Today Doug MacLean caused a stir when he said on the Fan 590 that the Canucks were close to acquiring tough guy George Parros from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. A few hours later, after people pestered him with questions about exactly how imminent this trade was, TSN’s Bob McKenzie debunked the rumour saying that the Canucks and Ducks haven’t had a single conversation about the Mustachioed pugilist.
So long as mass hand-wringing about the Canucks "lack of toughness" persists, these sorts of rumours will crop up from time to time. If you value your sanity, I’d urge you not to get worked up about all the enforcers who will be rumoured to be headed to Vancouver over the next couple of months. There will be many of them.
Which is pretty silly since Gillis has been consistent, and explicit about his lack of interest in acquiring a one-dimensional fighting forward. As he told Botch about a month ago: "I want to have players on that (fourth) line, in that role, who can play." Players who can’t contribute in other ways beyond the fisticuffs are going the way of the Dodo bird, and don’t expect Gillis to be the guy who bucks that trend. If Gillis could acquire one of those fighter-scorer types who Harrison Mooney wrote about at Puck Daddy, then I’d imagine the team would be interested in that. But Parros is not the sort of player the Canucks want.
Some folks are confused as to why, and like to list Parros’ dimensions as a counter-argument to those who say he would be a useless acquisition for Vancouver. Yes he’s 6,5 and listed at over 220 pounds, meaning that Shawn Thornton only has 20 pounds on him, but guys like Parros simply don’t fit in with the way the Canucks play.
For comparisons sake, look at how the Canucks use their fighter designate, Dale Weise in comparison with the way George Parros is used by the Mighty Ducks. Both players are protected, and are unlikely to see the ice against the opposition’s top players, but Dale Weise is trusted in tough circumstances to keep his head above water and Parros is not.
Parros starts nearly 70% of his shifts in the offensive zone (and he doesn’t get a lot of shifts) because the Ducks are well aware that he’s a massive liability from a possession stand-point. Weise on the other hand is at the opposite end of the spectrum, he starts most of his shifts in the defensive end partly because he’s a reasonably good skater and can reliably play defense.
The Canucks give every available offensive zone start to the twins, and those the twins don’t get are given to Kesler. The Canucks are not going to waste a territorial advantage by protecting an enforcer, so to play bottom-6 minutes on the Canucks, you must be able to contribute to your line "holding their own." It’s a prerequisite.
Let’s put it this way, despite Parros’ protected usage, the Ducks give up 29.5 shots per 60/minutes with him on the ice and only record 15 for. Despite the fact that Weise plays tough minutes, situationally speaking, the Canucks manage nearly 25 shots per sixty when he’s on the ice, while giving up a respectable 26.8. Giving up twice as many shots as you allow per/60, despite starting in the offensive end of the ice 70% of the time, just isn’t going to cut it on the Canucks fourth line.
When Gillis talks about "adding balance" throughout his line-up, he’s thinking of adding a tougher guy who can also fit into what the Canucks do from a possession stand-point. George Parros seems like a smart dude, and is inarguably a good character, but he just doesn’t fit that profile.
It’s all about the postseason for the Canucks, and for the last four seasons in Anaheim, Parros hasn’t played much in the postseason. He only played 5 games in 06-07 when the Ducks went to the Stanley Cup Final, and while he played in all six games during their first round series against Nashville last season, he averaged well under five minutes of ice-time per game. Anyone who expects Gillis to acquire a guy who Vigneault will scratch throughout the postseason isn’t paying attention. After all, the Canucks already have Keith Ballard.