There certainly weren’t any indications the Canucks and Penguins had been talking. So it was a bit of a shock when the Canucks sent one of the guys that some felt addressed their need for size on the back end, for a guy who has the kind of speed that might be better suited for the way the game is played these days.
Andrey Pedan never quite stole the show in his opportunities, though many of those were wasted in the press box, and now we have to hope that the trade is at least a wash, if not a win for the Canucks.
So what do they have in Derrick Pouliot? Well, another WHL kid (born in Estevan, SK) who was a highly touted prospect that came out of that powerhouse Portland Winterhawk program. Who was their coach again? Oh, right. Travis Green. So with the new coach knowing exactly what he has in this player (and a former teammate of Sven Baertschi, to boot), we asked Mike Darnay from our friends over at Pensburgh to give us a little background on the newest Canuck.
1. So for those of us in the far-off land of Canuckistan, tell us what they have in Derrick Pouliot. Well, that’s a loaded question. When the Penguins selected Derrick Pouliot with the 8th overall pick in the 2012 Draft, there were lofty expectations that came with the high pick and pedigree. Unfortunately for both Pouliot and Pittsburgh, those expectations were never met. Blame it on the pipeline in front of him that was a bit of a logjam while the team were contenders in 2013 and fake contenders in 2014, blame the coaching staff(s), blame the general manager(s). It’s hard to pinpoint where things went wrong given all the variables and factors. Now, to actually answer the question that I was asked….you’re getting a defenseman who can still skate very well and has a high upside in terms of moving the puck. Perhaps Travis Green & Co. can strip his game down and get him back to basics and find a diamond in the rough, much like the Penguins did with Justin Schultz.
2. It's always a bit surprising when a 1st round pick gets traded away, even from a team with a deep roster like the Penguins. Was he a bust, or was this an opportunity given to him to get playing time that wasn`t going to happen in Pittsburgh? Including almost all of my answer for the first question, I think it’s a little bit of both. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that the Penguins never gave Pouliot enough of a chance to play through growing pains while also pointing out that Pouliot didn’t do himself any favors during said opportunities, albeit how small or short-lived they may have been. I feel like he was the prime example of players who make the big mistake. They’ll do a lot of things good or even average for 15 or 16 minutes of ice time that might fall through the cracks, but one big glaring turnover, mistake, or breakdown is all that everyone sees.
3. Which trade do you think this could end up being like: Naslund for Stojanov or Sutter for Bonino? I vote Option B, solely because we are operating in Jim Benning Territory. Fun fact though: when I was a kid, Markus Naslund briefly went to my church.
Thanks to Mike for getting back to us so quickly with that!
So with this move, that means Patrick Wiercoch is on his way to Utica, and Alex Biega is going to remain with the Canucks, at least to start the season. The hope is that unlike the Willie Desjardins era, players that deserve call ups when needed actually get them, and with their former coach now running the bench in Vancouver, perhaps they might.
Let us know your thoughts about this trade:
Do you like the trade for Derrick Pouliot?
This poll is closed
Yes, Jimbo gets a cookie!
No, Pedan needed a longer look!
Ehhh... this isn’t going to impact them either way.