Ouch, That Hertl: Canucks Get Blanked by the Sharks


Andrew Alberts must be a secret agent. It’s the only possible explanation for his performance tonight.

The Canucks entered Tuesday night’s game in San Jose coming off of an impressive victory against the Coyotes the previous night. Despite a few lineup changes – Higgins, Garrison, and Luongo, most notably – they were still icing a more than competent crew, so there was reason to believe that we’d be treated to a good game.

Early on, the Sedins – reunited with Alex Burrows and it feeeeeeels so goooood – generated a handful of quality chances. They were buzzing. There was also a play where Chris Tanev rang iron with a shot from the point as Jannik Hansen caused a ruckus in front of Antti Niemi. 

But then, the direction of the game changed and things sort of went off the rails.. 

Did you notice how I tried to do this whole "be positive" thing at the outset of this post? It was mostly a ploy to get you to click past the jump and stick around, and if you’re reading this, it worked. 

I asked our followers on Twitter for some positive takeaways from the game. There were some decent replies:

All very fair. I’d also add that Bo Horvat, in his biggest test to-date, didn’t look out of place and I’m growing more and more comfortable with the idea of him starting the season as the team’s 3rd line centre by the day. 

It’s definitely a little disconcerting that the Canucks were pounded so soundly while sending out a lineup that at least somewhat resembled one we’ll see when the games start counting. But we should keep in mind that we’ll never see that trainwreck of a 3rd pairing out on the ice together. I would’ve figured that they’d be ineffective together, but man oh man, they were u-g-l-y. They were out for 3 goals against, and for a 4th, Alberts was in the penalty box. 

With the team down by 3 Tom Sestito got into a fight with Matt Pelech. The Sharks scored a goal to make it 4-0 just a few minutes later. I didn’t see a spark, but maybe I wasn’t watching the game the right way. 

Meanwhile, Eddie Lack didn’t exactly look very good in net. I know that the team in front of him certainly didn’t help him out, but his positioning routinely looked very poor, and the Sharks picked him apart. By my count there were 2 or 3 posts mixed in there as well, so things really could have gotten even uglier.

I mostly just put this together so that you guys would have a place to discuss the game. Hopefully there won’t be panic. I have to confess that as the game went on I began to pay attention to it less and less. Was too busy trying to come up with witty comments in 140 characters or less. But mostly, I just can’t wait for October 3rd. Speaking of.. the New York Rangers and Alain Vigneault stroll into town on Thursday night for the team’s final preseason outing. 

Hopefully we won’t have to go 344 posts between now and the next win for the Canucks.

      • argoleas

        Yup. Schneider’s first game in the NHL — interestingly also against the Sharks as far as I can recall — he gave up something like 5 goals in like 15 minutes. Just terrible. Also when he started in the AHL he was pretty bad for the first half of the season. But as he had in college and the minors he slowly but surely found his groove. I am hoping it’s similar for Lack.

  • DCR

    Macaroni and cheese. Weber and Alberts were a trainwreck you couldn’t help but look at. They were on the ice for 4 of 5 goals against (by my numbers). They looked like the equivalent of Bieksa-Edler.

    I must say, Tanev and Hamhuis continue to be amazeballs together. Edler and Corrado also continue to look like a healthy pair. I like that ol’ Torts has been giving Tanev some heavy minutes.

    Also agree about BoHo. I think he has got better each game. He looked like a deer in a headlights first few games, but he’s definitely settled down and stiffing out plays like Tanev_v2 out there. It’s kind of weird to be like, “wait, was that the 18 year old that made that nice little play……again”. Of course, I think he’d look much better with say Hansen and Higgins on his wing vs. Santo and Richardson.

    Kesler looks like Kesler from 12/13 season. I’m guessin his corsi #’s are similar from last yr. For this team to be successful, he will have to drag his linemates up the ice till Booth comes back. But he ain’t doing it yet.

    Lack has looked pretty bad all pre-season. Does he need more games since he’s pretty much been off for a year. Or, does he need more time in minors? Gillis is gonna have to figure this out ASAP cause there are 17 back to backs this yr.

  • argoleas

    I refuse to think much of anything until the regular season, though in the back of my mind, I can’t help but feel like the ice a lot of the vets are skating on at the moment is getting thinner and thinner.

    I would not mind trading them away at the deadline this year if we saw the continued trend downhill that we’ve seen for the past couple of years.

    • argoleas

      No question that this is a make or break season. The whole point of changing coaches is to see if a different voice can make a difference. If yes, then we can have a retooling for the next few years until the kids are ready. Otherwise, blow it up quickly.

  • argoleas

    I’m not too worried about Lack just yet considering seemingly every goal scored tonight also featured one of Andrew Alberts or Yannick Weber doing everything that isn’t their job up to and including skating out of the way of clear passing lanes and diving to block shots taken from outside viable shooting positions.

    Plus, you know, Eddie’s kinda dreamy

    • argoleas

      Ah, but is a set-up. Just watch the regular season, when Henrik will shock the world (and his brother) by becoming a sniper. I think it will take the rest of the league at least 40 games to adjust. Defenders will continue to just block the passes, in fits of muscle memory, long after Henrik makes them look like fools. Just wait. And then it will be revealed that the Sedins switched jerseys.

        • argoleas

          I would have to disagree with you. They did a good job on the Sharks in 2011. But then they had a healthy Kessler almost to the end. Seems to me in most cases, one top line is not hard to contain. Boston is not so dominating because they have an awesome top line, is because they had three very good ones (one could say 4). Same goes for Chicago and LA. And that is the key. For them to succeed, they need a companion line. If they have Kassian playing well, and are complemented by a strong Booth/Kessler/Burrows line, the Sedins will do that, simply because other teams will need to spread themselves thin. It’s a basic formula. Its what made Sakic/Forsberg so damn successful, among many other things.

          • argoleas

            LOL. “for them to succeed” LOL. I would succeed too if I had someone else do all the work for me. When the Sedin’s fail, it’s never their fault. When or “if” they do well, it’s all to their credit. Let me ask you this, if it takes “SOMEONE ELSE” to make the Sedins play better…WHY DO YOU THEN NEED THE SEDINS?

            Sorry but ow long have the Sedins been with the Canucks? Your armchair optimism is lost on me, because it seems to be based on hopes, not the past results. The memory that sticks to my mind about the Sedins is being bowled over by Timmy Thomas and punching hte rat Marchand’s glove with his face. That is hardly something I would rely on.

            As for Sakic and Forsberg, they are NOT the Sedins, don;t compare players who have won the cup to ones who have not. The Sedin’s do not have the grit and heart of both Sakic and Forsberg, nor do they have their winning mentality. All I hear Sedins talk about during post season interviews is how they deserved to win and how well they played, even when they lost. The Sedins don’t even win during interviews, and ppl think they they will lead this team to a cup? Based on what? Hope? Optimism? Armchair wishes while ignoring their past ineptitude? The Sedins have had years to “DO IT” but can not. As they say, talk is CHEAP. That’s what separates great players from players who talk more than they can accomplish.

  • DCR

    After watching that game, and looking at the box scores for every game so far in the pre-season, one thing’s clear: The Canucks have to focus on the penalty kill in a big way.

    So far they’ve given up 26 PP opportunities, and only earned 12. Even if you take out the game in Edmonton as an anomaly, it’s still 18-9. At that rate, the PP isn’t going to matter anywhere near as much as the PK this season, which makes SJ’s 66% conversion rate last night that much more terrifying.

    The other obvious takeaway is that Torts is going to have to make discipline a focus. The team just can’t continue giving up an average of 5 opportunities a game, and the best way to do that is make sure they play as clean as possible.

      • Mantastic

        22 teams took more penalties than NYR last year The year before it was 18 teams and the year before that 27 teams took more penalties.

        I hope you understand your narrative is false.

          • Peachy

            Can’t help but notice that 5 preseason games in and Torts is already mentioning refs by name. And he’s right, something is definitely up. We dominate play, refs call a penalty on us to help the other team even it out. We fall behind, refs call nothing or bury us with more PK time.

            Personally, that game was a reminder of how much of the Sharks’ defense is obstruction, holding the stick and bear-hugging. If they actually had to play proper defense they’d be getting lit up every night.

          • Peachy

            Maybe Torts can pull a Gillis and get Gilman to write up some penalty statistics for his next press conference.

            Although maybe he should save that bullet until after the preseason…

          • Peachy

            I think this is more about fans imagining trends where unfortunate coincidence is more likely…

            Both the Sharks and Canucks have reputations as divers, both are far from the centre of the universe (a reason given by many for favouring teams like New York, Boston and Chicago), etc.

            And remember this is pre-season for the refs as well.

          • DCR

            San Jose is more important for a big US television contract than Vancouver.

            And that is arguably the biggest area of revenue growth potential for the NHL.

            The NFL, MLB & NBA all do a lot better with TV money.

            That said, I agree with you.

            Frankly, if the Canucks are going to have another middling year, it would be nice that the fans stop attributing it to conspiracy theories.

            Personally, I find slagging the general manager is a healthy outlet for frustration…

          • argoleas

            >> Personally, I find slagging the general manager is a healthy outlet for frustration…

            I understand the feeling, but I wonder if he is not just a convenient foil for other aspects that may ail the team. I think of the Canucks post 94, when the team began its long and vary painful slide. The guy who was in charge then was the same guy that assembled the very good team that almost won it in 94. Did he suddenly loose his marbles? Ditto for Sather. Many would say that in Edmonton he was brilliant, but he has been mediocre in NYC (interesting debate point, who is worse, GS or MG?). Maybe its NYC water. I’m sure that if we did an analysis, we would see GMs that do excellent work with a team for some periods, then badly in others. Perhaps we are all spoiled by the great work done in Detroit for so long. So the question would be, is MG below or above average GM (at this time), in relation to other GMs (current and past) in the league.

          • argoleas

            The “great work” for the Canucks these past few seasons, culminating with the 2011 run, was largely done by Burke & Nonis.

            Gillis stole Ehrhoff, accepted Hamhuis’ gift to the province of British Columbia and found a mostly solid group of relievers and bench players.

            Sedin/Sedin/Burrows

            Raymond/Kesler/Grabner

            Hansen

            Hamhuis/Bieksa

            Edler/Salo

            Mitchell

            Luongo/Schneider

            All of those players were acquired by Burke, Nonis or the geographical advantage the Canucks possess in regards to Hamhuis & Mitchell. And Garrison, for that matter.

            Perhaps the underwhelming reset and another middling year will push people to look at Gillis’ transaction record.

            That is a general manager’s save percentage – the tangible evidence for how good or bad a GM has been at his job.

            Gillis is the Marc-Andre Fleury of general managers…

          • argoleas

            You are right about the core of the team being assembled by previous GMs, but that does not address my question. After all, would things have been different if say Burke or Nonis stayed on? Or another GM taken over? With so much complexity going into the development of these players, I dont see we can just say “well done Burke” just because he happened to be GM while Kessler was drafted (although he gets full marks for his drafting of the Sedins). With drafting being such a hit and miss show, can we give the previous GMs full marks just because their draft picks worked out (or some of them). Will people say the same thing about the current crop (2011 and on) after MG is gone? The job of the current GM was to take a team of talent and take it to the next level. Some say that the acquisition of Sundin was a terrible idea, but many of the veterans say that it helped them to have him around, even for a short period. If we judge people by results, and we all accept that although it sucked to lose in the end, 2010-2011 was exceptionally successful, then MG gets credit there. Now, did MG give up too many picks to get the assets for that run, or did he have an easy job asking BC players to come to Van for a discount, or did he give out too many NTC/NMC. Solid arguments have been made that he did. Yes, Hamhuis and Garrison came here because they wanted to be back home, but observe that whereas they took a home discount, did Parise and Suter take one in Minnesota? Again, a question of comparison. I actually dont know if they did in Minnesota, so it is not a rhetorical question. But MG should get full value for signing Malhotra and Torres, and trading for Higgins and Lapierre in 2011. As has been shown unequivocally, the bottom six are just as vital for a winning team as other players.

            My point though is how do we evaluate his tenure. If we gave our job to any other GM, would they have done a better/worse/about the same job? Would another GM not sign some of the terrible free agents? My guess is that most GMs make many such stupid signings (or to be generous, signings that do not work out). Most GMs trade assets to take their teams to the next level (i.e. to go for the cup) and most fail, and most do not even get to game 7 of the cup final. Then most such GMs find the cupboard bare and their window is closed. And most, if they stay on, are not capable of doing anything to stem the decay, often making terrible decisions.

            The point I’m trying to make here is that we may be putting too much stock into how good/bad GMs are, when it seems to me that most GMs in the league make mostly bad decisions (many not out of their own volition), so in this case MG seems to be somewhere in the middle. I simply think that GMs are brought to do a job (in MG’s turn, his job was to make this a cup winner, and he almost did it, and I dont believe that most other GM would automatically have done a better job). I just dont believe that such a thing as a brilliant GM exists except for a handful of people, and most follow a formula that becomes obsolete quickly in this league.

            My main problem now is that now that the window is closing, or may have closed, it may also be time end MG’s tenure simply because most GMs in this state will not recognize when it is time to change course or adapt to the changing dynamics in the league. The odds are that the next GM will do a worse job.

          • argoleas

            For me, Gillis gets full marks for signing Manny, Torres and Sammy.

            Although I’d argue that the Canucks would have been better off never having signed Sammy and using Grabner…

            But I don’t agree, at all, that the bottom 6 are as important for a winning team as other players.

            Just as I wouldn’t agree with the argument that a bullpen and bench are as important to winning as a starting rotation and lineup.

            The window isn’t necessarily closed for LA, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, San Jose.

            And a team like Ottawa has opened a new window. Anaheim could be the same..

            The window wouldn’t be closed for Vancouver either if Gillis had managed his assets better.

            A championship could be won with the Sedins, Kesler, Burrows, Hansen and a not-mentally checked out Luongo as well as the core 4 defenseman.

            But there simply isn’t enough support for these guys and the above players are all in their prime earning years aside from Hansen for another year.

            “My main problem now is that now that the window is closing, or may have closed, it may also be time end MG’s tenure simply because most GMs in this state will not recognize when it is time to change course or adapt to the changing dynamics in the league. The odds are that the next GM will do a worse job.”

            While I don’t agree with the “odds are the next GM will do a worse job” part, you’re right that it’s time to give another person a shot at the general manager role.

            Gillis has both legs in moral hazard territory. By year 6, a GM feeling the heat typically cares more about job security than what’s right for the organization.

            As the great Gordon Gecko reminded us, “management has no stake in the company!”

          • argoleas

            >> But I don’t agree, at all, that the bottom 6 are as important for a winning team as other players.

            Let me rephrase what I said. In order for a team to be successful, it is not enough to have a solid top 6 and great goalie. They must have a solid bottom 6 as well, and as we have seen, they are very hard to assemble.

            >> A championship could be won with the Sedins, Kesler, Burrows, Hansen and a not-mentally checked out Luongo as well as the core 4 defenseman.

            Yes, but they will need that solid cast of bottom 6 (or even bottom 3). Here we actually have 6 defensemen that can play well (and we know which ones those are), and our top 9 is not too shabby, and I will go out on a major limb here and say that if all things were to work out, this team can go far this year. Its just that we can say that about a lot of current teams.

            >> The window wouldn’t be closed for Vancouver either if Gillis had managed his assets better.
            Dunno about that. You seem to imply a vast amount of bad decisions, since the closure of a window is not based on just one trade (like Ballard). Most GMs would have done it (and have), and most would have done the Roy trades, and the many other trades for prospects. I not only dont see this being the case, I dont believe that most GMs would have done better. I would say the window would be closing now regardless since the core is aging, and only the best GM would know how to deal with that in the most efficient manner.MG had his shot (for better or worse), and unless (and may be even if) there is major success at the end of this season, he should go. Ideas and organizations get stale. Of course we both know that unless the season really blows up, MG will not be fired. The owner seems to telegraph this by allowing him to negotiate with the Sedins and getting a new coach.

            I think that in the end, looking back, MG did what I would expect of any average GM – work a coach that he inherited, trade assets for immediate help, sign good free agents (as many for discounts or below markets as possible), and still make many mistakes. And for this we had 2010-2011, which almost worked out. It should now be: Thanx, and good bye.

            To use your phrase above, I believe that most GMs are Marc-Andre Fleury’s of general management. Especially the one that masochistically insists that Marc-Andre Fleury be retained.

          • argoleas

            Yes and a World Series winning team likely needs a good bullpen and bench as well.

            Sure, Gillis has done well with some of these depth guys. Aaron Rome is another I forgot earlier.

            But he’s also had some pretty big failures (the gaping hole at 3LC for another year comes to mind along with Ryan Johnson & Cam Barker).

            That’s just the nature of bottom of the roster players that move around from team to team so frequently.

            If the top 9 was not too shabby, this team would actually be a contender.

            But it’s not and that will be evident by the end of the year with another early playoff exit at best.

            As I said, look at how SJ, Detroit, Boston etc have maintained their windows.

            Yes, part of it is because the Sedins are aging (though so are Thornton/Marleau & Datsyuk/Zetterberg).

            But are the Sedins the problem? They’re still very good players that are poorly supported, in my opinion.

            And from making Luongo captain to giving him an insane deal to going to Schneider and now back to Luongo, Gillis has massively blundered a huge organizational strength to the point where buying out Luongo and welcoming back the goalie graveyard might make the most sense at the end of the year.

            “To use your phrase above, I believe that most GMs are Marc-Andre Fleury’s of general management. Especially the one that masochistically insists that Marc-Andre Fleury be retained.”

            I laughed šŸ™‚

          • argoleas

            “A championship could be won with the Sedins, Kesler, Burrows, Hansen and a not-mentally checked out Luongo as well as the core 4 defenseman.

            If thats the case then shouldnt Nonis and/or Burke have won a Cup, or get even remotely close?

            “But I don’t agree, at all, that the bottom 6 are as important for a winning team as other players.”

            I completely disagree and a case could easily be made that the right mix of role players are what will actually win you a cup.

          • argoleas

            The Sedins, Burrows, Kesler, Raymond, Edler etc all hit their primes once Gillis became GM.

            I’m sure some take that to mean Gillis caused these players to get better.

            I’d suggest it was a coincidence.

            Also, show me the case that right mix of role players can win you a cup WITHOUT the right mix of core players…

          • JCDavies

            “The Sedins, Burrows, Kesler, Raymond, Edler etc all hit their primes once Gillis became GM.

            I’m sure some take that to mean Gillis caused these players to get better.

            I’d suggest it was a coincidence.”

            Why then, does it seem like you are blaming Gillis for the aging of the core if it is something that he is not in control of?

          • argoleas

            Because aside from BC born defenseman, we are still talking about the core assembled by Burke & Nonis…

            The organization has used their last eight 1st round picks on forwards.

            Only one of these (Patrick White) can legitimately be blamed on the previosu regime.

            And we still don’t see a legit top of the roster forward in year 6 of Gillis’ tenure.

            The organizational depth chart has eroded under his watch.

            Just go position by position.

            He inherited a bounty at goaltender in Luongo & Schneider and, in my opinion, has done a god awful job managing these guys. We shall see if Lack can replace Schneider and whether or not Lou is truly mentally checked out…

            He’s been fine at replenishing the core 4 defence that Burke started and Nonis maintained. But a lot of this is based on the fact that two quality BC born defenseman hit free agency at just the right time…

            The forwards, from Bernier, Grabner, the 1st round selections to 2nd rounders such as Rodin, Mallet etc have been a complete disaster to date.

            If the core Gillis inherited were properly supplemented this could still be a contender at least in the San Jose mold…

          • JCDavies

            “Also, show me the case that right mix of role players can win you a cup WITHOUT the right mix of core players…”

            That was never the argument. Of course you need the right core group to win a Cup. But there are a ton of teams in the league who have a very good core group who have yet to get a sniff at the Cup.

            And the Canucks were one of them until they had the right mix of depth.

            Manny, Torres, Hansen, Higgins, Lapierre…these were all major contributors to that success.

      • DCR

        In the shortened 2012-2013 Season, the Rangers took a total of 183 penalties, averaging 9.2 minutes per game. The Canucks took 233 penalties, averaging 12.7 minutes per game. Vancouver took 50 more penalties overall than New York.

        Vancouver took 39 more minor penalties, 11 more major penalties, and 4 more misconducts. The Rangers did take 4 more bench minors than Vancouver, but that’s the only category where they didn’t take noticeably fewer penalties.

        The final totals were 444 minutes for the Rangers, and 609 minutes for the Canucks.

        Torts may be pushing for toughness, but that doesn’t mean his teams take more penalties.

  • Peachy

    I have to think that Weber and Alberts did more in this game to ensure that Corrado makes the team as the 6D than anything Corrado has done in the entire camp.

    Given the Canucks’ weak depth at forward (the low quality of players at the bottom means it’s less likely any will be claimed on waivers) I have a feeling they’ll run 8 defensemen.

    Corrado’s in?

  • DCR

    It’s preseason. The outcome of the game is completely meaningless.

    Just like the outcome vs Phoenix was completely meaningless.

    Until teams are trying to put their best team on the ice, the score means absolutely nothing.

    The performance of individual players, though, is more noteworthy.

    It’s good to see Santo & Horvat holding their own, albeit in meaningless games, since both look like they will be in the opening night lineup.

    And while it’s very early, Lack needs to be a lot better than this or a competent backup needs to be found.

    If the Canucks don’t maintain the regular season save percentage advantage they’ve enjoyed every single year in the Luongo era, missing the playoffs isn’t impossible.

    And Luongo is simply not as impactful as he once was all by himself even if he plays to his career average.

  • DCR

    Torts is right when he shakes his head about Tom Kowal reffing 3 of their games. For some reason this guy really dislikes the Canucks. I used to watch him ref junior and he was the same with his hometown team. Saw him almost get dragged off the ice by the crowd.

  • argoleas

    Love the new heights of stupidity reached by NM00. It really boggles the mind. I agree Gillis is not a great GM but now he can’t even be credit for acquiring guys like Hamhuis, Mitchell and Garrison? We need to thanks B.C. for that? Brilliant! Your skewed sense of reality is astonishing. It really is.

    Crap effort last night. I don’t expect this group to go far. I wouldn’t mind getting a good draft pick and NOT signing the Sedins to a contract that is over 4 years. Ideally, 3 years is good. If they insist on anything like the rumored 6 years, let them walk. We can get a top notch free agent or two if they leave.

    • argoleas

      I’m not sure you quite understand how free agency works champ.

      We know for a fact that, at minimum, two teams (Pittsburgh & Philadelphia) wanted Hamhuis prior to him becoming a UFA.

      Gillis didn’t make a better talent evaluation than Pittsburgh/Philly (among others) with Hamhuis.

      Hamhuis chose Vancouver. He didn’t choose Gillis.

      And Mitchell was signed by Nonis. Though it likely had nothing to do with Nonis and everything to do with wanting to play in British Columbia.

      But I’m glad your mind continues to be boggled…

      • argoleas

        Oh, right, I guess the only reason Hamhuis, and other BC boys, picked the Canucks was due to location. Nothing else played into it. Right. You’re an idiot.

          • argoleas

            I am looking for a shred of evidence that backs your claims regarding Garrison and Hamhuis.

            You agree signing Samuelsson, Torres and Manny were good signings. Why can’t credit be given that the guy might have an idea what he’s doing? The team is cap compliant and are currently restocking the team’s depth with young talent. (By the way, Grabner played with Sammuelsson in Vancouver. Gillis picked Raymond over Grabner, which was not a mistake at the time, but in retrospect, was the wrong choice since Raymond lost his will to live on the ice).

          • argoleas

            I am looking for a shred of evidence that Hamhuis and Garrison chose Vancouver because of Gillis.

            With Hamhuis, we know that at least two teams tried to sign him before free agency opened up.

            If you believe that Mitchell, Hamhuis, Parise, Suter, Garrison & Clarkson among others signed with their respective teams because of the GM, that is your choice.

            There is a limited supply and significant demand when free agency opens up.

            Due to the salary cap, many teams offer similar contracts to impact talent and a player chooses where he wants to live and work for a number of reasons.

            With Hamhuis specifically, did the Canucks make a better talent evaluation than Pittsburgh or Philadelphia?

            Or even Nashville for that matter who may very well have wanted to keep him if Hamhuis wanted to stay and the money worked?

            Free agency is inherently player-centred and whether or not a GM gets a player goes well beyond talent evaluation.

          • argoleas

            Seems to me that for Hamhuis, the best explanation is that he really wanted to play for a winner in Vancouver. I dont see him having said “wow, I want to play for MG”, but I doubt he would have wanted to be here if this was the Messier era. The combination of team on the cusp, a top spot to play on, and home team is what a MasterCard commercial would qualify as “priceless.” If we give credit to MG it would be for being in the right place at the right time (and not saying destroyed what Nurke/Nonis had bequeathed to him). Does MG deserve any direct credit for getting Hamhuis? I would agree no way. It was more a case of the right conditions being in Vancouver (and here we may give MG credit, for all its worth), but in reality, the only credit MG should get here is for not creating conditions that would prevent such home-comings, and I would agree that most GMs would succeed in this manner. It is clear from the reporting that Hamhuis always wanted to return home, and the other offers were never seriously entertained. MG did not create any situation that prevented this from happening, and he did from the start make it known he was very open to having local boys return home.

            Interesting aside is: Has that changed? Would a Hamhuis choose to sign today?

          • argoleas

            I agree with this.

            As I’ve said before, Gillis accepted Hamhuis’ gift.

            By the same token, I’d argue Minnesota accepted Parise & Suter’s gift.

            That’s just the nature of free agency…

          • JCDavies

            I still don’t follow.

            Young players get older and better = nothing to do with Gillis

            Same players get older again and begin to produce less = Gillis is to blame for the drop in production?

            Help me out with this.

          • JCDavies

            For the most part, I am not blaming him for the rise and fall of the players he inherited.

            There are exceptions, though.

            One example would be Luongo. From making him captain to signing him until he’s 43 to jerking him around (I know we don’t quite agree here, though) the last two years I think there is some blame to go here for diminishing the asset beyond the manner in which age has diminished the asset.

            Other examples could be Bieksa & Burrows as they age. Sedin extensions could be another.

            I’ve referenced the 10/50/31 core before…

            I am blaming him for the transactions he has made to supplement what he inherited.

            Do you really need the list again? I assume you were tired of it by now…

          • JCDavies

            No, I’m just trying to get a sense of where you are coming from on this particular issue, I definitely do not need that list again. I’m sure you are tired of writing it as well. šŸ˜‰

    • argoleas

      They will be signed long terms also because when the time comes for them to be traded, Vancouver will get something back, as opposed to having them walk for nothing next year. People have to remember that a NTC is not a “dont-trade-me-ever” clause, but a “dont-trade-me-to-crappy-team” clause. In the next few years, if the team sucks, the Sedins will have no issue with being traded to a team of their choice (mostly, sorry Calgary) for good picks/prospects. Having them walk next year would be in my view the acme of stupidity, and (even MG’s most argent detractors would agree, I’m sure) not even MG would do that.

        • argoleas

          I think that is an assumption that must be taken. I think the Luongo comparison is very false, since that is a unique circumstance, completely not applicable to the Sedins.

          I dont say they ant to sign them for 10+ years (not that this is allowed anymore). But do sign them, for sure, even for 5 years.

          Will they be worth something a year or two from now? I think this is a very favorable assumption.

          • argoleas

            The Sedins being a packaged deal where both would have to be traded and fit under a salary cap system also makes an extension a unique circumstance, in my opinion.

  • argoleas

    Hey Guys, I heard Tortarella’s practices have focused more on conditioning.If so,It would be hard to put together a solid game after weeks of bag skates.
    Hopefully,Now that he’s turned his attention to tactical situations, the guys will have a chance to rest and rebuild.
    It will be interesting to see if there’s a rash of injuries off the start….Over training?
    Lets hope not.

    • argoleas

      >> Hey Guys, I heard Tortarella’s practices have focused more on conditioning.If so,It would be hard to put together a solid game after weeks of bag skates.

      I think this is what I saw. It was very obvious in the SJ game. We will indeed see where they are back in SJ for the opener. They will have more rest before that one.

      >> It will be interesting to see if there’s a rash of injuries off the start….Over training? Lets hope not.

      Then again, there’s Booth, whose groin seems allergic to ice.