The Canucks assistant GM Lorne Henning finally got what he wanted – A player to fill the agitator/pest role left vacant by Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler.
Steve Pinizzoto, formerly a Washington Capital, signed a contract with the Vancouver Canucks, with seven other teams in the bidding. The 6-foot-1, 195 lbs right winger penned a 1 year deal that pays him $600,000 at the NHL level, and $275,000 in the minors. “I’m not going to be a team’s heavy-weight – that’s not what I do,” said Pinizzotto. “But I definitely like to help the boys out.”
Boston proved in the Finals that a pesky, in-your-face player can be successful. The Sedins in particular had a difficult time against rookie Brad Marchand, who some have compared Pinizzotto’s game with. “I played against [Marchand] in the American League. He’s not a fun guy to play against, but you can ask anybody in that league and they’ll probably say the same thing about me… We have very similar styles but I think I can be a lot more physical than him.”
Assistant GM Lorne Henning had his eye fixed on Pinizzotto for two or three years. “He’s a great skater, takes the body, goes to the net hard, great hands,” Henning observed. “He’s been one of those guys who’s been knocking at the door and he’s going to get a chance with us.”
He certainly has a knack for saying the things that could endear him to Canucks fans. “I watched Vancouver in the playoffs and feel my style of play is kind of what they need,” said the Missisauga, Ont., product. He garnered 178 PIMs in 68 games with Hershey (Washington’s AHL affiliate) last season, adding 17 goals and 42 points.