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Canuck Player Autopsy: Derek Dorsett

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Do the other players call the one that the coach trusts the most "coach's pet" when he isn't around ?

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Who's this guy?

Derek Dorsett. Do we have a decent nickname for this guy ? Double D' ? Dors' ? Dorsie ?  His name is not conducive to the usual hockey player need to shorten it of and add an "-ie".  We can do better.

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

Height: 6'0" ( but he plays bigger )

Weight: 192 lbs

Born: Kindersley Sask.  Another good ol' prairie boy.  Just like his coach.  Coach's birthplace is more fun to say though.  Won a Memorial Cup in 2007 with Medicine Hat Tigers, ( we like players, coaches and presidents from "The Chapeau", apparently ), and scored his first NHL goal Oct 21st, 2008 against some guy named Luongo, at Rogers Arena.  Drafted 189th overall, in the seventh round by the Blue Jackets in 2006.

What'd he do?

Played in a bunch of situations.  Mostly, but not limited entirely to the bottom six.  One thing you can depend on Dorsett to do most the time ( hence the coach's trust ) is to make the safe play, and finish his check.  He also had the best season he has had since his last one in CBJ colours in 2011-12, where he had 12 goals ( 2 PP, 1SH, 1 GWG ) and 20 points.  In his first year in Blue and Green, DD put up 7 goals ( no PP points, but 2 shorties, and 3 GWGs ) and 25 points.  I know plus minus "is what it is", but a career -32 player before this year was a +4.  That is pretty good too.

More important to the Canucks as they go forward, Derek Dorsett has developed into a heart and soul guy on this team.  He is, of course, the leader in fights on the team ( hard stat to find sometimes, I tallied up and got 13 fights, I think... ), and his 166 hits and 37 blocks are pretty solid numbers for a bottom six player ( he kills penalties as well ) who averaged 12:03 TOI this year.

Another part of that heart and soul thing is how he was put next to Bo Horvat in the room, and how quickly he has developed as a guy that the rookies can come to with their questions, according to most reports.  For four more years and 2.3 million, I am OK with the player, term, and Cap hit for someone that brings what he does to the team.

So was he any good?

That is a relative thing, isn't it.  Here come the links.  Here is his advanced stats numbers. Where they rank on the team.  They were not that good, by the way these things get interpreted, as he hovers is the bottom of the team rankings in most of the categories.  His PDO was pretty good though !

Here are the numbers and splits form his more traditional stats as well.  Like I detailed above, he had some pretty decent production for his placing on the team, especially when 2 of his 7 goals are shorties, and 3 of them turn out to be game winners.  When you dig a bit into the splits, you notice a few things.  Like, how of his 166 hits, 92 were on the road, as were 24 of his 37 blocks.  Sure, a team plays a simpler game on the road sometimes, but when the other team gets the last change, bottom six players sometimes have to play against top six opposition.  That he "brought it" and produced on the road is a good thing.  Six of his seven goals were away from Rogers Arena.

I guess the verdict is a hung jury, as far as the numbers go ?  His advanced stats could improve, of course, but his production was pretty good for a 12:03 TOI player.  I always go to the "eyeball test" when the verdict is split, and for what it is worth, I think Derek Dorsett is a player that competes hard and does a lot of good things on the ice when he is out there.  And, even though fighting is almost verboten in today's NHL, don't kid yourself.  Dorsett's efforts make the other players play a bit bigger, and his willingness to stand up for his teammates i san important part of what he brings to the team.

What'd we like?

There was this...

In the story linked here,  Captain Hank sure thought it was dirty by Kesler.  Obviously, we didn't "like" this that much, but I point it out to not only remind us of the fact that hockey is a rough game, but how it is even tougher for a guy like Dorsett that fights fairly regularly.  He probably had a concussion as the result of this hit, and was probably willing to fight if needed in his first game back.

And this.  Always nice when you can make Duncan Keith look silly

This too.  Not to glorify fighting, but Dorsie is always going to be giving up a few pounds and some size to most the guys he goes up against.  These two videos are the flip sides of that.  He handles a bigger Corey Tropp pretty well here...

He gives up 8 inches and about 50-60 lbs against John Scott.  That is pretty brave.  Even more surprising ?  He fought Scoot more than once in his career, having much the same luck in 2012 when he was a Jacket and the behemoth was a Black Hawk.

Cool. So what did we hate?

Well, there will always be those who want a bottom six guy that produces above his pay grade, and by the nature of his job description, he is always going to have some negative discussion swirling around.  Especially when that negative discussion can be buttressed with advanced stats "facts" !

The hue and cry ( more for Sbisa, but I did find the Twitterati pretty freaking funny that day ) when he signed his extension was pretty over the top.  We do like to rosterbate in this city.  I can, of course, understand his foibles.  For instance, he needs to work a bit more on his game to get those advanced stats to a better place.  They are a bigger part of the game all the time, and whether it is shooting more, or having the same linemates all year long to help generate more shots and zone time, he can be better.  I do think he is good value for the money though.

So what now?

He is signed for another four years folks.  I am with Whiteboard Willie and Superscout Benning on this player, myself.  I love what he brings to a team, and while a player his age does not improve in leaps and bounds anymore, I can see him getting more production next year, while continuing to stand up for his teammates and being the kind of player that brings his workboots to the rink every game.  You need players like Dorsett on a successful team.