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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:25 pm 
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So here we are again to continue the now time-honored tradition of discussing how badly GMJB bungled the July entry draft this year but also get excited about the return to training camp in September. Only it’s 2020, the Stanley Cup hasn’t yet been awarded, our Cannots just pushed one of the league’s best teams to 7 games after dispatching last year’s Stanley Cup champs.

Miller / Petterson / Toffoli
Pearson / Horvat / Boeser
Roussel / Gaudette / Virtanen
Motte / Beagle / Sutter

Hughes / Tanev
Edler / Myers
Fantenburg / Stecher

Markstrom / Demko

What we’ve learned so far in 2020:

1. Quinn Hughes (LD) might not win the Calder Trophy this season but by golly, he’s already the best defensemen the Canucks have ever had. At 20, he was able to take apart the Wild in the play-in round, and made the Blues look ordinary in the first round. He was held mostly in check by the Knights but I think fatigue and the three rounds of physical play wore him down. He has been excellent in the regular season and will continue to get better with each season. He’s almost single-handedly made the Canucks’ PP fun to watch again and I hope we get to watch him for a good long time in Vancouver.

2. Elias Petterson (C) won the Calder last season and continues to be so entertaining on a nightly basis. He was able to elevate his game in each round of the playoffs and play-in and was the most dangerous player for Vancouver each time he was on the ice. After years of enjoying the Sedins do their cycle thing, it’s refreshing to see Petterson dangle defenses and just overpower goalies with his one-timer. Petterson and Hughes are due for big raises after the 2020/21 season.

3. Bo Horvat (C) is well-built for the playoffs. On a team bereft of “heavy” players, Horvat plays like one, consistently wins faceoffs against the best centres, and led by example each night. He led the team in playoff goal-scoring and I think largely nullified Karlsson’s line against VGK.

4. Jacob Markstrom (G) is at the very least, a very good goalie. There are already plenty of calls (including here in OTP) for GMJB to forego re-signing Marky so VAN can focus on more defense and replacing the bottom six. I’m not in that group. I’d like to see if Marky can get re-signed; don’t forget, it will be a flat cap, it’s a buyer’s market for UFA goalies, Ian Clark, and VAN is trending up; there’s plenty of good non-monetary reasons for Marky to re-sign here, but it will have to be more in line with say, Varlamov money (4 years, $5M per)…

5. JT Miller (LW) has been everything GMJB hoped for and more when he acquired him for a 2020 first rounder. It was a steep price but holy cow has Miller been incredible for Vancouver. He brings leadership on and off the ice, was a playoff warrior, and had tremendous chemistry with Hughes, Petterson and Horvat on PP1. I have plenty of time for Jimothy Timothy…

6. Brock Boeser (RW) has evolved his game from being somewhat one-dimensional to playing better at both ends of the ice. His skating still needs improvement and I think he’s smart enough that he can get there. I’d like to see what he can do returning to Horvat’s wing for a full season.

7. Is Thatcher Demko (G) ready for prime time? His three games against VGK sure make a strong case, but his regular season appearances didn’t exactly light the world on fire. So if he’s not quite ready, and you don’t resign Markstrom, then GMJB needs to find a 1a to split that time with Demko. Or perhaps GMJB should parlay Demko’s playoff rep to acquire prospects a la Schneider/Horvat?

8. Can GMJB re-sign Tyler Toffoli? I’d love to see it and a healthy Toffoli with Petterson and JT Miller would be hella fun to watch for a full season. And hopefully, his injury isn’t long-term. He didn't skate that well against the VGK and it looked like he rushed back from that LBI...

9. Tyler (Minors) Myers (RD) is overpaid but a necessary piece on defense. VAN plays a lot bigger and better with Minors in the lineup and while he makes some mistakes, the team is better with him than without. He seems to be the only other defenceman not named Hughes that can move the puck effectively.

10. Alex Edler (LD) is too old and slow to be anything but a Swedish Dana Murzyn at this point. Great shot blocker but just too slow of foot to contribute more; he relies on experience, positioning, and smarts to defend well but this team should be building around Hughes and should try to move on from Edler. It’s time to find ice-time to squeeze Olli Juolevi and perhaps Jack Rathbone into the lineup to see how they fare.

11. Chris Tanev (RD) is a UFA this summer. During his entire career, he’s given his body to block shots and break up plays but I think if he can get a better offer elsewhere, he should take it. GMJB shouldn’t go out of his way to retain Tanev and find a lower cost option in that role. It’s time to give Brogan Rafferty a look on RD.

12. Tyler Motte (LW) looks like a proven playoff performer. He’s an RFA and looks great as a fourth line defensive specialist. Motte has outplayed everyone else in the bottom six and at a low salary. Unfortunately, this pretty much guarantees that GMJB will overpay to keep him since that’s how he ended up with Sutter, Beagle, Eriksson, and Roussel. Maybe GMJB should flip his negotiating rights to another team while his perceived value is up.

13. Speaking of flipping someone while their value is up, this may be the highest value that Jake Virtanen (RW) will have in a Canucks uni since he was drafted. I wouldn’t mind it if he were flipped. He had some flashes in the playoffs but largely invisible for most of the playoffs. No way that Jake will displace Boeser and Toffoli for the top two RW spots if they are both in the lineup; the trouble is, Virtanen only seems to have an impact when he plays in the Top 6…

14. Adam Gaudette (C) also missed an opportunity to make an impact and claim that 3C spot for the long-term. Not sure if he was injured but he was in and out of the lineup during the playoffs and didn’t appear to influence the outcome in the positive direction anytime he was on the ice. He wasn’t reliable in the faceoff dot so he can’t even be depended on to do that right.

15. I’m convinced that if Troy Stecher (RD) is in your Top 4, your team may have some issues. He has plenty of fight in him and wants to be a difference-maker but he looks out of place that high. He has Minors and Tanev ahead of him but as we’ve seen, he can be exposed if he plays in the Top 4. He doesn’t move the puck quick enough and struggles with bigger forwards. I like him on the 3rd pairing, but he will have to take some big steps to play up higher in the lineup. He’s an RFA this summer so we’ll see if they re-up him or flip his rights elsewhere. Brogan Rafferty was terrific for Utica and deserves a tryout.

16. Oscar Fantenburg (LD) is a good reliable depth piece and if he wants to re-sign here, I'd be fine with it. He doesn't add anything offensively but seems to be dependable (in the off-the-glass-and-out kind of way) defensively. Green needs to find playing time for Juolevi and Rathbone and since Edler and Hughes will be ahead of them, Fantenburg may be the parachute if neither of those rookies can step in.

In my mind, the priorities are re-sign Markstrom and Toffoli without breaking the bank, find a better, younger, cheaper puck-moving defenceman than Tanev, Edler, Stecher, and Fantenburg, and find a way to offload and rebuild the bottom six.


So what would you do?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:47 am
Posts: 3933
JT Miller was a great trade tactically, strategically I still consider it dumb. All I want is the Canucks to win a cup. I don't want them to make the playoffs or make the finals or knock off last years SC champions. I don't care, I want to see my team win the cup once before I die. With Pettersen and Hughes the Canuck's basically have a 10 year window to do that, but their best opportunity will be when they're in they're prime at 23-29 years of age. Say a 5 year window 3-8 years from now. Every decision right now should be strategic with those 5 years in mind.

That means loading up on draft picks right now (well actually last year but this year as well) so they have young cheap talent coming from the farm when these guys are making 12 million a year. Don't trade picks, even for a JT Miller. They should be acquiring picks to trade 4 or 6 years from now. Think longer term. Don't make trades for improving the team this year, or next year. I can handle even missing the playoffs for a couple years as long as they are developing young talent.

Myers is a third pairing dman right now, on a SC contender he should be the 7th option. This contract is worse than LE.

I really like Markstrom, but we can expect his skills to diminish. And they can't afford to let Demko become a Kraken. With DiPietro on the farm and looking like a likely NHLer they can afford to move away from Markstrom. If Demko can't handle it, and DiPietro can't handle then they'll have to look into FA or trade 2-3 years down the road.

The D needs so much work. I'm fine with the top 6 forwards but they really need a complimentary young Right Dman to pair with Hughes. Again it doesn't have to be this year they find that guy but trading or drafting young raw right handers would not be a bad way to try and find one right now, rather than trading Boeser or Horvat for one in a few years time. Besides Hughes, Stetcher is the only Canuck's dman I don't hate the thought of still playing for the Canuck's in 4 years time. As long as its 3rd pair.

I don't mind Virtannen, 20 goal guys don't grow on trees. I wish he was smarter but he doesn't make my top 10 Canuck's problems.

Jo Godwin — 'A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.'

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:14 pm 
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I don't envy Jimmy-Boy's situation this offseason. He'll have to demonstrate that he can effectively shed salary when his back's against the wall, and so far he hasn't proven he can do that. Even after Loui Eriksson and his camp publicly called him out he looked completely out of sorts.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:01 am 
The Bird is the Word, yet the Word ≥ the Bird

Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:40 pm
Posts: 2748
What I want the Canucks to do is far different than the reality of the situation - so here's what I think Jimbo will actually do.

The Canucks are going try their damndest to rid themselves of younger RFA talent in order to make room to sign Markstrom and fill the gaps with younger prospects by maybe adding a mid range piece here and there on the back end.

Stecher - gone.
Virtanen - gone (he is what he is at this point and is screaming out for a change of scenery. I find it funny that the media narrative on Jake outside of Vancouver is that he provides size/ grit as a 3rd line winger. No grit to be found here people. He needs top 6 minutes to be an effective producer and rarely imposes his will due to size.
Toffoli - gone (younger, cheaper option in Boeser and they can't afford to keep both wingers. Boeser is the safe bet because he has short term cost certainty and Toffoli will get offers driving his price up. Bear in mind they gave up Tim Schaller, the rights to forward Tyler Madden, a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and a conditional pick in the 2022 NHL Draft to acquire him.
Tanev - as much as they will try to do everything to keep him, they could underestimate his terms and he could be lost, which may be a blessing in disguise. He's going to be hard to sign at his price because: he'a an injury prone, 30+, no offensive upside, one trick pony. But he's a fit with Hughes even though that may not be enough to justify over paying for his return.
Motte - signed and over paid (Love him as a playoff performer but tough over 82 games. Yet again proving that Jimbo completely blows his load on the bottom six)
Markstrom - signed but will likely be overpaid. Rumours abound about Lehner will set the market at $5M per over 5 years (which seems low). Goalie tandem with Demko next year (kick the Demko can down the road and see what they can make work for next year's expansion draft). Markstrom clearly needs less regular season starts due to physical breakdowns that will inevitably come.
Gaudette - he didn't take a step this year so could be trade bait. Jimbo eluded to making tough decisions even on young players in his season ending presser, so he might be shown the door.
Ferland - LTIR (what a colossal mistake that signing was).

They need to improve on their past whiffs of trying to create a strong Defensive corps over the last 2-3 years. It stands to question how this strategy can even work at this stage given their cap constraints. Is it a more effective to build a proper D corps in front of adequate goaltending or potentially overspend on a Vezina quality goaltending tandem to cover up glaring defensive gaps of a mediocre 6D pairings? Based on this years playoffs, I would lean towards focusing more on the D. They will focus on goaltending.

Try to sign someone like Hamonic on the back end - fill the gaps with Joulevi, Rafferty etc?

They also need to get tougher and faster in their bottom 6 forwards. I'm afraid that just won't happen for next season maybe 2. They absolutely must rid themselves of Loui Ericksson's contract but Jimbo is wildly ineffective at getting creative and is poor at head to head negotiation.

All things considered, this team won't be ostensibly any better better next year primarily due to completely incompetent cap management. The list of issues is much longer than this and they just won't be able to deal with them all given the short off season window. They don't even have a 1st or 2nd Round pick at this year's draft to dangle.

They will compete in the playoffs again but it's going to a long road with Jim behind the err, slide show machine.

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