WWYDW: Reviewing a full two years of the Patrik Allvin regime
2 months ago
Welcome back to WWYDW, the only hockey column on the internet immune to change.
Speaking of change, it’s inevitable, and it’s even more inevitable when we’re talking about professional hockey front offices. They say that NHL managers are hired to be fired, and that’s certainly been true in the Vancouver market before.
Approximately two years ago, on December 5, 2021, GM Jim Benning was relieved of his duties as Canucks’ general manager. After some interim duty by the recently-retired Stan Smyl, a new regime was brought in, to be headed by President of Hockey Ops Jim Rutherford and GM Patrik Allvin.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Two years of history, at that! In many ways, it’s hard to believe that a full two years have passed since the Allvin Regime took over. In other ways, it’s not hard to believe, because of the transformation of the team that has taken place under Allvin and Co.’s watch.
In fact, two years actually strikes us as the perfect timeframe for a thorough performance review of a front office. It’s plenty of time to clean up (most of) the messes of the previous regime, to find footing, and to start putting a unique stamp on the franchise.
Allvin, to a certain extent anyway, has done all of the above.
But how well has he done it?
You tell us!
This week, we’re asking you:
What is your ‘performance review’ of the first two years of GM Patrik Allvin and Co. at the helm of the Vancouver Canucks?
Let it be known in the comment section.
How would you arrange the Canucks’ current set of 12 NHL forwards into four forward lines?
You answered below!
I would be tempted to move Höglander up with Miller and Boeser.
But his offense from lower down the lineup is useful.
So I would put PDG back with them and hope his time in the press box reignites (and simplifies) his game.
A wild card would be to put Karlsson with Miller and Boeser…would be interesting to see of that works.
Okay talked myself into it…Karlsson it is.
Karlsson certainly would be an interesting addition to either the Miller or EP line. He has been doing well in the AHL and needs a chance to see if that translates into the NHL. But my forward line composition I would like to see at this time would be:
Brock, Miller, Lafferty
Mikheyev, EP, Kuzmenko
Joshua, Suter, Garland
Höglander, Blueger, Di Giuseppe
If Garland gets his wish and is moved later on this season my lines would be:
Brock, Miller with either Di Giuseppe, Karlsson, Raty, or Podkolzin
Mikheyev, EP, Kuzmenko
Joshua, Suter, Lafferty (Would love to see the Canucks have a line that has a couple guys who will be a physical presence every time they are on the ice. But would they be better off with Blueger as their center?)
Höglander, Blueger, with either Di Giuseppe, Podkolzin, or Karlsson.
I’d line them up the way they line up now, except I’d go Högs-Suter-Garland and Joshua-Blueger-Lafferty. Putting bangers Joshua and Lafferty on separate lines is what they do now, and that’s ok, too. Högs is a good candidate to swap with PDG if the latter keeps dragging the way he has the past few weeks.
With a healthy blueline and forward corps, it looks pretty good. Closer than I thought to our window at the start of the season.
Both Garland and Höglander deserve a promotion:
Mikheyev – Pettersson – Garland
Di Giuseppe – Miller – Boeser
Höglander – Blueger – Kuzmenko
Joshua – Aman – Lafferty
Regrettably, this breaks up the very effective J-B-G line.
I want to see Hogs and Petey together.
Garland – Miller – Boeser
Höglander – Pettersson – Kuzmenko
Mikheyev — Suter – Di Guiseppe
Joshua – Blueger/Nielsen- Lafferty
Maybe shaking it up a bit. Höglander is a very effective bottom-six player and would be more effective if given a chance to play in a scoring role. His energy should also help get EP40 going. I am bumping Mikheyev down , he skates a million miles an hour, but to me he is more of a Jannik Hansen type who is lacking the scoring prowess to be on the top line.
Garland is deserving to get a shot with Miller, but even more so, PDG is deserving to get bumped off that line. The puck dies on PDG’s stick far too often. Maybe he works hard, but it seems he is using a two-by-four for a stick because he has no hands.
If healthy, I also want to see Nielsen be the next forward call-up. Aman and the other Euros are “nice,” but are also very soft. Let’s give more of a poop disturber a chance. Albeit small, Neilsen is strong and courageous and will bring a different element. A line of Nielsen, Lafferty, and Joshua could be a bit of a new age goon line if there is even such a thing. At the very least, they will bring some havoc to opponents.
Hogs is one of our top-scoring forwards with less than 11 min/night, he is a plus-10 and is shooting at almost 28%. He deserves a shot on the top line and his energy and skill could help Petey get out of his funk.
I like the forward lines as they played against Anaheim last game (Nov 28th): Kuzmenko-Petey-Mikheyev; PDG-Miller-Boeser; Garland-Blueger-Joshua; and Hogs-Aman-Lafferty. When Suter gets back, I would return him to 3rd line centre between Garland and Joshua and drop Blueger to the 4th line between Hogs and Lafferty. Aman would become the 13th forward.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
There is an overtone to this question that the Canucks should lock into some permanent line combinations for the remainder of the season. I hope management discourages the coaching staff from that mindset. The Canucks roster is still a work in progress and line combinations should be a bit fluid, especially in the bottom-six. The current cap flexibility provides some slack to give a few more guys from the farm a look. The coaches can afford to consider match-ups when putting together final rosters.
No reason to consider separating Miller and Boeser. Coaches have to figure out how to get more production out of a Pettersson line. This may be more about match-ups and the D-pair they play in front of than it is shuffling the line. In that regard, Wolanin deserves a look as soon as he’s ready
I tend to think Blueger has played better than Suter did before being hurt. He should get a longer run with point-producing wingers. Regardless the decision to waste Aman’s waiver-exempt status indicates Suter could be out for quite awhile and Aman is sticking on the roster.
Canucks have many interchangeable parts. A significant consideration for the rest of this season is still player evaluation. Canucks have the cap space for next year to improve the roster. They need the best information possible on existing players to help decide how to put next year’s roster together.
Recent articles from Stephan Roget
- How the Vegas Golden Knights are ready to circumvent the cap again (and why the Canucks can’t do the same)
- 10 more potential top-six forward trade deadline additions for the Canucks in a post-Lindholm, post-Kessel world
- 11 potential top-six deadline additions for the Canucks in a post-Lindholm, post-Kessel world