Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 09/12/07 at 05:12 PM ET
Ansar Khan(!) was handing out balloons as the Wings boarded busses for the trip to TC today. He found a few minutes to throw a few questions at his primary antagonist, Mike Babcock. One subject was potential diamond in the rough Brent Sopel.
On veteran defenseman Brent Sopel, in camp on a tryout: “I think he has a chance to be a real good fit for us. He can shoot the puck, he can skate with the puck. He’s got to take (away) some of the erratic play he’s had. (Wings assistant coach) Todd McClellan coached him juniors, I’ve known him since he was a kid, we have a real good feel for him and think he’s a top-four NHL defenseman. Now, just because we think it doesn’t mean anything, he’s got to relax and let his skill come to the forefront and show us what he brings (though the preseason).’‘
Here’s what the Empire’s resident Canuck expert (alanaH) had to say when I asked her about Sopel earlier this week:
Canucks let him go because the year his contract came up for negotiation (2 years ago? i think) he had grossly increased his value - about double of what it was. So LA gave him the big contract. But then LA sucked ass, so they gave him up at the trade deadline and Vancouver thought they could use him going into the playoffs, since skaters were going down like flies, and D was a concern.
However, Sopel’s contract was almost never a serious consideration to get picked up beyond this past season. He didn’t have a good playoffs, but he’s worth too much and Vancouver has plenty of D.
My opinion: I like him a ton, but lots of Canucks fans would argue with me about him. He’s fairly offensive in style, so he would occasionally give up some dumbass plays. But I like players that take chances, so it never bothered me really.
I’m not sure she was sober when she replied. I’ll ask again in a few days.
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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org