Vancouver Canucks: 4 Possible D Combinations

Dec 17, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Nick Schultz (55) gets tangled with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (27) and goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Nick Schultz (55) gets tangled with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (27) and goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 9, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Ryan McDonagh and Dave Pastrnak and Sidney Crosby and Anze Kopitar appear on stage together with host Scott Levy during a press conference and media event for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Option 2: Sorting by Nationality

Proposed combinations:

RD

Ben Hutton Chris Tanev Alex Edler Erik Gudbranson Andrey Pedan Nikita Tryamkin Luca Sbisa Alex Biega Troy Stecher

(Before you freak out, I know that Gudbranson is Canadian. But, judging by his name, there is obviously some Swedish heritage. For the sake of a good title for this lineup, let me just call this the Swedish pairing. Even if it technically isn’t.)

More from The Canuck Way

As mentioned before, Tanev won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF Worlds. Also on the roster: Hutton. Hutton did not have a big role as he got to don the maple leaf on his jersey, but he had a crazy rookie season. A crazy good one, that is. Hutton and Tanev played together when Edler went down, which might have been the best pairing we got to see all season.

Speaking of Edler, the Swede moves down to the second pairing with ex-Panther Gudbranson. Edler made some Canucks fans unhappy with his play this season — perhaps due to overly high expectations — so a move down might not be a bad thing. After scoring 42 points in 2009-10 and 46 in 2011-12, Edler failed to put up big numbers in recent years. He might be able to turn the focus to offense, with Gudbranson doing the heavy lifting in Vancouver’s zone.

That leaves us with a Russian pairing of Tryamkin and Pedan. Pedan has helped Tryamkin communicate since the latter arrived in Canada, and the two have got some ice time together as well. At 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-8, the Russian duo would be quite intimidating, which is at least fun to watch, even if the analytics community bashes it at every chance.

With that, we have $3.6 million man Luca Sbisa in the press box, Biega battling for a roster spot, and Stecher starting in the AHL.

Next: Option 3