Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 7/9/12

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 03: Mason Raymond #21 of the Vancouver Canucks warms up before playing against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 3, 2009 at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Raymond getting yet another shot…

Ok, first off, I would like to make a disclaimer, I do not “hate” Mason Raymond.  Too often when fans of teams are discussing their squads’ underachievers or busts, they throw personal attacks and disdain onto the player.

By all accounts, Raymond is a great guy, and had had some really good moments with the Canucks, although, none of it amounting to much more than glimpses of promise. 

Coming back from the brutal back injury he suffered against the Bruins in the 2010-11 playoffs showed courage and guts.

No, it’s not the player I hate, it is this deal, and what it says about the team.

 1. Just what are we getting for the money?

While a 1-year salary of $2.27 million US is a $325,000 pay cut from Mason Raymond’s salary of last season, will it be too much for where Raymond will ultimately end up at the end of the year?

While that salary is not breaking the bank, it does indicate a probable second line type of role for Raymond, and he showed last year with 10 goals in 55 games, he may not be able to produce at the level that saw him net 25 goals in 2009-10.

Raymond, at a generously listed 6 feet, and a slight 185 pound build doesn’t seem to fit the mold of “getting bigger”.

If he reverts to last year’s form, do you realistically put him on the third line in a checking role?

Would he be useful in that position at all?

For $2.27 million US, you could land a more suitable third line type of player that has played that role in the past.

As a Canucks fan, I hope Raymond can score 25 goals again and stay in the top 6, but I must admit, I am skeptical he can return from his injury of two seasons ago and do just that.

2. Too small?

In an interview at the end of this season, Canucks’ GM Mike Gillis stated that he wanted the team to get bigger.  It’s why he traded Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian.

Raymond, at a generously listed 6 feet, and a slight 185 pound build doesn’t seem to fit that mold.

Canuck fans saw more of Raymond on the ice than on the score sheet last year.  Getting bigger doesn’t mean every single player on the team necessarily has to be bigger, but this could have been an opportunity to fit in a bigger body up front in the top 6.

3. Any chance in bringing up some other youngsters?

The Canucks have recently brought up prospects and only half heartedly given them a chance to stick with the team.  Michael Grabner and Cody Hodgson come to mind.

Why then give Raymond so many chances to stick with the team when he hasn’t shown much, and may be regressing?

Young Danish prospect Niklas Jensen is a 19 year old player who had 62 points in 63 games last year split between the OHL & AHL.  Jensen has stated that if he doesn’t make the team this year, he is off to Sweden to play hockey there.

Couldn’t the team plunk Jensen into Raymond’s spot and see what happens?

He has size and a high offensive ceiling, and is worth a good hard look.

Besides Luongo, no one has a shorter leash in this city than Raymond. – (AP Photo/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

4. Are we giving up on free agents?

I hope bringing Raymond back doesn’t block the ability to sign another player due to money or his roster spot.

Money probably wouldn’t be the issue, but maybe he would be taking up a top 6 spot that another free agent would covet.

The Canucks have reportedly had positive talks with Phoenix Coyote Shane Doan, and while they play naturally different wings, if Doan came in, and you had Ryan Kesler in the Centre, wouldn’t it look better with Chris Higgins or David Booth on the other side?

Doan had 22 goals and 28 assists last year, and would provide great leadership as a veteran.

I agree 100% with NWSB Q’s tweet earlier today in response to CanucksArmy.com writer “The Tinfoil Tuque’s” tweet.

.@tinfoiltuque 100% disagree Exactly the type of player the #Canucks need. Shared a flight w/ him. Great personality. Great leader. Passion.

— Northwest SportsBeat (@NWSportsBeat) July 9, 2012

5. He’s going to have a short leash.

Besides maybe Goaltender Roberto Luongo, no one has a shorter leash in this city than Mason Raymond.

And that’s with both fans and Head Coach Alain Vigneault.  If he’s doesn’t start out fast, the fans will be booing Raymond louder than I do when I see Patrick Kane’s mug on the t.v., and Vigneault could be yanking him in and out of the line-up on a regular basis.

Is that good for the team?

It certainly can’t benefit Raymond.  Maybe he would be better off starting fresh somewhere else.  Who knows, we could have packaged him with Luongo in a trade. 

Could we get Mike Gillis some alligator skin shoes from the Florida Panthers for that?

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSPORTSBEAT!

© Reggie Gill for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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Post tags: Alex Burrows, Canucks Blog, Canucks news, Canucks Rumors, Canucks trades, Chris Higgins, Cody Hodgson, David Booth, Mason Raymond, Michael Grabner, Mike Gillis, NHL, NHL Free Agency, Niklas Jensen, Ryan Kesler, Shane Doan, Vancouver Canucks, Zack Kassian

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