Canucks general manager showing the NHL how to build a winning team

With the NHL Draft and free agency on the horizon, it’s still early in the offseason. But the Canucks already have a head start.
Jul 7, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CANADA; Jonathan Lekkerimaki after being selected as the number fifteen overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CANADA; Jonathan Lekkerimaki after being selected as the number fifteen overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

The Edmonton Oilers are the biggest hurdle to the Vancouver Canucks making a deep playoff run, but wow, talk about how much can change in a matter of days. There is talk of Leon Draisaitl potentially heading elsewhere, and Ken Holland just stepped down as general manager. 

Yeah, it’s early, and there is no doubt the Oilers will be poised for another run, but you can’t help but get the impression that they may need to break through the Canucks despite what happened in the playoffs this past season. 

So far, Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin pulled off a brilliant trade while he also retained Filip Hronek, Dakota Joshua, and Teddy Blueger, a trio of fixtures who helped the team reach new highs in 2023-24. Shortly after I wrote the first draft of this article, Tyler Myers became the latest member of the Canucks to re-sign an extension

This leaves Elias Lindholm, Nikita Zadorov, and Ian Cole as the only remaining pending UFAs yet to be re-signed. But even if the center was ultimately a rental and the other two go elsewhere, it’s not a huge deal. The key takeaway is that Allvin methodically worked to not just keep essentially the same team on the ice for next season, but there’s a good chance they will get even better for 2024-25. 

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin deserves ultra-high marks

Really, the only flaw, and I’m nitpicking at this point, is that Patrik Allvin won’t have a pick in the NHL Draft until the third round, but who cares? He oversaw a team that took the eventual Western Conference and Stanley Cup runner-ups to a seven-game series in the second round of the NHL Playoffs, and this was without goaltender Thatcher Demko in the lineup. 

Imagine making one more signing in free agency or perhaps a trade acquisition, putting the same team with a few improvements back onto the ice in 2204-25, AND hopefully, having a healthy Thatcher Demko all season. Right now, I’d be very surprised if the rest of the Western Conference wasn’t at least leery of the Canucks, including powerhouses like the Oilers, the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, and Vegas Golden Knights. 

Sure, every NHL general manager will make some good moves over the next two weeks, even those who may be in the process of tearing down their respective teams. But few, if any, have gotten a head start quite in the same way as Patrik Allvin, and I’m very interested in seeing what he will do in free agency.

feed