Vancouver Canucks Year in Review: Grading 2015 X-Factors

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Oct 29, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Vancouver Canucks right wing Radim Vrbata (17) skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Canucks 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

#5 Radim Vrbata (Grade: B-)

When the season started, Radim Vrbata’s future was up in the air, unlikely to stick with the Canucks unless he has an offensive breakout that does not result in Vancouver making the playoffs. Well, I was half right. Montreal, who is cooling down fast after a great start to the season due to a lack of scoring, is reportedly scouting Vrbata (Ek, December 27th), and besides the fact that Vrbata likes playing with Jared McCann, there really isn’t anything connecting Vrbata to the Canucks.

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However, as much as I love hating Vrbata’s lack of speed, he is having a decent season. His 18 points in 36 games might not be so bad, especially when he is having a career year in possession metrics — 53.6 percent Fenwick For is a career best, and his impact on the team is evident with an 8.7 Fenwick-For relative percentage.

The only knock is his minus-14, but for contenders who want to add scoring, who cares about a minus-14? Right Ovi?

Verdict on Vrbata: A good offensive season after a sputtering start is what I actually wanted from Vrbata. Up your trade value, mate! There is nothing on Vancouver’s trade market, but nobody should be surprised should Vrbata get shipped out to a contender like the Canadiens. The Florida Panthers also expressed interest in a scorer (NBC Sports, December 11th). His question remains unanswered.

Next: Brandon Sutter