by Ben Dooley
October 8, 2016
The Vancouver Canucks are down to their final few cuts before the regular season, and Nikita Tryaaamkin needs to be one of them.
With the Vancouver Canucks down to their final few cuts before the regular season, it’s time for the really hard decisions to be made.
One of those decisions will likely involve Russian defenseman Nikita Tryamkin.
Tryamkin is an interesting case because of a European assignment clause that allows him to go back to the KHL if he isn’t playing in the NHL. That clause did not seem like a huge deal at the time because the Canucks were lacking in defensive depth and Tryamkin would be in the NHL.
Several months later, the Canucks have a logjam on defense and have to decide relatively quickly what they’re going to do.
The obvious factor that makes Tryamkin a favourable player to go down to Utica is his waiver eligibility.
Vancouver currently has 10 defensemen on their NHL roster and will need to get down to eight by opening night on October 15th. Of the defensemen that remain with the Canucks, Tryamkin, Troy Stecher and Ben Hutton are the only ones that can go down to the AHL’s Utica Comets without clearing waivers — and Hutton isn’t going anywhere.
If Tryamkin refuses to go down to Utica, the Canucks could end up losing a defenseman on the waiver wire.
In a perfect world, Tryamkin would be the player that is headed to the Comets. He is still a very raw player and doesn’t bring a lot to the table other than his massive size.
He desperately needs time in the AHL to develop and refine his skills and Travis Green would be the perfect coach to help him do that. With the proper development Tryamkin has potential to turn in to the next Zdeno Chara instead of the next John Scott.
There is a few ways this situation could play out.
Either Tryamkin agrees right now that he should go down to Utica or he starts the season as a seventh defenseman and doesn’t get the playing time he probably thinks he deserves.
That would lead to one of two things happening. He would either request to go back to Russia or he would agree to go to Utica.
One thing is for certain, if Tryamkin can’t agree to go to Utica, then it might be in the Canucks best interest to cut ties with the player. He’s a big guy and has all the tools to succeed, but he isn’t ready.
Without the proper AHL development Tryamkin, might never develop into an NHL regular, because he likely won’t get the playing time to do it.
If he’s not going to be an NHL regular, is he really worth hanging on to because of his size? I don’t think so.