A week ago we begun the necessary clean up of the season by tackling the Canucks blueline. Now we turn out efforts to the forwards who provided us with the best of times and then tried their damnedest in the post season, but alas, it was not meant to be.
After the jump we'll take a quick view of the main roster stays as well as the delightful scamps who comprised the Vancouver offense this season, including what worked and what didn't, who should stay and who should pack a bag or ten and who cost the Canucks $8 million dollars over the past two seasons to provide them with a single, solitary game winning goal (pretend to be shocked when you get to that part of the post).
#22 / Left Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Sep 26, 1980
|2009 - Daniel Sedin||63||29||56||85||36||28||8||0||8||0||225||12.9|
What He Did: He showed us that missing 19 games ain't nothing but a thang (*high fives self*). Ahem...Dank had four points in the opening four games before he suffered a broken foot, but returned in late November like he didn't miss a shift. He started December on an eight game point streak (5G, 7A), had two five game point streaks in January (4G, 15A in total) and tacked on an 11 game point streak (3G, 14A) followed by a 10 game point streak (10G, 4A) through March into April. Ending on that high note against Calgary (still a candidate for POY at TSN) powered Dank to get two points in the opening game against the Kings and then string together a four game point streak (2GWGs, 6A) in the last three games against the Kings and the first against Chicago.
For The Record: Daniel had the second best Corsi and PDO from the regular season. His shooting percentage was his highest in three seasons and his ATOI (19:05) was the highest for his career. He also was credited with eight hits...EIGHT MAMMOTH HITS!
Kidding aside, he's clearly the best LW the team has had since Markus Naslund in his prime. For fun I looked at Daniel Vs. Markus at the age of 29 (the same year Nazzy got 104 pts) and granted I'm leaving a lot of variables out but Daniel has a better points per game pace (1.35 to 1.27) whereas Naslund had just slightly better goals created per game (.50 to .47) and shots (3.59 to 3.57). If you factor in his games lost to injuries, Sedin probably would have crushed Naslund's best season across the board.
Summer Assignment: Watch Chicago. Get angry. Come back prepared for another season of question marks about your ability to contribute and lead in the post season. Then prove 'em wrong. Also consider donating your DNA to science; that 2030 NHL draft is right around the corner.
#33 / Center / Vancouver Canucks
Sep 26, 1980
|2009 - Henrik Sedin||82||29||83||112||35||48||4||2||5||0||166||17.5|
What He Did: Ho hum: Hank had career bests in goals, assists, points +/-, ESGs and ATOI. He was the pivot on the most prolific scoring line in franchise history, broke Pavel Bure's franchise record of 110 points set in 1992-93, won the Art Ross trophy on the last day of the regular season, was nominated for the Hart and Ted Lindsay and, most recently, won the Sporting News' Player of the Year last week.
So what did YOU do this year jerk?
For every accolade coming his way, Hank will have his detractors. Some of it deservedly so: his shooting percentage - once wildly off the mark (21.4%) from his career average of 12% - came crashing back to earth. Others can site AV's reliance on Kesler's line to bang heads with the harder qualcomp on a nightly basis, freeing Sedin for the easier players.
I side with what Hockey or Die's Jonathan Willis tabled earlier this season which suggested this wasn't a coming out party for Hank at all. Rather he's always been this good and we (as happy media folk) perhaps focused more on the twins than the individuals to notice. Hank probably benefited from better shooting selections and a little luck to carry him through to his grand totals. Then again, do you really care if Hank was lucky? Do you care who he played against? Maybe, maybe not. Next year is a big test to see if he can stay at these levels, but for now the haters will have to choke on the rudimentary numbers and the hardware that goes along with it.
For The Record: We already mentioned his qualcomp and shooting percentage which played a big part in his stats. But in case you want the easy lay-up: he lived in the offensive zone.
Summer Assignment: See your brother's assignment above.
#14 / Left Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Apr 11, 1981
|2009 - Alexandre Burrows||82||35||32||67||34||121||4||5||3||0||209||16.7|
What He Did: Anson Carter eat your heart out: Burrows cashed in with his plum slot on the first line with career marks in goals, assists and points as well as posting his lowest PIM total in three seasons. His five shorties marked a NHL best, tied with Marian Hossa. It's a shame that a guy who basically embodies hardwork and could write a book on perseverance also carries with him the PR nightmare of ball hockey violence, Auger, "diving" and general douchebaggery. But he's our douchebag and unlike Matt Cooke before him, Burrows can actually let his play do the talking sometimes without relying solely on the cheap side of hockey. Burrows post season stats continue to look terrible: four points in 10 games last season and six in 12 games this time around.
For The Record: Anyone anchored to the Sedins - at a cap hit of $2,000,000 - is going to make a lot of people smile, especially with deeply padded stats...you know, like a team-leading 35 goals. Not shockingly he leads not just the team in qualteam but pretty much the league. Those of us who watch Burr the most also know his value is frequently in the sandpaper parts of the game: ranked second with takeaways (68), third in blocked shots (54) and fourth in hits (97).
Summer Assignment: First thing's first: don't kill anyone in your ball hockey league. Second - and this is my two cents - is Burrows is at a crossroads. He can continue to be what he often comes billed as (a pest with a nose for the net) or he can develop his game into being far more of a legit two-way threat (see Kesler, Ryan). I may be splitting hairs but as long as he's getting top line duties he can't pull disappearing acts when the games matter in the spring.
#21 / Left Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Sep 17, 1985
|2009 - Mason Raymond||82||25||28||53||0||48||8||0||4||0||217||11.5|
What He Did: What didn't Raymond do? In just his third season, Raymond squashed his career bests in goals and and assists and more than doubled his career best in points (23 was his previous high). He was tied with Daniel for second in PPGs and padded his ATOI by almost five minutes. Like so many around him, his post season left something to be desired (four pts in 12 games). Regardless it's tough to fault much more than that in the kid; Raymond's break-through had as much to do with his improved offensive skills as it did with his overall instincts and shutdown/PK duties. He was an absolute pleasure to watch.
For The Record: Raymond's two-way maturation was probably fueled in part by playing alongside with Kesler: both lead the team in neutral and defensive zone face offs and basically in qualcomp as well.
Summer Assignment: Now it remains to be seen if he'll resign or not. Maybe Kesler's notion of the hometown discount will rub off on him. But he has excellent chemistry with Kes as his pivot, can be used in any situation and remains the fastest skater (unless Grabner unseated him and I missed it). Coincidentally it could be Grabner's step forward that makes a Raymond trade possible. I'd prefer that not to happen, but it's certainly an option Gillis needs to look at to improve his squad, especially on the blueline.
#17 / Center / Vancouver Canucks
Aug 31, 1984
|2009 - Ryan Kesler||82||25||50||75||1||104||12||1||5||0||214||11.7|
What He Did: Forget last season, 2009-2010 was Kesler's coming out party all on his own. Many wondered what impact the loss of Sundin would have on Kesler, but going into a contract year, he didn't disappoint. Kesler crushed his career best in assists and thus his points overall as well as his PPGs and his ATOI (19:37) to speak nothing about his Olympic play and another Selke nomination. His strong play in any situation remains his best asset: he played in 44.3% of PP situations and 41.8% of the PK (that PP % is up from 33.4% last season). Playing routinely against the toughest opposition and managing career bests? You can't ask for a lot more (well, you could if you consider the playoffs but we don't want to piss on his parade...plus he was hurt). Kesler joins Hank, Raymond, Ehrhoff and Sammy as some of key reasons to keep your head up this summer.
For The Record: As stated above, Kesler faced the stiffest competition and saw the lion share of defensive zone faceoffs. He was also our face-off king at 55.1% and finished second in blocked shots (73).
Summer Assignment: Play yourself in the video game, prepare yourself for a possible captaincy switch and - captain or not - learn to own the leadership of this team going forward. It's yours to lose good sir.
#26 / Right Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Dec 23, 1976
|2009 - Mikael Samuelsson||74||30||23||53||10||64||7||0||4||0||219||13.7|
What He Did: I think most people were surprised with what Samuelsson contributed this year. We knew he would bring a certain moxie with him from Detroit, but that snub from Sweden seemed to do wonders. Sammy set career bests in goals and points (and regrettably PIMs too, those token Sweden penalties are tough to allude as a Canuck). He also tied a career best in PP scores. Though this was his second shortest post season in nine seasons, he notched career bests in playoff goals (8), points (15) and PP tallies (3). So, in short, we'll take more former Red Wings please.
For The Record: Interestingly, he took more defensive zone than offensive zone starts. Also his shooting percentage of 13.7% was off the mark from his career average of 7.2%. Granted his ATOI went up by almost two minutes from his final year in Detroit and Vigneault used him far more liberally in many different situations, but that percentage, as FTR notes, is a prime candidate to drop next year. We shall see (if it does they should hire Bengt-Aake Gustafsson to piss him off on a regular basis).
Summer Assignment: Take care of that lower back, you're going to be needed more than ever next season.
#18 / Right Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Mar 31, 1985
|2009 - Steve Bernier||59||11||11||22||0||21||3||0||0||0||95||11.6|
What He Did: Vancouver deployed two 24 year old forwards this season. One was Mason Raymond who had a breakthrough year at a dirt cheap price. The other - Mr. Bernier - continued his mighty fall from Third Sedin to Third Line to "WTF was that?!" When he re-signed last summer, the team wanted him to work on his conditioning and execution. He showed up to camp more trim, but that execution problem remained. Hands of Stone was in full effect as he posted his worst totals in goals, assists and points in his five seasons. And yet, just as stupefying was his sudden resurgence following his hernia injury in the playoffs: five points in 12 games, including a career-best four goals. He was using his body in front of Quick in the first round, bouncing on rebounds, he was back checking...exactly who the hell was that guy in #18? Yet he disappeared again in Chicago. A more vexing individual you'd be hard pressed to find.
For The Record: Because I know you're dying to know, Bernier's hitting the net percentage dipped this year (77.4% last season to 75.4%). But because he took less shots his shooting percentage inched up from 11% to 11.6%. I haven't been able to find the metrics that count blown opportunities with open nets or prone goalies, so let's safely assume he's our leader there for the second consecutive year. Of course that didn't stop AV from trying: only Sammy played more times than Bernier did with the Sedins on the PP. Since scoring was out the window, Bernier earned his money elsewhere: third in hits and fourth in shot blocks.
Summer Assignment: Back to the basics kid, you're running out of time. Bernier should be traded or waived faster than you can say "dude, the net was totally wide open" if he doesn't have a remarkable turnaround in the regular season. The post season showed that he can do it, but the consistency has dogged him his whole career. As far as his time with Vancouver goes, this is it. Put up or get out; we already had Brad Isbister here once and don't need an encore.
#42 / Center / Vancouver Canucks
May 16, 1983
|2009 - Kyle Wellwood||75||14||11||25||6||12||3||0||2||0||98||14.3|
What He Did: Wellwood took Gillis and crew to arbitration last summer which - at the time - I thought was nuts for a guy who was basically a PP/shootout specialist to demand more money. But he re-upped for $1.2 million, came to camp without a few tires wrapped around him and we readied ourselves for a new year of Pudgey goodness. And then waited. And waited. Patiently waited I should add. After 20 games Pudge finally rippled the twine against the Kings; his 14 regular season goals was the second best of his career but PP tallies (his bread and butter last season) dropped from ten to three (his time on the PP dropped from 43.5% in 2009 to 28.6% this year). He remained the team's best weapon in the shootout, leading the team with four markers.
Summer Assignment: it's been fun Kyle, but it's probably time to go. From the nicknames to the trending topics to your inability to look normal in any two dimensional image, we had fun together. In return, you gave us - Sean mostly :) - hope that you could reclaim that magic you had in Toronto back in 2006-07. Though you tried, you failed. It happens. Your stick handling could win an award, but you don't win games with cuteness (see the Hawks and Flyers). I hope you land somewhere where you can continue to grab at the past glory but don't balloon into Ken Hitchcock in the process.
#38 / Center / Vancouver Canucks
Nov 29, 1974
|2009 - Pavol Demitra||28||3||13||16||3||0||1||0||0||0||53||5.7|
What He Did: Mr. Cap Relief started this season on the LTIR, giving us geeky fans loads of chances to muck around with the cap rules in an effort to ignore looking at his $4 million. Demo eventually returned to duty in mid January but truly jumped back in the scene during the Olympics where he led the tournament with ten points and was selected to the tournament's all star team. He continued that pace with the Canucks, scoring four points in the first four games in March. Unfortunately - due to Vancouver's severe shortage of Slovaks perhaps - Demitra could not maintain that production much longer and certainly not into the post season. He had a decent games four & five against Los Angeles but was eventually benched for game four against Chicago. Then this happened (3:54 mark) and Demitra never saw the ice again in that game, the post season and probably ever again for Vancouver.
For The Record: If Demitra's two year jaunt with the Canucks is indeed over, the final numbers will look like thus:
97 GP - 23 G - 46 A - 69 PTs - +9 - 20 PIMs - 5 PPGs - 1GWG
That works out to be $115,942 per point. Or $8 million for one game winner. Moneyball!
Summer Assignment: Demitra could resign for a steep - perhaps ridiculous - discount but considering he'll be 36 next season, he's got one more contract in him and he'll probably sign for the highest bidder (or end up back in Europe). Enjoy playing for the New York Rangers or whatever your final destination may be.
#24 / Left Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Aug 10, 1980
|2009 - Darcy Hordichuk||56||1||1||2||-7||142||0||0||0||0||21||4.8|
What He Did: Mr. Hordichuk is a proud member of the slowing dying NHL enforcing community. Thank goodness he can chuck rocks and provide energy to his infrequent shifts because he offers absolutely nothing else. Even for a poor offensive player his two points was his lowest since 2001. Hordichuk also lead the team in PIMs, an amazing feat considering he watched 26 games from the press box or his therapist's recliner. In 14 fights this season, he was voted to have won only seven. On quite a few of them, he turtled his way out of it.
Hey he was second in hits (108), so don't say I'm not being positive.
I have to ask: When you have a Tanner Glass along with Rick Rypien leading the fight card, what role is Hordichuk truly serving?
For The Record: Vigneault sat Hordichuk for all 12 games this past post season, opting for speed over "grit". And yet the Canucks still couldn't get out of PIM trouble. So maybe my hatestorm should be directed at the coach and not Hordicuk? Screw it, they both get it
Summer Assignment: I can't make this up:
He said he plans to attend a skating school in Kelowna this summer run by his good friend Dave Roy, "and try to train a bit more as far as the skill part of my game."
When Hordichuk displays skill on the ice, someone let me know because Dave Roy would deserve a medal the size of the fucking sun.
#10 / Center / Vancouver Canucks
Jun 14, 1976
|2009 - Ryan Johnson||58||1||4||5||-4||12||0||0||1||0||19||5.3|
What He Did: Johnson didn't take our advice last summer on that adamantium surgery because the checking center has still never played a full 82 game slate in his 12 seasons. This year his 58 games was a career worst, just edging out his 59 games with the Blues in 2006 (and tossing out his first two seasons in Florida as a rookie). So it's not shocking the rest of his stats were just terrible: One goal? Worst effort since '01. Four assists? Worst since '06. Five points? Worst since '01. His ATOI? Worst since '01. But that's not why Balls is employed right? We heart his forechecking, shotblocking and PK skills. He did lead all forwards with 85 shots blocked but he ranked third on the PK frequency, behind Kesler, Burrows and Raymond pairings. This season's list of injuries include a concussion (hide the children!) and a broken foot.
For The Record: Remember the fun last summer we had with Corsi and Johnson? Gear up again: not only was he the worst on Vancouver (factoring out Bliznak's few games) but he sits second to last in the entire league. Hell, for Johnson, Hordichuk and Rypien all rank in the bottom seven of the league. If only we could point to this for Luongo's problems.
Summer Assignment: As a UFA, Sean has already asked if he should be back. My opinion is no and it has little to do with the Corsi and more to do with his health. He'll be 34 going into next season and the trends of fewer games and declining production don't sit well for me, especially considering he's been part of (statistically) one of the worst fourth lines in the league. He's writing a check his body can't cash and, if you take away that part of his game, you have a guy who doesn't deserve a penny near his $1.1 million now. I would take a healthy plugger over Johnson, even if the shot blocks suffer (Luongo should probably see some more rubber anyway, right?).
#37 / Center / Vancouver Canucks
May 16, 1984
|2009 - Rick Rypien||69||4||4||8||-3||126||0||0||1||0||61||6.6|
What He Did: Caption that profile pic! Many of us were curious what a season with a healthy Rypien would look like. Leading the team in fights (many of them hilarious) and second in PIMs sounds about right. His four goals and eight points, along with the PIMs, are career highs but his ATOI dipped by almost two full minutes (9:20 in 2009 to 7:14 in 2010). This could speak to the limited time pluggers get or to AV ensuring Rypien doesn't blow his groin out again. Either way, Rypien playing an entire season and giving us some highlight tilts was a sight for sore eyes.
For The Record: When you're saddled with Hordichuk and Johnson, you tend to end up at the bottom of the qualteam. Maybe that's what made him so ornery? Another reason to love Ryp: he's done the majority of his offensive and PIM damage against both the Flames and Oilers.
Summer Assignment: He has one final year on his deal before he's a UFA next summer. I may be in the minority, but I think there is more to Rypien than embarrassing Hal Gill. If he can get some time with a skating coach, I'd love to see see what type of defensive-minded game he can add to his spotty offensive. Then again I used to think Bernier had promise so clearly I'm prone to horrible delusions. If he's destined to be a goon, so be it. Just stay healthy and we look forward to another year of unleashing you on unsuspecting fourth liners from coast to coast.
#15 / Left Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Nov 29, 1983
|2009 - Tanner Glass||67||4||7||11||5||115||0||0||0||0||52||7.7|
What He Did: Infrequently used in two seasons with Florida, Gillis made a decent pick up in Glass as far as depth and grit goes. He entered training camp as a long shot, but injuries opened up the bottom six and Glass took advantage. Basically a third and fourth liner plug-and-play type player, Glass took part in a career high 67 games, added 11 points and saw his ATOI jump to about 10 minutes a game. As noted above, on some nights he made Hordichuk redundant even though he's not a true enforcer. He appeared in only four post season games, getting barely three minutes per game and was blank on the scoresheet.
For The Record: Ranked first in hits (165), second in fights (15) and fourth overall in PIMs for the team. I don't know what qualifies as his best tilt of the year, but this one is pretty laughable.
Summer Assignment: Glass is an RFA this summer at the $500,000 level. He's still young, serviceable and dirt cheap. I'd comfortably welcome him back. If not, there's always grad school.
#36 / Right Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Mar 15, 1986
|2009 - Jannik Hansen||47||9||6||15||-5||18||0||1||3||0||67||13.4|
What He Did: One of Vigneault's favorite whipping boys (reason still undisclosed), Jannik almost didn't sign with the Canucks last season due to the terms of the deal (one-way or two-way). He eventually got a two-way deal for $600,000 but he had a tough trek ahead of him due to the glut of third liners. During camp he broke his fist over Gilbert Brule's face and missed 19 games. He spent some time in Manitoba and, in the end, played eight fewer games for Vancouver than he did in the previous season and saw his points drop by six. His +/- dropped by a staggering -10 but his PK value rose (in terms of his PK frequency) from 23.7% to 28.3% overall. He played in all 12 post season games and added three points, a new career high.
For The Record: Jank ranked fifth in terms of goals/60, behind the Sedins, Burrows and Sammy.
Summer Assignment: I would still love to know why Vigneault hates on Hansen so much, but just as with last summer, I don't see much room for Hansen in the bottom six. His two way play has improved but you have to think he'll be passed over again for either a camp standout or a free agent rental. Yet the fact he's cheap may work in his favor if Gillis makes a big FA splash and then hits the bargain bin. He'll be a RFA again this summer, but I wonder if the organization is ready to cut and run or vice versa.
#40 / Right Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Oct 05, 1987
|2009 - Michael Grabner||20||5||6||11||2||8||2||0||1||0||63||7.9|
What He Did: It took maybe one season too long, but Grabner finally made it to the show and showed a glimpse or two of why he was worth the first round selection in 2006 (Milan Lucic was selected 36 spots later, not that we're keeping track). He got an assist in his first game against Calgary, but really turned some heads when AV paired him with Kesler and Raymond. The line was remarkably fun to watch for its speed and raw talent; Grabner's first goal was a collective sigh of relief for the entire Province. Then the party came to a halt as a soccer injury snapped Grabner's ankle and he missed 21 games. Once he was healthy, there was no room for him so he went back to Manitoba before being recalled in March. Grabner was scoreless until he erupted for a hat trick in a post season clinching win against the Ducks. He played in nine post season games and added one goal against the Hawks in game 1.
For The Record: By virtue of being saddled with Kesler and Raymond, Grabner ranked third in Qualcomp, not bad for a rookie.
Summer Assignment: Grabs will enter the final year of his entry level deal worth $843,000 and will be an RFA next summer. How Gillis handles Grabner in conjunction with resigning Raymond will be an interesting subplot to watch. The conventional wisdom suggests Raymond is the better asset to trade but not many GM's would turn a blind eye at a first round scoring winger who is just beginning to find his game. As for Grabner, he'll need another summer of strength conditioning and puck control and prepare to battle for a roster spot in September. He could go as high as the second pairing with Kesler and as low as Manitoba again, the choice is his.
#49 / Center / Vancouver Canucks
Jun 26, 1985
|2009 - Alexandre Bolduc||15||0||0||0||-3||13||0||0||0||0||14||0.0|
What He Did: This was the second season where Bolduc would be used sparingly as an energy call up for the fourth line. In 15 games his ATOI increased from seven to over nine minutes but he finished as one of eight players with no points to show for his on-ice efforts. He showed up in nearly 20% of the PK's in the few games he played in. Honestly Bolduc's most noteworthy moment this season came when John Scott rearranged his life back in January. After that affair, Bolduc was put on the IR with a shoulder injury and that's where he remains to this day (cue Aerosmith's "I don't want to miss a thing" to end this synopsis).
For The Record: In 15 games Bolduc had 20 hits. If he had played a full season he likely would have ended up with just over 100 hits, good enough for second or third best on this season's roster.
Summer Assignment: He's a UFA who made $500,000 this year. Considering there are a multitude of energy guys with limited offensive upsides, I don't know how much leverage he'll have signing a longer deal with Vancouver or anyone else.
#13 / Left Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Oct 22, 1980
|2009 - Matt Pettinger||9||1||2||3||3||6||0||0||0||0||8||12.5|
What He Did: Grabner's injury opened the door for Pettinger, a one time Canuck who signed a PTO deal with Manitoba and by sheer luck wound up back on our fourth line for a slate of games. His ATOI dropped to the fourth worst in his career (10:45) and he spent most of his games on the PK (36.4). Besides adding an insurance goal against Minnesota, it's probable you had no idea he was even out there.
For The Record: Though it was brief, the 2009-2010 season marked the first time in his nine seasons Pettinger ended with a positive +/-. His agent, no doubt, is thrilled.
Summer Assignment: Pettinger is another UFA who made $500,000 this year. It's possible he ends up back in a veteran leadership role for the Moose where he scored 30 points in 54 games.
#25 / Left Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Mar 10, 1986
|2009 - Sergei Shirokov||6||0||0||0||-4||2||0||0||0||0||4||0.0|
What He Did: Few players built us up and then tore us down like Shirok. First there was the summer drama, the James Bond-like intrigue over the NHL & KHL mess followed by the eventual confirmation that Vancouver was employing a Russian player for the first time since N'Sync broke up (what? It was an milestone people). We were all ecstatic - perhaps too ecstatic - for his time in camp and even embraced his plucky broken English as signs that all was right in our Pavel Bure-scorned world. Then the results came in and they weren't pleasant. Even though he was playing with Sammy and Henrik, he was too slow and not big enough for the pace of training camp, much less the regular NHL season. His stats above speak pretty clearly. Saying it didn't "pan out", Vigneault returned him to Manitoba where he stayed the rest of the season.
For The Record: Ditching the KHL wasn't all for nothing: by getting 45 points in 76 games with the Moose, Shirok nailed down the Lawton Partners Rookie of the Year award. Suck on that haters.
Summer Assignment: With one more year on his hefty entry level deal of $1,350,000 (that's more than Schroeder for the record), Shirokov should be back in camp. Whether he fits anywhere in the Canucks plans is an entirely different question. Shirokov himself needs a huge development summer ahead to excel at the NHL level so all eyes will be on him in camp, especially the eyes in the heads of the folks in this thread.
#20 / Right Wing / Vancouver Canucks
Apr 20, 1985
|2009 - Guillaume Desbiens||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0.0|
What He Did: Desbiens started out in training camp like a rockstar and was playing well enough to perhaps unseat Tanner Glass as the darling of the group until he suffered a broken toe. He was sent down to the Moose but got a surprise recall when Daniel Sedin was first injured. At the time AV said Scott Arneil claimed Desbiens was the Moose's best player. But, after his first and only NHL game where he played just over nine minutes and picked up a penalty skating alongside Wellwood and Glass, we don't know if AV asked for clarification on that whole "best player" definition. We do know Desbiens was sent down afterwards and stayed with the Moose the rest of the way.
For The Record: He had 34 points in 67 games - along with a 114 PIMs, good enough for second best - on the Moose. Just to one up Shirok, he brought home both the Cargill-Julian Klymkiw Community Service & Manitoba Blue Cross Unsung Hero awards.
Summer Assignment: One year left on his $550,000 EL. It would suck if his NHL chances at the moment snowball because of AV, but he'll get plenty of chances again in September to show he's worth a roster spot. Just watch them toes son.
And last and perhaps least of all, you see this gentleman here?
That's Mario Bliznak, a prospect that SBN thinks doesn't warrant much attention and thus I have no adorable profile and stat box to provide. All you need to know is he appeared in two games at the end of October (right around when Shirok got sent packing) against the Avs and Ducks and in roughly eight minutes of ice time had no points, a -2 and one shot. The Slovak was then sent back to the Moose where he had 28 points in 76 games.
No word yet if he attempted to crack a smile. Perhaps if a reporter offered him candy instead of a mic to talk about his forgettable two games, this entire post would end on a happy note.
There we are. Go team!