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Patrik Allvin happy with the Canucks’ free agent signings, says Pearson’s hand has healed
By Michael Liu7 months ago
Patrik Allvin met with the media after the opening flurry of free-agent signings had settled down to discuss some of the moves made. Overall, the Canucks GM was happy with the players that they scooped up, with the work getting started right away in the morning.
“We prioritized the back-end, getting a little bit bigger, heavier PK guys like Carson Soucy and Ian Cole,” Allvin said. “We had phone calls with them right away at nine o’clock.”
The pair of defencemen join Vancouver coming off solid seasons themselves, playing a serviceable depth role on playoff teams. “I think it’s more about team toughness. How you play the game. With Carson and Cole on the back end, they’re willing to block shots and are willing to block and box players out.”
The theme of looking for PK help with playoff success continued with the signing of Teddy Blueger.
“[He’s] a player that I’m familiar with over the years and was part of drafting him, a player that showed us through the years that he’s a guy you can trust in that in the PK situations,” Allvin said of the former Penguins and Golden Knights centreman. “What I see is a really dependable player. Very detailed hockey IQ, his faceoffs on PK this year were 55%.”
Allvin was in close contact with the coaching staff to identify good defensive players that can help with penalty killing duties. He was keen to not chalk their PK struggles to just personnel, however. “I need to provide the coaching staff with personnel to help them play accordingly, and by addressing this here, I feel strongly that this will give the coaching staff more opportunities to improve our PK.”
The GM also spoke highly of Soucy and how the 29-year-old’s season with the Kraken was a sign for them that he still has more to contribute.
“I believe that he can take his game to another level,” Allvin said when asked about the role that Soucy would play in their new-look defence. “His size, his ability to skate…definitely a guy that we can use in a top four role but also…different matchups and opportunities.”
He didn’t rule out Soucy playing on the right side with Hughes, but went on to name Filip Hronek and Tyler Myers as players that the coaching staff were comfortable with already. Myers, whose name had been part of trade rumours in the past couple of weeks, looks to be staying in Vancouver for the last year of his contract.
“When I was standing here in front of you guys [the media] last week, I made it pretty clear that Tyler was part of our team moving forward.”
This opening day of free agency is a departure from the usual multi-year contracts Vancouver has handed out in years past. But Allvin was quick to remark that it wasn’t just an organizational contribution. “I’m surprised to have a lot of players that actually wanted to come here, interested in what we’re doing and their trust in the coaching staff,” he said. “The flat cap here, it’s tough for both parties.”
With cap flexibility being a major challenge not just for the Canucks but all teams across the league, Allvin spoke about the decision to not qualify Ethan Bear, though the two sides still remain in conversation.
“We felt that at this point we couldn’t afford to qualify him,” the GM put simply. “We’ll continue talking to Ethan and his agent and make sure he is in a good spot to do his rehab,” Allvin mentioned that Bear was interested in staying in Vancouver.
The NHL-level Canucks backup goaltender role is once again up for grabs and development camp offers the first glimpse at how the battle could shape up in training camp.
“I feel very strong and very excited about it. Especially with Silovs’ performance at the World Championship but also over the last two years in Abbotsford, Silovs really took a big step,” Allvin said when asked about filling the hole behind Thatcher Demko. “We also have Spencer Martin, and [Nikita] Tolopilo coming over from Europe as a free agent.”
Allvin also touched on Tanner Pearson, providing an update on his hand injury.
“The indication I got from his agent and from our medical staff is that the hand is healed, and Tanner is working really hard to to be the in his best shape and participate in training camp”
The Vancouver Canucks just announced their 40-man roster for development camp, set to start tomorrow at UBC. The first few days will be open to the general public. We’ll have plenty of coverage from in-person at development camp all week long, so stay tuned to CanucksArmy!
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