Hockey analyst and former NHL goaltender Jamie McLennan was pulling no punches with his assessment of Loui Eriksson on Friday.
“[Green] and I don’t really get along,” Eriksson said (translated from Swedish). “It is difficult when I do not get the same confidence that I have received from all the other coaches I had during my career. Of course, it is tough on that front.”
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Despite being the highest-paid player on the Canucks, Eriksson’s personality doesn’t command attention often, so he has escaped some criticism.
But his recent comments put the spotlight on himself, which isn’t a good thing given he’s produced between just 10-11 goals and 24-29 points in each of three seasons in Vancouver.
“I’m hoping that Google Translate has messed this up somehow and he’s saying ‘I need to be better and I’m going to be very focused,'” said McLennan.
“When I heard about that, I was driving to the studio and I almost drove off the road for some reason… I watched every game last season for the Vancouver Canucks – this guy looked like a contest winner some nights! Maybe he’s a lottery winner, I know he’s making $6 million a year.”
McLennan’s an open and honest commentator, but he doesn’t make a habit of eviscerating NHL players. But really, it’s hard to argue with his assessment.
“When you’re scoring 10 and 11 goals in the last three years, and under 30 points, this isn’t on the coach. I feel bad for Travis Green, to be honest, because he had to hide him in the lineup most nights. This guy has to take a good hard look of what he’s capable of doing.
“He’s saying ‘I need more minutes’ well it goes hand-in-hand. How could Travis Green put him on the ice most nights when this guy was wearing his suit underneath his gear cause he didn’t want to break a sweat?”
Just three more years to go, Canucks fans.
“I know he scored 30 goals – that was four years ago. And he’s 33 years old now. He’s not getting faster, his skill-set is what it is. This is a guy that has to change his game and change his dynamic.”
Eriksson is a candidate to be traded, though he would need to waive his no-trade clause in order to facilitate it.
After he is paid his next signing bonus on July 1, Eriksson will have received $27 million of the $36 million he’s owed, which could make him attractive to a low-budget team. Eriksson could help a team get to the cap floor with his $6 million contract, while the team picking up his rights would only have to pay $9 million in real dollars over the span of three years.