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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

WWYDW: All-Star Mania!

The NHL’s All-Star game isn’t that far off on the horizon. About two weeks-ish. The Canucks have a representative in Brock Boeser for this year’s showcase, who is following in the steps of Bo Horvat, who represented Vancouver last year.

Mostly, I don’t really give a damn about the All-Star Game. I’m not going to get into the reasons why — they should be fairly self-evident at this point. Former Managing Editor of CanucksArmy and current Sportsnet columnist Dimitri Filipovic had an episode of The Hockey PDOcast with The Athletic Edmonton’s Jonathan Willis recently though, and they found a way to make the All-Star Game mildly intriguing. Essentially, they drafted their own set of teams for each division. It was a fun listen, as most episodes of the PDOcast are.

I won’t put you through the rigours of selecting a new team for each division, but what if you had your say over the Pacific Division All-Star Team? What would it look like? Given the Canucks play in the Pacific, you should all have some level of familiarity with the division and its players, so I thought this might be a fun exercise. Have at ‘er.

Last week I askedThat’s why I’m asking you, the loyal reader at CanucksArmy, to ponder the Holm question, and how you would solve it. You can get creative. Whether it’s by trade, demotions or even just leaving Holm in Utica — feel free to shoot your shot!

Chris the Curmudgeon:

At this point, why not call him up as Tanev recovers? I think Del Zotto could use a few games in the press box to mull things over, and as much as he’s a veteran, his play has not earned him any immunity from healthy scratch territory. I don’t know that Stecher should be a lineup lock either. When a team is this woeful, there should be very few sacred cows. Please leave Hutton in, as he’s NOT the problem, and you don’t want to scratch Gudbranson or do anything else to hurt his trade value.

That means playing Edler, Hutton, Gudbranson, Holm, Pouliot and one out of Stecher/MDZ. Not a great defensive lineup, but we don’t have a great defensive lineup.

Puck Viking:

Trade Gudbranson, MDZ and Hutton too if the price is right. Call up Holm.

Forever 1915: 

Sit Eriksson for a few games and insert Holm as a 7th defenceman. We have no idea if Holm can handle an NHL workload but we do know that Eriksson hasn’t been earning his $6M paycheque. If Chicago can sit Seabrook, we can easily sit Eriksson. Running a regular defensive roster plus Holm doesn’t handcuff Green on the blueline.

Cageyvet: 

I appreciate everything Biega brings to the team, but let’s be realistic. If we are focused on the future, then you utilize your assets to the best of your ability. Next year’s roster should not have Biega on the team. If that means he goes down to Utica this year to make room for Holm, then you do it. There aren’t a lot of options that allow you to give him the extended run both he and the team need to see if you are to ink him next year.

Here’s my squad next year based solely on available assets, not a wish list, if we win the lottery you can add Dahlin and dump someone. I’ve shown the team by listing everyone that I think matters right now, and only kept 6 for the big club, everyone else has a comment for where they’d go. In no particular order:

Tanev
Edler
Pouliot
Stecher
Hutton
Juolevi
Del Zotto – found money, trade him or waive him to make room
Holm – would happily have him make Hutton expendable
Biega – in Utica for depth
Wiercoch – in Utica for depth or gone
Gudbranson – traded
Brisebois – hopefully first injury callup from Utica
Chatfield – hopefully ready for a callup from Utica

I’d be happy to trade Del Zotto at the deadline, he’s not keeping us from losing and is not part of the future.
I’d take offers on Hutton or put him in a package deal for the right price.
I’d make sure Holm got a shot this season.
I’d trade any of our current D for the right price, including Tanev, although it’s a scary thought to take the best defenseman off this team.

With today’s lineup, I’d have Edler, Tanev, Stecher and Pouliot locked in my top four. Two proven Dmen, even if Edler makes me crazy, and two kids with good potential to keep improving, IMO.
Everybody else can fight for the leftover ice time, and that should include Holm. He’s adjusted to the smaller rink and done very well in the AHL, now let’s see what he’s got.

tyhee: 

From the article: “As Botchford points out, the Canucks have Holm on a one-year deal, and they promised him a shot at some point. And with the way the Anton Rodin and Alexander Burmistrov situation played out, another unfulfilling tour of duty in Vancouver from a European free agent, and you’ll start to wonder if any will ever want to sign here again.”

He’s been doing pretty well in Utica. Assuming it is correct that he was promised a chance sometime this season, then imo the real question is when to give him that chance and how.

Right now the Canucks have, in no particular order, Gudbranson, Hutton, Edler, MDZ, Pouliot, Stecher and Biega, with Tanev out injured. Gudbranson is apparently on the trading block, though I don’t remember seeing anything from the Canucks’ management to suggest that. The defence as a whole has not been very good.

If one of the current defence gets traded without a current NHL defenceman coming back, then after the trade it is fairly easy to make room for Holm on the roster for a while and how you get him into some games depends on the injury state and who is playing well at that time. Even without further injury, the way the Canucks’ defence has played this season there is no shortage of players who could join a rotation sitting for a bit, even if healthy, while Holm gets his look in the big league. Realistically, the only one that everyone would probably agree that if healthy he should play is Tanev. I have a couple of others that I think should be playing if healthy and others will have their views as well, but beyond Tanev there will be a wide range of opinions about who they are. The point is, based on play this season there isn’t a shortage of players that can be parked in the pressbox to give Holm his chance and who that might be depends on the situation at the time the chance arises.

I don’t see a problem getting him into the lineup for a a shot once a player (presumably Gudbranson, but it could be someone else) is traded. I could see him having to play his off-side, which could pose a bit of an issue as it appears Green appears to try to keep defencemen on their forehand sides.

This season is a write-off. It isn’t as if they need to break a promise to give him a chance, if indeed they made that promise, so that they can play their tried and true winning (?) players to try to finish a spot higher in the standings. Give him a realistic chance, at least several games playing regularly.

If he wasn’t given that promise, then they should still probably give him a try of some kind, if only to avoid the appearance, right or wrong, of yet another player returning to Europe thinking he should have had more playing time or a better chance.