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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag: Noah Juulsen comes home, Will Lockwood goes to Abby, and we’re heading to Sportsnet!

With just two more sleeps until the NHL regular season, the Vancouver Canucks were busy moving around parts on their roster.

On a Thanksgiving weekend, the Canucks traded Olli Juolevi to Florida and waived multiple players, including a couple of surprises in Phil Di Giuseppe and Travis Hamonic.

It was sure a busy Sunday and a perfect day to take questions for the Monday Mailbag.

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Let’s see what the great people of Canucks Twitter had to ask this week!

Will Lockwood did a hell of a job over the past two weeks. He showed that he is capable of playing in the NHL and at times was a very effective forward in a few preseason games. Though he will begin the season in the AHL, he is in a great spot with the organization and will definitely get NHL games in this season. He will now head down to Abbotsford and look to play top-six minutes while getting an opportunity to kill penalties and likely be on one of the power play units.

He isn’t getting sent down to purely gain experience killing penalties but in a developmental league, you better believe that Trent Cull has been informed that Lockwood needs to be on the first penalty kill unit. Lockwood will be one of the most exciting players in Abbotsford and he will likely play a ton of shorthanded minutes so that he can be trusted to kill penalties for Travis Green in the very near future.

I have definitely gone back and forth on J.T. Miller as a centre. On this current day, during this current week of the beginning of the regular season, I am all for it. He will get a chance to match up against the opposition’s bottom-six lines and continue to give Vasily Podkolzin a chance to be a scoring winger. My other winger for Miller would likely be Alex Chiasson. I think that trio has some problems defensively but will be very strong in the offensive zone and on the boards.

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I don’t think the Canucks will go with Miller as a centre once Brandon Sutter returns. Once Sutter returns, Jason Dickinson should hop into the top-nine as a centre.

It’s a personal matter that’s kept Travis Hamonic away from the Canucks.

I find this one a hard topic to tackle. If Hamonic is truly dealing with a personal matter or something with his family, he deserves all the time in the world to figure out what is best for his family. The problem is that the Canucks have done a poor job relaying information and that has caused confusion in the market. Jim Benning has made it clear over the past two weeks that it is a personal matter that is keeping Hamonic away from the team, but he also said he expected Hamonic to be there for the first day of training camp.

You should not be booing Hamonic when he gets on the ice.

I’m sure that once he returns, he will answer the questions that many in the media and fanbase continue to have. This is a sport that we cover, it’s supposed to be fun. We all know that sometimes life throws things at you that you don’t expect. That is what I assume is going on with Hamonic. If it’s truly a personal matter as we’ve been told, there should be no reason to trash Hamonic. He’s still a human.

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Yes, I absolutely can!

So for those who didn’t see our post on Twitter — and shame on David Quadrelli for not having an article about it –Quadrelli and myself will be hosting a show on Sportsnet 650 beginning on October 16th.

The show will be three hours, every Saturday. It’s called the Canucks Warm-Up with Faber and Quads. Now, the scheduling is a bit complicated.

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On non-game days, we will have a three-hour show in the afternoon with it likely being somewhere around the 11-2 or 12-3 timeslot.

On home game days, we will begin our show five hours before the game. Most home games will be at 7 pm, so, our show will run from 2-5 on a lot of Saturdays this year. We will run all the way up into the 650 pregame show. Hence the name “The Canucks Warm-Up with Faber and Quads.”

On away game days, we will begin our show four hours before puck drop. Like Saturday, October 16th. That is our launch date and the Canucks play in Detroit at 4 pm. We will be on the air from 12-3 and lead into the pregame show with Satiar Shah.

We are going to have a prospects wrap-up segment, some top-quality guests from the hockey world, live interaction with callers and texters, and yes, a goalie segment. Quadrelli and I are stoked to experiment with the next show and I hope that some of the readers will be tuning in every Saturday. You can reach us on the text line at 650-650 and we will see you every Saturday on Sportsnet Radio!

The same thing that I’ve been doing with my SHIB, I’m going to HODL.

I got each one for about four dollars apiece. They were still better investments than when I went on a Nikita Tryamkin rookie card buying spree.

As a fringe right-shot defenceman, Noah Juulsen absolutely has a chance to make the NHL as a Canuck. He has an uphill battle to get into the lineup as we project him to be under Brad Hunt and Luke Schenn in the depth chart. He will get a good chance to impress in Abbotsford and then could be one of the first defenceman called up when injury or poor play by a lineup regular presents him an opportunity.

He’s a big, strong 24-year-old local kid who will enjoy being back in his home province. A former 26th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, you know that Benning is going to want to get him in the NHL so that he can attempt another reclamation project. Perhaps this one pays off as the Surrey boy is coming home. We will have to see.

As for the organizational need, the Canucks need as many right-handed defencemen as possible and Juulsen helps fill that hole.

I guess it is prediction season right now. I guess I’ll close out this mailbag by giving my prediction for the Pacific division standings. Maybe you can do the same in the comments section if you want or don’t, whatever.

Here’s how I see it shaking down.

  1. Vegas Golden Knights
  2. Calgary Flames
  3. Vancouver Canucks
  4. Los Angeles Kings
  5. Edmonton Oilers
  6. Anaheim Ducks
  7. Seattle Kraken
  8. San Jose Sharks

Some takes from my prediction:

-The Knights will win the division but not by as much as so many people believe.
-Ducks, Kraken and Sharks are going to suck so bad.
-Kings will be fun to watch but not quite a playoff team yet. They will miss the wildcard spot by a handful of points.
-One of the Oilers, Canucks or Flames is going to fall apart and miss the playoffs hard. My bet is on the Oilers. I dislike their defence and don’t trust their depth and goaltending.
-If anyone is going to gel this season more than expected, it’s going to be the Canucks or Flames. I think coaching will be the deciding factor on which team finishes higher in the standings between the Flames and Canucks, but both make the playoffs.

That’s it for this week’s Monday Mailbag! Next Monday, we will be talking about regular-season games and that means that points now matter. Let’s see if Travis Green can get his group firing on all cylinders to begin the season. The Canucks truly deserve a hot start after what they went through last season and beginning with a six-game road trip has the chance to be a blessing in disguise.

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