Canucks sign Mike Santorelli, which should make David Booth happy or something

Like a Wal-Mart shopper trying to find a third DVD in the 3 for $20 basket, the Canucks continue to scour the bargain bins in free agency. On Saturday, they nabbed another player, signing Vancouver native Mike Santorelli to one-year contract.

On first glance, Santorelli, a natural centre that can also play the wing, seems like a replacement for Pittsburgh-bound Andrew Ebbett as the Canucks’ 13th forward and Jordan Schroeder’s direct competition. (It’s also possible he’s been brought in to give the Canucks a homegrown Italian forward, something they haven’t had since Jeff Tambellini left town.)

As with each move they’ve made so far, it’s a little underwhelming, unless you’re Brad Richardson’s mom or something. But it’s easy to see how the hard-working, speedy, 6’0″, 190 lb. Santorelli could be an attractive gamble for the Canucks.

Once upon a time, Santorelli was a 20-goal scorer for the Florida Panthers, and I do mean just once. His lone productive season in the NHL came in 2010-11, when he put up 20 goals and 41 points skating alongside — wait for it — David Booth. Santorelli’s deal is two-way, so it’s likely going to take some stellar play from him to even be on the same team as Booth, let alone the same line, but if he can play his way onto the club, reuniting Booth and Santorelli, perhaps on line 3, is an option.

After that productive season, however, Santorelli hit a wall. Booth was dealt to Vancouver, which didn’t help, and new coach Kevin Dineen had little use for him. He lost confidence, fell down the depth chart, and late in the 2013 season, the Panthers placed him on waivers. He was claimed by the Winnipeg Jets, playing 10 games and posting just one assist for the club before the season ended.

And now he’s here.

Is there any reason to believe Santorelli can re-find his game in Vancouver? Sure there is: blind hope.

Plus his last name sort of sounds like his new coach’s. Maybe he can use that as a bonding opportunity?

“What’s your name, kid?”

“Santorelli. Hey, pretty close to Tortorella! Ella, Elli… that’s pretty neat, isn’t it?”

“Okay, you’re cut. Get the [expletive] out of here.”

Motivation and opportunity could both play a role as well. No doubt the job market here appealed to Santorelli. The Canucks now have a decent battle going for the third and fourth line centre jobs, with Santorelli, Brad Richardson, Jordan Schroeder, Brendan Gaunce, Bo Horvat, and Kellan Lain all in the running for a gig. No doubt Santorelli and Richardson are the front-runners, what with their superior NHL experience, but both have to know it’s going to take strong camps to overcome the Canucks’ bias towards their prospects.

Santorelli has one other quality you’ll like. He’s good at shootouts, 10-for-20 in his career. That’s one of the successful attempts in the photo at the top of this post.

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35 comments

  1. BBoone
    July 6, 2013

    Good grief , an actual piece of news from the Vancouver news media. It seems that PITB are the only writers even trying to be journalists and ,we ‘d all agree , doing it with humour and style.
    It would be nice if Santorelli regains his confidence.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      July 6, 2013

      While I’d love for this to be true, it really isn’t. Jason Botchford wrote this up too and he did a good job. Heck, our first paragraphs are basically the same.

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      • BBoone
        July 6, 2013

        Hey , you are right. He did his job as a reporter who cares about facts. A good piece of journalism and good information on the newest Canuck. Joe Friday would be proud. Perhaps the tipping point for the Vancouver Sun ,and Province, National Enquirer approach to hockey has finally arrived.

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      • Cal from Ontario
        July 6, 2013

        “Like a Wal-Mart shopper trying to find a third DVD in the 3 for $20 basket, the Canucks continue to scour the bargain bins in free agency.”

        How have you not taken Stephen Brunt’s old job at The Glob and Mail?

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    • Lifeforce
      July 6, 2013

      Let’s hope they both start scoring and that will help Booth forget about inhumanely killing innocent animals for trophies!

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  2. PB
    July 6, 2013

    I’m sure the hate-Gillis crowd will be out in full-force soon enough but the more this FREE AGENT FRENZY (TM) and some of the crazier trades shake out in the past few days, the less uneasy I am about the Schneider deal and Canucks’ management in general. We already have a very strong top six and I have to say taking the gamble that the Sedins-Burrows won’t regress that much and that Kesler and Booth will have strong rebound seasons is one I’d take any day, coupled with the idea that Luongo will have a good season (and will actually report) and the D remains strong. Tinkering with the lineup seems a much better approach than the tear-it-down approach so many seem to be advocating. I am so thankful that the Canucks are not playing the insane game that some seem to be — the Maple Leafs being the prime example, but Philly, TB, Montreal, all entered into ridiculous long-term deals with aging or overrated players. Standing mostly pat seems like the best move at this stage, remaining competitive now but not hamstringing our ability to be so in the future, especially as we approach a transitional stage. As the West Coast Express period gave way to the Sedin era, I’m hoping for continued success, which for me cannot possibly be cup or nothing.

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    • Tom 1040
      July 6, 2013

      I love your posts the most PB.

      Gee, yet another flippant flip-flop.

      I wanted to reply to your comments of a couple days ago, but that ‘article’ is not accessible.

      First, you question MY knowledge of hockey and hockey management – ha ha ha! Really?

      And then you cough up this nonsense.

      What’s more, in the not-accessible article, in consecutive posts you call G. Snow one of the worst GM’s in the league and then in your next comment (because Daniel disagreed with you) you say he is doing a ‘Pretty good’ job.

      Nice.

      I can see your extensive knowledge of hockey and hockey management in both of these ‘articles’.

      The more you post, the more I like.

      By the way, ‘glad the Canucks aren’t in the FAF (TM)’ you say?

      Ummm, it’s because they can’t be.

      Instead, bargain basement.

      And, basement or near is where they will be next season.

      Good luck to you in life in general, PB, but if someone wants to sell you a bridge…only consider it if it is your dentist.

      And, Harrison, without sarcasm, I have enjoyed your blog posts in the last two days.

      A very appropriate level cynicism and sarcasm.

      Well done, IMO.

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      • PB
        July 6, 2013

        Tom, it really pleases me to humour you so.

        Given your inability to grasp the barest of facts, I know it might be hard for you to actually understand words on a page, but for the record, I recognized Daniel’s point that it’s true that Garth Snow and the current Isles’ management has done a pretty good job whereas the criticism I was leveling was at Milbury and his epic mismanagement. Unlike some, I don’t have a problem recognizing a flaw in my reasoning and see no reason to hold dogmatically to THE TRUTH.

        I don’t particularly care what you think or take particular umbrage at your keen analysis, but I would like to understand where you see my satisfaction with the Canucks’ actions as somehow flip-flopping? Actually, I really don’t care at all what you think of me — but tell me, how would you have liked the Canucks to have acted during the free agent period? They had about 7.5m available. Would you have preferred they spent, say $5 million on someone like Roy or an equivalently priced free agent on a multi-year deal and scattered the rest across the other holes needing to be filled? To the specific points I made, would you prefer that we went after old and aging players as the other teams I mention?

        Rather than your usual smug, self-satisfisfied critiques bringing truth to the masses, why not tell us with your voluminous hockey knowledge what you would actually do. Tell us, since you are smarter than Gillis and everyone else what YOU would have done to rectify the situation.

        Thank you for being such a strong and solid Canucks fan, with your constant and consistent hope that they will be at the bottom of the standings next year. All sports teams need supporters like you. It makes for a much more enjoyable sporting experience and a great educational experience for those not blessed with your keen insights and otherworldly foresight.

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        • Tom 1040
          July 6, 2013

          You are most welcome, PB.

          The problem with the current brain-trust is rooted in the fact that there are ‘fans’ like you.

          You simply buy whatever garbage they are selling.

          You’d make a great North Korean, I am sure.

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          • PB
            July 6, 2013

            Not interested in answering the question Tom? Just want to throw out more feeble insults? You are quite right, my unqualified support for a HOCKEY team and my very qualified support for its management is exactly like the unquestioned loyalty forced upon the desperate masses of North Korea by a brutal dictatorship. Brilliant Tom, and so witty to boot…

            Let’s see if you can get past self-congratulation and ad-hominem attacks for once. Since you are the all-knowing genius, try answering the question again. How would you have dealt with free agency, given the Canucks’ needs and their resources? Let’s say your dreams came true and Gillis was fired right after the draft, how would your unerring hockey sense have led the Canucks? Who from the available crop of free agents would you have signed and to what deals? What trades would you have swung? Let’s have some concrete suggestions beyond your usual Gillis-is-devil blather.

            I look forward to the pearls of wisdom no doubt dying to spring forth from your fertile mind.

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            • Tom 1040
              July 7, 2013

              Oh P(oor)B(aby),

              Pot-kettle-black.

              You say I am smug – really? Remember dummy, what did you said to me just prior, ‘I question your knowledge of hockey and hockey operations’.

              How could anything or anyone be much ‘smugger’ than that?

              Again, pot-kettle-even blacker.

              What’s more, you know nothing about hockey – clearly.

              In fact, let me ask you, how many years did you play hockey and what was the highest level you played?

              Or, …

              Quickly, some non-revisionist history.

              Olive-branch extended by me to loser you. Accepted, then your silly ad hominem attacks resumed.

              I embarrass you (you embarrass yourself) then another olive branch extended by me.

              You accept and then as usual when someone disagrees with me, your courage becomes constipated, you take a laxative and expunge excrement from your large intestine in the form of another petty, silly attack.

              Tsk, tsk, tsk.

              Next, oh, how convenient, when you dissed Isle’s management, you only meant Milbury. Okay…I …ahem … believe you.

              But, what were the conditions of Milbury’s GM-ship? I don’t think you know.

              As for Gillis and what I would have done, it is not just the here and now, it is the past and all of Gillis’ missteps that have lead to the here and now. All of which I have been critical of while you have been on your very knees giving ‘gratification’.

              If you had any capacity for comprehension, then you would realize that I understand the Gillis moves as I have stated.

              Why?

              Because he has no other options.

              But, as Andre aptly pointed out, a real GM would not have back himself into such a ridiculous corner and had to make the Schneider deal, and especially considering the entire goal-tending debacle of the last 18 months.

              Finally, I love it when you try to communicate with language well beyond your vernacular (I know you have to look up the word). All can see your struggles.

              Look forward to your response, PBaby.

              :)

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              • PB
                July 7, 2013

                I’ll try one last time. And I’ll write slowly so you can follow along. What. Would. You. Do?

                Please enlighten us with your sage wisdom gleaned from so many years working with the downtrodden. We who are not so worthy would do well to learn at your feet no doubt. I am eager to learn more specifics about what you would do. Let us talk no further of the evil one Gillis and all the shame and unending failure he has brought upon this hockey team and indeed this city — which had only success and happy days before his dastardly ways were brought upon us as I understand it from you. Let us hear from you — not about the wicked ways of the wicked witch, but what you, the knight in shining armor, can bring to this town as its true hockey savior.

                I wait with bated breath to hear your undoubtedly magnificent dreams and visions for our fair city and our fair team. We have heard (oh we have heard) of your past criticisms of Gillis and all that he hath wrought. Now it is time to finally tell us all of your grand plans.

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              • Tom 1040
                July 7, 2013

                PB, you abject moron,

                I have already answered your silly question.

                Please read slowly or have someone assist you, idiot.

                There are no choices for this team at present. What don’t you understand? I have worked with severely brained injured people that comprehend more quickly than you.

                Stupid, stupider, and stupidest all in one person.

                Oh, and I guess you never, ever, ever laced up a pair of skates…

                You don’t have to answer because I already know.

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              • Harrison Mooney
                July 7, 2013

                Okay, I’m done with this sideshow. Tom, consider this your first and last warning. Knock it off. You’re a bully, and the way you antagonize the rest of the commenters in some vain attempt to feel superior is frustrating and tiresome. You want to pull this crap? Go to the Canucks.com message boards and have your fill — at least until they too decide you’re a rude and petty nuisance and show you the door.

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              • PB
                July 7, 2013

                Oh Tom, you’re such a sweetheart. I know you must have spent considerable time plying your trade in the professional hockey ranks given all the exceptional insights you dispense and the great stock you put in paying dues. That’s when you haven’t been washing the feet of the poor of course.

                At any rate it’s clear that our views on the Canucks (and our support for them) differ and clearly aren’t about to change anytime soon. I am also sure that people on these boards are tiring quickly of our banter. So I bid you a fond adieu and wish you all the very best of luck in your jousting at windmills you sweet sweet man.

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              • Tom vs. Tom
                July 7, 2013

                “Don’t put words in my mouth!”

                Okay.

                “Tsk tsk tsk”

                “You abject moron”

                “Stupid, stupider, and stupidest all in one person.”

                “Please read slowly or have someone assist you, idiot.”

                “I have worked with severely brained injured people that comprehend more quickly than you.”

                “I can see your extensive knowledge of hockey and hockey management in both of these ‘articles’.”

                “The more you post, the more I like.”

                “You’d make a great North Korean, I am sure.”

                “What’s more, you know nothing about hockey – clearly.”

                “In fact, let me ask you, how many years did you play hockey and what was the highest level you played?”

                “You don’t have to answer because I already know.”

                “Finally, I love it when you try to communicate with language well beyond your vernacular (I know you have to look up the word). All can see your struggles.”

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              • Tom 1040
                July 7, 2013

                That’s fine, Harrison, but it should work both ways.

                I simply get tired of people taking shots.

                You included.

                But, that’s the way the world works.

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        • PB
          July 7, 2013

          My apologies Harrison and Daniel. I shouldn’t have participated in the back-and-forth. PITB is something I’ve enjoyed for some time now, especially the game recaps. Shouldn’t get sucked into a flame war on a bulletin board, won’t happen again.

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          • Pavo
            July 7, 2013

            If I remember correctly there was Tom 1040 who, in the months after the Canucks’ cup run, would be amongst the first on the comment boards of every Canucks story in the Vancouver Sun and Province – posting rude, derogatory and taunting comments that oozed with contempt and hatred for the team, its management and its players.

            And then, mercifully, he disappeared – only to pop up here. Maybe this is a different Tom 1040 but his posts are, unfortunately, awfully familiar – and just as tiresome this time around.

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  3. Colby
    July 6, 2013

    I was against Torts hiring but it is almost worth it for the comedy value alone. Just a ticking time bomb of comedy wrapped up in a suit and tie.

    Seeing the buyouts and contracts going on around the league I am happy that Canucks didn’t make a big “splash”. Besides, lets face it, Gillis’s credibility is at an all time low. If this were NHL 13, his reputation stat would be so low that he would have 1 phone to make deals on, maybe a pager.

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  4. akidd
    July 6, 2013

    oh boy, oh boy! more panthers! oh boy!

    and fellas, what gives with the server!?! you guys are working your tails off to ‘get legit’ at this sports journo thing and you got this ‘challenged’ website mocking you for months/years. can’t someone fix it with a twist-tie or something. sheesh.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      July 6, 2013

      No kidding, eh? It’s an unbelievable pain. Sadly, the Sun is in such flux right now that getting our nonsense sorted out is pretty low-priority.

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  5. Bo Horvat
    July 6, 2013

    Noooo! Not another one!

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  6. rob
    July 6, 2013

    I just saw that Derek Roy signed a one year deal for four million. Can this be true? Are these guys nuts? This league is so full of a bunch of hypocrites that plead poverty on one side and spend like drunken sailors on the other. Good for MG for keeping a low profile.

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    • Tom 1040
      July 6, 2013

      Yeah, good for MG. (????)

      He traded a 2nd round pick and Connaughton for Roy.

      Good for MG.

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      • rob
        July 6, 2013

        Yeah, we understand that you won’t be happy until he’s fired and gone and living on the streets on the east side somewhere, but his colleagues are not showing a lot of responsibility.

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        • Tom 1040
          July 7, 2013

          First of all, rob, and all the losers that gave you a ‘thumbs up’ with that insulting response: Don’t put words in my mouth!

          FYI, I was a community worker and advocate for the disadvantaged and disabled on the streets of the east-side for 7 years.

          So, please don’t mock their difficult circumstances. Circumstances that Gillis has and will never know.

          Finally, many of the people on the east-side that I worked with had/have so much more character than the fraud Gillis.

          Not often did I have to listen to their excuses.

          Just wanted to be clear on that.

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          • Bileth
            July 7, 2013

            Are…are you braindead?

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            • Tom 1040
              July 7, 2013

              Oh, help! Help!

              I’m being bullied.

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              • Pavo
                July 7, 2013

                Sadly, I don’t believe anyone here could do a good enough ‘bullying’ job to make you either go away voluntarily, or at least stop posting such pointless and antagonistic drivel.

                You enjoy being a pest and a nuisance too much.

                As another poster commented once, you truly come across as someone in crying need of some hugs – lots of them.

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    • Tom (not that one)
      July 7, 2013

      So, the League, by negotiating for a 64 mill salary cap, are pleading poverty? Where does this meme come from? They have the prerogative to make and offer contracts under the given framework, and the players have the accompanying decisions in turn.

      For example, suppose the cap went down to 50 mill, could that be poverty? What if it had increased to 100 mill?

      For my part, I contribute to the whole mess, or whatever you wanna call it, by buying Gamecenter live and by watching the commercials. That is all that really matters to me at the end of the day.

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      • J21
        July 8, 2013

        Thank you. I make this point every time someone claims it’s hypocritical to hand out big contracts (when in competition with many other franchises for free agents). It’s not. They imposed rules to curtail the arms race. Every one of these contracts simply robs Peter to pay Paul because of the salary cap, so what do we care? Salaries are a fixed proportion of revenues anyway, so it is doubly silly to lament UFA signings.

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  7. PB
    July 7, 2013

    I think more than a few have said the salary cap is a way of trying to save the league owners from themselves. Judging by how Philadelphia continues to behave it doesn’t really look like it’s working.

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  8. Darlene T. Vincent
    July 7, 2013

    The Canucks have been a spend-to-the-cap team under Gillis, but that cap is coming down significantly in the 2013-14 season due to the lockout that squandered millions in NHL revenues. Gillis will have to shed at least $6 million in salary to stay within the new $64.3-million limit.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      July 8, 2013

      The Canucks are already under the new salary cap, thanks to the Schneider trade and the Ballard buyout. It’s not an issue.

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