Towering 6’7 Russian defenceman Nikita Tryamkin and his agent have been in communications with the Vancouver Canucks about a possible return to the NHL.
The Vancouver Canucks‘ 3rd round selection of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Nikita Tryamkin hasn’t played for the Canucks since 2017 after having signed a three-year deal to play overseas in the KHL. That agreement three years ago to play with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in his home country is set to expire on April 30th this month with Tryamkin showing little interest in an extension.
According to TSN, the giant defender has his agent in communication with the Canucks GM about a return to the Pacific West Coast. Tryamkin likes what he sees going on in Vancouver with the very skilled and talented young core and it’s the perfect opportunity to play for a team that’s cup window is just beginning to open.
Jim Benning was high on the Russian’s services three years ago having offered him a two-year deal to stay. But Benning’s offer was turned down and he’s been forced to make some drastic changes to the team’s back end leading to a brand new arsenal of dangerous weapons. One of those big changes was adding Tyler Myers. Does Benning still feel strongly about adding size and power to the blue line already having a 6’8 monster patrolling the line? Does he really feel the need to offer up another chance to the soon to be 26-year-old?
Tryamkin’s been down this road before and it came with some high demands. Benning bent over backwards to please his hulking prospect by giving him a free pass to fly back to Russia as he refused to report to the AHL. It was NHL or nothing for Tryamkin. Benning obliged and managed Tryamkin well, even favoured him at times, but in the end, it still led Tryamkin down an unhappy road. He didn’t appreciate how he was being deployed in Vancouver under Willie Desjardins and it was a major factor in him declining an extension three years ago.
From the reports, Tryamkin’s agent Todd Diamond appears to believe Tryamkin is committed to Vancouver and proving he’s ready for the challenge of showing he can still run with the big dogs. His agent actually said, “His game and his style are more suited for the NHL than the KHL. I believe it will be an easy transition and having been there before, he kind of knows what to expect. He knows what’s going to be demanded of coaching and training staff and he’s committed.”
Diamond further went on to talk in length about how he believes Travis Green’s coaching style could really benefit Tryamkin’s game compared to the coaching staff of 2017. He was quoted saying, “It’s a world of difference, the coach is demanding but fair and is doing a good job and can work with young players, and same with the defensive coach. It’s night and day from where it was at that time.”
So does a Tryamkin return benefit both parties? Or does Benning have to really think long and hard on this one? In my opinion, Benning has once already caved to the demands of his prospect and should play hardball with the Russian. If Tryamkin wants to return, it’s on Benning’s terms and this time he shouldn’t be dishing out any special treatment.
A two-way contract would be the perfect pact for both parties. For the Canucks, it doesn’t exactly hurt to add some depth to their somewhat lacking D-core. Tryamkin gets a chance to be an equal teammate ready to earn his stripes and the Canucks get another look at the right price. It’s a win-win situation for the Canucks if management does this the right way.