Island Nucklehead wrote: Larry Goodenough wrote:
Island Nucklehead wrote:I bring up contracts because it's apparent (according to HW) the Canucks have tried to get rid of Raymond, and will probably do so in the offseason. The Canucks are watching the same game we are and see the same things we do, and tried to make a change. Malhotra isn't easy to get rid of. Everyone knows neither is playing up to potential. Fortunately Malhotra can still do what he always did, win draws. He's the best draw player on the team, and 5th in the league.
Raymond can't do what he once did, put up points.
Can I ask what you think Malhotra should be doing to meet his potential this year?
I honestly don't know what his potential is. He used to be a 30-35 point guy and now he's about a 20 point guy. They've never really said how much he can see. He was already offensively limited before his injury, so I certainly wasn't expecting much once he crosses the red line.
Raymond has proven he still has speed in spades after his injury, and was playing poorly before he got hurt. He potted 25g/50pt two years ago and is now running at about 14g/29pt over an 82 game season. I'm sure a lot of fans feel that Manny gets a pass because it was such a serious injury that clearly affected how he can play the sport. There's no doubt that Raymond also suffered a serious injury, but from what I've seen and read, it's not a permanent disability. That might be why Malhotra isn't getting the same treatment as Raymond.
Malhotra is being deployed much differently this year than any seasons past. Perhaps it's because of this eye injury.
He's taking almost 90% of his faceoffs in the defensive end. Most opponents also send out one of their top 2 lines for faceoffs in Vancouver's end. Malhotra's average shift time is also extremely low.
Therefore, he's being told to go out there and take defensive zone draws only, against the top players on the other team, get the puck out of the zone and get off the ice. This might be the most extreme defensive deployment of a centre in hockey history.
So, to judge a player on his points production when he's been told to not even think about scoring this season, seems futile and/or unfair. To say he's not the same player is an understatement. The question is, is he not the same player because he has changed his game to suit his new extreme role or is his injury the reason.
I don't know if he's meeting his potential either, as there has never been another player who has taken on this type of role before, so there is no comparable. But we do have to understand the context of his usage before evaluating him.
As for Raymond, he's another player who had no off season to lift weights or gain muscle mass. That might be showing right now. I would not be so quick to judge a slight player who appears to really need off seasons to keep his modest size up. He is lost in the offensive zone, but remains strong in the other zones.
As for their salaries, I thought the reason guys like the Sedins and Kesler took less money was so that more money was available to slightly overpay for the other guys?