‘The Nuck Stops Here’ is a Vancouver Canucks news, opinion and analysis column that runs every Monday throughout the regular season.
Canucks Sign Drew Shore
Last week, the Canucks announced the signing of forward Drew Shore from the Swiss-A League. Shore, 26, scored 24 goals and 48 points in 50 games as a member of Kloten HC this past season.
Shore’s last appearance in the NHL was during the 2015-16 campaign, when he played two games as a member of the Calgary Flames, scoring one assist in the process. He followed up that short stint with 38 points in 58 games with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. Shore was a second round pick (44th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Canucks Sign Jordan Chatfield
The Canucks recently announced the signing of 20-year-old defenceman Jordan Chatfield to a three-year entry level contract. Chatfield has put up eight goals and 28 points in 60 games this season as a member of the Windsor Spitfires. Chatfield signed with Windsor as a free agent in 2014, and has recorded 86 points in 188 total games.
Scores of the Week
Vancouver Canucks – 3 : Boston Bruins – 6
Vancouver Canucks – 2 : Dallas Stars – 4
Edmonton Oilers – 2 : Vancouver Canucks – 0
Current Record: 28-34-9 (65 Points ~ 6th in Pacific Division, 12th in Western Conference, 27th in NHL)
Jordan Subban Needs to be Given a Chance
A movement has hit Vancouver, and it goes by the name of “play the kids”. Over the course of the past week, general manager Jim Benning has been on record as saying head coach Willie Desjardins needs to start playing the team’s youth more. While this has been done to an extent — with the likes of Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund seeing increased playing time — it could still be taken to another level. This could start with the insertion of defense prospect Jordan Subban into the lineup.
Subban, 22, has put up a remarkable 14 goals and 32 points in 52 contests in the American Hockey League this season. Selected in the fourth round (115th overall) of the 2013 NHL entry draft, Subban has been among the AHL’s most productive defenders this season, and one of the Utica Comets’ key offensive contributors. However, he has yet to be given any sort of opportunity with the Canucks.
If management wants the transition to be taken seriously, Subban has to be incorporated into the lineup in some capacity. He’s young, flashy and would certainly help a stagnant Vancouver power play. The youth have taken the reigns, meaning Subban needs to be taken into serious consideration moving forward.
Richard Bachman Could Be a Serviceable Backup
One of the big questions floating around Vancouver of late has been the future of the Canucks in net, and in specific, Ryan Miller. The 36-year-old has posted a solid .915 save percentage in 46 games this season, and has been among the most valuable Canucks of the season. However, the team appears to be willing to hand 27-year-old Jacob Markstrom the starting position next season, meaning Miller will be relegated to backup status.
It’s possible that Miller is brought back on a one-year deal, in the ballpark of $4 million. That said, he could fetch more on the open market in terms of salary, meaning the Canucks may be forced to go a different route. This could come in the form of current third-string netminder Richard Bachman. Bachman, 29, has played a total of just 44 NHL games (with the Canucks, Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers), posting a .907 save percentage in the process. While not particularly impressive, his two games this season are.
In that time, he’s put together a spectacular .955 save percentage and a 1.52 goals against average. A small sample size certainly, but it could be indicative of the idea that Bachman may not be a bad number two behind Markstrom next season. He would come cheap, and allow the team the freedom to ride Markstrom as their primary netminder. At the very least, keeping Bachman as their backup next season is an idea worth considering.
Around the Blog-O-Sphere
Fun links about the Vancouver Canucks from all around the internet.
Is Jim Benning the Canucks’ problem? [The Hockey Writers]
An Edmonton perspective of Troy Stecher’s successful season [Edmonton Journal]
The Sedins hurt the Canucks this season, and it’s time to change directions [National Post]
Alex Burrows delivers a heartfelt farewell to the Canucks [The Players’ Tribune]
Nikita Tryamkin doesn’t need huge pressure put on him [The Province]
The Canucks should re-sign Reid Boucher for 2017-18 [The Canuck Way]