July 07 2011 12:19PM
Alexander Sulzer battles a Czech Forward at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Clearly the Canucks management team decided to go to the office today, and the results have been scintillating. Okay not really, but, as the Canucks have proved time and time again in the franchises generally tragic history - you can never have enough blue-line depth.
About ninety minutes after signing depth goaltender Matt Climie to a two-way deal, the Canucks announced that they have also added depth defenseman and 2010 Olympian Alexander Sulzer. Here's the media release from Canucks.com
Alexander Sulzer is 27 years old, a former 3rd round pick of the Nashville Predators and hails from the Bavarian city of Kaufbeuren. He is also carrot-topped, so some will inevitably see him as a replacement for Raffi Torres on "team ginger" (and still others will ask the inappropriate question: does the rug match the curtains?). Last season he played 31 games for the Nashville Predators, and 9 for the Florida Panthers, averaging just under fifteen minutes per-game. Though he showed some promise as a two-way defender in the AHL he's only put up seven career points (1 goal, 6 assists) in 62 games at the NHL level.
In Sulzer's 40 NHL games last year - he was matched-up against middle of the road competition, and skated alongside his respective teams bottom 6 forwards more often than not. He started about 20 more shifts in the offensive-zone than the defensive zone - so he was sheltered match-up wise and situationally. He allowed 39.93 Fenwick events against per 60 minutes - which, isn't too bad - but doesn't jump off the page when one considers his deployment.
Considering the Canucks current depth-chart, Alexander Sulzer projects to head into the season as the teams 9th defenseman, though, most Canucks observers expect him to leap past Keith Ballard by the fourth or fifth day of training camp.