Updates on Tryamkin, Rathbone and Brackett.
I get asked al lot about Harvard defenseman Jack Rathbone. When will he make his decision on whether to sign with the Canucks or return to college hockey?
Thanks to COVID-19 there is so much uncertainty in the air.
Rathbone’s goal is to make the Canucks roster if he signs, but the future starting dates for the AHL is playing a role in NCAA players signing or not.
A source at Harvard says if Rathbone signs with the Canucks, what happens if he does not make the Canucks and the AHL does not start on time next year? That puts Rathbone in a tough spot if there is no hockey in Utica.
For that reason, it is better for Rathbone to get more information about all leagues next year before he makes his decision to sign. And that could take a long time to get clarity about next year.
The Canucks are very high on Rathbone and for good reason, skating, hockey I-Q and character, Rathbone has all 3 and has a bright future ahead of him.
2. Nikita Tryamkin
You mention Nikita Tryamkin in Vancouver and it sparks great debate among Canucks nation.
The Canucks can sign the big Russian, he has finished his 3 year contract in the KHL.
GM Jim Benning keeps saying he is in a holding pattern because he does not know the salary cap for next year and that is delaying the signing of Tryamkin. And yet several teams keep signing players every week.
It certainly begs the question of whether the Canucks' salary cap issues are rearing their ugly head again.
Training camps in Russia start in July and Tryamkin cant wait forever on the Canucks.
The Tryamkin contract is not going to be long term for big money, it is not a hard contract to do. Maybe it's a 1 year deal between 2-3 million dollars.
It will be interesting to see how patient Tryamkin is willing to be. This process could test it.
3. Judd Brackett
I've been watching and covering the Canucks for many many years, I have never seen a scout like Judd Brackett get coverage like he has this season.
Vancouver has seen many big name GM’s, coaches and players fired and traded. A scout though? No scout has ever received this kind of attention in this market.
Social media plays a big part in how this has played out. Can you name the top scout in Edmonton, Calgary or Montreal?
You sure can in Vancouver.
An executive in the NHL : “Can not believe the press Brackett gets in Vancouver. You do not see this in other markets.”
You certainly do not.
Like any other scout, Brackett has made good picks and bad picks.
He has benefited from drafting very high the last few years and having high picks in the 30-40 range as well. Based on where he has been picking, he should have a good success rate.
An NHL scout : “Despite picking high Judd has outperformed other head scouts who are also on rebuilding teams in my eyes.”
There are some in the hockey world though, who are not impressed with the way Brackett is leaking his story to the press.
I am sure other teams are noticing this as well.
By the same token, if you hire a person to run a draft, let him run the draft.
The narrative that Benning and his sidekick John Weisbrod want more control at the draft is not going away.
This is not a good look on the Canucks. I can not remember a story like this when Pat Quinn, Brian Burke, Dave Nonis or Mike Gillis ran the team.
Quinn always trusted his head scout Mike Penny. Clearly that trust doesn't exist between Benning and Brackett.
It is very unlikely that the two sides will kiss and make up. In fact, some are beginning to think that Brackett won't make it to the NHL draft. However this ends up, there will be plenty of blame to go around on both sides.
The Canucks better have a good plan B if they let Brackett go because this story is not going away anytime soon.