Welcome to a new feature here on Canucks Army and all sites on the Nation Network: What Would You Do Wednesday, where we put you, yes YOU, in charge of your own imaginary Vancouver Canucks. We’ll present you with a different scenario each week, and you tell us how you’d solve it in the comments section below. Give props to the answers you do like and trash the ones you don’t. Easy! So let’s get started:
It has been a week since our last WWYDW (obviously it has, Rhys. You moron), and a week since we asked you about what you would do with Bo Horvat. Well, since then, Horvat has played some excellent hockey, tallied 4 points, and guaranteed himself a spot on the Canucks for the rest of this season. Of course, suggesting that Horvat be sent back to the OHL seems silly in retrospect, even though that’s what top commenter BrandonC seemed to suggest just one week ago:
The idea that he has “nothing left to prove in junior” is asinine. 1.3 ppg is nice, but it’s not like he shredded the league. Corey Perry put up 113 points in his last year in the OHL. Brad Richards shredded the Q to the tune of 183 points in his draft+2 year.
And it’s not like the OHL is bereft of NHL capable talent that Bo Horvat wouldn’t be taking on each and every night. It’s not like he’d be purely playing against 16 year old nobodies destined to finish their hockey career in the CIS.
Connor McJesus is one blindingly obvious example, but Dylan Strome is draft eligible and might be something. Cole Cassels. Dal Colle. Whatever.
My favourite comment was from JDM, however:
Well, I would say, play Nichushkin on the second line next to Bonino and Higgins, and move Burrows to the third. Between him and Kassian, they should be able to buoy that line into positive possession territory, and you lose nothing in terms of offensive potency on the second.
I realize the argument for moving Vrbata to line 2, and Valeri with the Sedins, which might be worth trying… but that should be saved until there’s a particularly concerning dry spell for the top line.
… Wait, what? We drafted Bo Horvat instead?
I’ve got nothing then.
I can confirm that J.D. Burke saw this comment, glanced solemnly at his life-size Valeri Nichushkin poster, and wept to himself.
Anyways, on to this week’s business. As I’m assuming you know by now, Dan Hamhuis will be out long-term, leaving a hole in Vancouver’s defense corps. The Canucks, of course, have to fix this to remain competitive. Despite getting off to a slow start this season, Hamhuis has traditionally been a super reliable defender and a cornerstone of Vancouver’s blueline.
Luca Sbisa has filled in over the first two games Hamhuis has missed, and has actually fared extremely well. He played his best game as a Canuck against the Chicago Blackhawks, and had yet another fantastic performance against the New Jersey Devils last night. History tells us that he can’t keep this pace up, but on the other hand, he’s playing great hockey right now so why not roll with it?
Still, the Canucks can’t just play the Edler-Tanev pairing for half an hour every night. They need a plan to replace Hamhuis. So this week, our question to you is what would you do to fill the hole left by Dan Hamhuis?
Would you call up someone from Utica like Frank Corrado or Bobby Sanguinetti and play them? Do you let Luca Sbisa try and solidify his spot in an NHL top-4 and hope Ryan Stanton rounds back in to form? Do you grab the next left-handed D available on waivers like Medicine Hat Tigers alumni David Schlemko? Do you make a big trade to land an expensive and surely costly guy like Tyler Myers? Or do you simply stand pat and hope everything goes good and if it doesn’t, well, the entry draft is damn good this year anyways so it doesn’t really matter?
Let us know what you would do as the GM of the Canucks in the comments below!