WDYTT: Is the Vancouver Canucks’ blueline adequate?

Photo credit:© Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
1 year ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that’s always just good enough.
Speaking of adequacy, that’s what the Vancouver Canucks’ front office is offering of their blueline this upcoming season.
Specifically, President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford told reporters last week that the Canucks have “a defence that is certainly adequate if it’s healthy.”
Merriam-Webster defines ‘adequate’ as an adjective meaning “sufficient for a specific need or requirement” or “good enough” or “of a quality that is acceptable but not better than acceptable.”
All in all, it seems like a fair assessment, but these things are subjective.
What is that “specific need or requirement” that the Canucks’ need of their blueline in 2022/23? Is it “acceptable” to just challenge for a playoff spot? Do the Canucks need to lock one down to be “sufficient” this year?
And, perhaps most importantly of all, are the Canucks defenders “good enough” to achieve those reasonable goals, whatever they may be?
These questions, and others, are what we’re asking you to ponder as you throw together your answer to the query:

Is the Canucks’ blueline actually adequate for 2022/23?

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

Who has impressed you the most so far in Canucks Training Camp 2022?

You answered below (and we didn’t delete them this time!)
The ones that have stayed healthy.
Rathbone actually looked good against the Flames. Though not as big as most of the fan base would like him to be, the kid has definite skill and belongs in the NHL. Whether it can be on the Vancouver Canucks remains to be seen. He’s better than being a mere AHL tweener.
A River Called Curt:
With a 75.00% CF, it’s gotta be Wyatt Kalynuk.
defenceman factory:
I wouldn’t say any have exceeded my expectations. I expected the young guys to come out strong. Höglander, Podkolzin, and Rathbone are meeting that expectation. Kuzmenko is a wildcard, but so far looks encouraging. Not trying to be negative. Just saying good, young players have played well, as you should expect.
The one player who has showed very well is Silovs. There are two very good prospects behind him, and from what I saw Ty Young looks very promising. If Demko keeps playing as well as last year for the next few years, his next contract is going to be very expensive. Having that goalie depth could prove extremely valuable.
I didn’t watch them play but I read Dickinson went 8 for 10 in the faceoff circle and Lazar went 9 for 11. I’m so impressed. These two are going to lead the league in faceoff percentages this year. Sorry Höglander. I even heard Bruce told these guys they are his new favourites. And bye-bye Horvat. There are new faceoff kings in town.
Honestly it’s too early to predict who has impressed at training camp so far. Unless you’re at the practice facility every day. The question should be “Which players tires has the media pumped the most this training camp?” Like most I’ve been able to watch ONE game against Calgary from which I can actually make an educated opinion. That guy would be Podkolzin, as he appeared to be ready to contribute. I don’t see this guy having a sophomore slump.
Höglander, Podkolzin, and Rathbone seem all ready to make increased contributions to the team. That said, they have only played one preseason game against Calgary teams fielding AHL players. Too small a sample size to make meaningful projections.
My low expectation choice, is Silovs; and I am happy to see Rathbone getting a legit shot to make the big club.
Höglander has impressed me the most. He was committed to his offseason training and focused on changing the coaching staff’s perception of him. The unfortunate, but the predictable injury bug has allowed him a great opportunity to cement his spot in the lineup.
Bo Ho:
The Canuck that impressed me the most so far is Arturs Silovs.
Brian Togri:
Höglander has definitely risen to the challenge, which really speaks to his character. I love this guy’s drive to succeed!!

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