- The Province's Tony Gallagher is really ticking me off / grinding my gears / making me want to respond. I appreciate that he is at least being creative with his stories lately and is tackling issues facing the Canucks/NHL right now.
In his first piece he cites that new Canucks coach John Tortorella holding the players accountable is hogwash. Let me give you a few quotes.
But the one that kills you is "accountability" and its variation, "accountable." Take the introduction of Vancouver Canucks’ new coach John Tortorella last month when he answered one question with the rare triple use of said meaningless term.
"There is going to be more asked of them," he said of the Vancouver players.
"And that starts with the twins right on down as far as accountability and asking for more. I don’t think that changes no matter how old or young you are. I think that’s very important when you’re dealing with a team concept, that accountability is across the board. So I’m just trying to figure out the team ... so that’s going to be a process for me.
"Mike (GM Gillis) and I have talked quite a bit about it. But there’s nothing different in accountability. That’s going to be held and I do believe that’s going to help us improve as a hockey team."
That’s great. But if you could just explain to me how on earth any NHL coach could make the Sedins or Ryan Kesler or any of the top talent on any team in the league "accountable."
What are you going to do if these guys repeat mistake after mistake, bench Daniel, Henrik and RK17? To do so weakens your team to a ridiculous level. And how does that affect them? They still get paid, the Sedins, for instance, are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, and could walk for nothing if they don’t like the treatment.
My answer? BENCH THEM! HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE! It weakens the team to bench the star players? Is Tony already asking for a verbal war with the new coach? Well he plays that angle down but....of course he is. He needs the money, But from a hockey standpoint.....if your star players are not performing to their potential? BENCH THEM! Deal with it! Is that going to mess up the team? NO! There are plenty of other players fighting for a top spot who may very well get the job done. It is a tactic that Alain Vigneault refused to employ and I hated it. "Hey, Sedin PP unit...you sucked on that last man advantage.....aw shucks: you get max minutes on the next PP to try make amends and work your way out of it. " BS! You wanna play top power play minutes? EARN IT!
This should be a battalion type of mentality. A Band Of Brothers, Different people step up in dire times. God bless Tortorella's style. I hope he brings it. It is time for the "bad cop" coaching style to come in. The Canucks have had too much "good cop" coaching with AV since 2010.
- Then Gallagher writes a piece about the concussion levels not decreasing in the NHL and that the players are bigger and faster. He suggests that maybe the NHL should take hints from NASCAR and slow things down. I disagree entirely. Faster and bigger wins. I accept that. It is what it is. How do you slow the NHL play down? You don't. Well, you could re-implement the hooking and clutching and grabbing. Tony gives a couple of ideas on how to slow the game down but those ideas are, in my opinion, lousy. In times like these I just refer you to a video of what Grandpa Cherry has been saying all along:
To me this is the bottom line, Oh please for shits' sakes listen to Cherry on this one, NHL. And even if the NHL listened to Cherry and implemented a new rule there would still be concussions. What I think of that.? Well, sign a waiver, NHL players. Simple as that, Let the NHL powers that be deal with the offenders at that point, in regards to head shots (oh geez). Everything else is just accidents that happen in the game. Oh and by the way: KEEP YOUR HEADS UP! But no, that won't happen. It's all about player safety across the board now. It's about the players feeling they are protected but really they are not. Once you go down that path, there's no turning back. I foresee an NHL with far less hitting and fighting and it really yanks my chain.
You know what else grinds my gears?
- The yippity yap about the Canucks taking their time to re-sign Chris Tanev. Yes, Tanev made $900,000 last season and is due for a raise, given his productive/stable play. But he is not worth double that salary. If his agent thinks otherwise he is a fool. If he was so correct then other teams would be trying to pilfer him with an offer sheet. They are not doing so. Tanev will play bottom 6 minutes on this team. It is what it is. If other teams think he can play more than that....well then they would have jumped at him by now, wouldn't they? I personally think Tanev, in all his goodness, needs an extra 20 pounds on his frame. He can't keep getting smoked like he does and expect a long NHL career. If I'm Mike Gillis, I give him a 1 year deal worth, $1.1-1.4 million. Then I'd keep him at bottom 6 minutes so he doesn't have the opportunity to earn more after that contract expires. I'm a nice guy.
- It's a new NHL with a lowered salary cap and teams are not messing around. Mason Raymond and Andrew Alberts do not have jobs yet because of this. It is being called the second wave of free agency. Under the new reduced salary cap, teams are getting younger and forced to operate their teams differently because of it. Once they figure out which kids can make their roster (or not) at camp, then you can expect the second wave of UFA signings to happen, if the KHL doesn't poach them first, which I still expect to happen. Nothing there cheeses me off. The KHL should try to poach players, IMO. We've been stealing their talent since the Larionov / Bure days.
- Shit-talking Raymond because he falls down a lot grinds my gears..now. Mason Raymond is one tough SOB given his size. He plays like he's 6'3 and 220 pounds. Isn't that gold? I respect that fact but didn't like the results he was putting out. However, in my opinion, if MayRay played top 6 minutes in...say...Long Island..or Brooklyn...he would be a valuable asset. Basically Michael Grabner 2. He does have the skills to do so. He would get at least 50 points on Long Island, right? Answer: yes. If Mason Raymond played against the Calgary Flames 82 times in a season, he would score 82 points minimum. Wherever he ends up I wish him well. It ticks me off occasionally that we belittle the guy for falling down so often. Yea, it's a ball to make fun of players, but I am going to give MayRay mad props for playing with balls. And by playing with balls I mean, guts. Oh forget about it. Check this out:
DAMN. Bless his Albertan heart for making a comeback after that!
UGH Twitter. UGGGHHHHH. Why do I use Tweetdeck again? Fuggedabouditt.
- I still don't get the Tom Sestito re-signing. When I think of winning 4th line players I don't think of Sestito. I think of Shawn Thornton. A guy that can intimidate and score goals. Kind of like what Dale Weise should be, but isn't yet. While the old-school side of me loves the goonery, it's now about adaptation, and the Canucks' top 6 needs more goal-scoring support from the bottom 6, especially in the playoffs.
- It pisses me off to no end how the Roberto Luongo saga played out. Like we needed any more drama with goaltenders with this team, given its history. Bo Horvat had better become the second coming of Cliff Ronning for this team. While I like that Mike Gillis got a top 10 pick for Cory Schneider at the Draft, he completely blindsided Luongo with the Schneider trade. Luongo had already bid adieu to Vancouver and now he is expected to be the #1 goaltender in a city that he had already said goodbye to. For a team that made him a backup to its supposed future #1 goaltender. Drama. It sucks. We don't need it. Yea, the new CBA screwed Gillis from moving Lou. I get that. But for every deal that was put on the table for Luongo prior to the new CBA, I wish MG had taken one of them. I'd love to see the list. Hindsight is 20/20. Sure, Luongo even admitted that his contract sucks. But this whole media silence from one of the best goaltenders in the world and the best goaltender the Canucks have ever had...SUCKS. Maybe the media is right that Lu now has to play a lot of good games for Vancouver in order to secure his spot as Team Canada's starting goaltender in Sochi. Silver Linings Playbook.Yet we still don't know how the meeting went between him and Mike Gillis in Florida.
- Know what doesn't grind my gears? Sunshine, swimming, biking, holidays, summer time. Adiose!