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So much has been made of the need to get Bo Horvat a winger for the past couple of years that I find it difficult to imagine Miller starting anywhere other than on his wing. Long-term, I think the team will see more success with him as the third line centre, allowing the team to finally join the rest of the league in the 21st century and get scoring from their entire top nine.

Here’s what I expect the opening night lineup to look like (assuming Eriksson is either traded or waived and no additional trades are made):

Ferland – Pettersson – Boeser

Miller – Horvat – Pearson

Baertschi – Sutter – Roussel

Motte – Beagle – Leivo

Here’s what my opening night lineup would look like:

Goldobin – Petterson – Boeser

Baertschi – Horvat – Pearson

Ferland – Miller – Roussel

Virtanen – Beagle – Leivo

Yes and no. The comparison is fair, (both were perceived as being good at scouting, but not much else,) but the circumstances are different. For one, Benning’s Canucks made the playoffs in his first year as GM, and the Wild didn’t last season. The attitude surrounding both men in their home markets has differed, too. Minnesota is seen as a team spinning their wheels, with no direction, while the disposition of the fans and media in Vancouver is much sunnier and optimistic. That matters just as much, if not more than the actual decisions that were made by the two men during their tenures as GMs of their respective teams.

The only players I know for certain I couldn’t turn down in trade for Elias Pettersson are Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, Jack Eichel, and Rasmus Dahlin, because they are the only players I can say with some level of certainty should be both likely to be demonstrably more valuable than Pettersson over the course of their careers and young enough to still be in their prime when the Canucks finally round the corner towards playoff contention. There are other players out there, but these are the only players I would feel confident saying “yes” to without much thought.

I think a lot of people like JD, it’s just that he’s a polarizing figure and the most vocal people you see are always going to be the people who dislike someone. He also says a lot of things he knows will piss a lot of people off, and the mob responds about the way you’d expect them to. The fact that he’s landed himself a full-time gig as the managing editor of Elite Prospects should be an indication that he gets plenty of love.

It depends on the parameters. Do we have to factor in age, position, or health? Are we talking “best” as in “most talented” or “most valuable”? What I can say is that, when healthy, these are the three players that I think are the league’s biggest difference-makers:

  1. Connor McDavid
  2. Sidney Crosby
  3. Erik Karlsson

Considering how much he’s raised his profile over the past few years, and the fact that he already had a gig as a contributor for Rogers Sportsnet at the time of his departure, I’d say returning to CanucksArmy would be a massive step down for Thom, much as I’d love to see it happen. My guess is he takes a full-time media gig, perhaps returning to Sportsnet or joining the Athletic; but I haven’t heard anything.

What I would go with:

Edler – Myers

Hughes – Stecher

Benn – Tanev

What will actually happen:

Edler – Tanev

Hughes – Myers

Benn – Stecher

To be honest, even if something like this would be fair value, (I really, really like Ty Smith as a prospect,) trading Quinn Hughes would completely defeat the purpose of getting rid of Eriksson’s contract. Making sure there’s enough cap space for Pettersson and Hughes extensions is the whole reason fans are so concerned about Eriksson’s contract in the first place.

Jake Virtanen is far and away the most obvious candidate, considering how much of an overlap their is between reply guys and DM sliders, and the fact that a bunch of his most recent tweets literally are replies. I also get serious reply guy vibes from Quinn Hughes, though I can’t quite put my finger on why.

Adam Gaudette is a possibility, too; although I’d say he’s more of a “create dozens of alts for the purpose of harassing and/or doxxing people you don’t agree with” kind of guy.

What I can say for certain is that Alex Edler is definitely not a reply guy. He has almost certainly never used twitter and probably doesn’t even reply to people when they talk to him in real life.


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