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Canuck D Pairings -- Some Surprises

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JamesB
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Just now, aGENT said:

My only thing against Stecher (besides the size) is that we don't really need more bottom 4 guys. We have Rathbone, Dermott, Schenn, Poolman and Burroughs already. That cap space is needed elsewhere IMO. 

I guess for me he's an upgrade on both Poolman and Burroughs, Poolman mostly because he probably won't be on the roster regularly anyway. 

 

I'm kind of hoping we can just replace Poolman with Stech. I like Burroughs as a 7/8. 

 

I'm also hoping we can trade for or get via UFA someone like Manson. 

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15 minutes ago, JM_ said:

I guess for me he's an upgrade on both Poolman and Burroughs, Poolman mostly because he probably won't be on the roster regularly anyway. 

 

I'm kind of hoping we can just replace Poolman with Stech. I like Burroughs as a 7/8. 

 

I'm also hoping we can trade for or get via UFA someone like Manson. 

That's why I'd like Lyubushkin. Less of a fighter than Manson for sure, but plays solid D and plays physical.

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28 minutes ago, aGENT said:

That's why I'd like Lyubushkin. Less of a fighter than Manson for sure, but plays solid D and plays physical.

yep that works. 

 

And makes more cap space for Miller :bigblush:

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1 hour ago, aGENT said:

Don't even need to get rid of Poolman (though I'm not opposed).

 

Trade one of Miller/Boeser/Garland for a Marino or similar.

 

Sign one of Lyubushkin/Zadorov/Manson.

 

Hughes, Marino

OEL, Lyubushkin

 

Make up the bottom 4 out of some mix of Rathbone, Poolman, Dermott, Schenn and Burroughs.

 

Yeah, I like Manson a lot but he's likely looking at $5m+ (or at least high $4's)...:wacko:

I figured perhaps as he's getting older Manson might be in the low to mid 4m mark. If he's upwards of 5+, then we pick a different target.  (I do like your targets though.)

 

Given the stats from this thread, I would argue that Schenn seems to play just fine with OEL in a 2nd pairing role, so we really only need that one solid defensive guy on the right side. Marino isn't the big imposing d-man I was hoping for, but his metrics are undeniable and he seems a likely trade target. Given Rutherford's familiarity with the Pens, it seems a logical direction to explore.

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2 hours ago, kloubek said:

I figured perhaps as he's getting older Manson might be in the low to mid 4m mark. If he's upwards of 5+, then we pick a different target.  (I do like your targets though.)

Yeah, I'm concerned he's going to be in high demand and require at LEAST that mid $4m territory.

 

Same thing I'm concerned about with Nick Paul. I was REALLY hoping he'd be our prime 3C target...but his play on Tampa these playoffs, is likely doing good things for his retirement fund :lol: Perhaps once we've moved Miller/Myers, we'll be able to leverage that cap space to get Roy out of Vegas instead.

 

2 hours ago, kloubek said:

Given the stats from this thread, I would argue that Schenn seems to play just fine with OEL in a 2nd pairing role, so we really only need that one solid defensive guy on the right side. Marino isn't the big imposing d-man I was hoping for, but his metrics are undeniable and he seems a likely trade target. Given Rutherford's familiarity with the Pens, it seems a logical direction to explore.

Marino to me feels a lot like a young Tanev (who we all know paired well with Hughes). Yeah, not the size I'd ideally want, but pretty much everything else. And if he had the size, he both wouldn't be available and would cost more cap...so silver linings :lol:

 

Something around Miller for Marino, Blomqvist, Poulin and their 1st would be great. If they want Myers back, $1m retained to balance cap, we could take back Kapanen (and maybe a 2nd?).

 

As for Schenn, I'd LOVE if we got some top 4 guys ahead of him (Marino-Lyubushkin) and paired him with Rathbone personally. 

 

Hughes, Marino

OEL, Lyubushkin

Rathbone, Shenn

 

Dermott, Burroughs (Poolman IR?)

 

...could be a legit D core.

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6 hours ago, aGENT said:

My only thing against Stecher (besides the size) is that we don't really need more bottom 4 guys. We have Rathbone, Dermott, Schenn, Poolman and Burroughs already. That cap space is needed elsewhere IMO. 

Fair enough,

 

The real need is for a good top-pairing quality RD, preferably a guy with size who plays solid reliable defence and can be paired with OEL  or Hughes.  But those guys are hard to get. Both OEL and Hughes can carry a pairing -- carrying the puck and providing good offensive support -- as long they are playing with a guy who is defensively responsible. So getting a guy who is cheap and defensively responsible to replace Myers could be a reasonable "second best" as it would save cap space and would probably return a decent asset in a trade for Myers (although we might need to retain a million or so).  

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2 minutes ago, JamesB said:

Fair enough,

 

The real need is for a good top-pairing quality RD, preferably a guy with size who plays solid reliable defence and can be paired with OEL  or Hughes.  But those guys are hard to get.

Bingo. And yes they are. Pretty much have to draft them. That's why I'd be game to move up in to the top 5 to get Necas/Jiricek, but I digress...

 

2 minutes ago, JamesB said:

Both OEL and Hughes can carry a pairing -- carrying the puck and providing good offensive support -- as long they are playing with a guy who is defensively responsible. So getting a guy who is cheap and defensively responsible to replace Myers could be a reasonable "second best" as it would save cap space and would probably return a decent asset in a trade for Myers (although we might need to retain a million or so).  

Well exactly. While it would be GREAT to have a legit, all around #1D to pair with Hughes, both he and OEL are capable of driving a pair. Until/if we manage to unearth that, we can "get away with" some simply good complimentary, defensive guys there as a next best option. Hence my desire to trade for Marino and sign Lyubushkin.

 

Yeah, if we can get say Kapanen and a 2nd from PIT or something like Dellandrea and a 2nd from DAL, while clearing cap and creating succesion from a soon expiring Myers, we're laughing IMO.

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20 hours ago, Drakrami said:

Overrating our players isn't going to us anywhere other than adrenaline high for some. If all our players are all Norris calibre, Vezina calibre, we would be in the playoffs right now competing in the conference finals. I dont see any of our players (except for Demko) driving the play like McKinnon, McDavid, Draisaitl even if they grow for a few years. The reason we got OEL is because Benning saw shortcomings from Hughes and wanted to have a #1 to take some of the tougher minutes off his shoulders. Since we spent our quota on Hughes and OEL, we are not left with much caproom for RD. There isn't much of a market for RD to begin with, so we are left with scrapping up a Hamonic deal and Poolman deal for 4 years. Getting a #1 RD won't be easy, we'll just have to wait and see. 

You ignored everything that OP collected and presented and went to the same tired narrative about the cap space, etc, etc. 

 

 

BTW good thread @JamesB !  Confirms what I had kind of suspected by watching all the games. 

 

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14 hours ago, Crabcakes said:

The data also says they need help on the right side.  If there is only 1 move on D this summer, this is the one that I see

I honestly didn't think that our D was the issue for most of the year.  We had some tough times when we were missing 3 of our top 4 RDs with Poolman, Schenn, and Burroughs injured but we managed.  Our offense was the biggest problem when our team was struggling, I thought.  

 

I would like to acquire a RD of course, but only if we are able to move out Myers or Dickinson.  I would rather give Noah Juulsen a chance this year rather then trying to find a quick fix and overcommitting to the wrong RD in free agency.  

 

 

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I don't believe OEL is not a quality D'man but at $7.3 mill I would want to see more. Hughes ( 68 pts ) $500K more is way better value. OEL has 5 goals and 29 pts in 79 games. As to Myers, well Vcr isn't the only club in need of a RHD soyou can move without much trouble, hoever it's replacing him that's problem andd he only has 2 years lleft on his contract.

 

Any one else checking out other RHD in the play-offs. I like Cernak, Whitecloud I also like Scott Mayfield in NYI roster. Limit your self to players we have a chnace of getting. No Cale Makar etc.

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2 hours ago, VancouverHabitant said:

I honestly didn't think that our D was the issue for most of the year.  We had some tough times when we were missing 3 of our top 4 RDs with Poolman, Schenn, and Burroughs injured but we managed.  Our offense was the biggest problem when our team was struggling, I thought.  

 

I would like to acquire a RD of course, but only if we are able to move out Myers or Dickinson.  I would rather give Noah Juulsen a chance this year rather then trying to find a quick fix and overcommitting to the wrong RD in free agency.  

 

 

Good points. Certainly overcommitting to the wrong RD would be a mistake. But I don't think it is a mistake that JR is likely to make. 

 

As for Juulsen, I always liked him. I remember hoping that the Canucks might get a chance to draft him and I was glad when he was acquired in the Juolevi trade. But, after watching him fairly closely this year when he was up with the Canucks and looking at his underlying numbers, I don't think he is likely to ever be an NHL regular.  He just turned 25 so he could still have a bit of upside, but I am not sure if he will be re-signed by the Canucks as he is a UFA this summer. If he does not get an NHL offer I hope he signs an AHL contract with Abby. He certainly ranks below Burroughs on the depth chart at RD and I think Burroughs will probably be sitting at #4 on the depth chart at RD to start the season. 

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10 hours ago, Fred65 said:

I don't believe OEL is not a quality D'man but at $7.3 mill I would want to see more. Hughes ( 68 pts ) $500K more is way better value. OEL has 5 goals and 29 pts in 79 games. As to Myers, well Vcr isn't the only club in need of a RHD soyou can move without much trouble, hoever it's replacing him that's problem andd he only has 2 years lleft on his contract.

 

Any one else checking out other RHD in the play-offs. I like Cernak, Whitecloud I also like Scott Mayfield in NYI roster. Limit your self to players we have a chnace of getting. No Cale Makar etc.

But as you see in the original message, OEL had better underlying numbers then Hughes. I'd say it's a toss up on the value, point totals aren't everything.  

 

As far as the RHDs you mentioned, I'd love to get any of those but Cernak is a pipe dream. Every fanbase has been asking for him for two years now but there's close to zero chance that Tampa will move him. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, JamesB said:

Good points. Certainly overcommitting to the wrong RD would be a mistake. But I don't think it is a mistake that JR is likely to make. 

 

As for Juulsen, I always liked him. I remember hoping that the Canucks might get a chance to draft him and I was glad when he was acquired in the Juolevi trade. But, after watching him fairly closely this year when he was up with the Canucks and looking at his underlying numbers, I don't think he is likely to ever be an NHL regular.  He just turned 25 so he could still have a bit of upside, but I am not sure if he will be re-signed by the Canucks as he is a UFA this summer. If he does not get an NHL offer I hope he signs an AHL contract with Abby. He certainly ranks below Burroughs on the depth chart at RD and I think Burroughs will probably be sitting at #4 on the depth chart at RD to start the season. 

Agreed on all points except that we need to consider the fact that Juulsen has had 4 years of lost development where he's only played 10-20 games/year. I would be shocked if we didn't see a big leap forward from Juulsen after finally getting his health back and playing a near-full year. 

Edited by VancouverHabitant
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1 hour ago, VancouverHabitant said:

Agreed on all points except that we need to consider the fact that Juulsen has had 4 years of lost development where he's only played 10-20 games/year. I would be shocked if we didn't see a big leap forward from Juulsen after finally getting his health back and playing a near-full year. 

I hope the Canucks see enough in Juulsen to re-sign him and I hope things work out for him. I think he is a longshot to ever become a regular NHL D-man but, if he does, great. (And I hope it is with the Canucks.)

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4 hours ago, JamesB said:

I hope the Canucks see enough in Juulsen to re-sign him and I hope things work out for him. I think he is a longshot to ever become a regular NHL D-man but, if he does, great. (And I hope it is with the Canucks.)

Canucks have already had a vote on Juuleen V's Burroughs and Burroughs cam out the winner. Compare the number of games they played in Vcr. Frankly Juulesen IMO process the game slowly. In Vcr at times he looked completely lost

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On 6/1/2022 at 12:28 AM, JamesB said:

Quinn Hughes had a great year. At age 22, he set a new franchise record for points scored by a D-man -- more than Salo, Jovanowski, Kearns, Lidster, Lumme, Edler, Ohlund and everyone else in the team's 51 year history. He also turned his defensive play from a significant liability to a significant asset and played well on the PK as well as the PP. He is often mentioned as a potential Norris Trophy candidate. 

 

Hughes is a great young player,  but it is not so obvious that he was better than OEL last year, especially if you look closely at the pairings data. 

 

Pairings Data.

 

I went to Natural Stat Trick and checked out the data for all the Canucks pairings last year. I dropped pairings with less than 60 minutes of play and I focused on the differential between expected goals for (xGF) and expected goals against (xGA) per 60 minutes. The difference is xGD and I think it is the best widely available measure of the performance of a D pair. I looked only at even strength play. There were 16 pairings with enough time on ice to qualify. The table below shows the best 4 pairings and the worst 4 pairings. (I left out the others to save space.)

 

   

Best Pairings  xGD
     
Luke Schenn Oliver Ekman-Larsson 1.67
Oliver Ekman-Larsson Tucker Poolman 1.05
Travis Hamonic Brad Hunt 0.83
Oliver Ekman-Larsson Kyle Burroughs 0.67
     
Worst Pairings  
Brad Hunt Kyle Burroughs -0.41
Travis Hamonic Quintin Hughes -0.46
Luke Schenn Brad Hunt -0.57
Kyle Burroughs Jack Rathbone -1.13

 

 

Based on this data, the D pair that was by far the best over the season was the OEL-Schenn pairing, and it was not close. Interestingly, the next best pairing was OEL with Poolman. 

 

One important factor not captured by the data is quality of opposition.  There is no easy way to correct for that and it makes a big difference. A given D-pairing might look good against an opposing team's 4th line and look terrible against the top line. It is possible to get a sense of how tough the minutes are by looking at O-zone, D-zone and neutral zone starts and I have checked out the actual opposing players for a few games.

 

Hamonic and Hunt make it into 3rd place in the above list because they faced very weak opposition. However, OEL played by far the toughest minutes on the team last year. If we properly adjusted for :"tough minutes" (D zone starts and quality of opposition) the OEL-Schenn paring would move even further ahead.  

 

The Hughes-Schenn pairing and the OEL-Myers pairing (not shown) were both close to the team average. So was the Hughes-Myers pairing. 

 

PP and PK.al

 

Quinn Hughes got a lot more points on the PP than OEL, but of course he played a lot more. I looked at the same number (xGD per 60) for the PP. Only 4 Canuck D-men had enough PP time to be worth considering. Here are the numbers: Hughes -- 6.76, OEL -- 5.73, Hunt 4.07, Myers 3.42. Roughly speaking, Hughes was very good, OEL was good, Hunt was poor, and Myers was very poor. But there is one other consideration. Hughes played pretty much entirely with the top PP unit. OEL had most of his time with 2nd unit, which is not nearly as good. It would not be unreasonable to argue that OEL was actually better than or at least equal to Hughes in PP performance if quality of teammates is considered.

 

I also looked at the PK. The two best guys on the team were Hughes and OEL and they were almost identical. But it is worth considering that OEL has tougher PK minutes than Hughes. 

 

Performance relative to cap hit.

 

Most people think Hughes is a bargain with a cap hit of 7.85 and OEL is overpaid with a cap hit of 7.26. Of course, looking into the future that is true. Both guys are signed for 5 more years. At age 22 Hughes should improve over that time while OEL (currently 30) will probably decline over that time.

 

But,  based on last year's performance both guys gave similar performance and good performance relative to their cap hits. Schenn of course was a huge bargain relative to his cap hit. 

 

That said, OEL has the type of game that often holds up well for D-men into their mid-30s. If so OEL could be a very valuable part of the team going forward. 

 

The guy who is a problem relative to his cap hit is Myers and the pairing data suggests that playing with Myers held OEL back and hurt his performance. (That is what I think the "eye test" also says.). The other problem is that the right side of the D just isn't strong enough in general. 

 

 

 

 

Poolman, Hunt, and Burroughs won't be here next season so see what happens with the new players.

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Just now, iceman64 said:

Poolman, Hunt, and Burroughs won't be here next season so see what happens with the new players.

Would be great but how do we dumperoo Poolman?  It’s like Benning was the Kng of terrible contracts that need to be bought out or traded away with sugar. Was it five last summer?  Three dumps (costing us 9OA) and two buyouts, which are still costing us on the cap? 

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3 hours ago, Alflives said:

Would be great but how do we dumperoo Poolman?  It’s like Benning was the Kng of terrible contracts that need to be bought out or traded away with sugar. Was it five last summer?  Three dumps (costing us 9OA) and two buyouts, which are still costing us on the cap? 

Poolman's contract is what you'd get for a decent serviceable 6'2 200 lb Dman at 2.5 mil wouldn't be a stretch for any team to pay that's looking to add a bit of size to a smaller roster.

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