On behalf of Canucks Army, I’d like to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year. I’m taking over the mailbag this week from JD, who is presumably worse for wear. As for the Canucks, they’re on something of a hot streak recently, so let’s hope that’s a sign of better things to come, for both the club and all those that struggled through 2016.
You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers. So let’s get into it, shall we?
— Trevor Crawley (@tcrawls) January 1, 2017
The cynic in me wants to say no, based on everything that management has said over the season. But realistically, if things are going as prroly by the trade deadline as they did last year, I don’t think they’ll have a choice but to sell off at least some of their assets, especially with expansion looming.
There have been rumours circulating for some time now that all the team’s decisions have to be approved by ownership, so don’t be surprised if there’s a massive shift in tone and/or direction if this team is still in the bottom five by the end of February.
— Nathan (@natevk) January 1, 2017
This is a difficult question to answer. We haven’t seen a healthy lineup for any length of time this season, and Anton Rodin has played only a single NHL game. With that in mind, I’d probably experiment, starting with a forward group that looks something like this:
There are other combinations I’d like to get a look at as well. I was very close to throwing Eriksson on Horvat’s wing, but Burrows has just been so good there that I felt I couldn’t break it up. I’d be in favour of shuffling the right side a fair bit, trying any combination of Eriksson, Hansen, Burrows, and even Rodin with any of the top three centres. I like the fourth line as it is, though. Granlund has proven to be a pretty good possession player on the wing, as has Gaunce at centre. I prefer Skille to any of the club’s other options there because he’s got some above-average goal scoring ability. I think this group would work well with Willie Desjardins’ inclination towards rolling four lines. The defense corps is much easier. If everyone is healthy, it should look like this:
@Johnny_Perogy would you do a Miller for Halak trade if you got an asset back? Also is this the year for that CBJ 2nd pick?
— Matt Baer (@baerzerk84) January 1, 2017
The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes. Jaroslav Halak is an above-average goaltender, with one year remaining on his $4.5 million contract after this season. I have a very hard time believing that a goaltender with a career .916 save percentage has become a .904 sv% over the course of one offseason. He’s cheaper than Ryan Miller, which gives you the opportunity to take on more salary if you need to, and I’m pretty okay with one year of a Markstrom-Halak tandem. So much so, in fact, that the returning asset would not have to be of major significance. I’m not sure the trade makes sense from the Islanders’ perspective, however.
As far as Columbus is concerned, I wouldn’t bet on them finishing higher in the standings next year than they do this year, so I’d imagine that the Canucks getting their second round pick this year is a virtual certainty.
@Johnny_Perogy If you knew JB was trading Virtanen and it was inevitable, who would you hope would be coming back in return?
— Nathan (@natevk) January 1, 2017
I’ve never been high on Jake Virtanen. I wasn’t high on him as a junior player, as a prospect, and I’m not high on him now. I think he likely projects as a role player at the NHL level, so I’d be happy to receive any tangible asset that you’d consider superior to a role player.
@Johnny_Perogy what do you think of Skille on a line with the twins? Think it’d work?
— Brewji (@Brewji) January 2, 2017
I don’t actually
this idea. I think it could work in a pinch. He’s an above-average goal scorer for his role and he’s got some speed. To be frank, though, he’d still be about the fourth best option the team has there. I think we should probably stop with the “put a grinder with the twins” suggestions at this point. The Sedins need someone who can elevate them, as opposed to elevating someone. The only time it’s really “worked” was with Burrows, and he’s more or less proven he’s much more than a grinder.
— CoppeR (@copperleaf22) January 1, 2017
Sliced bread was first introduced for mass consumption in 1928, which means that a surprising number of things predate its widespread availability, including the steam engine, the automobile, the gramophone, telephone, radio, and the airplane. So I’m inclined to go with any of those, but that’s no fun. I’m going to try to get as close to the date as possible.
The groundbreaking (albeit racist) The Jazz Singer, was released in 1927, so I think the greatest thing before sliced bread was the talking pictures. Before that is really anyone’s guess.
Or, you could just go with this:
— i YOLO occasionally. (@MrJustinHunter) January 1, 2017