LIVE mailbag: Young Stars and Canucks training camp are just weeks away!
6 months ago
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Yes, believe it or not, the Young Stars Classic in Penticton is just weeks away, as is Vancouver Canucks training camp in Victoria, British Columbia.
With that in mind, and it appearing to be a somewhat slow late-August news day, I thought it’d be fun to do a live mailbag today! For those that are new, we typically do a live mailbag at some point during training camp, the draft, and during other major events. And of course, as you’re seeing today, we also do them whenever we feel like it.
We’ve got questions from Twitter, Threads, and BlueSky, and of course, will be answering questions from the commenters as well, so be sure to leave a comment below! Let’s do this!
Our first question comes from *checks notes* Wyatt Arndt. And this seems as good a time as any to confirm that The Stanchies are returning this season and are going to be bigger and better than ever!
And yes, Wyatt has won the most awards of anyone on the CanucksArmy staff, apparently.
Okay, this needs to stop.
What an interesting case the Canucks have on their hands with Tyler Myers in 2023-24. One might even call it a curious case!
First things first, will Myers even be a Canuck by the time training camp rolls around? We’ve heard so much about that September bonus that he’ll will be paid in the coming weeks, and how that should make him much easier to trade since he’ll only be owed $1,000,000 in real salary.
As we broke down not too long ago, something has to give with the Canucks’ current salary cap situation, and they will need to get compliant at some point before opening night. Teams like the Oilers will likely need to carry a smaller roster, but obviously, this isn’t ideal. A pre-season Myers trade would make the Canucks cap compliant and allow them to call someone up to replace Myers.
But for the purposes of the question, let’s go with this scenario where Myers is still a Canuck and the club is in a playoff position. In all likelihood, Myers has been holding down a third pairing role and has been doing it exceptionally well. If the Canucks are in a playoff spot, do they really want to deal him for what would likely be a third round pick in return at best?
I suppose it depends largely on where in the playoff conversation the Canucks are, and how well their depth has progressed — is there a feasible option to take over on the third pair? Given this scenario above, I’m leaning toward no, the Canucks should not move Myers if he’s on the team and they’re in a playoff position.
This a great question. I’ve said for a while now that I’ll believe it when I see it when it comes to Tanner Pearson being a full participant at Canucks training camp this season. At his end-of-season media availability, Pearson didn’t want to talk about his future as a hockey player, instead saying he just wanted to get his hand back and be a dad again after a long and frustrating process that saw him get surgery more than six times this past season.
But if he is healthy, and that’s the indication we’ve gotten from the team to this point, the Canucks will have a bit of a dilemma on their hands, as their glut of wingers will become even glutt-ier. Is Pearson worthy of a spot in this team’s lineup? Can he outplay a guy like Phil Di Giuseppe, who seemed to earn Rick Tocchet’s trust down the final stretch of last season?
If Pearson is healthy and is outplayed at training camp, the Canucks will need to put him on waivers in order to send him down to Abbotsford, and by burying his cap hit, the Canucks will save $1.25 million on the salary cap. This is less than ideal, as Pearson, despite not being on the NHL, would still carry a cap hit of $2 million on the Canucks’ salary cap. LTIR would “get rid” of Pearson’s money off the Canucks’ books, but if he’s truly healthy and capable, LTIR isn’t really an option.
Speaking of wingers, let’s talk about Vasily Podkolzin and Nils Höglander!
Rick Tocchet spoke earlier in the offseason about how he wants these two youngsters to be “energy guys” for the Canucks, and you have to think Podkolzin and Höglander appreciate having the expectations laid out so clearly for them.
“Enthusiasm,” said Tocchet at the time. “Chasing pucks down, winning puck battles. I think young guys add that to the team. When you can get a bunch of young guys to play for you that they just bring that enthusiasm. Even in practice in the doldrums of the season sometimes in practices, guys are a little bit tired or whatever, if you got a young guy out there buzzing around, the guys you mentioned Podkolzin and Höglander, can they be that guy, those energy bunnies. Can they be the first on the forecheck, can they get the crowd going at Rogers? Those are the things you want these young guys to do, just add a little bit of spice and life to your team. Obviously, they have skill sets, but one thing for me is whether can they be really good forecheckers for us. That would be huge for me, if I could get those young guys, we’d be a good forechecking group.”
Tocchet was especially complimentary of Podkolzin’s work ethic, as the young Russian is in incredible shape and has been skating nearly every day with Connor Bedard this offseason.
“I think he learned a lot last year. I mean, I saw him walking around at development camp and he looks shredded. He looks lean. It’s almost like I told him, he’s the type of guy you tell him ‘make sure you’re in shape’, and then he works out every single day. I told him to back off and take a little vacation, I think he’s going to have a child here soon so just enjoy your baby and stuff too, don’t get too crazy. That’s the one thing I love about him is he does work hard.”
That concludes our live mailbag!
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