Stick in Link: Survival tips for Miller; Ryan Kesler tribute

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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• The Stanchion welcomes Ryan Miller to Vancouver with six tips to survive the market. Basically, be good, and if you can’t be, be good on Twitter. [Canucks Army]

• Ryan Miller on working with Rollie Melanson: ““I’m always open to being coached,” Miller, who plays an aggressive, athletic style, told reporters. “I’m a little bit more stubborn in that you’re going to have to really explain to me why it’s going to work for me, and I’m going to push back. If they’re a good teacher, they’re going to push me hard and push back and explain why it’s going to work, and we’re going to have a great relationship. I’m very open to any kind of help I can get because I know I don’t have all the answers to everything.” But he said all this while pin-pricking a voodoo doll that looked a lot like Melanson, so take it with a grain of salt. [Vancouver Sun]

• Botchford points out that the Canucks now have two goalies but only one goal, and you know what that means: goalie controversy. I don’t know that this necessarily follows, however. It could get weird, but after the situation we just endured with Luongo and Schneider and Mike Gillis, “goalie controversy” is a high bar to clear. [The Province]

• The Miller signing reunites him with Jim Benning, who drafted him. Benning recalls that day. [Puck Daddy]

• Thatcher Demko, the Canucks’ goalie of the future, presumably, think the Ryan Miller signing is a good one, probably because it won’t affect him in the slightest. [NHL]

• Sure, the Canucks overpaid for Miller, which seems strange since they didn’t really appear to be bidding against anyone. But Miller had another option, which was not coming here. Simple as that. He’s saying all the right things about being happy to come to the west coast and whatnot, but my guess is he wasn’t coming to this situation in Vancouver unless the money was good, and the Canucks were willing to pay, because they wanted the stability he’d bring to the position. [Bleacher Report]

• Before you switch into full-on hatred for Ryan Kesler, take a moment to remember the good times in this excellent tribute video by Samir Javer.

• Tony Gallagher notes that, compared to the rest of the Conference, the Canucks don’t appear to be all that… good. Scoring’s an issue. “Where this management group thinks the offence is coming from is a total mystery at this point.” [The Province]

• After Ryan Kesler and Willie Desjardins, spurning the Pittsburgh Penguins is clearly the “in” thing to do. Travis Green jumps on the bandwagon, turning down an assistant coaching job with the Pens to remain in Utica. [The Province]

 

17 comments

  1. Andre
    July 2, 2014

    Unlike many in this blog, I’m not gonna dis Kesler. He gave us a lot; in fact, all of himself.

    That goal (shown in the video) against Nashville in the Cup run is seared in my memory and is how I will remember him.

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  2. Peter
    July 2, 2014

    Tony Gallagher,nicknamed “the undertaker” is always so pessemtic & have such a hugh ego. Linden & Benning are doing their best to put together a competitive team & will make more moves.Last year was a off year–injuries & system.Confident that majority will bounce back & regain their scoring touch especially the Sedins & Burrows.Kassian is a emerging power forward if coached correctly. Bonnik had as many points as Kelser last year.Vey is a leading goal scorer in WHL in 2011.Maybe D Fox ,who scored some 70 goals in last year in junior,may help. Happy that management let the other teams pay those top ufa forwards yesterday

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  3. Chris the Curmudgeon
    July 2, 2014

    One way the Miller trade might affect Demko is that it could very well mean Eddie Lack’s days in Vancouver are numbered. Being that he’s got #1 ability, he will probably be traded or may be unwilling to sign a contract extension past 2016, when he will be a UFA. The effect of that could thus be to clear out a path for Demko to get to the NHL in a couple of years. Not saying the kid is scheming like that, only that he probably aims to make the NHL well before Lack’s best years are behind him, whereas his career would only intersect with Miller’s contract in a backup/apprentice type of role.

    Also, for once, I have to agree with Skeletor on this one. Who is going to score for this team? Who is going to score for them in 3 years, being that they have a lot of two way, gritty guys with upside in the system but few blue chip first liners, especially at center? (Shinkaruk, Jensen and Virtanen may all project to the first line, but none is a center, none is a sure thing, and none seems that likely to be a true “elite” player at the NHL level)

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    • Andre
      July 2, 2014

      Who says that Miller will remain longer than 3 years? That’s about the right time to get Lack up to No.1 (if he pans out) and Demko to reach the NHL and play some games (if he pans out). After 3 years, the Canucks have options, which will consider the progress of two young goal keepers and one veteran.

      Frankly, this strikes me as a desirable scenario that edges your bets.

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    • Gary
      July 2, 2014

      Agree the junior/AHL forwards aren’t nailed on stars, but who has got players outside the NHL who are guaranteed to be stars? If they were that good already they’d be in the NHL already. The prospects are decent prospects, but still only prospects. There are loads of NHL’ers being paid millions to punch/be punched who scored loads in junior, so that’s no guarantee?

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      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        July 2, 2014

        Not all prospects are created equal. There are a lot of players not yet in the NHL with far higher likely ceilings than any of our prospects, who are just being groomed in the lower leagues by teams who actually know how to develop their top talent. Not including this year’s draft, guys like Jonathan Drouin, Sasha Barkov, Ryan Murray, Teuvo Terevainan, Alex Wennberg, John Gibson (and the list goes on) are all much more likely to ultimately play on a top NHL 1st line than anyone in our system. Those guys were drafted not just for speed and size or two-way play but for the qualities (ie: high hockey IQ, creativity, playmaking ability) that distinguish 1st liners from lower line players in the NHL.

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        • Billy Pilgrim
          July 2, 2014

          Barkov, Drouin, and Murray are can’t miss picks who where picked 2, 3, 2 respectively. Wennberg has been playing in Sweden, so not sure that Columbus is doing a lot to develop him (other than letting him play in Sweden). We’ll see how that translates now that he is signed and coming to North America. Similarly, Teravainan was playing for Jokerit until late last year and wasn’t exactly a stand out the few games he did play.

          I agree that the Canucks have not had a lot of success developing their own players, but really did not have great draft positions until last year. Jensen will, I think, be a top 6 player. Shinkaruk, too. Horvat can score, but seems to be projected as a 3rd line centre by the blogosphere. Is this because of he is defensively responsible (related to hockey sense)? Same goes for McCann.

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        • Gary
          July 3, 2014

          As Billy says (below), they were much higher picks – so what’s your concern? That they might not pan out as prospects? If so, that’s pretty much everyone’s concern. Or that they aren’t the type of players you think they should have drafted in those draft spots at the time? If this answer, where is the directory of 1st line players WHO EVERYONE KNEW WOULD BE FIRST LINE PLAYERS ON DRAFT DAY that the Canucks didn’t read when they made their picks?
          It’s one thing to say you don’t rate the prospect pool as it stands today, but doesn’t seem much value comparing it to players drafted earlier than the Canucks picks or by using hindsight on those historical picks.
          I’ve heard a rumour that there’s a Russian guy called Pavel Datsyuk who’s pretty good…might be available if you have the 170th or earlier pick. In 1998.

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          • Chris the Curmudgeon
            July 3, 2014

            The point was that there were a handful of better prospects for 1st liners available to draft when Virtanen was chosen. Also there were first liners available to sign in free agency (Vrbata’s 1st line potential is debatable). Benning didn’t get any of them. Gary questioned my assertion that our pipeline of talent is limited with the idea that the future success of prospects can’t really be projected, and I disagreed, suggesting that there are many 1st line prospects in NHL farm systems and that we just don’t have many, and haven’t really added any under Benning’s (admittedly brief) tenure.

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            • Daniel Wagner
              July 3, 2014

              Vrbata has been a first-line forward for years, so it’s odd to say that his “potential” is debatable. He’s been second on the Coyotes in scoring for three straight seasons.

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              • Billy Pilgrim
                July 3, 2014

                @ Chris: Nylander or Ehlers are presumably the players you see as first line potential. I don’t see Virtanen as being a worse choice, other than the fact that he is not a centre. But outside of the top 4, there was little consensus on draft value. Nylander and Ehlers might develop into 1st liners, but they might end up being Derek Roy or Jordan Schroeder. Virtanen might develop into a first liner, but has a pretty reasonable chance of being at least a strong 3rd liner (Dustin Brown?). All of them might be career AHLers.

                I would suggest Virtanen might be a less risky pick given the Canucks’ need to build a stable of prospects. You might also be right. Time will tell.

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              • Chris the Curmudgeon
                July 3, 2014

                Vrbata is probably a 2nd liner on a good team, 1st liner on a lower scoring team. I’m glad to get him, don’t get me wrong, and the pool wasn’t exactly overwhelming this year, but he’s not a Paul Stastny or Thomas Vanek.

                @Billy: I agree, but just don’t like the idea of going after safe picks in the first round. There are guys with higher ceilings that are a bit more of a risk, I’d still like to see us go for one. I guess that’s a personal preference opinion.

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  4. Dan
    July 2, 2014

    I’m sorry to hear that Miller got sentenced to 3 years hard time in Vancouver. Perhaps he gets lucky and gets out on good behaviour.

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    • East Midlands Canuck
      July 2, 2014

      Shut it.

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  5. Billy Pilgrim
    July 2, 2014

    I like the Miller signing. Not to dump on Lack, but he struggled down the stretch and the team in front of him will likely be challenged next season. It would not be great to throw a developing goaltender into that mix, and might set him back rather than help. The Bleacher Report link is spot on. I’d hate to turn Lack into Dubnyk.

    As for where the scoring comes from: hopefully from within. The Sedins and Burrows are likely to be better and should also be deployed more strategically by Desjardins. Let’s give some of the kids a chance to fill that void as well. Another scoring winger would be great, but keeping the cap space for a future trade might also be useful.

    Worst case, we get another high draft pick in what sounds like a good draft year. Meanwhile, Miller hopefully keeps it from getting embarrassing.

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  6. akidd
    July 2, 2014

    just noticed, as one can on a sunny july day, that 7 of the total 26 compliance buyouts were used for canucks or former canucks. just thought you all should know.:)

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  7. Lemming
    July 2, 2014

    Down with Kesler, down with Kesler!!

    I’ve never particularly liked him. I’m willing to acknowledge his brief dominance for the Canucks, but beyond that, he’s mostly been a dick, and his recent strategy of “Call Benning, yell” several times a day and reducing his trade demands to two teams will be how I remember him. A dick move not to the team, but the fans who still stupidly cheer him on.

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