Well, if we’d planned to talk about something different this Wednesday, those plans are officially scrapped.
The world of the Canucks – and the #Canucks, in particular – was rocked by the out-of-nowhere acquisition of Tyler Toffoli on Monday evening, and we’re all still too in the midst of processing the trade to discuss anything else.
We’re not here to hash out whether or not the deal was a good one, as this author and others will be covering that in all manner of thinkpieces from here on out until eternity.
We’re here to debate what exactly to do with Tyler Toffoli now that he’s officially a Canuck.
Most assumed that Toffoli would immediately fill the seasons-long gap on Bo Horvat’s right wing, joining former linemate Tanner Pearson on the second unit – but coach Travis Green appears to have had other thoughts:
Lines at #Canucks practice:
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) February 18, 2020
There’s no way of knowing how long Toffoli will remain on Elias Pettersson’s flank, or even whether or not he’ll still be there when the puck drops tonight against Minnesota.
But in the meantime, we can idly speculate, and so this week we are asking:
What would you do with Tyler Toffoli, and where would you put him in the lineup?
Last week, we asked:
What would you do with the Canucks at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline?
Obviously, a lot of your responses will be a tad outdated in the wake of the Toffoli deal and the end of Micheal Ferland’s season, but they are still appreciated…and listed below!
(Winner of the author’s occasional award for being absolutely nailing it!)
I’d like to see what it would take to get Toffoli. Reunite him with Pearson on either side of Horvat. Configure the others around EP and Gaudette to make three strong lines capable of offense with more playoff winning experience to help take the pressure off EP and BB. Not sure what the cost would be and if the price would be worth it, but the value of winning a round to the young core would be so much more than just making the show.
(Winner of the author’s occasional “one down!” award for prescience)
I would attempt to move Schaller, Stecher, and maybe Sutter. I would call up Goldy and PLAY him, he’s earned it! I would keep Bailey and MacEwen up with the big club for sure.
Go Canucks Go!!!
Stand pat with the big club. The team has depth. Ferland is conditioning in Utica now.
While unlikely to find buyers, I imagine they are still open to trading Baertschi and Goldobin.
For gawd’s sake, move Baertschi, even if you have to eat some of his salary. It’ll free up cap space for this summer, and let Baertschi play in the NHL. Offers for Boucher – one of the top AHL players who might well find a home in the NHL with the right club – should also be considered, given that the Canucks seem to have no use for him except in Utica.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
If I were Benning, I would explore the market for Podkolzin to see if a good young RHD might be available. The Canucks’ offense is starting to look pretty formidable, and even without Podkolzin they have some good young prospects. By comparison, they have relatively few defensive prospects, and they likely won’t have a first round pick this year. They’re getting to the point in the rebuild where most of the makings of a good team are in place, yet they won’t be getting the high draft picks they’ve enjoyed the past few seasons. Trades will start to become more important.
I would waive Sven and Goldy again, just to show the ridiculous Vancouver fan base who keep name-dropping them in trade proposals, that they have no value.
Simple. Don’t sacrifice future prospects or draft picks unless they’re offloading contracts. Don’t add bottom-six forwards or bottom-pairing defense. Move one of Markstrom or Demko if the offer is right.
Don’t really need to do much. The only guys that should be moved are the older vets to clear cap space. Baertschi, Sutter, Eriksson, Schaller, and Beagle. We need to see how this team performs as the going gets tougher and into the playoffs. Then in the offseason, make your moves. As it stands, we don’t know how these guys perform under the pressure cooker called the playoffs.
Stand pat and let the one-and-done commence to show just how weak the smoke-and-mirrors Pacific is this year. Then wave buh-bye to Benning and Greener, bring back Trevor, hire Lombardi, hire Gallant, and promote Brackett… the turnaround will astound you. BOOK IT!
Word is that Carolina has an extra first round pick for 2020 that they are willing to put it in play for a cost controlled top-four defenseman. I would be calling them to dangle Stecher, should GMJB be thinking of not offering him a qualifying offer as a RFA. Maybe include a third or fourth from our side to even the trade out if needed.
Trade would look like:
We can then call up one of our younger AHL defenseman for the rest of the season and replace the first we gave up for Miller. All for a piece that we are not looking to re-sign due to cap constraints. Perhaps also look into buying some cheap extra defensive depth with a late round pick or Goldy for the playoffs.
North Van Halen:
Nothing, they should do nothing. Unless they can lose, Schaller, Sven or Goldie (unlikely).
Give away Baertschi and Schaller,
The only hockey trades I could see is moving Pearson and a sweetener for an upgrade like Josh Anderson (not a rental), and getting value for Stecher while bringing back a bottom-pairing RHD.
I think they hold off on finding trades for Sutter and Benn til the offseason. Sutter is a leader and still effective, even if he’s overpaid at this point.
I would look at trading cap flexibility for cap certainty. In that, I mean trading Canucks’ expiring contracts for players of similar abilities on longer (cheaper) contracts. I would especially look at players who are in deep organizations that are NHL ready but are being held back by the positional depth of their clubs. Jake Bean and Owen Tippett are two that come to mind.
Canucks should not take on more contracts, but, hey, if the Penguins were willing to give Alex Galchenyuk, a conditional 2020 first-round pick, and defence prospect Calen Addison for Jason Zucker (a 0.6 pts/game player) wouldn’t Sven Baerstchi, who is similar in skillset and size (who was a 0.5pts/game player before concussion) fetch something of value?
His play in Utica (1.03 pts/game) has shown he has fully recovered. Not saying two first rounders and a high prospect like what Pens got, but he is a year younger than Zucker and drafted much higher. You would think Canucks could get at least one good asset for him at the trade deadline.
Smyl and Snepsts:
Trade Stecher for Brenden Dillon. I like Stecher but we need more competent size and nasty on the back end. Size still matters.
Beer Can Boyd:
There was talk in the Province today about Colorado being open to moving Bowen Byram for a forward, specifically Kyle Conner. I’d offer them Boeser for Byram right now…
Noted that Justin Bailey played only 3 minutes versus Chicago. Likely hasn’t earned TG’s trust yet. Boeser and Ferland will be back soon, but another experienced forward would be great in the playoffs. Really like Stephan’s suggestion that Patrick Marleau, who is playing on a league minimum contract, would be a good pickup. Depending upon Fantenberg’s health, a depth D-man might be a good idea as well.
I think that they just stay the course. This year is about getting the young core to learn some lessons of what it takes to win in the playoffs. The Canucks have Beagle, who has been there and done that in almost every league. Sutter is a warrior, as well as Eriksson – all have played in pressure cooker games. On defense, they have Edler and Tanev who are experienced defenders in the playoffs. Utica I hope also makes the playoffs in the AHL so the prospects can experience the same atmosphere.
There will be changes coming this summer, contracts that will or won’t be re-signed. Younger cheaper prospects will be moved into the lineup, likely a defender and a forward. And most important Markstrom will be signed, as will Tanev.
Canucks have a good young core and some pretty good prospects in the system, which means players like Schaller won’t be re-signed and his spot will be filled with someone from Utica.
(Authors note: Or…Tyler Toffoli?)