WWYDW: Which Canucks offseason addition has impressed the most?

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
7 months ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet guaranteed fresh or your money back.
Speaking of fresh, the Vancouver Canucks came into the 2023/24 season with a bevy of fresh additions to the roster, and the early results are very, very good.
None would argue that the Canucks have not improved as a team between last year and this one. Few would dispute that several individuals that were already on the team have improved as well.
But at least some of that improvement has to have come from outside the organization. Names like Ian Cole, Carson Soucy, Teddy Blueger, Pius Suter, and Casey DeSmith were all added to the mix. We can probably count Sam Lafferty and Mark Friedman, too, as early-season acquisitions.
None have looked out of place. All have, to a certain degree, impressed.
But which one of the bunch has impressed the most through the first 20-or-so games of the 2023/24 campaign?
That’s up to you to decide.
This week, we’re asking:

Which offseason addition has impressed the most?

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

If you had to eliminate one of Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, JT Miller, or Thatcher Demko from the current Canucks’ roster, which would you choose, and why?

You answered below!
(Special note: To those readers who took serious umbrage to last week’s question, know that “which of these four awesome things would you do without?” is an increasingly prominent style of internet poll that we thought might be worth an attempt. We understand not all are equipped for such thought experiments.)
Tom Dunn:
For me, it’s Petey. Huge next contract. He will want an eight-year job. I just get the OEL jitters with that and then we’re saddled with it, when Hughes has to re-up plus Demko and Hronek. Maybe not Pete’s big salary number, but the cap is still there and we need to keep out of cap hell.
No question, if I had to choose I’m getting rid of Petey and his unwillingness to shoot the puck on the PP for fear that the shot might be stopped, fall down and look for a cheap call, and general sulking act. Petey only has 6 points in the last 5 games, he’s had almost as many turnovers as points in that stretch, but there are still plenty of fans who want to throw $14m a season at this guy for some reason. Petey had better pick up the pace and get back on track if he wants the big boy money because if he keeps trending down, down, down the way he is, Petey will get himself some Brock Boeser money.
Mark Arty:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Can’t get rid of Demko and the D is already lacking in depth when Hughes is playing 25 mins a game, so it has to be one of Miller or Pettersson. If it is a situation where the Canucks would be trading one of them, it is hard to say without knowing what is coming back, but if everything were equal, salary-wise, I would choose to keep Pettersson with the big tie-breaker being the difference in age between him and Miller. If this is based off of their current contract statuses, than I would have to trade Pettersson because I can’t trade Miller and lose Pettersson as a FA soon after.
I do agree with the concept of building from the net out so I keep Demko and Hughes. In fact, for me Hughes is the only no-brainer in this discussion. When one looks at the Oilers as a case study with elite forwards and crappy defense and goaltending, then it is overwhelmingly clear how important these roles are and how hard it is to find players that could replace them.
So the question is between Miller and Petey.
Miller has a pretty good contract for what he brings, provides strong physical play, shuts down other teams’ best players, scores, hits, and gives a damn. His shortfalls are he can project negativity at times, and may start to slow in a few years.
Petey scores like the best of them, has close to Selke-quality two-way play, and he makes his linemates better. My knocks are contract uncertainty and the cap-per-player ratio will be very very high and he doesn’t seem to perform well when not at peak health.
This is a tough one as my heart says keep Miller, because he is more my style of player, but my head tells me that Petey is a harder player to replace. So who is my choice?
I say screw it… I’m walking back my first statement and letting Demko go with the hope that the team can play a defensively-sound system and Silovs or Topo can rise up and grab the ring. We’ve already seen how good DeSmith can look with good team defense in front of him, so hopefully this validates my waffling. Also the Canucks have done well inserting goalies after losing stars, Luongo and Schneids replaced by Miller, Miller evolves to Marky, Marky evolves to Demko and so it goes.
Nice job, Uncle Jeffy (on last week’s response), and based on 53 years, I believe that actually could happen. Onto this weeks question… It is a little off base as we finally have a team that is performing on all sides of the puck and all three facets of the game. However, if I was to lose a player to the “Original Six Super Power Card,” as per Uncle Jeffy, there is no doubt that it would be Demko. At this point, and with this structure, the only position we could drop to average and still make the playoffs is in goal.
Uncle Jeffy:
I’d have to go with Miller.
Petterson and Hughes are once-in-a-generation talents.
I gave Demko strong consideration, but seeing how other teams’ bad goaltending has led to so much angst this year, in large part due to the current shortage of available reliable goalies, I think he would be a bigger loss than Miller.
Let’s hope this topic is not foreshadowing an injury… touch wood!
It’s a young man’s game, so old man Miller has gotta go.
Ok, so this is what’s called a Hobson’s choice: any decision one makes is negative.
No matter the answer, there will be a “yah but” in store to the post.
But let’s play along and play nice. There is no right answer.
I would “put the puck in play” by noting offence is built from the back, good defence usually beats good offence in the playoffs, etc.
To me, that eliminates QH and TD from consideration.
So between JT and Petey…oh dear!
JT is now signed at a soon-to-be palatable number and, although nearing 30, is the manifestation of a RT style team. Physical, leader, good f/off numbers, and better skill level than credited.
Petey is approaching a new contract in the $12MM range.
And he will likely continue at the 100 pt level.
He would also garner a basketful of top player, prospects, and draft picks.
So, hypothetical answer to hypothetical question is that I would eliminate Petey, provided they back the truck up to the vault to move him.
Play nice, folks. It’s a rainy day Wednesday question.
defenceman factory:
This question is a bit like Sophie’s Choice. The first thing that came to my mind is after you decide which of the four to eliminate fire, the manager who created the situation requiring a choice. If eliminating one is a money issue the answer is Boeser.
Losing any of Miller, Hughes, EP, or Demko right now could crater the team’s season. If you are asked to choose which organ you are prepared to sacrifice, the only smart answer is a kidney because you have two and won’t die. So the answer is Demko. DeSmith is pretty good and the team has some depth in net. There is at least the potential another very good goalie could emerge from internal candidates.
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