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Monday Mailbag: Trading pending UFA’s, Mikheyev’s money limiting the changes on defence, and Bo Horvat’ next contract

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Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
Faber
By Faber
3 months ago
Well, the World Junior Championship has concluded with Canada winning gold over Finland.
With the world juniors in the rearview mirror, we are now officially down bad when it comes to Canucks on-ice content. A handful of European prospects are playing in exhibition games overseas. Did you happen to see Linus Karlsson and Nils Höglander link up for some magic in an exhibition game that a handful of NHLers suited up for?
All of the updates on the Canucks’ overseason prospects will be talked about in our now recurring Tuesday Blackfish Report.
We’re also going to have a YouTube video to go with most weeks’ articles and that should be fun to watch grow over the future.
As for the Canucks’ prospects at the world juniors, we saw Jonathan Lekkerimäki capture a bronze medal while Joni Jurmo snagged a silver in Finland’s loss to Canada. Lekkerimäki still has two more years of this tournament, so don’t be down about him not scoring a goal. (He scored in the pre-tournament play)
As for Jurmo, this is his graduation from being a junior player. He will return to the Finnish Liiga and will continue to work on how he views the ice and makes decisions with the puck. There were some promising skills in Jurmo’s performances at these world juniors but also a lot to worry about. Let’s see how he puts it together as he returns to play with men in Finland’s top professional league.
We’re hitting a slow period with the next major event being the Young Stars Tournament on September 16th but that doesn’t mean the great folks from Twitter and the comments section don’t have some interesting topics to dive into.
Let’s open up this week’s Monday Mailbag and see what you great people had to ask.
Playoff contention is an interesting spot for the Canucks to be in when the trade deadline approaches.
And honestly, the way that things go for the Canucks, they are likely to be like two points out the week before the deadline.
You’ve got to believe that this new management group understands that long-term success is built and the Canucks have not done enough building to get them to that point just yet. If a handful of players have career years, Thatcher Demko becomes a Vezina finalist, and Elias Pettersson is on pace for 100 points, then, maybe we are talking about a team that shouldn’t be willing to deal pending UFA’s.
The Canucks could absolutely be in a playoff spot around the deadline. They have an improved team and it’s been proven time, and time again that Bruce Boudreau knows how to get teams to the postseason — he almost pulled off the unthinkable last season.
Even if we see this Canucks team holding onto one of the three spots in the pacific division, they will need to have seen a ton of growth to believe that this team is ready to compete with the Colorado Avalanche or Calgary Flames in the Western Conference.
If the team is holding one of the three spots in the Pacific, I wouldn’t think that J.T. Miller gets dealt. If they are in a wildcard spot or worse, it’s a bit of a different story for me and should be for management as well.
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This will be changed soon.
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Signing Ilya Mikheyev on a four-year, $4,750,000 contract didn’t make the Canucks lose out on their best chance of upgrading the defence core but it definitely made it more difficult.
Cap space always makes things more flexible when it comes to attempting to complete a trade and perhaps the Canucks could have packaged something together with someone like J.T. Miller, Tanner Pearson or Nils Höglander to return an upgrade on their defence core while taking on another team’s bad money.
I’m a bit surprised the Canucks went mid-high shopping on a winger in free agency. You’d think that the team would have tried to upgrade Quinn Hughes’ partner a bit. Luke Schenn got the job done last season but we want to see Hughes dominate, not just do his job — he clearly has the potential to do so if given the right partner.
I wouldn’t call it losing their best chance of upgrading the defence core but it definitely didn’t help this team’s backend get any better.
At the same time, this was a weak defencemen’s free agency class. Aside from John Klingberg, who would you have wanted?
Jan Rutta got three years at $2.75m, Justin Schultz for two years at $3m, Ben Chiarot got four years at $4.75m, and let’s not forget that ERIK GUDBRANSON GOT A 4×4 WITH COLUMBUS!
It felt like a fine year to stay off the market for defencemen.
Or… maybe the Canucks want to check in on P.K. Subban and see if he’s willing to take a big pay cut to join the Canucks.
Jurmo will be playing pro over in Finland. If you’re talking about him making the jump to playing pro in North America, I’d imagine that we are at least two years away from that unless he absolutely blows the doors off during his Liiga play this season.
Jacob Truscott is heading into his junior season at Michigan and with his defence partner in blue, Luke Hughes, likely going pro after next season, there may be interest from Truscott to attempt the jump to the AHL after Michigan wraps up their season. We want to see Truscott continue to work on the development of his defensive game while being a calming presence on the blue line.
If I had to choose between these two and which one has a better shot of getting to the NHL, I’m taking Truscott. He may not be as athletic as Jurmo but Truscott thinks the game well and make all the simple plays. We’ve got a big montage of solid play from the American coming up soon here at CanucksArmy. Brace yourself for dozens of highlights showcasing breakout passes and good angles when defending.
Young Stars is September 16th-19th.
Training Camp is on September 23rd and 24th.
The first preseason games are on September 25th with two split-squad games against the Calgary Flames.
It can’t come quick enough.
You really have to like what they do defensively and adding Nazem Kadri does give them a big boost in both ends of the rink.
Some of their contracts are going to age very poorly, so they are all in right now.
A healthy Calgary Flames team is a cup contender.
Great question because I dislike talking about either.
Honestly, at this point in the offseason, I’d rather talk about goalies. I’d like to talk about J.T. Miller when something actually happens.
There are already a few players arriving back into Vancouver as you can typically see from social media posts.
We’ve seen Andrey Kuzmenko hanging out with Arturs Silovs on a boat this week.
I’d expect to see a lot of Instagram stories of plane windows this week. This feels like travel week so that the players have about a month to prepare for training camp.
A Bo Horvat extension feels like a no-brainer for this organization. They should be able to lock up their captain on a long-term deal that makes sense for both parties. Horvat has done a fine job as a captain in a hockey market filled with a “passionate” fanbase.
Coming off a 31-goal season, Horvat’s camp likely wants to be compensated correctly and with a new management group that doesn’t exactly have much history with Horvat, perhaps we are seeing more back-and-forth between the two sides than originally anticipated.
Horvat has earned a raise, a player like him on the open market is making somewhere around seven million dollars a year. We will have to see how Allvin and co. do with this very important contract.
I’d expect a deal to be done before training camp as nobody wants to deal with that as a distraction with so many other questions surrounding this roster. It would be a good idea to lock in your captain instead of going into a season where he is a pending free agent on a team that is far from guaranteed a playoff spot.
Thanks for sending in your questions to this week’s Monday Mailbag.
Be sure to ask questions in the comments with the hashtag #MM or look for the call for questions on Twitter every Sunday.
I’m off to write tomorrow’s Blackfish report, we will see you then to chat about the week that was for the Canucks’ prospects.

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