Remember the day July 13th, 2020. That’s the day Brock Boeser became an honourary Canadian.
How else would you describe Boeser’s polite but firm rhetoric after he was asked about the rumours spread about him last week?
Let’s get to that and more in our five takeaways from the first day of Canucks training camp.
1) “Unneccessary” rumours lead to fiery reactions from Benning and Boeser
“I had a chat with Jim and he told me he hasn’t discussed trading me with anyone,” Boeser said to the media. “I’ve felt I’ve always been pretty honest with the media, and I feel like it was really unnecessary, and even the timing of the tweet was questionable with us getting ready to make a deep run.
“The last time I checked, the trade deadline has passed.”
For those that missed it, Matt Sekeres dropped a report on Friday claiming that the Canucks were exploring the possibility of trading Brock Boeser.
While Sekeres is undoubtedly a respected member of the media, you have to think about the timing of this rumour because on the surface, the timing doesn’t make a lot of sense. Like Boeser said so eloquently, the timing of the rumours were completely unnecessary.
Then you remember one thing...sports radio is looking to kick back into high gear with training camps now underway.
Got some #Canucks offseason tidbits to report on today's show, which will do just after 2 p.m. on the Welcome Matt.— Matthew Sekeres (@mattsekeres) July 10, 2020
One of them involves Brock Boeser.@DhaliwalSports is going to stick around after @DonnieandTheMoj show to compare notes.
As long as he can handle the heat, it’s in Sekeres’s best interest to spread the rumour. He’s a veteran, and he knows that the station will get a ratings boost because of it.
The trading window is nowhere in sight and the rumour does nothing more than serve as a distraction for the team. However, it’s a golden radio bantering point for hosts who have hours to kill on air.
My point is, the discussion of trading Boeser does make for good radio and I’m all for those talking points. However, to selfishly drop this report in a sleazy attempt to boost ratings was, as Boeser put it, really unnecessary.
Ferland’s unfit to play, but Benning isn’t worried
Other than the Canucks needlessly defending Boeser rumours at a time when trades can’t even happen, the biggest news of the day was this announcement from the Canucks just minutes before they hit the ice.
Group 1 update: Micheal Ferland is unfit to play today.— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) July 13, 2020
Now before we all jump to the concussion conclusion, we have to understand that the “unfit to play” moniker is being used for all players around the league. This rule was implemented to prevent fans and the media from knowing which players were diagnosed with COVID.
Benning also mentioned during his press conference that he expects Ferland back before August 1st, which likely means this is something aside from a concussion setback.
The Toffoli vs. Boeser Thing
Despite logic suggesting that Boeser should rejoin Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller on the first line, it was Tyler Toffoli who joined the Canucks top scoring forward duo on the top line.
Toffoli did have a solid 10-game audition on the top line. The problem is, Boeser was equally as successful with Pettersson and Miller over a longer period of time.
Boeser also hasn’t been at his best on Horvat’s line this season, whereas Toffoli has spent nearly his entire career as a second-line two-way forward.
For a mirage of reasons, it’s troubling to see Boeser get the short end of the stick, once again, when he clearly is the best option on line one.
Just a reminder, Brock Boeser’s worst statistical season (0.79) is still comfortably ahead of Tyler Toffoli’s best statistical season (0.71)— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) July 14, 2020
Also, the last sentence in this Tweet from Thomas Drance should be troubling for some fans.
Fascinating.— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) July 10, 2020
There are better ways to navigate the cap than jettisoning Boeser. The #Canucks know this.
If there’s a Boeser deal after the season it would be motivated more by potential return than by dire cap math.
I do think the club has come to rate Toffoli more highly: https://t.co/tO3c6nFKgX
Reuniting Edler & Myers
Ah yes, the dynamic duo on defence has been reunited once again.
There were natural concerns at the onset of the regular season when Green stuck Edler and Myers together on the same pair. However, to delight of all Canucks fans, the duo was rock solid for the club.
Eventually, their success dissipated as the season wore on but with everyone rested, this is a good gamble by Green to stick these two back together.
Together, Edler and Myers sported at 52.5% Corsi-For together. Apart, they were both sub 48%.
Despite young team, Cup window is narrowing for veterans
Of course, we all expect Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser to continue chasing Stanley Cups for a long time to come.
However, that’s obviously not the case for all of the Canucks veterans.
“It’s a chance to win,” Brandon Sutter told the media. Even for myself personally, I’m 31 years old. You don’t know how many chance you’ll get again to try and win a Cup.
30-year-old playoff rookie Jacob Markstrom echoed some of the same sentiments.
“There’s a long grind over the course of a season and to be able to go out and get some playoff experience and play those games, I’ve been missing that and looking forward to that for a long time.”