Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Markus Naslund speaks: future uncertain

Markus Naslund has remained quiet for quite some time since the regular season ended. Speculation of what he wants to do, where he wants to play has slowly escalated and was jump-started when he sold his Vancouver home last week.
Today, the Vancouver Province has published an article on Naslund's plans and found a Naslund interview with a Swedish newspaper. Here are Naslund's quotes:

"It was not a hard decision (to play another season) to make with a little distance to everything. I feel very motivated to continue playing in NHL."
When asked if he'd return to Sweden to play for Modo Naslund said:
"No. I want to continue playing 'in the NHL' but for which club is far from done."

When asked what he was looking for as far as dollars or where he ends up Naslund said:
"Money is not most important to me, I prioritize the social part, what type of hockey the team plays and which type of players they have. To play for another club in the same division would feel weird. But we will have to wait and see what happens. As I said before, most important is the social part and that they play a type of hockey that fits me."

When asked why he sold his Vancouver home, the answer could only be obvious:
"We sold it since I was unsure of the future. The door to Vancouver is not closed, but it is far from sure that I will end up there."
So there you have it. The rumors of rift between Alain Vigneault and Naslund are mostly true. Naslund did not like Viggy's style. Well, I don't like Naslund's style. At least Vigneault and his staff made Naslund a better 2-way player. But it seems Naslund wants the run-and-gun style. Maybe he should play in Edmonton.
In all seriousness, Naslund is going to quietly walk away from Vancouver it seems, leaving a legacy of both brilliance and scrutiny. Since his miracle seasons from 2001-02 and 2002-03, where he scored a combined 88 goals and 194 points in 163 regular season games, Naslund has been on the decline. Several things attributed to that: Bertuzzi left, Naslund had a hard time consistently gelling with new lines, Viggy's defensive system, and a few injuries here and there. His leadership ability has been in question ever since the decline started. So has his salary.
So, he can pull the "I want to play a better style of hockey" card all he wants to, but hey, last time I checked, the Wings and Penguins were in the Finals and both teams played tight defensively. Suck it up, Nazzy.
How many times did we have to watch Naslund shoot from the same damned spot in the slot over and over again, while there were 2 defenders in his path? How many times did he miss the net? Did you ever just want to punch him in the face during his post game interviews to toughen him up a little? I did.
Bah. I'm tired of talking about him. I'm sure he's a nice guy and all, but it's time for him to go. Let's bring in a guy who has more guts. There, I said it.
I'll save the other Naslund eulogies for post-July 1.

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8 Comments:

At June 18, 2008 at 5:49 PM , Blogger Mike said...

I don't think he wants run and gun, he wants some semblance of offensive cohesion & a coach who doesn't think dumping it in on every single rush and saddling him with Brad F'ing Isbister are the ways to win games.

He's going to end up on some Eastern team, second or third line, with no 'c' on his chest and he'll get more points then Daniel did this year.

And, unless it's Mitchell or Kesler (and even Kes is a stretch) I have no idea who the next captain would or should be.

 
At June 18, 2008 at 5:56 PM , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

Oh, Mitchell all the way. Wait a minute, Swede captains win Cups now. Give it to Ohlund then! :)
Hey, Naslund had his chance playing with the Sedins and blew it, didn't he?

Are you going to miss him?
I think his points total will depend on who he plays with. Put him on a line with Sundin and presto! His numbers will go up!

 
At June 18, 2008 at 7:13 PM , Blogger Mike said...

I think he's more valuable then his points would suggest. And honestly skating with the Sedins isn't a sure fire answer for anything. The only guy who was great with the Sedins was Pyatt and I guess Carter. No one else.

I think we'll miss him more then we realize now. That's why watching him play far better on a third line somewhere will be infuriating.

And...Ohlund would suck as captain. Mitchell is literally the only guy I can think of.

 
At June 19, 2008 at 8:53 AM , Blogger KevinV said...

I'd say that it's a sure thing if a man sells his house that he's leaving. That's a big deal, even among people who move around a lot. It's a psychological "good-bye".

I think the key to understanding the two sides in the inter-Canuck argument about Naslund is de-linking Naslund-as-player and Naslund-as-captain.

Personally, I've always thought he would be a better player if he wasn't the captain. And I've thought he'd be a better leader if he wasn't the captain. He just very painfully obviously isn't the kind of leader on the ice who is the C type (as compared to, say, Morrow or Iginla).

I'm sorry to see him go and wish things had been handled differently, but at this point there really is no way to go but to let him go.

KevinV fka New Sisyphus

 
At June 19, 2008 at 10:33 AM , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

Mike: I don't agree that he is more valuable than his points suggest. $6 million? I'd take him for $3 million. A few of us were joking that he'll reunite with Bertuzzi in Anaheim with Burke being at the helm and all.

KevinK: Sundin apparently sold his house last year and rumors went rampant. Yet he stayed in TO. But yeah, in Naslund's case this is pretty much goodbye.

 
At June 20, 2008 at 6:21 AM , Blogger Mike said...

I agree, six million a player he is not anymore. But if he resigned for cheaper on a retooled team and gave up the C that would be ideal (in my head). A team pathetically short on depth, simply having him there as an option on the top two lines and the PP is value. Giving him decent linemates (something I think any winger needs) gives him value. If the Canucks don't see it, another team will and it'll be their loss (yet again).

An aside: even if Naslund resigned, Gillis still needs a lot of work up front. One or two pieces plus the Sedins doesn't solve anything.

 
At June 20, 2008 at 7:58 AM , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

Oh, I think Gillis is going to go ape shit after July 1. Let's see how much drawing power he has to lure players here.
I won't miss Naslund regardless, Mike. Just not my type of player. Hell, Zetterberg has more grit than Nazzy does, and is a terrific 2-way player.
Everybody that plays for Vigneault has to be a 2-way player or they are gone.
Hey, should we bring back Anson Carter? :)

 
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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.