Category Archives: Canucks

NHL Draft 2024: What Will the Canucks Do in Vegas?

The NHL Draft is set to take place in Las Vegas in just three weeks ,June 28th and 29th, but for Vancouver Canucks fans, the excitement is tempered by the lack of first and second-round picks. The Canucks have already moved a significant portion of their draft capital and prospects, which means there’s not much to look forward to in terms of high-profile selections. However, that doesn’t mean the draft will be uneventful for the team. Here’s a breakdown of the current situation and some potential moves the Canucks could make.

Current Prospects and Untouchables

The Canucks have a few high-end prospects that are unlikely to be moved. Elias Pettersson (D-Petty), Tom Willander, and Jonathan Lekkerimäki represent the future core of the team, and it’s hard to imagine management trading them away. These players are seen as foundational pieces for the Canucks’ long-term success.

Aatu Räty, on the other hand, is a more realistic trade piece. However, his value on the market might not be substantial enough to fetch a significant return. Given his potential, the Canucks might be better off holding onto him and allowing him to develop within their system.

After a stellar playoff performance and with Demko’s injury history, Arturs Silovs has solidified his position as a crucial part of the Canucks’ goaltending depth. Moving Silovs would be a highly unpopular decision among fans, especially given the importance of having a reliable backup in today’s NHL.

Kirill Kudryavtsev is another prospect who could potentially be on the move. However, his current value isn’t particularly high, so trading him might not bring the Canucks much in return.

Potential Moves at the NHL Draft

1. Making a Trade at the NHL Draft for Salary Cap Relief

One of the primary goals for the Canucks could be to create some salary cap relief. Moving a player like Ilya Mikheyev, who has a sizable contract, could be a way to achieve this. However, such a trade would likely require the Canucks to include a prospect or draft pick to sweeten the deal. The question is, which prospect or pick could they afford to give up without mortgaging their future?

One possibility is including a mid-tier prospect like Kudryavtsev in a package deal. While he might not have high trade value on his own, pairing him with Mikheyev could make the deal more attractive to other teams. This move would help the Canucks free up cap space, which could then be used to sign other free agents or re-sign key players.

2. NHL Draft Acquiring Mid-to-Late Round Picks

Another strategy could be to focus on acquiring additional mid-to-late-round picks. These picks might not have the same immediate impact as first or second-round selections, but they can be valuable assets for building organizational depth. The Canucks could look to trade some of their fringe players or lower-tier prospects to teams looking to add depth, in exchange for third to sixth-round picks. This is an unlikely scenario as ownership and management have not shown a desire to build the team in this way.

3. Making a Big Trade at the NHL Draft in Vegas

While it seems unlikely given their current situation, there is always a chance that the Canucks could make a splash with a significant trade. This would likely involve moving one of their more valuable assets or a package of players and prospects to acquire a higher draft pick or a player who can make an immediate impact.

A big trade would require careful consideration of the team’s needs and future outlook. For example, if a team is willing to part with a first-round pick in exchange for a combination of players and prospects, the Canucks might consider it, but only if it aligns with their long-term plans.

What Do Fans Want?

As Canucks fans, we’re always hoping for the best possible outcome for our team. The draft is a time for optimism and excitement, even if our current draft position doesn’t inspire much hope. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Would you like to see the Canucks make a big trade at the draft?
  • Should the focus be on acquiring additional picks to build the prospect pool?
  • Is moving a player like Mikheyev for salary cap relief a priority, and what should we be willing to give up in return?

This Years NHL Draft

The 2024 NHL Draft may not hold the promise of immediate high-end talent for the Canucks, but it still represents an opportunity to make strategic moves that can benefit the team in the long run. Whether it’s creating salary cap relief, acquiring additional picks, or even making a surprising trade, the Canucks have options to consider.

As fans, your input and opinions are invaluable. What do you hope to see at the draft this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Let’s discuss future of our Canucks.

Go Canucks Go

Jonathan Lekkerimäki Wins Young Player Of The Year at the 2024 Fenix Outdoor Euro Hockey Awards

The Vancouver Canucks’ prospect pool is brimming with talent, and one name that has recently been shining bright is Jonathan Lekkerimäki. This young sensation has just been honored with the prestigious Young Player of the Year award at the 2024 Fenix Outdoor Euro Hockey Awards, a testament to his remarkable performance and potential. This accolade, awarded by the Alliance of European Hockey Clubs (EHC), recognizes the most valuable U22 player in European hockey over the past season, placing Lekkerimäki among an elite group of rising stars.

A Season to Remember

Lekkerimäki’s journey to this award was paved with impressive achievements and standout performances. His 2023-24 season with Örebro HK in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) showcased his exceptional skill and determination. After a challenging 2022-23 season, where he faced various obstacles, Lekkerimäki rebounded spectacularly, displaying resilience and growth in his game.

Key Achievements:

  • MVP of the 2024 World Juniors: Lekkerimäki’s dominance at the international level was a key highlight of his season. Leading his team with clutch performances and showcasing his ability to rise to the occasion, he was rightly named the Most Valuable Player.
  • SHL Best Junior: In one of the toughest leagues in Europe, Lekkerimäki was recognized as the best junior player. This accolade underscores his ability to compete and excel against seasoned professionals.
  • Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year: This award further solidified his status as one of the top young talents in Swedish hockey, recognizing his overall impact on the ice.

During the season, Lekkerimäki amassed 19 goals and 31 points in 46 games, leading all U22 players in the SHL in both categories. His scoring prowess and playmaking abilities made him a standout player and a critical asset for Örebro HK.

Transition to North America

Following his stellar season in the SHL, Lekkerimäki took the next step in his career by joining the Abbotsford Canucks in the American Hockey League (AHL). In his six games with Abbotsford, he scored his first AHL goal and recorded his first assist, giving fans a glimpse of his potential in North American professional hockey.

This transition is crucial for his development, as it allows him to adapt to the different style of play and physicality of the AHL, setting the stage for his future in the NHL.

Looking Ahead: NHL Dreams

As the 2024-25 season approaches, the big question for Canucks fans is whether Lekkerimäki is ready to make the jump to the NHL. Here are some considerations:

Benefits of Starting in the AHL

  1. Development Time: The AHL provides a platform for young players to develop their skills in a competitive environment. Lekkerimäki would benefit from playing significant minutes in all situations, which might not be immediately available in the NHL.
  2. Building Confidence: Dominating at the AHL level can build Lekkerimäki’s confidence, making the transition to the NHL smoother. Consistent success in the AHL can reinforce his abilities and readiness for the next step.
  3. Physical and Mental Preparation: The AHL’s tough and physical nature will help Lekkerimäki build the resilience needed for the NHL. It’s a critical phase for him to mature both physically and mentally.

Arguments for the NHL

  1. Skill Set: Lekkerimäki’s exceptional skill set suggests he might be ready for the NHL. His offensive capabilities could provide a significant boost to the Canucks’ lineup.
  2. Immediate Impact: Young players often bring energy and a fresh perspective to an NHL team. Lekkerimäki’s enthusiasm and talent could make an immediate impact on the Canucks.
  3. Injury Call-Up: Starting in the AHL doesn’t preclude an NHL appearance. If injuries occur or if he excels in the AHL, Lekkerimäki could be called up to the NHL mid-season, providing valuable depth to the roster.

Fan Engagement: Your Thoughts?

Canucks Nation, your opinion matters! What do you think is the best path for Jonathan Lekkerimäki? Should he start in the AHL to continue his development, or is he ready to make an impact in the NHL? Share your thoughts and engage with fellow fans to discuss the future of our promising prospect.

What does Jonathan Lekkerimäki’s Win of Young Player Of The Year Award Mean?

Jonathan Lekkerimäki’s recognition as the Young Player of the Year at the 2024 Fenix Outdoor Euro Hockey Awards is a monumental achievement. It reflects his hard work, talent, and potential to become a key player for the Vancouver Canucks. As we look forward to the 2024-25 season, the excitement around Lekkerimäki’s future is palpable. Whether he begins in the AHL or earns a spot on the NHL roster, one thing is certain: Lekkerimäki’s journey is just beginning, and Canucks fans have a lot to look forward to.

Go Canucks Go!

Vancouver Canucks Add Jason Krog as New Skills and Skating Coach

In a move aimed at enhancing the development of their players, the Vancouver Canucks have announced the hiring of Jason Krog as their new Skills and Skating Coach. Krog will be working with both the Vancouver Canucks and their AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Canucks. This hire fills a crucial role within the organization, following the promotion of former skills coach Yogi Švejkovský to assistant coach.

Jason Krog: A Rich History in Hockey

Jason Krog’s journey in hockey is one marked by significant achievements and a deep connection to British Columbia. Born in Fernie, BC, Krog began his junior career with the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCJHL. Over three seasons, he established himself as a top talent, culminating in an impressive 128-point season in 1994-95.

Krog then moved on to the University of New Hampshire, where he played four seasons from 1995 to 1999. His collegiate career was nothing short of spectacular, amassing 238 points (94 goals, 144 assists) in 152 games. His performance in the 1998-99 season earned him the Hobey Baker Award, recognizing him as the top collegiate hockey player in the United States.

Jason Krog’s Professional Career and Canucks Connection

Krog’s professional career saw him playing 202 NHL games, including a brief stint with the Vancouver Canucks during the 2008-2009 season. While he only played four games with the Canucks, he made a memorable impact with the Manitoba Moose, the Canucks’ minor league affiliate at the time. In 74 games with the Moose, Krog tallied 30 goals, 56 assists, and 86 points, showcasing his skill and leadership.

Krog’s overall NHL career saw him accumulating 59 points, but it was in the AHL and Europe where he truly shone. His accolades include winning the Calder Cup in 2008 and being named both the regular season and playoff MVP. These achievements underscore his deep understanding of the game and his ability to perform at a high level, qualities he will now bring to his coaching role.

Coaching and Development Expertise

Beyond his playing career, Krog has developed a reputation for his coaching acumen. He has coached minor hockey teams across British Columbia, including the Burnaby Winter Club and the West Vancouver Warriors. His work has extended to hosting skills sessions for NHL players in the area, featuring current Canucks like Ilya Mikheyev and Vasily Podkolzin.

Krog’s extensive experience and success as both a player and a coach make him a valuable addition to the Canucks’ development staff. His history of working with young players and his ability to enhance their skills and skating techniques will be instrumental in nurturing the next generation of Canucks talent.

Looking Ahead

The hiring of Jason Krog is a strategic move for the Vancouver Canucks as they continue to focus on player development and organizational growth. Krog’s deep ties to British Columbia and his wealth of experience in the game provide a unique blend of familiarity and expertise that will benefit both the Vancouver and Abbotsford teams.

Krog’s appointment comes at a time when the Canucks are looking to build on their recent progress and make a stronger push in the NHL. With his background and coaching philosophy, Krog is well-positioned to make a significant impact on the development of the Canucks’ prospects and main roster players alike.

As fans, we can look forward to seeing the influence of Krog’s coaching on the ice, from improved skating techniques to enhanced skill levels. His hiring signals a commitment from the Canucks’ management to invest in the development of their players and ensure that they have the tools needed to succeed at the highest level.

Final Thoughts

The Vancouver Canucks’ decision to bring Jason Krog into the fold as a Skills and Skating Coach is a positive step towards strengthening their player development programs. With his rich history in the sport and deep connections to British Columbia, Krog is an excellent fit for the role.

We welcome Jason Krog back to the Canucks organization and look forward to seeing the positive impact he will have on our team. As always, we encourage fans to share their thoughts and engage with us as we continue to support our beloved team.

Go Canucks Go!

Patrik Allvin’s Remarkable Season: A Close Call for GM of the Year

As the NHL season drew to a close, the anticipation surrounding the Jim Gregory Award for the league’s top general manager reached a fever pitch. Patrik Allvin, the Vancouver Canucks’ GM, finished as a runner-up to Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars. While Nill’s success is certainly commendable, many Canucks fans, including myself, believe that Allvin’s achievements this season warranted the prestigious award.

A Nod to Jim Nill’s Success

Firstly, let’s extend heartfelt congratulations to Jim Nill. The Dallas Stars had a phenomenal season, finishing with a record of 52-21-9, securing 113 points, and clinching the top spot in the Central Division and second in the league. This is a commendable improvement from their already strong performance in the 2022/23 season, where they finished second in the division with 108 points. Nill’s adept management and strategic decisions have undoubtedly played a pivotal role in this consistent excellence.

The Case for Patrik Allvin

However, the strides made by the Vancouver Canucks under Patrik Allvin’s leadership this season are nothing short of extraordinary. Allvin took over a team that had a dismal 2022/23 season, finishing 6th in the Pacific Division with a 38-37-7 record, tallying just 79 points. Fast forward to the end of this season, and the Canucks have turned it around spectacularly, finishing with a 49-27-6 record and 109 points, topping the Pacific Division.

Allvin finished second in the voting for the Jim Gregory Award, garnering 66 points with 6 first-place votes, 10 second-place votes, and 6 third-place votes. In contrast, Jim Nill finished with 118 points, securing 17 first-place votes, 8 second-place votes, and 9 third-place votes. I question how the point difference between first and second could be so drastic given how close this race should have been. Despite the difference in points, the significant improvements in the Canucks’ performance under Allvin’s guidance make a compelling case for his deserving the award.

Here’s a closer look at how Allvin transformed the Canucks:

  1. Smart Acquisitions: Allvin made several astute acquisitions that addressed key issues from the previous season. The addition of defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm, in particular, strengthened the Canucks’ blue line and added depth to the roster. These moves were instrumental in turning the team’s fortunes around.
  2. Cap Space Management: The Canucks were facing a tight salary cap situation, yet Allvin managed to navigate it expertly. He successfully offloaded some hefty contracts, creating much-needed cap space. This allowed the team to acquire impactful players and remain competitive in a challenging cap environment where many other GMs struggled to make moves.
  3. Coaching and Development: Allvin’s hiring of a new coaching staff and emphasis on player development also paid dividends. The coaching changes brought a new strategic approach and rejuvenated the team’s playing style, leading to a more cohesive and effective unit on the ice.
  4. Draft and Prospects: Allvin’s focus on building for the future through the draft cannot be overlooked. His keen eye for talent has stocked the Canucks’ prospect pool with promising players who are expected to contribute significantly in the coming years.
  5. In-Season Adjustments: Throughout the season, Allvin made crucial adjustments, whether through trades or call-ups, that kept the team competitive. His ability to adapt and respond to the team’s needs in real-time was a key factor in the Canucks’ success.

Comparing the Turnarounds

When comparing the two teams’ improvements, the Canucks’ leap is significantly more impressive. Moving from 79 points to 109 points, a swing of 30 points, is a testament to the effective and transformative leadership of Patrik Allvin. This remarkable turnaround stands out even more when considering the context in which it was achieved.

Patrik Allvin: Challenges and Overcoming Adversity

Initial Expectations: The Canucks entered the season with relatively low expectations. Following a mediocre performance in the previous year, many analysts predicted they would either miss the playoffs or barely scrape through. This underdog status meant that Allvin had to work under the radar, quietly building a competitive team without the luxury of high-profile acquisitions or the fanfare that often accompanies more established contenders.

Salary Cap Constraints: Navigating the NHL salary cap is always a formidable challenge, and the Canucks were in a particularly tight spot. Allvin’s ability to shed cumbersome contracts and create flexibility was nothing short of masterful. This not only allowed the team to bring in fresh talent but also provided a morale boost as it demonstrated a clear, forward-thinking strategy to both players and fans.

Injury Management: Every NHL team deals with injuries, but the Canucks faced a spate of them, testing their depth and resilience. Allvin’s depth-building strategies paid off as the team was able to withstand these challenges and maintain their competitive edge throughout the season.

The Bigger Picture

In hockey, context matters. The Canucks’ resurgence under Allvin’s guidance wasn’t just about the numbers; it was about restoring hope and excitement in a franchise that had been struggling. The city of Vancouver, known for its passionate hockey fanbase, saw a rejuvenation in its love for the team. The atmosphere at Rogers Arena was electric, and the community buzzed with a renewed sense of pride and anticipation for the future.

Fan Perspective

From a fan’s perspective, Allvin’s contributions cannot be overstated. The sense of direction and purpose he instilled in the organization was palpable. Fans appreciated the transparency and the clear, strategic vision for both immediate success and long-term stability.

This year, the Canucks not only made the playoffs but also did so by clinching the top spot in the Pacific Division, a feat that seemed almost impossible just a year ago. This dramatic improvement, driven by smart, calculated decisions, is what many believe should have earned Allvin the Jim Gregory Award.

Looking Ahead

While Jim Nill’s Stars had a stellar season and deserved recognition, the case for Allvin as GM of the Year remains strong. His ability to turn around a struggling franchise, manage cap constraints, and build a cohesive, competitive team underlines his exceptional skills as a general manager.

As the Canucks look to build on this season’s success, the foundation laid by Allvin promises a bright future. The prospects are developing well, the core team is solid, and the fanbase is more engaged than ever. The groundwork for sustained success is in place, thanks to the strategic moves and leadership of Patrik Allvin.

Final Thoughts

While Jim Nill’s success with the Dallas Stars is commendable, the transformation orchestrated by Patrik Allvin with the Vancouver Canucks is equally, if not more, impressive. The significant improvements in the Canucks’ performance, despite the numerous challenges, highlight Allvin’s exceptional capabilities as a general manager. His strategic vision, adept management, and ability to inspire both the team and the fanbase underscore why many believe he was deserving of the Jim Gregory Award.

Here’s to hoping that next season, Allvin’s efforts will not only lead the Canucks to greater heights but also earn him the recognition he so richly deserves.

Go Canucks Go!

Should the Vancouver Canucks Offer a 7×7 Deal for Elias Lindholm?

Are the Vancouver Canucks Offeing a 7×7 Deal for Elias Lindholm? In a recent episode of 32 Thoughts – The Podcast, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman shifted the conversation from Nikita Zadorov to Elias Lindholm. Friedman highlighted the potential future of Lindholm with the Vancouver Canucks and speculated on the likelihood of the Canucks offering a 7×7 deal (seven years at $7 million per year) to retain the Swedish forward.

The Elias Lindholm Trade and Its Implications

The Canucks acquired Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames on February 1st, a significant move that saw Vancouver part with their 2024 first and fourth-round picks, Andrei Kuzmenko, and defensive prospects Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo. This trade was a bold statement, signaling the Canucks’ commitment to strengthening their lineup and making a serious playoff push.

Lindholm, known for his versatility, has proven to be a valuable addition. Despite initial struggles, he found his groove in the postseason, contributing five goals and five assists in 13 games and playing crucial minutes against the Nashville Predators’ top line. His ability to play multiple positions makes him an asset in any lineup, and head coach Rick Tocchet has expressed admiration for Lindholm’s game.

The Case for a Elias Lindholm 7×7 Deal

Offering Lindholm a 7×7 deal demonstrates the Canucks’ intention to secure long-term stability in their lineup. Lindholm’s versatility allows for strategic flexibility, enabling the Canucks to shift key players like Elias Pettersson and JT Miller across different lines and positions. This adaptability can be crucial in addressing in-game adjustments and injuries, providing the team with a tactical edge.

Additionally, Lindholm’s performance in the playoffs showcased his ability to rise to the occasion, a trait that is invaluable during high-stakes games. His postseason contributions, coupled with his defensive reliability, make him a player worth considering for a long-term investment.

Potential Risks and Considerations

However, the prospect of offering a 7×7 deal comes with significant risks. Lindholm, at 29 years old, would be 36 by the end of such a contract. The history of long-term deals for aging players often shows diminishing returns. The Canucks have experienced this firsthand with contracts like those of Roberto Luongo, Loui Eriksson, and Sven Baertschi, which led to cap issues and limited flexibility in the roster.

One of the primary concerns is whether Lindholm can maintain his performance levels throughout the duration of the contract. Injuries and age-related decline are inevitable factors that could impact his effectiveness on the ice. A $7 million cap hit, especially in the latter years of the contract, could become a burden if Lindholm’s performance drops.

Moreover, the Canucks have already sacrificed substantial draft capital and promising prospects in acquiring Lindholm. Letting him walk would mean losing these assets for nothing, which could set the team back in their rebuilding efforts. However, locking in a potentially cumbersome contract could hinder the Canucks’ ability to make other necessary moves in the future.

Balancing Act for Management

The Canucks’ management, led by Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin, faces a delicate balancing act. They must weigh the immediate benefits of retaining Lindholm against the long-term implications of a sizable contract. Vancouver’s recent history with long-term deals should serve as a cautionary tale, urging a measured approach in negotiations.

One potential strategy could involve front-loading the contract, providing Lindholm with more money upfront while reducing the financial burden in the later years. This approach can help mitigate some of the risks associated with aging players while still securing Lindholm’s services.

Fan Perspective and Engagement

From a fan perspective, the decision to offer a 7×7 deal to Lindholm is divisive. While his playoff performance was commendable, the potential for another problematic contract looms large. The emotional investment in players like Kuzmenko, who was a fan favorite, adds another layer of complexity to this decision.

As Canucks fans, it’s crucial to voice our opinions and engage in discussions about the team’s future. Should the Canucks prioritize immediate success and stability, or should they adopt a more cautious approach, considering the potential long-term ramifications? Your thoughts and feedback are invaluable as the team navigates this pivotal moment.

The Elias Lindholm Signing Opportunity

The potential 7×7 deal for Elias Lindholm is a significant decision for the Vancouver Canucks, one that carries both opportunities and risks. Lindholm’s versatility and playoff performance make him an attractive candidate for a long-term contract, but the history of such deals and the potential for decline must be carefully considered.

Ultimately, the Canucks’ management must strike a balance between securing immediate success and ensuring long-term stability. As fans, our engagement and perspectives can play a crucial role in shaping the conversation around this pivotal decision.

What do you think, Canucks fans? Is a 7×7 deal for Elias Lindholm worth the potential risks, or should the team explore other options? Let’s keep the discussion going. Go Canucks Go!

Should the Canucks Consider Adding Another Coach?

The recent promotion of Yogi Švejkovský to Assistant Coach has certainly brought a lot of optimism and excitement to the Vancouver Canucks’ coaching staff. However, this move also raises a pertinent question: Should the Canucks consider adding another coach to fill the void left by Švejkovský’s transition from Skills Coach to Assistant Coach?

The Role of a Skills Coach

A Skills Coach plays a critical role in any hockey team. Their primary responsibility is to work on individual players’ technical skills, ensuring they are continually improving and refining their abilities. This includes everything from skating, shooting, passing, and stickhandling to more nuanced aspects like positioning and decision-making under pressure. The Skills Coach often works closely with players in one-on-one sessions, focusing on their unique needs and helping them reach their full potential.

Yogi Švejkovský excelled in this role for the Canucks. His ability to connect with players on a personal level and his deep understanding of the game made him an invaluable asset. His promotion to Assistant Coach, while undoubtedly a positive development for him and the team, does leave a gap that needs to be addressed.

Can Švejkovský Handle Dual Coaching Roles?

One possibility is that Švejkovský could continue to handle some of his previous responsibilities as Skills Coach while taking on his new duties as Assistant Coach. This approach has its pros and cons.

Pros:

  1. Continuity: Švejkovský’s existing rapport with the players and his understanding of their strengths and weaknesses would remain intact.
  2. Seamless Transition: Having one person handle both roles could ensure a seamless integration of skills development into the broader team strategy.

Cons:

  1. Workload: The dual responsibilities could become overwhelming, potentially leading to burnout or a dilution of effectiveness in both roles.
  2. Focus: Juggling both roles might result in neither receiving the full attention it requires, which could impact the players’ development and the team’s overall performance.

The Case for Adding Another Skills Coach

To maintain the momentum and ensure that the players continue to receive the dedicated skills training they need, the Canucks should strongly consider adding another Skills Coach. Here are a few reasons why this could be beneficial:

  1. Specialization: A dedicated Skills Coach can focus entirely on player development, ensuring that the technical aspects of the game are continually being honed.
  2. Support for Švejkovský: By bringing in another Skills Coach, Švejkovský can focus fully on his new role as Assistant Coach, allowing him to bring fresh ideas and strategies to the team’s overall play.
  3. Player Benefits: Players will benefit from having a dedicated coach who can work with them individually, helping them to address specific areas of improvement without the distraction of broader team responsibilities.

Potential Candidates

The search for a new Skills Coach should focus on individuals with a proven track record of player development. This could include former players who have transitioned into coaching roles or current coaches who have specialized in skills training. The ideal candidate would have a strong understanding of modern hockey techniques, excellent communication skills, and the ability to connect with players on a personal level.

Balancing the Coaching Staff

Adding another coach would also help balance the coaching staff, ensuring that each aspect of the team’s development is adequately covered. The Canucks’ current coaching lineup, featuring Rick Tocchet, Adam Foote, Yogi Švejkovský, Ian Clark, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Sergei Gonchar, brings a wealth of experience and diverse perspectives. However, the addition of a dedicated Skills Coach would complement this lineup and ensure that no area of player development is overlooked.

Final Thoughts

The Canucks’ decision to promote Yogi Švejkovský is a positive step, reflecting the trust and respect he has earned within the organization. However, to ensure that the team continues to progress and that players receive the individual attention they need, it would be prudent to consider adding another Skills Coach. This move would help maintain the focus on player development while allowing Švejkovský to excel in his new role as Assistant Coach.

As the Canucks continue to refine their coaching strategy and structure, the addition of a dedicated Skills Coach could be the key to unlocking further potential and achieving greater success in the coming seasons.

Go Canucks Go!

Vancouver Canucks Tough Salary Cap Situation for 2024-25

The Vancouver Canucks’ 2024-25 Season – Cap Space, Roster Holes, and Potential Solutions: The Vancouver Canucks enter the 2024-25 NHL season with cautious optimism and a clear mandate: fill critical roster holes while navigating a tight salary cap. With the buyout of Oliver Ekman-Larsson (OEL) and a slew of unrestricted free agents (UFAs) leaving gaps, the Canucks’ management team faces significant challenges. Is the potential there to recreate the magic of last season and build a team capable of making a deep playoff run? This article delves into the current cap space, the impact of the OEL buyout, and potential strategies to turn the Canucks into true contenders.

Vancouver Canucks Current Salary Cap Space and Contract Commitments

As of now, the Canucks have approximately $23.78 million in available cap space, according to CapFriendly. This figure provides a considerable amount of flexibility for General Manager Patrik Allvin and the management team to make necessary roster adjustments. However, it’s important to note that this cap space will need to accommodate the re-signing of restricted free agents (RFAs) like Filip Hronek and any other potential signings to fill out the roster.

The Impact of the OEL Buyout on the Salary Cap

The buyout of Oliver Ekman-Larsson was a strategic move to create cap space, but it comes with its own set of challenges. The buyout will result in a cap hit of $2,346,667 this year and $4,766,667 the next two seasons before becoming less significant $2,126,667 for the final three season. While it provided some relief this season, it will now  eats into the potential benefits of any future salary cap increases, limiting the team’s flexibility especially in the next three years.

Addressing Roster Holes with Limited Salary Cap Space

Penalty Killing Forwards and Defensemen

The Canucks’ penalty kill unit faces a major overhaul, with six of their top eight penalty killers hitting free agency. This includes critical players like Dakota Joshua and Ian Cole. The impending RFA status of Filip Hronek further complicates the situation. While internal options such as Vasily Podkolzin and Ilya Mikheyev could potentially step up, their effectiveness in penalty-killing roles remains uncertain.

To fill these crucial roles, the Canucks could target several potential replacements:

  1. Kevin Stenlund Cap Hit (2022-23): $1,250,000:  Stenlund is an underrated penalty killer and boasts a solid faceoff win percentage of 53.2%. His defensive capabilities and ability to win key draws make him a valuable addition to the Canucks’ penalty kill unit. Given his previous cap hit, he should be an affordable option within the Canucks’ budget.
  2. Teuvo Teräväinen  Cap Hit (2022-23): $5,400,000: Teräväinen is one of the top forwards on the penalty kill, logging 129:34 on the kill last season while chipping in with a short-handed goal and five assists. His two-way play and experience would provide a significant boost to the Canucks’ special teams. While his cap hit is higher, his versatility and skill set justify the investment.
  3. Brett Pesce Cap Hit (2022-23): $4,025,000: Pesce headlined the Hurricanes’ top-rated penalty kill last season, spending an impressive 163:35 on the ice during the kill. His defensive prowess and ability to handle significant minutes make him an ideal candidate to strengthen the Canucks’ penalty kill. Although he might seek a moderate raise, his impact on the team’s defense would be well worth the cost.

Revamping the penalty kill is a critical task for the Canucks as they prepare for the 2024-25 season. By targeting players like Kevin Stenlund, Teuvo Teräväinen, and Brett Pesce, the Canucks can significantly bolster their penalty-killing units and ensure they remain competitive. These additions, combined with strategic cap management and internal development, could help the Canucks overcome their special teams’ challenges and position themselves for a successful season

Right-Shot Center with Strong Faceoff Skills

One glaring need is a right-shot center who excels in faceoffs. Last season, faceoff efficiency was a weak spot, and finding a player above the 50% mark is crucial. Though the Canucks would prefer to resign Elias Lindholm, it is unlikely given their cap situation and Lindholms salary ask that a deal can be done. The Canucks might look towards the free agency market or potential trades to address this, although cap constraints will limit their options. Names like Kevin Stenlund, Derek Ryan or Luke Glendening, known for their faceoff prowess, could be potential targets.

Top-Line Winger for Pettersson

Elias Pettersson needs a consistent finisher on his wing to maximize his playmaking abilities and drive the Canucks’ offense. Ilya Mikheyev’s struggles to convert scoring chances last season highlighted the need for an upgrade. While Mikheyev brings speed and tenacity, his finishing ability left much to be desired. Nils Höglander was a bright spot last season, and though he had flashes of brilliance, he was unable to produce consistently at the end of the season and in the playoffs. While another season could see him take another step, Mikheyev seemed to be the weak link on that line. Therefore, some help will be needed next season to ensure Pettersson has the support he needs.

Here are some potential free agent targets who could fit this role:

  1. Tyler Bertuzzi Cap Hit (2023-24): $5,500,000:  Bertuzzi brings a combination of skill, grit, and scoring ability. He has proven he can play in high-pressure situations, contributing both in the regular season and playoffs. His physical style of play complements Pettersson’s finesse, potentially creating a dynamic top line. Bertuzzi’s asking price might align with the Canucks’ budget, especially if he’s willing to take a slight pay cut to join a team with strong playoff aspirations.
  2. Jake Guentzel Cap Hit (2023-24): $6,000,000: Guentzel is frequently linked to the Canucks and for good reason. He is a proven scorer with a track record of success in Pittsburgh. His ability to finish plays and his chemistry with top centers make him an ideal candidate to pair with Pettersson. While his cap hit is substantial, his impact could justify the investment, particularly if the Canucks can manage their cap space effectively.
  3. Teuvo Teräväinen Cap Hit (2023-24): $5,400,000: Teräväinen offers a mix of playmaking and scoring ability. He is known for his hockey IQ and ability to make smart plays in the offensive zone. His versatility and experience would make him a valuable asset on Pettersson’s wing. Given his recent cap hit, he might be within the Canucks’ financial reach, especially if they can negotiate a team-friendly deal.

These players offer the kind of finishing ability that Pettersson needs on his wing. Bertuzzi’s grit, Guentzel’s scoring touch, and Teräväinen’s playmaking would each provide different, yet complementary, elements to the top line. Acquiring one of these free agents would be a significant move towards making the Canucks a more potent offensive threat and providing Pettersson quality linemates.

Replacing Key Departures on Defense

The departure of Nikita Zadorov leaves a significant gap on the blueline. His physical presence and defensive prowess will be sorely missed. Additionally, Ian Cole’s experience and reliability on the back end create another void that must be filled. While Tyler Myers is expected to return, his age and declining foot speed raise concerns about his ability to maintain top performance.

To address these gaps, the Canucks need to add a right-shot defenseman with playoff experience. Here are some potential options based on the current free-agent market:

  1. Christopher Tanev (RD, 34) – $4,500,000: Tanev is a familiar face who could provide the stability and leadership the Canucks need on the back end. Given his age, it’s unlikely he will command a significant raise, making him a financially viable option. His defensive reliability and experience in high-pressure situations make him an ideal candidate to fill the void left by Zadorov.
  2. Matt Dumba (RD, 29) – $3,900,000: Dumba brings a blend of physicality and offensive capability. His recent cap hit was $3.9 million, and while he might seek a slight increase, his value could fit within the Canucks’ budget, especially if they can negotiate a team-friendly deal. His experience and ability to play significant minutes could be invaluable to the Canucks’ defense, particularly with Myers’ declining speed.
  3. Brandon Montour (RD, 30) – $3,500,000: Montour had a solid season with the Florida Panthers and would bring offensive upside and a right-handed shot to the Canucks. His cap hit was $3.5 million last season, and he might command a slight raise. However, his ability to contribute offensively while being responsible in his own end makes him a strong candidate worth considering.
  4. TJ Brodie (LD/RD, 34) – $5,000,000: Brodie’s versatility allows him to play both left and right defense, providing flexibility in the lineup. His cap hit was $5 million, and given his age, it’s unlikely he will see a significant raise. His defensive acumen and experience would be a great addition to the Canucks’ blueline.
  5. Brady Skjei (LD, 30) – $5,250,000: Skjei’s solid two-way game and ability to log heavy minutes make him an attractive option. His cap hit was $5.25 million, and while he might seek a slight raise, his addition would help balance the defensive pairings and could be worth the investment.
  6. Dylan DeMelo (RD, 31) – $3,000,000: DeMelo’s strong defensive play and ability to move the puck efficiently would complement the Canucks’ existing defensive corps. His cap hit was $3 million, and he might see a slight raise, but his steady presence on the blueline would be a significant boost.
  7. Justin Schultz (RD, 33) – $3,000,000: Schultz provides offensive capabilities from the backend and has experience in playoff situations. His cap hit was $3 million last season, and given his age, he is unlikely to see a substantial increase. His ability to quarterback the power play and contribute offensively would be valuable.
  8. Brett Pesce (RD, 29) – $4,025,000: Pesce is a reliable defenseman known for his defensive prowess and ability to play against top competition. His cap hit was $4.025 million, and he might command a moderate raise. His addition would bolster the Canucks’ penalty kill and overall defensive depth.
  9. Sean Walker (LD/RD, 29) – $2,650,000: Walker’s flexibility to play on either side and his steady defensive play make him a valuable target. His cap hit was $2.65 million, and he might seek a slight raise. His cost-effectiveness and reliability would help manage the Canucks’ cap space while improving their defense.
  10. Ilya Lyubushkin (RD, 30) – $2,750,000: Lyubushkin is a physical defenseman known for his shot-blocking and penalty-killing abilities. His cap hit was $2.75 million, and he is unlikely to see a substantial increase. His rugged style of play would bring a needed edge to the Canucks’ defensive unit.

The Canucks need to make smart, cost-effective decisions to address these defensive holes while managing their cap space effectively. The options listed provide a mix of experience, versatility, and reliability, ensuring that the team can maintain a competitive edge and support their aspirations for a deep playoff run. While the cap space situation is tight, with strategic signings and possibly negotiating team-friendly deals, the Canucks can fill these critical gaps and build a roster capable of competing for the Stanley Cup.

The Dakota Joshua Situation

Dakota Joshua emerged as an unsung hero last season, excelling in penalty killing, driving play at even strength, and forechecking. However, he is due for a raise, and the Canucks may struggle to retain him. If Joshua departs, replacing his unique skill set will be challenging. Players like Jujhar Khaira or Austin Watson, who offer physicality and penalty-killing ability, could be potential replacements.

Internal Options and Prospects to Alliviate the Salary Cap

As the Canucks navigate their cap constraints, internal options and prospects become increasingly important. Developing homegrown talent not only alleviates salary cap pressure but also builds a strong foundation for the future. Here are some key prospects to watch this offseason

  1. Linus Karlsson: Karlsson showed promise during limited playoff action last season. His potential to step up and secure a regular roster spot is a positive sign. Karlsson’s development will be crucial, especially if the Canucks are unable to make significant free-agent acquisitions due to cap constraints. His offensive instincts and versatility could provide the team with much-needed depth.
  2. Nils Aman: Nils is another prospect worth keeping an eye on. He has shown flashes of potential and, with further development, could become an everyday NHL player. His size, skating ability, and two-way play make him a valuable asset. The upcoming season will be pivotal for Aman to prove that he can consistently contribute at the NHL level.
  3. Arshdeep Bains: Bains had an impressive year with the Abbotsford Canucks, demonstrating his scoring ability and playmaking skills. Given his accomplishments in the AHL, it might be time to give Bains a long look at the NHL level. His offensive upside and energy could inject new life into the Canucks’ lineup and provide additional scoring depth.

Integrating prospects like Linus Karlsson, Nils Aman, and Arshdeep Bains into the roster can help alleviate salary cap pressures while adding youthful energy and talent to the team. These players represent the future of the Canucks and their development will be crucial for the team’s success. Balancing internal development with strategic free-agent signings will be key to building a competitive roster for the 2024-25 season

Other Minor League Prospects

The Canucks have a few prospects in the pipeline who could make an impact. Players like Danila Klimovich and Aidan McDonough will be closely watched during training camp. While relying heavily on unproven talent is risky, these prospects provide a potential solution to some of the team’s depth issues.

The Salary Cap Space Conundrum

Despite appearing to have decent salary cap space, the Canucks’ reality is more complex. The impending Hronek deal and other re-signings will consume much of the available space. Additionally, the desire to retain some UFAs further tightens the budget.

Management’s Strategic Moves

Patrick Allvin, Jim Rutherford, and the Canucks’ management team demonstrated their ability to navigate the salary cap challenges last offseason by securing players on team-friendly deals. This season will require a similar level of creativity and strategic thinking. The focus will likely be on finding undervalued players who can fill specific roles without commanding high salaries.

Why the Salary Cap is Going to Make the Offseason Interesting

The 2024-25 season presents a challenging yet intriguing landscape for the Vancouver Canucks. With limited salary cap space and several key roster holes, the team’s management will need to be both strategic and opportunistic. While the OEL buyout provides some immediate relief, it also imposes long-term constraints. The need for penalty-killing forwards, a reliable right-shot center, and defensive reinforcements are critical areas to address.

Fan patience and trust in the management’s ability to navigate these challenges will be crucial. The Canucks have the foundation of a competitive team, and with the right moves, they can solidify their roster for a successful season.

Go Canucks Go

Yogi Švejkovský: Who Is The New Assistant Coach Making Waves in Vancouver?

Yogi Švejkovský: The New Assistant Coach Making Waves in Vancouver

The Vancouver Canucks’ recent coaching staff overhaul has brought several notable changes, one of which is the promotion of Yogi Švejkovský to the role of Assistant Coach. This shift is significant for the team and highlights the trust and respect Švejkovský has garnered within the organization. Let’s delve into who Yogi Švejkovský is, his background, and the impact he is expected to make in his new role.

Who is Yogi Švejkovský?

Yogi Švejkovský, born on May 22, 1978, in Beroun, Czech Republic, is a former professional hockey player and a well-regarded coach known for his skills and player development acumen. Standing at 5 feet 10 inches and weighing 180 pounds, Švejkovský had a playing career that spanned over a decade before transitioning into coaching and skill development roles.

Early Life and Playing Career

Švejkovský’s hockey journey began in the Czech Republic, where he showcased his talent at a young age. His skills on the ice caught the attention of scouts, leading to his selection by the Washington Capitals in the first round (17th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. Švejkovský made his NHL debut with the Capitals and later played for the Tampa Bay Lightning, bringing his dynamic playing style and offensive prowess to the teams.

During his NHL career, Švejkovský played in 113 games, scoring 23 goals and adding 22 assists for a total of 45 points. His professional career also included stints in the AHL, where he continued to develop his game and contribute to his teams’ success.

Transition to Coaching and Skill Development

After retiring from professional play, Švejkovský shifted his focus to coaching and skill development. He founded the Yogi Švejkovský Hockey Academy, a renowned institution dedicated to developing young hockey talents. His academy emphasizes technical skills, game understanding, and personal growth, helping numerous players reach higher levels of competition.

Švejkovský’s expertise in skill development and his ability to connect with players on a personal level made him a valuable asset in various coaching roles. He served as a Skills Coach for the Vancouver Canucks for two seasons before his recent promotion to Assistant Coach.

Promotion to Assistant Coach

Švejkovský’s promotion to Assistant Coach is a testament to his hard work, innovative approach, and the strong relationships he has built with the players. Canucks Head Coach Rick Tocchet praised Švejkovský for his energy, work ethic, and the fresh ideas he brings to the team.

“I like the way he has come up with some new ideas. I see the workability he has with Millsy, Huggy, Petey, Lindholm, all these guys, Garland, they trust him,” said Tocchet. “I see the interaction with that. That’s important when you have a guy that’s going to handle a system on your team.”

Švejkovský’s new role will involve more direct interaction with the players during games, leveraging his deep understanding of the game and his ability to break down plays effectively. His promotion is expected to enhance the Canucks’ overall strategy and performance on the ice.

Enhanced Roles for the Sedins

In addition to Švejkovský’s promotion, the Canucks also announced enhanced roles for Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The Sedin twins, legendary figures in Vancouver hockey, will take on more responsibilities within the coaching staff while continuing their work with the Abbotsford Canucks.

Rick Tocchet highlighted the Sedins’ growing comfort and involvement in team systems. “I think that I’m going to use their knowledge even more,” Tocchet said. “I think they’re more comfortable to dive into it more. For the same thing, team systems, they’re starting to understand what I want. They’re going to take a little bit of a bigger chunk of it, I think they feel comfortable doing that now, before, I think they liked coming along slowly and I think that they’re willing to take a little bit more bite of the apple for us.”

The Sedins’ expanded roles signify their deeper integration into the Canucks’ coaching philosophy and their continued impact on the team’s success.

The New Coaching Staff Lineup

The Canucks’ coaching staff now includes Rick Tocchet, Adam Foote, Yogi Švejkovský, Ian Clark, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Sergei Gonchar. This diverse and experienced group brings a wealth of knowledge and different perspectives to the team, aiming to guide the Canucks to greater heights.

Additionally, the Canucks promoted Ian Beckenstein from the Abbotsford Canucks, where he served as the Video Coach for three seasons. Beckenstein joins the Vancouver Canucks as an Assistant Video Coach, further strengthening the analytical and strategic aspects of the team’s coaching staff.

Expert Opinions on Švejkovský

Hockey experts and analysts have praised Švejkovský for his innovative approach to coaching and his ability to connect with players. His experience as a former player provides him with valuable insights that he translates into effective coaching techniques. Many believe that Švejkovský’s promotion will bring a fresh perspective to the Canucks’ bench and help unlock the potential of key players.

Overall, the Canucks’ recent coaching changes, including Švejkovský’s promotion and the enhanced roles for the Sedins, reflect a strategic move to bolster the team’s performance. With a blend of experienced veterans and innovative thinkers, the Canucks are poised to tackle the upcoming season with renewed energy and focus.

Go Canucks Go!