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.

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12 comments

  1. Mary
    June 29, 2011

    A cheetah in rocket skates would be terrifying yet somehow also really awesome to watch. Where’s a zoology/engineering specialist when you need one?

    Also, what about Ballard’s interviews? I agree that Schneider is an excellent interviewee (quite funny too), but Ballard often made me laugh really hard – a skill I greatly appreciate when I start thinking and worrying too hard about this team (as much as I love it).

    I just hope both Schneider and Ballard stay with the team through next year. They’re both good players and really good guys too. I could elaborate on how I think next year is Ballard’s rebound year (if AV lets him on the ice!) but that is another comment post altogether.

    New PITB is one of my two favourite things to wake up to (the other is coffee) – keep up the excellent work!!

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    • Harrison Mooney
      June 29, 2011

      I think, if I were a gazelle and I saw a cheetah coming at me in rocket skates, I’d be like, “fricking evolution.” And then I’d sit down and wait to die.

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  2. PetriSkriko
    June 29, 2011

    No mention of Bieksa for best interview? What the what?

    And who is this “Mikael Samuelsson” you speak of? Seriously though, I love the sound of a young, fast, defensively responsible winger to take Samuelsson’s spot on the second line, and both Bergfors and Kennedy would fit that bill nicely. Maybe then he gets bumped down to the third line? Is that why we’re yet to hear about Raffi being re-signed?

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    • Daniel Wagner
      June 29, 2011

      I don’t think Torres will get re-signed. After spending the entire season working on a zen attitude that wouldn’t draw negative attention from the referees, the Canucks spent the entire playoffs getting negative attention from the referees. Part of the reason was the perception that the Canucks embellished, but Torres drew a lot of attention for his perceived recklessness. He’s also not really a Vigneault-type player. He doesn’t fit into a system very well and frequently made dangerous passes leading to turnovers.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        June 29, 2011

        Very true. I wrote about that exact thing here. You probably remember, since we run this blog together.

        Honestly, the Torres hit on Seabrook was the turning point of the Canucks’ entire postseason. Up until then, they had build up all manner of goodwill, and then suddenly, the moment it happened, the Canucks’ became universally despised. I’m sure this turn had NOTHING to do with the fact that Seabrook is a Canadian Olympic gold-medal winner.

        But, as Daniel said, the Canucks do need to do SOME image reconstruction, and letting go of Torres will be seen as a public apology, even though it’s just because he never particularly fit here.

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  3. That Guy
    June 29, 2011

    Hey, you guys are great and all and I love to read PITB, but I’ll go ahead and be “that guy”, even though everybody thinks that guy is a dbag and should keep his knowitall mouth shut. You see, when you guys, or anyone else (e.g. those in the Jensen scouting reports), refer to a player possessing skills that fit well with other players’ skills, they are said to be complementary (with an e). If said player were complimentary (with an i), they would either be minty-tasting and available free-of-charge in restaurant waiting areas, or they’d be prone to offering copious quantities of effusive praise to one and all (e.g. my goodness, Raffi, those are some lovely, dilated, giant pupils you have).

    Given the choice, I’d prefer to see MG find Kes a wing (or two) who can consistently complement his skills with 25-30 goals and perhaps some physical presence, rather than someone who will tell him how hilarious his Keslurking is (getting kinda old) or how great the new RK17 fall line looks (it actually is quite fabulous). I kinda like the Bergfors suggestion – has possibility, though he’s obviously not physical. Another higher-priced option could also be Gagne, if he’d go for max. 2 years at max 4.5 per.

    Anyway, just sayin………

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    • Daniel Wagner
      June 29, 2011

      Honestly: please be “that guy.” Every once in a while we (pretty much always Harrison actually) will make one of these types of errors, and we prefer that it gets caught and fixed.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        June 29, 2011

        Such a common hockey malapropism. Drives me buggy when I make it. It’s hard to catch in editing, too. The lack of a red underline misinforms me that all is well.

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  4. AM
    June 29, 2011

    This team has so many great interviews. Samuelsson is always honest: “they can go f*** themselves” and “Obviously (the money) was the key, I shouldn’t lie,”. Bieksa, Ballard and Salo are all great. I enjoy Kesler’s interviews because he so obviously hates doing them and I like watching the interviewers get more and more uncomfortable as it goes on.

    For worst interview, I can’t stand listening to Hamhuis. He’s such a goody two-shoes.

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    • PetriSkriko
      June 29, 2011

      Haha, totally agreed on Kesler interviews. It’s like watching Curb Your Enthusiasm – deliciously uncomfortable.

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  5. Noodle
    June 30, 2011

    I may be alone on this, but I enjoy Henrik’s interviews the most. He has gotten so much more comfortable in the spotlight, he knows when to throw in some humour, and he usually has good insight on the team. He’s refreshingly honest in a world of cliche sports answers. Great leader, and pretty good interview.

    So I guess Fanner Glass won’t be back next year? Doesn’t seem like the team has much interest in him at this point.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      June 30, 2011

      Aw, Fanner Glass… that’s mean (and hilarious).

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