Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
Monday Mailbag: Canucks trade targets, contract comparisons, trade deadline speculation, and more!
3 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!
By golly, y’all were so kind in the comments of my #MM debut that David Quadrelli renewed my Mailbag contract through to the end of the month!
Given the state of the Pacific Division, where coaches are getting canned after 1st-period hat-tricks, and players are requesting trades away from their slumping teams, the prevalent theme of today’s Mailbag saw readers asking how the Canucks can capitalize on the market to optimize/improve their roster for the near and long term.
Alright, let’s get into the questions, and I promise to give you my very best so that this isn’t my last mailbag!
Can we please have a list of Hughes D partners and see who has really been his best partner once and for all?!
This question probably would have made a great individual piece for CanucksArmy, but I want the Mailbag series to stand out under my watch. Providing needlessly detailed analysis for throwaway questions is just what CanucksArmy readers deserve!
I went through NaturalStatTrick and pulled the pertinent on-ice data for Hughes’ partners since his 2019-20 campaign: 5v5 ice time, high-danger shot attempts for and against, goals for and against, on-ice shooting percentage, on-ice save percentage, and the current talk-of-the-town statistic, PDO.
Looking at the aggregate, no one holds a candle to what Filip Hronek and Hughes are accomplishing for the Canucks right now at 5-on-5. They control high-danger chances better than anyone, outscoring opponents better than anyone and are getting the better saves. The concern is obvious. If their sky-high on-ice shooting percentage dips toward Hughes’ career average on-ice shooting clip of around 9.3%.
Additionally, I looked at the individual seasons of a few of Hughes’ partners to see how they stack up. It was quite interesting to see that Kyle Burroughs and Hughes controlled high-danger shot attempts better than Hronek has with Hughes in similar ice time.
That the Hronek-Hughes pairing is doing what they’re doing while playing against top competition on a nightly basis is nothing short of spectacular. It’s the best partnership this organization has seen since John Shorthouse and John Garrett. For results purposes, they would be wise to ride the hot hand for as long as possible.
For contract management purposes, maybe they can see how Hronek looks playing away from a Tier-3b calibre of D-man.
I’m going to the Islanders game Wednesday, should I wear my Bo horvat Jersey?
Bo Horvat may have worn the C through some of the least-exciting, least-engaging, least-encouraging seasons of Canucks hockey. However, Horvat was a consummate professional who handled a litany of off-ice issues with a level of maturity and class that you frankly do not see in the NHL.
Sure, his post-game interview Q&A’s were about as generic as they come. But Horvat’s #53 is a jersey I would never be ashamed to wear in the NHL.
Does Bo get booed on his return to Van?
Per the above, I hope he doesn’t. I don’t believe Horvat should wear the blame for a decade of instability and failure that began at the top of the organizational ladder.
That being said. His comments in New York last season will (rightly) earn him a smattering of boos from the home crowd.
If everyone in the Army had to wear matching track suits, would they be Adidas or Puma, and what colour combinations?
By “the Army,” I assume Corbin means “the CanucksArmy Army” because unless something’s changed, real armies DO have uniforms, and I don’t think Adidas or Puma sponsors them.
Wyatt Arndt’s ploy for world domination begins in the wardrobe department.
I would imagine we’d be rocking Adidas tracksuits in flying skate colours.
Realistic trade options for Anthony Beauvillier?
It’s rumoured that the price for Nikita Zadorov—a 28-year-old expiring left-shot defenceman making $3,750,000 who plays mostly on his off-side—is several picks or prospects. The cost of turning Tanner Pearson’s $4,250,000 expiring salary into Casey DeSmith’s $1,800,000 expiring salary was a 3rd-round pick from the 2025 NHL Entry Draft. Only seven teams in the NHL have the cap space to take on Beauvillier’s deal without needing cash going out the other way. With cash being so sticky in the NHL, it might make the most sense for all NHL teams just to ride out the year with their expiring players, aiming for a hard market reset on forward salaries this upcoming UFA period.
To play devil’s advocate, it would be funny if Jim Rutherford acquired David Perron again. Allvin & company have experience dealing with the Yzerplan and have experience acquiring Perron in the past. The last time Rutherford acquired Perron went quite poorly. Rutherford shipped out the pick that eventually became Mat Barzal for Perron before flipping him for Carl Hagelin, who was instrumental in the club’s back-to-back cup wins. Perron wouldn’t do much, but I think his tinted visor would look effing rad in the black skate jersey.
For that alone, I think the Canucks should try and swing a deal.
[HYPOTHETICAL] The Canucks are trading their first this year. Who are you targeting?
If I were Vancouver, I’d be targeting Zach Whitecloud or Nic Hague with the 1st round pick, and that’s about it. I really don’t think the Canucks are in the position to be flipping 1st-round picks for rental pieces, so a cost-controlled asset for a pick in the 22-32 range would be the best fit for them, especially with the looming threat of Elias Pettersson and Filip Hronek’s next contracts.
I doubt Vegas would be in the business of trading either player unless Vegas went big-game hunting again, packaging Vancouver’s 1st-round pick with their entire draft stock for a star player.
Hello, “Leon Draisaitl to Vegas for four first-round picks and four second-round picks!”
I mean, Wayne Gretzky got traded, folks! So don’t jump too fast to the comment section to call me crazy!
[DSto twofer] Goalie prospect rankings in 3 years and RD depth by the trade deadline
I think the toughest thing to predict with this Allvin/Rutherford group is how often they will continue to overhaul this group until they land on their “Goldilocks roster.”
Since taking charge, Patrik Allvin has flipped a combination of 22 picks and players for a net return of Elias Pettersson (d prospect), Matthew Perkins (draft prospect), Jack Studnicka, Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Räty, Josh Bloom, Sawyer Mynio, Filip Hronek, Ty Mueller, Casey DeSmith, Sam Lafferty, Ty Glover, a 2024 4th-round pick, and Mark Friedman. The GM has put in work to overhaul the roster and the prospect pipeline.
There’s a good chance that the three top goalie prospects in the pipeline come three years from now will not have been acquired yet!
Similarly, are we even sure that Filip Hronek will be the top dog on the right side by the trade deadline? What if Patrik Allvin/Jim Rutherford finds an opportunity to flip Hronek for an even better piece/pieces? I wouldn’t put it past them! As conventional as this front office has been with regard to their work in UFA and the trade market to improve their roster, a big aspect of the Rutherford model in Pittsburgh that worked was the willingness to move on from recently acquired players so long as it helped serve the bigger picture.
If they’re convinced Hronek is the guy and extend him, then the two RD behind Hronek when the TDL passes will likely be Myers and Ian Cole. Next season and beyond, though, is anybody’s guess.
Trade deadline asset: Vasily Podkolzin?
I don’t know if my skepticism rings through this mailbag, but I really think the Canucks shouldn’t be in the business of renting or shedding assets for a playoff run this season. If they had certainty in Pettersson and Hronek’s extensions, I’d say, “Sure, use pieces like Podkolzin to try and go for it if you can land a game-changing piece.” But right now, it’s way too risky to be shedding a potential Anthony Beauvillier, Dakota Joshua, Conor Garland-type replacement piece for a playoff run.
This team needs cheap depth moving forward, like you wouldn’t believe.
Canucks as soccer players and drag queens
Best soccer players? I’m going to guess J.T. Miller. No particular reason other than he just strikes me as having the intensity required of a pro footballer.
Best drag queens? Tyler Myers, baby.
Also, probably J.T. Miller, for the same reason as being a good hockey player. He has the requisite energy required of an elite drag queen.
Twitter speed round!
How soon should they try and sign Petey?
The organization should master “time slipping” to go back in time and avoid the bridge deal that Elias Pettersson signed ahead of the 2021-22 season.
If science isn’t quite there yet, then they should try and sign Pettersson yesterday.
If that also doesn’t work, then the Canucks should be trying to sign him every waking minute until the season is over.
Pettersson leads the NHL in scoring despite looking like he’s playing through a debilitating injury. Just imagine the production totals and on-ice results will come when he’s back at 100%!
Back up the Brinks truck and get the deal done yesterday!
[Who’d you rather?] Nikita Zadorov or Ian Cole this offseason?
Per the above, if the Brinks truck is empty, the Canucks will have to be as frugal as possible when rounding out the rest of their lineup this upcoming offseason. Ian Cole can likely provide the same physicality and on-ice value as the 28-year-old 6’6″ Nikita Zadorov for a fraction of the cost!
I don’t have anything confirmed, but Podkolzin was spotted at the last Abbotsford Canucks practice in a yellow non-contact jersey. On the one hand, it’s great that he’s back skating! On the other hand, with how violent his concussion was, the team and Podkolzin should take their sweet time before attempting a return.
Hottest in the office?
Looks are subjective, but me.
Wyatt’s pretty cute, too.
Favourite musician/artist that no one’s heard of but they should?
Strange thing you should ask that, Anna!
My wife and I were pleased to learn that our favourite band, Harbour, is coming to town for the first time this December. And for only $20!
Every album speaks to me on a spiritual level, and I have no idea why they are not commercially successful. Their guitar work is uniquely fantastic, the singing is beautiful, the lyrics are fun without being generic, and the hooks are catchy enough to be featured in any modern coming-of-age teen comedy film.
They’re great, and I would urge any reader to go check them out on December 8th if they like guitar-driven indie pop-rock and have $20 to spare.
Would the White Lotus theme song work as a goal song?
Assuming it’s not a remix and the HBO original? Yes.
That song’s a BOP, as the kids say.
Unfortunately, the song lacks the requisite fan-engagement style clapping or singable “WHOAH-OH” moments. Therefore, it’s probably best suited as a post-game locker room jam.
What will Filip Hronek’s next contract look like?
I looked at a few players who signed short-term deals ahead of extensions at 26 years old that would take them to UFA: Erik Cernak, Travis Sanheim, Joshua Morrissey, and Vince Dunn.
Travis Sanheim is the closest comparable in terms of base salary ahead of their extension. Sanheim, however, was a left-shot defenceman approaching UFA after signing back-to-back two-year deals in Philadelphia ahead of his 8-year extension.
While imperfect analysis, the comparables above best illustrate how an extension to Hronek won’t come cheap, no matter how you slice it.
Landing Hronek at a $6,250,000 cap hit over eight years would feel like a best-case scenario, especially if Hronek continues crushing the opposition on a pairing with Hughes while producing above a point-per-game pace.
I don’t know where the parade starts and stops. But CanucksArmy will be crushing a 12-pack of Beaver Buzz at Botch’s bench.
I’ll tell you that for free.
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