In the midst of a “pause” that has meant an abrupt halt to the NHL season, there hasn’t been much for the city’s sports reporters to grab onto. So when the news spread last week that Swedish forward Mathias Bromé might become a Vancouver Canuck, it dominated sports talk radio and columns.
So even though we won’t have NHL hockey for the foreseeable future (and Bromé wouldn’t be able to play until next season anyway), we might as well examine the player’s situation and see how he could fit into the Canucks’ plans.
Though a few clubs, including the Vegas Golden Knights, apparently tried to ink Bromé last season, the forward chose to join Orebro of the Swedish Hockey League after finishing second in scoring on his previous team, Mora, which was being relegated after a poor campaign.
He put up 35 points in 52 games for Mora last season, but showed improvement this time around, registering 43 points in 52 contests for Orebro.
Apparently, the lottery for Bromé is down to just two teams: the Canucks and the Detroit Red Wings.
That makes some sense. The Red Wings are the worst team in the NHL (and figure to be at least in the running for the moniker for the foreseeable future) and will be transitioning into a full-on rebuild with lots of opportunity up and down the roster.
And, as TSN’s Rick Dhaliwal mentions in the above tweet, Bromé seems interested in Vancouver for the city itself and for the fact that Elias Pettersson is “doing great”.
It makes sense that a young Swede would be attracted to both the city and the team, even if the 25-year-old Bromé is several years older than the Canucks’ sophomore. But it’s been a friendly city for Swedes ever since Markus Naslund arrived, and Bromé emphasizing that he’s a two-way player is likely intentional on his part.
While the Canucks are quite full as far as the top six goes (especially if Tyler Toffoli is retained in the offseason, as many expect), there’s some room for a cheap option that can play both ways effectively.
Of course, that would mean some tough decisions with overpriced veterans like Loui Eriksson and Brandon Sutter, but those were coming anyway.
In any case, the Canucks could certainly use some cheap, young-ish depth forwards who have the potential for more, and that certainly seems to be a category Bromé falls into.
Of course, the Canucks are probably not Bromé’s best option if all he wants is a chance to showcase himself on the NHL stage. There are a lot of forwards vying for time, including two NHL calibre ones currently in Utica of the AHL.
But it’s not a bad gamble to take on a beloved city that might be playing meaningful hockey at the right time next year.
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