September 21 2012 03:14PM
Happy Friday, from Patrick White!
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The Canucks recently played in their annual golf tournament – the Jake Milford classic. The Fan Zoo was there and took some photos. This one gives some perspective on how big Zack Kassian is. For comparison’s sake, David Booth (pink golf shirt) is 6-1 and 220 pounds. Kassian is back in Windsor training with some NHL players (including Matt Martin of the Isles) before he heads to Chicago for the Wolves training camp next week.
I was doing some research for a column yesterday and stumbled upon this piece from the Vancouver Sun, circa June 2007. It features Dave Nonis explaining the Patrick White draft pick. It also goes on to mention his interest in Kyle Turris. Apparently the Canucks wanted Turris badly, but the cost would have been Cory Schneider, the 2007 1st round pick (White) and the 2008 1st round pick (Cody Hodgson).
Nonis wouldn’t identify the team, but was convinced Chicago was taking OHL scoring champion Patrick Kane first overall. That left Philadelphia at second and Phoenix at three.
“There were a couple of players we really liked and they had to take a long pause and say no to it [offer],” added Nonis. “It didn’t matter how much we threw at them.”
One source said it would have cost the Canucks their first pick this year, their first next year and unsigned college goalie Cory Schneider to land Turris.
Colorado defenseman Ryan O’Byrne isn’t headed to Europe to play hockey. Instead, he has returned home to Victoria to help coach the BCHL’s Grizzlies. A great move on his part, and I am sure the players will love this:
“I see Ryan really being a mentor to individual players and supporting them on a one-on-one basis, and once he becomes more comfortable with the team application … then I can see it being a very smooth transition.”
I am going to disagree with Corey Pronman’s assessment of the Canucks prospects in his top 10 list. I am well aware that goaltenders are both harder to evaluate and take longer to develop compared to forwards and defensemen. However, there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that there are 100 better young players on the planet than goaltender Eddie Lack (only Nikclas Jensen made Pronman's top 100 prospects list).
That is the beauty of the internet, and lists especially: they open up the floor for debate. I am not attacking Pronman (in fact, I really enjoy his work and use it a lot when doing my own research or confirming my thoughts on players).
Also, I wouldn’t have Alexandre Grenier anywhere near the Canucks top 10 prospect list, for example. His skill set isn’t enough to make up for a lack of hockey sense. Pronman is quite high on Sudbury captain Frankie Corrado, as is Canucks Army. Corrado has a lot of Kevin Bieksa in him – gritty, smart, and decisive in his play. He should put up a lot more points this year with increased offensive responsibilities.
Speaking of debtate – I published my top 50 NHL trade value rankings earlier this week, and there was obviously a lot of feedback over certain player rankings. Pass it to Bulis disagreed with my ranking of the Sedin twins, and you can see our back-and-forth here. My thoughts:
Daniel and Henrik Sedin are top 10 forwards in the NHL. Heck, they are probably top 10 players in the world. They are both extremely durable, reliable defensively, and have cap-friendly contracts ($6.1 million per – only $500,000 more than Dennis Wideman for those keeping track at home).
However, their individual trade values don’t reflect what they bring together. We have seen Henrik excel without Daniel, and vice versa. However, they are the classic example of 1+1=3. My list ranks players on an individual basis, and their individual trade values suffer because of this.
Would I trade Daniel straight across for Perry? Probably.
Breaking news: Ryan Kesler dives. So does Derek Roy. So does Dustin Brown. The difference? Kesler isn’t very good at it. Brown has ranked at or near the top of penalties drawn for the last four or five years, but he is generally thought of as a clean player (by fans outside of the Pacific Division, at least). Perhaps Kesler needs to take some acting lessons this lockout?
If you want to get a chance to see Cody Hodgson play in Vancouver this season, the lockout would have to extend until February of next year. The Sabres don’t visit Vancouver at all in 2012-13, while their AHL affiliate in Rochester plays in Abbotsford on February 5th.
The Vancouver Giants kick their season off tonight with a home game against the Victoria Royals. Great hockey at a great price – get out there if you can. Here is my Giants season preview from yesterday.