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Wake With Elias: “More opportunities” for Hughes on the right side

Three notable NHL defencemen also announced their retirement.

2022 Player Media Tour
Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks poses for a portrait during the NHL Player Media Tour on September 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Have you ever tried writing with your off-hand...just for fun?

While playing defence on your “off side” isn’t quite as complicated, it’s still something that Quinn Hughes hasn’t done regularly since his days playing for the US National Development program.

Let’s get into some of Hughes’ comments about playing the right side and more in our morning news round-up.

Canucks News

  • At the annual Jake Milford Charity Golf Classic yesterday, Hughes spoke to the media about playing on his off side.

“For me, I just think that it’s good to know how to do both. It gives the coaching staff another option if they want to use me on the right side.”

“I started to work in the summer on some different packages. I think there’s more I can do offensively on the right side, sometimes I find myself stationary on the left.”

Playing on your strong side does make sense for most defenders. It’s easier to clear pucks up the wall in your own zone, while also making it easier to hold the puck in the offensive zone, since your stick is lined up at the boards.

But, if there’s one Canuck defender who could theoretically excel on his off side, it’s Hughes.

“I’m on my forehand on the [right] side and I can backwards skate and take it down the wall,” Hughes said at the NHL Media Tour late last week. “If a pass comes across, I can just cut in on my forehand and shoot. On the [left] side, I have to put it on my backhand and open up — I don’t really have many options.”

If Hughes does stay on the left, what is he looking forward to most?

“What I do know is that Luke Schenn was a really good D partner for me last year. He stabilized my game in a lot of ways and he shuts down the cycle. I know if I'm playing with him, I’ll have a really good year.”

There you go. Whether it’s right-side Quinn or top-four Luke, the Canucks are bound for big things this season.

  • The Young Stars tournament wrapped up on Monday with the Canucks losing 5-2 to the Edmonton Oilers.

Here’s a breakdown of the Canucks five best players at the tournament. [The Province]

On the stat sheet, Linus Karlsson was the most successful Canuck with three goals and five points in three games. However. there was some tentativeness in his game, especially early in the tournament. He looks like a player who could use a full season of AHL hockey to acclimatize to North America.

  • One of the other standout Canucks was Danila Klimovich, who looks rejuvenated and ready to fly this season.

Ironically enough, Klimovich is up on our Top 25 Under 25 Rankings today at #9. [Nucks Misconduct]

Doerrie will be working more with the coaching staff for this upcoming season. Her role, according to her LinkedIn profile, is “Analytics and Assistant Video Coach.”

She’ll work with new video coach Dylan Crawford, and Doerrie will also run the “Hawkeye” video system, which helps NHL teams with offside challenges.

Around the NHL

  • In other bizarre news, Jake Virtanen has indeed signed a PTO with the Edmonton Oilers.

Okay there Jake...

Twitter was aplenty with reactions to the signing.

  • Keith Yandle is retiring from professional hockey after 16 NHL seasons. He currently holds the NHL ironman record of 989 straight games played. [Sportsnet]
  • Earlier this morning, two more noteworthy defenceman also announced their retirement.

Zdeno Chara will retire after signing a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins. He spent 24 seasons in the NHL.

And, in somewhat of a more surprising announcement, PK Subban said he’s also retiring from the NHL at the age of 33, after 13 NHL seasons.