LIVE mailbag from day one of 2023 Vancouver Canucks training camp
2 months ago
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
That’s right folks, Vancouver Canucks training camp is back, which means we are also back and better than ever for another season of bringing you in-depth up-to-the-minute hyper-focused coverage of your favourite team.
Both Faber and I are in attendance at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre to take it all in as the Canucks prepare for the 82 game grind and hopefully more games beyond that. As we did last year, we’re bringing back the live mailbag here at CanucksArmy.
Ask me how a player looks, my thoughts on a camp battle — four of which Noah Strang outlined earlier this morning — or anything else that your heart desires, and I will answer it! I’ll be doing my best to check comments regularly and answer questions there, but for the most part, I’ll take questions from Twitter and answer them in this article throughout the day.
For all you regulars, here is our training camp coverage plan for the day:
9 AM (updated regularly until 2 PM): Live Mailbag2-4 PMish: Faber’s thoughts from day one and a full recap of what went down
At some point today, we will also be recording an episode of Canucks Conversation live from the rink, so you’ll get to hear all the sounds of the rink when you tune in! Be sure to subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts and keep an eye out later today for a notification in your podcast app!
The first session starts in two hours, and I just finished my morning coffee! Get those questions in and let’s fill up this mailbag!
First, let’s begin with one pre-camp question (written from my hotel room) to get things going!
Nice wording, Chester.
Myers, Miller, Garland. If we could get rid of one contract, keep one contract, or get rid of one altogether, how would we allocate those choices?
Talking about process, contracts, and how it all pertains to this team is an interesting exercise these days. Folks like myself were calling for more rebuilding moves following the Bo Horvat trade, but the club went in the opposite direction. Rather than bang our rattles around crying about how the team didn’t listen to us for the next eight months, we’ve tried to judge the team based on the moves they’re making with their plan in mind.
At least now this team has something resembling a clear plan, which makes answering questions like this a bit easier since we know the Canucks are trying to compete this season while continuing to build toward a better all-around group long term.
So with that in mind, I’d ONS Miller’s contract (keep it for this season, then re-evaluate at the end of the year), marry Myers’ contract (keep it for its full duration), and kill Conor Garland’s contract (get it off the books immediately).
Ah, a big picture question!
Realistically, the Canucks’ current core’s Cup window has yet to really open, but it could close even before it opens, should this season be a disaster, or if Elias Pettersson leaves. We know cup winning teams need at least one superstar player, and if the Canucks lose Pettersson, it’s hard to believe that they’ll be able to supplement his output at both ends of the ice. With no real high-end prospects coming anytime soon, the Canucks need to stick with their current plan.
That plan appears to be refusing to make any long term commitments in the name of making the playoffs in one year, and instead settling for low-cost low-risk bets to make the team better until they have their salary cap situation unravelled, which Jim Rutherford said they’re one or two contracts away from still.
Instead of bucking up for Ryan O’Reilly, the club focused on low-cost penalty killers and signed Pius Suter and Teddy Blueger at low dollar values to shore up their centre depth.
My guess is that the Canucks won’t be in the top 15 of the league in total fights as they were last year. In 2022-23, Kyle Burroughs and Luke Schenn led the team in fights, and with both those players departed, is it going to be JT Miller?
Maybe Dakota Joshua can step into that role a bit more? He’s not an enforcer per se, but he did drop the gloves at various points last season.
Carson Soucy has fought JT Miller in the past, and Ian Cole has dropped the gloves before as well. I’d expect those two to answer the bell if necessary and if all else fails…
Here is a breakdown of each group:
Group A is on for their second session right now, and we saw Filip Hronek paired with Ian Cole. Tyler Myers skated alongside Guillaume Brisebois and Elias Pettersson’s linemates were Anthony Beauvillier and Andrei Kuzmenko.
Group A has now wrapped their session up and there was no bag skate as Tocchet said the team did their skate test during the preseason skates at UBC.
I just spoke one-on-one with Elias Pettersson and Aidan McDonough, and the big thing I found out was that Pettersson has increased his stick flex again this year. I’m working on a bigger story about stick flex as a whole, and that story will come out sometime within the next week. But that’s an interesting tidbit I got that I’ll share for now.
Pettersson was at 87 last year, but is now up to 95, and says “he might go higher.”
Keep those questions coming!
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