WDYTT: Which Canuck is your eye on the most for Training Camp 2023?

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
10 months ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet where some are debates and some are not.
Speaking of summer debates, they’re over and done with, because it’s September. That marks the official transition to fall but also, more importantly, the official return of the best winter sport in the world. The NHL preseason is about to spring into action, and it’s time to get back to asking you about non-hypothetical real actual hockey.
By the time you’re reading these words, Vancouver Canucks Training Camp 2023 is less that two weeks from kicking off. Players are already hitting the ice around the Lower Mainland, and then on September 21 it’s off to Victoria for camp and then on to exhibition play by the 24th. It’s all coming at us pretty fast, and it’ll be opening night before we know it.
For now, let’s stick to the near-present.
As we said, Training Camp is nigh, and this year does promise to be a more competitive event than in years past. A lot of jobs are on the line, there’s too many players to possibly fit on one roster, and plenty of dark horses will have their day.
In other words, this should be a Training Camp worth keeping an eye on. But upon which specific players will you be focusing the most of your gaze?
This week, we’re asking you:

Which Canuck is your eye on the most for Training Camp 2023?

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

Who should be the Canucks’ captain in 2023/24?

Your responses are listed below! (And always appreciated. A special thanks to those who stuck around all summer!)
So long as he has his sh*t together to start the season, Miller is the best choice.
I’m confident (well, optimistic) that Miller will channel his frustration, anger, and petulance into focused aggression and that he will lead his teammates by example. I think he will become the player Tocchet wants as his captain.
I think picking a captain this year would be a mistake. We have several new players who may turn out to be better leaders. The best player is not always the best leader…indeed, the burden of leadership can actually affect his play negatively. Take this season and see who steps up to take the mantle.
defenceman factory:
The Canucks should not appoint a captain this season. It sends the right message. This is a team in transition and not yet fully formed.
For this season, of the frontrunners for the job, I agree with some others: Miller would step up and do a decent job. Once you put a C on someone, it’s a big deal to take it off. I can’t see Miller as the captain for seven years. Don’t make him that. I don’t see Miller’s desire or willingness to lead being influenced one bit by the formality of a C on his jersey.
I don’t see Hughes as ever being the captain. The expectations on this kid are already too high. He should not have to carry the extra burden and will be a quiet leader with an A.
Right now this is Pettersson’s team. Kid has ice in his veins and would be a decent captain, but without his next contract can’t be considered now.
We haven’t seen enough of Hronek and a few others to know if they are reasonable considerations. The Canucks need to add at least one high end player by the ‘24/’25 season. Maybe he will be the best choice for captain.
The captaincy should go to the player most responsible for taking the Canucks into the playoffs and experiencing success in the post-season. Until then, no-one will have earned it.
The internet has spoken.
Since we are discussing captain this year, I will start with the process of elimination between the three contenders. Can’t be Pettersson, because he may not be here in the long-term and teams don’t have one-year captains.
Can’t be Miller because he doesn’t have the temperament of a captain in a high-visibility market. Both he and the team have admitted as much. He doesn’t have the buy-in from all the players, notably Pettersson.
Lastly, that leaves Hughes. I think he would be a great choice. Stands up for his teammates and gives thoughtful answers. The other option is to wait one more year before naming a captain.
Craig Gowan:
There should be no captain this season. There should three assistant captains: Miller, Petey, and Quinn. Miller’s too volatile to be captain and he wouldn’t be upset if he weren’t selected captain. Petey isn’t committed to the team/organization, so he shouldn’t be captain. I am also not sure he has the personality or facility with English to be a good captain. Quinn is the best choice, but I am not sure he’s captain material yet, and selecting him may annoy Petey. Let’s take a year to assess who might emerge as the clear leader of the team.
I love Miller’s emotion and that he’s both vocal and has some toughness in his game, but…I just can’t put the C on the jersey of a guy who lollygags his way back to the bench after a frustrating sequence.
If Petey truly doesn’t want the C, and there’s been some earlier indications that it’s not a real goal of his, then Hughes would be a fine choice. Ideally, though, it’s Petey, who is pretty clutch and a fine example of not sacrificing defense to get his offensive numbers. Since he’s not signed long-term, I think that all three getting A’s and rotating the C is probably the best, and most likely, course of action.
Kuzmenko. Summers in Bali for everyone!
Johnny Canucklehead:
I think putting the C on Miller would hopefully make him a more responsible player.
He would need to lead by example.
I recommend Miller.
He has a combination of experience, leadership, and has committed long-term to this team. Love him or hate him, no one else has done that and committing term to a team in itself is a strong statement by a leader.
The other thing with Miller is this would signal a culture change to the Canuck mantra. Previous captains have been great people and great players, but have almost been too nice. Bo, Henrik, Naslund, and Linden were good captains, but all modelled a certain clean-cut pretty boy image.
Maybe the team culture needs to change and have a captain who can be PO’ed once in a while and let the odd f-bomb fly when needed.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Well I am always up for “let’s try something new as nothing else has worked,” my vote is for Miller, and not just because CA made a pretty good case a couple of weeks ago. We have had the goalie captain, the twin captain, the strong silent type captain, the lead by example captain, the holy cow I am the captain of a really bad team and I will tell you that for free captain. Let’s run with the long stare because it’s a stupid question, the get off the ice, the slam the bench door and break a stick captain. Worse that can happen is it’s the same and it will give us a lot to talk about here on CA.
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