Monday Mailbag: Rutherford gets rated, Shaw gets credit, and Fin gets a jersey number

Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
Stephan Roget
2 years ago
Due to a last-minute emergency (ate at Arby’s), David Quadrelli had to step aside from this week’s Monday Mailbag after he’d already solicited questions, leaving the trusty Stephan Roget to pick up the pieces and conjure up some answers.
Great question to start us off.
For Jim Rutherford’s best all-time trade, we’ve got a few candidates. Acquiring Doug Weight and Mark Recchi in two separate transactions for a bunch of future assets that turned into nothing was nice work, and put Carolina over the top for a  Picking up Jordan Staal for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin, and the first round pick that became Derrick Pouliot is still paying off dividends for the Hurricanes.
Moving on to his days with the Penguins, Rutherford scored an early coup by flipping James Neal for Patrik Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. Later, he flipped Sutter and a third to Vancouver for Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening, and a second. His very best all-time might be bringing in John Marino for the low, low price of a single sixth round pick, and almost immediately watch Marino turn into a top-four RHD.
For Rutherford’s worst deals, you’ve got a couple involving first round picks. He dealt Rob Klinkhammer and the pick that turned into mat Barzal for David Perron, who’d be gone in less than a year. He flipped Alex Galchenyuk, Calen Addison, and a first to Minnesota for Jason Zucker. But those both pale in comparison to the time that Rutherford sent a first round pick and Oskar Sundqvist for Ryan Reaves and a second.
Two questions about Yushiroh Hirano, both asking basically the same thing.
Really, the safe answer on any longshot, undrafted prospect making the NHL is “no.”
But, consider that Hirano has already beaten the odds by making it this far. He’s basically point-per-game at the ECHL level and has notched three points in his first ten games for the Abbotsford Canucks. The odds are still long, but they’ve always been.
At age 26, it’s getting a little late for another big jump, but Hirano has done everything possible to give himself a chance. If he even plays a single game for the Canucks or any other NHL team, he’ll be the first Japanese born and trained skater to do so.
Quads’ answer to this on Twitter was “No chance.” But Quads isn’t on Mailbag duty anymore. So the answer is yes.
Get the clippers.
A difficult question to answer, and maybe a pointless one, since Miller and Boeser clearly won’t return the same sort of assets in a trade.
All things being equal, you probably trade Boeser over Miller, as Boeser seems to have the less unique skillset. But then, if the Canucks can’t afford Miller’s next contract anyway, then maybe you trade Miller regardless. In the real world, where Miller probably returns twice what Boeser does, trading Miller is definitely the call.
Honestly, I think the plus might be on the wrong side in this one.
Travis Konecny and Conor Garland play somewhat similar games as feisty, undersized wingers with surprisingly strong possession games, but Konecny is exactly one year younger and has twice the NHL games (with a higher PPG) than Garland.
He’s also Bo Horvat’s cousin, which is neat.
Konecny is signed for one year fewer at about $500K more per year, but that’s a fairly negligible difference.
Garland has been a fan favourite in Vancouver, but it’s hard to imagine Konecny not becoming one himself. If this is a real offer on the table, the Canucks have to at least consider it.
Personally, I’d draw the line at a five-year contract for JT Miller, and at an average of maybe $7.5 million. Anything longer is too risky, and anything more expensive is too messy. An increase in term would require a lower average (not happening) and a higher salary would require a shorter term (more possible). If something like three or four years at $8 million+ is of interest to Miller and his camp, that’s probably workable, too.
I do expect there to be better offers out there for Miller on the open market, and I do expect him to pursue them.
I’m obvious not the best person to answer this question, but I’m quite sure I once saw Faber refer to them as the “Sedan twins.” And he wasn’t talking about car doors!
Sadly, my hometown lost its Arby’s several years ago. It was replaced by a Carl’s Jr. It’s been fine. Would I eat at an Arby’s again? Yes. Can I eat at Arby’s again? Not anytime soon. Really, this question made me hungry for a meal I can’t have. Maybe I can get Faber to mail me up some curly fries…
Fin has always played by his own rules, so this comes as no surprise. If there’s a real answer to be had, it could be that the Canucks organization is a little jumpy about handing out meaningless jersey numbers after that whole “7th Canuck” fiasco.
The real question is, if Fin were to have a number on his back, what would it be?
The #70 would make sense, based on the Canucks’ inauguration year, but that might have to wait until after Tanner Pearson is traded.
Part of it is definitely the abysmal goal-scoring numbers from the blueline. Basically, zero shots from the blueline are coming anywhere close to going in, and that’s dragging down the overall numbers. Combine that with somewhat off-years for typical top snipers like Pettersson and Boeser, and the low shooting percentage makes sense.
On the plus side, it seems like something that could rebound fairly quickly.
It’s possible, but it would take quite a bit of manoeuvring. LTIR money can’t be used for bonuses, so the Canucks would have to get to the point where they’re under the cap by $1.25 million or more without LTIR being factored in.
With Micheal Ferland on perma-LTIR, that’s going to be tough. The Canucks would have to move out at least $5 million in salary without taking any back.
Probably a red herring, but definitely worth a shot. Signing an older European player like Pudas doesn’t cost any assets, and although they usually don’t work out, sometimes they do, and then you’ve got an effective player for basically free.
In reality, I’ve never seen Pudas play, so I can’t comment too specifically. I leave that in the capable hands of the Canucks’ scouting department.
Looking at the SHL scoring leaderboard, however, I did want to note that there’s exactly one NHL-affiliated player in the top-20, and it’s the Canucks’ own Linus Karlsson with 32 points in 36 games.
A tougher question than it might appear at first.
Spencer Martin has performed exceptionally well at both the NHL and AHL levels this season. But if you sign him with the intention of him starting in Abbotsford for 2022/23, you’re condemning one or both of Mike DiPietro and Arturs Silovs to another year of stunted development, and then that’s about all she wrote for them. Then again, the Canucks have been fine with Martin playing over the both of them all year long, so maybe they’re fine with it again next season. He’s not that much older than DiPietro, after all.
If Jaroslav Halak can be moved, and Martin can be auditioned as a full-time backup, that could lead to him retaining that role into next season. If not, don’t be surprised if he signs somewhere else where that might be a possibility.
All of the above?
Clearly, Quinn Hughes put in the work this offseason, and has come back a better defensive player than ever. That’s full credit to him.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson has definitely bounced back after escaping a tough situation in Arizona.
Bruce Boudreau deserves ample kudos for quickly turning around the team in every regard, and especially the performance of Tyler Myers. But the blueline as a whole has been outperforming defensive expectations all season long, so maybe Brad Shaw has made more of a difference than most realize.
Really, it’s a number of factors. Hughes and OEL’s resurgent play is probably the largest one, as one of the two of them are on the ice for most of the game.
No. I think we’ve seen enough of Elias Pettersson’s identity crisis. I wouldn’t risk causing another one by drafting someone with the same name. I’ve seen enough Clone Sagas to know how that goes.

Check out these posts...