Vancouver Canucks Quarter Mark Reviews: Sami Salo
The Vancouver Canucks’ hockey season is about a quarter of the way through and that means it is the perfect time to do player reviews. It has often been said that the twenty game mark is when General Managers and coaches begin looking at the roster for possible moves and improvements. For bloggers, like myself, it is no different. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be working my way through the Canucks roster giving a review for each player. Next up is Sami Salo.
In a few years, when we all take a look back at this magical era, Sami Salo will stand out as a really underrated player for this hockey club. Since joining the Canucks, he has been the definition of stable play and calmness. Even with his injury history, Salo managed to establish himself as one of the key members on this team. At the end of last season, fans weren’t sure whether or not Salo, a pending free agent, would hang up his skates or try to come back. Well, those questions have been answered.
Sami Salo re-signed with the Canucks this past summer for one year at two million dollars. We’ll get back to those numbers in a minute when comparing Salo to other D-men in the league. Jumping forward to the present, fans have no doubt seen a great version of Sami Salo this season. Would it be wrong to call him Salo V2.0? The 2.0 indicating that he has stayed healthy for more than two weeks….kidding.
If you’ve watched the Canucks this season, you know that it’s pretty easy to argue that Salo has been the Canucks’ best D-man this year. His play has been so strong and consistent that it most definitely warrants more praise. Of course, we can’t expect Salo to get half the praise he deserves as it has been like this for the better part of 10 years.
Over the past few seasons, fans have seen Salo’s offensive role on this team diminish. It wouldn’t have been wrong to think that it was a good idea to limit his offensive ice time as Christian Ehrhoff had emerged as a great point producer and Salo was getting up there in age. Well, this season things changed. Salo was once again thrust into the offensive spotlight and he has performed admirably.
Through 20 games played, Salo has 5 goals and 12 points and a +6 rating (which stands out on a blue line largely filled with minuses). Let’s take a second to compare this to the aforementioned Ehrhoff and some other top D-men in the league. Ehrhoff, with 2 goals and 13 points in 23 games, is making $8million more than Salo this season. Now, as I’m not a capologist, it would be unfair for me to speak on the subject, but this just seems like highway robbery for the Canucks. To go even further, Salo is outscoring guys like Streit, Subban, Boyle and many more big names.
Not only did the Canucks sign an offensive and defensive powerhouse to a really affordable contract, they signed a leader. It’s pretty evident that Salo has had a great impact on the development of Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa and many more Canuck blue liners. How could Mike Gillis possibly even think about letting that go. Short answer: he couldn’t.
Here’s hoping that Salo continues his strong play this season. Wouldn’t it be nice to see number 6 go out in style with a Stanley Cup and retire as a Canuck?
Thanks for reading.
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