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Wake With Elias: Battle of Alberta Agony & JT Miller Breadcrumbs...

Jim Rutherford dropped some more interesting comments about JT Miller’s status moving forward.

Ottawa Senators v Vancouver Canucks
There are many questions facing the Vancouver Canucks this offseason, but there are perhaps none bigger than whether JT Miller will return or not in 2022-23.
Getty Images

I’m glad we were able to pull some Canucks headlines for the Vancouver faithful this morning.

You know why?

Well, aside from the fact that this is a Canucks blog, rumours and musing about the local hockey team provide a distraction from the upcoming Battle of Alberta in Round Two.

Don’t get me wrong, the series will likely be must-watch hockey theatre. Both the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are looking to cast away recent playoff demons, with neither team advancing to the Conference Finals in over 15 years.

From a Canucks perspective though? Watching your rivals battle head-to-head sucks, and it makes it agonizingly tough to pick a side.

Will you be cheering for Connor McDavid, the most exciting player in the game, to have another dominant series en route to Round 3? Remember, that means cheering for the likes of Duncan Keith and Evander Kane.

How about the Calgary Flames? They do boast a number of former Canucks, but they also should be classified as Vancouver’s top rival. Cheering for your #1 rival seems traitorous.

Let us know your thoughts here. No cop-out in this poll below...apologies in advance if you ended up drinking before voting.

Poll

Who will you be cheering for in the Battle of Alberta?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Calgary Flames
    (52 votes)
  • 42%
    Edmonton Oilers
    (39 votes)
91 votes total Vote Now

Canucks News

  • Some interesting comments here from Jim Rutherford on the Daily Faceoff Rundown Podcast.

Rutherford has really stripped the emotion from his comments every time he’s asked about JT Miller. Based on his post-season press conference and local radio interview from the same day, he made headlines by saying that the Canucks will walk away from Miller “if the numbers get outrageous.”

So, how outrageous could the numbers get? Hard to know, but you can bet Miller’s agent will shoot high after his client’s 99-point season.

We’ll get into some contract comparables later this offseason, but if you feel like nerding out a bit, here are 11 comparable players to Miller we found based on guys who scored near his rate and hit their peak at a later age.

  • On the same podcast, Rutherford also made headlines by saying that the Canucks need more sandpaper. [Daily Hive]
  • While Rutherford has received a lot of praise for the way he’s handled the media, the organization was recently ripped by former employee Rick Celebrini after four members of the Canucks strength and conditioning staff were released last week. [The Province]
  • Canucks prospect Linus Karlsson was just named SHL rookie of the year. [Vancouver is Awesome]

It’s previously been reported that Karlsson will sign with the Canucks after he finishes with Sweden at the World Hockey Championships.

  • Over the weekend, Bruce Boudreau met with the media via Zoom to discuss analytics, impressive players, and his golf game. [Canucks Army]
  • Nice piece here on how Canucks recent signee Arsheep Bains is inspiring the South Asian community. [NHL.com]
  • And, on this edition of NM TMZ, Brad Richardson just got engaged to Gossip Girl actress Jessica Szohr. The couple already has a one-year-old daughter named Bowie together. [ET Online]

Around the NHL

  • Wanted to highlight this clip from David Pastrnak after the Boston Bruins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Pastrnak and his girlfriend lost their six-day-old son on June 23rd.

  • After losing in the first round for a sixth year in a row (nice), will the Maple Leafs shake things up this offseason? [The Hockey News]

Honestly, angry Leafs fans may want a shake-up, but Toronto narrowly lost a coin-flip series to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champs. Pains me to say it, but this team is going to break through eventually.

Elliotte Friedman said it best recently on the 32 Thoughts Podcast when he compared this Leafs team to the pre-Stanley Cup winning Washington Capitals.

  • Rough & scary week for Mitch Marner specifically, who was the victim of a carjacking at gunpoint on Monday night.
  • Finally, Round Two of the Stanley Cup playoffs get going tonight. The Lightning visit the Panthers at 4 pm, followed by the Blues heading to Colorado to face the Avs at 6:30 pm.

Make sure you check out our predictions for Round Two here. I guarantee you that despite your Second Round predictions, none of you are smarter than Westy.