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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

CanucksArmy Roundtable: What About Boucher?

It’s no secret the Canucks have struggled to score of late, save for last night’s 4-3 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks. Who can blame them? They’re without two-thirds of their first line. That’s tough sledding no matter the team.

The Canucks might have a player in their system who could help generate offence though. Remember Reid Boucher? He of the 27 games with the Canucks last season after they plucked him off the waiver wire. Well, he’s been lighting the AHL on fire this season with the Utica Comets. In 24 games with the Comets, Boucher has 25 points according to www.hockeydb.com.

Boucher is 24-years-old and on the cusp of leaving prospect territory, so if the Canucks are ever going to find out if he’s an NHL contributor, I’d say now is the time, right? Or not? I asked the CanucksArmy staff to muse on whether he’s a legitimate NHL option in the short or long-term. Let’s hear what they have to say.

Tyler Horsfal

Yes, he should get a call up now. I think Boucher should have been on the team to start the season, as he had some promising stretches at the end of last year and has decent scoring results at the NHL level. He’s continuing to light up the AHL, and at this point the Canucks need all the offensive help they can get.

Catherine Silverman

I watched Boucher a little bit during his tenure in New Jersey, and was always waiting for… I don’t know. That final breakthrough. He always looked like he was in a small slump but had the talent; I was just waiting for it to finally show.

I’m not super sure he’ll ever be anything more than a depth tweener, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to give him a shot. What do they have to lose?

Petbugs

Is Chaput still in the lineup? There’s your answer.

Darryl Keeping

At this point I’m not in a hurry to call Reid Boucher up to the Canucks and there’s a few reasons why.

If he were to get called up it would be to help the powerplay. The PP is fine at the moment as it’s currently running with a success rate of 20.72%, good for 8th in the league. There’s also a couple of players I’d like to see get their share of PP time before Boucher who are currently on the roster in Virtanen and Burmistrov.

Angry Canucks twitter just got their wish to #FreeGoldy, who do you think Green would take out of the lineup to slot in the offensive minded Boucher? As much as you’d like it to be Granlund or Gaunce, Green trusts them on the defensive side of the puck. Gralund is currently 5th and Gaunce 8th out of 18 Canucks forwards in even strength TOI/GP this season. The latter two are also go to options on the PK.

I’m not sure inserting a player viewed as a defensive liability because of his skating deficiency is what the team needs at the moment. His CF% of 48.37% and GF% of 35% from last season with the squad aren’t enough for me to take potential future assets out of the lineup.

Jackson McDonald

I guess if there’s a time to call him up this is it, but I think I would rather just see the team use the offensive forwards they currently have more optimally. I’m not convinced they have the lineup to get much out of Boucher at the moment. The Gaunce-Chaput-Virtanen line can at the very least win matchups, I’m not sure that happens if you take one of those guys out for Boucher.

I’m not against it, but I think a better bet to get some secondary scoring is to just keep Burmistrov and Goldobin in the lineup.

J.D. Burke

I stand by everything I wrote in this article:

And this radio hit:

  • Dirty30

    If this team actually stood by its sop to “earning” playing time or any opportunity, then Gagner would have been sent to Utica long ago and Boucher (point per game) would be playing for the big club.

    Its a real blindspot on this team (probably others too) that vets — particularrly new signing on longer contracts — are given every opportunity to succeed even when they don’t.

    So yes, sit Gagner or whoever else is not producing and put in someone who has done something.

  • Cageyvet

    If the team was healthy, OK, you can ask where he’d fit in. Right now you have Chaput and Labate up from Utica and the eminently scratchable Burmistrov. Bringing Boucher up does not mean Goldy, Virtanen or Gaunce would have to sit. He’s earned a shot and now seems to be a perfect opportunity. I know they’re looking for other skill sets from Chaput and Labate, but you have to find out what you have in Boucher sooner than later IMO.

  • Holmes

    dont care about boucher or anyone really who may or may not contribute a handfull of goals. do care that the canucks are the league’s version of a pinata. Notice hartnell punching three canucks in the face during the scrum a few games ago? Zero reaction unless you consider an ugly loss a reaction. Canucks need bigger version of dorset in the lineup and they need him yesterday

  • SJ

    I just don’t think Boucher is that good. There’s a reason everyone was hyping Goldobin over him before Goldy was called up. He can shoot, but he’s not much of a skater or defender. Let’s also keep in mind that the list of players to score a lot in the AHL includes Chaput and Megna.

  • 51Geezer

    I think we’ll see him and maybe others when trades move out a couple of expensive temps at the end of February. Let’s be patient; it’s just a little over two months away.
    I agree the team needs someone who enjoys trading punches. What a marvellous gift if McKenze Stewart can be that guy.

  • crofton

    Is he waiver eligible? Maybe Vancouver would like to bring him up for a look, but don’t want to risk losing him if he has to be put on waivers to get sent back down. If that’s the case, maybe having a “look” without keeping him isn’t worth the risk of losing him