Alright folks, the AM radio talk show voice of Canucks Army is back, and continues to assimilate himself into every facet of the organization.
This week, I’ve taken over the mailbag from an under-the-weather Joseph Dylan Burke. He’ll be back next week but for now you’re stuck with me. Let’s have at ‘er.
— allan powell (@socklesshal) November 28, 2016
It’s certainly not out of the question. The way the Canucks have handled Virtanen has been… odd, to say the least. One gets the sense that there’s a large part of the story we’re missing right now. Maturity has been discussed in the past, though, and this certainly doesn’t make it appear as though he’s improved in that regard.
— Matt Baer (@baerzerk84) November 28, 2016
I’d say no. Even if Eriksson has an awful year, I wouldn’t expect him to remain awful for all five years remaining on his contract. It probably wasn’t wise for a team in the Canucks’ position to have invested long-term in a player in his early thirties, but I’d wager he’s still a pretty useful player by the time that contract expires. His game is predicated on speed or physicality, so I don’t expect him to decline as rapidly as many players do.
There’s also the optics. We probably overestimate how much this type of thing influences player signings, but making a player waive his NTC one year into a six-year deal isn’t going to help attract free agents.
— Trevor Whitehead (@TrevorWhitehead) November 28, 2016
They probably shouldn’t.
I’m not convinced he’s a significant improvement over Willie Desjardins, to be honest.
Coaching is very difficult to assess from a distance, but there’s a lot of evidence to suggest much of the success the Panthers had under Gallant was percentage-driven, and some of the comments he’s made in the past suggest the game might be on it’s way to passing him by if he isn’t willing to adapt.
Whether they do decide to pursue Gallant is another thing entirely, though. Some comments the team’s front office has made recently suggest that Desjardins may be on the hot seat. I could see why Jim Benning might be interested in Gallant. He’s a Jack Adams finalist with a decent coaching record who’s very well-regarded by his peers, and by all accounts he’s a man of character and integrity, too. But is he the kind of name you fire your current head coach to pursue? I’m not convinced.
— Ashley ? (@AshonIce) November 28, 2016
— Yaya™ (@RoboYaya) November 28, 2016
Tom Rowe is taking over on an interim basis, but as far as long term options go, I figure it’s a three-way race between Drance, petbugs, and Kermit The Frog Drinking A Cup Of Tea.
— kwang lee (@kpl94) November 28, 2016
This is a great question. My first reaction when someone asks if a player’s production is sustainable is to look at personal shooting percentage. Horvat’s is 20.6% right now, which is obviously quite high. It would be easy to write Horvat’s recent stretch off as a run of good luck, but when you look deeper, it’s not quite that simple.
Horvat’s goal production has definitely been unsustainably high, but there’s a legitimate argument to be made that his assist totals should be higher. Horvat’s most common linemate this season has been Sven Baertschi, who’s converted on only 5.7% of his shots thus far. I’d expect his goal-scoring pace to cool off, but by the same token I also expect Baertschi’s production to pick up when he returns to the lineup.
As far as determining whether or not Horvat can get more points than Henrik and Daniel Sedin this season, I lean towards no. You just don’t bet against the Sedins. That being said, betting against Bo Horvat has made a lot of people look foolish over the past few years, so you never know. His performance thus far has suggested he may be able to drive on-ice shooting percentage, but the list of players who can do so enough to make a meaningful impact is a very short one. I’d expect him to improve on last season’s totals, but not enough to usurp the Sedins as Vancouver’s primary offensive contributors.