The Dreaded Two-Goal Lead: Volpatti re-signs, MacTavish resigns, Pahlsson signs elsewhere

The Dreaded Two-Goal Lead is an infrequent PITB feature used specifically to recover quickly after falling behind. What’s with the name? Well, as you no doubt know, a two-goal lead – often called “the worst lead in hockey” – is super easy to come back from. Similarly, while Canucks’ news comes fast and furious, and sometimes (say, in the summer, when we’re busy resting on our laurels) we find ourselves playing catchup, this feature allows us to catch up almost effortlessly.

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Samuel Pahlsson signs with Modo, the Swedish franchise that sounds like it’s part of Middle Earth

You might recall Samuel Pahlsson (a.k.a Sammy, Sami, Samme, and SamJam99, as his friends call him) from the final 19 games of the 2011-12 regular season, when he was a member of the Vancouver Canucks. (What’s that? He played in the playoffs too? I don’t remember that.) But if the name doesn’t ring a bell, no matter — he doesn’t play for the Canucks anymore, so you don’t need to know who he is.

As first reported by Thomas Drance on Sunday, Pahlsson has left the NHL to sign with Swedish Elite League franchise Modo, in his hometown of Örnsköldsvik.

Pahlsson told Swedish reporter Jonatan Lindqvist that he spoke with the Canucks prior to leaving the NHL, but there wasn’t much to the talks, as the team had “big things in the making.” Clearly, these things didn’t involve the veteran centre (unless Mike Gillis is planning to move the Canucks’ AHL affiliate to Örnsköldsvik). Presumably, these things involve some other centre, however, because until Ryan Kesler gets back, the team only has three pivots. That is, unless they’re planning to promote Jordon Schroeder to the NHL, but no plan involving Jordan Schroeder should ever be called “big.” He’s quite small.

Canucks remember Aaron Volpatti exists, re-sign him

Speaking of players you might have forgotten about, remember Aaron Volpatti? The fourth liner, most known for A) one-punching Brad Winchester that one time in the preseason and B) having a name conducive to puns, has re-signed in Vancouver for another year. It’s a two-way contract that will pay him $600k at the NHL level and $105k at the AHL level.

Volpatti’s second professional contract is a downgrade from his first. When he signed with Vancouver the first time around, he was fresh out of the NCAA and had a number of suitors. As a result, he was able to strike a two-year deal that paid him $612,500 at the NHL level and $200k at the AHL level. Unfortunately, he was unable to prove himself as an NHL commodity, and with no leverage, he was forced to take a step backward.

Hopefully, this is the only step Volpatti has lost due to his injury-shortened sophomore campaign. He can hit like a truck, but he’s had very few opportunities to show this at the NHL level, because he hasn’t had the NHL footspeed to get to the puck-carrier in time to make solid body contact. If he can’t get faster, he’ll spend most of next year with the Chicago Wolves.

Cory Schneider, Eddie Lack, and Dale Weise get qualifying offers, which in news only in the sense that it’s a thing that happened

Qualifying offers are boring. Basically, it’s just a promise to start negotiations with a team’s restricted free agents around the same amount they made last year, and your only other options are to tell a player he’s not worth what he made last year by taking him to arbitration to hopefully get him for less (the Mason Raymond approach), or to tell a player he’s not worth what he made last year by not calling him (the cowardly breakup approach).

"One day we will rule this town."

With Schneider, Lack, and Weise, the Canucks simply opted to qualify them. We shouldn’t be surprised. Most feel the first two will be the Canucks’ goaltending tandem in 2012-13, and Dale Weise quietly had a very good rookie season.You may think he didn’t, but think about this: how often did you find yourself shaking a fist at Weise’s boneheaded defensive miscues? Not very often, eh? Think back to the fourth-liners of the past. That’s not all that common, is it? You like Dale Weise. You just don’t know it yet.

Craig Mactavish leaves Chicago for Edmonton, dumped Canucks immediately look up old flame

When he took over the Chicago Wolves at the beginning of last season, there were rumblings that it wouldn’t be long before Craig MacTavish was back in the NHL, especially if he showed he could still coach. He only sort of did, but that was good enough for the Edmonton Oilers, who decided, well, he can’t come back and coach since we fired him from that position recently, so hey, let’s make him the Vice President of Hockey Operations, because why the Hell not, let’s go to Arby’s.

The Canucks said all the right things, but they probably weren’t all that sad to see him go. The Wolves under MacTavish were a middling team most of the year and they played a modified neutral-zone trap. It was the first time in the Gillis era that the Canucks’ AHL affiliate played a completely different style than they did. Gilly no likey.

So who’s going to replace MacTavish in Chicago? My money’s on Scott Arniel, whose reputation as an NHL coach was extirpated by his Hellish exit from Columbus. (Seriously, before you talk about the Blue Jackets’ 2011-12 season, you have to throw a handful of midnight dust on the fire and say, “Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society.”)

But it’s not just that he’s crazy available and desperate to prove he “didn’t forget how to coach overnight,” as he said after being let go in Ohio. Arniel was the coach of the Manitoba Moose from 2006-2010, so he knows the Canucks well. Furthermore, the two sides are pretty into one another, if the mash notes they passed through Elliott Pap are any indication. “There are five or six names that we’ve tossed around and Scotty is one of those names for sure,” Canucks’ Assistant GM Lorne Henning told Pap in the Vancouver Sun. “I don’t know what he has planned. I mean, I’m sure he has some things on the burner, too.”

Do you have a date for the prom yet? Because, um, neither do I. I mean, you probably already do, but if you don’t…

And here’s Arniel, from the same article:

I want to be an NHL head coach again but I don’t know if there is anything for me this year. Certainly there are some assistant jobs available but this one [Wolves] is intriguing.

“I know the organization very well and I’ve obviously worked with Mike Gillis and Lorne and Laurence Gilman. There is lots of respect there and I think we’ve had a really good arrangement in the past.”

Seriously, get a room, you guys. Then go into it and sign a contract.

Canuck release preseason schedule, it has those stupid split-squad games on it again

The Canucks released their preseason schedule Monday. Just like the last two years, it will begin with two Flames games at the same bloody time, forcing you to PVR the one on TV while watching the other one on a choppy Canucks.com livestream because they hate you.

Anyway. Here’s the complete schedule:

And now we’re fully caught up.

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20 comments

  1. Chris the Curmudgeon
    June 19, 2012

    I think the Canucks would’ve need to have something planned regardless of how they felt about Pahlsson. The idea of playing half of a season with a centre of his ilk in our top 6 would already fill me with dread. The way I see it, with him the team would’ve had 3 bottom 6 centres (including Lapierre and Manny), so now it just allows both of those guys to play their natural position. Hard to know how Gillis plans to make up for Kesler’s absence, be it giving the spot to a young guy like Schroeder or the trade/free agent route, but one thing for certain was that it wasn’t going to be by using Pahlsson there.

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  2. natevk
    June 19, 2012

    “And now we’re fully caught up”

    - I beg to differ. Do ‘Anti-Fantasy Hockey Pool’ and ‘Salo is your Pal-O’ ring any bells?

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    • HumanCannonball
      June 19, 2012

      While we’re giving requests, how about a new Canucks Roster Quiz for the 2011-2012 season?

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    • Zach Morris
      June 20, 2012

      Canucks Zombie Apocalypse, anyone?

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  3. SteveB
    June 19, 2012

    I blame Brad Marchand.
    Here’s what he had to say about the Salo is your Pal-o contest:
    “The puck was going around the boards and I went to pick it up,” Marchand said. “I was looking over my shoulder and saw Salo is your Pal-o coming. I just kind of went down. It was very unfortunate that he lost the results of the contest on the play.”

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    • Lenny
      June 20, 2012

      I’m sure Marchand loves the idea of going down on Salo.

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  4. peanutflower
    June 19, 2012

    Are You Afraid of the Dark — my fav 90s show. I had no idea it lasted that long! I’m sort of sad to see Pahlsson go. I thought he did a pretty good job at what he had to do.

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  5. Rituro
    June 19, 2012

    “…well, he can’t come back and coach since we fired him from that position recently, so hey, let’s make him the Vice President of Hockey Operations, because why the Hell not, let’s go to Arby’s.”

    Y’know those awkward moments where you try really hard not to laugh out loud at work and the fight between your sense of job preservation and humour appreciation results in some very unprofessional sounds and facial expressions? …yeah, uh, me neither. Nope.

    Oh, and +1 internets for an Are You Afraid Of The Dark reference. Seriously, the ’90s and nerd/geek cred at this blog? Gold.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      June 19, 2012

      True fact: AYAOTD is on Netflix. The wife and I are working our way back through season 1. Surprisingly, it holds up, although the acting is bruuuuuuutal.

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      • JS Topher
        June 20, 2012

        When I told my girlfriend about that reference she was quick to explain that it was on Netflix. I knew then and there, that it had to be more than coincidence

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  6. Nee
    June 19, 2012

    Seriously PITB, where HAVE you been? At this rate I won’t expect the “Every Goal by Player X” series until December.

    I kid, I love you guys. But I missed you. : (

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  7. Rob
    June 19, 2012

    ‘the wife and I????’

    Or was that a trap?

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  8. Brent
    June 20, 2012

    Too bad about paullson, I thought he would have been useful. I mean you can never have too many swedes……

    And I already know that I do like Dale Weise. When I first saw him I thought, why did we get a goon like him? But he has a surprizing amount of skill for someone who has had their nose broken so many times. And really, did we see him take a 5 min major in the playoffs in game 1? No, no we didn’t, but then it may be difficult to do that from the press box.

    What about Andrew Ebbet? I would like to keep him as well. Did I miss something?

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    • KC
      June 20, 2012

      Ebbett’s not a restricted free agent so he doesn’t need to be qualified. He becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. I’d like to see him back as well. He wasn’t spectacular, but made a pretty solid contribution for a 13th forward.

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  9. Vern
    June 20, 2012

    They should put the preseason games somwhere other than rogers place, abbotsford or kamloops, kelowna. the quality is too poor for vancouver, watching the game in smithers was at least interesting

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  10. KC
    June 20, 2012

    You don’t know for sure it’s a split-squad game against Calgary. Perhaps the start time is TBD because they haven’t calculated how long it’ll take to finish the first game, travel to Calgary and then drop the puck for the second game.

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  11. DanD
    June 20, 2012

    I’m not worried about the split squad games, you guys cover them well. What really concerns me is trying to read 2 IWTG’s at the SAME TIME!

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    • Rituro
      June 20, 2012

      Solution: two monitors. Bam. Done.

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      • natevk
        June 20, 2012

        But then you’ll need 2 eyes to read them with…

        …wait, never mind!

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  12. paul
    June 21, 2012

    Have the Canucks forgotton about the Czech,Russian,Swedish players? Time to take a 2nd look at what is available over there, don;t you think?

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