Monday Mailbag: Trades trades trades, Canucks prospect rankings, and more
Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
27 days 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!
I hate to break it to you, folks. But I’m the first one up on Faber-less Mailbag duty.
Don’t worry. If you complain enough in the comments, I’m sure David Quadrelli will take note and replace me eventually.
Alright, let’s get into the questions, and I promise to give you my very best so that this isn’t my last mailbag!
As you put it, it could be worth it*
*depending on the price.
If Calgary is completely out of contention by the TDL and the Canucks are sitting pretty with a playoff spot, I’m sure the org will try and snag Tanev as a rental. It would be great to see Tanev reunited with this core for a playoff run, provided it’s not at the cost of high-value draft picks or any of the club’s top prospects like Willander, Lekkerimäki, or Brzustewicz. If the club could negotiate a cash-neutral trade like a Beauvillier-type for Tanev, 1 for 1, then of course! Why not?
I do think it’s slightly optimistic to believe the club could land Tanev as a UFA. Tanev will be 34 years old at the end of the 203-24 season and likely won’t come cheap. We don’t know how much the cap is going up, but Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s buyout cap hit will rise from $146k to $2.23-million, and both Filip Hronek and Elias Pettersson will earn big-money extensions. After all is said and done, there will be very little cap space left to improve the team while replacing the Blueger, Lafferty, Myers, Cole, and DeSmith types up and down the lineup. Maybe a 34-year-old Tanev at a discounted rate makes that roster improvement on a budget easier. But that then depends on how much mileage you have for Tanev’s continued resurgence since leaving Vancouver in 2020 beyond this current contract. Assuming Hronek inherits a Myers-like extension, and the team tries to run it back with Tanev and Cole for a combined cap hit of less than $5-million (dreaming, I know), then that would go a long way to helping the Canucks plans for 2024-25.
Heck, maybe the cap goes up something like $8-million, and Hronek and Pettersson both decide to sign for not-eleventy-billion-dollars combined. That would go a long way, too! But that’s me being hopefully optimistic.
If the Canucks continue to play well, it’s probably because Tyler Myers is playing well.
The only reason for a Myers trade at that point in the season is if the team is committed to paying a premium for a more-than-significant upgrade to the right side and not just for Chris Tanev. Think Hronek-adjacent tier of defenceman coming back.
I don’t know if the team wants to entertain shipping 1st and 2nd round picks in back-to-back seasons. But, say they’re 1st in the Pacific, with five shoo-ins for Norris, Hart, Selke, Art Ross, and Vezina. Then, I wouldn’t blame them for going big to convince Elias Pettersson to stay home (Vancouver, not Sweden, to be clear).
I went back and watched a couple of the home game pre-game warm-up skates and saw #92 (Zlodeyev) take warm-up in one of the games, working on his puck handling. Typically, at least one forward and one defenceman will skate as the extras in the warm-up in case of last-minute injuries. Unfortunately, it was for the club’s Friday game against the Henderson Silver Knights, and that VOD does not seem to work for AHLtv users. But I swear he does exist in Abbotsford’s lineup. He’s just not found a way into the starting rotation.
Maybe he’s dealing with an injury, but Abbotsford’s play-by-play guy, Brandon Astle, is spot-on with his pre-game injury and healthy scratch reports. To date, Zlodeyev has always been referred to as a healthy scratch.
I hate to pull a paywall Athletic on you, but I’ll tier the prospects.
Tier 1: Tom Willander and Hunter Brzustewicz
Tier 2: D-Pettersson
Tier 3: Kirill Kudryavtsev
Tier 4: Jacob Truscott, Jett Woo, Cole McWard, and Akito Hirose
There isn’t much to it. The younger you are, the more time you have to reach your potential NHL ceiling. The older you are, the shorter the runway to prove you can be an impact NHL player. Jett Woo is nearing the “is what he is” age, while McWard and Hirose are in their first year of pro hockey but do not have time on their side. McWard turns 23 in June, Hirose turns 25 in April, and Truscott will be 22 when he can be signed out of the NCAA. No spring chickens there, which ranks them lower on the “NHL potential rankings.”
We Port Moody boys will always go to bat for our own. So, I’ll say, whatever it takes.
It’s absurd to me that, following a rookie campaign that saw Johnson post 15 goals and 24 assists, he finds himself in the AHL after a stint on Columbus’s healthy scratch list. I’m sure Pascal Vincent has his reasons, but come on. Look at this forward group.
This is an organization that shed a 1st and a 2nd for Ivan Provorov and a 3rd round pick for the exclusive rights to sign Damon Severson (also healthy scratched) to an 8-year contract worth $50-million dollars—then rolled into the regular season with Patrik Laine as their number-one center.
I’m sure there are reasonable concerns over Johnson’s size. Still, his NHL talent is undeniable, and it makes zero sense that players like Emil Bemstrom, Alexandre Texier, or Justin Danforth are playing more NHL games than him. Maybe that’s my Port Moody bias, but I don’t care.
Jarmo Kekalainen is likely in the hot seat after spending big in free agency the last two seasons just to ice a bottom-five team in the standings. If he’s moving Kent Johnson, it’s probably to validate the organization’s last few seasons of work in free agency.
Like acquiring Tanev or flipping Myers, I would be all in on that move, especially for a player of Johnson’s talent, so long as it comes at a price that doesn’t torch the Canucks’ future outlook. AKA do not trade Lekkerimäki, Willander, or Brzustewicz for “win now” pieces.
Hearing he’s banged up.
He’s been fine through nine games but has lacked consistency in producing at evens. He has two goals and a secondary assist, all at 5v5, but is barely averaging more than a shot per game. On the bright side, he’s been on the ice for six goals scored at 5v5 and only two against, which gives him the team lead in 5v5 on-ice goal differential! Otherwise, it’s been a reasonably ho-hum AHL debut for the winger celebrating his 25th birthday today!
From the Hockey Canada rulebook:
6.2a – If a player other than the player taking the face-off moves off-side, makes physical contact with an opponent or encroaches on the face-off circle prior to the dropping of the puck, then the offending team’s player taking the face-off will be ejected from the face-off.6.2d – When a player commits a face-off violation, the official will eject the player from the offending team who was taking the face-off. Any other player of that team, other than the goaltender, may now take the face-off. The player who encroached must be identified clearly as the player causing the violation and that player is not eligible to take the face-off.
If I had to guess, J.T. gets kicked out for gamesmanship reasons. Faceoffs are all about timing; that’s why you constantly see guys getting mad at the refs for taking too long to drop the puck. Getting the first scoop on the puck requires timing, and plenty of guys get kicked out for jumping the gun. It’s not that Miller is bad at it. The dude’s just hungry for the puck.
Lobster Bisque, 1,000,000,00%.
Boiled lobster tails, removed from water and cut into small chunks. Add the shells back to the pot of water for a richer flavour. Cook down butter, celery, white onion, tomato paste, wine, thyme, and a little salt & pepper with jasmine rice. Add the lobster stock and some garlic paste, and mix it all up for 25 minutes until the rice is tender. Then, throw it into a blender in batches and puree. Return the puree to the pot on medium-low, and add a little lemon, cayenne powder, and heavy cream. Then, add the lobster chunks and adjust with salt & pepper to taste.
Baby, now that’s a bisque worthy of Top Chef!
Every Stanchies is exciting because you truly never know what you’re going to get. Last season, it felt like every Stanchies I wrote was about finding new ways to describe the same awful off-ice drama and the same awful on-ice product. This season, my first Stanchies was probably the most positive thing I’ve ever written! I was concerned my positivity would jinx the team and we’d return to more of the awful on-ice product of last season. But, no! The team has been playing incredible hockey, which makes recapping games that much more fun! The fans are engaged, the individual performances are electric, and there’s reason to believe the club isn’t teetering on a knife’s edge, waiting to collapse.
I’m supremely grateful to be one of Wyatt’s chosen disciples for another season of Canucks post-game coverage. This one looks to be the best we’ve got to do yet.
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