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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: Part Deux

My original plan yesterday was to get started on the Monday Mailbag early, so I wouldn’t have to worry about it later and could go about hanging with my Mom for Mother’s Day. Everything was going well until I noticed that several questions came in after I’d left #mybasement.

I didn’t want to leave your questions unanswered, but I just didn’t have the time to get to them last night. So, I’m doing a Part Deux of the Monday Mailbag to make sure they’re answered!

I’m fairly certain I’ve answered this question at least a handful of times, so I won’t go into great detail here. In short, I think the Canucks should give Anton Rodin a second look, but I doubt they’ve the appetite for it.

That’s not a crazy idea. Not from the Canucks’ perspective. If you think that one of Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier has first line upside, then what’s the holdup? I tend to hold that assessment of both players.

I think relatively highly of Bo Horvat, but I don’t see him as someone you build a franchise around. I suppose we can certainly allow for that as a possibility given Horvat shatters every set of expectations we try to force on him, but I’d suggest it’s highly unlikely that he becomes that kind of franchise centre. For Patrick and Hischier, that’s more or less the expectation.

Another thing to consider is the financial element of this notion. The Canucks are so far removed from being competitive. I can’t stress this enough. They’re probably three-to-four years away from even competing for a playoff spot. On the one hand, Horvat will be entering the years we generally associate with a forward’s prime; on the other, the Canucks have lost the benefit of cost control over the player driving their success.

I would totally understand if the Canucks were unwilling to make this kind of deal, and wouldn’t begrudge them in the slightest if they had an opportunity like this and turned it down. I get it. By that same token, I bet if you asked the other 31 general managers of the league, they’d do it in a heartbeat. Be careful about not letting the endowment effect sway you into overvaluing Canucks’ players.

As an aside, this isn’t happening, so we don’t need to worry about it one way or the other. Good question though.

That’s an oddly familiar question. I’ve talked to a few players in my time. Been in Olli Juolevi’s presence while he conversed with others, but never spoke directly to him, no. As for Rasmus Dahlin, he’s playing in the Swedish Hockey League, so I haven’t had the opportunity yet, no.

Honestly, I bet they’re great people though. I certainly like Juolevi’s gusto.

I don’t think letting Tate Olson or Carl Neill walk has a direct connection to either of Alexander Kerfoot or Darren Raddysh. They didn’t see enough from Neill to warrant a contract, and from what I can gather they’d moved on from him about halfway through the season — not signing him was just a formality.

The Olson non-sign is peculiar, to be sure, but I think if they saw him as a legitimate NHL prospect, he’d have a shiny new entry-level contract and they’d welcome any inconveniences that came with it.

Cole Cassels prospects of an NHL career are looking really bleak right now. That’s putting it generously. We’ll always have that Oshawa Generals Memorial Cup run, though. Remember when he “shut down” Connor McDavid? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

I certainly wouldn’t do it before the expansion draft. Valeri Nichushkin is eligible for exposure, and the Canucks don’t have a space for him on their protected list unless they #ExposeSutter2017.

Even without the looming threat of expansion, I’m not so sure about this deal. I don’t think the Canucks should have to go prospect for prospect with the Stars to save them a minimum of $4.5-million. That’s a lot of money. Whether I think Nichushkin is a better player than Jake Virtanen or not (I do) I just don’t think there’s enough value there.

I don’t see Virtanen’s development hurting due to a lack of a power forward, no. I think the problem is he was over-drafted, rushed into the NHL and lacking in maturity. Maybe he needs mentoring period.

To be honest, I don’t see Virtanen as that bruising power forward people want him to be. I see the second coming of Raffi Torres, and I have since the Canucks drafted him.

The fact that the Canucks don’t have up and coming players that have franchise player potential will hurt the Canucks. All the mentoring and leadership in the world won’t make a player with a third line ceiling an elite building block. Get the pieces to build around and then worry about how you’ll nurture their development.

This world sounds almost utopian. Where do I sign up? Assuming this is the case, I see the Vegas Golden Knights taking Luca Sbisa. They seem to be a relatively forward thinking front office in these early stages, and I’d imagine they’re willing to suffer a year of Sbisa’s ugly deal if it means avoiding another four of Brandon Sutter’s.

I’m going to go with Jordan Subban. Here’s the kicker: he’s in his dog house, all the way from Utica.

It’s definitely a thing — this much, I can’t dispute.

I’m fairly certain I answered a question similar to this one in either the first of this week’s two mailbags or last week’s. I can’t remember. Here’s the summary of that answer: best player available, every damn time.

In a vacuum, I’m all for bringing Nichushkin back to the NHL as a Canuck. If the Canucks get Nichushkin for taking on a bad Stars’ goalie, that’s a hell of a prize. I see his playing style and potential and just love him as a fit on Horvat’s right wing. The issues are that he’s eligible for the expansion draft and signed to play in Russia next season, I believe.

Here’s the thing about Nichushkin — he only left the Stars because he had a terrible relationship with former head coach Lindy Ruff. If the Stars were to trade Nichushkin to a non-Ruff coached team, I’m sure he’d make the jump back to the NHL.

  • Steamer

    Trade the team’s emerging young centre for someone who has neither played in the NHL & who may or may not become a #1 centre – really? Don’t see a lot of difference between any of the centres available this year – every chance picks #3-#7 are as good or better than Patrick or Hishier. A look at Erik Karlsson’s draft year reveals how the assessment of young prospects is subject to numerous variables – hardly worth the risk of trading Horvat unless you’re looking at a ‘generational’ talent. Neither Patrick nor hishier fit that description.

    • Peachy

      It’s a moot point because there’s no way New Jersey or Philadelphia trade #1 or #2 for Horvat straight up. And if they’re unwilling to make that trade, there’s no way you get a #1 pick in a draft with a ‘generational’ talent for anything less than the Canucks’ next 4 first round picks + Boeser + Juollevi + Horvat.

      • Billy Pilgrim

        Why wouldn’t Philly do trade? They are arguably in their competitive window right now. Horvat would fit on their roster quite nicely. I’m not advocating for the trade, but I could see Philly being quite willing to deal their pick for player(s) that help them win now.

  • wojohowitz

    With Vegas you also have to factor in meeting the minimum cap of $49m. Does it make more sense to eat a Datsyuk type contract or get someone who can actually play like Sutter.

  • wojohowitz

    Friedman says Botterill in Buffalo is looking for some D. Would Benning consider Tanev and the 5th pick for Reinhart and the 8th pick considering Benning could pick up a pretty good C or D with the 8th?