Vancouver’s UFA’s in 2013 – Part 5
Continuing to look at the Canucks UFA’s in 2013 today I take a look at the last free agent worthy of mention: Maso…. Oh, forget it, who the hell am I kidding?
I don’t want to write about Mason Raymond ever again.
Today on the future forecast is Maxim Lapierre.
Name: Maxim Lapierre
Contract Expires: July 1st, 2013
Current Cap Hit: $1,000,000
If there was a player who ever fit into the category of “Hate playing against him, would love to play with him” it might be Max Lapierre.
Acquired at the trade deadline in 2011, Lapierre was brought in to stabilize Vancouver’s 4th line, win some face offs and kill some penalties.
However when a freak injury to Manny Malhotra occurred in March 10 games before the regular season ended, Vancouver was put in an uncomfortable position.
Replacing one of the best 3rd line centers in the league isn’t an easy task, but after a few interesting 3rd line experiments, Lapierre claimed his spot centering Raffi Torres and Jannik Hansen for the tail end of the season and the entire playoffs.
In order to stay in the line up, Lapierre had to change his game. That meant playing between the whistles. No more stupid penalties, cleaning up his act and being a part of a winning team with a positive attitude.
After all, this was his second trade in one season, who knows what would happen if things didn’t work out in Vancouver?
New Man…sort of
Luckily for Max, things did work out.
He was able to adjust his game; he even led the team in hits last season with 244.
He was fighting, defending teammates and more importantly he was answering the bell and holding himself accountable for his actions. On top of being the super pest, he was able to contribute some timely goals for the team.
2013 Free Agency
I’m not sure what 2013 holds from Lapierre. He’s a 4th line center who isn’t terrible on face-offs, he kills penalties, makes big hits and adds grit to the team and he’s hard working.
Having said all that, the reality is that he’s a 4th line center. If you want to follow the trend of cup winning teams then it might make sense to keep Lapierre, but not if the cost is too much more than he’s currently making.
Life without Max Lapierre
Although he doesn’t make a lot of money, I’m sure Lapierre doesn’t want to stay a 4th line center for the rest of his career.
Given his performance in the 2011 playoffs as a 3rd line center, I’m sure there’s a team out there willing to pay him a little more than the Canucks are to move up on the depth chart.
Should that happen, I don’t think the Canucks are going to go out of their way to retain the services of Lapierre.