Ben Kuzma reported this morning that checking winger Peter "Soul Patch" Schaefer, recently put on waivers by the Canucks, will not report to the Moose. He will likely retire (or go to Europe, which is, for North American hockey fans, usually the same thing).
Poor Schaefer never really got a fair shake from the Vancouver fans. Maligned as the reason we couldn't stay friends with Brendan Morrison (when, in reality, Schaefer fit the team's needs so much more, at least coming out of the preseason), he was compared to B-Mo from day one, even though their roles and skillsets were very different. Critics are waist-deep in hindsight right about now, but keeping Peter Schaefer made a lot of sense in September. A former 20-goal scorer that missed a full NHL season, Schaefer won a job out of training camp on the merit of his excellent penalty-killing. The good faith was that he would recover his historically strong skating ability after a handful of games, and the Canucks would have a cheap, speedy, defensively responsible, veteran with some decent hands in the bottom-six. You can see why it was a valid gamble; it simply didn't pay off.
That said, rather than shake our fists at what he couldn't do, let us shake his hand for what he did: Schaefer's comeback was genuinely remarkable, as it takes real talent to spend a whole season out of hockey and then step right back into NHL duty )just ask Cody Hodgson). Schaefer truly was an excellent penalty-killer. His last NHL goal was a hugely important tally against tonight's opponent, the Colorado Avalanche. Not to mention Schaefer was a quality topic for PITB comedy for a solid two months. He earned his own, specialized hashtag (No Second Line For Schaefer), and he's been the target of more than a few one liners. Let's close with some of our favourites:
People were taking shots at Henrik for being a poor captain tonight. Is this fair? Here's my thinking: if we're seeing evidence that wearing the C for the Canucks makes you play worse, we should give it to Peter Schaefer. Nobody will notice. -- IWTG, Nov. 20
Poor Jeff Tambellini has already been sent to the Moose, and I'm sure that his first mediocre game with the Sedins didn't help. Still, that sucks, because he can play. I recognize that it's a strategic move, but Peter Schaefer [is] still in the lineup; that is to say there is a better strategy. -- IWTG, Nov. 1
Schaefer's doofy little fist pump after the goal was far less beautiful. What the heck was that? He looks like he just got the right answer on Bible Jeopardy. -- IWTG, Oct. 26
The Dead Puck Era created more offense than Peter Schaefer does. -- IWTG, Oct. 22
[If] I see Peter Schaefer start on the second line again, I will straight-up murder a beanie baby. -- Armchair Cynic...
Last night, the 2nd line consisted of Ryan Kesler between Peter Schaefer and Jannik Hansen, a duo that has combined for zero points this season and will likely improve that number very slowly over the next six months. -- Kesler Is Struggling...
But seriously, thanks for everything, Peter Schaefer. We wish you nothing but the best.
Note: for additional Schaefer-based comedy blogging, check out Stanley Cup of Chowder's A Day in the Life of Peter Schaefer from 2008 (wherefrom I pilfered the photo at the top of this page).