May 142009

If there’s one thing as uncertain as the future of Mats Sundin, it’s the future of Mattias Ohlund.If we know anything about Mike Gillis and the way he manages his team, his lack of negotiation with is a good sign that Ohlund isn’t coming back.

Gillis has made a case for himself and making it very clear that he is not a wishy washy deal maker. He plays his cards straight. He made it clear from the day he was signed exactly what he wanted on his team. He made it clear in the offseason, and throughout the season until he finally made good, that he wanted Mats Sundin on his team. Gillis knows what he wants, and he gets what he wants.

Ohlund in a contract year was subpar at best, offensively. As a defensive defenseman he did what he’s done best on this team for 11 season. He played defensively solid hockey with few mistakes. Statisticly he had one of his better defensive seasons (he was +14 vs -1,-3,-6 in the last three seasons respectively), but in only his second career complete 82 game season, he managed to score the same number of points that he had last season, which he did in 30 less games.

I think the lack of early on contract talks seemed to have some effect on Ohlund’s play during the regular season. In the post season he had 3 points in 10 games, and in what looked like his last hurrah in a Canucks uniform he to me looked unenthused at best. I know Ohlund’s last option was to test free agency, but Gillis obviously has other cards in play. Edler who has often been referred to as “Ohlund Junior” seems to have proven this season that he’s capable of playing at an NHL calibre, and when Edler is in the ranks, and Ohlund has a subpar contract year, Ohlund’s older, the odds of him returning are on the downside.

Ohlund has indicated that he’s going to test the free agency waters, and no doubt he will be signed by someone, his career isn’t over, it just might be over as a Vancouver Canuck. Gillis made clear at the deadline that he wanted Bouwmeester. My money is that he’s going to make a serious play to bring in a more offensive defenseman and Bouwmeester is his man. The word offense isn’t something to be taken lightly on this team and you can be sure Gillis is going to make the necessary changes to make sure we have a larger arsenal next season.

The Canucks need to go younger. They need to go faster. Bouwmeester could be a good start.

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