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Reaching the End of the Line for Michael Grabner


Opmac

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After a strong nine game performance in November before injuring his ankle in a pre-game soccer warm up, there were high hopes that Michael Grabner would come back better than ever in his second call up and earn a full-time NHL roster spot.

The hope was that Grabner could form a formidable second line with fellow speedsters Mason Raymond and Ryan Kesler which would forcibly free up Mikael Samuelsson and Pavol Demitra to form a third scoring line with Kyle Wellwood in the middle.

<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/oct1409_grabner_rr.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">In seven games, Grabner has picked up only three assists and that is simply not good enough for a top-six forward on a Canucks team that is full of depth when healthy. Demitra was rushed back into the lineup Thursday night following an injury to Daniel Sedin and had two assists in 15:28 of ice time. Mikael Samuelsson, recovering from a shoulder injury, and Steve Bernier, recovering from sports hernia surgery, were both on the California road trip practicing with the team. According to Sportsnet's Dan Murphy, both Samuelsson and Bernier are expected to be back Tuesday or Thursday next week.

With Grabner underperforming, Samuelsson is the team's leading goal scorer, so you figure he will be in the team's top-six and Pavol Demitra with his personal issues finally resolved, you figure he will be in the top-six as well after leading the Olympic tournament in scoring. Then the Mason Raymond, Kyle Wellwood, and Steve Bernier line was dominant last season and in the playoffs, so they could be reunited as the third line.

You could insert him onto the third line over Canuck land's favourite whipping boy Steve Bernier, but his ice time will be reduced even more as he has averaged only about 11 minutes playing on the second line. Grabner is a one-dimensional offensive player that cannot contribute defensively or play on the penalty kill, so what he gets five on five is what he will get all night; Grabner will not be getting power play time. Even with Demitra, Samuelsson, and Bernier out, it took injuries to Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows before he even got a sniff on the power play. You have to ask yourself, why even bother putting like him on the third line with that kind of ice time, when you can have a more complete player there and Grabner can have all the ice time he wants in the minors?

Grabner has a tremendous skill set, but he has not put up the points expected for a player of his calibre and he is too much of a wildcard to keep on the team. You know Steve Bernier will consistently go to the net, bring a net and physical presence. You know that Mikael Samuelsson will always shoot the puck and is a versatile player. You know Pavol Demitra will bring veteran savvy and versatility.

Come playoff time, you need every player to be at the top of the game and playing a specific role to perfection, it is no place or time for hiccups. That being said, we cannot afford Grabner to go into one of his often overlooked scoring slumps in Canuck land.

<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/images/upload/2008/04/Michael_Grabner_350x250.jpg" class="imageFloatRightFramed">According to Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press, when re-assigned to the Moose on December 19, Grabner had three goals in four games, followed by no goals in fourteen games, then seven goals in seven games, no goals in seven, and finally one goal game before being called up.

"I don't think he was playing his best hockey for us but it's an opportunity for him to go up and gain some confidence," Moose coach Scott Arniel said at the time. "It's an opportunity for him to go back up and play like he did when he was there the first time. He did lots of good things when he was there."

Simply put, Grabner was not a player deserving of a call-up, he only got the call because of what he did in November. He has not looked like a confident player nor has looked like the Grabner of November.

Grabner can do great things, but this is a performance driven business and he has not performed statistically like a top-six forward or has he had a great game by any stretch of the imagination to warrant a spot on this team. Potential does not win playoff series.

I am afraid that unless Grabner scores hat tricks in the next two games, his time in Vancouver this year is done unless more injuries arise.

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I'd like to see your opinion on whether he should spend another year in the minors, spend a year on the bottom six, or try to push him into a top six spot.

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I notice this is your 2nd blog on Grabner and it is basically the same read as the last one. You do understand that he has less then 20 games of Nhl expperience right??

I never understand fans like you. You guys believe that every draft pick will be the next Crosby.

Horrible blog, I'm sorry I took the time to read it.

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I notice this is your 2nd blog on Grabner and it is basically the same read as the last one. You do understand that he has less then 20 games of Nhl expperience right??

I never understand fans like you. You guys believe that every draft pick will be the next Crosby.

Horrible blog, I'm sorry I took the time to read it.

The first one I wrote about Grabner was about the possibility of Grabner being traded.

Regardless of how many games experience Grabner has, he has not earned the right to be in the top-six over Pavol Demitra and Mikael Samuelsson.

I didn't even critique Grabner's play, I simply stated the facts about his play. So I don't know how you are getting the impression that I expect him to be the next Crosby.

Horrible, because I speak the truth about Grabner that he will be back down in the minors.

I don't know how anybody could say Grabner has earned a spot, most of you have a spot on him based on what he can do, not what he has done.

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I'd like to see your opinion on whether he should spend another year in the minors, spend a year on the bottom six, or try to push him into a top six spot.

Briefly...

Grabner is turning 23 on October 5 at which point he will become waiver eligible.

The NHL schedule hasn't been released yet, so we don't know when training camp will end and when the regular season will start. If training camp doesn't end until after October 5, unless he completely sucks in training camp and gets cut early, he's pretty much will be here for the rest of the year because they Canucks won't waive him to get him down to the minors.

So next year, he probably will not spend another year in the minors, will try to push for a top six spot, if he can't get a top-six spot, he will spent a year in the bottom six.

I would say he's guaranteed a job unless he completely blows it, because of his waiver status.

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did you see that shot opmac??

It was a great shot by Grabner and I was celebrating when he scored, but that doesn't change my opinion that he's going to be back in the minors because he hasn't earned a top-six spot. Would be a bandwagonner if I did.

Oh wow, one goal in eight games. He definitely earned a spot in the top-six over Demitra and Samuelsson.

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It was a great shot by Grabner and I was celebrating when he scored, but that doesn't change my opinion that he's going to be back in the minors because he hasn't earned a top-six spot. Would be a bandwagonner if I did.

Oh wow, one goal in eight games. He definitely earned a spot in the top-six over Demitra and Samuelsson.

This night just keeps getting better.

BTW, I think you would make a better bandwagoner then a hockey blogger. Just my opinion.

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This night just keeps getting better.

BTW, I think you would make a better bandwagoner then a hockey blogger. Just my opinion.

Hahaha, pretty nice though how I write this blog before the game and making the suggestion that Grabner needs to score hat tricks in the remaining games to earn a spot and he does it.:lol:

Why is that?

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Hahaha, pretty nice though how I write this blog before the game and making the suggestion that Grabner needs to score hat tricks in the remaining games to earn a spot and he does it.laugh.gif

Why is that?

Ok well I will be honest for a minute here, there is no question about his talent he just needs time to translate that talent you need to be patient my friend infact less then 20 games is hardly patient. Thats why I say the things I do regarding cdcer's and prospects you guys never seem to understand they won't be instant stars.

what are we at game 18 and he has 5 goals if you put that on a 82 game pace he would be a 20 plus goal scorer, you don't think a guy like that not to mention his speed should stay in the line-up for the post season.

This game is a loss without him tonight.towel.gif cheers.

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Ok well I will be honest for a minute here, there is no question about his talent he just needs time to translate that talent you need to be patient my friend infact less then 20 games is hardly patient. Thats why I say the things I do regarding cdcer's and prospects you guys never seem to understand they won't be instant stars.

what are we at game 18 and he has 5 goals if you put that on a 82 game pace he would be a 20 plus goal scorer, you don't think a guy like that not to mention his speed should stay in the line-up for the post season.

This game is a loss without him tonight.towel.gif cheers.

But with the depth the Canucks have, they don't need to be patient.

But after a three goal outburst tonight, it does complicate things.

Hat trick Sunday night too? :lol:

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But with the depth the Canucks have, they don't need to be patient.

But after a three goal outburst tonight, it does complicate things.

Hat trick Sunday night too? :lol:

No hat-trick on Sunday, but he doesn't need a hat-trick anymore. In fact, he won't have to score for a while, since he's already convinced the fans who believe in him. And today, he's made a believer out of a handful of people (including me). Demitra was playing steady today, and Grabner's goals displayed his ability to score with different players. I think a third line role seems right for him, with him being the first replacement for any struggling top-six guy.

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Actually the game is a loss without Several players contributions.. not just Mr Grabner.

He got a nice shot off on a 2 on 1 for the first, found an open seam and exploited a lane on his second and got a deflection tip for his third. however all that said If Hansen doesn't score it could have been a 4-3 loss in regulation. Koivu and Selanne. scored 2 each.

Wellwood and Demitra dumped in goals in the shootout and Raycroft had 2 big stops to solidify 2 points.

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11 points in 17 games in his rookie year. Not bad at all. People need to give Grabner time to develop and adjust.

I agree with you that Samuelsson and Demitra should be on the team over Grabner, but that doesn't mean it's the "end of the line" for Grabner. Far from it.

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No hat-trick on Sunday, but he doesn't need a hat-trick anymore. In fact, he won't have to score for a while, since he's already convinced the fans who believe in him. And today, he's made a believer out of a handful of people (including me). Demitra was playing steady today, and Grabner's goals displayed his ability to score with different players. I think a third line role seems right for him, with him being the first replacement for any struggling top-six guy.

I am 90% a believer, but there's 10% of me that is a non-believer because of how streaky he is.

The problem with a third line role is that he has been getting 11 minutes a night, his ice time will probably go down to under 10 minutes a night. Kyle Wellwood had 7:48 of ice-time last night and only went over 10 minutes because of his time on the second power play unit. Hansen had 9:36 of five-on-five ice time and went over 10 minutes because he was on the penalty kill. Same goes for Mason Raymond, he was barely over 10 minutes at 10:38 in five-on-five ice time, and because of the penalty kill he got 15:53 of total ice-time.

At which point, I wonder what will he be able to do with 8-10 minutes a night with no power play time. Wouldn't he be better off playing in the minors where he can play 20 minutes a night in an offensive and defensive role?

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This blog is heavily biased against Grabner.

This blog recycles the same crap over and over to counter the praising of Grabner.

It's really up to Grabner to prove these bloggers wrong. Opmac, I know why you're making YET ANOTHER Blog about Grabner; if you don't continue your position, you're going to look stupid changing positions. You'd be seen as a bandwagoner.

So here's a choice: would you rather be right, or would y

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You just do not know your limitations as a hockey player critic do you?

You are simply too impatient to let yourself pause for a few games to watch and learn. Young players are not brand new cars and trucks. When you first get them, they are not instant and high performance by any stretch of the imagination.

Too many believe that once a young player is called to the NHL, he must perform at his maximum potential and meet the high expectations and standards of impatient fans and, if he does not attain those expectations at the snap of a finger, he is branded with the label of "dud" or "plug" as some of your less informative collegues might call or describe them.

It is obvious you possess limited knowledge of the game and young player development or, you have simply not grasped the realisms of the adjustments that all young players need to make during their transition from the minors to the NHL.

Try doing different jobs tasks you are not familiar with at your own personal job and experience how well and how long it takes you to familiarize yourself with each of the job processes you are trying to learn to get to optimum job performance. Then mix in the fact that others are competing against you and they are trying to prevent you from doing your job, something similiar to a more experienced and talented hockey player competing against a young rookie player. I doubt you would feel confident or become instantly successful so why do you feel it must be different with young hockey players making the difficult transition from the minors to the NHL. The learning experience takes time and it is a burden they all must bare.

I believe the problem of impatience and intolerance to be yours. In my opinion it is certainly not the problem of all those young players who are all trying to develop into a quality NHL asset. Like Grabner, Raymond, Hansen, Shirokov, Hodgson, Schroeder, Rodin, the list goes on; they simply need time to learn to make the adjustment into the big league and for some it takes longer than others.

Maybe you should take the time to learn and understand the development process before you commit yourself to critiquing the playing abilities of young hockey players in a blog.

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You just do not know your limitations as a hockey player critic do you?

You are simply too impatient to let yourself pause for a few games to watch and learn. Young players are not brand new cars and trucks. When you first get them, they are not instant and high performance by any stretch of the imagination.

Too many believe that once a young player is called to the NHL, he must perform at his maximum potential and meet the high expectations and standards of impatient fans and, if he does not attain those expectations at the snap of a finger, he is branded with the label of "dud" or "plug" as some of your less informative collegues might call or describe them.

It is obvious you possess limited knowledge of the game and young player development or, you have simply not grasped the realisms of the adjustments that all young players need to make during their transition from the minors to the NHL.

Try doing different jobs tasks you are not familiar with at your own personal job and experience how well and how long it takes you to familiarize yourself with each of the job processes you are trying to learn to get to optimum job performance. Then mix in the fact that others are competing against you and they are trying to prevent you from doing your job, something similiar to a more experienced and talented hockey player competing against a young rookie player. I doubt you would feel confident or become instantly successful so why do you feel it must be different with young hockey players making the difficult transition from the minors to the NHL. The learning experience takes time and it is a burden they all must bare.

I believe the problem of impatience and intolerance to be yours. In my opinion it is certainly not the problem of all those young players who are all trying to develop into a quality NHL asset. Like Grabner, Raymond, Hansen, Shirokov, Hodgson, Schroeder, Rodin, the list goes on; they simply need time to learn to make the adjustment into the big league and for some it takes longer than others.

Maybe you should take the time to learn and understand the development process before you commit yourself to critiquing the playing abilities of young hockey players in a blog.

I am not even critiquing Grabner's play, I am presenting the circumstances that Grabner is and was facing prior to the Anaheim game.

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This blog is heavily biased against Grabner.

This blog recycles the same crap over and over to counter the praising of Grabner.

It's really up to Grabner to prove these bloggers wrong. Opmac, I know why you're making YET ANOTHER Blog about Grabner; if you don't continue your position, you're going to look stupid changing positions. You'd be seen as a bandwagoner.

So here's a choice: would you rather be right, or would y

It is bias against Grabner because everything points towards that direction. It isn't even about Grabner's play. It's about the circumstances that Grabner is in.

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