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Monday Mailbag: Two options for the Canucks’ opening night defence, a Jack Rathbone trade proposal, and more

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Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
Faber
By Faber
10 months ago
Welcome to the Monday Mailbag, brought to you by the great folks at Zephyr Epic! Use promo code “HockeySeason” for $5 off your order. Free shipping of trading cards Canada wide on any order over $50 as well! Shop local!
The Monday Mailbag returns, and it’s being written just hours after a blockbuster three-team trade that sees Erik Karlsson land with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Many in or around the industry have believed that the Karlsson trade could spur the trade market into opening up as it’s been a quiet few weeks leading up to today. We’re not going to break down the trade or anything. It felt like it was a good deal for Pittsburgh and Montreal but the Sharks receiving Pittsburgh’s 2024 1st Rd Pick (top-10 projection), Mikael Granlund, Mike Hoffman and Jan Rutta doesn’t feel like the best return for Erik Karlsson. I guess it’s good to get off that contract but the return certainly surprised us a bit on Sunday morning.
Blockbuster trades are cool but do you know what’s even cooler?
Canucks trades.
So, now we will have to see if the Karlsson trade opens up the market as it felt like general managers took the past two weeks off and this coming week may have some action as training camps are now just five weeks away.
Anthony Beauvillier and Tyler Myers are the two names that come up at the top of our page. Both players are on expiring contracts and though they could make more sense to be dealt at the deadline, and in Myers’ case, after his bonus is paid. Both of these players may be looked at as nice adds for a team as they look to prep their rosters for the beginning of the season.
Teams are likely looking for the Canucks to retain money on either Beauvillier or Myers and that certainly makes them look like more attractive pickups.
Beauvillier carries a $4,150,000 cap hit while Myers has the big $6,000,000.
You’d have to think that Beauvillier has decent value on the market if the Canucks were to retain $400,000+ but wingers are seeing their value crash and fall harder than Dogecoin in today’s NHL and even a solid middle-six winger like Beauvillier looks to be too expensive at his $4,150,000 hit. Teams are looking for value when they make acquisitions and Beauvillier has value but the question is — how much value at his current cap hit?
We will have to see how things unfold for the Canucks and their salary cap as the team is still technically $4,267,917 over the cap but could be under the cap if both Tanner Pearson and Tucker Poolman begin the year on long-term injury reserve.
There’s going to certainly be some moves made by the Canucks in the coming weeks and we’re patiently waiting to see what Patrik Allvin and his crew do next.
With all that being said, we are here for a mailbag article. The wonderful people of #CanucksTwitter have brought the questions and I’ll bring my best answers as we try to work through another Monday in the summer.
Let’s not waste any more words, instead, let’s dive into this week’s mailbag and see what we’ve got to discuss!
The central would still have to weaken quite a bit for the Arizona Coyotes to get into the conversation for the playoffs. The central still boasts the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators and the Minnesota Wild. These are five teams I expect to see finish above the Coyotes next season but the Yotes are beginning to see some of their high-end youth be injected into the lineup.
Logan Cooley will be jumping into the NHL and we could expect him to be a top-six centre — likely playing behind Barrett Hayton. Dylan Guenther is probably going to be a middle-six winger for them next season after getting a taste last year.
Their defence is what is going to keep them out of playoff contention. J.J. Moser and Victor Soderstrom as a top-pairing is a tough look and their top-four is likely rounded out by Juuso Valimaki and Troy Stecher or Sean Durzi.
They just seem like they are a couple more years away from being competitive. They have 20 picks in the first three rounds over the next three drafts, so, they are going to load up with young talent or be flexible enough to move some picks for roster players. It’ll be interesting to watch the Coyotes come together in the next few years. They may end up having a very exciting young team and then, should be able to challenge for a playoff spot. I just don’t think the Central is weak enough next year because the Yotes still look like they will suck next season.
We touched on Beauvillier and Myers earlier in the article, so they won’t be great options as ‘out of left field’ trades.
Jack Rathbone is the name I can’t shake for an answer here but it’s not going to be a trade that makes Canucks fans overly excited.
Rathbone is going to have a difficult time getting ice time with the Vancouver Canucks next season. It’s pretty safe to say that it’s going to require an injury or two (or three) for him to get into the lineup. Akito Hirose, Christian Wolanin, Guillaume Brisebois, and Matt Irwin are all in the mix for the third-pairing left-shot defence spot and I feel like it’s safe to say that Rathbone is in the bottom half of that five-man battle — he’s certainly not the frontrunner.
Rathbone going our east makes a lot of sense for him personally but professionally, he will need an NHL organization that is willing to play him and give him a shot on their defence.
I’m curious if the Montreal Canadiens are a spot to watch with Rathbone. They have some right-shot defencemen but could use an offensive defenceman like Rathbone. The Canadiens are also in a cap pinch and could use Rathbone’s cheap $850,000 cap hit.
Jake Evans and Christian Dvorak are two players that the Canucks could use and they are both in different contract situations.
Dvorak is 27 years old and carries a $4,450,000 cap hit for the next two seasons. Evans is also locked in for two more years but carries a much lower cap hit at $1,700,000.
Evans finished the 2022-23 season with two goals and 17 assists in 54 games. Dvorak had 10 goals and 17 assists in 64 games last year.
Though Dvorak had more offensive production last season, his $4,450,00 hit on the cap is quite steep. Dvorak is a centre, so that boosts his value but his defensive numbers weren’t great last year. The good news is that he can kill penalties and won 52% of his faceoffs and won 56.7% of his draws during the 2021-22 season.
I guess my trade out of left field would be Jack Rathbone for Christian Dvorak. You’d probably have to include some draft picks to even out the value but it depends how much the both the Canadiens and Canucks value Dvorak. If you’re getting a third-line centre from a cap dump, you likely aren’t getting a star player but Dvorak likely brings more offence than Teddy Blueger — who is projected to be the Canucks’ third line centre if there are no more moves before training camp.
Dvorak has been between 28-38 points over the past four NHL seasons and with some talented wingers on his sides, he should be able to produce more offence if he is moved to the Canucks.
I just don’t think he’s going to be a cap dump but it’s certainly possible.
If Dvorak ends up needing to be traded, the Canucks could line up with Rathbone and potentially Beauvillier with retention to get Dvorak and a draft pick back.
As much as I hate doing these because I’m probably way off, this is the deal I’d guess.
Jack Rathbone
Anthony Beauvillier ($325,000 retained)
2024 4th round pick
for
Christian Dvorak
2024 3rd round pick (MIN)
2025 6th round pick
This clears up some space for Montreal while adding a top-six winger at under $4,000,000 for them in Beauvillier and also a left-shot defenceman who has a strong chance to make their opening-night lineup.
For Vancouver, they get their third-line centre and though he’s got a cap hit that isn’t great, he’s absolutely a third-line centre and may find more offence when he is loaded up with some talented wingers like Conor Garland, Vasily Podkolzin and Nils Höglander. The Canucks get to shuffle some money around to get themselves a centre by using their winger depth and also pick up some draft capital to balance the deal.
I don’t know. It’s all silly.
I’d expect to see Christian Wolanin emerge from this group as the most-likely NHLer with Noah Juulsen coming in just behind him.
Jack Rathbone and Guillaume Brisebois are likely destined for the AHL and that’s kind of why we used Rathbone is that last trade proposal.
Wolanin and Juulsen have a better well-rounded game for the NHL and seem like they don’t have as many ups and downs in their game. Brisebois is a fun story with how long he has been here in the Canucks organization and it would be cool to see him evolve into a solid 7-8-9 defenceman but he may just end up being a solid AHL defender with the ability to play in an injury pinch.
Abbotsford will miss Wolanin a ton. He was the AHL defenceman of the year but it also opens up a spot for a player like Rathbone, Akito Hirose, Filip Johansson, or Cole McWard to be the quarterback on the first power play unit. That will help bolster that defenceman’s confidence because Abbotsford is going to have a strong power play again next season.
I can see Wolanin being in the NHL lineup on opening night with Juulsen being in the press box or potentially even in the lineup as Quinn Hughes’ partner.
Here are the two potential layouts for the backend that I see being possible on opening night.
Option 1:
LDRD
1st PairQuinn HughesIan Cole
2nd PairCarson SoucyFilip Hronek
3rd PairChristian WolaninTyler Myers
ExtrasMatt IrwinNoah Juulsen
Option 2:
LDRD
1st PairQuinn HughesNoah Juulsen
2nd PairCarson SoucyFilip Hronek
3rd PairIan ColeTyler Myers
ExtrasChristian WolaninMatt Irwin

Speed Round

Teams going for it is always fun. I’d love to see a team take a big stab at Connor Hellebuyck and believe that he is the key to getting over the hump. A team like Washington, Edmonton, or Toronto would be chaotic good.
It’s definitely something we will consider. If we can get a good enough wifi connection, it’s going to happen — I’ll bring all the equipment. We will be doing a lot of coverage there from Penticton and want to have some kind of a meet-up as well.
Yes, both Höglander and Podkolzin will make the team out of camp and one of them will be playing in the top-six — my guess would be Podkolzin.
I’d guess that he does sign before the beginning of the season and the number will begin with a 10 if it’s over three years long.
Jack Studnicka, Sheldon Dries, Phil Di Giuseppe, Guillaume Brisebois, Matt Irwin, Jack Rathbone, Spencer Martin. There are other names who are eligible but these are the most likely that I see.
Homemade all day, every day. I love a good teriyaki burger with a pineapple ring, some bacon and Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce on top. Hard to beat.
That wraps up another Monday Mailbag here at CanucksArmy. Thanks as always to the great folks who sent in their questions this week.
We will be back next week to do this all over again and maybe the dam is set to burst after the Karlsson deal went through.

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