Is the run of scoring the Nux got out Pearson for real?
— Geordie (@geordiedent) April 7, 2019
It depends on what you mean by “real”. Is Pearson going to keep shooting at over 20% for the remainder of his Canucks career? No. Did he suddenly forget how to score goals at the age of 26 after being a consistent contributor for the Kings for three seasons and the offense he showed with the Canucks is just a complete fluke? I highly doubt it.
I think the Canucks bought low on Pearson when he was at his absolute worst and can probably expect a couple more seasons of 15ish goals and 35ish points before his contract is up. This was a down year for Pearson and he still managed 18 goals and 27 points, so I think if anything about this season was a mirage, it was his awful start in Los Angeles.
I think there are reasons to feel optimistic about Pearson moving forward, as long as the expectations are reasonable. He spent much of the year playing with a hand injury and the Kings and Penguins both gave up on him very quickly. His career high is 44 points, so it seems reasonable that if he’s healthy and on a team where he’s going to get opportunities, he could get back to 35-40 next year.
How has Dahlen been doing with San Jose’s AHL team?
— The Juice Truck (@juicetruck) April 7, 2019
He has 4 points in 7 games, all assists, but he’s also been a healthy scratch at times. The AHL Barracuda are a playoff team and Dahlen’s a new addition, so it’s hard to know how much to read into that; but I’d say it’s more or less the same it was in Utica. The Sharks are in a position to take a flyer on a guy like Dahlen who has upside but hasn’t put it together, and the deal may pay off for them; but he’s firmly in “meh” territory for the time being.
Do you think Hughes can play right side?
— mike higashi (@hirokidude) April 7, 2019
Yes, I do. In fact, I think handedness ought to be less emphasized for player like Hughes who have a tendency to freewheel and get creative. Hughes is a special player, and I don’t think that’s going to go away just because he’s playing his off-side. The real question is whether or not the coach or the front office has any appetite for it.
What would be worse, Simmonds on a 5yr/35M deal or Myers on a 6yr/36M deal
— DaddySeatoo (@DaddySeatoo) April 7, 2019
Simmonds. He’s been the better player historically but he’s already experiencing a steep decline and probably has at most three more years of above-replacement-level play in him. Myers is what he is, but he’s younger and looks like he’ll hold up a little longer. Defensemen also retain their value for longer than forwards and if the Canucks could move Gudbranson with two more years at 4 million I’m sure they could move Myers if they had to.
How has it been taking over the mailbag?
— Geordie (@geordiedent) April 7, 2019
Great! It’s been eight months now that I’ve been doing it every week, but I had been playing spot duty for J.D. for about a year before that, so it was a seamless transition. I appreciate that it forces me to get thoughts out every week, especially when I’m too busy to spend hours pouring over data for a long-form thought piece.
I think J.D. and I have a similar outlook, but our approaches to the mailbag are pretty different, so I hope the final product is still as good as it ever was.
So I am cirious as to what Mike DiPetro got paid during his emergency recall to Vancouver.
— olddatsunfan (@olddatsunfan) April 7, 2019
DiPietro is an interesting case as far as “emergency goaltenders” go, because he’s property of the organization and signed to an ELC. That makes him significantly different from your Scott Foster-types or goalie coach who has to step in to make sure two goalies are dressed. Unless I’m mistaken, he would have just been paid his share of his ELC for the time he spent with the team.
Who on the Canucks (coaching & mgmt staff included) do you think would win a hot dog eating contest?
— Brendan Morrison's Lisp (@morrisonslisp) April 8, 2019
There are definitely some treat boys in the front office, but you have to think that it would be one of the players based solely on how much food a pro athlete can put away. Luke Schenn is the heftiest guy on the roster so I’ll go with him, but Jake Virtanen definitely has a puncher’s chance.
Assuming 9-slot, what would it take to move up in the draft (within reason, maybe not 1st or 2nd)? And how are the potential 2019 top picks distributed in terms of their talent?
— Jonah Gray (@Jonah_Gray) April 7, 2019
If they’re only moving up a couple of spots, they could probably do it by adding their second. If they’re moving up to third or fourth, it would probably take a roster player or a prospect. I would say it’s not worth it in this year’s draft, though, where there are no sure things after Hughes and Kakko.
I would say the talent is distributed something like this:
Tier 1: Hughes, Kakko
Tier 2: Cozens, Dach, Byram
Tier 3: Rest of the first round
I have some thoughts on how the rest of the first shakes out, but I’m willing to admit it mostly comes down to preference and I’m not familiar enough with this year’s draft to have any strong opinions yet.
Convince me the Canucks aren’t the embodiment of the 2010 Oilers. A few good young pieces, not much else…
— Trevor Crawley (@tcrawls) April 8, 2019
There are definitely some similarities. I’m not saying they are direct comparables in terms of play style or position, but Elias Pettersson has the potential to be a roughly Taylor Hall-calibre player, and Bo Horvat has a similar profile to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Brock Boeser bares a lot of similarities to a young Jordan Eberle, but the early returns on Boeser indicate there’s a good chance he’ll be more consistent. The biggest difference would be that the Oilers never really had a defensive prospect with the kind of potential that Quinn Hughes has, and could never get consistent goaltending. The Canucks also don’t seem nearly as beholden to the whims of the old boys’ club, Ron Delorme notwithstanding. When you look at the supporting cast, though, the two teams are fairly similar. I would definitely give the edge to the Canucks, though. They’ve got slightly better pieces, are invested heavily in goaltending, and don’t have the insane loyalty to former players that Edmonton has. Whether or not the results are going to be better remains to be seen, but I think the problems that have made the Oilers the laughingstock of the NHL for the past 15 years are pretty unique to Edmonton.
Do you believe the rebuild is at a major turning point because of the cap space and Edler being the last NTC of the 2011 era? To me this offseason makes or breaks JB as a GM. Agree or disagree?
— Bruuntuun (@bruuntuun) April 7, 2019
I don’t mean to seem harsh, but it’s very strange to me that someone can be a general manager for five seasons, have things go as poorly as they have for the vast majority of their tenure, and have this offseason be the “make or break” moment. We have a very large sample of what players this regime likes to target in trades and free agency, and the results have been mostly pretty bad. I’m extremely skeptical that this offseason is going to be different simply because the team appears to finally be rounding a corner.
I’m not singling you out, I think it’s a fairly popular viewpoint. I just don’t really understand it. We’ve seen Jim Benning tinker with a good team, we’ve seen him tinker with a bad team, we’ve seen him with limited cap space, we’ve seen him with space to burn. The results have always been more or less the same: overspending on bottom-of-the-lineup pieces due to a mistaken belief that they can be more. I don’t see why that would suddenly change now.