Alright, time for Avid Thoughts. We are talking Vancouver Canucks, NHL, Vancouver Whitecaps, Chelsea FC, NFL and whatever else I could think of that happened in the wide world of sports.

As you can tell, I don’t know how to start these. Let’s just jump into it, shall we?

Quinn Hughes to play on the Canucks right side?

Quinn Hughes is the best Canucks defenceman. That is not an opinion, that’s a fact.

He already broke Doug Lidster’s points record by a Canucks defenceman and is going to break his own record throughout his career. Hughes is a treat to watch. Just watching him skate is great. It’s so freakin smooth. (Hi Caleb) We also can’t forget his defensive game is improving.

The Canucks desperately need help on the right side. That is also a fact. However, they failed to acquire a right-handed defenceman in the offseason.

But there may be a solution. It’s not a long-term one and no, the Canucks defence won’t magically become better with it. That is moving Hughes to the right side.

Canucks President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford told CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal about the idea.

It is not the worst idea in the world. Hughes is already, as mentioned a great skater and is only getting better defensively. At a skate in Scotia Barn, Hughes was skating on the right side.

Ideally, he would be paired with Oliver Ekman-Larsson on opening night.

There is risk to putting Hughes on the right side. Could he make the transition? I think so. However, it will take time for him to fully make the transition.

Yes, he can skate smoothly out of the defensive zone and quarterback a power play but he will be shooting left on the right side. That might feel weird for him at first. He would be not used to it and it could affect his defensive play.

If OEL’s defensive play declines from last season and Hughes has a tough time on the right side early in the season, then the top pairing could be a disaster. However, I believe Hughes can make the transition but again, it will take time.

I am open to the idea of Hughes on the right side. If that was the case, the Canucks defensive pairings would be:



Rathbone- Schenn

….Well…that’s a…defensive core.

Travis Dermott and Tyler Myers are prone to mistakes in the defensive zone and that pairing could also be a disaster.

Back to Hughes. With him playing on the right side, that makes that side better. His offensive output and improving defensive game would be great on the right side.

I’m open to the idea.

Young NHL players getting big contracts after one good season

So Jordan Kyrou signed an eight-year contract extension with the St. Louis Blues worth 8.125 million per season. That is a rich contract.

Kyrou had 75 points last season and that was likely his breakout season. It is an eyebrow-raising contract for sure. However, Kyrou is only 24 and is entering his prime. He has upside and can be a good NHL player for a long time. The contract takes effect in 2023.

It is eyebrow-raising because the Blues are giving big money to a guy who is coming off a breakout year. There is some risk to it but honestly, I think Kyrou will be fine.

Teams this offseason have given young players big money.

Here is another example. The Ottawa Senators gave 20-year-old Tim Stützle an eight-year contract worth 8.35 million dollars per season that kicks in 2023. This one I’m not too worried about. Stützle still has a ton of potential and the Senators are going all in his potential.

A bad example is Tage Thompson. The Buffalo Sabres gave him a seven-year contract worth 7.14 million per season that starts in 2023. The 25-year-old had 68 points last year. Before that, Thompson’s career-high was 14 points. This is a big gamble. Also, it’s Buffalo, they like to overpay guys. (See Jeff Skinner though he kind of bounced back last season)

This one I’m not a fan of, it’s very risky. Can Thompson live up to the contract? Probably not. He is a good offensive player but a poor defensive one. Time will tell if I’m right or not. I just think 7.14 million for a guy with 0.461 Points Per Game is a bit much.

If Thompson can get that money, Elias Pettersson is probably going to get at least 10 million with the Canucks if he puts up 80+ points this year and next. It is also mind-boggling that Thompson is getting paid more than JT Miller.

There is nothing wrong with signing younger guys to long-term deals. If you are a team on the rise, especially. Take Ottawa for example. They are willing to bet Norris and Stützle pan out since they are so young and shown flashes of what they become. Hey, if you sign your core players long-term, you won’t have to worry about cap space in the future.

That brings us back to the Canucks. I really wish they signed Pettersson long-term. After his deal is up, he’ll want a truck of cash, especially if he gets over 80 points. But no, OEL and his big contract are on the team and so is Tucker Poolman and his four-year deal.

That’s another reason why I was against signing Miller. The Canucks aren’t a contender and aren’t in the position to sign veterans to long-term deals. If they were, I would be all for it.

Let Geno Cook

Russell Wilson made his return to Seattle as a Denver Bronco in his first game with them.

Now, I will forever cherish the memories of Wilson as a Seahawk. After all, he along with the LOB lead the Seahawks to their first and so far only Super Bowl title. (It should have been two!)

But the way things ended was messy. Wilson was reportedly unhappy with the Seahawks and wanted out and of course, got his wish. But that was not before he was saying he wanted to be a Seahawk for life. Then there was the “Broncos Country, Let’s Ride!” videos.

The exit of Wilson leaves a sour taste in Seahawks fans’ mouths and the Lumen Field crowd unsurprisingly booed him. We’ll appreciate him after his career is done. When Wilson gets his jersey retired, he’ll be cheered at Lumen Field once again.

The game itself was fun despite losing Seattle losing Jamal Adams to a leg injury. Geno Smith, who was making his first opening day start in eight years, threw touchdown passes and went 23/28. Let Geno cook!

The defence came up big which included them forcing the Broncos to fumble at the one-yard line.

Late in the game, there was some poor clock management by Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett, Wilson and the rest of the team. They just let it run for several seconds before calling a timeout. What was even more bizarre was that they trade a 64-yard field goal instead of letting Wilson throw a deep ball. They missed the field goal. Even on another team, Pete Carroll haunts Wilson. That was a terrible decision

That was the highest point in the Seahawks season. I don’t care if they lose every game from here on out. (After all, they need a high pick) This was the Super Bowl for Seahawks fans. Beating Wilson was sweet. The Seahawks Twitter account and numerous former Seahawks were ecstatic and taking shots at Wilson.

There have been rumours flying around that Wilson was quite egotistical when he was a Seahawk, Maybe that’s why his former teammates got a kick out of seeing him lose. After taking the Seahawks coloured glasses off, Wilson seems that type of guy. He reportedly blamed Carroll for not winning the NFL MVP in 2019. Wilson is also a corny guy. He’s like a typical youth pastor.

I don’t care what happens for the rest of the season. The Seahawks beating Wilson and the Broncos is one of my favourite sports moments of the year. Seahawks Twitter is as entertaining as Canucks Twitter.

Seahawks country, let’s ride!

What’s next for the Whitecaps?

Let’s face it, the Vancouver Whitecaps are not making the playoffs.

There are four games left and FiveThirtyEight.Com has their playoff odds at below 1%. Yeah, it’s pretty much over.

The Whitecaps’ last game was a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids in Colorado Springs.

Brian White got them on the board first but it was all downhill from there. That included a dodgy penalty call but the Whitecaps did have possession but again, the final third failed them. There were also some pretty bad passes.

There are two home games next. Wednesday against LA Galaxy and Saturday against the Seattle Sounders, both are against teams fighting for playoff sports. The Whitecaps are playing for pride and can play spoiler. Having Ryan Gauld back from his one-game suspension will help but is it enough?

One more loss and I think the fat lady sings.

I also think the club will go through an overhaul next year in terms of players and possibly coaches. No, that doesn’t mean Russell Teibert is leaving Whitecaps fans. He will die a Whitecap much to your chagrin.

Chelsea’s shocking sacking of Thomas Tuchel and the hiring of Graham Potter

Sports fans don’t usually get sad when coaches get fired. It is often a good thing. The team is bad and they need change. Plus, coaches get fired all the time, it’s the way things are in sports. (Well, except for Bill Belichek.)

As a Chelsea fan, certain coach firings have shocked and saddened me and others. I wasn’t a huge fan back then but Carlo Ancelotti got sacked for finishing second in the Premier League in 2011 mainly because they went trophyless. In 2012, Roberto Di Matteo was fired six months after winning the Champions League because they got knocked out in the group stages.

I was said when Jose Mourinho and Frank Lampard got the boot. Those were expected. But Mourinho was the best coach Chelsea ever had and Lampard, was well, the best player in Chelsea’s history. However, he wasn’t a good coach but fans were sad when they heard the news that Lampard left Chelsea without saying goodbye again.

15 months after leading Chelsea to their second Champions League title, Chelsea sacked Thomas Tuchel last week.

This was a day after their 1-0 loss to Dynamo Zagreb in the Champions League which was an awful game. The attack was struggling and the games were boring but Tuchel was willing to adapt. Plus, he made new owner Todd Boehly spend over 200 million pounds on new players and they needed to settle in.

But Boehly was just as ruthless as Roman Abramovich and fired Tuchel. But Abramovich would not have fired him this early. Apparently, Boehly had been planning this. The new ownership group felt like Tuchel was not the right manager long term. Plus, the two clashed over transfers. Tuchel did this at Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund which led to him getting the sack. History repeated itself.

Boehly wanted Cristiano Ronaldo but Tuchel was against it according to The Athletic. That was when the relationship between the two soured.

Tuchel also apparently fell out with many players including the now at RB Leipzig Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic due to game time.

I wish Tuchel was given more time. If he were to get the sack, I thought it would be in October, November or December, not early September.

I didn’t even know Tuchel had a Twitter account until I saw this Tweet. I thought it was fake but this is his statement.

Tuchel leaves Chelsea having won the UCL, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup. He also leaves with a winning percentage of 60%. That is the fourth highest among Chelsea managers behind Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Ancelotti.

Auf Wiedersehen Deutscher Maestro, thanks for the memories.

Tuchel’s successor is now former Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter. The 47-year-old Englishman has been named one of the best young managers in football and a future England National Team coach.

Before Brighton, he coached Leeds Carnegie, (now defunct) Östersunds FK in Sweden and Swansea City.

Potter’s style is attacking, which is what Chelsea needs. At Brighton, he usually played a 3-5-2 and sometimes, 3-4-2-1 or 3-5-1-1. His teams like to play out from the back and are quick and like Tuchel are possession based but are more fluid. Potter also likes to change things up a lot and is quick to adapt.

I hope Potter can cast a spell at Chelsea and take them to new heights and make the fans adore him just like they did with Tuchel.

Check back next week for more Avid Thoughts! What do you want me to discuss? Let me know in the comments or on my Twitter @JoshuaRey91

By joshuarey

I am the head blog editor at the Area 51 Sports network. You can find me writing about the Whitecaps and other sports here. I also host the Terminal City FC Podcast with Nathan Durec I am also a site expert at The Canuck Way and a graduate of Langara's Journalism program When I am not writing you can find me surfing the internet, watching movies, listening to rock and rap music or eating pizza.

71 thoughts on “Avid Thoughts: Hughes on Canucks right side, big contracts for breakout seasons, Wilson’s return and more”
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