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.
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.