Monday Mailbag: Cups, Felix the Cat, and keeping up with former Canucks prospects

Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
Stephan Roget
2 years ago
Readers, in truly Pavel Burian fashion, we have deked you out of your proverbial shorts once again. When our intrepid editor David Quadrelli reached out for Monday Mailbag questions on Twitter, you naturally presumed that David himself would be answering them. Right?
It’s me, Stephan Roget, tagging in from off the ropes with a chair…from down-town! (I don’t watch wrestling and am not willing to research its terminology, so hopefully the metaphor works.)
Shoutout to Darryl, an absolute real one, starting us off with a banger.
I think I’ve got a clever answer to a clever question. I’m going with Felix Potvin, because his prime was probably his rookie season, in which he was a Calder finalist, finished fourth in Vezina voting, and led the Leafs to the semi-finals.
If you sign Potvin-Prime to a four-year deal, then, you’re getting him for four of his best statistical seasons, two lengthy playoff runs, and all that youthful fire. And then you’re getting rid of him before he’s all old and janky.
Arturs Irbe is the runner-up.
This is a question that would definitely be better answered by Quads, but I’ll do my best here.
For me, it’s Mikey DiPietro all day, every day.
For one, DiPietro has already climbed higher than the vast majority of goaltending prospects by establishing himself as an AHL starter. Most never make it that far, and Arturs Silovs hasn’t yet, so if you’re looking for a surer thing, it’s DiPietro by a mile.
Beyond that, though, DiPietro simply is and always has been the superior netminder. Size obviously tips in Silovs’ favour, but everything else goes to DiPietro. I’d draw special attention to his notoriously upbeat personality and cool demeanor. I’m one of those who will assert that goalies are mostly voodoo, so DiPietro having the power of positive thinking on his side bodes well.
Or, in the immortal words of The Broadscast, “no stats, just vibes.”
I probably know less about golf than I do about wrestling.
What do you need to be good at golfing?
Balance. Vision. Hand-eye coordination. Patience. Big hips.
With all that laid out, how could it be anyone other than Nils Höglander?
If he can ride a unicycle, I’m sure he can figure out a putter.
Quads has me doing a whole article about possible Nate Schmidt destinations and returns, so I won’t give away the farm here. But if I were to leave a tantalizing hint, I’d say that the most likely destination for Schmidt is one that Vancouver fans really won’t like…and that the return for him will, at the very least, be more than what the Canucks paid for him in the first place.
As for the Joel Eriksson-Ek extension, I don’t really see the relevance. He and Pettersson are quite different players in entirely different roles. If anything, Eriksson-Ek’s contract kind of generally hurts any other center negotiating for a deal, because it’s a real bargain for Minnesota, but it shouldn’t really affect someone in Pettersson’s tier.
I recognize the references but I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking.
If it’s which of these was a worse or more consequential moment, it has to be Nathan LaFayette hitting the post. I mean, it literally doesn’t get any closer than that.
Hey now, that’s way out of line.
Everyone knows that Quads’ Grade 10 school photos were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Let’s go rapid-fire for this one.
Tyler Madden: Underwhelming first pro season with the crowded Ontario Reign, only five points in 14 games. LA organization still quite high on him.
Jonathan Dahlen: Another Allsvenskan season for Timra that was roughly as good as his last one. Coming over to San Jose for 2021/22 and reportedly being handed a top-six job. We’ll see how that goes.
Nikolay Goldobin: A couple of pretty so-so seasons in the KHL since departing. Scored 11 points in 21 games for CSKA Moscow last season and only eight in 19 for Magnitogorsk in 2021. Never coming back.
Petrus Palmu: Went over to the German DEL for some reason, and produced at a worse rate than he had previously in the SM-liiga. A total dud.
Artem Manukyan: Only four points in 17 games in the VHL, a second-tier Russian league. Disappointing for the 23-year-old after moderate success in KHL stints.
I think the Duncan Keith rumours were de-linked from the Canucks about as quickly as they were ever linked. I’d hope that even he would see how awkward of a fit that would be, and would want no part of it. Seattle is probably the best fit for him, but I expect Edmonton to stupidly push for him and probably win out.
As far as Keith vs Edler goes, I’d probably guess that Keith has more in the tank, even though he’s two years older. I don’t think there’s really ever been a point in their careers at which Edler was the better player, as tough as that is to swallow.
In the sense that Mathew Barzal is two draft classes older than Pettersson, and thus closer to his prime years of production. But even then, I’m not sure.
Barzal had the better rookie season of the two, but Pettersson’s 66 points in 68 sophomore games is better than anything Barzal has produced since. Barzal’s .82 PPG in 2021 just barely beat out Pettersson’s .81. I think there’s an argument to be made that Pettersson is already the better player right here, right now. He’s almost certainly going to be the better player moving forward.
It’s about the journey, not the destination.
Consider that, by the measure of some folks like The Hockey News, fans of the Vancouver Canucks have suffered more misery than any other NHL franchise over their 52-year history. In all of professional sports, they’re probably cracking the top-ten of down-bad.
And, sure, that sucks from the inside looking out.
But what that also means is that no other championship is going to ever feel quite as good for any other fanbase as it will for Vancouver when the Canucks finally win the Stanley Cup.
So fatten up that patience, chum. It’s worth the wait.
This is going to sound meaningless without pictures, and I’m not going to post pictures, but I have better hair than Quads. That’s not even bragging, it’s an objective truth. Ask Bill Huan, he’s seen it.
My secrets are pretty simple; don’t shampoo every day, condition three times a week at most, and wet-brush in the shower.
Other than that, it’s mostly confidence.
I could make a joke here about Quads using a “no more tears!” product, but that would be beneath me and honestly a little toxic.
I think I answered this last time I did the Mailbag, so let’s hope my answers match up.
For me, it’s Mason MacTavish, but they’re pretty indistinguishable overall. They have very different styles, but similar talent and potential levels. I think MacTavish has more of what the Canucks lack, so he’s the pick, but it’s definitely close.
I can’t comment too much on Simon Edvinsson, but I’m always wary of prospects who come with that “no toolbox” descriptor. Still, if he’s there at #9, I take him in a heartbeat.
If I had to break the draft into tiers, mine would look something like…
Tier 1: Owen Power, Matthew Beniers, Brandt Clarke, Dylan Guenther
Tier 2: Luke Hughes, William Eklund, Simon Edvinsson
Tier 3: Jesper Wallstedt, Mason MacTavish, Kent Johnson, and maybe Chaz Lucius or Corson Ceulemans
There’s not really much danger of him signing it outright, and he’ll likely negotiate for something slightly less on a long-term deal.
If he does take the qualifying offer, it’s not like it’s totally breaking the bank for that one season, and the Canucks will have all of Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, and Roberto Luongo off the books by then.
Best of all, he’d still be an RFA at the end of it.
This really isn’t my area of expertise at all, but I keep hearing great things about Scott Morrow, and some draft-lists have him as low as the bottom of the second round. He’s a big two-way RHD, and the Canucks should be all over that.
This one is easy.
Buying out Jake Virtanen.
That’s a statement that would have been true prior to recent revelations based on the salary implications and quality of his play alone, and it’s all the truer now.
For realistic targets that would actually make a tangible difference, I’ll throw out three names from my old Exploiting the Expansion Draft list: Scott Mayfield, Jeremy Lauzon, and Cal Foote.
You can read the entirety of that article here.
All are in danger of being selected by Seattle, all can play the right side, and all have at least some of the makings of a potential Quinn Hughes partner. Mayfield has the size, experience, and cheap salary, but would consequently be the most expensive. Lauzon is versatile and tenacious, but not a natural right-hander. Foote is a largely unknown quantity, but probably has the highest ceiling of the trio.
And my only thoughts on Carson Lambos are that he’ll be gone after the Canucks’ first round pick, before their second round pick, and has a cool name.
We always try to end on a positive note here.
As it currently stands, I think the Canucks finish ahead of the Kings in the Pacific(?) Division standings by the end of 2021/22.
Los Angeles’ core is getting older, and their youth isn’t quite ready to take center-stage yet. Viktor Arvidsson was a tidy pick-up, but he’s not enough of a gamechanger.
Both LA and Vancouver will be in the hunt for a wildcard spot, but I think the Kings are the more likely to falter down the stretch run through a combo of not enough experience and a little too much of it.
That all changes, however, if the Kings actually manage to land Jack Eichel this offseason. He is a gamechanger, and quite possibly enough of one to push LA up and over Vancouver.
Here’s hoping he goes to the Rangers.

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