Welcome to the penultimate WDYTT of the year. In 2020, we’ve prided ourselves on being the only hockey column on the internet that always delivers, but this week it is you, faithful readers, who we are asking to make the deliveries.
The Vancouver Canucks are about to gift the lot of us with actual NHL hockey, and before they do, we’d like you to reciprocate with some gifts of your own.
Will it be singing lessons for Elias Pettersson so he can escape Michael Buble’s shadow?
A blu-ray of Taxi Driver for Loui Eriksson so he can study for the upcoming season?
Two scarves sewn together into one really big scarf for Tyler Myers?
You tell us.
That’s right, with the holidays upon us, we’re once again asking you:
What holiday gifts would you give the Vancouver Canucks?
(You can gift the team as a whole or any specific member of the organization)
(PS: This is meant to be a fun one, so try not to take it overly serious)
Speaking of fun, last week we asked you:
What are your biggest worries heading into the 2021 season?
All your frets and fears are listed below!
The Canucks have only one right-side defenseman that I have confidence in. My biggest fear is that Schmidt gets injured and the remaining players cannot step up and at least partially fill that gap.
Benning is also worried about that, if the rumours about courting Hamonic are true.
Hockey is entertainment and we’re lucky that the league is even attempting to have a season.
Ferland’s health is the biggest issue of worry.
He’s skating on thin ice while still just a young man with a young family.
My biggest concern comes between the pipes. Demko is always injured and doesn’t have much experience. Holtby’s numbers have been getting worse and he has to have a bounce back season or we’re pooched. I do believe Clark’s contract expires at the end of the season, but I guess that’s for offseason chat.
I also worry that our young defencemen won’t get the opportunity to play because they are rookies. I feel we need these young players to get into NHL games. Not sit on the bench while a third pairing of Benn and Hamonic get ice-time.
Beer Can Boyd:
My biggest worry is that they will squeak into the playoffs again, win a round, and Benning will keep his job for another year. Thus ensuring more contract boondoggles, more pointless aging UFAs, and more years without a Stanley Cup anywhere in sight. On another note, why aren’t Green and Clark signed? The only rwo competent employees on the Canucks management team, and both go into the season as lame ducks. Absolutely inexcusable. Also, how about a deep dive into what John Weisbrod actually does for the franchise, because neither I nor any members of the ever-diminishing impartial journalist pool have any idea. Thanks.
My biggest worry is a major injury to either Hughes or Pettersson. Second biggest is that none of the next wave of prospects makes the transition to the NHL.
Biggest worry is the owner will try to limit losses and so will not allow Benning to spend more money if Ferland goes on LTIR.
Word is Ferland ‘s contract could not be insured, due to his concussion history, and so the team is on the hook for the full amount.
This could mean Canucks will miss out on a solid player like Hamonic.
My two concerns are long-time Vancouver problems. One is injuries. The second is Jake coming into camp out of shape. Jake is being handed a top-six spot and, if he isn’t in shape, that sets the top-six into a blender.
Their best players will get targeted, mugged, and injured, and their teammates will do nothing about it.
My biggest worry would be a COVID outbreak within a team south of the border that shuts the season down. Too many dough heads living down there, that believe their rights are being threatened by being asked to wear a mask.
Eriksson, that is all.
No worries at all.
BC SPORTS FAN:
My biggest worry is that Jake reports to camp overweight and out of shape just like the previous five years. Trade him for a used hockey bag.
North Van Halen:
The biggest worries are twofold. First, we get 2019 Holtby and his sub .900 save %. That would make for a long painful season. The other is a major injury to Bo/Petey/JT/Hughes/Schmidt. This team just doesn’t have the depth to absorb a long loss of any of the core pieces.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Lots of things to feel positive about, but definitely things to worry about. I’ll take a leap of faith and say the goaltending will be fine. If not as good as Markstrom’s performance last season, still more than adequate. The top-six RW jobs will sort out. The bottom-six centre jobs are a significant concern. They likely aren’t a total disaster, but will continue to be a hindrance to true contention.
A big worry for next season is still the D-corps. Will Edler and Myers regress? Will injuries push rookies into roles they can’t fulfill? Will any of the rookies be ready to take a starting job in the NHL? I’m not saying I expect the D to be bad, just that there are a lot of things to worry could go wrong.
Perhaps just as serious a worry as the D-corps is Travis Green’s D-zone systems. The passive systems surrender far too much zone-time and overly rely on flawless goaltending. Adjustments must be made and I’m worried Green won’t make them.
The biggest fear is to continue sacrificing the future for the present when the team isn’t ready. The playoff run was a ton of fun, but premature and expensive.
Unless literally everything is going right like Petey and Hughes in the Hart and Norris discussion, Demko stepping up as a legit #1, Gaudette steps up, the rookie D step up, JV steps up, Hoglander is ready etc, then spending big at the deadline is a terrible idea. This team is still building, and they have given up a 1st, 2nd, and a good prospect plus others. Continuing this way before the team is ready will be a serious setback.
My biggest fear is that they don’t let the rookie D prospects play enough to be properly evaluated. I honestly don’t care if we make the playoffs this year. Next year and beyond… yes, I care a lot. For this year, we need to get some legit ice-time for Juolevi, Rathbone, and Rafferty. We need to know who is the real deal, as the team heads into its prime-time next season and beyond.