WDYTF: Trade Deadline performance reviews and this year’s Canucks unsung hero

Photo credit:© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
1 year ago
Welcome back to WDYTF, the only hockey column on the internet that is rated E for Everyone. It’s also the only hockey column whose editor forgets to post it so that it needs to be renamed What Do You Think Friday!
Speaking of ratings, there’s been a lot of talk surrounding various Vancouver Canucks and their being “overrated” this season.
And, fair. Whatever expectations folks had for the team in 2022/23, suffice it to say that they’ve underdelivered.
But there’s been enough focus on negativity of late, and there are always silver linings to be found in even the darkest of clouds. We’d go as far as to suggest that there hasn’t been enough chatter about what’s going well, and especially not about the small handful of things that have actually been going better than expected.
Are there aspects of the Vancouver Canucks that are genuinely underrated? We think so, and we hope you think so to.
This week, we’re looking for shoutouts. This week, we’re looking for heroes of the unsung variety. This week, we’re asking you:

Who or what has been the unsung hero of the Canucks’ 2022/23 season?

Let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

Give your performance review for the Canucks’ trades between January 30 and March 3, 2023.

You performance-reviewed below!
I think what is more important is the groundwork laid for any offseason trades.
defenceman factory:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
I rate the values paid/received in trades a ‘C.’ The return on Horvat and cost of Hronek were a bit disappointing, but not out of line. The Bloom and Kravtsov trades were good, but of not much consequence. The inability to move an expensive winger or to weaponize the windfall of cap space this season are fails. The team is a bit younger, but the roster isn’t much better by removing Horvat and adding Hronek. Some serious work left to do in the offseason.
I rate the vision the team used to guide them through the trade deadline an ‘F.’ The Canucks needed to take a step back for next season and build some depth and sustainability behind top players. Management has been clear about what their vision is. so what they’ve done isn’t surprising. Having a clear strategy doesn’t make it a good strategy.
My assessment of this Trade Deadline is negative. I liked some of the moves the Canucks made prior to the deadline, like the Horvat trade and the acquisition of Kravtsov. I’m still not crazy about the Hronek trade, though, as it creates more pressure to win now, and I fear it will lead to more desperate short-term moves. The failure to move either Boeser or Garland prior to the deadline was disappointing, as the Canucks are facing a big cap crunch. The team is still in trouble with so many bloated contracts on its books, and I shudder to think what Allvin might end up doing to get rid of some of them — like giving away draft picks or buying players out, which is only going to prolong the pain.
I think the trades are a ‘B,’ BUT with Hronek not playing, that could go up.
Basically, Bo and a 2nd were traded for Beau, Raty, and Hronek. With Hronek and Bear the RHD has really improved. Add in a low-risk move for Vitaly and the potential for a HR is there.
With the type of goaltending Demmer can provide, the club will look a lot different.
We turned a 2C and a 2nd round pick into a top-six winger, top-four RHD, B+ center prospect, and a 4th round pick, as well as some peripheral moves that have already found an impact.
I give the Canucks a ‘B,’ it could’ve been an ‘A’ if they moved out some high-cost wingers.
Not crazy about cap implications of the trades, so it comes down to whether or not we have faith in PA to straighten out the cap mess this summer. The only thing I know for sure, is I’d rather have PA than JB fixing the cap problems.
bruce donice:
Canucks’ defense now has another top right-side defenseman. Looking forward to seeing Hronek getting into game action. Canucks also got another top-line winger in Beauvillier, who has replaced the production the team was getting from Bo.
The Stillman trade added another big, young prospect to the forward group, Josh Bloom, who is able to join Abbotsford at the end of his season. The Canucks will have some pretty big forwards coming up through the system. Imagine a line of Gardner, Bloom, and Klimovich. All of them can skate, and aren’t shy to use their size. Can they make the team for the ‘24/25 season? Sure would help keep the salary cap in line.
Raty is another center with a bit of size, but will be a project for their development staff. He has some smarts, and talent, now just to see if they can improve his skating.
Then there’s Kravtsov, who could make all the fans forget about the Islanders’ first they traded for Hronek. If he can be comfortable, and find a spot in the lineup, and most importantly re-sign, he could be found money. Not ready or may not ever be ready for the top line, but so far has looked pretty good with Podkolzin. The two of them may help make Dries be a good 3rd line center. If they can piece some good games together and get some chemistry, they can also be an energy line that can add some much needed production.
Future looks bright. Not going to grade the moves, as that will be something that should be left to next season. Adding good players doesn’t mean anything if they can’t play as a team, and that can’t be assessed until about 20 games into next season.
BeerCan Boyd:
Did they get better? Maybe. Are they positioned to be realistic Stanley Cup contenders in the period management have identified, ie: 2-3 years ? Extremely doubtful.
As DF says, ‘C’ for the trades, ‘F’ for the vision. Now to keep beating up on the other bottom-feeders and turn the 6th overall pick into something in the 9-12 range.
Tim Noble:
I think its easy to have your opinion clouded by the extreme frustration of a decade of abysmal asset management by prior management teams. Current management has not once even hinted they would tear it down and rebuild, they recognized they had some very good, young, key pieces and decided to build around them in a “re-tool”. In that context, what they did at the Trade Deadline were clearly positive steps in that direction. They took advantage of the opportunities they could find, and will do more over the next year. They know there’s lots left to do. So for that, I give them a “B.”
Beautiful Home:
Everyone knows the issues on D, especially RHD. The Islanders pick was not gonna solve that, at least not in the next 3-4 years at the earliest. There also aren’t viable UFA RHD available. And most would be old and overpaid anyway. If Allvin waited until the draft to trade the Islanders’ pick, then he might have gotten more value, as draft picks have the most value at the draft. However, the deal might not be there. In sum, I would pass on the Hronek trade, believing that something better would arise. The other deals were quite good. HORVAT trade gets an ‘A.’ Better than the Meier trade for lesser talent. Other trades are an ‘A’ to ‘B’ range, except for Hronek.
Final grade is a ‘B.’
Ragnarok Ouroboros:
Management was doing a good job up until the Hronek trade, then they lost the plot. Me and other fans were happy they were trading out aging assets and getting draft picks and young prospects back. They were finally getting under the salary cap and there was the hope that they may even acquire up to three 1st round picks.
Then they trade for Hronek and you are left wondering what the hell they are doing.
Instead of trading Granlund, Miller, and/or Boeser for more deadline draft picks/prospects they instead gave away a first and second round pick.
Instead of being well under the salary cap and taking advantage of other teams needing to free up cap space, they instead put themselves over the salary cap for next year.
Instead of having room to add new prospects next year, they are in a position where they will have to trade away players for pennies on the dollar just to get under the salary cap.
Management has traded away a first round draft pick in 3 of the last 4 years.
Management has traded away a second round draft pick in 3 of the last 4 years, and they have traded away their 2024 second round draft pick.
They are trading away picks and prospects like they are a team on the cusp of winning a Stanley Cup instead of the team in 27th place that they are.
This trade deadline has shown that ownership and management are completely out of touch with what the fanbase wants.
Instead of improving their draft position to get a crack at drafting Bedard, they are instead playing Demko/Silovs and preparing to finish in the middle of the pack.
So in general, I am not a happy fan of this team that has no plan. I think they have really set the team back from being competitive for the next 5 years.
Easy ‘F.’
It’s not just the moves it’s the timing. They have stolen any chance of Hughes and Pete having a Cup-contending team, thus wasting the prime careers of two of the best players in franchise history for nothing. The same thing this Aquilini-lead disaster has been doing for 10 years.
Example: Hronek deal, that’s a move a contending team makes who is missing that last piece, which is a top-four RHD.
Not moving Miller because there is no replacement is the fault of this management group, as if you win a top two spot in the draft you wouldn’t also get your center. This also failed to give us cap space to lend to a third party for some picks.
There is now no hope for this team, as they have wingers making $4 and 5 million on the fourth line come next season.
Reg Dunlop:
I’m more than satisfied with the results of the Horvat trade. The club will miss his faceoff prowess for sure , but I’m definitely ready to move on from the rest of his game. His goal-scoring in a contract year was a fascination for some on here, but his lack of playmaking ability was always a concern of mine, as was his turn the other cheek style of leadership. He was front and center when Boeser and Pettersson suffered career threatening injuries and did absolutely sweet f*ck all about it. Considering what he has recently signed for on Long Island, I am glad to see we now have a top 4 RHD, a skilled winger, and decent prospect in Raty in his place.
Brian Togri:
I was behind the moves made until the Hronek trade. It was very much a classic Canuck blunder, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. The most alarming aspect to this trade however, is not that Yzerman absolutely fleeced Allvin value-wise (and boy did he ever!!), but that this move almost certainly means more trades of the same kind to reshape this roster. If Allvin’s stated goal of making the playoffs next year is to be realized, multiple contracts/players need to be moved out or bought out and then replaced. This is all going to cost significant assets, to the degree that I believe there will be more high picks moving out and certainly some young players before all is said and done. It is quite possible the Canucks do not end up with a top-ten pick and I won’t at all be surprised if that pick is then moved. What will all this result in?? Well, maybe a playoff team, but probably not much more. For some, this will all be worth it, but for those hoping for a legitimate Cup team, not so much.
Craig Gowan:
I’d say the Canucks did well overall. The Stillman, Lazar, and Schenn trades were solid business for draft choices and a prospect.. It was important to get rid of Stillman, generally, and his contract for next year. The Kravtsov trade was a good gamble at little cost. They got quite good value for Horvat, although Horvat was the best player in the deal. I’ve always liked Beauvillier — good skater, two-way game, offensive touch. I worry about Raty’s skating. The price for Hronek was breathtaking, but a top-four RHD may be the most costly commodity on the market. I haven’t see a lot of Hronek, but most say he’s a top-four D, which the Canucks needed badly. If one views the Horvat trade as Horvat and a second for Hronek, Beauvillier, and Raty, it seems more palatable. Fans/media have been advocating trading a high-priced forward for a top-four D for ages. Now they don’t like it?

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