At the outset of the 2019/20 season, it was seen as a foregone conclusion by many that this campaign would be Chris Tanev’s last with the Vancouver Canucks. That was more-or-less the consensus when we asked this same question earlier this year.
Now that we’ve crossed the halfway mark of the season, however, the situation has changed dramatically.
The Canucks as a whole are outstripping expectations, and the resurgent play of Tanev as an individual has been a large part of that. His steady play eased Quinn Hughes’ transition into the NHL, he’s playing more minutes than usual, and he’s even on pace for career-high offensive numbers.
Perhaps most surprising of all is Tanev’s “Games Played” column, which reads at 43 as of the writing of this article – meaning that Tanev hasn’t missed an entire game this year.
In seasons past, Vancouver fans would fantasize about Tanev finally staying healthy for an entire campaign so that he could be dealt for a large return at the Trade Deadline. Now that it’s finally happened, few are ready to let him go.
In any case, Tanev is an unrestricted free agent in July, so GM Jim Benning is going to have to decide whether to extend the 30-year-old defenseman or move on from him in the coming months.
With that in mind, this week we ask:
What would you do with Chris Tanev? Extend, trade, or let go?
Last week, we asked:
What would you do with Jacob Markstrom and his impending free agency?
Markstrom seems to be a late bloomer and has taken his game to new level, so experience is on his side. But we all know players tend to have great seasons in a contract year and also regress after age 30 (goalies less so). Demko seems capable, but hasn’t played enough for a true read – as well as a history of injury issues, which has to be considered.
The ideal situation would be Markstrom willing to sign short-term (not likely) or signing a 5- or 6-year deal in the range of %5-6 million per year – with the deal front-loaded in the first two or three years with no trade protection. More salary and less cap hit initially, with lower salary and larger cap hit after two years.
Should the Canucks bank on Markstrom, then they must also decide that DiPietro or Demko must be moved, with Demko being the likely one to go. Tough decisions, but Markstrom’s demands should resolve Benning’s decision.
The expansion draft is of zero concern.
Canucks will lose someone, and not necessarily a goalie. Feals with Seattle can be negotiated to keep both goalies if it’s desirable.
If you want to worry about something, worry about Demko’s concussion issues forcing Markstrom to play every night, sometime down the road.
Right now Markstrom is the number one goalie. So long as he isn’t completely unreasonable, re-sign him.
Ken Preistlay Fan:
Not that they will, but they should trade him at the deadline for a competent, cheap, backup (preferably on a cheap contract that can be used as Seattle fodder next year) and run with Demko. Whatever they end up paying Markstrom, he’s not likely to be worth it in five or six years and if someone is in need of a starter come deadline, they could get a king;s ransom for him. It’s not without risk but it’s the sensible thing to do, in my opinion.
Due to the cap situation and young players like Virtanen and Stecher – who should be re-signed – it may come down to choosing between Markstrom and Tanev. In that case, keep Markstrom and let Tanev walk (unless Markstrom’s salary demands are too high.)
But if they can move Baertschi this winter and Eriksson next summer (presumably with salary retention) then they have the luxury of keeping both if they choose.
GMJB could sign Marky to a shorter-termed, but more lucrative contract, and if Benning has to cut a deal to protect Thatcher Demko with Seattle, so be it. The Canucks actually have a very good goaltending tandem, the best since Luongo and Schneider, and should not entertain the idea of parting with either of them. And Mickey Di is waiting in the wings. But you know Seattle will grab a Canuck no matter how you splice it.
(Happy New Year to you, too!)
Happy New Year CA!!!!!
Canucks need to lock Marky up with some term, $4.5 mil for 5 years is perfect but he may want around $5 mil a year or so.
Markstrom has more than proven to be a reliable goalie that can be depended on, and has been playing at an elite level for some time now. Goaltending is important in this league, as we see with both Alberta teams struggling in that department, so if we have a good one then we need to keep him.
I wouldn’t let the expansion draft change my mind on this. We could lose Demko but when it comes down to it, we have to lose someone right?
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence, just for using “improvident”)
Marky is the team MVP yet again. It would be nuts not to sign him. But, alas, improvident contracts like Eriksson’s may make that impossible.
Markstrom is a good goalie but not a franchise goalie.
The Canucks should make him a fair three year offer that doesn’t include trade or expansion draft protection.
Then take their chances that Seattle doesn’t claim him.
If Seattle claims him or he doesn’t re-sign, oh well, it’s cap money that can be spent elsewhere. And Demko looks to be ready pretty soon.
Nucks need to get into playoffs first before sorting out long-term contracts. If Marky or any other player is soft in the playoffs, you have to factor that into their contract.
Beer Can Boyd:
Markstrom is the Canucks’ most valuable player. Trading him would send a terrible message to the rest of the team. Sign him now.
I would say sign Markstrom, as he has shown he can carry a huge load. Although Demko seems to be a future #1 goalie, if he continues to have concussion problems it would be foolhardy to have traded Markstrom or let him walk through free agency. The pending expansion draft is a moving target for now, that could go any number of directions, every team loses one player.
Some are convinced Demko would be picked without knowing which other Canucks will be available or which other goalies will be available – or even what the draft process will look like. I’m sure many lessons were learned during the Vegas draft and teams will be planning accordingly.
Jacob Markstrom, Sign him for three years. He’s solid and 6’7″.
They need to sign Markstrom for three-four years, but he cannot have a no-trade clause. He must be eligible for the Expansion Draft. Canucks need Markstrom and should not put all their eggs in one basket with Thatcher Demko. Demko is good, but he now has a concussion history. In fact, the concussion history may make Demko undesirable for the Expansion Draft. In any event, sign Markstrom now, and deal with the Expansion Draft later when you can better evaluate where both goalies are in their career at that time.
GMJB should definitely try and sign Markstrom without trade protection. The worst outcome would be to let him walk without recovering any assets. Even if the plan is for Demko and DiPietro to be the future tandem, which may or may not work out, Marky is too valuable of an asset to lose for nothing. Demko and DiPietro both have a lot potential, but there’s no “guarantee’ that either will sustain being a top-15 starter over the next several years. At this point in time, Markstrom has proven that he is close to being able to so that. While trading Markstrom before the TDL is an option, unless the return is significant, it doesn’t make much sense at the moment. If Marky does get signed and Demko plays lights out, moving Jacob in a year for assets is a strong possibility.
With that said, the real challenge will be to find a suitable contract, in terms of length and AAV, that works for both sides. The median starting goalie as of today makes around $5M and is about 29 years old (same age as Jacob). The Canucks will hope for a slight “hometown” discount, as well as no NTC or NMC to allow flexibility, should the Canucks decide to go with the younger tandem down the road. That will be tough to do since “hometown” discounts and NTC/NMC usually go hand in hand. Marky will ideally be looking for term (say five years) and a fair AAV ($5M-6.5 mil). One thing Jacob has going for him is that he doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear on him for a goalie of his age (only 240 career starts as a 29-year-old), so he’s just entering his peak and is in a position to play well for the entire length of a longer contract (five or six years).
Another consideration is with what Demko may want. If he stays healthy and continues to develop, he may not want to stick around as a backup if the Canucks wind up committing to Markstrom. Thatcher will be an RFA at the end of next season, so the Canucks will be dealing with that on top of the expansion draft.
Regardless, the Canucks need find a way to sign Markstrom, and buy a year of time to assess all three goalies to determine the best direction to take. Keeping all the options open is paramount and should be the focus of their efforts when trying to sign Marky in the next few months.
GM gets paid for wins. Sometimes a GM has a bit of slack, but not the case here in YVR; the noose is taught. Needing wins, you hold tight to the precious few that have the ability to realize a win, in tandem or solo. JB must take a HARD run at signing this guy. Really is not much question to it… if you understand the degree of accountability and responsibility in an NHL GM’s role, this is not worthy of a WWYDW.
I would prepare my commercial terms: the right term, NTC/NMC/nada, percentage cap, pay terms (signing bonus, incentives, etc). I would communicate quickly with the agent with the hopes of getting a sorted and clear reply of their stance in return. One change to JB’s negotiating stance to suggest; I think he needs to do a better job of presenting the public with the commercial constraints that could make his signing not feasible. JB is honest to a fault and failing to create a public willingness to support not signing is debasing the GM’s negotiating position.
The far more interesting question, at what point do you let Markstrom walk? Can the Nucks pay market… I doubt it. Last contract, does he want to give the Nucks a discount in any aspect and not ask for $7 million x7-8 years? ASG nod isn’t going to help the Nuck position either, but I will enjoy watching him shine!