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Santorelli or Schroeder?


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With all due respect to Mike Santorelli, it was never supposed to happen like this.

He was never supposed to be as good as he’s been so far.

Against all odds, Santorelli has become one of the NHL’s best bargain deals.

After signing with the Canucks this past summer to a $525,000 contract, the native of Burnaby has clearly earned all of the praises that his performance has gathered.

But it wasn’t supposed to be his success story this year.

That should belong to Jordan Schroeder.

After a solid 31-game stint last year with the Canucks, Schroeder was expected to be the spark plug forward that Tortorella could utilize up and down his lineup.

Instead, another key injury has Schroeder hopelessly watching from the press box.

But even then, he was doing it right. He suffered his current fractured ankle under the Torterella-mandated shot-blocking system.

Quite literally a tough break.

It’s not a bad problem for the Canucks to have, though. The last thing they needed was for Santorelli to play like he did in Winnipeg last season. But it seems his days of uninspired play are over, at least for now.

Still, it can’t feel good for Schroeder to watch a relative new-comer essentially replace his role on the team. And while Jordan is on Injured Reserve, that’s the way it’ll be.

But what happens when he returns? What does the team do? Who replaces who?

Based on numbers alone this season, it’s hard to argue against Santorelli.

With little fanfare this summer, he’s done everything the team has asked of him and then much more. Certainly nobody was expecting him to place fourth in team scoring a quarter into the season.

Of course, in reality that likely won’t remain for much longer.

But even with Santorelli playing on the third line, how or where do you pencil in Schroeder? Both players are smallish in terms of NHL size but have the hands, speed and offensive creativity to be placed essentially anywhere.

The problem is, there aren’t many openings in the top or bottom six for this team.

As of November 17th, the Sedins are playing with Burrows, Kesler is centering Higgins and Hansen, Santorelli plays between Booth and Kassian and Welsh has the fourth line job alongside Sestito and Dalpe.

Is it even worth it to put either of Schroeder or Santorelli on the fourth line? How does that make sense?

These guys aren’t fourth line players. They aren’t very big or physical and they won’t win many puck battles along the boards. Their styles are too similar; draw opposition defenders with their puck skills and open up space for their linemates. That’s not a fourth line job.

But if you were to put both of them on the third line, that means placing Booth or Kassian elsewhere. And yes, you could argue Booth hasn’t played well enough to even be in the lineup but that’s an expensive $4.2 million sitting on the sidelines if you aren’t at least trying.

Demoting either of them to the minors won’t work either; they’d have to pass through waivers and they wouldn’t last in that market for half a day without being snatched. We all know what happened with the Volpatti situation.

So it seems if one is in, the other is out. For team management, Schroeder’s injury is a small blessing in disguise. It’s allowing them to put this dilemma on the shelf for now while they evaluate the possibilities.

If you were to trade either of them today, you’d likely get more demand for Schroeder. He’s younger, has arguably a higher upside and he’s due to make an impact on an NHL roster somewhere. Even if it means leaving Vancouver.

But then that’d be a reversal of what Mike Gillis promised last year after the Canucks were swept out of the playoffs; a promise to give the youngsters a full opportunity. To give them a chance.

And hasn’t Schroeder earned at least that much?

So far this season, he’s only managed 3 games before his untimely (or is it?) injury. Not really much of an audition.

You look through the 2009 draft class and you can see a lot of good players with a lot of good numbers.

Marcus Johansson, Ryan O’Reilly, Kyle Clifford, Cody Eakin, Marcus Foligno.

All of those players were drafted after Schroeder that year and are full-time NHLers. Hell, one of them is already a Stanley Cup champion.

That’s not suggesting that Schroeder is the answer to all of Vancouver’s problems but as impressive as Santorelli has been so far, how much better would a healthy Schroeder have been?

The future ahead for both players are uncertain ones.

One is reviving his career after a couple of forgettable seasons, and the other is simply trying to prove himself as a capable NHLer.

What would you do?

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Santorelli is playing better right now, is cheaper and yet somehow is likely to bring less return in a trade.

I would keep Santorelli over Schroeder if it came down to it. Partially for the recent success but mostly because I do not believe Schroeder can be a 2nd liner in this league.

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Santorelli is playing better right now, is cheaper and yet somehow is likely to bring less return in a trade.

I would keep Santorelli over Schroeder if it came down to it. Partially for the recent success but mostly because I do not believe Schroeder can be a 2nd liner in this league.

Playing better only because the other guy isn't playing at all.

He's cheaper but older and there's no promise he'd be as successful on a different team. It didn't work in Winnipeg and it trailed off big time in Florida.

Just consider how cheap he was this year; there was a reason he came to Vancouver.

And hey, all the credit to him but I just don't think a lot of GMs are licking their chops over the possibility of acquiring Santorelli. At least Schroeder has the age factor going for him.

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You can say that about every single draft, for more than our teams, player development is very complicated and has lots of variables.

Schroeder was a solid pick at the time, we even Anton Rodin penciled in above two other solid swedish prospects : Silfverberg and Johansson.

If anything Detroit messed up in 2009, took Landon Ferraro over O'Reily and Silfverberg.

I was actually upset in the second round 2009 when we took Rodin over Tatar and Pirri wanted either of them.

And it is Santorelli's spot on the team now, hes proven he belongs. Schroeder is needed right now in Utica when he recovers that is where he will go. He will remain there until an injury or a trade

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Another novel with little substance.

SantorellI or Schroeder.

Obviously it is Santorelli right now. He's producing.

But Schroeder has less value than Booth. So he's going nowhere until he gets his numbers up.

So as it stands. Both of them are on the team

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Another novel with little substance.

SantorellI or Schroeder.

Obviously it is Santorelli right now. He's producing.

But Schroeder has less value than Booth. So he's going nowhere until he gets his numbers up.

So as it stands. Both of them are on the team

He was producing, isn't much these days.

The team is currently mired in a 4-game losing streak and hasn't been able to score more than a goal per game.

Doing better than Kassian or Booth, I'll give you that.

And you don't need to read anything I write.

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Two different type of players. Schroeder is a pure playmaker. Santorelli is more of a two way forward.

I think this team needs Schroeder more, given the offensive drought. But the real question is, is he ready for the NHL given his size, and is he fast enough.

Everyone wants a Marty St.Louis, but I don't Schroeder is capable of producing that for us now.

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Two different type of players. Schroeder is a pure playmaker. Santorelli is more of a two way forward.

I think this team needs Schroeder more, given the offensive drought. But the real question is, is he ready for the NHL given his size, and is he fast enough.

Everyone wants a Marty St.Louis, but I don't Schroeder is capable of producing that for us now.

You don't really know until you try.

Hardly anyone even knew who Santorelli was before this year and now after 22 games, he's become an instant fan favorite.

I'm just trying to encourage an objective viewpoint.

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I'd put both these guys with Kesler actually. It would make for a nice speedy skilled line where kesler gets fed the puck from both wings. Bump Higgins and Hansen back down to the third line where they belong and keep Welsh on the 4th and Richardson on the 3rd. They both have done well and deserve to stay in their positions. Kassian and Archi had chemistry so it would be a good idea to recall Archie and reunite them. Here's what my lineup would look like:

Sedin-Sedin-Burrows

Santo-Kesler-Schroeder

Higgins-Richardson-Hansen

Archibald-Welsh-Kassian

Sestito, Weise

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