Once again, it’s time for Ask it to Bulis, where the two most handsome bloggers in the world answer your questions about the Vancouver Canucks. Side effects include enlightenment, rationality, and back pimples.

Consensus is that Canucks need to bring in another Dman. Do you think it should be a depth guy, or top 4? - @MackMcc

Daniel: Ideally, the Canucks would bring in a right-handed top-4 defenceman to play alongside Alex Edler so that Sami Salo’s even-strength minutes can be limited. I don’t see them targeting a big name. The issue is finding a player with a reasonable contract that can fit into the Canucks’ salary cap situation and whose team is willing to part with him. Radek Martinek of the Blue Jackets would be an interesting target, but he’s on the injured reserve with a concussion and hasn’t played a full 82-game season even once in his career, which is concerning.

Harrison: The Canucks are absolutely in need of another Dman, and I would be shocked if they didn’t acquire one by the trade deadline. And I agree with Daniel that they probably aren’t targeting a big name, especially since they guy I believe they were initially after was Steve Montador, an underrated, right-handed, shutdown defenseman. As you may know, Chicago, likely suspecting the same thing and coveting the same player, traded for Montador’s rights early to prevent that.

But the Canucks could reasonably go bigger, simply because of what’s at stake here: they don’t just need a warm body; they need a right-side guy that complements Alex Edler the way Dan Hamhuis complements Kevin Bieksa, and I believe they’re willing to spend a little more to get a more impactful guy. Gillis wound up spending less to get a winger for Ryan Kesler than he anticipated (Cory Schneider had to be in those discussions originally, especially since they were taking place through the summer, during which time Florida was losing Vokoun and Markstrom wasn’t ready), so if a higher-end guy becomes available, they’ve still got the pieces.

I know this is not Canucks related, but I am dumbfounded as to why Columbus is so bad even though they have Rick Nash? - @caitlinhenn88

D: Mainly because Rick Nash can’t play 60 minutes per game and you need five other players on the ice.

H: They’re terrible defensively and they overspent to get there, Rick Nash is overrated, Scott Arniel is in over his head, their general manager is completely out to lunch, it’s really hard to break a cycle of failure, they’ve consistently stunted the development of their prospects, and if their freaking marketing division can’t design a mascot without making him sexually suggestive, I’d be surprised if their team cooks could make a meal without poisoning everyone, so they’re probably all playing through food poisoning all the time.

Hey, where do you think Raymond fits in the lineup when he gets healthy? Is it possible the Canucks move him? - @dandonkers

D: This question is especially pertinent now that Raymond is skating in contact drills in practice, though there’s no timetable for his return. I have advised patience in the past, noting that by the time Raymond returns, other players could be heading to the IR list, but it now seems like he might return sooner than anticipated. Fortunately, his return won’t cause any cap issues, but the Canucks will need to send down one of Volpatti, Weise, or Sulzer to get within the 23-player roster limit. As for the second line, it’s not like it’s been a consistent line anyway, so the experimenting would likely be renewed in earnest once Raymond’s back.

H: While Raymond’s return to the lineup is a little more imminent than expected, his return to the second line is still a ways away. He’ll start in Chicago on a conditioning assignment, and when he’s cleared, he’ll start on the fourth line. And then, yes, he’ll be worked into the top nine somewhere. But considering the way Alain Vigneault juggles lines, it won’t bump anybody else to a line they haven’t already filled before. Frankly, Raymond’s return gives the Canucks a luxury of middle-six wingers.

And here’s why I don’t he’ll be traded: he’s very, very tradeable. Since signing that two year, $2.55M contract, Raymond has suffered a statistical regression and is now coming off an injury that will hamper his totals again this year. There’s nothing so juicy as a player with top-flight potential and little bargaining room, and Mike Gillis is smart enough to know that Raymond might yield a bigger return in contract negotiations and cap savings than in a trade.

Okay, here’s an #AskItToBulis question – how many games in did you think Salo would last before missing one due to injury? - @bobakm

H: I have always held out hope for the elusive 82-game season, the unicorn of Sami Salo’s career, and I was secretly hoping it would be this year. It wasn’t, and I am a fool.

D: I thought he would get injured in the first pre-game soccer circle, actually.

What time’s the game and what channel? - @mattlund16

D: The answer, of course, is bat.

H: We work for the Vancouver Sun now. We don’t watch the games anymore.

Who would win in a fight, Booth or Glass? #bothfightbears - @SirCanuckles

D: It depends: does Booth have his compound bow?

H: Yeah, this really depends on the range of the combat, like when a dwarf fights an elf. Long-range, the archer has the upper hand. But if it gets close enough for bludgeoning, the dwarf wins in a walk.

D: Unless the dwarf is a wizard. With their constitution bonus, dwarves make surprisingly good wizards.

Is Kevin Bieska only good in contract years? - @PPGoose

H: No, that’s a myth. But I do suspect Kevin Bieksa plays a little worse coming out of new contracts because he gets a little wrapped up in trying to validate them on the stat sheet. Truth is, Kevin Bieksa is better when he’s playing conservatively; he gets into trouble when he tries to do too much. He has a lot of offensive talent and nobody pinches along the boards quite like Juice, but his instincts aren’t always the best. You’ll notice his best years have come when he didn’t stray too far from the shutdown defenseman he was paired with (Willie Mitchell, Dan Hamhuis). He’ll never be a purely stay-at-home guy, but he’s much better when he skews that way.

D: He’s not even playing that poorly this season. His underlying numbers are actually pretty good and you’ll see things swing in his direction soon. His PDO is a very low 936 and that can’t last.

Any chance PITB will have open threads for games like those crazy people over at SB Nation? - @John_Bones

D: Good question. While we have done some live chats during games, they ended up being a lot more work than we expected. An open thread would be easier, but we do most of our in-game chatting on Twitter. I think I’ll leave this one up to our Bulies: do you want open game threads for comments and discussion during the game?

H: Yeah, we’ve been thinking about it. Regarding live chats, there have been some embedding issues that have deterred us, but those are worked out now. The remaining deterrent is the fact that it’s really hard to watch a game and moderate a live chat at the same time. An open thread is a good compromise, but we’d need a better comments engine. We’re about to rework the site, however, so we’ll keep this in mind, if it’s what the Bulies want.

Will Eddie Lack ever start a game in a Canucks jersey? – @mennomateo

D: The silly answer is that he already has in the preseason, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that he’ll eventually play in the regular season for the Canucks. I’m sceptical that Cory Schneider will be with the team after this season and Eddy Lack has looked like the real deal in his time with the Moose and the Wolves.

H: I’m gonna say yes, and that it will happen this season. I remain dubious that Cory Schneider won’t be with this team past the trade deadline, especially since the Canucks are still in search of that top-four guy, and Schneider could be the main piece to land them that (again, they were initially looking for a young power forward in exchange for him, but that’s no longer the need). If Schneider goes and the Canucks are sitting in good standing, expect Lack to get a handful of starts prior to the playoffs just to make sure he’s as ready as he can be if Luongo goes down in the playoffs.

Who should be our 6th defenseman? - @canuckaholic17

D: I love this question because of the unspoken assumption that we know who defencemen 1 through 5 are.

H: Shea Weber. #untolddepth

What is Weise’s animal name? - @drchill49

H: Gotta be weasel, doesn’t it? Unrelated: I’m secretly hoping his nickname is “gweasy.” Dale the gweasy weasel.

D: For some reason he reminds me of Moose from Archie Comics. I just really wish “Moose” didn’t bring to mind Mark Messier.

Have we settled on an animal for Burrows? Or is it just going to be the weasel? - @davegrapes

D: Personally, I’m going with the opossum.

H: I JUST SAID WEISE WAS WEASEL. GET OUT. Burrows is the squirrel, what with the way he darts back and forth in front of the crease like a squirrel uncertain of which side of the street to inhabit.

Also, what are PITB’s top three favourite performances from #thesingoff so far? - @dandonkers

D: Ah, there are so many to choose from! I loved “Poison” by Urban Method, “American Boy” by Afro Blue, “Love Lockdown” by Pentatonix, and “Higher Ground” by Dartmouth Aires. But that’s four, so I feel like I’m cheating. And that’s not even including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Afro Blue, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by Pentatonix, and “Club Can’t Handle Me” by Dartmouth Aires. This show needs to stop being so good.

H: Ugh. I wish I didn’t love this show, especially considering my penchant for ripping reality shows, but I love this show. My three favourites so far have been “Poison” by Urban Method, “Club Can’t Handle Me” by Dartmouth Aires, and “Love Lockdown” by Pentatonix. I’m convinced that this thing is coming down to Pentatonix and Dartmouth Aires, and that Pentatonix will win because the goal with this competition is to find a group that can make albums, and they would make the hippest a cappella album ever. But if the goal was to find a group that could sell out stadiums, like on America’s Got Talent, for instance, Dartmouth Aires wins in a walk. I would pay money to see those guys.

How does Kevin Bieksa feel about his Halloween Costume coming back to haunt him tonight? – @ken8lankenship

D: It could have been worse. Instead of Buddy the Elf, Bieksa could have dressed up as DJ Donnie.

H: Or Marcus, from Bad Santa.

What will it take for Keith Ballard to get tweeting? Please don’t say more time in the press box… – @millytart

H: More time in the press box, amirite y’all? Whammy! Oh. Well, that can’t happen anyway, because you’re not allowed to tweet on game days. Ballard will tweet eventually, though. The advent of Kevin Bieksa to Twitter has opened the floodgates for tweeting Canucks, and we’ve recently learned that more of them are on Twitter than we realized — it’s just that some of them, like Ballard, are just using it to follow their tweeting teammates. He’ll come around.

Why did we trade Troy Gamble? – @PC_Slim

H: Well, according to the Wikipedia, he struggled with post concussion syndrome, and back then, when that was the case, you didn’t help players, you traded them. Ah, the good old days.

D: He knows what he did.

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  1. DanD
    November 9, 2011

    Good thoughts guys! I’m really interested to see what happens with the whole D-man situation.

    I also totally agree with you about the Dartmouth Aires and Pentatonix. I totally waffle back and forth between the two. But don’t count out Urban Method yet. If they can rock Carrie Underwood, they can do just about anything!

    My top 3:

    Club Can’t Handle Me – Dartmouth Aires
    Video Killed the Radio Star – Pentatonix
    Dynamite – Yellowjackets

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  2. Zach Morris
    November 9, 2011

    I haven’t mentioned this yet, but your embedded links are gold.
    Looking forward to IWTG already.

    same bat time, same bat website.

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  3. The Bookie
    November 9, 2011

    I’m surprised you only listed Weise, Volpatti and Sulzer as the potential send-downs when Raymond returns. My guess would be Ebbett. We’re already dressing 5 centers on a nightly basis (6 if you count Higgins) and Ebbett’s current spot on the 3rd is where I see Raymond slotting in after a short stint on the 4th.

    And hey, if you ever need moderators for a live chat…

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    • Harrison Mooney
      November 9, 2011

      Hmm. We’ll keep that in mind, sir.

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  4. Canuckles
    November 9, 2011

    Follow up for Skeeter, dwarves are normally not able to use magic in most fantasy lore. How does this affect your answer?

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 9, 2011

      Doesn’t affect my Dungeons and Dragons-informed stance at all.

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  5. Guy@HockeyBias.com
    November 10, 2011

    Off topic, but entertaining – ex-Howard Stern show sidekick Artie Lange doing an impression of Don Cherry.


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  6. J21
    November 10, 2011

    I don’t believe the Canucks actually traded Troy Gamble. He played a year in the minors (the team had acquired Kay Whitmore) and then his contract was just up, and he ended up signing in the Stars’ organization their first year in Dallas.

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