Every Goal, 2012-13: The one-goal guys

Here’s how this works at the Every Goal series: score twice in the season and you get your own post. Score just once, however, and you have to endure the shame of being lumped in with all the other singularities from the season that was. This year, that’s a list that includes two former Canucks in Aaron Volpatti and Andrew Ebbett, and two current Canucks in Tom Sestito… and David Booth.

Yes, David Booth, who is being paid a lot of money to score more goals than just one. It’s even worse when you consider that his goal was effectively a pity gift from Max Lapierre, who really shouldn’t be in a position to pity a guy making $4 million a year.

Now, in Booth’s defence, you really can’t have worse luck on the ice. His scoring chances didn’t go, and he battled both a groin strain at the beginning of the season and a season-ending high ankle sprain not long after he finally returned. But even still, let’s hope that sharing a category with Volpatti, Ebbett and Booth is all the motivation he needs to do better next year, because, I mean, seriously.

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Breakdowning Mason Raymond’s first period goal against the Nashville Predators

When the Canucks score 7 goals in a game, it’s tough to know which one to break down. We even had calls on Twitter to break down Henrik Sedin’s gorgeous penalty shot goal or Maxim Lapierre’s slick breakaway marker. As nice as those goals were, it’s more than a little difficult to break down a goal when it’s just one skater and a goalie. It would just be one screen shot with the breathtaking analysis of, “Well, you see, he did something the goalie didn’t expect him to do and the puck…well, it went in.”

It seemed obvious to me which one needed the full Breakdowning treatment: Mason Raymond’s seventh goal of the season, which came on a beautiful passing play that incorporated every single Canucks skater on the ice.

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David Booth returns, Andrew Ebbett returns to the minors

The Canucks are going to be in a very strange and unfamiliar situation on Tuesday: everyone will be healthy. Or, at least, as healthy as they can possibly be this season, considering Manny Malhotra is evidently done. On Sunday night, Alain Vigneault made the announcement that David Booth was cleared to play and would be back in the lineup at some point during the Canucks’ upcoming four-game road trip.

Astonishingly, in the time it took Ryan Kesler and David Booth to return to game action, no one else on the roster suffered a new injury, meaning the Canucks needed to clear a roster spot to reincorporate the shoot-first winger. With Jordan Schroeder playing well, that left three options: Andrew Ebbett, Andrew Alberts, and Cam Barker.

Because the Canucks are committed to keeping both Alberts and Barker in the package, where they’ll be worth more someday, Ebbett was placed on waivers Monday. Like the rest of the Canucks, he’ll be heading to Chicago. Unlike the rest of the Canucks, he’ll be staying there, so long as he doesn’t get picked up by another team.

Let’s take a look at what Booth’s health means for the Canucks (beyond the fact that they’ll be able to play him now).

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Canucks recall Jordan Schroeder from the Chicago press box

The Canucks could have saved themselves the cost of a couple flights. They announced Tuesday that they are recalling Jordan Schroeder from the Chicago Wolves just four days after he was the final cut of training camp. In fact, he didn’t even play a single game with the Wolves, despite his fellow camp cuts lacing up for two games since flying back to Chicago. Maybe the popcorn in the Chicago pressbox is just better than the popcorn at Rogers Arena.

Schroeder lost the battle to center the second line to Andrew Ebbett in training camp, as Harrison predicted when David Booth injured his groin. Without two speedy, veteran wingers on the second line, Alain Vigneault was hesitant to place an untested rookie in the middle. Two games into the season, however, it is clear that the Canucks don’t even have a second line, so there’s little harm in trying to create one from scratch.

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Every Goal, 2011-12: Andrew Ebbett

When the Canucks announced the re-signing of Andrew Ebbett this offseason, I was thrilled. Ebbett is, in many ways, an ideal thirteenth forward, the kind of player who can step into almost any problematic situation and provide an effective, albeit temporary solution.

In his injury-shortened 18-game stint with the Canucks last season, Ebbett played minimal minutes, but played those minutes in every situation. He had a bit of time on the penalty kill, a bit of time on the second unit powerplay, and was a very strong possession forward at even strength, despite starting the vast majority of his shifts in the defensive zone against fairly tough competition.

Ebbett is a utility player, the type of player who has every tool in his tool box, but isn’t good enough with any one of them to overcome his lack of size and earn a full-time role in the NHL. He is good enough with those tools, however, to be a useful part-time player. One of those tools is goalscoring; he managed 5 goals last season, putting him on an 82-game pace of 23 goals. While I doubt he’ll be a 20-goalscorer next season, he may get a chance to to make the opening day roster with Kesler on the IR and no third-line centre in sight.

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Spitballin’ on Arniel hiring, departing free agents, and hipster Sedins

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

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Drance Numbers: Andrew Ebbett’s better than you think

Andrew Ebbett is kind of a badass.

Every summer, Mike Gillis manages to find value in the unlikeliest of places on the free agent market. Whether he’s signing a diminutive offensive defenseman who provides the team with a game-winning goal (then promptly retires), a lanky, undrafted goalie who now looks poised to develop into an NHL regular, or a power-play ace like Aaron Rome, Gillis tends to the scrap heap efficiently and with care.

He’s become the NHL’s Wall-E.

Chris Tanev, Aaron Rome, Lee Sweatt, Eddie Lack, Jeff Tambellini, Alexander Sulzer and Aaron Volpatti are all names on the list of unheralded, seemingly undesirable Gillis recruits who have morphed into productive members of the team or into tantalizing prospects. This week, another castoff had his coming-out party, as the team was propelled to two big wins over the Sharks and the Oilers thanks in part to the contributions of Andrew Ebbett.

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Quotes Taken Out of Context: Andrew Ebbett edition

Today in quotes taken out of context: Andrew Ebbett describes an encounter.

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Mike Gillis has emphasized size this off-season, both in the entry draft and in the free agent market. Only one of the Canucks’ draft picks this year was under six feet, the Swedish twin Pathrik Westerholm. Indeed, the GM went off the board in the 3rd round to pick the 6’5″ Alexandre Grenier and followed that up with the 6’4″ Joseph Labate in the 4th round. In free agency, Gillis signed the hulking 6’5″ Byron Bitz and sizeable 6’3″ Mark Mancari. Add in Alexander Sulzer and Steven Pinizzotto at 6’1″ and you can start to see a trend: Gillis wants the Canucks to get bigger. It’s ironic, then, that it’s the smallest summer acquisition that might have the biggest impact next season.

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When True North Sports & Entertainment purchased the Atlanta Thrashers and moved them to Winnipeg, it had a profound impact on three other professional hockey teams. The Manitoba Moose became the AHL affiliate for the Winnipeg Jets and were shipped out to St. John’s, Newfoundland. This meant the Vancouver Canucks were without an AHL affiliate and the Chicago Wolves, former affiliates of the Thrashers, were without an NHL affiliate. Naturally, the two clubs came together to resolve the issue.

Of course, this means that Vancouver’s prospects will now play in Chicago, where, rumor has it, they’re not too fond of the Canucks. It’s like trying to make a good first impression with a girl who has been told by all her friends that you’re a violent chauvinist Nazi skinhead who wears a wig as a disguise. It’s a tough sell.

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