Tuesday, October 05, 2010

More on Shane O'Brien Trade and Other Stuff

Alright it's been a busy day in Canuckland and it figures to be busy again tomorrow as the Canucks will submit their official roster to the NHL... an official roster which, for salary cap reasons, will be different than the one you see on Saturday night.

Universities could offer a course on the NHL salary cap, but for now there are probably only a handful of people on the planet who really understand the Canucks cap situation. Basically it boils down to the Canucks wanting to be as close to the salary cap as they can, so that they can maximize their long term injury relief. Anyway, here's some thoughts on the days events...

Shane O'Brien
Moving Shane O'Brien is probably best for both parties. O'Brien is a bottom pairing defensemen who hasn't really reached his potential and hasn't shown many signs that he will reach it. O'Brien was saying all the right things heading into the pre-season, but he clearly showed no willingness to be the player the Canucks wanted him to be.
SOB's pre-season can really be summed up by one fact: he did not drop the gloves. Not once. This from a guy who is supposed to be a tough physical defenseman. This from a guy who knew his job was on the line and who should have known that his competition was outplaying him. He either does not understand what the Canucks wanted out of him, or he was simply unwilling to be that type of player.
At a cap hit of $1.6m the Canucks could no longer afford to be patient. It was time to move on. For O'Brien he gets to go to a place where his nightlife and off-season issues won't be under the microscope. He also joins a young blueline where there is an opportunity for him to play a more prominent role. We'll see if he takes advantage of the opportunity.
Finally it sounds like O'Brien is taking some shots on his way out the door, while Mike Gillis went out of his way to see SOB playing in the NHL this year. "He's an NHL player and we didn't want to see him in the minors... we don't want to be known as an organization that's gonna bury guys in the minors because of the cap situation". Looks like SOB still has some growing up to do.
Ryan Parent and Jonas Andersson
While he still has to clear waivers, the Canucks have acquired a former first round pick who has bounced around a bit and has yet to live up to his potential. If he clears waivers Parent will be reunited in Manitoba with his former junior coach Claude Noel. The Canucks are hoping that they can tap in to Parent's unmet potential.
Andersson is a big (6'3 - 210) 29 year old winger who has played most of his career in europe (only 5 games in the NHL). Last season he played in the KHL recording 20pts in 30 games. This summer he signed with the Predators, the team who originally drafted him. Like Parent he is also being reunited with Claude Noel, who coached him with Milwaukee in the AHL. While he has a one way $675k contract, he is not subject to re-call waivers, so the Canucks have acquired a forward who they can call up at any time should the need arise - something which is of value in today's NHL.
Tambellini out Schaeffer in?
In some news that has been a little overshadowed today, Jeff Tambellini has been placed on waivers. That means the 3rd line left wing spot appears to be Peter Schaeffer's, although he does not yet have a contract - again likely due to salary cap reasons.
Unlike O'Brien, Tambellini has been both mature and classy saying "It's been a great opportunity, hopefully I'll clear waivers and be part of this organization for a very long time" Tambellini had a pretty decent pre-season, but he didn't really fill a particular role for the Canucks.

So that's the news for today, there's sure to be more tomorrow...