Krog could help Canucks

KEN WIEBE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

The American Hockey League's reigning Most Valuable Player and playoff MVP has signed with the Vancouver Canucks.

So should Manitoba Moose fans be licking their lips in anticipation of Jason Krog leading them to the promised land?

Not so fast or at least, not quite yet.

The fact the Canucks were able to lure Krog, who also led the Chicago Wolves to the Calder Cup this past spring, back to North America after the skilled centre had signed a lucrative deal to play in Russia (rumoured to be worth seven figures) is definitely noteworthy.

With a one-year, one-way deal supposedly worth somewhere in the neighbourhood of $750,000 in his back pocket, we expect Krog will be given every opportunity to make the Canucks -- who are always on the lookout for offensive contributors in the quest to find secondary scoring.

To that end, Krog's talents are undeniable.

Just last season, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound speedster from Fernie, B.C., had 39 goals and 112 points to win the AHL scoring derby while playing in all 80 game and added another 10 goals and 36 points in 24 post-season contests.

Though he's known as more of a set-up man, Krog can obviously pull the trigger as well.

The 32-year-old has 21 goals and 58 points in 198 NHL games with the New York Islanders, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers and New York Rangers.

But what will it take for Krog to make the Canucks?

An impressive training camp to be sure and an injury or trade might help his cause.

Vancouver already has Henrik Sedin, Pavol Demitra, Ryan Kesler, Kyle Wellwood and Ryan Johnson slotted in at centre, with Rick Rypien (who suffered a knee injury in the final game of the Calder Cup playoffs with the Moose) another candidate who figures to battle for a job.

It's possible Krog could be used on the wing as well, though it's not his natural position.

If -- and it's nothing more than a big if at this stage of the game -- Krog doesn't make the Canucks and slips through waivers (it's hard to believe the Atlanta Thrashers wouldn't take another flyer on a guy who did so much in the minors for new head coach John Anderson), he would be assigned to the Moose.

As hard as it might be for Krog to swallow, his presence in a Moose uniform would immediately make them a bona fide Calder Cup contender.

Krog would fit easily into the first-line centre spot vacated by Brad Moran, who signed in Sweden, and would add an explosive dimension to the hockey club.

Krog is incredibly creative and is a joy to watch on the power play.

Most importantly, Krog is a winner and when you're a franchise looking to capture your first championship, he would be a perfect piece to build around.

Before Moose fans begin planning the parade route, it's important to understand there's no guarantee Krog ever plays a game in antlers.

But if he does, prepare to be impressed by the way he can take over a game.


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