Canucks’ News & Rumors: Motte, Pettersson, Demko & More

In this edition of Vancouver Canucks‘ News & Rumors, the club’s search for a general manager (GM) is nearing its end. Additionally, there are reports on who the Canucks may move at the 2022 Trade Deadline. Also, Elias Pettersson breaks his scoring drought.

Allvin Highlights Final Four GM Candidates

Elliotte Friedman joined Donnie and Dhali on Monday and reported the Canucks search for their GM is close to the end. The Canucks are down to the final four candidates. 

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Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Patrik Allvin, who has been a name involved with the job for a month, is the favourite. Friedman adds former NHL forward and former Montreal Canadiens assistant GM Scott Mellanby had a good interview, while Ryan Johnson could see an increased role. Johnson has already taken on a bigger role with the arrival of Jim Rutherford. The former Canucks forward already held the role as the GM of the Abbotsford Canucks and senior director of player development and now manages the team’s salary cap under Rutherford (from ‘Ryan Johnson playing a big role since Canucks management turnover,’ The Province, January 8, 2022). 

Related: Getting To Know Canucks GM Candidates Allvin, Mellanby & Burke

The fourth name is likely Sean Burke, who Rick Dhaliwal reported had a good interview with the team. He has experience as a coach, assistant GM, scout and director of player development.

Canucks at the Trade Deadline

Friedman also discussed what he is hearing about the Canucks at the trade deadline. He noted Tyler Motte’s name has popped up, as clubs across the NHL like him. Motte could be useful to any team looking to make a deep playoff run with his speed and skill. He would be a helpful depth forward for a Cup-contending team. 

Tyler Motte Vancouver Canucks
Tyler Motte, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Friedman also added he is not convinced Jaroslav Halak will waive his no-move clause. Earlier this month, TSN’s Darren Dreger believed the Canucks would consider trading the veteran backup as Thatcher Demko will play a lot more games throughout the season, and the return would’ve been decent. Unless Halak changes his mind, the Canucks will stick with him as their backup until the end of the season. 

Pettersson Strikes Twice

Pettersson scored twice against the Washington Capitals to help his club pick up a 4-2 win and snap their three-game losing streak. Pettersson had been scoreless in his last seven games, which highlights how the Swede’s season has gone so far. He has eight goals and 19 points in 38 games, which is a disappointing stat line for him, but his two-goal game is a hopeful sign for more to come from the forward. Head coach Bruce Boudreau hopes Pettersson can continue to produce (from ‘Canucks 4, Capitals 2: Pettersson’s pair powers pivotal win in Washington,’ The Province, January 17, 2022).

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“And whether they went in off (Pettersson’s) head or a great shot, it didn’t matter. He got two and we don’t have a lot of natural scorers. Hopefully, it’s not a one-off or an anomaly and he can continue to do this.” Boudreau said. “That will make it an awful lot easier on us. He was getting chances off the left wing and I think things are easier and he sees the ice better. He’s always the first guy on the puck in the offensive zone, instead the last man, because centres are fighting down low.”

Demko Earns 50th Career Win

Thatcher Demko picked up his 50th career win in the game against Washington. It took Demko 103 games to reach the mark, the fourth-fewest games for a goalie with the Canucks. Roberto Luongo reached the mark in 81 games, while Cory Schneider did it in 88 and Dan Cloutier did it in 102 games. 

The 26-year-old goaltender has been outstanding for the Canucks this season. He was named the NHL’s third star in December and was also named to the 2022 NHL All-Star roster as a goalie for the Pacific Divison. 

Hughes Records 30th Point 

Quinn Hughes’ two assists against the Capitals give him 30 points in 37 games played. Only two players have reached the mark in fewer games with the Canucks. Paul Reinhart reached the mark in 28 games in 1989-90 and in 30 games in the 1988-89 season. Jeff Brown reached the mark in 31 games played in 1994-95. 

Hughes is on pace to record 66 points in 82 games this season, which would surpass the highest point total by a defenceman in Canucks history. Doug Lidster currently holds the record with 63 points in 80 games from the 1986-87 season.

The 22-year-old was on pace to tie the record in his rookie season. Hughes recorded 53 points in 68 games in the 2019-20 season before the NHL’s COVID pause.