The Canucks have a reputation a little like the Canadiens', deserved or not, of a team that’s skilled but undersized, that can be bullied and intimidated, that will resort to stickwork and diving in response. Its fans are also Bruin-scarred, for not as long as we are, but in a very notable instance of NHL goonery and thievery that transpired over 7 traumatic games.
So like us, they’ve been trying to beef up, with stockier players like Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen at the draft, getting Derek Dorsett and Brandon Prust in trade, and Zack Kassian before that. And they’re still waiting.
But the cavalry may be coming up over that hill yonder. They have Andrey Pedan, who is famous for that one-punch KO of Jarred Tinordi last season in the AHL, who is getting called up. He’s a big leftie defenceman at 6’5″ who skates well, has some skill although it hasn’t translated into many points yet, and has an aggressive style which the fans will welcome, after years of seeing their slick defencemen getting facewashed by Kyle Clifford.
Also comes news of Nikita Tryamkin, a 6’7″, 230 lbs giant they drafted high in the third round in 2014, a few slots before we picked Brett Lernout. He’s playing in the KHL, and there was faint hope the team could bring him over now, his season being finished since his team is out of the playoffs, and his contract expiring this summer. The talking heads were cautious, explaining that it’s not common for KHL teams to do NHL teams any favours, but it appears he has been released by them, and all that would remain would be paperwork and visas and a contract and bureaucracy with the NHL as to whether he can join the team this year.
He’s also a leftie, so there’s not much hope of that ever happening on a consistent basis, but can you imagine these two playing the third pairing for the Canucks? Imagine that Corey Perry might not be so frisky with the crosschecks after the whistle blows in front of their net?
And I’m not bitter at all that we dealt Jarred Tinordi in a joke of a trade, in what should have been his development year, while the Canucks have their Twin Towers just about ready to go. For the next time Milan Lucic comes to town and looks to torment Yannick Weber again.