July 10 2012 06:35PM
Mason Raymond can't catch a break. The shifty Canucks' winger took a significant pay cut to avoid arbitration and re-sign with the team for one year and got nothing but grief from the fanbase in return.
It didn't help that the same fanbase was all agog at the possibility of signing one of the two remaining free agents of any significance, Shane Doan. Canucks' fans, of course, have been wanting a tough, knock 'em down power forward ever since the organization traded away Cam Neely for the ghost of Barry Pedersen.
And what a long list of failures, disappointments and embarrassments that quest has been for the Canucks' fan base. Jim Sandlak. Alek Stojanov. Todd Bertuzzi. Taylor Pyatt. Steve Bernier.
But never ones to let constant failure get in the way, we want the Canucks to try again. And in that light, Mason Raymond just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Er, I didn't really mean to say it like that. Ok, maybe a little.
What I really want to know, though, is why we aren't talking about the real talent that's still out there and available: Alex Semin. Oh, yeah. Now I remember:
As Jeff Angus so ably put it, everyone is focused on the perceived weaknesses that make up maybe 10% of his overall contribution, and ignoring the rest, which is the huge value he can actually bring to a team. Sure, he's looking for a long term deal, but he brings an awful lot of skill to the table and probably a lot less risk than spending more money, short term on Shane Doan.
Still, neither on is likely to sign here in Vancouver, no matter what you might have heard. Especially those unconfirmed reports out of Mongolia.
The one big change that will happen at some point, is a Luongo trade. I'm not convinced it will be in the off-season. I think Mike Gillis is willing to sit on a deal until he gets something of value in return. If that means figuring out a way to keep Luongo through the start of the season until some team gets desperate enough to give him what he wants, he'll do it.
Luongo, meanwhile, is off to Vegas this week playing in the World Series of Poker. Of the many things we've learned about Luongo since the Canucks' early exit from the playoffs, one of the more surprising ones is that he likes to travel on somebody else's dime, and hey, who doesn't!
I mean, if PlayNow wants to send me to Vegas, I'll go. And I would win it all, too. Or be the first one out. That's how it usually works out for me. But I digress.
This little tidbit of info, put together with one of Brian Burke's little know hobbies as an amateur cabbie, helps us piece together just why that long rumoured trade to Toronto hasn't happened yet: