Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

WWYDW: Goaltending

The goaltending position has been a quietly popular of conversation this week. With the Anaheim Ducks’ recent elimination, there’s been speculation that they may be interested in shoring up their goaltending, and Ryan Miller could be a target. Meanwhile, Jason Botchford appeared on TSN 1040 recently and urged the Canucks not to sign Miller to a multi-year deal.

So, it’s that time of the week. How would you approach goaltending this offseason? Trades? Free Agency? Or maybe you think next season’s backup is already in the system.

Last week I asked: Who out of the final four would you most like to see lift the cup?

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I’m hoping for an Ottawa – Nashville final with the Sens taking the cup home. It would be nice to see two teams in the final that haven’t been there for awhile or never at all. But really, I don’t care who wins when the Canucks aren’t even at the dance.


Ottawa / Nashville final to screw with the NHL. Ottawa to win because, well, they’re in Canada — which still matters to me — and I want Burr to win. It’s almost like Vancouver by proxy with him winning.


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I still don`t have a favourite to cheer for but; Sid the Kid – that`s leadership. He`s goes into the corners. He fights and wins puck battles. He goes to the net and plays in traffic. Twelve years and how many concussions – that`s leadership. Too bad for Pittsburgh the injuries are starting to add up.

I was not impressed with Ottawa against Boston. The Bruins were playing with four defencemen injured and Ottawa had a hard time beating them. Since then the Senators have elevated their game thanks to Karlsson whose very presence makes them think they can win it all. Dare I use the name Bobby Orr as an example of a defenceman empowering his team mates just by being on the ice.

Anaheim and Nashville; Who knows but Getzlaf and Kesler play to win and beating them will take it`s toll. Nashville OTOH is deep but young and if they are looking for leadership from guys like Johansen they will be in trouble. Will they have enough leadership required from players like Fisher and Subban to win?


Generally I’d say I don’t care because my team isn’t in it but I will cheer for Nashville because PK is awesome, the post-Trotz Predators are pretty entertaining, we even have some Canucks’ representation (Yannick aka The Other Weber), and Nashville is a way more interesting city than you’d think (half Honkytonk, half Brooklyn). I got a chance to swing through there during the series with Chicago and that city was absolutely stoked about the Preds. The Pens are the Pens, Anaheim still has too much Kesler for me to be able to cheer for them, and Ottawa has one of the worst owners in the league even if I do want Burrows to win.

Neil B: 

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I’d have to go with the Nashville-Ottawa final, with Nashville winning it all, simply because it would help push the NHL away from behemoths & clutch-and-grab ‘big boy’ hockey and towards a skills game that emphasizes gap control, puck movement, defensive steerage and lane coverage. That’s not to say the Preds don’t have some size (or snarl) on their side of the puck; but they do know where their dinner comes from.

  • Buula

    I see 3 choices:
    1) Try to get an asset to pickup one of Dallas’ goalies.
    2) If you think Markstrom is ready then sign a cheaper goaler to a two years contract like a Elliot, Mason, Ward, Bernier..etc
    3) If they don’t think Markstrom is ready re-up Miller for two years.

    I’d like to see option 2 if option 1 doesn’t work out.

    • Puck Viking

      At no point should any team sign an average player over the age of 35 to a 2 year deal due to the cap implications with the possibility of retirement. Then when you factor in that Luongo could retire and the cap problems which that then creates due to recapture penalties, then that this team is rebuilding.. Absolutely not..

      I dont want Miller back at all and I am really hoping we acquire Halak or a Dallas goalie for assets..

      But if Miller is coming back it should be on a 1 year deal for 2-3 million. If he wants a no trade clause, then he can pick 1-3 teams that he wont go to otherwise see ya later at the deadline even if its for super low draft pick.

  • kagee

    I’d only re-sign Miller if there was trade for Marky.

    If there is no trade to be made – due to rebuild gotta let Markstrom take over next year and let Miller sign in California.

  • Ken Priestlay Fan

    Now that the ‘R Word’ has finally been uttered, that process needs to be applied to the goaltending. So either try and make a deal with Dallas for one of their goalies (assuming they don’t get rid of one through expansion of course), get an asset back and run with Markstrom as number 1 to see what we have or sign a decent free agent and run them in tandem with Marky, flipping one of the two at the trade deadline (in 18 or 19) for a pick or an asset. As great as Miller has been, he shouldn’t really be in the conversation for the Canucks now, he’s still good but he has little value in terms of generating picks or prospects

  • TheRealPB

    It’s really hard to answer this without knowing what Miller wants and can command on the open market. The Canucks management have generally been decent about not getting locked into too many long-term big money contracts so a 2 year deal would be ok. Markstrom was (by the end of the season) Green’s go-to guy and I feel like he’ll get a better shot from him then he did from WD. My preference therefore would be to see the Canucks get a decent backup — not one of the black holes in Dallas or one of the questionable other ones (like Mason) who’ll be available. I know the idea has been floated about using the goaltending situation as a way of increasing value during the rebuild but I think you have to be really careful with this. On a fragile young team one of the easiest ways to crush confidence is to have terrible net minding. My ideal scenario would be letting Markstrom have the reins and get a backup who could handle 35 games (Markstrom hasn’t played more than 50 I don’t think in any league). I’m not sure Miller is mentally ready to transition to that role even though he’d be much better in it.

  • Dirty30

    It’s time to move on from Miller. Find a decent and reasonably priced backup for Markstrom and use the salary to find a decent center for some depth.

    You need to play Markstrom for two years to figure out if he is a stater or a backup which then gives Demko time to develop.

    If Markstrom turns out to be a dud — then you have another contract to bury, buyout or hope to trade for a late-late round pick.

    If he turns out to be good then play him.

    Miller has been a good asset for three years, but paying him another 5-6 mil for another 1-2 seasons makes little sense when you’re already paying nearly for mil to Markstrom to be a backup.

    • truthseeker

      Why would you assume we’d have to pay Miller 5-6 million per year? I bet even Miller’s team isn’t expecting him to get that much…lol.

      Why couldn’t Miller be that “reasonably price” backup?

  • Mbossy22

    Next season will be another “write-off” due to the rebuild, so I feel that getting a big name goalie would be a waste. As much as I loved Miller, unless he’s ok with a one-year and slashed income, it’s probably best not to pursue him.
    I feel that the Canucks will just simply sign a veteran who might be able to should a “1C” load compared to Markstrom’s “1A+”.
    An interesting scenario would be taking, say, Lehtonen and his fat contract off Dallas’ hands plus their #3 pick in exchange for…Edler? This can definitely fastrack their retool-on-the-fly and they would still have a first rounder since they’ve acquired Anaheim’s. #basementGM

  • truthseeker

    I have no issue signing Miller for one year. He’s been alright and he will cost less this time. 4 to 5 million for one year, sounds good. Not sure why so many people are so forcefully against signing him.

    But Markstrom needs to become the “#1”. Play the majority of games and that should allow Miller to play even better with more rest.

    Hopefully the year after, Demko will be ready to move up and get a shot as Markstrom’s backup.

    I wouldn’t be opposed to the “take a goalie for a bad contract” thing, but it’s gotta be something decent to be saddled with any contract that’s “long term”.

    Bachman? meh….

    Really, I just don’t think goal is a big deal for the canucks right now. Just get a body in there to be Markstrom’s backup, who’s relatively competent, and not too long a term.

  • The importance of quality goaltending can not be over stated. The duo of Miller – Markstrom is that.

    The time has come for Markstrom to take the reins. He was signed to a three year deal with that in mind. What we need now is for someone to share the load. I don’t want to use the word backup, but a quality, capable goalie to share the work. The salary for this position should reflect that. Say in the $3 – $4 Million range. I’m not sure where Miller’s head is at, but my guess is he signs with the highest bidder.
    If Miller can accept a 1A -1B scenario and work in a new rebuild environment, I say bring him back. Two years and $4.75M.

    Running with Markstrom – Bachman could be an option. Travis Green is familiar with both. Bachman has showed he can play, although I don’t know how consistent he is. This duo is an affordable, appealing option, and could work, but is somewhat unproven at the NHL level. This could be dangerous.

  • wojohowitz

    Ideally Benning should be looking for a `bridge` goalie that fits in between Markstrom (age 29) and Demko (age 21). There are four or five in the AHL aged 24-25 with two or three years experience that might be cheap to acquire and sign and would welcome the opportunity to prove themselves. Names like; Kaskisuo, McIntyre, Husso, Coreau or Blackwood. Benning could swing a deal for Vegas to draft one of these and in a minor deal trade him to the Canucks. McPhee should be a wheeler dealer with his situation of team building while Benning could be looking at moving someone like Pedan or another AHLer for some depth.

  • Neil B

    I think Condon (late of Ottawa) should be in the conversation as well here. He’s an UFA, of an age with Markstrom, and, if the pro scouts & the goaltending coaches think that he could be a fit, might be an excellent pick-up if offered Markstrom’s contract & term.

    The other option, as noted by Mbossy, would be to take one of Dallas’ goalies back in a trade for #3 as a salary dump. Lehtonen’s limited NTC could affect this, obviously; but we might be able to get around that if we sent Anaheim Miller’s rights for a 6th, say, and he signs for anything north of $3.5 mill. If that could fall into place, we might be able to sell Lehtonen on Vancouver as a stepping stone to his last good contract in a year. As per what we send over, I thnk he’s right to choose Edler. Edler partnered with Klingberg at Worlds, and that worked out well. Klingberg raved on record about Edler’s game. If the owners can keep their egos out of it, that could be a good deal for both teams.

    • Pat Quinn Way

      Whatttt?!! – Ryan Miller is an UFA in five weeks so Anaheim can just sign him for nothing then, because no one else on the westcoast is interested in Miller to force their hand and he desperately wants to be in Cali with his family. Judging by how [email protected] Gibson and (UFA) Bernier were in the conf finals the Ducks may well take a punt on Miller as a backup.

      Secondly, Edler has said many times he is happy in Van and will not waive his MTC/NMC to go anywhere, so neither of these scenarios are in play.

  • wojohowitz

    The latest from Kuzma. Benning wants to re-sign Miller and doesn`t want to trade Edler or Tanev. In effect he wants to bring back last years team and expects a better result. Like that is going to sell season tickets. Benning is turning into a PR nightmare every time he opens his mouth or maybe he is just playing poker and bluffing the other GMs. Next he will be re-signing Chaput and Skille and talking about the bright future.

    • TheRealPB

      It makes sense to keep Edler and Tanev regardless of the breathless chatter on blogs. Despite all the draft lottery fantasies (with little evidence) of tanking, what we have seen repeatedly with rebuilding teams is that throwing out young players with zero support is a recipe for completely crushing their development. You have to have enough good veteran leaders who will a) buy into a rebuild, b) put youth development ahead of their own personal goals, and c) not throw their teammates under the bus when things get bad. Tanev and Edler check off all of those boxes (as do the Sedins and probably Eriksson). Some of the younger vets (Gudbranson and Sutter) have been less good at c and while I think Miller was pretty good at a and c I think he still wants to play too much for me to be really comfortable with him. If he was willing to sign for a pay cut (even $4 million) for two years I think that would be acceptable if he was also willing to cut back to 40 games this season and 30 next. I have a hard time seeing that though. With $17 million in cap space and only Horvat and Gudbranson as notable RFAs to resign (I’d add Boucher and Gaunce to that list) we’re not hurting as far as the cap goes. In terms of other reliable backups there are very few UFAs out there I’d really trust (Kinkaid from NJ, or maybe Leighton or Johnson, but all of them would have to have 30 games or less and I do wonder about how much Markstrom can carry this year).

      • wojohowitz

        The problem is perception. When Aquilini reads this story how does he react? Does he think this will sell tickets or does he see a revenue drop of another million dollars. Bringing back last years roster and expecting a better result will be a disaster. Lipstick on a pig…

    • truthseeker

      No he didn’t say that. Stop lying.

      This is the exact quote…

      “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t listen and see if it (trade) is worth it, but it’s hard to find good defencemen,” said Benning. “Especially defencemen who are mobile and move the puck. I’m not shopping Tanev or bringing his name up in conversations with other GMs. They bring up his name.

      “Unless it would make sense for our future, I’m not trading Chris. He means so much to our team. And we’re not looking to do anything with Alex (Edler).”

      So that’s saying he WOULD trade Tanev if the deal made sense.


      • wojohowitz

        Where`s the lie?

        “Jim Benning believes he can sell unrestricted free agent Ryan Miller on returning to the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.”

        “I’m not trading Chris”

        ” And we’re not looking to do anything with Alex (Edler).”

        • truthseeker

          Are you really that transparent? Do you understand what context is? Why don’t you try writing the WHOLE sentence and not just cherry picking the end of it.

          Here…let me show you what he said one more time…because it appears like you suddenly don’t have the ability to comprehend English when it doesn’t suit your argument.

          “Unless it would make sense for our future…”
          “Unless it would make sense for our future…”
          “Unless it would make sense for our future…”
          “Unless it would make sense for our future…”
          “Unless it would make sense for our future…”
          “Unless it would make sense for our future, I’m not trading Chris”

          So what he’s saying there is, he would trade Chris Tanev if it made sense for the future of the team.

          Got it? He would trade Tanev. Understand? He would trade Tanev. That’s what “Unless it would make sense for our future…” means…..

          It means he would trade Tanev.