Mitchell vs Vigneault

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Lancer
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Mitchell vs Vigneault

Post by Lancer » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:46 pm

Anybody else concerned about the apparent rift between Willie Mitchell and Alain Vigneault? First Vigneault calls Mitchell out earlier this season (which wasn't without reason, Mitchell didn't play well), then Mitchell fires back about how he doesn't appreciate it (who would?)

By itself, not too much to worry about. Now, though, it seems the two aren't talking to each other. Vigneault thinks Mitchell should be playing through a cracked vertbera (implying that Mitchell is a pussy for not getting back into action), while Mitchell is politely telling Vigneault through the media to take a hike and he'll let Vigneault know when he's ready. The CP article says the two only communicate through Mike Burnstein.

Considering that Mitchell (in my opinion) is a leader in the dressing room and (again, in my opinion) a future captain, what is up with this? Is anyone else concerned that one of the anchors of the blueline is feuding with the coach? Who else is feuding with him? Yeah, Crow and Bert didn't get along and Bert played some of the best years of his career so Mitchell and AV don't have to love each other for things to work. Still, taking the feud public (though Vigneault and Mitchell have been polite about it) doesn't sound like a recipe for harmony.

What do you guys think?

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Post by levelheaded » Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:12 pm

I think it's not as bad as it sounds. Everyone in Vancouver knows how important Mitchell is to this team. He is an invaluable defenceman that wears his emotions on his sleeve. Whenever he is in the lineup we are a much better team. The problem with him is he seems to be injury prone, and above all AV wants the team to win, so when it seems like Mitchell is opting not to play through pain the coach gets frustrated. If we were 5 points clear atop the NW I don't think Vingeault would really care, but we're 1 point out of the playoffs, so he does.

I don't know who is in the right here, I just know that without Mitchell we tend to lose a lot of games we should win.

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Post by jchockey » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:21 pm

I agree it's not as bad as it sounds, but when I first heard Mitchell whining about AV's comments it didn't sit well with me.

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Post by magnum44 » Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:32 am

Personally I think Mitchell is way over rated. Solid player for sure, but there are a tonne of stay at home Dmen that I would take over Willie in a fantasy draft.
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Post by Kel » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:59 am

magnum44 wrote:Personally I think Mitchell is way over rated. Solid player for sure, but there are a tonne of stay at home Dmen that I would take over Willie in a fantasy draft.
Well, you need players to score points in a fantasy league. Mitchell doesn't score much and plays against the top lines of the opposing team every game, so of course he would not be a great choice for a fantasy draft. ;)

I don't think Mitchell is overrated by the overall hockey community. He may be somewhat overrated by some of the Canuck fans, but which team's fans don't overrate their own team's players?

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Post by Fred » Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:38 pm

Magnum me boy, I'm with you there. He's adequate for what he does, being a local kid he's sorted of weasiled his way in to fans hearts. He like 95% of the other players can be replaced. Give Krajeks a couple of years and he'll be a complete player, Mitchell is one dimensional. Edler/Bieska are already surpassing him in being complete players, I still believe Bourdon will do the same.

But saying that he does presently perform a needed job.

As to him and AV, he we're all adults, it's not a love in, if he doesn't like AV to bad just do the job you're paid for, same goes for AV, he doesn't need their love he nedds them to follow AV intsructions.

Bowman was never loved by his players but he was respected
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Post by Doyle Hargraves » Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:19 pm

Count me among the few who think Mitchell is a very important piece of this team. Lukas Krajeck will never be half the player Mitchell is. He takes away so many passing lanes, plays physically and plays positionally sound. Weasaled his way in here Fred ? He seems to be very respected by his peers and has often been mentioned as a possibility of being the next captain. He does an awful lot of little things that our other D-men (sans Ohlund) seem unable or unwilling to do . ;)

Krapchuck can skate like the wind but he has brick hands, is likely the least physical d-man in the organization and very little hockey sense. If he even makes it to the level of Brett Hedican I would be shocked.

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Post by Fred » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:32 pm

Blob Mckenzie wrote:Count me among the few who think Mitchell is a very important piece of this team. Lukas Krajeck will never be half the player Mitchell is. He takes away so many passing lanes, plays physically and plays positionally sound. Weasaled his way in here Fred ? He seems to be very respected by his peers and has often been mentioned as a possibility of being the next captain. He does an awful lot of little things that our other D-men (sans Ohlund) seem unable or unwilling to do . ;)

Krapchuck can skate like the wind but he has brick hands, is likely the least physical d-man in the organization and very little hockey sense. If he even makes it to the level of Brett Hedican I would be shocked.
Did you see Mitchells make his pylon move tonight. He is what he is and there is no upside to his future. Players like Krajeck Edler Bourdon even McIver have a good chance of getting better,
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Post by jchockey » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:54 am

Mitchell's good at what he does, but no way would I ever shell out $3.5m for him.

Count me in as a bigger fan of Krajicek than Mitchell.

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Post by Badfish » Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:01 pm

I'm in the camp that says Mitchell is invaluable to this team. He blocks lanes, uses his stick better then most, and is a great defensive defensmen. In a fantasy pool sure he's useless but that means nothing in the real game of hockey. He does so many little things, there's a reason he's well respected. He's there when you need him to be (Even plays a decent goaltender when need be) and in the last few seconds of a tight game, I'd put him out every time. Krycheck more valubale? I like Lucas allot, but he's no Mitchell. a Bieksa-Mitchell pairing is perfect imo, or with Salo, heck he's just a great pairing with whoever you put him with, which says allot. To those who don't see it my way, please point out some of his flaws as a defensman to me? Aside from the obvious lack of goals, but who could score witha stick taller then you are? ;)

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Post by Farhan Lalji » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:34 pm

Couple points I'd like to make:

1) Mitchell is EASILY worth the $3.5 mill that he's being paid. I'm not even going to bother explaining this.

2) I'm not exactly thrilled at the idea of Veenyo "popping off" to his players via media. He was a little critical of Mitchell, and he also criticized Luongo not too long ago. It's one thing to call players out and challenge them, but it's another thing to do that when these players are dealing with injuries and/or personal problems (in Willie's case, the guy was hurt. Given Mitchell's character and fortitutde, I don't think Veenyo should ever accuse/imply that Mitchell is healthy enough to compete). As for Luongo, the guy is our #1 player....and the his wife is about to give birth. How about cutting Luongo a little bit of slack!

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Post by Fred » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:58 pm

AV is not a relaitive of Mitchells he wants the best roster he can get . The doctors, and Mitchell visited a few said the injury is not going to get worse, it's a matter of the pain barrier. That's the reports AV recieved, according to the interview I heard.

Scott Bowman treated all players the same, like s***

Certainly DN has done well with his defence signings, and likely value for money.
But Mitchells clearly lacking in mobility and it shows all to often when players go around him like a pylon at times. As long as Mitchell has the oppoenent on the board where he can bull the guy around he's OK. One on One in the centre of the Ice is a scary thought, in the Minny game he couldn't get back to the net quick enough either. His heart may be willing but his feet can't keep up IMO.

Frankly he didn't look like a willing particapant at the end of last nights game either, was that the injury maybe, but if that's the case vertabrae don't heel over night so what you see there is what you get for certainly the rest of this season. No more confrontations like the Bert/Mitchell play-off scirmages, those days have apparently passed by
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Post by jchockey » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:06 am

You said it Fred.

It's been said by former Bowman players that they hated him for 364 days of the year... except that one day when they collect their rings. I hope one day the same can be said for AV, but in the meantime, and especially in times like these, if the coach feels you can play and make a positive contribution, then you put on your gear and do it.

My main gripe with Mitchell is that if his biggest strength is grit, size, blocking shots and taking away passing lines, why not get someone bigger? Marek Malik, who I think is a very comparable player due to playing styles, is much bigger and one of the league's best in +/- (an arbitrary stat, I know, but a guideline nonetheless). Would that $3.5m be better invested in the 6'7" Malik or the 6'3" Mitchell? Neither strikes fear into the opposing players' hearts, but Malik has more size and takes away more passing lanes with his stick than anyone else in the league other than Chara.

I like Krajicek because of his mobility and ability to handle the puck, a premium in today's league, as the Flyers (Rathje, Hatcher) and the Kings (Norstrom) have learned the hard way. Even today the best team in the East (Sens) are still looking for a good puck-moving defenseman. The best defensemen in history have not been known to be flawless in their own end. Bobby Orr revolutionized the pinching defenseman, MacInnis's shot made record books and it wasn't until much later in Scott Stevens' career did he become known as a fearsome hitter.

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Post by Island Nucklehead » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:43 am

When I think Mitchell, I think back to 2003 when him and Bertuzzi went head to head in what was supposed to be "our" year. He's the kind of guy you HATE to play against come playoff time, and he was a big reason the Wild won that series. I'd take him on my team anyday. Considering our style, we rely on certain groups of players to shut down opposing teams' top lines while we scramble for a goal, and combining Mitchell with a Kesler gives us a HUGE shutdown line come playoff time.

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Post by MarkMM » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:02 am

It's hard to compare Krajicek and Mitchell because they're two different players playing two different roles, but it is possible, and I'd take Mitchell any day of the week. Each does their job, but Mitchell does his job better than Krajicek does his. Mitchell may not be blazingly fast, he may not throw enormous hits like Jovo, but he can shut down and smother your best offense, he is gritty, he is reliable, and he does calm down our end. Bargain for $3.5 million, I mean it, he was a bargain, remember the year we signed him and what d-men were going for, he took a hometown discount for us.

Krajicek, I like, but as a puck-moving defenseman supposed to provide offensive contributions, he's not near a recognizable name throughout the league, and he's likely to be surpassed already for offensive contributions by some of Vancouver's young-uns in the coming years.
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