Though games are being postponed, the CanucksArmy Monday Mailbag is not!
We are back to see what all the wonderful people of Canucks Twitter have been wondering and will try to help answer questions while giving some opinions along the way.
Let’s crack open the virtual mailbox and see what we have this week.
It sure has been an interesting situation with the goaltenders down in Abbotsford. 26-year-old Spencer Martin has played his way into the starter’s circle and with it, we have seen 20-year-old Arturs Silovs spending a lot of time eating popcorn in the press box.
This isn’t ideal for the young goalie prospect and with Martin taking over in Abbotsford, it results in fewer games for Mikey DiPietro as well.
As good as Martin has played in the AHL, he doesn’t look like someone who I would want to be backing up Thatcher Demko next season.
But the part in your question about more seasoning for DiPietro and Silovs is valid. At the beginning of the season, it looked like the young tandem was going to get a bulk of the starts and that was going to be a great thing for their development.
It felt like Martin was just going to be a veteran presence with a shiny goalie mask. More seasoning next season may be necessary for DiPietro as he looks to make the jump to the NHL.
This feels like a failure to correctly use the AHL as a developmental league.
Even if Martin is playing the best of the three goalies, the Abbotsford Canucks should be playing DiPietro and Silovs over him. Wins in the AHL are nice but if you look at Silovs and DiPietro’s lack of games over the last year, they need to play games more than any other prospects in the Canucks’ system.
My thought process on the situation is that DiPietro and Silovs have a much brighter NHL future than Martin and they need to see more starts sooner rather than later.
Ideally, DiPietro should be getting a massive workload this season so that the organization can see what they have with him and if he is ready to be an NHL backup next season.
Building off of that, you’d love to see Silovs slide into the starter’s position next year when DiPietro (hopefully) graduates.
Right now, this duo is not on track to make that happen. The lost year of development for DiPietro in 2020-21 could end up turning into another tough year as this season goes on.
Some of the blame should be on DiPietro’s play as well. He has been outplayed by Martin and needs to be better and win back the job that so many of us thought he would own this year. It’s a two-way street and legitimate questions about DiPietro’s NHL readiness should be asked from what we have seen so far this season.
I can see Travis Green getting a head coaching job in the next two years or so. We see so many coaches get fired and his performance in the bubble will not go unnoticed. He will have to answer some tough questions about how he couldn’t get this Canucks’ team to get wins as it has seemingly come easy to Bruce Boudreau but Green will coach again and I’d bet it’ll be soon.
As for Jim Benning, he had a long runway as a GM and didn’t do much with it. I don’t think he’s completely crossed his name off as a potential GM down the road but I don’t see it happening.
When it comes to John Weisbrod, the only thing we know for certain that he did was get fired.
The NHL is going to want to get their 82 games in this season and they will do whatever they can to make that happen.
Early results of having all the players double vaccinated has made the COVID outbreaks much easier on the players and a taxi squad would provide help to a lot of NHL organizations.
I believe they will end up implementing some form of Taxi Squads very soon and it would be great for the Canucks.
Players like Phil Di Giuseppe, Justin Bailey, Noah Juulsen and Guillaume Brisebois are very good fits for the Taxi Squad and can contribute at the NHL level in a pinch.
The best outcome from Taxi Squads may be what we mentioned earlier about Abbotsford’s goaltending situation.
Spencer Martin should absolutely be the team’s Taxi Squad goalie and that will set up more starts for DiPietro and Silovs. It feels like an easy win-win for the Canucks’ organization to have a Taxi Squad.
Another boost is the fact that Abbotsford is down the road and you could make roster moves very quickly if you wanted to use the Taxi Squad to your advantage. I’m sure there are other teams around the league that are for the Taxi Squads and it creates more AHL jobs as well.
I’m all for it and it will help the Canucks develop their young players in the AHL even more with so many fringe NHLers playing prominent roles on their current AHL roster. Having those fringe players on the Taxi Squad opens up spots for young players to play bigger roles with Abbotsford.
Once we see Phil Di Giuseppe play in an NHL game, we won’t have to talk about Alex Chiasson anymore.
It’s coming, be patient.
There will absolutely be no vegetables on David Quadrelli’s Christmas dinner plate.
He may dabble into some carrots and ranch in the pregame but once the turkey hits the table, it’s turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy only.
The Woo review is that Jett Woo was beginning to play some good hockey before an injury has kept him out the past couple of weeks.
Woo is a smart defender who improved his skating and used that improved skating to cut down angles while defending rushes very well. He still needs to improve his puck-handling and get quicker to be a legitimate NHL defenceman but steps are being taken in the right direction.
As a 21-year-old defenceman, there’s still time. He will not sniff the NHL until at least the midway point of next season.
Well, that wraps up another Monday mailbag. We had a few questions about Ryan Johnson that I will be addressing later in the week as a more long-form article.
He has been the AHL GM for a bit now and I know there are questions about why he is regarded so highly while the AHL team has struggled to develop much NHL talent.
I’ll get into that later this week and get some quotes and do some reporter stuff to get a real story instead of just giving my opinions.
Thanks for coming by for another Monday mailbag and we will see you next Monday.
If you only read these Monday mailbags on this site, first off, read some other stuff, please!
But if that’s it, have a merry Christmas and we will see you next Monday!