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.
Best interview on the team? Worst? Discuss and explain. Use examples. — @salkatt
DW: Cory Schneider proved that he is charming, eloquent, and witty in his interviews this season. An obvious highlight was his Jannik Hansen impersonation during his interview with Scott Oake on After Hours. He seems friendly, genuine, and earnest, which probably just means he hasn’t been in Vancouver long enough to have all the joy crushed out of him like garlic in a garlic press.
Ryan Kesler would have been my nominee for worst interview, but he made everyone else’s interviews fantastic with his Keslurking, so he’s out of the running. The honor, then, has to go to Mason Raymond. He’s just not a particularly interesting guy and his interviews tend to be particularly bland. He’s a nice enough guy, but there’s a reason a number of his quotes were accidentally attributed to Jeff Tambellini recently.
HM: First, what is this, a book report? Use examples? Do you want me to show my work as well? Lame. Anyway, I thoroughly agree on Schneider. He’s got a future in broadcasting. If I’m John Garrett, I’m paying a hitman to Tonya Harding his knee, although that would end his hockey career and merely expedite the process by which he takes my job, so maybe I’m not, after all.
My vote for worst goes to Roberto Luongo, who can actually be very funny, but it’s easy to hurt his feelings, so a lot of sportswriters ask questions knowing they can get to him. Worse, his quotes, especially when he’s emotional, are uncannily open to negative interpretation. You could dissect a Luongo line in English class and never come to a consensus on what he meant by it. That’s a scary proposition when he’s feeding these lines to sportswriters, some of whom aren’t particularly adept at exegesis.
Also, Luongo’s eyes get oddly beady when the cameras are on him.
Will Jannik Hansen ever be a top-six forward? — @EmoRachael
HM: Anyone who says no has clearly forgotten the lessons we learned when we cast Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler as permanent third-liners, only to discover they could be staples in the top six, and I think Hansen has the latent skill to make that jump as well. But I’m hesitant, because he was the staple of the Canucks’ third line last season, and I’d hate for the Canucks to be right back where they were in 2009-10, when they didn’t really have much beyond the top six. In the Final, Boston was able to roll four decent lines, and the Canucks were down to 2 and 1/3. Moving Hansen to the top six would mean starting over on the bottom six, and that would seem, to me, like a step backwards.
DW: I would love to see him step up next season as the winger that Kesler has been needing. He’s got speed, he’s got the defensive acumen, and his hands are getting better. His finish still isn’t there, but his vision on the ice and passing ability has taken a huge step forward in the last year. I could honestly see him stepping up as a playmaking winger for Kesler…but I can’t disagree with Harrison that it would be a step backward for the team as a whole. Moving Hansen to the second line leaves a massive gap on the third line, with no immediate answers for who will fill it.
HM: All right, I’ll do it. I’ll be the third line this city needs.
DW: Nah, you’ll be the third line this city deserves, but not the one it needs right now.
Who will realistically be on Ryan Kesler’s line next season? — @Mike_Murie
DW: With Mikael Samuelsson and Mason Raymond both still under contract, they have the inside track, though rookies Cody Hodgson and Sergei Shirokov might make a push. But with the secondary scoring completely drying up in the playoffs, Gillis might look to free agency. Scottie Upshall scored 22 goals last season and has potential for more points, but the goal-starved Blue Jackets will likely want to keep him around. Another option with a bit more experience would be Erik Cole, who had 52 points for the Hurricanes.
HM: No thank you to Erik Cole and his tendency to disappear if he doesn’t like his environment, but I do think getting Kesler a winger with some strength is a priority, and I also think the Canucks don’t feel that guy is currently in the organization. Expect a trade. I’ll have more on this later, but I think the Canucks are more concerned with getting Kesler a running mate, and then they’ll have open tryouts for the third spot, which could go to anyone from Hodgson to Hansen to Shirokov (if he returns, having not been qualified yesterday) to Jordan Schroeder, if he has a strong camp.
DW: Over at Nucks Misconduct, Cam Charron made the intriguing suggestion of picking up Niclas Bergfors, an RFA who went unqualified by the Florida Panthers. He’s a natural right winger with un-tapped playmaking potential: yes, please. Another RFA slipping to unrestricted status is Tyler Kennedy of the Pittsburgh Penguins, whose combination of offensive ability and defensive responsibility might be a good fit on Kesler’s wing. Both players will likely have a lot of GMs knocking on their door on Friday, however.
What is the fastest land animal? — @CokeBadgerer
HM: Some would say the cheetah, but is man not an animal? And should humans be handicapped for their ability to conceptualize and create rocket skates? I say no. Your answer: man, on rocket skates.
DW: Rocket skates? Pshaw. Talk about drag. Try the Burkland Streamliner, my friend. However, if you put a cheetah in rocket skates you might have something.
What do you feel is the greatest need for the #Canucks in this off-season? Regardless of Draft choice or FA signings? — @PabloPenguin74
HM: A winger for Ryan Kesler. He went the whole of last season without consistent linemates, and it finally caught up to the team in the playoffs. Granted, no one could have predicted both Raymond and Samuelsson would go down with injuries, but neither of those guys were the answer, anyway. Raymond’s too much of a solo dasher and Samuelsson’s more of a floating winger than a sturdy second-liner. Neither complemented Kesler all that well. Alain Vigneault put that line together, at times, out of necessity, but I don’t think he ever quite liked it. I would imagine they’ll find Kesler a best friend before training camp.
DW: Second line winger? Bah! Clearly the Canucks need a new goaltender, a new first line, a new coach, and a whole new defensive corps! Have you been paying no attention whatsoever to the internet?
HM: Is that what they’re saying? I’ve been spending most of my time watching cat jump fails.Tags: Ask It To Bulis, Canucks, featured, Free Agency, Funny Bob, Luongo, offseason blues