Patrik Allvin explains why Canucks stayed quiet on NHL trade deadline day

Tyson Cole
4 months ago
The trade deadline has come and gone, and the Vancouver Canucks stayed quiet on the trade front by not completing any deals before the noon deadline. 
Given the history of Jim Rutherford and where the Canucks currently sit in the NHL standings, it was shocking to some to see this team stand pat. 
This management group made their deadline acquisitions on November 30th when they acquired Nikita Zadorov, and January 31st, when they acquired Elias Lindholm. 
Now while Canucks fans may be underwhelmed by the lack of moves at this year’s deadline, here’s a positive spin for you; Since the Canucks made their moves earlier rather than later, it gave the new players a more extended period of time to grow accustomed to the change and build chemistry with their new teammates. 
Patrik Allvin addressed the media today to explain his thoughts and reasoning as to why the team held back at this year’s trade deadline. 


Here is the full press conference if you want to listen for yourself.
Q: Take us through the last couple of days with you and your hockey operations staff, the conversations you had, and what led to this point past the deadline.
A: We talked a lot to other teams where players were available leading up to a couple of hours ago, looking at our team and where we are sitting with 89 points with the group we have here. With the pickups we did during the year with [Sam] Lafferty, [Nikita] Zadorov, and [Elias] Lindholm, we felt we strengthened our team and have played really well in the last three games. We felt the team we have is good enough to compete. 
Also, I’m very pleased with the young players in Abbotsford, and with the injuries we’ve had, we’ve been able to give games to [Arshdeep] Bains, [Vasily] Podkolzin and [Linus] Karlsson. They’ve shown they’re good potential NHL players.
Q: Jim [Rutherford] talked about the risks of making moves and not making moves and having to weigh everything; how much did that perspective come into the picture with the assets you’ve already given up in some of those previous trades?
A: We’re always trying to be ahead of things, getting players in earlier to give them a chance to adjust. We started the season with Lafferty and bringing some speed in. When we needed Zadorov, we were a little bit banged up. With LTIR, in order to facilitate a trade, we need to move a player out in order to bring a player in.
Q: In the playoffs, you’ll likely need depth on defence. What are you seeing down in Abbotsford for defencemen that may be able to step into that role?
A: It was a step in the right direction for [Guillaume] Brisebois. He worked hard during the whole year to get medically cleared to start playing down there. Guys like [Jett] Woo, [Cole] McWard, and [Filip] Johansson all improved during the year. We have good depth up here.
Q: After all the trades you’ve made throughout the season, was today difficult not to make one?
A: I guess you need another partner to make a deal. We were in talks with teams that made their players available, but sometimes, the fit is not there.
Q: Two teams that made the biggest and boldest moves are chasing you in the Pacific division (Edmonton & Vegas); how much harder do you think the division is to win or get out of in the playoffs than it was two weeks ago?
A: Way harder. We all know that those teams were good coming into here (trade deadline). The West has shown that there are several teams that are capable of competing for a Stanley Cup this year. Every game is going to get harder, and I think it’ll be a great learning experience for our young group here; there is not a lot of playoff experience here.
Q: When teams chasing you have made those kind of moves, what is the message to your team? How do you counter that mindset that they made big changes and we’re the same team that we were?
A: I tried to be ahead of things and make changes when they were needed by bringing players in earlier to adjust. Nothing has really changed. We know how hard it is, we know how they play, and we know how we need to play to have success. Are we satisfied? Not at all. I think there’s another level. 
Q: There were a lot of wingers available. How involved were you in some of those players, and was the bigger issue cap space or not wanting to part with assets?
A: I don’t know what you’re referring to ‘a lot’; I don’t think there was a lot of quality players available. There was a big demand and ask for our younger players. I didn’t feel in our position; I didn’t want to part with [Tom] Willander, [Jonathan] Lekkerimaki, [Elias] Pettersson, [Aatu] Raty, [Max] Sasson, Bains, and Podkolzin. We feel strongly about those players.
Q: Jim addressed a top-six forward as an area of need. How do you address that over the next few weeks? Is there anything internal you can do?
A: We were pleased with Bains coming up and Podkolzin and how he has improved and worked on things we asked him to work on. Those guys will definitely be in the mix here down the stretch. 
Q: Signing Elias [Pettersson] last week, did that change your plan for this week, knowing you have a core set as opposed to not knowing what your team would look like next year?
A: It definitely did. We know moving forward, we’re going to have some really good players on our team for the next (at least) eight years. There were some intriguing players available, and we were in those discussions, but we weren’t willing to part ways with young players that we believe in.
Q: You brought in Phil Kessel, but in the end, you didn’t sign him. What light can you shine on that process?
A: Phil is a great person, but with being on LTIR, roster complications, and how we want to play, it wasn’t a fit for us at this point.
Q: Vasily [Podkolzin] was sent down today. What’s the plan with him now, and is he going to be back up in the lineup tomorrow?
A: Yes, he’s coming back up. I’ve been very pleased. With Podkolzin, it’s not just the points we’re looking for; it’s the wall play, winning battles, getting the puck deep, and the details of the game. I’ve been really impressed with Podkolzin. 
Q: How closely did you look into altering the composition of your fourth line, and since you didn’t make moves, what do you see as the identity of the group that you’ve got moving forward?
A: That’s something we definitely looked at. You could say the fourth line was really good. Unfortunately, Hoglander graduated out of the fourth line. He was a big part of the fourth line when they were productive and scored. Having Teddy Blueger as your fourth-line centre is a luxury. We can hopefully find that identity again of being hard to play against and playing with speed. The line of [Teddy] Blueger, Lafferty, and [Phil] Di Guiseppe has played pretty good.
Q: Did the last three games impact your decision-making at all?
A: We were always talking to other teams and seeing who’s available, and I don’t think it changed with the performance this week. If there was a player available for the right price, we would have definitely jumped in there.
Q: With your salary cap situation, needing to make player for player trades, did that aspect of the deadline increase the prices for you?
A: It definitely made it more complicated by bringing in players with salary, that means you have to take out players with salary or pay a third party. 
While it wasn’t the exciting trade deadline Canucks fans were hoping for; it’s encouraging to see the belief Allvin has that this team, as constructed now, can compete, despite the amount of adding their biggest divisional opponents made today.
One thing is clear: Allvin thinks very highly of many of the young players he’s brought in and was unwilling to part ways with them. Another positive sign that the future is bright here in Vancouver.
What do you think Canucks fans? How do you feel about the team standing pat with their current roster, and did they do enough throughout the season to compete for Lord Stanley?

Check out these posts...