We’re another week closer to the pre-season, which is great because frankly, I’m running out of inane small talk to fill this space before I answer your questions.
I mean, some stuff happened. Nothing of real consequence, though. Brandon Pirri is off the market, having signed with the New York Rangers for one year at $1.1-million. That’s a thing. I wouldn’t have minded the Canucks taking a flyer on Pirri, but I’m not losing sleep over them not.
Oh well. You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers. You know the drill.
— Randy (@randyallard) August 28, 2016
The Canucks could do a lot worse, I am sure. Seriously, though, Josh Donaldson for MVP.
@JDylanBurke with Pirri and Hudler gone, who’s left for the Canucks to pursue?
— J. Brown (@ThatJBrown) August 28, 2016
At this stage in the game, I think it’s best the Canucks stand pat. They’re already facing a serious roster crunch, which could force otherwise useful depth players onto the fringe of their lineup or into the AHL. In a vacuum, that’s an awesome problem to have. That is, of course, until one considers the players ahead of the Canucks’ depth pieces. A tonne of depth, but not an awful lot of talent leading the charge.
They could find a useful depth pick up. I have a few players in mind, even. Justin Fontaine is intriguing, but again, who do you remove from the lineup for him to play? I’m not sending Jake Virtanen to the AHL to accommodate Fontaine.
— Lynsey Stepan (@LynseyStepan) August 28, 2016
Well, I’d have to preface my answer with the fact that I’m just pulling a name out of thin air. The teams play about four games apiece, and the lineups change from game-to-game. Which is to say that it’s hard to predict who will stand out. But, were I pressed as I am now, I would lean towards… Guillaume Brisebois. Because, hey, why not?
— Bure’s ‘Stache (@MyPavelsBured) August 28, 2016
A lot can happen between now and the beginning of the season. That said, I don’t think it’s very likely at all. A stagnating cap and the looming expansion draft have, for now at least, quieted the market. At least that’s what I’m sensing. Could be way off on that. Whatever the case, there hasn’t been much, if any movement of late.
Regarding which Canucks’ prospects are expendable, though, I’d say almost all of them for the right deal. The Canucks don’t have a succession plan for the Sedins. That’s a fact. If the Canucks can package the right prospects to find that succession plan, then all bets are off. Make it a centre, though. Can’t win without a high-end centre in the West.
@JDylanBurke Would you rather fight 100 duck sized Luca Sbisas or one Luca Sbisa sized duck?
— Feminist Killjoy (@alixiswright37) August 28, 2016
I’m sure this is imprinted in my brain, and I’ll live both scenarios out in my nightmares. I’ll report back next week.
@JDylanBurke who would you draft with the Canuck’s 1st overall pick next year?
— Nucks Wingman (@NucksWingman) August 28, 2016
Nolan Patrick. And that’s a very realistic possibility, too. One can dream, anyways.
@JDylanBurke keeping in mind the second forward line will be a wasteland so maybe Edler/Tanev need to be the shutdown pair to compensate
— Stephen Quinn (@GoFour3) August 28, 2016
I like the premise of this question. The old five-man-unit, first perfected by the USSR. Now, for the purpose of the question, unfortunately, I can’t really give an answer. I’m sure every forward line will play a heavy amount of minutes with every defence pair. I don’t see there being a tonne of variability there. Especially given Willie Desjardins’ four-line system.
— l l l l X l l l l (@Raskolnivich) August 28, 2016
Well, if Rodin is healthy he’s getting a spot in the opening night lineup. That’s something I can guarantee you. Barring anything crazy, of course. Now, if Rodin is unable to play and that leaves me choosing between Brendan Gaunce and Nikita Tryamkin, I’m going to lean towards Tryamkin. He can play both sides on defence and uprooting Luca Sbisa shouldn’t be that difficult.
@JDylanBurke Which of the VAN d-men do you expect to play as a fwd on the 4th line the most often this season?
— Nathan (@natevk) August 28, 2016
@JDylanBurke are the glass-half-full types kidding themselves and how far out of 8th could they fall
— Carson (@CarsonKopala) August 28, 2016
I’ve spent a lot of this off-season trying to convince myself the Canucks could be competitive for a playoff spot. Probably not good enough to make the dance, but good enough to fight it out right to the bitter end. Realities sunk in, though, and it’s not painting the Canucks in a favourable light.
I don’t begrudge fans who defiantly think this club can compete for the playoffs. I don’t even think they’re kidding themselves. I think they’re just being fans. That’s what fans do. They cheer for their team and defend it to the bitter end. All they care about is winning. It’s totally natural. In fact, I think it’s admirable and kind of cool. Seems fun, even.
But realistically, this team hasn’t taken nearly enough steps to close ground on the teams that finished ahead of them last season. And the teams that finished near the bottom with them generally did. The Canucks are one injury away from being a 30th place team. And I mean 30th place team by a sizeable margin. There just isn’t a lot of high-end talent on this roster. And the players that you might consider high-end are all on the wrong side of 30. This season could get ugly. Really, really ugly.