It’s time for another edition of the Nucks Misconduct Roundtable. Each week we get our writers together and ask them a number of questions about the state of this team we’ve been cursed to follow. Sometimes they play it straight, sometimes it’s Westy and Jimmi, but you’ll always get the unvarnished opinions on the Canucks here. This week we’re going to discuss the Canucks recent winning streak, as well as some other issues around the NHL.
1- As his struggles continue, speculation grows that the Canucks may look to trade Elias Pettersson in an attempt to fill an empty prospect cupboard. With the cautionary tale of Cam Neely in mind, do you think this is a thought the Canucks should even lightly consider?
Westy - I see that Kent has been reading my Gamethreads. The Cam Neely reference shows our age and some may have to look it up. I think there would have been less talk about Petey if he and the Canucks had just been honest with the press and the fans about the extent of Petey’s injury and his struggle to regain his form. The phrase “I’m fine” and then sucking on the ice lead to the conclusion that Petey has lost “it.”
Let’s talk about reality. The Canucks have limited assets. Pettersson would bring in some players or high picks. The Canucks do have cap problems...for years to come. If you believe in Petey, you keep him this year and see how it goes. You get a shot of moving him at the draft if he doesn’t get it going this ear. Or you give him this trade line and next to sort things out. Lots of options are available.
Rob - This is the dumbest idea I’ve heard since last season when some wanted to trade Quinn Hughes because of his struggles. Where are those folks now? Probably furiously deleting their Tweets. This time next season, I predict more furious Tweet deleting (probably by the same people).
jimmi - Trade Pete for Cam? A little late. Not that it matters one little wooden sliver of a composite stick what
we I think about trading Pete. That’s the real Trader-Jim’s problem. Although I doubt he’s reactionarily stupid enough to trade Pete when his value is so low and the Nucks are so far from a Repli-Cup run.
However, the trade-Pete chatter is vital for the greater NuckingNation. It’s our tradition to only be happy when we’re unhappy. And we’ve been a little too happy about the #BruceBump of late. We desperately need something to complain and whine about - besides Westy being right about the coaching change.
So Pete’s performance
slump dip is the tonic we need to get our grump back on. Pete is helping us again.
Beggsy - The trade chatter this week seemingly came about because, well, the Canucks are going almost a week in between games.
Pettersson has been bad this season — shockingly bad, by some standards. In digging through some stats today, I saw that Pettersson’s points-per-60 at even strength 0.65.
A fourth line rate is around one point per-60, which makes Petey’s struggles even that much harder to fathom.
That being said, the Canucks aren’t trading Pettersson. That’s especially true if they do indeed hire a Swedish GM in Patrik Allvin. It makes no sense to sell low on a potential franchise player who had three years of performing at a first-line level.
Kent- * Rolls up a newspaper and swats anyone giving this a moment’s thought * No! Bad Canucks fan! Look, I am sure that it’s all going to come out at some point that it’s injury related, so everyone needs to take a deep breath, and relax. If you’re not blowing things up, as Jim Rutherford has stated the Canucks won’t be, then you don’t trade a guy like Pettersson. Unless you’re getting a complete comparable return (plus something to sweeten the deal) this is the kind of lunacy that led to Neely getting dealt, and all I can say is am thankful they pulled the plug before Jimbo got desperate enough to do something like this.
Markus - I mean, should it be on the table? To the extent that literally anything should be on the table, sure. It’s cliche, but even Wayne Gretzky got traded! Should they be going out and looking for one though? Ehh, probably not, and especially not now. His value is at an all time low, so you’re not getting optimal value. And listen, he could still very well be a legit 1C. Those are hard to find, and they shouldn’t be treated lightly. So overall, I think that it’s a bad idea.
2- From his devastating hit on Duncan Keith to his emergence as one of the NHL’s most effective defenceman this season, the metamorphosis of Tyler Myers from chaos giraffe to agent of chaos (in a good way) may well be the best story about the Canucks this season. Is it a blip, or were we all wrong about him?
Westy - Can we not just enjoy it while it lasts? And it won’t last forever. Myers doesn’t have history of being the player he is right now. If there a magic button he hit, then.....Fuck yes! But, hockey is about progression and regression. Myers will regress back to the mean eventually.
Rob - Scotty Bowman and I always liked Tyler Myers. The rest of you should have listened to us.
jimmi - Agree with Westy and Rob. Whatever they were saying, it was missing the keyword “trade” so both were missing the point of furthering the greater grumpiness of NucksNation.
In the context of Poolman and Hamonic, Myers is a freaking D-genius. And really tall.
Beggsy - I’m going to ignore the prevailing thoughts that tell me this is just a blip and tell you to read all the nice things I wrote about Tyler Myers.
Kent- Sure, it won’t last forever. What’s encouraging is that at this stage in his career, he’s playing some of his best hockey. Yes, defencemen take longer to mature, and if we can get even another year out of him like this, while they do what they can to bolster their blueline, things just might be chaotic good.
Markus - I really don’t think it’s going to last but I’d love to be proven wrong. The fact that he’s even in the ballpark of earning his contract is pretty amazing. Let’s be happy it’s happening, and if he regresses slightly, well, not the end of the world.
3- And it’s time for this week’s “Can the Canucks Still Make The Playoffs” poll...
Westy - Can and will are distinctly different words. Of course the Nucks can make the playoffs, but there are still many obstacles to the will part.
#1 COVID - Every team will go through this. The timing of when and which players get it will make a difference.
#2 - Teams that haven’t been taking the Nucks seriously, will and have taken notice of their play and will adjust.
I’m still not sold on this team being able to gain enough points to catch and comfortable pass teams ahead of them.
Rob - People get caught up in meaningless non-predictive so called prediction models that have never been right and whose assumptions have never been replicated. Now take off your socks and winter gloves and look at your toes and fingers.
Don’t even bother with the Wild Card possibilities. All the Canucks need to do to pass the Oilers is stick out four toes while the Gushers burn the last finger on their game in hand. The Dead Ducks are only eight human digits away with the homies holding two fingers in their pie hand. The Toothless Sharks and Crypto Kings are fading into the night.
The Vancouver Canucks will be solidly in the guaranteed third playoff spot in the Pacific Division before Abe Lincoln’s 213th birthday. There will also be plenty of time left over for some Flames dousing and Knights jousting.
The only real question left is who will Jimbo 2.0 add for the long playoff run?
jimmi - If there will be a second season in a bubble or a continuous bubble beyond the spring and whether the Nucks will be bubbling like the NY’s party at Microsoft’s Exchange server division is speculation too far for my climate battered sensibilities. I abstain. From this predictable conundrum. Can’t we all just take it one-game-at-a-time - whenever that next game is played?
Beggsy - Kent, these questions are making me think of reality...I don’t like it one bit.
It’s been a fun run under Boudreau, but I won’t believe until I see what the Canucks do after this brutal 10-game stretch.
- Tuesday, Jan. 11th @ Florida Panthers
- Thursday, Jan. 13th @ Tampa Bay Lightning
- Saturday, Jan. 15th @ Carolina Hurricanes
- Sunday, Jan. 16th @ Washington Capitals
- Tuesday, Jan. 18th @ Nashville Predators
- Friday, Jan 21st vs. Florida Panthers
- Sunday, Jan. 23rd vs. St. Louis Blues
- Tuesday, Jan. 25th vs. Edmonton Oilers
- Thursday, Jan. 27th @ Winnipeg Jets
- Saturday, Jan. 29th @ Calgary Flames
Among those 10 teams, the only club outside of the playoffs right now is Winnipeg...who trail Edmonton by one point for the final Wild Card spot.
Kent- See above. With the combination of a nasty stretch of scheduling and games in hand held by those above them, it’s still going to be miraculous for them to snag a wild card spot this season. If they continue their torrid pace on what is without a doubt their toughest road trip of the year? Come back and talk to me then.
Markus - I think it’s possible, which I wouldn’t have said six weeks ago! If the teams around them keep collapsing, and they keep up their pace even remotely, then I think they have a chance. They have a brutal stretch coming up and as others have said, COVID throws a bit of a wrench into things. But the dream is definitely alive.
4- As Team Canada begins preparing a roster of non-NHLers for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, two former Canucks are creating a stir by their inclusion. Your thoughts on Jake Virtanen and Brendan Leipsic reportedly being short-listed to represent this country at the Olympics in February.
Westy - Easy question. No.
Rob - I agree with Westy (I never thought I’d ever write that). Neither player has taken responsibility for their past reprehensible conduct to my knowledge. If they were named to represent their country, it would be a slap in the face to their victims.
jimmi - Agree with my two comrades in armchair dynamics. However, if either or both were to test positive and be held captive in a Beijing covid jail for 5 weeks to 5 months, would that be so bad?
Just to be hypothetically clear, the hypochondriacal jail time would be for Jake and Leiper.
Beggsy - Maybe Team Canada can trick Virtanen into believe he’s made the roster, only to fly him back to Vancouver. That way, he can face his alleged wrongdoings like a man instead of hiding on the other side of the world.
Kent- There has to be someone at Hockey Canada who’s going to tell the brain trust that selecting either of these players isn’t worth the bad publicity. It’s also not going to help them be any better, especially in the case of Leipsic. Are they trying to tell us he’s one of the best Canadians playing over in Europe? I find that hard to believe. Neither of these guys should even be allowed to buy a knockoff Team Canada jersey off facebook, let alone represent this country.
Markus - Are there really no better options than these two bad people? Yeah, hard pass.
5- There has already been a number of coaching changes in the NHL this season, but there’s bound to be more. Who do you think is up next on the chopping block?
Westy - Dave Tippett. Taking a job with the Oilers is the kiss of death.
Rob - I agree with Westy again (maybe becoming triple-vaxxed has some undesirable side effects?). Although Ken Holland has never in his long career fired a head coach mid-season, you get the feeling that Tippett has lost the room. Holland has strong historical ties to Mike Babcock. The Oilers have seven days without a game after they play the Senators on January 10th. If it happens, it will happen then. Although if the Leafs pummel them tonight (January 5th) then it might be even sooner. If it happens, Babs will be his replacement for certain.
jimmi - While Westy gets all kissy-faced with the tOil and Rob sees God’s Own Hockey Coach as the Old Skool testament to reactionary solutions, if Holland doesn’t deal with his own empty net, then it won’t matter.
Holland rolled the creaky old dice on an old (vintage?) goalie who hasn’t played more than 3 games without some old-age injury flare-up. And kept his #2 (because contractual thingies) who can’t take the #1 load for long stretches. His first move needs to be in goal not at the bench.
However, maybe Westy’s sloppy kiss therapy is a culturally deeper slip of the tongue and taking a job as a sOiling GM is the kiss of Chiarelli.
Still... could be hilarious if Holland fires Tippett and hires Green, because he’s so good at developing young stars into 200 foot players, then Katz fires Holland, hires Benning as GM who fires Green and hires AV and the Oil finish 2nd last in the league and Benning trades his #1 first round pick for DiPietro to be re-vindicated.
Beggsy - Firing Tippett and Holland to hire Green and Benning? By God Jimmi, that’s poetry in motion.
For the sake of something different, I’ll go with the Habs firing Ducharme, mere months after he led them to the Stanley Cup Final.
That would be their strangest head coach “firing” since they demoted Al MacNeil to coach their minor league team in the year AFTER he led them to a Stanley Cup victory.
In fairness, his replacement was Scotty Bowman.
If you had Scotty Bowman references on your “Nucks Misconduct Roundtable drinking card,” take two!
Kent- Dave Tippett will likely be gone by the end of next week, as the Oilers coaching carousel that’s been spinning for over a decade continues along its merry way. There are a few others that really should have been shown the door already. Barry Trotz may have saved his job by stopping that horrendous run of losses they were on, but considering how close the Isles thought they were, missing the playoffs could see him looking for a job as well as a neck. How Dominique Ducharme still has a job is beyond me. COVID issues and the absence of Carey Price and Shea Weber aside, this team is just awful. And I am pretty sure the whole Rick Bowness thing has to come to an end in Dallas soon, because his expiry date has passed a long time ago now.
Markus - Nothing more to add, almost certainly Tippett. The Oilers are imploding, and wasting yet another year of Connor and Leon. If they don’t fire him and things don’t get better, it will be one of the biggest own goals in recent memory.