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Photo Credit: Vancouver Canucks / Twitter

WWYDW: The New Guy

The Canucks picked up Josh Leivo for a song on Monday, taking another gamble on a relatively promising young forward who’s struggled to stick in the lineup of a deep team. Only time will tell where Leivo fits in the Canucks’ future, but the early returns have been good, as Leivo scored a goal in his first game with his new club, skating alongside Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser in the top-six.

His addition came with some controversy, though, as Nikolay Goldobin was removed from the lineup to accommodate Leivo’s addition. Not everyone was on board with the decision, to say the least. Where do you think Leivo should play, and who should come out of the lineup in his stead?

Last week I asked: Which defensemen would you like to see brought back next season?

Robson Street:

In all seriousness, this team needs more top 4 defense in order to be competitive during the few cheaper forward contract years upcoming. That’s going to probably take 1. Draft luck and 2. Not removing the few quality D that want to play here. If you’re optimistic, maybe Hughes contributes next season and doesn’t need a partner to shelter him as he adjusts. Juolevi might never get there (meaning, he almost certainly makes the nhl but his flaws mean he follows a David Rundblad “not a difference-maker” trajectory). No one else is close.

Unless Edler or Tanev show no interest in staying here in their walk years or have unreasonable contract demands, the Canucks would do well to keep them. The fewer roster holes to have to fill, the better.

That said, if you’re not on a cheap contract (Stecher, probably Hutton) and not making a significant contribution, take a hike. I wish MDZ and Pouliot well in their future endeavours.

I am Ted:

Bring back Hutton and McEneny. Hutton can stay up and McEneny could battle for a spot or be depth in Utica. Can’t have enough D.

Edler needs to be dealt at deadline and if any of the others can be dealt then do it.

Defenceman Factory:

No Pouliot or MDZ. Trading Edler and Tanev at the deadline this year is the right move. I am also open to seeing Gudbranson traded. That said It means there has to be a serviceable RHDman come back in one of those trades. Stecher and Hutton stay for sure.

No to signing Myers this offseason. He will want a long term contract beyond the end of Gudbranson’s and want more money. It’s questionable if he is really much of an upgrade.

The big test is still landing a young top 4 RHD.

Kanuckhotep:

With Juolevi and Hughes on the horizon both Pouliot and Del Zotto’s contracts are up after this season which should tell you something. As for Edler and Tanev you can neither chop both nor keep both IMO. Maybe one reliable vet can stay back there. That leaves Hutton, Stecher and Gudbranson coming back next year. What may happen at the TDL and/or July 1st will provide a clearer picture. I’m not all in on Myers or Alzner for that matter. Not at those prices.

Gino über alles:

Highly in favour of a trade at the deadline and then resigning [Edler] as a UFA. He wants to be here and we’ll need him for at least the next three years, easily.

What people are forgetting is that there is NOT this huge need to create room on the LHD for prospects. Juolevi is an exclusive LHD but Hughes has been very effective at either side of the blue line and is open about liking the benefits of each. He can easily fit in there and do extremely well even if it’s not his most optimum position, he’s an extremely high caliber player. It’s doubtful that MDZ and Pouliot return and those two can slide into their minutes as they adjust to playing in the NHL.

If there is a serious push to move Edler and Tanev at the deadline then we’re definitely going to need the veteran blue line presence for next year, and having someone like Edler that really wants to be here is a huge plus. Max out on the return at the TDL and then sign him for another 3 year contract, he’ll easily play at a high level for the length of it and it would transition our blue line perfectly.

Kootenaydude:

I’m thinking sign Hutton cheap right now. Then you can keep him or he’s a young tradeable asset. If you keep him it’s Hutton, Hughes and hopefully Juolevi. RHD is Tanev, Gudbranson and Stetcher. Beiga is the extra body. Our AHL defensemen can also fight for any of our defensive positions if Juolevi doesn’t cut it.

argoleas:

I would sign Hutton to an extension. I like this version of Hutton. As of now, he is their best LDman on this roster.

Edler should/must be traded by this TDL. If possible, do the same with Pouliot and MDZ.

I really dunno what Canucks have in McEneny. His injury last season set his progression back. But I assume that he will earn another 2-way contract, and that’s fine with me.

Since many are expanding this to a discussion of RD as well, I say keep Stecher, and move Tanev. For me, Tanev looks off, and that may be an onset of a sharp downward slide. Maybe keep him until next season’s TDL for Hughes’ first season.

All I will say about Guddy is that Benning will not trade his precious, so that’s that. Or at least until/unless Woo is ready.

And for God’s sake, do not sign an expensive 28-30 year old RHD UFA that will kill your cap situation for the next decade. Go young!!

 

  • speering major

    Put him everywhere and see how it goes. There is no controversy with Goldobin. Motte and Schaller were in the line-up and are clearly a low rent version of what Leivo offers. This is clearly an upgrade to the teams depth. Where exactly does he fit? It doesn’t really matter, he fits where he fits. Experiment. The important thing is that he’s better than Motte, Schaller, Gagner, Gaunce, and Archibald. The team got better. Good. Where he fits in should sort itself out

    • Bud Poile

      Goldy is as soft as a pancake.
      Offensively gifted but has ongoing issues with his defensive game.
      Does not have a net front presence.
      Leivo adds size,strength and a net front presence.
      Canucks have lacked that in their top-six and PP.

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        Are people too scared to do some objective reflection of the team? EVERYthing you said was bang on accurate and true. I occasionally find myself disagreeing with your comments, but you are 100% correct.

        This doesn’t mean Goldy should have been scratched on a dreadfully inept hockey team, but it was and continues to be an accurate assessment of Goldy’s game. The Leivo points are also applicable. It’s been a while since we had a dedicated net front presence….I’m thinking Mikhail Samuelsson?

  • Beer Can Boyd

    Play him with Horvat and Boeser. Bo has been struggling with sub par wingers, and Leivo’s dump and chase style would be far better served on this line. Reunite EP, Goldy and Jake, who looked great together in the 2 games Green gave them.

    • rediiis

      I like this assessment on Horvat’s line until Baerts comes back. After that I would have Baerts/Bo/Brock and Josh/Elias and keep working on who deserves to play with them (Eriksson not included).

  • TD

    I don’t know enough about Leivo, but I like the idea of some grit with Pettersson if he has enough talent. Godly looked good with Horvat last year so that could work. Try it all out and find out what works.

  • Given the Canucks’ lack of depth on the LW, keep him with Pettersson and Boeser and shuffle him down the lineup if he falters. When Baertschi returns, he should be put back with Horvat. If Goldobin wants back in the Top 6, he should start putting some effort into the backcheck.

  • TheRealPB

    Leivo is a top nine with some skill and better size than a few others who’ve slotted in this season (Leipsic and Boucher certainly). I think Goldobin makes it back in; he’s overall looked much improved, though his defensive lapses mean that a game on the bench here and there isn’t unwarranted. Just about no one’s roster spot should be safe when you’ve lost 12 of 13 games, though Horvat, Boeser and EP seem locks. I know this will sound like heresy but I would think about sitting EP a game or two because he looks absolutely gassed or at least unable to figure out the defensive pressure in the last ten games or so. Leivo makes sense on the second or third lines, Gaudette to go back and get better and more important minutes in Utica, Schaller and Granlund to alternate with Motte for the press box (though Eriksson deserves that more but $6 million price tag won’t have that happen till next year when most of the real money comes off the books).

  • Kanuckhotep

    Upon Baer’s return and with Leivo staying on left wing Schaller could be the 13th F sitting in the press box. The vicsissitude of Green’s line shuffling speaks for itself but it’s not unreasonable to suggest playing with Bo and Jake would be a good fit for now. Petey and Brock are the Dynamic Duo for this club now and should never be split up from now on IMHO and the coaching staff seems to want Goldy playing with them. Wherever they put Leivo it’s a decent upgrade to work with.

  • Sandpaper

    It doesn’t matter what line or who he plays with, an upgrade on Leipsic and one of many changes to this lineup over the next couple seasons.
    Next up MDZ, or Pouliot or Biega or Granlund or Schaller or well I am sure everyone gets my point.

  • LACANUCK

    In the short time, one game, Leivo has a quick release which should be welcomed. Playing Jake and Leivo with Bo would be a good situation. Big Fast with a quick shot.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Brock-Bo-Baertschi

      EP-Goldy-Jake

      Gaudette-Roussell-Leivo

      Beagle- Motte-Loui

      Schaller subs in for Loui or Motte when he proves he’s ready to play

      This until Sutter comes back, then Gaudette goes down and plays 20 minutes a night in Utica

  • liqueur des fenetres

    Doesn’t seem to make much sense to take a guy that can barely stick in the NHL (albeit on a deep team) and have him on one of your top two lines without any practice or history with the other guys.

      • liqueur des fenetres

        It’s not like they’ve been getting blown out though. I’m interested in seeing how the coaching staff is developing these players for future seasons, and moves like throwing Leivo on the top line suggest they don’t have much of a plan. Since he scored does he stay on the top line? We’ve seen how he’s been deployed by a pretty good coach over the past two seasons.

        • Killer Marmot

          We’ve seen how he’s been deployed by a pretty good coach over the past two seasons.

          Your first post was concerned for the near future, and your second post was concerned for the long run.

          The biggest priority for the Canucks is to pull out this losing streak. Management has to take some action. This change makes as much sense as any.

          • liqueur des fenetres

            The long run was in reference to the guys with a future on the team, not Leivo specifically. This season wasn’t about the playoffs, it was about getting young guys to take the next step in their professional development, or at least that was the public messaging.

            This losing streak that concerns you and apparently TG & Co. for the most part is just the result of a bunch of unlucky coin flips and who they are playing in the schedule. Benching MDZ would have a far greater impact.

          • Killer Marmot

            This losing streak that concerns you and apparently TG & Co. for the most part is just the result of a bunch of unlucky coin flips and who they are playing in the schedule. Benching MDZ would have a far greater impact.

            Green and Benning are concerned about losing because it ultimately jeopardizes their jobs. If you were in management, you would be scrambling too. I’m concerned about losing because it’s more fun to see my team win. Plus I was hoping for a run at the post-season.

            The odds of losing 12 out of 13 games is about 1 in 4000, so there’s likely more than just bad luck going on here.

            Regarding Del Zotto, he’s playing okay. I just wish the other team wouldn’t score every time he gets a penalty.

          • liqueur des fenetres

            Now I’m really confused, is it stealth tank or not? Because if management job security requires 80+ points this season they might as well start packing their bags now. Putting Leivo on the top line sight unseen suggests that their plan is to throw whatever they’ve got against the wall to see what sticks, not develop as per some master plan. How many times during the Benning era have we seen them treat other team’s trash as treasure?

            NB. I’m not saying that Leivo or the other guys they’ve brought in are trash, it’s just a metaphor, kind of like coin flips was. But you shouldn’t be surprised when going through teams’ discard piles that you’re going to be finding lots of guys that will never be 1st, 2nd or even 3rd liners on good teams — unless you think you’re smarter than the average bear.

          • Killer Marmot

            But you shouldn’t be surprised when going through teams’ discard piles that you’re going to be finding lots of guys that will never be 1st, 2nd or even 3rd liners on good teams — unless you think you’re smarter than the average bear.

            On a team that seems overflowing with young talent you just might. Sometimes good players get crowded out, and Benning should always be on the lookout for that.

  • I am Ted

    Give him a bit of a run in the top 6. When healthy, Canucks might be:

    Baertschi/Horvat/Boeser
    Goldobin/Pettersson/Leivo
    Roussell/Sutter/Eriksson
    Schaeller/Beagle/Granlund

    Motte

    Gaudette back to Utica.

  • Cageyvet

    Until Baertschi is back, I’d like to see Goldobin-Petterson-Boeser and Leivo-Horvat-Virtanen. I think Leivo’s game is more suited to the spadework done by Bo and Jake, and I’m loathe to separate Brock from Elias. Petterson deserves a bona fide finisher on his line, and Brock fits the bill.