Raymond? Do we really want him?
Pros: Fast Skater, Defensively Reliable, Plays PK
Cons: Poor Vision, Doesn't use his team mates, Afraid to go to the net, Weak along the boards, Physically Weak.
Ever since the Canucks upgraded 2nd line wing from Raymond to Booth, I finally see a player that I had hoped Raymond would eventually become. Someone who will utilize his speed to go around the defencemen on the outside and still have the balls to cut hard to the net.
After the acquisition of Booth, we saw a slight improvement in Raymond's play as he was finally going into the tough areas. I was personally hoping that the healthy competition had finally lit a spark under Raymond and he was ready to change his style of play which would be more beneficial to the team.
After many months, I see Raymond's style of play will never change. It is what it is.
1) Go around the defencemen on the outside, circle BEHIND the net and then
a) Pass to the near side d-man
Make an ill-advised cross ice pass to the other d-man which will get tipped or intercepted. (The redeeming fact of this error is that Raymond has already circled the net and is skating back up towards the blueline so he has had a head start on the back-check)
2) Raymond will also ALWAYS shoot on a 2-1. The goalie might as well not even worry about the 2nd forward and just play Raymond. Goalie should also make sure he's standing in the middle of the net because the puck is going to hit him in the crest like a bulls-eye
What Mason needs to understand is,
He would be making a million more per season if he
1) Went around the d-man on the outside and then CUT to the net which would lead to drawing a hooking penalty or a goal by him OR creating a rebound chance for Hansen or Coho.
This is what the 2nd line is now doing to create goals with Kes, Higgins and Booth. If Raymond does this, his line will be more productive and he will actually be using his speed in a productive manner.
Now here's the real question. At a modest 2.55M and going into RFA this summer we know exactly what Raymond brings to this team. Is Raymond worth keeping as a 3rd liner for the playoffs on a Cup Contending team or, is someone in the system already more than capable of filling his role and is Raymond expendable in order to acquire additional help or upgrades in other positions?
Edited by CanucksJay, 08 May 2013 - 12:47 PM.