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Confident Lapierre hope to muscle into Canucks' third line


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#1 Live.&.Die.Nucks

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:04 AM

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Maxim Lapierre had every reason to sport a look of concern Tuesday.

When the Vancouver Canucks centre was reminded that a prolonged NHL lockout could wipe out the final year of his contract and that a new collective bargaining agreement could push the length of service to become an unrestricted free agent from seven to 10 years, the 27-year-old agitator responded with a grin and shrug of the shoulders.

Maybe it's those extra 15 pounds of muscle. Maybe it's the extra confidence from being a versatile forward who saw first-line duty last spring and has finally found a home after playing for three teams in 2010-11.

So whether the CBA pressure point for owners is to start filming the popular HBO series 24/7 in late November to build momentum for the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 — or retain a strong stance to gain a greater share of revenue — it doesn't faze Lapierre.

Even if the next two weeks are crucial to gain negotiation traction. Even if his UFA eligibility could be pushed back from age 27 or seven years of service in the expired CBA.

"To be honest, I don't really think about it," Lapierre said following a rent-a-skate session with his peers at UBC.

"If you start thinking about that stuff every day, it's going to make your life miserable. In my head, it [season] is going to start at some point and I want to be in top shape, but there's not much I can do personally about the lockout.

"I think we were expecting this but it doesn't matter. I'm in a great spot with a great team and in a great city. I can't complain."

The biggest complaint last season was that it took until the rain curtailed and the sun finally shone for Lapierre to earn his $1-million-US salary.

While he struggled through the monotony of the regular season and finished 13th in the league with 130 penalty minutes, Lapierre took just five minors in the final 18 games and had three goals and five points during a five-game stretch on the top line in place of the concussed Daniel Sedin.

While durable in missing just 13 games the last four seasons, Lapierre is convinced his game can go to another level by taking the opposite approach of most players.

While many have become leaner to increase foot speed, he added to his 6-foot-2 frame and now weighs 220 pounds. He expects to improve on nine goals and 19 points last season.

Lapierre's Montreal-based trainer, Scott Livingston, even worked in concert with a Cirque du Soleil nutritionist to add muscle where it was needed most by the centre.

"Sometimes we focus a lot on the speed of the game but we forget that most of the game happens in the corners, so it's obviously good for the one-on-one battles," said Lapierre.

"The plan was to add five pounds at a time and I felt faster; I think 15 of those pounds are in the legs because I feel fast and I feel strong. I didn't lose any speed or explosion.

"You look at those [Cirque du Soleil] athletes. They're pretty ripped, so those might be the right people to have the same nutritionist."

While Lapierre was linked to a report that Quebec-raised players may form a charity game tour through QMJHL rinks during the lockout, the Saint Leonard, Que., native will stay in Vancouver to train and prepare for what could be an eventful return to the game.

With centre Ryan Kesler sidelined until at least December by offseason shoulder and wrist surgeries and a third-line vacancy with centre Samme Pahlsson returning to Sweden, there are riddles in the middle that Lapierre may help solve.

Jordan Schroeder is going to get a serious shot at filling the third-line hole and if the Canucks don't dip into free agency when a new CBA is struck — they have had preliminary talks with veteran centre Jason Arnott — then Lapierre is going to do more than just anchor the fourth line.

"I'm expecting my best season," Lapierre stressed.

"I'm not the type of guy who looks for excuses, but when you go on a long [playoff] ride like we did [in 2011], it's tough physically and a different mentality to approach games," admitted Lapierre.

"You've got a tired mind and a tired body. We knew we could have played better, but I guarantee we'll play better this year."

That's quite the statement from a player whose career looked lost until he arrived here as a trade-deadline acquisition on Feb. 28, 2011.

"Getting traded twice in one year is not good for your mental health and when I came here I was pretty disappointed," recalled Lapierre.

"Last year was a good season and I'm out of that hole."



Read more: http://www.theprovin...l#ixzz26wLa88OB


It's awesome how much dedication he has put into his craft. I hope he gets re-signed. I also predict an awesome year for him and the Canucks, whenever it may start.

Edited by Live.&.Die.Nucks, 19 September 2012 - 11:05 AM.

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#2 Jägermeister

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:09 AM

Lappiere would be a really good 3rd liner, especially if he could cut down on the crap a little and focus on playing hockey 100% of the time (don't get me wrong, I love the guy, but I have no doubts he could still be an even more effective player).
Only issue I have with him being our 3rd liner, is the possibility of an injury to Kesler or Henrik (though he will never ever get injured), and Lappy having to be on the 2nd line.
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#3 Pears

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:13 AM

If Kassian is ready for top six minutes (if there is a season) we could keep Luongo (unlikely) and trade Raymond, and go with this:

Sedin - Sedin - Burrows
Booth - Kesler - Kassian
Higgins - Lapierre - Hansen
Volpatti - Malhotra - Weise

Edler - Garrison
Hamhuis - Bieksa
Ballard - Tanev

Schneider
Luongo

:towel:
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In my eyes drouin is overrated he can score in the qmjhl but did nothing in last two gold medal games that canada lost. Fox will be better pro than him talk to me in five yrs

Gaudreau has one NHL goal whereas all your "prized" prospects have none.

   ryan kesler is going to the chicago blackhawks ...       quote me on it


#4 Live.&.Die.Nucks

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:14 AM

Lappiere would be a really good 3rd liner, especially if he could cut down on the crap a little and focus on playing hockey 100% of the time (don't get me wrong, I love the guy, but I have no doubts he could still be an even more effective player).
Only issue I have with him being our 3rd liner, is the possibility of an injury to Kesler or Henrik (though he will never ever get injured), and Lappy having to be on the 2nd line.


I also think he would be great. Jack of all trades kind of guy. And during the cup run, that 3rd line is the reason we got to 7 games...He's got potential, and he's a guy who stands up for his teammates, something we can use more of at times...
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#5 canucks_dynasty

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:27 AM

It's great that he added some more lbs. I always thought he was a 3rd line centre. He's sorta like our Dave Bolland. Good 3rd line centre, ability to score the odd goals, and agitate the opponent's top line. Plus he took boxing lessons last year too!!!!
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#6 Wheels22

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:32 AM

Lappy would do an awesome job as third line center. He showed that in the playoffs when Manny was hurt...

Although, my hope is that Manny can get back to his old self before his injury.. But I am completely comfortable with Lappy on 3rd or 4th line
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#7 Chong69

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:48 AM

One thing about Lappy is that he has a very underrated offensive ability. If Burr ever went down, him or Hansen can do a good job of filling in because they play the same style as Burr. The Twins are really successful when they have a guy who is willing to get into the dirty areas in the corner or front of the net. The one advantage both Hansen and Lappy have over Burr is that they're right handed which is something that they work well with when they overload and cycle.

Some of you are going to interpret that as the two of them should play on a line with the twins instead of Burr, that's not what I'm saying, they're just suitable replacements...
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#8 thad

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:49 AM

i love this guy and i hope he sticks around for a long time.. he's got that inner will to win you see in guys like kesler and burrows. that fire is what takes your average players game to the next level.

i'll make a bold prediction right now and say he is going to be one of the best third line centers in the league in a couple years.. go ahead, flame away
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#9 Canada Hockey Place

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:54 AM

Of course he's getting advice from a Circus. :bigblush:

Seriously though. His hard work is noticeable on the ice. Which is why other teams hate him. Also why he's a guy who's able to surprise us with a clutch goal once in a while.

I too wish he'd develop into more of a depth offensive player rather than being the guy drawing penalties by getting under the skin of the opposition. But hey, it's hockey, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire and Lapierre brings the gasoline with a smile on his face.
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Quando omni flunkus moritati

#10 uber_pwnzor

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:03 PM

He's one of my favorite Canucks, love him! <3
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#11 Boudrias

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:12 PM

Wasn't Lappy who had the shift of the year last year. He worked the boards for a solid 90 seconds and then stripped the puck and took it to the front of the net and scored. Beautiful and classic.

Wait a minute. Am I in some lockout induced daydream?
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#12 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:16 PM

Perhaps if he could raise his offensive game again. He had a very good season in Montreal with 28 points four years ago. If he can reach that total or better it, I'll be satisfied.
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#13 MattJVD

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:24 PM

Wasn't Lappy who had the shift of the year last year. He worked the boards for a solid 90 seconds and then stripped the puck and took it to the front of the net and scored. Beautiful and classic.

Wait a minute. Am I in some lockout induced daydream?


You're not dreaming, I think this is what you mean.


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#14 billabong

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:25 PM

i love lapierre...but i think having him as our 3rd line center might be putting a little too much on his plate
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#15 SkeeterHansen

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:35 PM

I've considered Lappy a third liner since Volpatti and Weise became our fourth line guys...to me, when Glass and Oreo were here it just seemed like a better fourth line for Max.
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/=S=/


#16 Buckeye Fruit

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:37 PM

This guy is way more than a pest. 6'2", 220. Hits a ton, not afraid of anything...could he become the power forward we so desire?
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#17 The Kassassin Train

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:57 PM

I just love how to hate his grin / smirk hahaha. Every time he cracks a smile I just learn to laugh out loud because damn it's aggravating for fans and players of opposing teams.
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The key difference is that Sopel can fill in for Seabrook and Campbell just fine. Bieksa, he is garbage so in that sense he is like the worst defenseman in the league.


When Cody (Hodgson) gets older, he might be better than Datsyuk.


Let's not push this guy (Kassian). He's still immature, and if he fails on the 2nd line it's because he isn't ready. Some guys really need years to develop, it's how well and how fast players adapt to the game. In my opinion, I'd rather have Horvat getting 2nd line minutes. He will start off on the 3rd line next season but I see him making the transition, being a great compliment to whoever plays his wings.

At this point, I don't see Kassian fitting in to any role other than a 3rd. If players like Kassian start getting 2nd line minutes then we just stay inconsistent as a team.


The idiocy on CDC....

#18 shawn antoski

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:21 PM

Lapierre is Burrows 2.0, with his drive and tenacity in a couple of seasons he might just be on the 2nd line
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#19 oldnews

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:24 PM

Lapierre is a third line quality player - but being a contender means necessarily having great depth - and being able to ice a fourth line with Lapierre and Malhotra is the kind of depth that sets a team apart from most others. I think the Canucks have sufficient depth with Hank, Kesler, Lapierre, Malhotra, Schroeder - and now a couple young picks in the system as well, but that certainly wouldn't stop me from going out and adding another center to the mix, whether a young guy in a Luongo deal, or if not, a veteran UFA like Arnott to bridge a bit of gap as the younger guys prove themselves.
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#20 Boudrias

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:57 PM

This guy is way more than a pest. 6'2", 220. Hits a ton, not afraid of anything...could he become the power forward we so desire?

Exactly! Most physical player on the team. Couldn't believe he had put that much weight on.
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#21 playboi19

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:03 PM

Sedin
Schroeder (Kesler--December/Jan return)
Lapierre
Malhotra

Malhotra got a full 6 months to train this off-season.
He'll be back and the bigger Lapierre can compete with him for the 3rd line.
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#22 Kesler's Nose

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:07 PM

Lapierre is Burrows 2.0, with his drive and tenacity in a couple of seasons he might just be on the 2nd line


For a second I read "dive" instead of drive. :lol: My bad..

I think he'll make a great 3rd line center, but I'm not sold on him being on our second or first line. (Besides to replace an injured player) Burrows has earned his spot on the top two lines and Booth should do well this season, that only leaves on spot which Kassian or Raymond will most likely get the chance to prove themselves in...

I really, really hope we sign Jason Arnott. Otherwise our second line is gonna be very shaky till Kes gets back. :sadno:
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"It's an opportunity, we don't look at it as a last chance... We look at it as an opportunity to do something great. We are going to take it period by period, shift by shift. You just have to be better than the guy across from you... Every guy in this locker room I can say believes we can do this." - Ryan Kesler

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#23 Buttock

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:38 PM

I wouldn't call him a power forward, but definitely more than a pest. Remember him on Hank and Burr's line down the stretch before AV inexplicably split them up at the start of the playoffs?
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#24 Sergei Shirokov

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:46 PM

He was our 3rd line centre on our cup run in 2011, and did a fantastic job with Hansen and Torres.
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#25 Datsyukian Dangle

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:05 PM

This guy is way more than a pest. 6'2", 220. Hits a ton, not afraid of anything...could he become the power forward we so desire?


Soul of the team - does it all.
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#26 Captain Aerosex

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:15 PM

This guy is way more than a pest. 6'2", 220. Hits a ton, not afraid of anything...could he become the power forward we so desire?


Not at all a power forward. I don't think people here understand what a power forward is.

What he is is an awesome bottom 6 forward. Can play all forward positions, defensively sound, agitates, and hits everything that moves. I think he is perfectly capable of taking the 3rd line C spot. Absolutely love the physical, energetic game Lappy plays. I'd still like us to go after Arnott though.
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#27 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:19 PM

Let's say there's a season-long lockout.

What's Max gonna do then with his newfound muscle? MMA? Lose it? Convert it to fat? Or add more?
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#28 406281dylan

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:20 PM

I love lAPIERRE HE WILL DEFINETLY BE RESIGNED BECAUSE YOU WILL NEVER FIND A PLAYER WITH A BETTER BANG FOR THE BUCK!!! Go Max Go!!!!!
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#29 thehamburglar

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:35 PM

I think he can do it, and I want him to be our third line center.

I just love his style of game.
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#30 Nucks-4-Life

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:09 PM

He was our 3rd line center for the majority of the 2011 season.

Whenever he is put in an offensive role he produces. He could do damage with the Sedins.
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