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Murphy’s Mailbag: Could Canucks shed a bad contract in expansion draft?

The holiday season is rapidly approaching and there really hasn’t been any Vancouver Canucks “news” to dig your teeth into. Everyone is waiting for the league and the NHLPA to lock in the details of next season.

Currently there are about 10 Canucks already in Vancouver. Some, like Jack Rathbone, are already in quarantine (or have completed the 14 days), and getting set for training camp.

I guess there has been one bit of bookkeeping for GMJB, as the club signed Jalen Chatfield to a one-year, two-way contract. And the young defenceman factors into the first mailbag question.

I don’t believe there is any way Olli Juolevi is not on this team to start the season. Every interview GM Jim Benning has given since the end of the playoffs, he has gone out of his way to say it’s time to incorporate some younger players. And most of the time he has mentioned Juolevi by name.

So Juolevi has to have a leg up on the other two. But should he?

Brogan Rafferty is coming off a fine rookie season in the AHL, putting up 45 points in 57 games. Offensively he was great, but can he defend at the NHL level?

Rathbone might be the best prospect of the three at this point, and yet he hasn’t played a minute of pro hockey in his career.

The blueliner who might have the best shot at joining Juolevi on the Canucks roster is Chatfield. And that’s because of the fact he’s a right-hand shot. Something Juolevi, Rafferty and Rathbone are not.

Keep in mind, Nate Schmidt will probably be playing his off-side this season, and you can bet Travis Green would rather not dress a lineup with two defencemen playing their off-side.

As of right now, it appears the Canucks are not going to get killed in the expansion draft — as was the case when Vegas came into the league and took Luca Sbisa off Vancouver’s hands. Projecting and guessing a bit, you would think the Krakken will be selecting one of these guys from the Canucks Roster:

Braden Holtby
Tyler Myers
Antoine Roussel
Zack MacEwen
Kole Lind

Does Travis Green want to lose one of these guys? Absolutely not. But the Canucks aren’t in a terrible position like some teams. (See: Colorado.)

So, can the Canucks use the expansion draft to rid themselves of a bad contract? Theoretically yes. I just don’t see that happening. What Jim Benning and company should be doing is taking advantage of the teams that can’t protect all of their good players. Because you just know that some of these GMs are going to want something back for good assets rather than just see them plucked for free by Seattle.

There is no doubt that cash flow right now is a problem for the owners. And that is not going to change until there are bums back in the seats at arenas.

But here’s the thing: Travis Green already has a deal for this season. It would be the start of next season when he’d get his bump in pay. And (fingers crossed) things will be back to normal (ish) for the beginning of the 2021–22 season. My guess is Canucks ownership wants to see what this season is going to look like before getting into a deep dive with Green.

I think there is a desire on both sides to get something done. And in my opinion, it would be a mistake not to get it done before they drop the puck in January.

First of all, I can’t believe how many people are expected to buy a PPV of Paul and Floyd Mayweather. Honestly, are we that hard up for sports? With that out of the way, I’ll go with the guy who has pulled off multiple Superman punches on skates.

Also, if I’m being totally honest, I don’t really want Kevin beaking me if I pick Paul. I had no idea who Jake Paul was before that fight with Nate Robinson. Paul is a big dude and that was a vicious knockout. However, he is going to get picked apart by Money Mayweather. It won’t be the same playing field. Remember what Mayweather did to that undefeated kickboxer?

Hey! Another Bieksa question! Listen, Kevin was (and still is) a fantastic interview. He challenges your questions, has a dry sense of humour and always tries to give you something good. But what Beth Bartkowski did in that one-off interview in Colorado was clutch:

Fun fact about this interview: Beth was a last-minute substitution. I was in the suite to interview Brandon Sutter’s mom. But before we could get to that, Brandon took a puck in the face and was forced to leave the game. So I had to make an audible. Lucky for me, Beth accepted. The rest is history.

If you missed it, Maxim Lapierre has retired from professional hockey recently:

Max played 149 games for the Canucks, and was of course part of the team that went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. His biggest moment came in Game 5, when he scored the game’s only goal to give the Canucks a 3–2 series lead. I’m not really sure what transpired after that.

I don’t really have a great story about Max. I do remember that after one morning skate he told John Shorthouse and myself that he had recently gotten engaged. So, during that night’s broadcast, Shorthouse congratulated Max and Natasha.

Here’s the problem: Max was pissed at Shorty for mentioning it. We’re not really sure why, but best guess is that he hadn’t informed everyone in his family, etc., so they were likely surprised to find out from a game broadcast rather than Max himself.

Ah man, this is such a tough question. An all-Ledgeview foursome of myself, Nick Taylor, Adam Hadwin and James Lepp (or Ray Stewart) would be a lot of fun.

But how about this group: me, Rory McIlroy, Michael Jordan (he’d want to gamble) and John McEnroe. And we’re playing at Augusta.

Peach is almost always great. But she has her moments. Last weekend she had baths on back-to-back days. Why you ask? Well, on Saturday she rolled in either a dead rat or squirrel. Sunday she upped the ante by rolling in a rotting seal.

The answer would be Alex Burrows, and it’s not particularly close. There’s enough for a best-selling book, easy. Some other guys come to mind, though. Shane O’Brien. Chris Pronger. Bieksa.

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