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Monday Mailbag: Trade proposals, playoff Bruce gets Jack Adams consideration, and how the trade deadline will go for the Canucks

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Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
Faber
By Faber
9 months ago
Another week in the books. Don’t look now, but the trade deadline is just three weeks away.
But does that even matter?
The Vancouver Canucks are doing their best to not be sellers at the deadline as they attempt to battle themselves into the playoff race.
Since our last Monday mailbag, the Canucks have rattled off three wins in a row and have won six of their last eight games. They are three points out of a wild card spot and playoffs are surely in the conversation of the fanbase. Management may look towards building a better team for the future or a la Benning regime, they may look to try and make the playoffs and “see what happens”.
This team is seventh in the NHL when it comes to points percentage under Bruce Boudreau. They have an 18-7-4 record and look like they have found the magic recipe. There is still a road to go before this is considered a playoff team but you can definitely say that they have looked like one ever since the new coach came to town.
As always, we have a load of great questions in the mailbag so let’s hop into that mailbag and see what the wonderful folks of Canucks Twitter had to ask this week.
If you are talking about the rescheduled tournament from December that was postponed due to COVID, I’d think that Lucas Forsell is the only one of the bunch who has done enough in 2022 to earn a spot on the summer roster.
With the World Junior Championships happening during the summer, there may be some NHL teams who don’t want their prospects to participate in the tournament but I don’t expect that number to be a lot.
Forsell has really taken off over the past few weeks and if he keeps this up all the way to the WJC, he could earn a spot on Sweden’s roster.
Hugo Gabrielson has had a down season this year and hasn’t really found a lot of success in his 44 Allsvenskan games this year. He is eligible for the summer tournament but turns 20 in October so he will not be able to participate in the WJC this December.
As for Jonathan Myrenberg, there is an outside shot that he can play himself onto Sweden’s 2023 roster but it is a longshot. Myrenberg has been able to play in the SHL this season and that is impressive for a fifth-round pick in the most recent draft. The problem is that he has only been able to shine in the J20 leagues this season. This may begin to change and he had a season-high 17:44 of ice time in an SHL game on February 19th.
Right now, I’d say that Forsell has a decent shot to make Sweden’s 2023 world junior team but he is the only one I’d expect to see in the tournament.
First off, this is the perfect timing to ask about the 21-year-old prospect Karel Plasek.
On Sunday, Plasek drew into the Abbotsford Canucks’ lineup for the first time since November 6th. He played in a top-six role and didn’t really stand out in a positive or negative way. He fit right in on a line with Justin Dowling and Sheldon Rempal. Just fitting in with two players who tend to make the AHL look easy is a good step in the right direction for Plasek. He should have a bigger role on this team moving forward as the team can use some scoring touch on the wings and Plasek will hope to give that to them.
Abbotsford head coach Trent Cull spoke about Plasek’s play after his return to the lineup on Sunday evening.
There was little rust for sure,” said Cull. “But I thought he got better as the game went on. I was happy with his play.”
Plasek will look to solidify a spot in the team’s top-nine as the season goes on and it’s good to finally have him back in the AHL lineup. Plasek was the player who had a random family assist him during the flooding that forced him out of his hotel out in Abbotsford. He was in a walking boot at the time and a random Abbotsford family helped him carry his belonging up to the higher ground as the hotel was in a flooding area.
The fish sandwich was excellent, it’s the best fast-food fish sandwich on the market. I tried to get the new “spicy” fish sandwich but they didn’t have any of the spicy dust for the sandwich.
Overall, it was excellent. The fish sandwich was piping hot and too many people sleep on Arby’s.
Though you have predicted trades in the past, I don’t think this one has legs.
Topi Niemela is highly valued by the Toronto Maple Leafs and likely over-valued because this return isn’t enough for my eyes.
I don’t think either team likes this deal.
Niemela isn’t the right-shot defenceman who is going to play with Quinn Hughes for the next six years and that’s a piece I’d be looking for if you are going to move Miller. Niemela was a top defenceman at his last WJC and looks great in the Liiga this year but I’d stay away.
I don’t think Timothy Liljegren is Hughes’ future partner either and I really doubt the Leafs or any team (aside from the LA Kings) would trade two right-shot defencemen in one deal.
Both teams say no.
I mean, I’m really close to saying yes on this one if I’m in Canucks management.
Retaining salary is a huge deal and a team adding Miller to their group for two playoff runs while making $2,625,000 needs to make the return astonishing.
Braden Schneider is a strong right-shot D who has the potential to be Hughes’ partner for a long time. He’s 6’2″, a former WHL captain, and he’s already played in NHL games. There’s a lot to like.
On top of Schneider, Kaapo Kakko still has so much potential.
I like the players a lot and if you catch me on the right day, I may actually say yes to this deal.
Throw any pick in the top four rounds back with the two players and it’s a done deal for me.
Kaako is going to contribute to the middle-six for a long time and Schneider could be the partner for Hughes. I’d do it.
Rangers fans would love the new and improved Miller and he would be a star in Madison Square Garden with Artemi Panarin on his wing.
I’ve been on this bring-back Lukas Jasek train for a little bit now. I think I’ve written about this in past mailbags.
Jasek is on a one-year deal with his Liiga team and could end up signing and joining the Canucks next season. I like the fact that he learned how to be a centre with Cull in Utica and now with some serious centre depth, Jasek could slide in and play wing on Abbotsford’s top-six.
Liiga playoffs begin at the end of March and his team is currently on the outside looking in. He may be available to sign with the Canucks and come join the AHL team in a month’s time.
I’d look to do it. Jasek has 41 points in 44 games and is playing with a lot of confidence. He is currently fifth in the league’s scoring race and as mentioned earlier, his team isn’t one of the top teams that are filled full of talent.
Circling back on Jasek makes a lot of sense unless there was a problem with the organization but we have not heard of any such thing. The jolting back to Finland caught a lot of people off-guard and there’s likely a bigger story there. Let’s hope the story ends with him coming back to North America to see what the Abbotsford Canucks are all about.
He 100% does.
If Boudreau gets the Canucks into the playoffs he could win the Jack Adams.
Simply put, the team needs to win 18 of their final 28 games to have a chance at the playoffs.
It’s possible, and if the team does it, they will have something like a 36-16-5 record under Boudreau. After what this team’s record looked like through the first 25 games of the season (8-15-2), it would be Jack Adams worthy.
This is what my gut is telling me.
Tyler Motte gets dealt for a 3rd round pick and a decent prospect.
Jaroslav Halak gets moved for a 6th round pick but the team takes his bonus.
All of the big names like Miller, Brock Boeser, Conor Garland, etc. stay put.
This management group can make bigger changes in the offseason if that is what they are looking to do.
Phil Di Giuseppe, Justin Bailey, Sheldon Rempal and Sheldon Dries will get time on the Vancouver Canucks’ fourth line and Spencer Martin will back-up Thatcher Demko to finish the season.
Let’s see how wrong I am in three weeks.
The trade deadline is approaching and at the same time, the Canucks are approaching the playoff bar. Which will come within striking distance first?
We will be here to keep you updated on all things Canucks and each week will start here on a Monday mailbag.
As always, thanks for the great questions this week and let us know what you think in the comments.

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