WWYDW: What to do With Andrey Pedan

The Canucks have an interesting problem on their blue line. Two of their top six defenders are currently out with injury and their return doesn’t appear to be imminent. As the body count rose, so too did the necessity of digging deeper into their farm system for help in the interim.

One such defender was Andrey Pedan. Not much was made of his acquisition last season, but it’s beginning to appear as though the Canucks might have something in this lankly Lithuanian. Before looking every bit the NHL defender in his most recent stint with the Canucks, Pedan was figuring prominently as a core member of the Utica Comets.

This begs the question: have you seen enough from Pedan to warrant an extended look in the Canucks top-six, and if so, who sits in favour of Pedan?

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From Last Week

Last week we asked what your New Years resolution would be for the Vancouver Canucks. 


Trade vets for picks. Can’t get any simpler than that.


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Stay the course, draft good prospects, unload Chris Higgins, try very hard to get a top puck moving defenseman in 24-27 age range, defenseman, defenseman and more defenseman. A few goals along the way wouldn’t hurt, either.


Using impending available cap space to exploit teams that are in a cap crunch. Not signing Vrbata, Hamhuis, Prust, Weber and Bartkowski frees up $15M. These players aren’t delivering performances that equate to their cap hit. Can Benning swing a trade with Philadelphia, New York or Boston to acquire a good player that they can’t afford to resign?


#1) send Virtanen back to Junior – he’s not ready and will be next year with a fresh start.

#2) Give Shinkaruk, Gaunce and Grenier meaningful NHL minutes – it’s time to find out what we have in these guys!

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#3) Completely tear down and re-build the blue line! There is nothing more important and perhaps nothing more challenging to undertake but it is mission critical and it can wait no longer.

Step 1: dump all the salary that we can at forward at trade deadline and run youth – at minimum eliminate Vrbata, Burrows, Prust, & Higgins this leaves room for the AHL guys to play some NHL minutes.

Leaving forward lines as follows:

Sedin/Sedin/Hansen Shinkaruk / Sutter / Grenier Baertschi / Horvat / Kennins Gaunce / McCann / Dorsett Cracknell as utility guy

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Step 2 : Dump all the salary that we can on D and run youth – at minimum trade Hamhuis, if by some miracle we could find a trade for Sbisa &/or Bartkowski DO IT!

Run with:

Edler/Tanev Hutton/ Biega Pedan/Webber Bartkowski – as 7th D cause seriously is anyone actually gonna trade for this guy!?

Step 3: Sign Byfuglien current ask is 55Million over 8 yrs, DO THIS DEAL! He is big, mean, eats minutes and accumulates points especially on the power play- he is everything our current D core is lacking

Step 4: Offer sheet Seth Jones or Morgan Reilly 6 years at 36 Million. Both are Restricted free agents with tonnes of upside- Nashville is probably reticent to pay Jones full value and will be seeking a bridge deal making him a prime target, as for Reilly – mostly any chance to screw the Leaves should be taken advantage of and it would be a fun F U on the Corrado situation;)

Essentially, we’d be dumping a bunch of dead weight salary and repurposing it all to the D, I’d say money well spent if we end up with a top 4 D group of:

Elder /Tanev Byfuglien/Jones

That solid a D along with steady Goaltending buys a lot of support to aid in the learning for a young Forward group and young D prospects like Pedan and Hutton.

  • Naturalmystic

    I think Pedan is part of the future for the Canucks. He brings a lot of what we don’t have – size and aggression. He has a howitzer of a shot and was developing nicely in Utica. He’ll probably be a solid 5 or 6 D man.

    When the D get healthy, Pedan will have to go back down. So, the Canucks should bring him back up after the deadline if they deal the D men on expiring contracts (Hamhuis, Weber, Bartkowski). There will be room for him and he will get to play.

    Also, Willie D. also said Biega isn’t going anywhere so it is getting crowded back there.

  • Naturalmystic

    Can not say we have seen enough of Pedan yet to give proper evaluation. Would love to see a lot more of him though. He won hardest shot & fastest skater on Canucks so I am sure he can keep up & blast puck on PP.Need to give him some real minutes, maybe start at 12-14.

    Break up Edler Tanev for a little while try Biega again with Edler, Hutton with Tanev, Pedan as 5d Bartkowski 6d, Weber to Kwings or wherever.

    With Carolina, Tampa Bay & Florida coming to town why not give him a 3 game “tryout” & let’s go from there.

    • Naturalmystic

      Weber over Sbisa = 1.5M expiring contract over 3.6M through 2017-18. Neither should be in the line up for 2016-17 season. Pedan and Biega should be playing ahead of both of them for the rest of this season.

      Kenins over Virtanen = Not an accurate characterization. I truly believe we need the roster spot Virtanen occupies on the NHL roster to create the space to better evaluate Grenier/Gaunce/Kenins/Shinkaruk at the NHL level before the end of this season. Additionally, I think Jake needs an opportunity to play a lot of minutes as a man amongst boys in the WHL and get his mojo back so he is ready to hit the ground running next season.

  • Steampuck

    So it turns out not signing Weber to an extended deal last summer was the right call…

    I don’t think we know what we have in Pedan yet, and that likely makes him trade bait (sell high) in the short term. I think, for 2015-2016, Pedan is a future piece. He likely won’t displace anyone this season, but it’s good to know we’re not quite so hamstrung on the blueline and that we can act accordingly at the trade deadline and in the off-season. My instinct, though, is that Pedan could be an add-on to some future trade down the road.

  • Naturalmystic

    Size. Skates well. Drops the gloves. Not positionally unsound.

    What’s not to like?

    Keep developing the kid, he’s got great third
    pairing potential.

    A cagey acquisition by Benning.

  • Cageyvet

    Pedan has earned an extended look, however due to his Waiver Exempt status vs the likes of Biega who has to pass through waivers to go back and forth to the AHL, Pedan really shouldn’t be playing ahead of any healthy NHL D Man currently on the Canucks NHL roster purely from an asset management perspective…a lesson we learned the hard way with Corrado.

    With Pedan being a RFA coming off an entry level contract and having unspectacular NHL or AHL stats at this point, I’d say he is a lock to be signed to a 2 yr two way contract around the same $850K the Montreal Canadians afforded Jared Tinordi last year. From there you pencil him in as a 7-8 D man on an NHL roster that should be carrying 8 D men next year anyway and see how he comes out of the gates.

    In the mean time, this season while yo-yo’ing him up and down from the AHL to fill injury holes on the Mash unit that is the Canucks D this year, Pedan can gain a lot from playing with Utica where Coach Green has him playing in all situations and gaining confidence with every game.

  • Naturalmystic

    Easy Weber or Bart sit…

    Both are weak as 10 yr olds in their own zones and haven’t contributed offensively. As a Leaf coach once said they need truculence!

    Weber is non existent on the power play and carrying the puck out of your zone is irrelevant if you can’t clear the front of your own net. I’m sorry but people have forgotten that the first part of defenseman is “defense”!

    • Steampuck

      I think he has a chance, but I’d say Modano had a bit more of a narrow and vertically longer face than Pedan.

      Still, the resemblance is fairly uncanny. I don’t dislike our chances.

  • Steampuck

    Let’s be honest, Pedan has a one-way ticket to Utica booked as soon as the healthy bodies start coming back. It doesn’t matter how well he plays. There is no chance he stays in the lineup ahead of a healthy Sbisa, Bartkowski, or Weber. Willie’s seat is starting to get warm, so you know he’s going to toe the company line with roster decisions. (Granted that won’t save his job when he gets canned in the offseason after missing the playoffs.)

    if this regime does the unthinkable and starts offloading some of the impending UFAs / dead weight leading up to the trade deadline, maybe we Pedan again in the spring. That or just wait for the next run of injuries.

    • Cageyvet

      While I think you’re right, I think he could step in right now and replace Bartkowski or Weber and the team wouldn’t miss a beat. It might even improve.

      I didn’t shed a tear when Corrado got picked up by Toronto and I wouldn’t care if they lost Bartkowski or Weber if they were waived to Utica. (Let’s be honest, nobody’s going to trade for them and they won’t be back next year so who cares?)

  • Cageyvet

    Pedan got a taste of NHL action, let’s let him play a bigger role in Utica until we move a d-man or two at the deadline. Then play him for the remainder of the season as an extended audition for 2016-17 while learning what sort of off-season training he’ll require.

    I think it’s going to be important (for the fans and the organization) to see some fresh faces towards the end of the year. We’re not even at the halfway mark of the season and there is already a large grumble rising from areas within the media/fanbase. I say play out the next two months with Pedan in Utica while keeping us entertained with potential trades, then roll out Pedan, Shinkaruk, and Gaunce to fill the roster gaps left by the sweet, sweet acquisition of assets. The dog days of March & April will be much easier to take if we get to watch a few prospects hold down a full-time roster spot for the first time.

  • Cageyvet

    Pedan is definitely part of the future, let management run the cap/roster/waivers implications. As for keeping Weber over Sbisa, I’m not on board with that at all. Weber is completely disposable and can be exposed on waivers any time in my opinion.

    On another note, check the league standings, we’re not even trying to tank and we’re in line for a top 5 draft position, currently 6th but SJ a lock to pass us with all the games in hand.

    Dump all the deadwood mentioned in this thread and play the kids. Shinkaruk, Guance, Grenier, Virtanen, roll them through the line and see who can outperform Higgins….I’m thinking all of them.

  • Cageyvet

    I’d like to see Pedan slot in for 6 – 10 games to get a real feel for his play against NHL opposition. That does create problems for defense pairings. I think the Canucks want to stay away from any double-rookie pairing and if the left side is going to be Edler/Hutton/Pedan then they’re going to be stuck with either Hutton/Biega or Pedan/Biega. They’ve already said Biega isn’t going away.

    When Sbisa comes back I’d like to see a Pedan/Sbisa pairing. Sure it has a high probability of combining rookie mistakes with mental mistakes, but it would probably be a real pain to play against. And it’s been suggested that when Sbisa plays his off-side he has to think more, which cuts down on the mental mistakes.

    However, Pedan probably sticks around as injury insurance until Sbisa comes back at which point the waiver situation means Pedan is the first one headed to Utica. That may not put the best talent on the ice but makes the most sense from an asset management perspective.