The season is nearly upon us. Let’s keep things simple this week.
Who makes your opening night roster and why?
Last week I asked: Who do you think can surprise at camp and earn a full-time spot on the roster? At whose expense?
Beer Can Boyd:
Both Dahlin and Gaudette should probably make the team in place of Gagner for sure, and either Gaunce, Granlund or Goldobin. But they will stick with the veterans again , hopefully for the last time. Its ok, I’ve been waiting since 1970, whats a couple more years?
Demko and Gaudette. I’m tired of our hot and cold goaltending duo. Both Markstrom and Nilsson are too inconsistent for this team to truly succeed. Gaudette because he is a little older and has enough experience to make the jump. I would like to see him make both Sutter and Gagne expendable.
No rookie other than Pettersson makes the roster for opening day, however management will be able to identify who to try and trade so the needed spots can be opened up.
I believe Benning will make room for rookies who deserve it but that doesn’t mean by the season opener. Before a veteran is waived to be replaced by a rookie the play of both players over the first 10-15 games will justify the move.
This might be an odd answer, but no one. I want to see guys like Goldobin and Leipsic on the NHL club – it’s make-or-break time for those players, and I’d like to see all the other prospects down in Utica. The Canucks are going to be a bottom-five team in the NHL this year, but Utica could be a Calder Cup contender. Send the kids down to grow, bond, and most importantly, win. Give those who earn it a few call-ups throughout the year to put a little extra money in their pockets and give them a taste of the NHL, then bring them up as a group next season as a unit that can make a real impact in the NHL.
I’m still waiting for Goldobin to prove he’s a legit NHL player. It’s Top 9 or bust and this is his make-it-or-break-it year. If he proves that he is a Top 9 scoring threat, then I bet he bumps Gagner.
Gaudette will have a very good camp and pre-season, and will be definitely NHL-ready. Dahlen and Juolevi will look good too. Will not matter. All off to start in Utica. And that`s just the way it is.
I expect Goldobin and Leipsic to make the team with Gagner and Gaunce to be either traded or waived. Gaudette and Dahlen are probably more talented but spending time in Utica won’t hurt them and they will probably be back up fairly quickly.
Dahlen needs time to acclimate to the North American game as he’s literally had less than 10 games over here. Even if he impresses in camp I think it would be better for his overall development to get games in the AHL. He’s talked himself about the differences he experienced when he came over last year. I think he has higher upside than most of the current young players at camp outside of Petterson but I don’t think he will make the cut. I hope it’s Goldobin or Boucher to add some punch to the top-six where it would be at the expense of Gagner or Granlund. If it’s a bottom six player then it’s Gaudette or Motte at the expense of Gaunce, Schaller or Leipsic. If it’s on defense I could see Chatfield or McEneny surprising Hutton, Biega or even Pouliot. It’s all a bit of a mess to sort out because it depends on the role they get asked to play. Goldobin, Boucher, Leipsic and a whole lot of the other bubble young players won’t succeed as fourth liners and you could set back the two-way potential of a Gaudette if you consign him to a checking role. And as decent as he’s looked, he’s nowhere near ready to get kicked in the teeth in even half of Sutter’s defensive deployment (even if it will now be shared with Beagle). My guess would be Goldobin and Motte with the Canucks carrying 2 F and 1 D as the extras.