On The Hot Seat: Mason Raymond

Many Canucks fans have hate-ons for certain players. But how about love-ons? Mason Raymond will most certainly qualify in that category. We love his flair, his mad dashing, his work ethic, his speed... But none of that really translated into success in the 2010-11 season. After a 25 goal and 53 point season with the Canucks in 82 games in 2009-10, plus being voted the "Unsung Hero" MayRay became a restricted free agent. Somewhat like the case with Jannik Hansen this summer, the Canucks and Raymond agreed to a 2-year $5.1 million deal hours before an arbitration hearing. Yay! Right? Well last season was a step back for Mr. Raymond. How about 15 goals and 39 points in 70 games in the regular season...a 0.56 points per game average down from the 0.65 PPG from his contract year. How about a lackluster 7 goals and 15 points in 46 career NHL playoff games (0.33 PPG)?

Here is how inconsistent MayRay was last season...

-3 goals and 2 assists in 9 games in October. A 2-goal game included there.

-1 goal and 7 assists in 13 games in November. M'eh!

-3 goals and 2 assists in 3 games in December..an injury-riddled month after resuming play from a broken thumb. Including January....

-2 goals and 3 assists in 14 games in January.

-1 goal and 8 points in 13 games in February (3 of those games were multi-point games)

-3 goals and 6 points in 14 games in March.

-2 goals and no assists in 4 games in April..the regular season..both goals came in 1 game.

-So here are the scoring gaps...5 games until he scored his 1st and 2nd goal of the season...gap..4 games until he scored his 3rd goal of the season....gap....7 games until he scored his 4th goal of the season...gap....7 games until he scored his 5,6,and 7th goals of the season....gap...3 games until he scored his 8th of the season....gap...12 games until he scored his 9th goal.....gap....3 games until he scored his 10th goal....gap...12 games until he scored his 11th...gap....4 games until he scored his 12th.....gap...6 games until his 13th....gap...6 games until his 14th and 15th. Inconsistency much???!

As for the 2010-11 playoffs:

-0 goals and 3 assists in 7 games vs the Blackhawks

-1 goal and 2 points in 6 games against the Predators

-1 goal and 3 points in 5 games against the Sharks

-0 points in 6 games against the Bruins before he gets a piledriver into the boards to miss Game 7 of the Finals.

Now, I hate to be a negative Nancy on MayRay but those 7 goals and 15 points in 46 career NHL playoff games is dog shit. What I can remember of the 2010-11 playoffs is that he'd try to squeeze past players with his speed along the boards entering the offensive zone and get pinched off + knocked off the puck...repeatedly. I loved his speed and work ethic but really....he was given top 6 minutes and of course played on line 2 as a staple but he did not produce enough as a top 6 forward. Period.

Will he improve in 2011-12? Well, first he has to come back in what is projected a November return from a back injury that he sustained in the Finals. This is a contract year for Mr. Raymond and he's already behind the 8 ball with the back injury..I mean..WHEN he comes back from this injury how long will it take for him to get back into form? WHAT IS HIS FORM? It wasn't all that impressive last season yet I can see the potential to repeat the points per game that he achieved in the 2009-10 season. But that's just me being optimistic, especially given that it is a contract year for him.

What are your thoughts?

Canon Fodder?

MayRay returns to form?

Is he really a top 6 player on this team?

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