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WWYDW: The First Line

It’s early August, which means the NHL news cycle has come to a grinding halt. So, now is as good a time as any to speculate on what next season’s lineup might look like.

There’s a lot of questions when it comes to the 2018-19 forward group, not the least of which is who will get the nod to play with the presumptive first line duo of Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson. Our very own Faber explored the possibility of JT Miller getting a look there, but there are plenty of other options available, too.

Who would you like to see play with Boeser and Pettersson?

Last week I asked:What would you do with Loui Eriksson?


I would try and trade Loui to any team that would not demand a draft pick or young prospect to be added as part of the deal. The return would not matter as long as it would not be a contract worse than Eriksson’s.

If no trading partner can be found over the summer I would try and build up his value. The best way to do this is to play him with Elias Pettersson or Bo Horvat in the top six. A rejuvenated Eriksson may be a fit with a playoff contender that has the cap space to take him.

El Kabong:

I would tell him he either has to make the team as a top 6 forward, which is what he’s paid for, or he’ll be sent down to Utica. During he career, to date, he has banked 57,625,000 and the three years remaining has him owed 4 million in bonuses and five million in salary. I really don’t believe he would play out his contract if demoted, that remaining 9 million just won’t be enough to endure 3 years of riding the bus especially when he could retire from the NHL and play in Sweden and recoup some of that remaining balance. As far as other UFA not wanting to come here because we demoted an over paid ineffective forward I don’t believe it would dissuade future signing unless they believed they couldn’t live up to the contract, win – win if you ask me.


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I think you try to trade him if you don’t have to give up anything that will hurt the team’s ability to contend for a cup in 3 years & beyond. IMO you could include Baertschi or Goldobin in that category, and a mid round draft pick, but not someone like Virtanen who still has playoffs potential & popularity among the fans.


Do anything possible to move him. Eat a little salary and throw in a prospect if need be. Give Goldobin some quality line mates at the start of the season to make him look good. Then use him as the sweetener for the deal. Throw in Virtanen if you have to. Ferland just made Virtanen expendable.


I would trade him if possible, but not Throwing in a bunch of add ons.

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If he can’t be traded he should be given a chance. Some articles earlier this summer showed Eriksson was an elite penalty killer, which has huge value (I mean to a winning team, not a 6 mil contract). But if a bad attitude affects his play or his locker room presence, then off to Utica or even Kalamazoo. But Eriksson is a better NHL player and provides more value than others in the roster like Schaller or Motte and the Canucks only get the same cap relief for any of them being sent down. For me it comes down to his attitude and the value he provides in the lineup compared to other players as they all provide the same cap relief.

  • chris16w

    I’d like to see them balance their finishers, playmakers, toughness, and defense throughout the lineup. The potential problem with putting Miller with Petey & Bo on line 1 is that it could leave you with a Ferland-Horvat-Pearson second line where neither player would excel at setting up their linemates. I see both Petey and Bo as playmakers, and both are prone to getting bullied by opponents, so I think you put Ferland with them to finish their setups and “make space” for them. Hopefully Ferland also inspires Bo not to shy away from contact and defense as often as he has.

  • apr

    Ferland played great with Gudreau and Aho, so he’s probably pencilled in to start. That said, if Hoglander somehow someway makes the team, I think he’s playing with EP and Brock.

  • Hockey Bunker

    Put Ferland there for puck retrieval, driving the net and to cause havoc with opposing D who we want more concerned with being hit by him than they are with where Petey and Brock are going. Also Ferland should help cut down on any abuse Petey gets. But one piece of advice for EP, stop doing that “death stare” at thee opposing bench. It is the type of thing that invites retaliation. If I was playing against you and you did that, i’d punch you in the face first chance I got. Disrespectful and not cool at all.

  • Robson Street

    Leivo. Fixing the first line is walking into a trap: Pettersson Boeser Leivo is one of the few lines/pairings that were not a going concern last year, along with Rousell and Horvat.

    Construct a third line you can actually play (Pearson Miller Ferland?), then bolster Bo’s line, then worry about the rest.

  • Locust

    Here is hoping that CA has finally purged the troll – nary a peep lately. Congrats if you have. His mommy could have taken him to summer camp but lets hope for the best.
    Also I see FRAUD has disappeared at the same time Ryan left – just a (cough cough) coincidence I’m sure….

  • Defenceman Factory

    There has been a lot of discussion of whether it should be Ferland or Miller on a line with Petey and Brock.

    I think the two best suited to play together are Miller and Pettersson. Keep in mind Miller is the same size as Ferland, a better passer and has stronger puck possession stats. Miller plays with an edge. He has a long list of scraps on his resume and although not as skilled a pugilist as Ferland he isn’t shy about dropping the mitts when the time comes. Miller seems the best suited to work a cycle game with Pettersson.

    Boeser’s strongest skill is as a shooter. I’m not advocating he move off Petersson’s wing but with two very strong forecheckers like Ferland and Horvat he could be that line’s finisher.

    One of Baertschi, Goldobin or Pearson could take Petersson’s other wing and make that line a puck possession machine.

  • B_Rad77

    There is no doubt in my mind that Ferland was told he would het a shot at the first line playing with Petey n Boeser in order to sign him And it may even have been the plan to put him there for protection Betting thats who starts on line 1

  • J-Canuck

    Ep and Brock have world class shots and EP is a puck wizard. Add in JT’s zone entry and passing, well you have a True NHL first line.
    Brock pots 35
    EP flirts with 40
    JT 25