And it shouldn’t even be debated.
The Canucks went after what they believed was their free agency stud on July 1st of this year by netting apparent scoring winger, Loui Eriksson. I’m sure he was fed the same fable as past players that he would be playing with the Sedins, it might have even been written in his contract. What it looks like however, is that the fine print says “at some point”.
Jim Benning and Trevor Linden said they wanted a scoring winger for the Twins or even just a scoring winger. Well, Eriksson is indeed that kind of player. He is a goal scorer. You’d never know it seeing him on the 2nd and sometimes 3rd lines while the Sedins are paraded around with Brandon Sutter, Jannik Hansen, Jayson Megna, Jake Virtanen, I could go on.
Eriksson has proven he can score goals and in his 10 seasons prior to the Canucks, he’s averaged 21.2 goals/season. If you take out the lockout half season, he jumps up to 22 goals. There’s a chance the Canucks might not even get a player that scores that many this season. That might be a bit of a stretch, I think someone will probably get there.
It’s beyond me how Willie Desjardins feels that he isn’t a fit on the top line. The Sedins are running out of time to be relevant and they just paid a guy $6M/season for the next 6 years to score what looks to be all the goals, for now. If someone doesn’t hammer this concept into the coaches head, this contract will look worse than Roberto Luongo’s or heck, Derek Dorsett’s.
During the World Cup, we were all excited to see the Sedins play with Eriksson on Team Sweden and thought “Hey, this might be alright”, but no one took into account that the Canucks are run quite differently. I believe Eriksson was given what, 2 weeks, with Henrik and Daniel before it was a trashed idea.Embed from Getty Images
Proof the Sedins have actually played with Eriksson – Getty Images
Even if it didn’t work out, to begin with, Willie needs to revisit it and run with that line for at least a month or more. Making the playoffs is still a goal for some reason so that goal needs to be met with ACTUAL goals… by players. It’s really a simple formula.
It drives me nuts, as I’m sure many of you as well when a player is called up that scores a ton in the AHL only to be anchored on the checking line or at best, the third line. You put scorers where they will succeed and Loui Eriksson is a scorer and the Canucks management believes a good one to give him that kind of cash.
Bo Horvat is a goal scorer too, but that’s a whole other conversation.
When the 2017 season gets going there is a chance uber NCAA star, Brock Boeser, will be wearing Canucks colours. We all know he is a natural talent and puts the puck in the net with ease. The options will increase for line combinations and if Eriksson doesn’t end up with the Sedins, Bo Horvat better have a high-end winger to finish his passes.
Could Boeser be platooned on a line with Eriksson, it’s entirely possible. You essentially could have a goat as a centre and they’d be good for at least 15-20 goals apiece. It wouldn’t be that much worse than what Willie believes works right now.
Not only does Loui score, he dishes the puck as much as the Sedins. Again, in that same 10-year span, he’s averaged 29 assists per year, 30 not including the lockout year. Must be a Swedish thing, OH WAIT, the SEDINS are Swedish too!
The most common stats critics base their opinions on are right there, Henrik, Daniel and Loui should be a thing. Much like the Three Amigos, the Three Stooges, the Three Musketeers and even the Mean Street Posse, Team Sweden produced a solution for the Canucks and they didn’t even need sweater vests, subtle reference, I know.
The goals are starting to slowly come for Eriksson but if this is the team Canucks brass are giving us, at the very least ice the team that makes sense. It feels like the equivalent of asking for the most expensive Christmas present, getting it and then cutting holes in the box and wearing it like a mask until Easter.
That sounds stupid. It was supposed to.
Time will tell if both coaches and management realize they actually did sign Eriksson long term and they’ll need to make sure it was even worth it in the first place.
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