It’s time for another round of Ask it to Bulis, wherein two guys who are incredibly smart, handsome, and humble answer your questions about life, the universe, and everything. Unfortunately, no one asked us about those things, so we’re mostly just talking about hockey.

 

Define losing in game 7: was it more of a gut punch, knee to the lower back, sidekick to the skull, or salo testicle shot?@damnitjason

HM: None of the above. The options you’ve described are sharp and sudden in the induction of their pain, but none quite captures the long-standing effects of such a disappointment. For me, losing in game 7 is more of a late-night stubbing of one’s little toe: unforeseen, painful as all Hell, and yet . It’s two weeks later and the little toe of my heart continues to throb and my soul-foot is still limping.

DW: I agree that all of the options provided are just too sudden and sharp, but so is Harrison’s alternative. The game 7 experience was much more drawn out: picture the scene in Black Swan where Natalie Portman’s character picks at a hangnail and begins pulling at it, but it won’t rip off, it just keeps pulling more and more skin back, and it hurts like hell, but it won’t break and there’s blood everywhere…then she snaps out of it and it was all just in her head. Except, I can’t snap out of it. There’s just a painful, bloody mess that won’t go away.

Is suffering a SCF defeat like breaking up with a GF? If so, is there a formula for how long we get to mourn?@The_Old_Firm

HM: Yes, especially in the sense that, the moment it’s over, you immediately look back at how much time you wasted under the delusion that this was the one. The trick to getting over it, too, is a lot like a breakup. In the short term: a Back to the Future marathon and a tub of Neapolitan ice cream. Longer term: tons and tons of sports on the rebound. Convince yourself you could get with the Toronto Blue Jays. Go out with an Edmonton/Winnipeg CFL game. Insist that there’s a subtle poetry to darts.

DW: Then, a few months later, you convince yourself to give her another chance. You had some good times together, right? And you’ve been hearing some good things from your friends: she’s different now, she’s changed. She has better second-line wingers. She promises she’ll never break your heart again. And, like a sucker, you believe her.

Lots of rumours starting to fly re: Bieksa’s status. Do you think he’ll be staying in Vancouver or finding a new home?@kirkeyj

HM: My gut tells me he’s staying. I tend to follow my gut, especially when it says, Wait to answer this question until after Bieksa is re-signed. Attaboy, gut.

DW: I completely disagree. Wait, what? He’s already re-signed? Man, I’m slow.

Not asking should they or would they, just wanna know: COULD the Canucks move Luongo? Any seriously interested teams?@RandomWhiteMale

HM: Sure they could, if they lost confidence in him. Every contract is movable. Furthermore, there are plenty of teams that would take Luongo. It’s not like they’re taking a flyer on a guy; he ‘s a two-time Vezina nominee.

But, if they did, it’s going to be a mutual movement and it’s not going to be this year. Truth is, I’m sure the Canucks were just as annoyed with Luongo’s late-postseason flameout as the fans were, but they’re simply not as reactive, and thank God for that. Schneider is still unproven, and Luongo is still a top-flight goaltender with a pretty decent cap hit — an established, Vezina-quality #1. What happens if you ship Funny Bob somewhere else and Schneider can’t handle the load? Then you’re back in the goalie graveyard, a place Luongo so effectively destroyed that the fans in this city now think anybody can be their #1. Ask Philadelphia — who was so desperate for a stud that they paid Ilya Bryzgalov all their money — how difficult finding a trusted starter can be, and how much a sturdy #1 goalie is worth to a team. When you have one, and it’s unclear you have another, you don’t just throw caution to the wind.

More likely is that Schneider gets traded for that winger they need to compliment Ryan Kesler. But, that said, if the Canucks come through this offseason with Cory Schneider still on the roster, expect to see a genuine competition. And if Luongo has another postseason where he succumbs to the emotional drain of the playoffs and bombs out, expect this question to get a lot more play when Schneider needs a new contract.

DW: Luongo’s contract is a far cry from unmovable. With the cap floor being greatly increased, there are plenty of teams that will take on his contract, especially given the fact that he’s one of the best goalies in the league. Should they move him? Hell no. But they could.

Why do people want Ehrhoff to stay in Vancouver? Quite possibly the worst skater in playoffs@mattthemascot

DW: People want Ehrhoff to stay in Vancouver because their memories last longer than two months. Ehrhoff scored 50 points during the regular season, finishing 7th in the NHL for points from a defenseman. While the playoffs exposed some of his defensive liabilities, it is damnably difficult to replace that kind of scoring from the back end.

HM: I’m with Daniel on this one. I agree that Ehrhoff is an amazingly poor skater… for a 50-point defenseman. But that’s it. On the whole, he’s a fine skater. On the other hand, I’m still on the fence about re-signing him. Here’s why: my problem with Ehrhoff is that I don’t think he compliments Alex Edler all that well. His propensity for roaming forces Edler into a stay-at-home role that underserves him. Worse, they’re both left side guys, so one of them is also playing on his off-side. In short, Ehrhoff can’t be the Bieksa to Edler’s Hamhuis (or vice versa), so a new contract for the German blueliner means a very pricey mismatched pairing.

But, if you let Ehrhoff go, there’s no guarantee that you can find another top-four guy. That’s a lot of scoring to lose, and a partnerless Alex Edler is a much worse potential scenario.

DW: If Ehrhoff leaves, it’s not the end of the world, of course. Sami Salo is more than capable of playing with Edler in the top four and Keith Ballard is still around. Salo and Ballard, together, are capable of scoring 50 points. Still, I think that Gillis does his best to re-sign Ehrhoff for Dan Hamhuis money: somewhere around $4.5 million. With the dearth of quality defensemen on the free agent market, however, Ehrhoff could likely get $5.5 or even $6 million from a team looking for a powerplay quarterback. He’s too one-dimensional to actually be worth that much, which is why you might see Gillis let him go.

 

Stay tuned for the 2nd half of Ask it to Bulis tomorrow. And if you have a question for a future edition, tweet us at @passittobulis with the hashtag #askittobulis.

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12 comments

  1. Dave
    June 28, 2011

    Latest news seems to be that Ehrhoff is probably walking.

    I’d have liked to keep him but I don’t think he’s worth more than Hamhuis or Bieksa. My gut feeling is that he needed 5M to say and it wasn’t in the cards. Besides, while it may be a seller’s market for UFA D-men, we have four top-four guys under contract and Salo will probably re-sign.

    Ham/Juice
    Edler/Salo
    Ballard/Tanev

    That’s a pretty good D-core. (I’m putting Ballard/Tanev in because I think they play better together than either with Rome).

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  2. peanutflower
    June 28, 2011

    I was all for Hoff staying until I read this, so good argument. Christian has too many of those oh my god what is he doing moments to make up for his dang ,he’s really good moments, but I had conveniently forgotten those OMG ones. Ballard and Tanev played really well together. Maybe it was part of an MG master plan to let Ehrhoff get those points this year, sit Ballard because he had some lingering injury, and then let Ehrhoff go. I don’t know. that’s a pretty weak conjecture on my part. Forget I said that.

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  3. DaNucklhead
    June 28, 2011

    I have no problem with Ehrhoff checking out free agency. That being said, I would also like to see what happens if Mike Gillis is able to lure other options. I think there are a couple d-men out there that might fit in the Vancouver system, and Ehrhoff never really impressed me when he was in San Jose, and in Vancouer I thought it was a case of his being able to find an opportunity ideal to his skillset. There are players who have some ability out there who were in less than ideal circumstances – Andy Greene, Anton Babchuk, James Wisniewski, Ian White, Matt Gilroy, Anton Stralman – could any of these players find their potential playing with Vancouver? What about an offer sheet to a couple of the Restricted Free Agents – Keith Yandle, Zach Bogosian? Even to bring back Jovo?

    I am not completely up to speed on every player in the NHL and while some of these names might not be ideal – compare them to what you knew of Ehrhoff before he came from San Jose. I would think it might be more important to find the right player to compliment/support Edler than to spend big bucks on a player who has obvious holes in his game

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    • Harrison Mooney
      June 28, 2011

      I agree with this. It’s easier said than done, but this is definitely the ideal scenario.

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    • PetriSkriko
      June 28, 2011

      For the love of all that is good and holy, let’s NOT bring back Jovo! Yandle would be great, but there’s going to be tons of teams who want him.

      And Harrison, is every contract really movable? Rick Dipietro begs to differ.

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      • Daniel Wagner
        June 28, 2011

        Every contract is movable. Not every player is.

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        • PetriSkriko
          June 28, 2011

          I’d say the opposite. Every player is movable (Redden to the minors, Huet to Europe, etc.), but you can’t move those contracts anywhere. Charles Wang is gonna be chewing on that Dipietro contract for the next 15 years or whatever it is.

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          • Daniel Wagner
            June 28, 2011

            All I mean is that if Ovechkin or Crosby were signed to Dipietro’s contract, it would be super-easy to move it.

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            • PetriSkriko
              June 28, 2011

              Agreed.

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  4. Pilsnerpunk
    June 28, 2011

    To get over the Stanley Cup loss I started watching IFL Cricket. It’s so confusing I already forgot what hockey is. Plus, how can you not cheer for for the Pune Warriors.

    I always felt Ehrhoff would leave after this season. Good player but I think a scoring winger to play with Kesler is more important. I wish Hal Gill was available in free agency. He’s inexpensive and would be a good partner for Edler. I also think his size and grit are something the Canucks lack.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      June 28, 2011

      The Pune Warriors? Nice. Heh. My dad lives in Pune.

      No thanks to Hal Gill. Too slow.

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  5. Rituro
    June 28, 2011

    Submitting my question via the comments section because of a genetic Twitter immunity.

    Who is/are the most likely candidate(s) to graduate from the farm and join the big club this year? My money’s on Tanev and Hodgson, although I’m open to surprises.

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