canucks

Does The Canucks Mason Raymond Still Fit in Vancouver?

Canucks Lineup Decisions

With the dawn of the so-called American Express Line, the Vancouver Canucks have set sail on an effort to improve their offensive line behind the Sedins and Burrows.

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This was once the secondary scoring group domain of Mason Raymond, and his blazing speed. However, a terrifying spinal injury late in the playoffs has rendered Raymond absent for the long term, and in a thought provoking move, Mike Gillis moved decisively to pinch David Booth from the Florida Panthers.

The trade was intended to bring more strength, as well as more scoring to that second line.

On first impression, Booth has shown early promise in his chemistry with Ryan Kesler and Higgins, and as a result the implications for Raymond do not portend well.

Mason Raymond’s Return

Raymond signed a contract renewal just over a year ago, following a 25 goal season that made the Canucks management salivate at the possibility of further developing a speedy winger with a scoring touch. But as it turns out, Raymond was unable to continue his improvement on that significant step forward.

Mason Raymond

Does Mason Raymond Still Fit in Vancouver?

In the regular season last year, Raymond was still able to find the space effectively to get involved in the offence, with some slight decline in his statistics.

But the playoffs were a much tougher proposition for the slight winger.

Though he was able to maintain his good form as a penalty killer, his five on five playing form suffered greatly.

In the offensive zone Raymond’s play was restricted to either quick passes to his linemates, or he would try to chip the puck up the side boards and race on to it.

However, the tighter checking in the post-season saw defencemen rubbing him out as tried to skate on the outside. Raymond was unable to cope well with this more physical play.

When he finally does make it back, the question will be where does he play, or will he be able to stay with the team at all? Assuming the Canucks recover from their shaky October start (which may extend longer based on current form), the lines may be settled to the point that Raymond becomes surplus to needs.

With Booth, as long as his goal scoring touch returns, his similar speed and extra dimension of strength make him a more valuable asset than Raymond on the second line.

The third line is primarily checking, and appears to be set with Hansen, Malhotra and Hodgson, as the creative fulcrum when possible. The Canucks fourth line is of a more physical dimension and not suited to Raymond’s abilities.

If he makes it back this year then, through no fault of his own, Mason Raymond may continue to sit out this season.      

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About C-Mac

Born in Northern Ireland. Lived in Japan. Resides in BC. Followed the Canucks through thick and thin his entire life, while also trying to grow his Dave Babych moustache. He's a Seahawks 12th man, and since he's played the 'Beautiful Game' for 30+ years he's a Vancouver Whitecaps diehard as well. Connect with C-Mac today!
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  • http://twitter.com/melissawiebe Melissa Wiebe

    If Raymond is able to come back to the line up, he should still have role in the Canucks lineup.  The question would be, where do you put him? I suppose it depends on who is injured and performing at the time when Mason comes back.   It could be a situation like they had when Sami was able to come back into the lineup and there were questions in regards to the defense and who would be in and out.  It just so happened that somebody got injured around the time that Sami came back.  Time will only tell.

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