If Zack MacEwan gets a pre deadline trial period why doesn’t Chatfield given the poor play of Erik Gudbranson?
Subquestion: Alex Biega better than a 7th defenseman?
— Stuart W. Dixon, MBA (@StuartDixonMBA) February 10, 2019
I’m not sure the comparison between Chatfield and MacEwen is entirely fair. MacEwen has been knocking on the door for most of the season and finally earned a call-up when the big club couldn’t ignore him any longer. Chatfield’s been successful in Utica in his own right, but hasn’t generated the same level of praise. I agree with your general line of thought, but I think the intricacies of the position and the organization’s loyalty to Gudbranson make scratching him in favour of someone like Jalen Chatfield a tough sell.
As far as Alex Biega as concerned, I’m not sure where he fits in the lineup of a true contender; but he’s undeniably one of the Canucks’ best six defenders, especially on the right side where the organizational depth is weak after Troy Stecher and Chris Tanev.
What is a reasonable celing for MacEwan in the NHL?
— Braden Hale (@braden_hale14) February 10, 2019
Asking for more than a 15-goal, 30-point third line player seems like looking a gift horse in the mouth to me. The fact that he’s playing in the NHL means he’s already exceeded expectations. I don’t think there’s ever been a player who’s development I’ve been more surprised by since I started writing for Canucks Army, so hats off to the organization for unearthing him.
In this day and age, can any NHL team afford to have a third line centre with 2 assists?
— Fred P (@Meerschaum529) February 10, 2019
It certainly doesn’t seem like an optimal way to structure your lineup. Defining who the “third line centre” is is going to vary from team to team, but for the purposes of giving a simple and straightforward answer, I just took a look at the centres that rank between 62nd and 93rd in production and looked at their assist totals. Players in the third line centre-range had between 13 and 18 assists, and 117 centres in the league have at least 10 assists on the year. Even Nic Dowd, who struggled mightily to produce offense in Vancouver last year, has 10 assists so far with with Washington this season. Brandon Sutter can be a useful player, but I don’t think it should be controversial anymore to say that to play in a team’s top nine you need to provide more than just defensive value.
Is Brendan Gaunce’s speed the only thing holding him back from being called up by Canucks? He seems to be racking up points and playing great!
— daveG (@GoodsDave) February 10, 2019
I think you hit the nail on the head. The only thing holding him back other than his lack of foot speed is organizational depth at the position. He’s good enough to be in the Canucks’ lineup right now, and was reasonably effective defensively for the Canucks last season, but he’s just not fast enough for his offense at the AHL level to translate to the NHL. With the glut of centres ahead of him on the depth chart I think it’s doubtful we’ll see him in a Canucks uniform again for some time unless a trade or injury occurs.
Assuming we pick somewhere from 12-18, would you trade our 1st for Trouba? What do we have to add to get it done?
— Cat Smith (@catnuck) February 10, 2019
I think any deal involving Jacob Trouba would begin with a first-round pick and a prospect, with possibly another asset thrown in as well. For that reason, I’d pass. Jacob Trouba would make the Canucks a better team immediately, but he’s not the difference between contention and irrelevance so it’s not worth mortgaging the future to get him.
How do they make the PP lethal
— dbrouw87 (@dbrouw87) February 11, 2019
I’m far from an expert on special teams, but having Brock Boeser as a net-front presence seems like a bad idea. Having a defenseman with a shot the opposinng team has to respect might also potentially create more gaps in coverage, but even when Edler was healthy the man advantage still had some struggles. At this point, it shouldn’t be a personnel issue, so I’d assume their system likely needs some adjustment but I’m not really qualified to speculate as to what that might look like.
Looking at the state of the "playoff race" (considering points, goal differential, etc…) in the West… Who WILL take the 2 wild card spots? Who DESERVES to take the 2 Wild card spots?
— Canuck_2441 (@Canuck_2441) February 11, 2019
I would not be the least bit surprised if the teams that currently sit in wild card spots (Minnesota and Saint Louis) are the teams we see in the final two spots when the playoffs start. Based on talent alone, I would think that Colorado probably should be in that second wild card spot over Minnesota, but their underlying numbers are stgrikingly similar and the Avalanche have frankly played some pretty bad hockey over the past few weeks. I won’t be surprised if those three teams start to pull away and create some distance between themselves and Vancouver and Anaheim as we reach the end of the season, but it’s too close to call at the moment. There are really only a couple of teams in the west that are truly out of it.
One more, what is the effect of trading fa signings if they dont work out on subseqient approaches to new fa's?
— olddatsunfan (@olddatsunfan) February 11, 2019
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trading someone you signed as a free agent if they didn’t work out. If anything, it shows you’re willing to do right by the player and find him a new home even if there isn’t a clear fit anymore in your organization.
Why doesn't JB have more confidence in Hutton? IMO he's been better than Edler given he was saddled with Guddy for most of the season
— will yan (@thewillhouse) February 10, 2019
I’m not sure the reluctance to move on from Edler necessarily stems from a lack of confidence in Ben Hutton. The issue is basically that they don’t have much else in their system now that Olli Juolevi is injured and the free agent market is uncharacteristically thin on the left side.
If Jett Woo was in this years draft where would he be rated if you included this years stats? Where would he be rated if you only used his stats up to last year? Two ply question.
— Peter Tiel (@Peteski00) February 10, 2019
This is a tough one to answer because draft year production and draft+1 production are apples and oranges. If Jett Woo were a point-per-game player last year he would have undoubtedly been a first-round and possibly even top-ten pick, but that’s very different from being a point-per-game player as a first-time draft-eligible player.
As far as the second question goes, this year’s draft is a little thinner, so it’s possible he may have snuck into the late first round, but my best guess is there wouldn’t have been much of a difference.
If markstrom keeps playing like he is now should the Canucks resign him after 19/20 even if Demko looks ready to be a starter and Dipietro looks ready to backup?
— Pass it to PETEY (@NucksJays) February 10, 2019
If the Canucks are poised to run with a Demko-DiPietro tandem then the best option would be to trade Jacob Makrstrom if the return is there, and I imagine it would be for a goalie that’s kept up a .920+ save percentage for the past 18 months or so, as would be the case in this scenario.
What would be a reasonable return for Pouliot, Gudbanson, Schaller and Granlund in a trade this deadline?
— olddatsunfan (@olddatsunfan) February 10, 2019
Reasonable or likely? The reasonable return for all of them would probably be a mid-to-late round pick, but I think it’s probable that Gudbranson could still fetch the 2nd and 4th the Canucks were reportedly offered at last year’s deadline.
Is there also a market for these guys and Gagner?
— olddatsunfan (@olddatsunfan) February 10, 2019
I think there’s a market for Erik Gudbranson, and they could possibly find homes for the other players if they start working the phones now. There are teams that are interested in Sam Gagner but I think they’ll have to wait out the remainder of this season before he becomes a movable asset.
Since December Markstrom has played huge is it all Ian Clark ? Or do you think he’s finally figured it out ?
— Belaclava Boris 🇷🇺 (@KtlieverseKelly) February 10, 2019
I think Clark has helped, but I also think he’s just on a good run that will come to an end eventually. 29-year old goalies
How do the #Canucks not sit Eriksson over Goldy/Granlund with MacEwan call up? More pts in less games for Goldy and a -4 vs -8 for Eriksson. Time to stop catering to a big money contract who isn't contributing like he should be.
— MD Stewart (@DocStewartMD) February 10, 2019
I don’t necessarily disagree, but I think you and I both know why they don’t sit him. He makes too much money and it would look bad. Plus, the coach does genuinely seem to like what he brings, even if he’s overpaid.
How much do you consider the Leivo trade a win or even steal by JB? How come that no other team had a better offer than the Canucks?
— Daniel Schwarz (@dan_qotsa) February 10, 2019
There are rumblings that the Leivo trade was as much about the Leafs trying to do right by Leivo and find him a good landing spot as they were about the Canucks targeting a player they liked. The Leafs were also in a bit of a bind, everyone knew they had to lose someone and that there was a good chance if they couldn’t find a trade partner interested in Leivo a lot of teams would get a chance at him for free when he hit the waiver wire.
None of that matters, though. The Canucks were in the right place at the right time and it resulted in maybe the best value-for-value trade of Jim Benning’s tenure as GM. It’s a big win, and he deserves credit for it.
Is goldobin or Virtanen expendable if MacEwan slots in seemlessly? (Considering they are getting calls for Virtanen)
— Ryan Little (@rLittle67) February 10, 2019
MacEwen and Goldobin are very different players, so I don’t think the success of one has much effect on the state of the other. The Virtanen comparison is interesting, though. MacEwen doesn’t have the same kind of speed, but he naturally brings the sandpaper in his game that the team has been trying to instill in Jake since he made the jump to the NHL.
For the moment, the team would be wise to bet on their youth and keep all three. I’d much prefer to see him make someone like Markus Granlund or Tim Schaller expendable. Ultimately, I think Jake and Goldy have more upside, and MacEwen looks like he could easily a cheaply fill the role of a utility forward.
Do you think virtanen ceiling is higher than 3rd line?
— mike higashi (@hirokidude) February 10, 2019
It depends on the definition of a third-line player. Ray Ferraro took a lot of heat for saying he saw Jake Virtanen as a Jannik Hansen-type player, but I think the comparison is about as reasonable as a one-to-one comparison can get. At the height of Hansen’s effectiveness, he scored 22 goals, finished the season with 38 points, andplayed on the team’s top line at evens for much of the season. I think that’s close to a best-case scenario for Jake, but Hansen would still be described as a third-line player for most of his career. I would say that Jake’s ceiling is as a middle-six forward, the kind of player who might be able to play on your top two lines under the right circumstances, but not someone who consistently drives offense on his own.
Is Gudbranson on the trading block along with Pouliot
— Joe Salas (@Ic3D3mon) February 10, 2019
My gut feeling is that the team is closer to moving on from him than they’ve ever been, but that doesn’t mean he’s definitely going to be traded. The Canucks are making a playoff push, and be surprised to see him go at the deadline unless it’s in a so-called “hockey trade”.
In a previous mailbag you said you don’t “don’t think there’s much of a market of Markus Granlund.”
He’s 5th in TOI for current Nux players, plays in all situations, in any position on any line. Isn’t that the exact kind of 13th forward, depth player a playoff team would want?
— Geordie (@geordiedent) February 10, 2019
When I said that, I didn’t mean he’s unmovable by any stretch of the imagination. I just don’t imagine there will be a ton of teams lining up to pay premium assets for his services. Players like Granlund do regularly get moved at the deadline, because they generally come cheap and can give a contending team some depth. The cost of a player like Markus Granlund is, at the highest, a mid-round pick. The Canucks have generally been the type of organization to telegraph their moves ahead of them being made, so my instinct is that they would not be interested in a trade of that sort unless they fall out of playoff contention. Maybe if they don’t intend to re-sign him, they’ll make a move, but I’m not sure how many “hockey trades” will be out there with Granlund as the primary piece going the other way. I won’t exactly be surprised if he’s not on the team come the end of the month, but I wouldn’t bet on it either.