Newest Canuck Goldobin: ‘upset I didn’t get a bigger chance in San Jose’

The newest member of the Vancouver Canucks is a man of few words. In English, at least. Nikolay Goldobin conducted a brief conference call with the Vancouver hockey media the morning after he was acquired along with a conditional draft pick for Jannik Hansen. In broken English with a thick Russian accent, the 21-year-old indicated he was excited to get a chance to show what he can do at the National Hockey League level after getting lost on the depth chart of a San Jose team looking to win the Stanley Cup.

“I was kind of upset that I didn’t get a bigger chance, but they try to win the Stanley Cup and they wanted to get an older guy who played a couple of years in the NHL,” Goldobin said from the Bay Area where he’s been playing for the Sharks American Hockey League franchise. “So they got Hansen and he’s a good player.”

Goldobin will join the Canucks for tomorrow’s morning skate and expects to make his debut in a Vancouver uniform against his former club tomorrow night. He has played 11 games for the Sharks over the past two years including a pair of games last month – his only NHL action this season. In his brief career, the 2014 first round draft pick has one goal and one assist. In the AHL this season, Goldobin has registered 15 goals and 41 points in 46 games – third in both categories on his team.

He was acquired to inject offense into a line-up that has just one win (1-4-1) and only 10 goals in its past six games.

“I’m really excited to join them (the Canucks) and kind of nervous for me to play against my (old) team tomorrow,” he says. “I can play both wings. Most of the time, I play left wing but lately I have been playing the right wing and I actually like it.”

Goldobin, who was born in Moscow but claims to have grown up idolizing Sidney Crosby, was a junior hockey teammate of current Canucks forward Reid Boucher when the two played together in Sarnia in 2012-13. While he doesn’t yet know how he’ll be deployed with his new club, he understands the situation the Canucks are in and why they made the move to acquire him.

“I know there are a lot of young players in Vancouver and hopefully I will play with one of them,” he says. “I know it’s a good team. A desperate team.”

And now it’s his new team. And he should have ample opportunity in the 20 games remaining on the Canucks schedule to show what he can do.

  • Steamer

    Not to denigrate the trade, which I find generally positive, but find it perplexing that Canucks sought a player whose AHL numbers are roughly identical to a player – Curtis Valk – who has been in Utica all year long & who remains unsigned by the Canucks. Perhaps Goldobin is better than Valk, but Valk is superior to Megna. Why he remains unsigned by Van is unfathomable.

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      I like Curtis Valk, but he’s 2.5 years older than Goldobin (at an age where that really makes a difference), and their numbers aren’t really that similar: Valk is a .65 PPG guy in Utica this year, while Goldobin is .89 for the Barracuda. Sure, that’s not controlling for linemates, strategy, etc, but Valk is a first liner for the Comets so it’s not like he hasn’t had chances to put up more than he has.

      I hope Valk gets a fair chance, which he’s earned with his play, but Goldobin is a far, far more valuable asset with much greater chance of NHL success.

    • TheRealRusty

      With the 50 contract limit, there really is no point to waste a contract on a AHL player like Valk when he is already playing for the Comets. For all the flak that Megna gets, he is actually a decent 4th NHL line player (he is not a top 9 player in my books…but that is more a strike on player deployment by WD)

      Nikolay, I do hope that you put that chip on your shoulder, do what it takes to improve work in your game and show the Sharks what they gave up on.

      • Steamer

        Would respectfully disagree about Megna; don’t see him as having the requisite grit/determination for a 4th line role & doesn’t possess sufficient skills for a higher position in line-up. Contracts have been – arguably – wasted on lesser players than Valk.

  • krutov

    no idea what the contract status of an undrafted 24 year old ahl player has to do with trading for goldobin.

    the canucks can sign valk any time they want to regardless of acquiring goldobin. plus valk is a centre and goldobin plays the wing.

      • Hockey Warrior

        Focus on YOUR Flamers ‘Mister Serious’. I’m sure YOU have plenty to pontificate about now CURTIS LAZAR is a fellow Cowtown resident 🙂

        Guys, obviously this ARROGANT Russian kid hasn’t LISTENED to WHY he was shipped out by a MUCH better team than the Ca-Sucks

        Nikolay Goldobin 5′ 11″ 185 lbs

        “Apart from being undersized Peter DeBoer has concerns about his game in his own end, particularly his defensive play, which has held him back considerably.”

        To THINK Benning ATE salary on Hansen to make this deal with a hated DIVISION RIVAL just beggars BELIEF… and those calling this a WIN for Vancouver are an absolute JOKE!

          • TheRealPB

            Wow, I really hope Hockey Worrier isn’t a crowd…

            Goldobin, Dahlen and a conditional fourth for Hansen and Burrows? That is far more than I could have imagined we’d get out of this deadline. And yes, as someone else pointed out, Vrbata’s non-trade does make me a bit more sympathetic to Benning from last year (though to be honest this year’s moves and his candor in today’s presser makes me forgive almost all of it.

          • apr

            RealPB, You have been quite hard on Benning for not trading Vrbata and Hamhuis last year, what do you think of the Coyotes not moving Vrbata this year? With a no trade, smaller salary, and better season. Moreover, if Benning caved and took the 3rd or 4th rounder for Hamhuis – do you think other GMs would have given him what he got this year?

            Its a pretty good haul from two players who were undrafted and chosen in the 9th round that were developed properly. Yes, its nice to get high end talent – but development is key.

            I’m not a Bud Poile Benning homer – but I do sincerely think that the local and national media have been ridiculously hard on him since he came her.

          • DJ_44


            GMJB has made his share of mistakes, but the pure lack of respect and professionalism shown by the Vancouver media, led by Botchford, is unbelievable.

            I glanced at the Provies (something that occurs more rarely since it is basically a column of retweets) and he is actually basically saying I told you so.

            Benning pulls of excellent trades at the TDL, and then claims the rebuild has begun. The rebuild has been in front of our eyes for three seasons. Look at the organization in 2014 and the team and prospect pool that now exists. The vast majority of the pool was around pre-TDL.

            Dramatically restructured and a lot younger. They have been competitive most nights, and I hope that compete level continues. I also hope that they win every night. Just like I said before the start of the season about the playoffs: will it happen? probably not. But the team can still continue on the process.

          • Chris the Curmudgeon

            That Provies format is pretty annoying, agreed.

            However, it’s not like this attitude towards Benning is a new thing, or restricted to Vancouver. Just think about the media’s relationship with Burke, Nonis, Gillis, etc. And think about how abusive sports media is towards the teams’ management in other Canadian markets. It’s part of the territory.

            JB has made some good moves, I won’t deny, but he’s also made some massive blunders. If we’re going to praise him for the former, we can also criticize him for the latter, turnabout is far play, quid pro quo, etc.

          • DJ_44

            I agree with what you say. It is media’s responsibility to question and provide comment. I grew up in southern Ontario. The Toronto media, as well as others, have taken a massive shift to the shock-jock/crap on everything approach. I get it, with AM Sports-radio it is the required act to keep the job.

            However, if you look at other Canadian markets (Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg), I find the articles are more balanced. They present an argument, but acknowledge the subtle reality of the situation, especially in print.

            Vancouver sports media is one of, if not the, weakest in the country, especially when it comes to hockey coverage.

          • TheRealPB

            As I said, the fact that the Coyotes didn’t move Vrbata today did make me reconsider (a little) what happened last year. I still don’t love the inaction over those two vets, though I was more disappointed in their usage of Vrbata that seemed to me to drive down his value.

            But credit where it’s due — and I’ve said this repeatedly — I’m really impressed with what Benning has done this deadline. And when you factor in getting Baertschi and Granlund for what I think is one good player (Anderson) and one middling one (Shinkaruk), he’s had a better set of deadlines than many another Canuck GM in a while. He hasn’t always succeeded in the trades (Etem, Clendening and Vey were decent gambles that didn’t pay out and I think the jury is still out on Gudbranson, Sutter and Sbisa overall) but this was a refreshing set of moves.

            I actually was perhaps most surprised by what he said in his press conference. It really did make me wonder if the ownership has taken the leash off of him entirely and allowed this “building the next core” to be on his own terms. If so I would be really interested to see what happens with the coaching staff for next year as well as with the draft to come. We are in serious contention for a lottery pick and it looks like we might have a pretty full complement of picks with the extra 4/1 from SJ and the compensatory 2nd from CBJ.

        • Wetcoaster

          I agree with you hockey warrior. There are concerns about Goldobins defensive awareness at the NHL level and having only 15 goals at the AHL level and being 5’11” reminds me of another old Canucks prospect Hunter Shinkaruk!
          While Benning finally made a decision to re build, he should’ve got rid of more players. Larsen, 7th Rd pick, great I’ll take take.
          The moves are ok and shows the team is going in the right direction but the players they received back are both on the smaller side with no sandpaper. I sure hope Benning has plans to bring in tougher, harder to play against players soon ie: Tom Wilson from the Caps…

          • Olands

            Geez, you and Hockey Warrior are completely forgetting that anything in return is better than burr leaving as a UFA and Hansen going to Vegas.

            These deals have huge upside. If one of these guys reaches that, fantastic. IF neither do, you’re in the same boat you would have been.

            JB did way better than I had imagined was possible. Wish there was some more size with all that skill, but those types go in the top 5. Got to get them through the draft.

          • Hockey Warrior

            Totally agree Wetcoaster

            Whilst the Burrows trade was inevitable with Burr being 35, on the decline and a UFA, the HANSEN deal was totally UNNECESSARY when many OTHER better options were available for expansion draft exposure.

            Further to this, not only did Benning trade to a HATED DIVISION RIVAL here, he also ATE SALARY on the deal to get it done!

            So, with Hansen now gone and the nucks STILL paying a chunk of his salary, just WHO is going to make up those twenty plus goals you got from Honey Badger – Guddy? Sutter? ERIKSSON??

            Guys, when the Canucks HIRED BENNING it was specifically to replicate the BOSTON MODEL of BIG, STRONG, PHYSICAL, hard to play against and crashing the net grinding and scoring on the forecheck! This has now changed BACK to the ‘small, speed, skill’ counter attack blueprint that the GILLIS regime advocated. WHY?

            Thing is windowlickers, that just won’t work in this division now against your POWERHOUSE rivals in CALIFORNIA or the Edmonton Oilers who ALL must be LICKING THEIR LIPS at seeing these two latest MIDGETS joining the likes of Stetcher, Baertschi, Granlund and ENFORCER (lol) Derek Dorsett in Pee Wee central!

            You could not make it up!!!

  • Trade deadline closing thoughts:

    Canucks are going in a new direction. The rebuild is on. What will next year look like?

    Joe Cannata is now in Colorado.

    Radim Vrbata doesn’t like trade deadline moves.

    Surprised Jim Benning made a deal with San Jose. Not surprised Miller is still a Canuck.

    Who will coach our team next year?

  • Bud Poile

    Reading back on last year’s trade deadline it appears many here crucified Benning. Botchford and specific CA writers just kept hammering on like they had half a clue.

    Rob Guenther and sh1t4brains were objective and insightful and proved to be right on.Most posters here followed the beat writers and just frothed nonsense.

    I have defended Benning because he was given near zero prospects ,an aging core and ten NTC’s.Plus,I love defending an honest GM that works tirelessly and did a very good job scouting,drafting and restructuring this shell of a franchise over the last two years..

    If fans follow what has been written Benning tried to give the twins one last kick at a cup run the last two years.Trevor would have had a big say in that and it was the right thing to do.

  • wojohowitz

    There`s no mystery about Vrbata. He use to be a talented goal scorer but these last few years he has been marshmallow soft. Nobody wants him for the playoffs.

    Benning doesn`t like the word `rebuild`. He prefers `transition`. This would be corporate doublespeak like the fanbase is clueless and doesn`t understand what they are looking at. Cheap seats available.

  • andyg

    It would be nice if one of these kids turn out. My money is on Dahlen. I think his skating is a minor problem. He is very quick and agile. Just needs to improve his first few strides and that usually come with strength. They say he is small but he looks like he is a stocky kid and may be able to beef up a bit.

    I also hope that SJS wins the cup. We could use that first round pick.

    Goldobin has tons of skill. Look how long it has taken players like Baer and Granlund to start to make the grade. You never know.