Canucks’ News & Rumors: Miller, Demko, Allvin & More

In the latest edition of Vancouver Canucks‘ News & Rumors, the club named Patrik Allvin as their 12th general manager (GM) on Wednesday. Additionally, there is an update on a possible J.T. Miller trade. Lastly, the Canucks get Thatcher Demko, Jaroslav Halak and Conor Garland from COVID protocol.

Canucks Hire Patrik Allvin

The Canucks hired Allvin as the 12th GM in franchise history. The organization fired Jim Benning in early December after eight seasons with the club. 

President of hockey operations Jim Rutherford introduced the new GM on Wednesday. Allvin had been the front runner for the job for a while, beating out multiple candidates. He was the assistant GM under Rutherford with the Pittsburgh Penguins and served as the club’s interim GM when Rutherford stepped down. He started out as a scout with the Montreal Canadiens in 2002 and later became a European scout with the Penguins in 2006. In 2012, he became the head European Scout with the club and then became the director of amateur scouting in 2017. 

Sign up for our regular 'Canucks Newsletter' for all the latest.

Rutherford said Allvin stood out from all of the candidates he interviewed and added why he is a fit for the Canucks (from ‘Canucks hire Allvin as 12th general manager in team history,’ The Province, January 26, 2022).

“He’s a very smart guy. He knows players. He knows how to evaluate players. He knows how to find players,” Rutherford said. “He’s well-connected in Europe, where we’d like to get into that market a little bit more and try to get some players out of there. And he just has a lot of good things going for him and as I said, we already have the working relationship. We know how that’s going to go.”

The president of hockey operations added Allvin has the final say on most of the team’s decisions. Meanwhile, Allvin noted he hopes to add players from Europe and the NCAA to add depth to the club. Allvin also said the Canucks will focus on creating the same success Pittsburgh has had with developing depth players in the American Hockey League (AHL). He added players who develop quickly will play in the NHL, while others can take their time in the AHL. 

Morning Skate newsletter Click To Subscribe

Rutherford has built the front office since joining the club. Along with Allvin, he added Émilie Castonguay as an assistant GM and Rachel Doerrie to the club’s analytics staff. Rutherford also discussed a few improvements in several areas. He wants to create a new practice facility, improve development camp, bring back the rookie tournament and upgrade facilities in Abbotsford and at Rogers Arena, all of which will make Vancouver an attractive destination for free agents.

Canucks Will Ask Teams for Best Offer for Miller 

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun gave an update on Miller trade talks on Insider Trading. LeBrun stated Rutherford will let teams interested in acquiring the forward know they should make their best offer before the March 21st trade deadline. 

J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks
J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He added there is no guarantee the Canucks trade him since he has a year and a half remaining on his deal, and the club has a few things to figure out. The team will have to figure out if Miller will be a part of their plans in two years when his contract ends. Additionally, the Canucks need young prospects, and if a team steps up with three to four prospects/assets, the club will look at the deal. Lastly, the organization will have to figure out if the best time to trade Miller will be before the trade deadline or in the offseason closer to the 2022 NHL Draft. 

Four teams have been reportedly interested in acquiring the forward. Frank Seravalli reported the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames have an interest in Miller. 

Demko, Garland and Halak off COVID List

The Canucks have three players returning from the COVID protocol list. Demko hasn’t played since the game against the Nashville Predators on Jan 18 but will return in the game against the Calgary Flames on Saturday. Meanwhile, Halak returned on Thursday night as a backup to Spencer Martin. Garland, who hasn’t played since Jan 16, also returned on Thursday night. 

Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks
Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Canucks will have their MVP back in the lineup on Saturday, while Garland’s return boosts the team’s top-six. What the Canucks will do with the backup goalie position will be interesting. Martin has played great so far with the Canucks and could prove to be a quality backup to Demko, which could create questions for Halak’s future with the club. 

The organization may decide to keep Halak on the roster with COVID-19 sidelining multiple players, which will be something teams will have to deal with throughout the rest of the season. Having depth at all positions is key and the Canucks have that in net. 

The Canucks are still waiting on Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson to return from COVID protocol, both should return to the lineup soon. Horvat has been out since Jan 18, while Pearson has been out since Jan 25.