My precious Vancouver Canucks, it is universally acknowledge, have a pretty solid defense and the best goaltender in the universe. However, they didn’t make the playoffs because they can’t score goals. They lack what we call ‘firepower’ (GOALSCORERS!).
So to celebrate this season’s rich crop of free agent talent, they have signed a number of no-name, no-point scoring journeymen. Darcy Hordichuk (1 goal and 2 assists last season), Ryan Johnson (5 goals, 13 assists last season), and Kyle Wellwood (8 goals 13 assists last season).
Meanwhile players such as Radim Vrbata (27 goals, 29 assists last season), Kristian Huselius (25 goals, 41 assists last season), Marian Hossa (10 points in 12 playoff games for Stanley Cup finalist Pittsburgh), Andrew Brunette (19 goals, 40 assists last season), Cory Stillman (24 goals, 41 assists last season) and Michael Ryder (14 goals, 17 assists last season) all are Unrestricted Free Agents, all have inked multi-million dollar, multi-year contracts.
Now I don’t know the business or those players intimately but I know there’s some talent and proven goal-scroing ability there, and they’re all in the prime of their careers. Except Cory Stillman, who at 34 is probably past his prime. But the Canucks don’t go after these guys. No. Instead…
They go after Mats Sundin, (32 goals, 46 assists last season) who is unquestionably a really great player, and has put up great numbers but he is also 37 years old – definitely past his prime. And I think most people would agree not worth 10 million dollars a year for the next two years – which is what the Canucks have offered him.
What the fuck is wrong with these people!?! 20 million could have got them 2 or even 3 of the aforementioned guys – decent character guys who put up consistent numbers, but instead the Canucks are chasing an over-the-hill bigname, perhaps even to pin the captaincy on. Has the Mark Messier debacle faded so quickly from the collective memory? He will probably be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, but not for anything he might do as an overpaid 38 year old with the Canucks.
To boil it down the choices available are: young solid core offensive contributors… or one great, yet elderly, player whose star is fading (he’s human) but unable to resist the great whopping wasteful wads of money you wave in his face (he’s human)?
Seriously, what is wrong with these people?