The Canucks Week in Quips for Oct 4th

Our 2004 7th round pick secures his future with a new $10M deal.

This is a regular Friday feature combining a healthy mixture of observation, analysis, and foresight on the Vancouver Canucks. If you’d like to get at me about anything covered in this column, follow me on Twitter at @yyjordan and let’s start a textual relationship (wink).

1.  So it appears the Sharks are the Canucks’  mongoose to their snake. Or their snake to their mongoose? I don’t know animals. Anyway, it’s not pretty. To be 100% honest, I would have been very surprised if the Canucks won their season opener last night. Too many things working against them: new coach, new system, one of the toughest rinks in the NHL, and a lot of plugs in the lineup. Speaking of…

2. I sort of hate the Canucks sending down talent in Hunter Shinkaruk and Bo Horvat in favour of disappointments like Zach Dalpe and waiver wire scrubs like Ryan Stanton. No, I’m not saying it would have been a good idea to burn the entry level deals of two promising 18-year-olds, but there would have been zero harm in giving them a few games while Zack Kassian is suspended and Jordan Schroeder is injured. I have never been a fan of forgoing pure talent in favour of guys who may be more proven but ultimately have a fraction of the skill. In this case, it’s not as if Dalpe and Stanton are even proven.

3. Who is Ryan Stanton? Well, he is a 24-year-old stay-at-home defenceman with "playing attributes" (Laurence Gilman’s words) who is known for blocking shots. Prior to last night he had played one NHL game, and won a Stanley Cup through luck and circumstance. All signs point to him being John Tortorella’s answer to Aaron Rome, minus the awesome Wario mustache.

4. Tortorella was very vocal about his preference to have young defencemen like Frank Corrado play monster minutes in the AHL rather than depth minutes on the Canucks. One would assume that is also his preference with forwards, and makes you wonder if he had a say in the demotion of Shinkaruk and Horvat after it appeared they had earned spots on the opening night roster. If that’s the case, Torts is going to have a hard time winning over the fans who always complained about Alain Vigneault’s reluctance to play young players.

5. The moves that Mike Gillis made in the lead up to the opener directly contradict the one thing he was adamant about after last season: "We need to get younger". Yet the season is underway and Shinkaruk, Horvat, Gaunce, Jensen, and Corrado are ether in junior or in the minors. Why? Because the Canucks need to "win now"? And Dalpe and Stanton are going to help them do that? Please.

6. Now that I’ve wasted four entries grumbling about the lineup, I’m going to use one more. What is Tom Sestito’s purpose? I mean, ultimately he is a random cluster of stardust and carbon doomed to live an empty, mostly meaningless life like the rest of us, but I mean specifically what is his purpose as a hockey player? On the Vancouver Canucks? Anyone?

7. There was one moment of pure poetry last night, and it was the Sedins beautifully setting up Jason Garrison for a power play goal. It was what we all envisioned the moment Garrison signed as a free agent and Sami Salo walked, and it took over a year to actually come to fruition. I’m sure we’ll find more bones to pick with Tortorella in no time (how about Chris Higgins logging more ice time than the Sedins through 2 periods last night), but maybe we can finally put this saga to bed.

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8. Garry Valk boldly predicts that the twins will be 85-point players this year due to more power play production, which does make some sense. Henrik Sedin was on pace for around 77 points last season with a power play fumbling along at 15.8%. In 2011-12, Henrik finished with 81 points when the PP was humming at 19.8%. We know the twins are 33 and on the outskirts of their prime scoring years, but a lethal power play could see them average a point a game or more once again.

9. Jannik Hansen is guaranteed 10 million dollars over the next four years. Not bad for the little Dane with the funny voice drafted in the 7th round all the way back in 2004. Hansen and Higgins are making the same money and are terrific 3rd line players. If only the team had sufficient forward depth to actually play them on the 3rd line…

10. Seriously, if you had told me in the summer that the Canucks 4th line to start the season was going to be Weise-Dalpe-Sestito, I probably would have waved the white towel, and not in the fun way we all like to do when it’s spring and the Canucks are in the playoffs and everyone’s happy because we have a 3rd line centre and a 4th line that doesn’t take a hot dump in its pants every time it tries to complete a simple zone exit. Go Canucks!

  • orcasfan

    Great insight, but I might be biased as a fellow Islander (Sooke). I doubt the 4th line sticks around, they got stapled after Weise took his stupid penalty in the first. Can’t see any of these guys surviving the year. One of them is gone as soon as Kass comes back and I’m praying there’s a deal to be had at some point.

    I’m kind of in wait and see mode as it’s early, and it’s a marathon not a sprint. So it doesn’t really matter where you start, it’s all about the finish. Just ask Jannik.

    • orcasfan

      I would bet that another of them (Dalpe) is likely gone as soon as Schroeder is back as well.

      Weise has what it takes to be a good 4th liner he just needs to get it through his head that he is a 4th liner and play like it. Hit people, get the puck in the other end, don’t take penalties, go to the bench after 30s. Simple.

      Sestito to me just looks…uncoordinated? It could be just his foot speed and size, but he kind of skates like an awkward teenager that grew 6 inches over the summer and hasn’t figured it out yet.

      • orcasfan

        Yeah, you’re right. It’s like an extended evaluation period right now. The thing is we seem to be replacing question marks with question marks. It would be nice to have a guy that we are chomping at the bit to get back.

        @Jason, Burrows kissed one last night.

  • orcasfan

    There are quite a few skilled Canuck players who do not know how to safely block a shot. I guess this experiment will stop when one of the skilled players gets a puck in the face.

  • orcasfan

    “We’ve been looking for a left-handed defenceman that has playing attributes and solid character”

    When you can’t point to any tangible attributes, sling BS about intangibles…

    • orcasfan

      Just part of the reset and thinking outside the box. If all of our D-men shoot left, just imagine the savings on hockey sticks…enough to cover a month’s worth of alimony. Not to mention the lack of confusion at the bench when somebody breaks a stick. Purely a hockey move.

  • orcasfan

    Look on the bright side. The Canucks have a great foundation in place:

    Luongo (29), Sedin (28), Sedin (28), Bieksa (27) & Burrows (27)

    Followed by:

    Kesler (24), Raymond (23), Edler (22) & Hansen (22)

    And let’s not forget the bluechip prospects:

    Schneider (22), Grabner (21) & Hodgson (18)

    Wait this isn’t October 2008…

  • acg5151

    I’m not 100% convinced the Canucks are in ‘win now’ mode, for this season at least. Gillis has shown himself to be a smart enough hockey man, so I don’t think he’s deluded enough to think this team is a Cup team with its current make-up.

    My guess is that Gillis & co look at this team and see one that is a few pieces short, and realize it’s unlikely or impossible to add those pieces given the lowered salary cap. Throw in the extra fatigue factor that will impact all of our top players due to the Olympics, I don’t see how this can be our year. If I were in the GM chair, I’m looking for a 2nd – 3rd round playoff berth this season, and looking to add the pieces necessary when the cap rises next year to make one last ‘all-in’ push with this Sedin-led group. Give the young guys this year to add as much as possible, and plug them in next year when they’ll be further along the road toward being able to contribute. If that’s the outlook, the Dalpe/Stanton types make a bit more sense to me . . .

    • orcasfan

      “If I were in the GM chair, I’m looking for a 2nd – 3rd round playoff berth this season, and looking to add the pieces necessary when the cap rises next year to make one last ‘all-in’ push with this Sedin-led group”

      1. In what world would anyone expect this core to be better in 2014-2015 than it is now?

      2. The cap increase will be dedicated to raises for Sedin, Sedin, Hansen, Tanev, Kassian, Schroeder, Weise, Lack or their replacements.

      The window has closed.

      • Cale

        I don’t necessarily agree with @Jer but:

        1. Next year our core will be older and therefore worse but the conditions for surrounding them with more (hopefully better) players are improved with the cap rising.

        2. At 34, I can’t imagine the Sedins will be getting a raise and if Tanev, Kassian, or Schroeder receive a raise then it will be because they’ve deserved it and our club is improved because they’ve improved.

  • Cale

    > Now that I’ve wasted four entries grumbling about the lineup, I’m going to use one more. What is Tom Sestito’s purpose? I mean, ultimately he is a random cluster of stardust and carbon doomed to live an empty, mostly meaningless life like the rest of us, but I mean specifically what is his purpose as a hockey player? On the Vancouver Canucks? Anyone?

    That’s just ice cold.

  • acg5151

    The Canucks window closed the second we traded for Keith Ballard. With Grabner on the team playing next to the Sedins, there would never have been any need for Zack Kassian – who I have never been sold on. We could have kept Ehrhoff. When Cody Hodgson came along we could have thrown him in on a Luongo trade and kept Schneider, and maybe got a third line center back and some picks that would have gone a long ways toward making this team younger.

    And we should have kept Raffi Torres dang it!

    Hindsight is 20/20. Dang it Mike Gillis, it felt so right and now we know it was so wrong!

  • acg5151

    Im sorry but this article is terrible, and so are all the comments on it. It’s the typical attitude of spoiled Canucks fans, and the reason why fans of other teams laugh at Canucks fans. Honestly, it’s quite embarassing. Not very Canucks “ARMY” like. This post is buttersoft. Cry me a river.

    Horvat & Sinkaruk are extremly talented 18 year old PROSPECTS. They are not NHL players. It’s simple. I don’t know why people get so hung up on that. They are kids. Elite Junior Players. If the Canucks would have played them, they would have been in over their heads and had terrible underlying numbers because they weren’t ready, and then you would have been writing an article about how they are both busts. They are the future – don’t rush it.

    Dalpe & Stanton are 24 year old bubble players/fringe NHL’ers who have put in their time playing the pro game and have earned a shot in the NHL. Stanton was the last cut on a Stanley Cup Champion defense, and yet somehow you think he’s not good enough for a tryout with the Canucks?! That’s ridiculous. Give your head a shake.

    And all the hate for Sestito I don’t get. When did Vancouver start hating tough guys. Gino Odjick anyone? Donald Brashear?!? I’ll take Tom Sestito on my 4th line any day of the week before i throw a pimple-faced teenager to the wovles.

    Hypothetical: Your John Tortorella and you see Calgary’s 4th line come on the ice with Brian McGratton, or Anaheim with Matt Belesky, or LA with Kyle Clifford, and they line up at centre ice looking mean as hell ready to crush the first person to touch the puck, and your gonna counter that with your 4th line, full 18 year old junior scorers?!

    That’s why Tom Sestito is on the Vancouver Canucks!

    It’s a mans game. I would hope a writer at a site called Canucks ARMY to understand that. It’s still only 1 game into the season, so i’m gonna assume your still shaking off the summer rust. But step ur game up quick Clarke!


  • acg5151

    @bigfish, I wanted to ignore your comment because it’s so ridiculously condescending and archaic. But I’d like to point out a couple of things. First, it’s 2013 and the game has changed drastically since the days of Odjick and Brash. More successful teams seem to go for the tough guys that can take a regular shift and contribute at both ends of the rink. Something Sestito has yet to show.

    Secondly, again it’s 2013, hockey hasn’t been a man’s game since the last century when sexism was commonplace.. There are plenty of women that play and support the sport. Millions of them. Just as many have served or are serving our country in the forces. Some have even paid the ultimate price and lost their lives. I hate to interrupt your macho chest pounding, but I’m a man who has known more than a few women. For you to suggest being in the army or appreciating hockey is somehow tied to manhood only shows ignorance.

    • acg5151

      Dude i have no idea what ur talking about. Armed forces? I’m talking about, the website. Ever heard of it?

      And women, yeah i love them. They are great, and like you i know many of them. Many who are huge Canucks fans. Yet, the NHL is comprised 100% of men is it not? A fact that is disputed by exactly zero of the women that I have ever met. So I fail to see your point ‘man’.

      And yes, it’s 2013. That’s about the only thing you got right. But no, the game has not changed that much. It’s still survival of the fittest. It’s a war of attrition. It’s a battle. Don’t fool yourself. Hockey is blood and guts, and unless you have a few warrior’s on your side, you will never, EVER win anything in this league – especially not a Stanley Cup.

      Don’t believe me? Just look at the list of teams who have won Stanley Cups in the last 5 years. Look at their rosters. Or better yet, watch an actual hockey game. You’ll see that i am right. It’s a tough sport. Period.

      Enjoy ur day =)

      • acg5151

        Watch a lot of hockey, even played for 30 years. Was skating when I was 3. I looked at the teams that won the cup recently and even went back…ya know what, I didn’t see Sestito’s name anywhere. Maybe you know where I might find it? I’m not saying toughness an element that is not needed or unnecessary. It most certainly is. The role itself has changes and teams are looking for more out of the role. The point is we don’t need a speedbag that has scored 5 career goals sitting on the bench for 55 minutes. Let him play some hockey and maybe learn a little about scoring and defensive responsibility in the minors. I mean even Clifford is good for 7 a season, you think Sestito has that in him this year.

        Here, I’ll quote you:
        “It’s a mans game. I would hope a writer at a site called Canucks ARMY to understand that. It’s still only 1 game into the season, so i’m gonna assume your still shaking off the summer rust. But step ur game up quick Clarke!”

        Nowhere in this statement do you mention the NHL, you actually are saying the game which is the sport itself. I know exactly what you were inferring and can read. At least have the balls to admit it when somebody calls you on it. And no, it isn’t a man’s game….it’s just a game.

        • acg5151

          Brooooooooo common. I was clearly referring to Jordan_Clarke’s comments on Sestito when i said mans game. I think that was pretty obvious… Why on a Canucks website during a discussion on a 4th line tough guy would i be in any way referenceing women in hockey when i say mans game?! Doesn’t make sense. Ur reaching.

          Having said that, LoL @ Sestito not having his name on the cup. Touche. But as you said “Let him play some hockey.” It seems to me everyone wants to write him off and the seasons not even 2 games old. Sestito may very well have some big goals in him. He did score 42 in junior!

          And like i said in my original post, i’d rather see a MAN like Sestito line up against the likes of Clifford or McGratton instead of an 18 year old KID who should be in junior. And i think you know why. That’s all i ever said/meant and i stand by it.


  • acg5151


    Calling Ryan Stanton a scrub is dumb statement and has zero merit. He was a last day cut from the best team in the NHL last season. He was also one of the better players against the sharks on defense. He made smart plays and made sure the sharks kept out of Lu’s grill all night.

    He is a no nonsense type of player that plays tough and does whatever the team needs of him.

    Get a clue Jordan before you write this crap.