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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

CanucksArmy Monday Mailbag:

  1. Jonathan Dahlen
  2. Adam Gaudette
  3. Kole Lind
  4. Jonah Gadjovich

The only way they can fit Elias Pettersson on the opening night roster is if they send defenceman Alex Biega through waivers to the Utica Comets. I’m not sure anyone is going to claim Biega, but it speaks to how tight things are with the Canucks’ roster. It seems possible, likely even, that they lose a player on waivers this season.

  1. 2017
  2. 2014
  3. 2015
  4. 2018
  5. 2016

I’m highly skeptical of any GAR (Goals Above Replacement) or WAR (Wins Above Replacement) model, usually. I think they have some value, but I don’t put a tonne of faith into anything that purports to be a one-size-fits-all metric for player evaluation.

That’s a tough question to answer. I think the Canucks have to keep players like Goldobin in the fold. They need his skill set, he’s young and on the right track. Then again, the outlook is plenty bleak. I’d say I’m 50/50 on whether to keep the jersey or not.

The best move for Goldobin was to trade Sven Baertschi while his value was high, ahead of restricted free agency. With Baertschi back in the fold for another three seasons, that doesn’t seem likely. They’d have to get rid of either Loui Eriksson or maybe Markus Granlund to guarantee Goldobin a consistent spot on the roster.

I say yes.

It’s looking that way, yes.

I think the Canucks don’t think it’s okay, so much as they’re resigned to that fate at this stage. That’s my guess. If they could move Ben Hutton by now, they would have.

I wouldn’t want Hughes to make the transition to the NHL in his draft-plus-one year playing his off-side, whether he says he’s comfortable with it or not. It’s not like the right side of the Canucks’ lineup has a tonne of space for Hughes either. It’s left side or bust, but first the Canucks need to sign him to a professional contract.

The Canucks newest members have limited no-trade clauses, not no-movement clauses. It’s the latter that guarantees protection in any expansion draft. So, the Canucks won’t have to protect any of Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel or Tim Schaller.

I think that the Canucks should go that route, but I get the sense that they’re happy with their centre depth as is. When I spoke to Canucks general manager Jim Benning on Sunday about the possibility of running with Brandon Sutter as the 2C, he didn’t seem to hate the idea, so that’s where I’d expect the Canucks to go.

The Canucks need to go to salary arbitration with Troy Stecher because the player elected to go that route, as per his CBA negotiated rights.

The Leafs are my early pick for Stanley Cup favourite, so we don’t see eye-to-eye there.

The Canadiens desperately need to rebuild, but the contracts on their books are just awful.

The Oilers will bounce back this season.

Elias Pettersson isn’t Loki in disguise.

There’s no reason whatsoever for the Canucks to trade Michael DiPietro. A team can never have too much depth in the crease of their prospect pool. With Thatcher Demko leading the charge, and DiPietro not far behind, it seems like the Canucks are in good hands in net for the future.

I don’t have any hard data on this, but my intuition is that an improved penalty kill could result in an extra four-to-eight points over a season. Even that number seems high.

I’m not sure whether anyone has brought that up to Benning or not, but the Canucks should get more than just Henri Jokiharju if they take on Marian Hossa’s contract for Chris Tanev. That’s just not good enough to be worthwhile for the Canucks.

Phil Kessel is even more adored by the everyday man than Kyle Wellwood. Both are worthy of the affection.

My Athletic colleague Tyler Dellow wrote an interesting article on this topic, suggesting that the Canucks could put together a great offer involving Olli Juolevi for Erik Karlsson. It was an interesting read, to be sure.

I’m not sure where I stand on it. It’s an interesting train of thought to go down. Karlsson is the best defenceman of his generation period. But is the timing right? Does a Karlsson turn the Canucks into a contender overnight? I doubt it, and by the time the Canucks can contend, Karlsson is going to be well outside of his prime years.

I lean towards yes, though I must admit, that was a difficult question to answer. What a haul for the New York Islanders.

Quinn Hughes debut?

I’ve looked, and not once have I come across an article from the Vancouver media advocating for Jim Benning to lose his job. In markets like Toronto or Montreal, there’s an article like that every other week. The idea that Vancouver is a hypercritical market is honestly one of the most laughably overstated positions in hockey.

I could see both of Horvat and Boeser finishing in the low-end of that range, yes.

When Benning was with the Bruins, they had a tonne of natural centres on their roster too. It’s a smart way to build a team. Centres come at a premium in today’s NHL, and with good reason. It’s one of the most important positions in the game. Sometimes an entire line’s play can hinge on their success. Then there’s the matter of having players take strong side faceoffs as opposed to weak side draws in the defensive and offensive zone.

My guess is that they don’t want the kids to develop a losing attitude or get comfortable with losing or something along those lines. Just a guess.

Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin is one hell of a player, but I’m not sure I see the fit.

  • Ronning4ever

    Another Awesome Mailbag. Thx.

    “The only way they can fit Elias Pettersson on the opening night roster is if they send defenceman Alex Biega through waivers to the Utica Comets.”

    Isn’t Schaller likely to miss camp and therefore the start of the season? Even if he’s cleared for play, couldn’t they send him for a two week conditioning stint? Gaunce and Cassels didn’t make it out of camp last year so there’s a good chance the injury bug will open up slots for all, but even without, I think everyone will be fine. The only risk I can see is losing Biega and only if Hughes signs on.

    I think Gaudette is the odd player out,

  • Regarding criticism of general managers:

    It’s a bit disingenuous to say you can’t find an article arguing that Marc Bergevin should lose his job and saying therefore the media aren’t critical in other markets. That’s not the only way to be critical. And I’m not sure any serious person ever advocated for Lou Lamoriello’s firing in Toronto, or has started advocating that Dubas be fired in his stead. And that’s for good reason: Lamoriello and Dubas have done a great job in Toronto.

    The calls for Cheveldayoff’s head have similarly gone quiet over the last two seasons as the Jets have turned themselves into a contender.

    There’s tonnes of criticism out there for Benning, Chiarelli, and Bergeven, and with good cause – Chiarelli and Bergeven seem to be actively working to make their teams worse. There’s just no defending most of their moves over the past two seasons.

    Treliving’s a mixed bag, and that reflects the mixed bag that the Flames have been under his tenure.

    • We need an edit button – that first sentence got all jumbled up when I went back and changed something partway through the post, and now it reads totally contradictory to what I meant. It should read:

      “It’s a bit disingenuous to say that you can’t find an article arguing that Jim Benning should lose his job, and then saying that the media are much more critical in other markets”.

      There’s a lot of criticism of Jim Benning around these parts, and lots of criticism of other GMs in other markets. Benning doesn’t get more than his fair share, or less, in my estimation.

    • Ronning4ever

      This isn’t what he said. He said the opposite: “not once have I come across an article from the Vancouver media advocating for Jim Benning to lose his job. In markets like Toronto or Montreal, there’s an article like that every other week.”

  • DJ_44

    The only way they can fit Elias Pettersson on the opening night roster is if they send defenceman Alex Biega through waivers to the Utica Comets. I’m not sure anyone is going to claim Biega, but it speaks to how tight things are with the Canucks’ roster. It seems possible, likely even, that they lose a player on waivers this season.

    There are a lot of possiblities: one, Schaller will probably be on IR, I would think they would waive Hutton (if not traded) since the chance of a team wanting a replacement level defenceman with a $2.8M cap hit is slim. They can also waive (or trade) Gagner and Del Zotto. I have no problem losing Hutton, Gagner and Del Zotto to waivers (although trades for picks is better). Keep 7D and 14F. You will get Pettersson and Gaudette.

    • Ronning4ever

      I think it’s totally fine to have Gaudette start the season in the minors. He’s got a grand total of 5 professional games and 0 points under his belt. Nothing wrong with making him earn it. Pettersson is already in IMHO. My guess is the team will just roll with everyone they have so far. It’s a bad squad, but they’ll be able to pull from the minors rather than having to trade for a Dowd or sign a Shore mid-season.

  • ikillchicken

    I basically agree with the draft ranking with the major exception of 2014. For me:

    2015: I give this one the slight edge just considering we had a single late 1st and no 2nd. To come away with Boeser is just outstanding. Some nice late round finds in Gaudette and Jasek too. Vastly outweighs a couple mid round misses. Was an extremely weak draft after the top 20 or so also.

    2017: Came away with a top 3 player in the draft. Wasn’t a consensus pick by any stretch. Benning’s single best pick. Also snagged two skaters and a goalie who look on track to be NHL players. Plus Palmu who is intriguing. Had the benefit of an extra 2nd pick but still excellent overall.

    2018: Absolutely love Hughes. Rate a little lower simply because him falling to us was largely good fortune. Made the right, if obvious, call. As for the rest, really like Woo. Skeptical of Madden. Tough to judge this early obviously.

    [huge gap]

    2016: Juolevi is a great prospect but we passed on better options in Tkatchuk and Sergachev. Have yet to see evidence anyone else from this draft will be anything. The only saving grace here is that we had so few picks to work with.

    2014: I still can’t believe we passed on both Nylander and Ehlers. I guess I’ve gotta give credit for McCann, Demko, both who look like quality players, and Tryamkin/Forsling look like viable depth players. Still, we had an extra 1st, an extremely high 2nd, and did also pass on Pastrnak. Had a lot more good than 2016 but cumulatively Benning’s worst draft.

  • Defenceman Factory

    Losing players on waivers

    I have trouble believing there is significant risk of losing the Canucks on the roster bubble through waivers. Every team struggles to cut down to a starting roster and every team sends waves of players down at the same time coming out of training camp.

    Claiming a player off waivers means you can’t send them down they have to go onto your roster. Hutton would go through waivers no problem. I like Hutton and hope he can get his career back on track but if he isn’t considerably better at camp this fall what is the risk another team would want him on their roster at his salary. Leipsic, Goldobin, Gaunce, Granlund and Gagner can’t all stay on the roster. How likely is it that another team sees one of these guys as an upgrade to their roster?

    • argoleas

      Considering what Goldy did towards the end of last season, and that he’s 22 (albeit 23 in Oct) and still on his ELC, I do see him getting claimed. Leipsic maybe too. The rest I agree would pass through.

    • Kevlar73

      My hope for the Canucks this year is that Pettersson has a decent rookie season and if he is lined up with Sutter and Erickson that he might be the playmaker that a line like that would need. As far as players passing through waivers I agree that there are very few Canucks players that couldn’t get through without being claimed.

  • Dissin_Terry

    Biggest take for me was that MR.RM Hastings’ comments were tire fire garbage. I don’t understand the supposed intrigue behind the questions, and the lack of intellect required to to be curious about such pointless, and misinformed questions.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    “The Leafs are my early pick for Stanley Cup favourite, so we don’t see eye-to-eye there.” Yup, because most Stanley Cup winning teams have a terrible defence and an inconsistent goalie. LOL.