‘The Nuck Stops Here’ is a Vancouver Canucks news, opinion and analysis column that runs every Monday throughout the regular season, and every second Monday throughout the off-season.
Canucks Sign Phillip Holm
The Canucks recently announced the signing of defenceman Phillip Holm to a one-year, entry-level contract. The 25-year-old spent the 2016-17 season as a member of the Vaxjo Lakers, putting up four goals and 21 points in 52 games. Additionally, Holm put up a league-best plus-24 plus-minus rating on the year. Holm represented Sweden at the 2017 World Hockey Championship, winning a Gold medal at the tournament.
Philip Holm on choosing VAN: "It felt good from the start. They're building something new. My gut told me Vancouver." #Canucks
— Canucks Now (@CanucksNow) May 26, 2017
Jacob Markstrom Needs to Be the Starter
Earlier this week, general manager Jim Benning came out and said that Jacob Markstrom would be the Canucks starting goalie going forward. He then retracted on that, stating he meant he’d “eventually” be the starter. So, essentially, Canucks fans are back at square one in terms of knowledge on the direction in net.
However, the right move for the franchise would certainly be to give Markstrom the reigns as the number one, at least to start the season. While the 28-year-old’s numbers last season weren’t sparkling, they were respectable, with a GAA of 2.63, and a save percentage of .910. It indicates, at least, that he should be given a sample size of greater than 25 starts (which is what he received in 2016-17).
Making Markstrom the undoubted starter would also symbolize a full dedication to the rebuild. It would mean that the team’s staff recognizes the need to invest in a younger look in net. Even if Markstrom himself isn’t particularly young, it does represent a shift away from older, more experienced netminders. Time will tell what management decides what to do between the pipes, but if they’re serious about rebuilding, it’s time for Markstrom to be given a fair shot.
Andrey Pedan Needs to Stand Out
The Canucks’ defense, infamously described as “luxurious” by members of the management team, has some decisions on their hands this summer. Do they trade one of Alex Edler or Chris Tanev? Will Luca Sbisa be claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft? Will Olli Juolevi make the team? And what should they do with Erik Gudbranson and his expiring contract? All of these major question marks have led to prospect Andrey Pedan, once again, flying under the radar.
Over the past handful of seasons, the 23-year-old defender has been on the cusp of NHL success, but hasn’t quite been able to make the breakthrough (outside of a couple of call-up stints). That said, with the departure of the hulking Nikita Tryamkin, there may be a spot available for someone of Pedan’s ilk on the roster. Clocking in at 6’4″ and 213 pounds, Pedan brings to the table an element of intimidation and size that few, if any other players in the organization do.
With some young talent coming through the pipeline, this may just be Pedan’s last shot with the Canucks, after having been recently re-signed to a one-year contract. There’s a spot on the team for Pedan, but he’ll need to earn it, and that means having the best training camp of his career come September 2017.
Around the Blog-O-Sphere
Fun links about the Vancouver Canucks from all around the internet.
The Canucks’ goaltending isn’t top of mind for Travis Green these days [The Province]
The Sedin twins are excited to work with rookie coach, Green [Times Colonist]
Are the Canucks trying to move up in the draft? [Vancouver Sun]
It’s time to move on from Ryan Miller [The Canuck Way]
A roundtable regarding a hypothetical trade of Brock Boeser for the first or second overall pick [CanucksArmy]
What if the Vegas Golden Knights took only former Canucks in the expansion draft? [Vancouver Courier]