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Adding Up Patrik Allvin’s Moves This Week

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin has done the near impossible this week. We look at Allvin’s moves in total here and see what they mean for the future.

Allvin’s Moves and Shakes

If there’s one thing we’ve learned by now, it’s that this management group doesn’t do just one thing. Right from the Bo Horvat trade, neither Allvin nor his mentor Jim Rutherford have a fear of multi-stage deals. Delighted/trepidatious fans hoped/feared a rebuild until the new first-round pick was sent to Detroit.

Since then, every deal has carried just a hint of “Is that it, though? Are we sure?” And for a hockey-obsessed fan base that lives and dies on quick-breaking news, it’s jarring. We’ll start with the easiest and work up to the more complicated feelings for this week’s moves.

Getting their Åman

Nils Åman has been everything advertised so far. The former sixth-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche wasn’t able to reach a deal there, becoming a free agent in 2022. He was signed on to a two-year, two-way deal and proved his worth immediately. He played 68 NHL games, mostly with Dakota Joshua and a rotating cast of thirds on the fourth line.

The team liked what they saw. He was sent down for January but was otherwise in Vancouver to stay for 2022-23. Patrik Allvin’s moves on the blue line weren’t his only ones, and Åman lost his spot for the start of 2023-24. His first recall of the season was November 24th, though his linemates remain To Be Determined.

That same day, he signed a new two-year, one-way contract for $825K per season. He won’t be getting a lot of ice time but is going to start with the penalty-killing squad. A lot of the Canucks additions were specifically to shore up the PK, and they’ve missed Pius Suter and Teddy Blueger for extended periods this season. Whether Åman is the right choice to fill in that space is essentially irrelevant: that’s where he’s going to be.

This deal casts an eye to the future, as well. Blueger is only signed for this season, and Suter for the next. Cheap players are going to be an essential part of the organization when Oliver Ekman-Larsson‘s recapture penalty reaches its full strength. Deals for Elias Pettersson and Filip Hronek will be in place by then, too.

The Good, The Bad, and The Beauvillier

Sofia talked about the Anthony Beauvillier trade in some detail here, so let that be your primer. The coincidental chaos happening in Chicago right now was thoroughly taken advantage of by the Canucks GM. Between Taylor Hall‘s early season injury and the incident with Corey Perry, they needed a veteran presence for Connor Bedard. It’s one thing to have a generational talent, and another to abandon him to the wolves.

Here’s where Allvin’s moves stand out. He not only moved quickly enough to be first on their list for available players – trading him the same day Perry was put on waivers – but with the next deal already in mind. Even without considering that, he managed to get an asset for Beauvillier, something widely thought to be impossible.

Yes, Beauvillier is on an expiring contract, but it’s one that costs over $4 million. Given his production level and ice time, the belief was they would need to pay to gain the cap space. Granted, the return was only a fifth-round pick in 2024, but that’s better than paying literally anything. And hey! What if someone wants a fifth-round pick in 2024?

Allvin’s Moves are Big and Bold… and Cheap

They don’t get a whole lot bigger than Nikita Zadorov. Zadorov is another player with a troubled history with their team, lambasting their efforts publicly and asking for a trade through his agent. With this in mind, Allvin could not only offer the draft picks (a distant third plus the new fifth from Chicago) but take his entire salary.

We’ve covered what the player himself brings to the team in Joshua’s article here. While he’s not a perfect fit, he’s awfully dang good at that price. And when Carson Soucy gets back from injury, Vancouver will have a gigantic blue line. The most famous – infamous? – of whom is Tyler Myers. And it’s another question about the Canucks’ future that raises.

Most of the blue line, including Zadorov, is without a contract beyond this season. Soucy, Quinn Hughes, and Guillaume Brisebois are signed to NHL deals beyond this year, but that’s it. Filip Hronek is a restricted free agent having an excellent year which is both delightful and ulcer-inducing for fans.

That list leaves out all their biggest defencemen. Will Vancouver try to re-sign some, or look elsewhere? There is a notable dearth of 200-pound blueliners on the farm, so if Zadorov plays well enough for a new contract, he could get a new deal. Another deal for Myers seems unlikely, given his perceived value in this market compared to other ones.

The funny thing is that Zadorov is represented by “Russian specialist” Dan Milstein who has several Canucks clients. Zadorov joins Andrei Kuzmenko, Ilya Mikheyev, Danila Klimovich, Kiril Kudryavtsev, and Vitali Kravtsov as players the Canucks have the rights to or under contract. So the team and Milstein have, at worst, an easy rapport for future negotiations.

Main Photo: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


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