Boldy or soderstorm at 10?
— Johl21 (@johal_21) May 27, 2019
I’m leaning towards Matthew Boldy at the moment, but I’ll also readily admit that I have a bit of a positional bias when it comes to forwards vs. defensemen. Unfortunately, defensemen are notoriously difficult to project at this stage in their development.
I think both players are virtual guarantees to play in the NHL in the near future, but I’m much less convinced of Soderstrom’s upside. Any time a 17-18 year old defenseman can hold his own in the SHL, it’s going to attract attention, and deservedly so; but his 8 points in 14 SuperElit games would seem to indicate he isn’t the most offensively gifted player. Soderstrom looks like the prototypical modern NHL defenseman and he has great hockey sense, but I have my worries that his effectiveness will drop off as he faces stronger competition, and that he doesn’t have the game-breaking skill to see him through those struggles. He reminds me a lot of Adam Larsson in 2011: a safe, transitional defensive defenseman that any team has use for, but that shouldn’t be considered a legitimate building block. Selecting him would be a big risk for a team that needs elite talent.
Boldy, on the other hand, looks like an almost sure-fire top-six contributor. He was a key cog in the USNTDP’s offense this year and already has an NHL frame. I would predict that he can be part of an NHL scoring line by 2021.
The Canucks are in a tough spot because they really need defenders, but unless the players you’re looking at are roughly comparable, position shouldn’t factor into your decision.
Is Colin Miller worth targeting for a trade? Or do the healthy scratches suggest he's merely replacement level?
— Fred P (@Meerschaum529) May 27, 2019
I took a hard look at Collin Miller’s underlying data looking for a red flag and couldn’t find one. By just about every statistical measure, he looks like a home-run candidate to buy low on. He faced weaker competition in Vegas than much of his competition, but he would be an instant upgrade on most if not all of the Canucks’ right side. I don’t know what he did to fall out of favour in Vegas, but unless there are off-ice issues we aren’t privy to, he would make a great trade target for Jim Benning.
What positions should the Canucks be focusing on drafting this year?
— Laura 🏒💚💙 (@canucks181) May 27, 2019
Outside of the first round, the priority should be selecting defensemen. I’m of the belief that position shouldn’t factor into a high first-round pick unless the players you’ve centered in on have roughly comparable talent levels. In the second round and beyond, however, the differences between the players available get smaller and smaller and success becomes more random and luck-driven. At that point, you can easily justify picking the best player out of the remaining crop of defenders. The team’s prospect cupboard on defense is extremely bare outside of Jett Woo and Olli Juolevi, who are far from guaranteed to make an impact in the NHL at this stage. Then again, that could be said of their outlook at forward, too, but ultimately it’s easier to acquire a winger through trade or free agency than a defenseman. So, as long as they aren’t passing up on a special forward who’s somehow fallen into the second or third round, I think prioritizing their blue line would be advisable.
If the Blues win the Cup, or even just do well, will Binnington steal the Calder?
— Riprock45 (@Riprock45) May 27, 2019
Thankfully, the votes are cast after the regular season, so Jordan Binnington’s playoff performance won’t factor into the decision. I’d suspect he’ll get a few first-place votes based on the fact that the Blues were a winning team that made the playoffs this season and the Canucks finished near the bottom of the standings yet again, but have no fear. Pettersson has a lock on the Calder Trophy.
Same question I put to @Pucksonnetca: the rule becomes anything in the X seconds (say 5) leading up to a goal is reviewable. Anything before then isn’t. That way only stuff with a direct impact can be looked at, and it doesn’t matter what it is. Who says no?
— Jyrki21 (🕯JB 1971-2019) (@Jyrki21) May 27, 2019
I can already hear fans losing their minds over an obvious blown call that occurred 5.1 seconds before a goal that is now no longer reviewable, so I think I’d have to pass on this one. I think you have the right idea in terms of only wanting to review plays that were actually relevant to the outcome, but I’m unconvinced this is the way to achieve that.
If you ask me, the NHL needs less rules, not more.
Abolish Offsides 2020.
Should the Canucks go all in on Kawhi Leonard?
— Mike Martignago (@MikeMartignago) May 27, 2019
I’ll need to see a scouting report. Can he skate? If so, I’d be willing to match whatever the Lakers are going to give him.
What are odds of the Canucks leaving the draft with both Hughes brothers on their roster?
— Barry Luka (@BarryLuka) May 27, 2019
I’d file this one under “not technically impossible, but something we all instinctively know will never happen”. First overall picks rarely if ever get moved, and the Canucks aren’t moving any of the pieces they’d need to to get a deal done.
What's the best thing to eat on the ferry?
— Elliot (@Moosekayak) May 27, 2019
I’m partial to the BC Burger but I’d hesitate to call it “good”. I think objectively the best meal you can get on the ferry is the Spicy Ultimate Crunch and yam fries. Don’t sleep on the soft serve ice cream, either.
Rumour is that the Wild called with an offer involving Jason Zucker for Brock Boeser. If you were the Canucks GM, what would it take for you to pull the trigger?
— Kato von Essen (@KatovonEssen) May 27, 2019
If that’s true that’s an absolutely laughable offer from the Wild. As far as realistic offers for Boeser, I’m honestly not sure you could do much better than the offer sheet compensation. I would probably match any offer under 8.4 million dollars, but if someone is willing to pay him upwards of that, I would take my picks and run for the hills. What player in this day and age commands 2+ first round picks in a trade?
Do you see the NHL ever coming to smaller major cities in Canada like Saskatoon or Halifax, considering how odd it is that Florida, Las Vegas and the Carolinas DO have teams?
— a belly irked (@dog_snack) May 27, 2019
This is a great question.
A major hiccup in trying to determine if an area is populous enough to sustain an NHL franchise is the difference between’s a given city’s population and the population of that city’s metro area. For example, Newark is technically one of the least-populated cities with an NHL franchise, but Newark is also located in the New York Metropolitan area, which is literally the most populous metro area in North America. So, as you can imagine, using population as a proxy for the likelihood of a market sustaining an NHL team is rife with issues, and that’s not even accounting for the unique circumstances and NHL competitors that any prospective city would have to work around.
At the moment, the largest census metropolitan area in Canada without an NHL team is Quebec City, which is actually slightly more populous than the Winnipeg Metro Area based on 2016 census data. I’d say the chances of the NHL coming back to Quebec are decent, but would likely come from relocation rather than expansion. Other than that, there has been talk of adding another team in Ontario, likely in Hamilton or a city in the GTA. That makes sense based on population, but the Leafs have such a stranglehold on hockey in Ontario and much of Canada and I just don’t see it happening.
I’m personally of the belief that a city like Halifax could probably sustain an NHL team under the right circumstances, but that’s little more than idle speculation. I’d be interested to see what kind of appetite there would be for a Canadian city to develop a community-owned NHL team in similar fashion to the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, but the Packers are obviously a unique story and have a longstanding history and relationship to the city and any NHL team looking to reproduce this model would be starting from scratch under completely new circumstances.
I think we’ll see another NHL team in Canada one day, but even I have to admit that there’s limited potential compared to what could be achieved by attempting to grow the popularity of the game in the southern United States. I think the NHL is playing the long game with teams in the American South and it may take a generation or two to pay off, but it’s ultimately a justifiable business move.
If you want to see more pro sports in Canada, I would look to the NBA. I have a hard time believing the Grizzlies would suffer the same fate if they were in the league today.