Sunday, July 05, 2015

Spitballin' on house-selling Daniel Sedin, journeyman Blair Jones, and helpful Brandon Prust


Spitballin’ (or Super Pass ITBulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

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Daniel Sedin puts his house on the market, EVERYONE PANIC!

Yes, Daniel Sedin put his house up for sale. No, it does not mean he's getting traded.

Daniel and his wife bought the home in 2006 for $2.625 million and are asking for $5.898 million with their current listing. Hidden in that last sentence is a possible reason that Daniel and Marinette are selling.

The Vancouver real estate market hit record highs last month, but some economists warn that the housing bubble will burst in a similar way to the US market in 2006. It's entirely possible that Daniel Sedin's financial advisors are expecting a crash and have advised him to sell high.

And man, is that high. I understand it's in Shaughnessy and it's a legitimately gorgeous home, but my goodness, $5.9 million just doesn't stretch as much as it used to. I know that a millennial complaining about housing prices in Vancouver is the biggest possible cliche, but seriously, guys, this is crazy.

Canucks sign Blair Jones for centre depth

Jim Benning's first post-frenzy signing was journeyman centre Blair Jones. While Jones has 132 NHL games under his belt, he's been far more effective in the AHL, where he has put up 272 points in 417 games, including two point-per-game seasons, most recently in 2013-14, when he had 38 points in 38 games for the Abbotsford Heat.

Jones is a dark horse for the fourth-line centre role for the Canucks next season, as he has the size, if not the physical style and demeanour, that Jim Benning might like to see on that line. It's far more likely, however, that he's a replacement for Cal O'Reilly in Utica. O'Reilly signed with Buffalo, the new home of his brother, Ryan O'Reilly, leaving the Comets without a veteran top-six centre.

Sidenote: Jones was part of that farcical line brawl between the Canucks and Flames that resulted in John Tortorella going haywire during the intermission and getting suspended. Jones fought Dale Weise in what was the undercard to the undercard.




Jim Benning promised Derek Dorsett he would add another fighter

It's been a busy week, so we're playing a bit of catch-up with Canucks news. While the acquisition of Brandon Prust was covered during our Free Agent Frenzy liveblog, it ended up being mostly over-the-top rage at the Canucks giving up on Zack Kassian, rather than sober-headed analysis.

Then came this bit of news from Derek Dorsett and the rage immediately returned:



Sigh. In a league that is clearly moving away from fighting and enforcers, Jim Benning promised Dorsett that he was going to get another fighter. This was actually a part of their contract negotiations. We're expected to believe that Dorsett would have left a four-year, $10.6 million contract on the table if Benning didn't make that promise.

It's obviously understandable that Dorsett is happy to have another facepuncher on the team, as it means he'll have to punch fewer faces and can rest his knuckles every now and then. For those saying, "Maybe just fight less?" I can only imagine that Dorsett scoffs at your suggestion before slapping you in the face with a glove and challenging you to fisticuffs at dawn.

On the plus side, if you're going to have two enforcers on a team, Prust and Dorsett are two of the best actual hockey players you can get in that vein. If you ignore their respective contracts and how Prust was acquired, you can actually get fairly excited about what the Canucks' fourth line might look like next season.

While he doesn't do much offensively, Prust is a solid defensive forward, whose ability on the penalty kill will help in the absence of Brad Richardson. He's also physical, with a tendency to go over the line into dirtiness, which will please a certain segment of Canucks fans.

No qualifying offer for Yannick Weber pays off

Jim Benning took a risk when he didn't extend a qualifying offer to Yannick Weber. By doing so, he avoided the possibility of arbitration, which could have awarded Weber a significant amount of money, but he also made Weber an unrestricted free agent who could have bolted to another team.

Instead, the risk paid off, and Weber re-signed with the Canucks at minimal cost on a one-year deal, likely banking on having a big year with the Sedins and cashing in as a free agent next year.

The Canucks didn't extend qualifying offers to a number of other restricted free agents, however, and we can safely assume they will no longer be in the Canucks organization going forward. Ryan Stanton, Cory Conacher, Brandon McMillan, Michael Zalewski, Peter Anderssson, and Joacim Eriksson were all released to free agency.

McMillan and Zalewski both take up roster spots that the Canucks might prefer occupied by younger players. Andersson and Eriksson are heading to Europe, necessitating the addition of a couple replacements for the Comets, and Benning added Taylor Fedun and Richard Bachman on the first day of free agency. Conacher is heading to Europe as well, signing in Switzerland after a disappointing playoff run that may have sealed his fate, scoring just 8 points in 25 games.

The big surprise was Ryan Stanton. He may have had a terrible sophomore season, but his strong rookie year suggests he could rebound. Benning had his eyes on Matt Bartkowski, however, and Stanton became superfluous.

4th round pick Dmitri Zhukenov to play in QMJHL next season

We have limited information on the Canucks' fourth round pick from the 2015 draft, Dmitri Zhukenov. He's described in scouting reports as a skilled offensive forward, but his production in the MHL in Russia looks underwhelming.

Thing is, the MHL is still a fairly new league and it's hard to know what we should expect from players in that league. Meanwhile, Zhukenov's performance at the Ivan Hlinka tournament and U-18 World Championships look a lot more promising and his highlight reel certainly induces some excitement.


Fortunately, it looks like Zhukenov will be playing in North America next season, as he has been drafted 10th overall by Chicoutimi in the QMJHL import draft. High draft picks in the import draft are generally only used on players the team is certain will be coming over to play. It seems clear that Zhukenov wants to play in the NHL rather than stay in Russia to play in the KHL, which is a good sign for the Canucks.

Nick Bonino recommends the medical use of pierogies

Finally, Nick Bonino had four wisdom teeth removed and eased his pain with frozen pierogies.

26 comments:

  1. Zhukenov looks like a player who knows where to go on the ice to get goals..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Zhukenov looks like a player who knows where to go on the ice to get goals..

    ReplyDelete
  3. If Daniel - and Henrik - were to be traded at this point, would that be such a bad thing? Given all the dismantling and retooling (re-building?) that's been happening? Yes, I understand the emotional attachment and the fact that they're likely to be one of the few players to be drafted, play and retire all with the same team.

    But there's the "business" aspect we as fans are always told when management makes the "tough decisions"; moving them would clear $14m off the books each year, and let the Canucks get younger and replenish their prospects. The Twins should return a combination of quality players, prospects and Bennings' absolute favourite, draft picks.

    Yes, not at all likely to happen. But it'd make some sense from a pure hockey move wouldn't it? It's not like the Canucks will be contenders anytime soon. Moving the Twins might be a huge step in making that happen years faster. I mean, who would have thought that in a few years the Nucks would move their blue chip prospect goalie, Cory Schneider, their franchise goalie Luongo, Olympian and "heart and soul" centre in Ryan Kesler (yes, at his request after seeing the writing on the wall re winning the Cup) and loyal leader in Kevin Bieska? Might as well go all-in and complete the makeover for the future of the franchise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At this point, I feel like the team owes it to th Sedins to offer them a way out.
      They'll never ask for it, but the deserve another chance to win a Cup (together) while they can still contribute. But it would have to be now... No contending team would have enough cap space at the deadline for both of them.

      Delete
    2. It would be sad to see them go but I wouldn't blame them. But who could afford them both? I suspect they would want to go together? Unless just Danny leaves??!! I suspect we would be eating salary either way.

      Delete
  4. well they didn't "move" Luongo. Laforgorella basically ran him out of town when he benched him for the outdoor classic and the Canuck execs at that time allowed it happen .
    Somewhat understandably Luongo refused to play anymore for " Tort's ".

    ReplyDelete
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