The Power Forward

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Re: The Power Forward

Postby Southern_Canuck » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:11 am

Southern_Canuck wrote:Brenden Morrow, Jamie Benn, David Booth, Brandon Dubinsky, Shane Doan, Ryan Malone, or Evander Kane...

Most of the comments in this thread centered around Morrow and Doan, but David Booth was in the conversation...

You've got to hand it to Mike Gillis - now we'll see if Booth can be the top 6 Power Forward that the Canucks have been lacking.

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Re: The Power Forward

Postby Todd Bersnoozi » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:25 pm

Talks about Scott Hartnell being available circulated recently. I would of liked that guy. We'll see how Booth does. I'm sure he'll be given ample opportunity cuz of how much we will be paying him.
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Re: The Power Forward

Postby Southern_Canuck » Wed May 23, 2012 2:27 pm

Bringing back this thread - I took some time to look at all of the Canuck attempts to add size to the lineup - from trades and UFAs - in the post-Bertuzzi era.

Generally, both Nonis and Gillis have had a decided lack of success.

Nonis: Carter, Pyatt, Isbister
Gillis: Backes, Bolduc, Bernier, Desbiens, Oreskovich, Torres, Higgins, Pinizzotto, Bitz, Nolan, Weise, Booth, Kassian

Todd Bertuzzi 6’3”, 229 lbs
Feb 6, 1998
New York Islanders traded Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe and 3rd round selection (Jarkko Ruutu) in 1998 to the Vancouver Canucks for Trevor Linden.
June 23, 2006
Vancouver Canucks traded Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld to the Florida Panthers for Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek and a 6th round selection in 2006 (Sergei Shirokov).

Nonis Era

Anson Carter 6’1”, 209 lbs
August 17, 2005
Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Vancouver Canucks.

Meshed well with the Sedins (33 goals), but didn't deliver hitting or toughness. Greed drove him to sign with Columbus for a few more dollars than Vancouver offered, and without the Sedins his career went in a downhill spiral.

Taylor Pyatt 6’3”, 232 lbs
July 14, 2006
Buffalo Sabres traded Taylor Pyatt to the Vancouver Canucks for a 4th round selection in 2007 (#116 overall Keith Aulie).

Never panned out as the top 6 forward he was projected to be when he was a 1st round pick in 1999, and was very soft for a 6'4" player.

Brad Isbister 6’4”, 225 lbs
July 3, 2007
Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Vancouver Canucks.

Failed reclamation project.

Gillis Era

David Backes 6’3”, 229 lbs
July 1, 2008
Signed to an offer sheet by the Vancouver Canucks. (St. Louis matched the offer sheet, 3 years, $7.5M).

Might have done well in Vancouver.

Alex Bolduc 6’1”, 197 lbs
July 2, 2008
Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Vancouver Canucks.

St. Louis prospect castoff - perpetually injured shoulders negatively impacted his time in Vancouver.

Steve Bernier 6’3”, 220 lbs
July 4, 2008
Buffalo Sabres traded Steve Bernier to the Vancouver Canucks for a 3rd round selection in 2009 (66th overall Brayden McNabb) and a 2nd round selection in 2010 (55th overall Petr Straka).
June 25, 2010
Florida Panthers traded Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich to the Vancouver Canucks for Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and a 2010 1st round selection (25th overall Quinton Howden).

Similar to Pyatt in that he was a 1st round pick projected to be a power forward - I still think about how he consistently botched golden opportunities to score in his time in Vancouver. Now a fringe NHLer on the Devils.

Guillaume Desbiens 6’2”, 210 lbs
July 22, 2009
Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Vancouver Canucks.

Atlanta prospect castoff - turned out they were right.

Victor Oreskovich 6’3”, 215 lbs
June 25, 2010
Florida Panthers traded Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich to the Vancouver Canucks for Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and a 2010 1st round selection (25th overall Quinton Howden).

Fringe NHLer unwilling or unable to play the 4th line energy role.

Raffi Torres 6’0”, 208 lbs
Aug 25, 2010
Signed as a unrestricted free agent by the Vancouver Canucks.

Unpredictable and inconsistent, but could be a hitting machine that intimidated the opposition at times.

Chris Higgins 6’0”, 205 lbs
Feb 28, 2011
Florida Panthers traded Christopher Higgins to the Vancouver Canucks for Evan Oberg and a 3rd round selection in 2013.

Poor man's power forward - good trade and re-signing for Gillis. Higgins works hard along the boards, and fearlessly drives the net.

Steve Pinizzotto 6’1”, 200 lbs
July 3, 2011
Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Vancouver Canucks.

Injured his shoulder before he even got a shot.

Byron Bitz 6’5”, 215 lbs
July 25, 2011
Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Vancouver Canucks.

Injured hip did in most of his season, however showed some ability to fill a physical role when he got back. May be re-signed for 2012-13.

Owen Nolan 6’1”, 214 lbs
Aug 4, 2011
Invited to training camp by the Vancouver Canucks.

Didn't have enough left in the tank.

Dale Weise 6’2”, 210 lbs
Oct 4, 2011
Claimed by the Vancouver Canucks off waivers from the New York Rangers.

Borderline NHLer - not that the Canucks expected much more, however I bet they wished he was a better fighter.

David Booth 6’0”, 212 lbs
Oct 22, 2011
Florida Panthers traded David Booth, Steve Reinprecht and a third-round draft-pick in 2013 (previously acquired from Vancouver) to the Vancouver Canucks for Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm.

Unafraid to drive the net, but lacks playmaking ability. I guess 2012-13 will show whether this acquisition works out.

Zack Kassian 6’3”, 214 lbs
Feb 27, 2012
Vancouver Canucks traded Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer to the Buffalo Sabres for Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani.

Has shown promise, but who knows?

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Re: The Power Forward

Postby Fred » Thu May 24, 2012 11:48 am

Canuck Army targeted these players for consideration

When Brian Burke came to Toronto in late 2008, he promised a philosophical shift to bring in “proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence.” The results have been mixed, but Burke has made it a priority to add those things to Toronto’s roster (Phil Kessel notwithstanding). The jury is still out whether or not that you need those elements to ice a winning team (the flavor of the month Los Angeles Kings definitely fit the bill), but at the very least Burke introduced truculence to our vocabularies.

At his recent season-ending press conference, Mike Gillis outlined his general plan for the future.

“I think we need to get younger, [and] I think we need to get bigger and stronger.”

Read past the jump for more!

Like Burke back in 2008, Gillis said a lot with only a few words. Getting younger, bigger, and stronger is not something that happens overnight (nor is it easy). The Canucks got younger, bigger, and stronger with a few trades last season, most notably the acquisitions of David Booth from Florida and Zack Kassian from Buffalo. Both players had flashes of brilliance mixed in with large stretches of inconsistency. In Booth’s case, he was able to contribute positively in other ways asides from scoring – Cam Charron wrote last week on how Booth’s production is better than you may think.

Charron found a list of 111 NHL forwards who had more ice time and scored at a lower rate than Booth. Doing some simple math, that equals more than a line of players per team. From Charron:

“Booth had an excellent scoring chance differential and underlying numbers. His defensive game and play-driving ability is top-tier in the NHL.”

Advanced stats are great in situations like this, as they are able to fill in the blanks in many straw man arguments.

Look at what Jordan Nolan and Dwight King have done in Los Angeles. Both are big (King is 6-3 and close to 240 pounds, while Nolan is the same height and about 10 pounds lighter) young (both are only 22 years old) forwards, and it isn’t a coincidence that the Kings have played a lot better since they were called up from the AHL. Darryl Sutter quite early on saw that his team’s identity was size and strength up front (especially after the Jeff Carter trade), and the immersion of these two helped to establish a physical presence on each line.

Vancouver’s 2011 1st round pick, Nicklas Jensen, isn’t far off from the NHL, and he would inject size, skill, and youth into the Canucks lineup. I wouldn’t count on him cracking the roster this fall, but it isn’t entirely out of the question.

Assuming Mike Gillis and his management team head into the offseason with youth, strength, and size at the forefront of their thought process, who are some realistic targets? And no, Corey Perry and Milan Lucic don’t count, unfortunately. Here are three:

Kyle Beach - Chicago Blackhawks

What better place to start than with the mercurial young winger from Kelowna? Beach suited up in only 19 contests in 2011-12, all in the AHL. Beach is a familiar name to Canucks fans, as he is the guy that many fans and media wanted to select back in 2008. The Canucks ended up selecting the Cody Hodgson show, and Beach went one pick later to Chicago. Beach has yet to suit up for an NHL regular season game. In his final WHL season, he dominated offensively, scoring 52 goals in only 68 games. He added another seven in seven postseason games. Beach also had 186 PIM that season (spent with the Spokane Chiefs).

Why would the Canucks want him?

Size and skill, primarily. The team took a chance on Zack Kassian, a player with a checkered past in junior hockey, like Beach. Beach’s past tantrums and attitude issues make Kassian look like a Lady Byng candidate, but the thought of the two young wingers in the same lineup is intriguing, to say the least. Can you say ‘Bash Brothers 2.0? Eat your heart out, Fulton Reid.

Why Would Chicago Get Rid of Him?

The Blackhawks and Vancouver are unlikely to make a trade of any sort. Chicago balked at moving Andrew Ladd to Vancouver before the 2010-11 season, and they did so again last year with Troy Brouwer (although the Canucks were unlikely to meet their demands of a high draft pick). However, the Hawks do have needs up front and on the back end, and they could be interested in injecting some speed up front (Mason Raymond, for example). The Hawks will give Beach a shot at earning a spot with the big club this fall, but his future in the organization is up in the air.

Nikolai Kulemin – Toronto Maple Leafs

When the Leafs drafted the now 25-year-old back in 2006, he weighed about 180 pounds. In a little over four years, Kulemin has bulked up to 225 pounds. I’m not going to question his training regime, but 45 pounds is a lot of weight to add, even in a few years. The gains paid off, as he scored 30 goals in 82 games in his third season with the Leafs (2010-11). Kulemin was one of the biggest offensive disappointments in the league this past season, though, scoring only seven goals in 70 games.

Why would the Canucks want him?

Kulemin has scored 30 goals, and he is only 25 years old. He is big and strong, and he possesses the ability to play anywhere from line one to four. His value likely won’t ever be lower than it is right now.

Why would Toronto get rid of him?

The Leafs won’t actively shop Kulemin, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dealt this summer. The team has confidence in Matt Frattin playing in the top six full time next season (and don’t let his lack of NHL production fool you – he is ready for it), and Kulemin could form part of a package to lure Roberto Luongo to the Center of the Hockey Universe. Kulemin still saw most of his ice time with quality linemates. He simply didn’t perform as well as the team needed him to:

Zac Dalpe - Carolina Hurricanes

Dalpe, Zack Boychuk, and Drayson Bowman, Carolina’s trio of talented young forwards, have all been disappointments at the NHL over the past few seasons. Dalpe’s best attribute is his skating – he is a powerful and fluid center, much like Ryan Kesler. Also like Kesler, Dalpe starred at Ohio State. He turned pro at the end of his sophomore season. In 31 NHL games, he has four goals and seven points. He was touted as many as a lock for Carolina’s second or third line in 2011-12, but he failed to beat out Tim Brent for the final roster spot. Carolina made a mistake by assuming he was ready for a spot with the team, and Dalpe made a mistake by assuming he was, too. A fresh start may be a good thing for the talented young center.

Why would the Canucks want him?

Dalpe projects as a good second line center, or a very good third line center. He models his game after Kesler, and could learn a lot playing behind the 2010-11 Selke winner.

Why would Carolina get rid of him?

Dalpe struggled mightily in 2011-12. He had the highest percentage of offensive zone starts among all Carolina forwards (although his sample size of 16 games must be taken into account), and he still struggled at driving the play forward. Eric Staal and Brandon Sutter are locks as the top two centers, and Jussi Jokinen played well there last season, winning 55 percent of faceoffs taken. He is signed for two more seasons at a cap hit of $3 million per.

Stay tuned next week as I will highlight a few more players the Canucks could target.
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Re: The Power Forward

Postby Southern_Canuck » Thu May 24, 2012 1:20 pm

Fred wrote:Canuck Army targeted these players for consideration:

Kyle Beach - Chicago Blackhawks

Beach was seriously injured in a fight with Steffen Della Rovere while in the AHL on Rockford - it was considered a career threatening injury at the time... I don't think anyone will be trading for him until it is known whether he can even resume playing.

Apparently the author didn't do enough research... I think this is the fight - supposedly it is a shoulder injury:

"Beach suffered a cut and dislocated right shoulder and was hospitalized after the game."

Last edited by Southern_Canuck on Thu May 24, 2012 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Power Forward

Postby dbr » Thu May 24, 2012 1:23 pm

Anyone suggesting Beach at all has clearly not done their research. For a guy who has such a piss poor track record fighting (how many concussions?) you'd think he'd have learned to stay out of it.
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Re: The Power Forward

Postby Fred » Thu May 24, 2012 6:27 pm

Frankly i don't know a lot about Kyle Beach but there is a difference of opinion by some

Chicago Blackhawks: Will Kyle Beach Ever Make It to the NHL?By Cody Pugh(Contributor) on June 2, 2011 3,843 reads

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more storiesNext Claus Andersen/Getty Images
Of all the prospects in the NHL, very few have caused more grief to their organization and raised more questions from fans than Kyle Beach.

Kyle Beach was selected 11th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, despite being projected to be drafted in the top five.

This made the acquisition of Beach a steal for the Blackhawks. But after Beach's first full season of professional hockey, it doesn't look much like a steal any longer, as we finally starting to understand what made teams so reluctant to draft him.

But first, let's do a review of Beach's career.

In 2006-07, Beach recorded 29 goals, 32 assists, 196 penalty minutes and was a plus-27 in 65 games with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL.

In 2007-08, he had 27 goals, 33 assists, 222 penalty minutes and was a minus-four in 60 games.

In 2008-09—his draft year—he split the season between the Everett Silvertips and the Lethbridge Hurricanes, recording 24 goals, 39 assists, 165 penalty minutes and a plus-four in 54 games.

He also played two games with the Rockford IceHogs that season. He didn't record a point and had 15 penalty minutes.

In 2009-2010, he had a dominant season with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL, getting 52 goals, 34 assists and 186 penalty minutes in 68 games.

Beach fights Mathis Olimb in training

That same year he played four games with the Rockford IceHogs, but failed to record a point and had zero penalty minutes.

After a very impressive junior career that concluded with a 52-goal season, expectations for Beach were very high going into the 2010-11 season. Most people thought he was a lock to make the team out of training camp and perhaps even see top line minutes.

But after a very unimpressive performance in training camp and an incident involving fellow prospect Mathis Olimb which led to a shoulder injury, Beach failed to make the Blackhawks roster and instead was sent down to play with their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.

In his first full professional season with the IceHogs, Beach was a huge disappointment, scoring only 16 goals and 20 assists in 71 games.

Even worse than his lack of offensive production was his abysmal defensive play. Beach finished the season with a minus-24 rating, worst on the IceHogs.

A lot of words have been used to describe Beach in his first season in the AHL. The terms "lazy," "stupid," "bad penalties" and "uncommitted" seem to keep popping up.

Beach is reported to have been unfocused, uninterested and prone to taking terrible penalties at the worst of times.

Beach was considered the Blackhawks' top prospect going into last season, but his struggles in Rockford caused him to get passed over as a call-up. Other prospects like Jeremy Morin, Rob Klinkhammer and Ben Smith were some of the IceHogs to receive a call-up before Beach.

More importantly, Beach wasn't called up to the Blackhawks for the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which says a lot about what the organization's opinion of Beach is at this point in time.

This has led people to seriously question Beach's potential to reach the NHL level and consequently, caused some speculation about what the Blackhawks will do with him.

There are basically two camps on the Kyle Beach front: those who argue that he will never become an NHL player and should be traded now while he still has some value, and those who say he needs another year or two at the professional level to develop his game mentally.

I am firmly entrenched in the second camp. And here's why.

First, let's not forget what Beach's role was meant to be when he was drafted into the organization. He was a power forward who was expected to hit, intimidate, agitate, fight and enforce. Everything else, including his ability to score, was secondary.

Mark Bernard, General Manager of the Rockford IceHogs, stated in his review of Beach's season that Beach is very good at being an agitator and drawing retaliation penalties.

Beach also had 11 fights last season, according to, so he's more than willing to drop the gloves and protect his teammates.

A huge roster weakness for the Blackhawks, particularly exposed by the Vancouver series, was a lack of grit, toughness, physicality and agitation, things that played such a huge part in their Stanley Cup victory last year. After the Vancouver series, the team developed the mantra "We need to be tougher to play against."

Claus Andersen/Getty Images Beach certainly makes them tougher to play against. He's exactly the kind of player the Blackhawks need on their roster: A dominating power forward with size and grit who can agitate opposing players while still generating offense.

Second, this was Beach's first professional year. It's a little harsh and irrational to claim that a player will never be NHL material after only one year on a very young, immature and underachieving team.

It just doesn't seem prudent to give up on a former first round pick after a single disappointing season. That doesn't say good things about the organization's patience with their prospects and commitment to their development.

This was what Mark Bernard had to say about Beach's first season:

"You can’t expect him just to come into pro hockey and have even a 27-28 goal year. I think Kyle made strides in a lot of areas; he worked extremely hard on his skating all season. I think it was a big year for him in maturing at the pro level. The one thing that Kyle brings that none of our other players can bring is that he can get under the other team’s skin, and he’s very good at it. He can draw a lot of penalties doing it. He has a fantastic shot, and if he can get into the open area, he can shoot the puck like nobody else.

We have to get him to be more consistent. But you know, he’s a 20-year-old kid playing his first year in pro hockey. That’s going to come. It doesn’t just happen overnight. He learned a lot. It was still a good year; he scored 16 goals. If he can break into the 20-goal range next year … It took Jack Skille three years before he got there, so there’s a lot of good things to come for Kyle, and I think he learned a lot about himself and a lot about the pro game this year that he can take away this summer and improve on."

There's no question that Beach is an extremely talented player, with so many different skills and so much potential, which is why I hate the idea of giving up on him. If he's willing to smarten up and put work into his game, I don't see any reason he couldn't be a true NHL forward someday.

But that's the problem with Kyle Beach: We don't know if this will ever happen. Some claim that it never will, which is why he should be traded now while he still has some value and be someone else's problem to worry about.

Unless Beach is the key piece in a trade that will bring the Blackhawks a much needed center or defenseman, then he should remain in the Blackhawks' system to further develop. Its illogical to trade a player of Beach's potential simply for the sake of trading him, citing his bad season as the reason. Prospects require patience; Beach is no different.

In my opinion, we simply haven't seen enough from Beach to properly assess his potential to reach the NHL. Is he ready right now? Absolutely not. But another year in the AHL, possibly two, will give us a more accurate indication of Beach's future.

If Beach does not smarten up, he will be shown the door. Its that simple. Its clear from the fact that they were unwilling to call him up that they will not let his first round status influence their opinion of him and they will not put him in an NHL role unless they feel he can contribute in a positive way.

If Beach does smarten up and properly utilize his natural ability, the Blackhawks will have a player that fits perfectly with their needs. At that point, Beach will cease being a problem and start being a solution.

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Re: The Power Forward

Postby Southern_Canuck » Thu May 24, 2012 6:36 pm

^^^Fred, that article was written before the 2011-12 season, and before the potentially career ending shoulder injury in Oct 2011...

So I'm not sure what value it has now.

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Re: The Power Forward

Postby Fred » Thu May 24, 2012 11:17 pm

What did Mark Twain say

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated :D

Since returning from injury on March 23, Kyle Beach has 4 points (2G, 2A) in six games.

And yes that is 2012 :D
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