Ask it to Bulis! on Canucks UFAs, Jordan Schroeder versus Andrew Ebbett, and what Tanev is worth

It’s time once more for Ask it to Bulis, where two incredibly intelligent, witty, handsome, and humble bloggers answer your questions about life, the universe, and everything, but mostly the Vancouver Canucks. Side effects include enlightenment, rationality, and botanophobia.

Can you tell me who is the the group led by Kesler that doesn’t like AV? I heard Gallagher talking openly about them yesterday. – @RoyFalletta

Harrison: I’m fairly certain this group doesn’t exist. Kesler and AV had butted heads in the past, which seems like the sort of thing that will happen when you put a star player with just a touch of arrogance in the same room as a coach that expects things will be done a certain way. But this idea that there’s some rogue squadron in the Canucks locker room led by Ryan Kesler, like some rival gang or something, is pretty ridiculous.

Daniel: If this rival gang does exist, I hope they resolve all disputes via dance fighting.

[New Oilers GM Craig] MacTavish is going to make bold moves, what would you like from the Oiler for Lu? (Within reason) – @OffTheCrosseBar

Harrison: MacTavish was the last guy in the NHL to not wear a helmet. He can’t be that smart, so… Taylor Hall, Justin Schultz, a first-round pick, a third-round pick.

Daniel: Completely within reason! But I’m a big fan of ironic trades, which is why I say the Canucks should trade for Justin Schultz.

So between Wagner and Mooney – who’s Lennon and who’s McCartney? – @Steve_May

Daniel: Fun fact: Harrison and I used to have a musical duo called Lenin and McCarthy. We sang songs about the Kraken, the spice trade, medicine, and being happy because you get to stay up late. At some point, we should record an EP, because those were some dang good songs.

Harrison: That said, from a blog-running perspective, I’m fairly certain I’m both Lennon and McCartney. Daniel is Ringo. Or maybe Billy Preston, fifth Beatle.

Daniel: Ironically enough, I’m Harrison.

Which UFAs/RFAs are still a Canuck next year? Will Manny stay on in a coaching capacity? – @EdmundJ_in40

Daniel: The Canucks upcoming UFAs of note are Derek Roy, Manny Malhotra, Mason Raymond, Maxim Lapierre, Steve Pinizzotto, Andrew Alberts, Cam Barker, and Andrew Ebbett. The two most significant are Roy and Raymond: I see no way that they can re-sign both of them. Roy is going to be expensive considering he’s third on the depth chart at centre, so I suspect they’ll keep Raymond instead. They’ll likely keep both Lapierre and Ebbett for depth at centre and will likely make an offer to Alberts to keep him around as a 7th defenceman. I think Manny will try to continue his playing career elsewhere.

Harrison: Yeah, I think Roy comes back, but not if he doesn’t back off the $6 million a year he’s reportedly after. It’ll be up to him, really. If the Canucks can brainwash him into taking a little bit less, like they have with some others, he’ll stick around. As for Raymond, I think he’s gone. The Canucks need him to take about $2 million and I think he can get somewhere between three and four on the open market (which will be a terrible deal for someone). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lapierre retained, but I think he and almost every other UFA is gone. The Canucks have to trim a lot of payroll and I think some of their young guys will be able to fill some of these depth roles.

Daniel: As for RFAs, it’s easier to list the ones I don’t think they’ll retain: Sestito, Joslin, Sweatt, Rodin, and Rai.

Do you think we will see Schroeder centering the third line sometime this season instead of Ebbett? – @Power_Aids

Daniel: If Alain Vigneault decides to keep Roy and Kesler together on the second line, definitely. If not, and I think it’s doubtful that he will, particularly once Chris Higgins returns, then Roy will be centring the third line and Schroeder might spend the rest of the season with the Wolves. There’s a possibility, however, since Roy was moved to the wing, that  Schroeder could centre Roy on the third line, along with Raymond on the other wing, but that’s a very small line that might get in trouble physically in the playoffs.

Harrison: Ebbett and Schroeder are an interesting case study. Schroeder is the superior player, but he’s also a young guy that struggles with consistency. When he’s on, he’s better than Ebbett. But when he’s off, he isn’t. Ebbett is basically the same guy day-in and day-out, and when you’re filling a depth centre spot, that reliability is the comfortable option. That said, Ebbett’s not the ideal option if your club needs a spark. I could see Schroeder drawing into a series if the Canucks are looking to break through, say, a trappy team. He’s the sort of guy that could be plugged in and maybe help to orchestrate a big goal in a big game. I think he’ll be back.

When our Stanley Cup window is over after this season, how soon after do the Canucks phase to Kesler’s team over the Sedin team? – @BertTheTank

Daniel: There are a lot of assumptions in this question and I’m not sure I buy into any of them.

Harrison: Ditto. First of all, I don’t buy that the Stanley Cup “window” is over after this season. That’s a myth. There’s no reason the Canucks can’t remain competitive. Second, I’m not sure you need to phase the team over to Kesler. These things happen naturally as certain players regress and other players move to the top. It’ll just happen. It won’t be a process that starts one day and officially finished another.

What will come first: the Canucks’ first Cup, or the Anti-Fantasy League results from last season? – @John_Bones

Harrison: Didn’t Joe Ducklow win the Anti-Fantasy League? I thought we finished this. Whatever. It wasn’t my thing. I am blameless. For shame, Daniel.

I can’t even remember what it’s about, but did the whole ‘Salo is your Pal-O’-thing ever get resolved?? – @GermanNuck

Daniel: We are just the worst at following through on things, eh?

Harrison: Oh right. I, uh, I’m not sure. We definitely need closure on this, though. I feel like we can’t start another contest until I find a good way to wrap this one up. It’s tricky, since, safe to say the shelf life for this contest is pretty far gone.

How do you get your hair looking so good, day in and day out? - @pharbero

Harrison: I’m bald, so I think you mean scalp. The answer is vigorous moisturizing, and I do mean vigorous. I go through more moisturizer than a teenage boy.

Daniel: I have a daily regimen of not caring about my hair at all.

What’s the current status of the Scrabble trophy? – @baconwiches

Harrison: It belongs to me, but the Canucks have it. I imagine there will be a title defence at some point, but last year, we got started on planning it a little too late, and this year, the lockout sort of scuttled everything. Basically, once you get into the home stretch of the season, the Canucks don’t do anything but team stuff, so if it doesn’t happen by, say, February, it can’t happen until next fall. It’ll happen, though. Someone in that room just has to step up.

Daniel: My vote would be for Maxim Lapierre, who revealed that he was a member of the chess club in high school in a recent featurette. I’m guessing he can Scrab a little.

What kind of a raise would you say Tanev is due? – @aotaband

Daniel: Now that’s an interesting question. It’s tough to find a comparable player for Tanev, who doesn’t put up points, but plays steady, reliable defence and is a darling of the fancy stats community. You could, perhaps, compare him to Marc Staal or Ryan McDonagh, but he doesn’t play anywhere near the kind of minutes that they do.

Karl Alzner might be a good comparison. He was more highly regarded as a fifth overall pick, but seems to be a pretty similar player to Tanev. Coming off his first contract, he got a small raise in base salary from $875,000 to $1,285,000, but it was actually a lower cap hit since he didn’t have any of his bonuses. I could see the Canucks giving Tanev a bit more of a raise, perhaps up to $1.5 million.

Harrison: $1.5 is about where I’d put him. Tanev is still a depth option on the Canucks, not a regular member of the top-four. But it’s easy to see where he’ll slot in, and how he’ll earn a bigger contract next time around. I’d say that’s three years off, so something like three years for $4.5 million makes sense to me.


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  1. akidd
    April 18, 2013

    interesting idea, that of a lou trade to the oilers. I just can’t imagine Lou agreeing to winter in winterland. too bad because that could be a pretty decent swap. how about pajarti, or havarti or whoever that fellow is?

    that would be quite the cap hit for a team that will need all the cap it can get soon enough. but maybe if lou really wants redemption the oilers offer that in a possibly spectacular way.

    and the bonus of lou going to a western canadian team is that the fans don’t have to get used to the Lou chant as they’ve been listening to it in their own buildings for years. (is vancouver an ex-pat factory or what?)

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  2. shoes
    April 18, 2013

    I doubt Lou would go to Edmonton to play hockey and pretty sure, that Canuck fans would not like the result if he did. Lou is going to be a top 6 goalie in this league for years to come and might still get himself a Vezina or more.

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  3. Chinook
    April 18, 2013

    Canucks should trade Lou for Shawn Matthias – he’s the size and muscle needed at centre (3rd centre for now, maybe higher a few years hence). Florida needs a real goalie and thats where Lou wants to go. Then Van could let Roy walk and keep small and speedy Schroeder for a few more years to see if he develops into a top-9. Max should be back at a modest increase, a solid and versatile 4th line centre (if not highly skilled).

    You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down. Thought I’d discovered a trick to beat the posting police but apparently not. OK, another try… And again…

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  4. J21 (@Jyrki21)
    April 18, 2013

    “Can you tell me who is the the group led by Kesler that doesn’t like AV?”

    So this is the way I heard it (afraid I can’t name my sources):

    Vigneault was in line at the cafeteria, and someone — no one knows for sure, but a lot of people suspect it was Burrows — passed a note to Kesler that had a crude caricature of Vigneault and some Québécois swear words in it.

    When Kesler burst out laughing, Vigneault turned around, and Kesler tried to pretend he was only coughing, but it didn’t fool anyone. And then Kesler accidentally-on-purpose dropped the note to the floor open so Vigneault could see it. When Vigneault left the line, possibly to go cry in the bathroom, Kesler pretended to stumble and knocked his books out of his hands.

    At this point, like half the cafeteria started pointing and laughing, and Vigneault turned beet red as he gathered his books, and ran out. David Booth (who is an old friend of Kesler’s from the Yearbook Committee) shot Kes a stern look and went out after Vigneault. Booth is a nice guy that way, even if he’s one of the cool kids.

    It kind of petered out from there. Schneider imitated Hansen’s voice, so Hansen gave him a wedgie, and then Mr. Gillis came in and was all, “OK boys, that’s enough, act your age” and all that boring stuff that Mr. Gillis always says.

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  5. J21 (@Jyrki21)
    April 18, 2013

    “MacTavish was the last guy in the NHL to not wear a helmet. He can’t be that smart,”

    Even dumber was Greg Smyth, then of the Flames, who took his helmet off despite always wearing one when the NHL inexplicably went back to voluntary helmets for a year (was it 1992-93)? As everyone knows, the NHL did this because insane troll logic.

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  6. Mel
    April 19, 2013

    Lapierre for Scrabble, really? So, in that video where he could only name three provinces out of ten, he was just fooling around?

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