WWYDW: Who is the Canucks’ “oversung hero” of 2021/22?

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
2 years ago
Welcome back to WWYDW, the only hockey column on the internet that has never had to ask its editor to step in and cover the column for a week.
Speaking of last week, our intrepid leader David Quadrelli handled the answer-gathering and, we can all agree, provided at least replacement-level columning. But now starting wordminder Stephan Roget is back in the digital crease, along with what we hope is a real doozy of a question to mark the return.
You’ve probably heard by now that the Vancouver Canucks are soliciting votes for their annual player awards. Fans vote on a team MVP, a best defenceman, and a most exciting player, but the award that always draws the most discussion is that of the Canucks’ “unsung hero.”
That’s partly down to the fact that it’s a rather ambiguous distinction, which leaves plenty of room for debate. It’s also partly down to the fact that folks love to heap compliments on an underdog.
Either way, Canucks fans love to argue about who the team’s true unsung hero is each year. And if this were some hack, paint-by-numbers question-and-answer column, we’d probably be asking you to list your own picks for unsung hero in the comment section of this column.
But this is WWYDW, where we always strive to be a little extra clever, so instead we’re going to ask you to name your “oversung hero” of 2021/22.
Is that a made-up term? Absolutely, but we trust our readership to have the comprehension skills required to figure out what we’re getting at. If the “unsung hero” is a player who doesn’t get enough credit for what they do on the ice, the “oversung hero” is the exact opposite: a player who gets TOO MUCH credit for what they do on the ice — or, perhaps, what they don’t do.
So, get your hot takes ready, because this week, we’re asking you:

Who is the Canucks’ “oversung hero” of 2021/22?

Let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, Quads asked:

How do you grade the Canucks’ 2022 Trade Deadline as a whole?

You answered below!
What am I supposed to grade, a couple of marginal moves that don’t move the needle on a team that continues to suffer from mediocrity? That’s like saying “I won’t write the test, but please grade me on it (oh, and I’m a C+ student.)” Maybe later, it’ll come out that there were offers for Myers, Brock, or JTM, but management felt waiting until the summer would result in higher returns. And that’s fair. But…it’s still not any better of a team today.
I give the new management team a B-. The Hamonic trade was an A. Maybe it’s a low bar after years of Benning, but the fact that they traded Motte is a huge win. The return was less than expected, but not below market.
This is a midterm grade though. The finals happen this summer.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
New management performed a tidy job at the deadline, managing to move out some money while bringing back a player that will not only improve the club today, but also tomorrow. How GMPA managed to fleece Ottawa out of a third rounder for Hamonic without retaining any salary is borderline sorcery. Flipping the pick for an NHL-caliber defenceman in Dermott was also a forward-thinking piece of business. To be frank, I have become unaccustomed to strategic thinking from our front office for quite some time. While there may be some handwringing about the return obtained for Motte, a quick review of the transactions involving similar 4th liners that occurred at the deadline suggests that a 4th round pick was acceptable.
The team shaved $1.5 million off its books while picking up a mid-round pick for an expiring deal. This was nice some work around the margins, but the much larger test looms in the offseason. I like the thinking that management has displayed thus far and am confident that it will continue through the team’s reconfiguration.
I’m still disappointed that they didn’t make a big move. They have big roster holes to fill, a dearth of prospects, and they won’t be able to re-sign Boeser and Miller. A trade could address those problems and they can’t see why the return will be higher if they wait until the off-season or until the next trade deadline. I don’t think they’re gaining much by waiting, and they could actually end up losing if the offers are lower than they got before the TD.
Craig Gowan:
I wasn’t expecting fireworks, as this was the Trade Deadline, the main purpose of which is for playoff teams to get stronger & sellers to accumulate draft choices and other assets to build around. Terms are re-formed, retooled etc. in the off season. Given my expectations, I think the Canucks did well with their modest moves. The Hamonic deal was great and the highlight of the deadline deals. They acquired a good third pair D in Dermott who has a reasonable salary for this and next year, and they got something for Motte, who otherwise would have walked for nothing at the end of the season. Obviously, the market did not value Motte as much as Canuck fans do. Richardson, although a little slow, is a good short-term fill in for Motte. All in all, it was a good deadline for new management, even though no major business was done.
One theory of success for GMs is counting their mistakes, and GMs like BriseBois, Blake, and Yzerman have kept their errors to a minimum, while GMs like McCrimmon, Holland, and Dubas spend their time and capital fixing their mistakes.
It`s a possible explanation for why GMs like Allvin and Drury did the minimum. They didn`t make many, or any, mistakes, and will keep their jobs, although maintaining mediocrity by doing nothing is questionable success.
The GM doing interesting things is Guerin in Minnesota. He`s going all-in this season because his cap hits from the Parise/Suter buyouts will be $12m next season and $14m for two seasons after that. He will be making major changes this coming offseason.
C- or A+ if they somehow manage to squeak into the playoffs. We have seen in recent and not so recent times that the worst decision you can make is “no decision.” We still don’t have a clear direction that management wants to take this team. The summer will tell, as there was no rush to make a decision on the make up of this team. However, we know that they were a better team than at the start of the year and are not as good as they have been since BB took over. We have a 9/10th-placing team in the conference. Grade really will have to come after the summer on whether waiting was the right decision. However, getting Ottawa to take that trade with no salary retention was a thing of beauty.
The Hamonic dump was great, as it being a dump and a higher pick trade! Rated: 10
The Dermott add was good, as it was the adding of a good young d-man, but a higher pick was traded. Rated: 9
The Motte leaving thing makes me sad, but as we would not have been able to keep him anyway, it was a good move. I just think we could have gotten more for him. Rated: 6
Overall average rating:8.33.
Trimmed at the margins and let this group try to make playoffs without a discouraging disruption of chemistry.
Major surgery in summer.
A River Named Curt:
Solid B. No unforced errors. Allvin did what he had to with Motte. The Hamonic trade was highway robbery. And Dermott was a nice little add to the bottom D pairing. Many weaknesses still need to be addressed, but overall the team was modestly nudged in the right direction at the deadline.
Defenceman Factory:
The grade people award almost certainly will be impacted by their opinion of what the longer-term vision of the Canucks should be and how valuable one views making the playoffs this year. My view is the Canucks absolutely need to make a big move or two over the next year. I am concerned they may have sacrificed some value in those moves by not making at least one now in order to give the current team a reasonable chance at making the playoffs. I hope this doesn’t end up being a significant loss. I have very low expectations on the Canucks making the playoffs and, if they do, not putting in a strong showing.
I give management a C.
It would have been a D, but moving Hamonic was a solid accomplishment. Letting Motte walk for nothing or overpaying to re-sign him would have been F moves. Getting a 4th rd pick for him is a bit disappointing. Dermott does not move the needle much on playoff chances this year, but he might be good enough to cost the Canucks a couple spots in the draft order. If they can flip him at next year’s deadline or prior for more than he cost to acquire, I’ll change my grade to a C+.
I see this as a maintenance deadline, pretty much pushing the hard decisions to the offseason. They dealt with the contracts needed to move and was able to get something for Hamonic, which was a plus. However, these moves were probably too late to make the playoffs in the Canadian division.
I would give management a B. Rutherford said he wanted to get faster, younger, and clear cap space. The Hamonic / Dermott deals accomplished that to a ‘T.’ Some may think we didn’t get enough for Motte, but the market dictates Motte’s value. Not fan’s personal opinion. Grabbing Richardson off waivers was a sweet move and Allvin deserves more credit from the media for this move. Although Richardson is a little older, he fits the fourth line perfectly.

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