clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Quinn’s Questions: What Should the Canucks Do at Centre?

There are lots of configurations up the middle. We ask you which one they should pick.

Vegas Golden Knights v Vancouver Canucks

Quinn’s Questions is a feature where you the fans tell us your thoughts, through your vote and hopefully in the comments, as well. It’s named after Quinn Hughes, Pat Quinn, or both, depending on your age and era.

Results of previous Quinn’s Questions: What is the most interesting part of the Young Stars tournament?

Seeing new prospects for the first time - 75%

Seeing the development of older prospects - 18%

Watching other teams’ young stars - 7%

Other - 0%

The JT Miller signing was, of course, huge news in Vancouver Canucks circles, and for a number of reasons. It says a lot about where this team is headed, what management thinks of the core, and what the trade market was for a player of Miller’s age. Beyond the philosophical, big picture implications, though, the brining back of Miller also hugely improves the Canucks’ immediate-term strength up the middle. Having Miller as a pivot option gives the coaching staff plenty of depth to work with.

Realistically, the team could roll an impressive 1-2-3 punch of Elias Pettersson, Miller, and captain Bo Horvat, having three high quality centreman on each of the first three lines (with the newly signed Curtis Lazar, I assume, being slotted as in as the 4C).

However, they could just as easily move one of Miller or Pettersson to the wing. Both have played the position in recent years, and both bring interesting dynamics to the flank. Pettersson brings his vision and playmaking skill, along with his excellent shot, making him a threat, particularly on the rush. Miller is more of a prototypical power forward from the wing, with his ability to control the puck and use his size to dictate play. Depending on how chemistry unfolds, either of these skillsets may be more desirable. In either of those cases, Jason Dickinson would most likely fill a bottom-six centre roll.

You could also get weird with things. You could try Horvat on the wing — maybe he’d successfully fill the power forward roll, given his speed and shot. Maybe Andrei Kuzmenko can play centre at the NHL level. I've focused more on the big three of Pettersson, Miller, and Horvat, but maybe your bottom-six features a Linus Karlsson up the middle, or someone of a similar ilk.

There are plenty of combinations to be had, and even as someone who thinks the Miller contract was a huge, and not necessarily smart, gamble, I do admit that it has given the club admirable depth at the centre position. As always, it will likely change throughout the year, but I want to hear your thoughts on the optimal lining up of the centremen to start the year. Do you load up all three? Do you move EP or Miller to the wing? Do you go for a wild card option?

Personally, I think loading up is the best option. Not only does it give them incredible line matching flexibility, but it gives them such a distinct advantage over any other Pacific Division team. I don’t think anyone else has a Horvat-caliber player as their third line centre. Now, prior to the off-season signings, I likely would have said Option 2 or 3, where they roll Pettersson and Miller together in some combination. However, given the signings of Kuzmenko and Ilya Mikheyev, they have such strong depth on the wings that I don’t see it as uber important to have Pettersson and/or Miller fill a top line wing role.

Let us know your thoughts and preferred combinations in the poll, and in the comments!


How should the Canucks roll out their centres to start the season?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    (99 votes)
  • 7%
    (9 votes)
  • 9%
    (12 votes)
  • 4%
    (6 votes)
126 votes total Vote Now