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  1. #1
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    Canucks sign Vrbata to two-year, $10 million deal

    Getting better. First or second line RW?

    The Vancouver Canucks have signed unrestricted free-agent forward Radim Vrbata to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $5 million.

    Vrbata's agent, Rich Evans, tweeted Wednesday night that his client would be joining a Canadian NHL club before adding "Yes, it is Vancouver" minutes later.

    In 80 games with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013-14, Vrbata scored 20 goals and 31 assists. He is coming off a three-year contract that paid him an average annual value of $3 million.

    Vrbata has played the past five seasons with the Coyotes. He has spent time with the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning over his 12-year NHL career.

    The 32-year-old forward has 215 goals and 249 assists for 464 points over 792 career games in the NHL.

    Vrbata, a native of Czech Republic, was drafted by Colorado in the seventh round (212nd overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=456319

    Career stats: http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...vrbatra01.html

    Position: RW ▪ Shoots: Right
    Height: 6-1 ▪ Weight: 194 lbs.

  2. #2
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    A suitable contract with sufficient term, style of play and projected linemates was to determine whether unrestricted free agent winger Radim Vrbata would choose the Canucks or other serious suitors ó like the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks ó this week.

    He chose Vancouver.

    Vrbata received a two-year, $10 million US deal from the Canucks on Wednesday, and itís a win-win situation. The player gets a boost from his expiring $3-million deal with Arizona and the Canucks get the bridge contract they needed so younger players can eventually transition into the lineup.

    To be at his best, the former 35-goal scorer will need instant chemistry with a playmaker, because if thereís not a comfort level, his consistency will wane and he didnít score in his last dozen outings in the 2013-14 season. Then again, heís sneaky and streaky and had four goals in a four-game span.

    Thatís why the 33-year-old Czech Republic native became one of the first to be pursued heavily in the secondary free-agent market. He could score 30 goals next season. He could score 20 like he did last season, with half of those coming on the fourth-rated power play. Give him a savvy setup linemate like he had in like Ray Whitney, and it could be interesting.

    However, the Canucks donít have that proven veteran passing presence on their projected second line, although 20 of the 49 points centre Nick Bonino collected with the Anaheim Ducks last season were on the power play.
    http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Ku...140/story.html

  3. #3
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    I would pencil in Kassian on that line and he is the set up man. He is a very good passer.

  4. #4
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    It's already been confirmed that he'll be on the Sedin Line. Looks like our lineup is set. Still obviously don't have a 2nd line but at least Vrbata might be able to help the Sedins bounce back.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  5. #5
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    Now we have 3 legitimate top 6 forwards on the team!
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants1213 View Post
    It's already been confirmed that he'll be on the Sedin Line. Looks like our lineup is set. Still obviously don't have a 2nd line but at least Vrbata might be able to help the Sedins bounce back.
    We will probably see some shuffling around among the top 6.

  7. #7
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    Vrbata will play with the Sedins on the top line. They're paying him $5 million a season and he's a right-handed shot, which was needed on that top line. I can't see them giving Kassian first line duties instead of Vrbata, unless the Vrbata plan totally busts. Playing with the Sedins was probably one of the selling points for Vrbata as well.

    My thoughts are that Benning isn't done yet. I sense a trade coming that will provide the Canucks with a second line centre. They have pieces that just don't fit as well anymore, like Burows, Higgins and Hansen. Plus they could always dangle Tanev.

    I love what Benning's done so far. He's changed this team more in the last month than Gillis did over the last 4 years. And for the better if you ask me. I like the direction of this team. They might not win the Cup, but they'll be competitive. At this stage, that's pretty good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NUCK-U View Post
    Vrbata will play with the Sedins on the top line. They're paying him $5 million a season and he's a right-handed shot, which was needed on that top line. I can't see them giving Kassian first line duties instead of Vrbata, unless the Vrbata plan totally busts. Playing with the Sedins was probably one of the selling points for Vrbata as well.

    My thoughts are that Benning isn't done yet. I sense a trade coming that will provide the Canucks with a second line centre. They have pieces that just don't fit as well anymore, like Burows, Higgins and Hansen. Plus they could always dangle Tanev.

    I love what Benning's done so far. He's changed this team more in the last month than Gillis did over the last 4 years. And for the better if you ask me. I like the direction of this team. They might not win the Cup, but they'll be competitive. At this stage, that's pretty good.
    FWIW commentators are singling out Benning for great work this off-season. Forget who it was but on Sportsnet last night a few analysts were talking about Benning being the most active and effective GM by far this off-season. Gillis never grew out of being an agent. He worked contracts, shelled out NTCs left and right, and tried to negotiate his way into motivating players. He never seemed to have any idea of the GROUP of players he wanted and ended up getting parts that rarely added up except for the one Cup run in 2010-11. Can't believe how lucky we are to be rid of Mr Inaction.

  9. #9
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    I would think he has something up his sleeve. There's just too much of the same at forward.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink View Post
    FWIW commentators are singling out Benning for great work this off-season. Forget who it was but on Sportsnet last night a few analysts were talking about Benning being the most active and effective GM by far this off-season. Gillis never grew out of being an agent. He worked contracts, shelled out NTCs left and right, and tried to negotiate his way into motivating players. He never seemed to have any idea of the GROUP of players he wanted and ended up getting parts that rarely added up except for the one Cup run in 2010-11. Can't believe how lucky we are to be rid of Mr Inaction.
    Even Botchford wrote a Benning praise article.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  11. #11
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    It's really nice to have faith in a GM again

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pfeifer View Post
    It's really nice to have faith in a GM again
    I'm still trying to figure out what the hell his vision is for this team is though. I don't want to turn into franchise hell when you compete to make the playoffs end up short but never get high picks to reward for a crappy season.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants1213 View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out what the hell his vision is for this team is though. I don't want to turn into franchise hell when you compete to make the playoffs end up short but never get high picks to reward for a crappy season.
    I know what your saying but it's not like we haven't picked in the top ten. Look how losing has worked for Edmonton, it's not a sure thing and I don't think this fan base could handle it. Also Benning has shown you don't have to pick at the top of the draft to get good players (Lucic, Marchand, Krejci, Bergeron) and the top picks they have had were acquired through trade. This is a direct comparison of what I think is to come. Not specifically those players but the same structure and savy. I have to say I was screaming for Tampa to take Lucic in the first round but they wouldn't. This was do to overthinking the game. To much is put on individual attributes as opposed to what the player does for the team on the ice. This is why you take best player available with the exception of Goaltender. Benning I feel will and has believed in this theory as well.

    Off topic but this EDM and BOS talk got me thinking. Who would you have take first overall? Hall/Seguin? I always said Seguin. I didn't think he was this pesky though lol.

  14. #14
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    This jumped out at me ...

    Vrbata was 5-for-12 in the shootout last season, nearly matching the goal total of Vancouver, which finished 8-for-50 losing seven of 12. Vrbata's 35 shootout goals are tied for fourth among active players, and he has converted 42.7 percent of his attempts.

    "We wanted to add a scorer to our group, so after the dust settled on the first day (of free agency), we were in on some things that didn't work out, so Radim was still available," Benning said. "For us, he plays a 200-foot game first of all, he plays in all three zones, he's got real good hockey sense and hands to finish. And the other thing in the end we looked at is, he's good in the shootouts, and as we were going through the stats last year we didn't do as well in the shootouts."
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=725276

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