Because I’m on the road, I missed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. I’m not complaining (it was probably a good thing). Still, here are some random thoughts on what has transpired so far this week.
On the injuries:
It took all of two weeks before Sami Salo and Pavol Demitra suffered their first injuries of the season. Like Alanah said, only Kyle Wellwood benefits from those injuries. And maybe Jason Krog (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province). The scary thing is, the top part of the Canucks lineup is already becoming reminiscent of last year’s.
Darcy Hordichuk was at practice yesterday and should be ready to go tomorrow which means Mike Brown will probably return to the press box.
And speaking of Mike Brown…
Part of the reason Matt Pettinger was sent to the Manitoba Moose was because there were rumblings that a few teams were interested in Mike Brown and that Brown would be claimed if he was sent down. Brown stayed, of course, but has only appeared in 2 games with ice-times of 3:16 and 3:37 minutes. Because Tampa Bay claimed Pettinger off re-entry waivers, the Canucks are on the hook for half of Pettinger’s salary and cap hit.
There are a couple of ways to look at this.
If Pettinger had stayed, his cap hit would have been $1 million. Brown’s cap hit is $522,250, but add $500,000 the Canucks are on the hook for (half of Pettinger’s $1 million cap hit) and that 13th forward roster spot now comes at a cap cost of $1,022,250 plus losing Pettinger as an asset.
The other way to look at this is that the team actually saves money from this transaction. Combined, the team was paying $1,622,250 for one player on the Canucks roster and one player on the Moose roster. Now, they only need to pay out $1,072,250 (Brown’s $522,250 and Pettinger’s $550,000), a savings of $550,000.
However, I think the bigger issue is the asset management issue. Is Brown that much more valuable than Pettinger?
Brown’s value to the team is his energy and toughness, and besides getting into a couple of fights in the two games he’s played so far, he hasn’t provided much else. Plus, with Hordichuk and Rypien already on the team, did the Canucks need a third “enforcer” on the roster? In an ideal scenario, we should never see all three in the lineup at the same time.
At least Pettinger is capable of playing a regular shift. He’s not flashy by any means, but he can adequately play on the third or fourth line and the penalty-kill. He might not score 20 goals again, but I would dare say that he has better hands than Mike Brown.
After the Canucks lost Nathan Maciver to waivers, Mike Gillis said he didn’t want to lose another player to nothing. Well, oops. I suppose either Brown or Pettinger would have been claimed. The question is, did the Canucks try to keep the right one?