Luuuuuc!

I think the fans in Vancouver love chanting Luc’s name as it reminds them of yelling Lou for 25 years at BC Lions games.

But the fans aren’t going to get a say on his future with the club.  And unfortunately for the Canucks, they are up against the wall on a decision with him.

As has been well publicized already, if Luc Bourdon plays in one more game, the first year of his contract kicks in.  As a 19 year old, their only alternative is to send him down to the QMJHL to play out his final junior season.  However, if he gets sent down, he will no longer be available to the team as a call-up in the event of any future trades or injury.

Remember last year?  The defense was weak, and Nonis had to go out and give up plenty of assets to shore it up at the trade deadline.  They did not have the ability to call him up.

In some ways, the depth on this team is even less than it was last year.

So what’s the impact of keeping Luc Bourdon here?  Well, you lose one year of his entry level deal, and his entire salary of $850,000 counts against their salary cap.

This does not necesarily mean the team loses a year towards his free agency though.  In order for this year to count towards a year of free agency eligibility, he must play in at least 40 games. 

So, here’s what the team really needs to do.

Keep Bourdon up with the big club.  Use him when injuries occur, and occasionally insert him into the lineup to ensure he gets some ice time semi-regularly. 

But the trick is to only play him for 39 games.  In fairness to Luc, if you’re going to do this, you should at least tell him up front that’s what’s going to happen so that he doesn’t wonder all year why he’s only getting into every 2nd or 3rd game.

This will allow him to slowly learn his trade in the big league which is something the team is already intent on doing.  It also maintains the teams depth at defense, but gives them the ability to use him should some bigger injuries or trades occur.  They may end up using up this year towards free agency, but at least they’ll have that option if they keep him here now.

The Chief Canuck

Update 08/11/06 9:54pm
Luc Bourdon has been sent back to the QMJHL.  That is a mistake for the Canucks that they’ll regret later this year.  Or perhaps Nonis will after his contract is not renewed.  Then again, there may be something going on with the change in ownership today as well.  Perhaps Nonis has been given some assurances already.

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