The Canucks have gotten off to a surprisingly decent star this season, going 7-6-0 in their first 13 games to occupy the second spot int the Pacific. They’ve also benefited from lights-out performances from their top two centres, which has overshadowed the goings-on with the prospects in Utica and their struggles to stay in the lineup on a consistent basis thus far. The Comets have had an influx of young talent at forward this year that includes Jonathan Dahlen, Kole Lind, Jonah Gadjovich, Lukas Jasek, and Petrus Palmu. Of that group, only Dahlen has been able to secure a spot in the lineup with any consistency. Through the Comets’ first ten games, Jasek has sat four times, Palmu five times, and Gadjovich six. It may be what’s best in the long run, but given the level of hype attached to some of these players and the Canucks’ status as a rebuilding team, it’s a little disappointing.
How would you handle the kids’ ice-time in Utica? Are you happy with them sitting, or would you prefer to see players like Gadjovich or Palmu be loaned to lower levels so they can play more?
Last week I asked: Who would you like to see Eriksson play with, and what is his future with the Canucks?
Loui does not hurt them defensively but on his contract it’s his offensive capabilities that has fans dismayed. EP is the magic he needs to up the scoring side of his game but this has been one Benning signing I’m still waiting to see some return on and haven’t so far. Maybe Petey coming back will change that.
It really has reached the point where he should be sent down to the minors. It may force him to retire early. Do you think he’d ride the bus for the rest of the season for 1 million in salary this season. If he does stick it out I could see him hanging in until the beginning of next season, take the majority of his salary as his bonus then head to Europe.
Ken Preistlay Fan:
Do they need to do anything with Eriksson? He might not be contributing as was envisaged when he signed and he certainly isn’t value for money, but is underlying numbers continue to be good and how much he gets paid isn’t really a deployment consideration. Once EP40 is fit again, stick him back with him and Goldy and leave him be. Going forward, they need to try and trade him, but even retaining 50% it’ll be a hard sell without taking something back.
It’s not Loui’s fault that he was overpaid by Benning. Accept it as a sunk cost and move on. He doesn’t hurt us defensively, and can play up and down the lineup. So, renew the experiment with EP and Goldy once the former is healthy. If that doesn’t work, put him on a checking line.
The first choice, unlikely to occur, would be to trade him. Until 2020 that can’t be done without him waiving his NTC and even after that he can name 15 teams that the Canucks could trade him to. In addition, declining, aging overpaid veterans aren’t in high demand and getting rid of that contract isn’t likely. Nevertheless that would still be first choice if the Canucks can do it without giving anything of value up or taking on a contract as bad as LE’s Canuck contract.
Failing that, I think he is still an NHL player, able to play decent defensive hockey and chip in a few points here and there. If you can’t trade him then since you can’t really hide his cap hit except for a little over $1 mm, just play him.
After July 1, 2020 when he has a limited NTC and has received his bonus for that year from the Canucks, a team acquiring him would “only” have to pay him $5 million total for 2 years of service. That will still probably be too much but at least his contract wouldn’t be nearly as big a negative as is the case now and we could get lucky and find some team wanting to cheaply reach the cap floor that would find getting $12 mm in cap hit (2 years) for $5 mm in actual pay to be useful.
I don’t like answering questions about who he should play with because lines change so much and even the roster changes considerably with new players, demoting players, which players are healthy and sometimes even who is getting stale playing together. He started the season fine with EP and Goldy and can be effective in a bottom 6 role. He just can’t be expected to be worth the pay he receives under his contract.
I’d like to see Eriksson play with players where he can use his skill and size to stand out and dominate. So probably with the Timbits hockey kids at intermission.