Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: October 3rd


We are over halfway through the Canucks pre-season, and the World Cup is in the rear view, the real hockey is just around the corner.

The Canucks roster is getting trimmed down, and by this time next week, we should have a pretty good idea with who has cracked the squad.

With J.D. Burke enjoying the city of angels, I am taking this week’s Canucks Army Monday Mailbag. So let’s dive in, and answer some questions.

Got a couple of questions about this one.

If you asked me a week ago, I would’ve said Nikita Tryamkin and Philip Larsen, or possibly Luca Sbisa and Larsen as the opening night third pairing. Personally, I would’ve gone with a Pedan and Larsen combo as the bottom pairing. But things have changed, Stecher-mania has occurred.

If you listen the quotes of Willie Desjardins in last night’s post-game, it’s clear that he has quickly grown fond of the UND grad. Has he done enough to crack the squad? It’s possible.

At the moment, the Canucks will need to ‘move’ (demotion/waivers/trade) one defenceman from their current group of nine, which logically would be Alex Biega. If Stecher has forced his way onto the opening night roster, then another shoe has to drop.

That’s where the hard questions are asked – will they risk Pedan on waivers? Can they convince Tryamkin to go to Utica for a few weeks and not exercise his KHL clause?

Based on pre-season play, doing a Pedan and Stecher third pairing seems like the best options available, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Stecher assigned to Utica to start the season, and then be back up by November.

It’s entirely possible.

Labate has been doing everything he possibly can to make it happen. While on the flip side, Etem has had a lacklustre pre-season. Etem has also welcomed his a new child into the world this week, and I know from personal experience that everything just stops that week, so can’t imagine what it’s like to go through that as a professional athlete.

Etem showed flashes last season of what the Canucks are hoping he can become. If I had to guess, Labate doesn’t make the final squad, but has put himself in the number one call up spot. (under the assumption, that Gaunce makes the opening night roster)

Another hot topic from the mailbag is Derek Dorsett.

Players like Labate, Gaunce, Jack Skille and Tuomo Ruutu have been effective and noticeable in the pre-season, while Dorsett hasn’t. Dorsett was an extremely effective fourth line forward when the Canucks acquired him, but that is a thing of the past. Complicating matters is his contract.

Watching players like Gaunce and Rodin are what the fans want to see, and they provide more upside and excitement. I think Dorsett will still make the roster, but he may see some time in the press box at points this year.

It’s been a while – Christmas is close enough, I’ll hold out until then. 

Enjoy your week!

  • Dirty30

    Stecher to Utica — no harm in him playing there. Send Biega as well.





    Need to keep Tryamkin because of his contract and to evaluate what you really have. Need to evaluate Pedan and Larsen too.

    That creates opportunities for Stecher if anyone doesn’t work out or there are injuries.

    Dorsett as 13th forward is just fine for now.

    That makes it:

    The Tre Kroner line

    The Millenial Line (Baer-Bo-Rodin)



    I’d actually like Ruutu over Dorsett and if Tuomo was willing to go to Utica temporarily, he’d likely get an opportunity to play sooner than later.

    Virtanen needs to take care of that shoulder and some time in Utica would let him fine tune his game. Hurting his shoulder every season is not going to work long-term for him or the team.

  • Cageyvet


    i think biega deserves to stay up. he’s the best defencemen right now among the candidates who have played.

    also, imagine utica with stecher, subban and biega on the right side. if i was playing them i’d move everyone big to left wing.

    the canucks will have to look to trade one of those guys or larsen.