2011 Cap Hit: $525,000
2012 Status: UFA
The former BU Terrier came into the season with just 12 career NHL games and managed to triple that with a 25-game stint with the big club this summer. There's not really a ton to say about van der Gulik - he averaged just over 8 minutes a game (only Cody McLeod and Even Brophy had less time per game), but did get about a minute per game of PK time. VDG was your basic hard-working, 4th line energy guy. In his limited time here, he had more hits per game than guys like David Jones, Chuck Kobasew and Kevin Porter.
There's one odd fact about van der Gulik. He now has two career NHL goals - one against Cory Schneider and one against Corey Crawford. It's too bad that Corey Hirsch and Corey Schwab aren't playing anymore, as that might be a big boost to his offensive numbers. (Hirsch, by the way, is apparently doing okay: he's the goalie coach in St Louis).
2012 Outlook: David is a free agent and certainly could be back with the Monsters next year with a potential callup to the Avs if needed. But he could just as easily take his veteran minor-league resume to one of the other 29 AHL teams (or perhaps even overseas). To date, he's played 300+ AHL games and less than 40 NHL games. He's a minor league guy, and those guys tend play year-to-year.
DDC's Take: He worked hard, has a great first name and a cool last name; there's really nothing to dislike about him. On the flip side, guys who can give you 10 minutes of work a night on the 4th line aren't exactly difficult to replace.
Cheryl's Take: I'm not going to lie. I love VDG. I think he's the quintessential tweener who can put up numbers in the AHL and fill in on the fourth line when injuries necessitate it. He certainly held his own in his time with the Avs this season, and I think if Kevin Porter wasn't subject to waivers, we would have seen VDG on the roster instead of him. It would have been a good call, in my opinion. VDG works hard night in and night out, he has a team-first mentality and he contributes at both ends of the ice. If Porter isn't signed for next season, VDG might just crack the line up.
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