It does seem a little strange. My guess is it had something to do with the fact that a significant portion of the game was spent on special teams, and that the Canucks were playing their first game on home ice where Travis Green could closely control matchups. The game was also still relatively close until around half way through the period. All that having been said, it still seems like a lot of time for a 33-year-old defenseman to play in a game that was so out of reach for the opposing team.

My guess is that when Antoine Roussel comes back, the Canucks will send down Adam Gaudette, who will still be waiver exempt. Gaudette forced their hand during the preseason, but his play hasn’t been at the same level since the competition has sharpened. My guess is that the Canucks won’t be keen to put another player on waivers if they don’t have to, and while Gaudette has been good, he hasn’t quite been good enough to force their hand a second time.

Travis Green has always had a reputation as a very defensive coach, and I don’t think a couple of changes in personnel is really going to change that. They’re just doing what we saw them do last year when they would go up by a goal or two, so I’m not exactly surprised that trend is continuing. If anything, now that the defense has improved, he may feel even more justified in continuing with that strategy.

The worst thing about playing hockey in the AHL is that usually it means making a lot less money. That won’t be the case for Eriksson. I obviously don’t speak for him, but I don’t really see why he would walk away from another four million dollars, even if it means playing out his contract in Utica. In all likelihood, he’d just request a trade first. Obviously it’s not clear if the Canucks can find anyone to take his contract on, but at this point, a trade still seems more likely than early retirement.

By and large, people don’t walk away from that kind of money unless they have a very good reason, and I don’t think being forced to spend a couple of years in upstate New York really qualifies. The Canucks signed a six-year deal and they’re going to have to deal with the consequences. There are no easy outs. Obviously anything could happen, but the speculation that he could retire early if demoted to the AHL seems like pure fantasy to me.

I don’t think it’s too early, no. There was always a range of outcomes that were possible for both players, and so far the outcomes have veered towards the positive end of that range. Both player were brought in to improve the top-six, and have been top-six players at stages in their careers, so I think it’s reasonable to expect them to put up second-line production over the short term. I don’t think either either player is going to maintain the 80-plus-point pace over the course of the entire season, either, but I think we should be encouraged by how both players have shown thus far.

I think it’s a little early to sound the alarms about Micheal Ferland’s play this early in the season. There are two things that explain why Ferland has underwhelmed so far in Vancouver. The first is that he spent much of training camp recovering from a serious illness that caused him to lose 10 pounds, which goes a long way towards explaining why he’s looked like he’s a step behind the play over the first few games of the year. The second is inflated expectations. It’s important to note that despite all the fanfare and speculation that Ferland would come in and play a top-six role for the Canucks, he has a career-high of 41 points, which is mid-to-low tier second line production. All it would take is a single multi-point game to put him back on that pace.

Even during the season where Ferland played on the Flames’ top line, he still went long stretches without scoring and was demoted and promoted multiple times throughout the year, so this is nothing new. As long as expectations remain realistic, I don’t think there’s any cause for concern. Obviously, he has to improve, but fans should be willing to give him some time to recover before getting too concerned.

It’s hard to imagine what kind of return Troy Stecher could fetch, given that all NHL GMs seems to differ quite dramatically in how they evaluate defensemen. Erik Gudbranson, a measurably poor defenseman, fetched a package that included former first-round pick and a second-round pick in the then-upcoming draft, and then fetched a fringe top-six forward from a different team a few years later. Meanwhile, a measurably strong offensive defenseman in Colin Miller only cost the Sabres a second and a fifth. Pedigree goes a long way in negotiations, and since Stecher has none, and is quite small, I don’t see him yielding a great return, even if he’s proven he’s quite the useful piece on the back end.

The more important question to ask is why the Canucks are even entertaining this idea in the first place. Tanev is on the verge of turning 30, and has never played more than 70 games in a season. Over his past two seasons, he just barely managed to stay healthy for half the games the Canucks played. Extending him would be a big mistake if it means jettisoning Troy Stecher, a player who’s produced better results since joining the team.