe Salo or Ohlund? Add in the top-5 picks they’ll be getting for a couple of years and they would suddenly have the cupboard overflowing.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Well I think Gillis’ current plan of attack (as described by Tyler) makes tradnig Luongo a logical step.

    And in that way it closely resembles Lowe because Gillis is going to move back the age and experience of the cluster so as to get his plan in order.

    I don’t think his team was set up for a deep Stanley run either but it was certainly possible to plunk down short term money and have a go without destroying the future ala Souray.

  6. Doogie2K says:

    @PD: Actually, no, I think that is pretty apt for the Canucks. At least the Islanders had the Bill Torrey-Al Arbour years.

    @MC: Well, to be fair, he did throw $20M at Sundin, but at least it was short-term money. I think that was Lowe’s mistake, more than the pure dollars: five years for Souray, when two or three would’ve made more sense.

  7. Schitzo says:

    Doogie: I would have said that even 2 years was too many for Sundin, when next year you’ve got the twins, Ohlund, and Burrows as UFAs and Bernier and Krajicek needing new deals.

    One year, max salary would have been a much safer offer.

  8. Tyler says:

    …he did throw $20M at Sundin, but at least it was short-term money.

    The short-term thing is the key to me. Plus, I can’t think of a group of Sundin, Penner and Souray without the old Sesame Street “One of these things is not like the others…” running through my mind. Short-term on the best? Hard to disagree with that.

  9. Scott says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks for the conversation starter. It’s very interesting quantifying the lack of offense on the Canucks roster. Still, some of that should improve as some of these guys are going to be taking the minutes that Naslund and Morrison had received, both at EV and on the PP, while Kesler continues to muck with the toughs.

    One question though: why do you think that not spending now ought to translate into them moving Luongo. I think mc’s point is mostly that you keep the elite players you have any you wait with money until you can fill your top end spots with the next appropriate piece. If a Thornton or a Kovalchuk shakes out you’ve got space available and can be flexible. Only put big money down on the best.

    Trading Luongo just doesn’t fit a plan that involves winning, at least from my perspective. If you have a top five goalie that can play at stupidly elite levels for short periods and elite levels for most of the rest of the time you keep him. Especially when that goalie likely has at least five more seasons of elite play left, and quite possibly more.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Scott: Well you trade him or you sign him, as sooner or later he’s a UFA and then if he signs with Detroit we can kiss the Stanley ggodbye until my kids are having kids.

    It seems to me this offseason was about getting rid of Naslund and Morrison then finding better fits for their button down coach. I really like the pickup of Bernie and believe Wellwood could be surprisingly useful but don’t really think they’ve improved themselves anymore than they would have if everyone stayed healthy and they used Naslund in a more offensive role (for which he is better suited).

  11. Art Vandelay says:

    The previous regime over-invested in injury-prone blueliners and plug FWs. The skill level simply isn’t there to do anything except play for the tie. Result: A boring last-place team that can’t expect to “Rouge” its way to the division title like it did in ’06.

  12. Art Vandelay says:

    Or whatever spring it was they were shootout kings. That was the most underwhelming team to ever win the Smythe Dvision.

  13. Doogie2K says:

    I would have said that even 2 years was too many for Sundin, when next year you’ve got the twins, Ohlund, and Burrows as UFAs and Bernier and Krajicek needing new deals.

    Good point; I didn’t realize they had that much coming due.

    Or whatever spring it was they were shootout kings.

    It was ’07, I think. They went from first to worst in the division (go tiebreakers!) this year.

  14. Scott says:

    Thanks for the response Lowetide. I guess I’d be all for signing him. I’d be talking extension around Christmas if I were them. He’s a real difference maker in net. He needs to be signed if at all possible. I wouldn’t even consider trading him until he’s flatly refused to take an extension at all. Shedding elite talent just never seems wise.

    As for losing Naslund, I’m not sure why he decided not to pay him what the Rangers were offering, but it probably has mostly to do with Sundin. I guess he figures it’s elite talent or wait. Maybe he felt that he needed to show the fans he wasn’t willing to stand pat.

  15. Tim says:

    The Oil had a pretty good kid in Yellowknife last year, but he couldn’t attend main camp as he was still draft eligible. He did’t get drafted in either 2007 or 2008 (very surprising as he was highly ranked at one time). His name was Vitaly Karamnov and I remember being VERY inpressed with him at one point, though the reason why escapes my aging memory. Whatever happened to him and are the Oilers still interested in him? I know he played with Evereett at one time and also for Moscow Dynamo…

  16. Tim says:

    I correct myself already… he did attend main camp but couldn’t be signed to a NHL contract yet due to his draft eligible status…

  17. Ribs says:

    …I’m still trying to figure out what “choogling” means….

  18. Lowetide says:

    ribs: It’s a Creedence Clearwater Revival Song, Keep on Choogling. The lyrics:

    Maybe you don’t understand it.
    But if you’re a natural man,
    You got to ball and have a good time
    And that’s what I call Choogling.

    Here comes Mary looking for Harry,
    She gonna choogle tonight.
    Here comes Louie, works in the sewer,
    He gonna choogle tonight.

    If you can choose it, who can refuse it,
    You all be choogling tonight.
    Go on, take your pick, right from the git go,
    You gotta choogle tonight.

  19. Ribs says:

    haha…I see. I think it just became my new favourite made up word.

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