“Very simply, the financial gap was too wide for it to make sense for Nikita to move his family to Vancouver for less money than he was making in the KHL,” agent Todd Diamond said in an email response Sunday. “We tried to make the number(s) palatable to the Canucks by our willingness to do a one-year deal.
“Nikita wanted to know the numbers now and was not prepared to wait for the Canucks to try and move some contracts out. We waited last summer for the Canucks to sign him and when Jim could not get approval, Nikita was left to negotiate a contract with his KHL club that had spent nearly its entire budget.
“Jim’s preference was for him to be a Canuck and that was Nikita’s preference, too.”
It’s not a stretch to suggest that leverage could have come into play. If Tryamkin had a playing option to remain home, he could have taken the Canucks’ figure back to his KHL club — if that was his ultimate desire.
Avtomobilist assistant coach Perry Pearn, a former NHL assistant with five teams including the Canucks, believes Tryamkin has game.
“He can play in the NHL, said Pearn. “He’s not a top two on a good team and maybe he’s not top four, but he’s a five or a six. He’s way fitter than he was in Vancouver. We got him playing within himself, not trying to do too much. His mobility for a guy that size is good.”
The 2016-17 season got off to a contentious start when Tryamkin sat the first 10 games. He had a contract clause that allowed him to return home if demoted by the Canucks, even for a conditioning stint in the AHL.
Tryamkin was either culpable or just following directions in his final season here. He piled up 27 minor penalties in 66 games — tied for second among rookies — and finished fourth in penalty minutes because he was asked to be more aggressive and made multiple mistakes. But he was also tied for seventh in rookie hits (145) and tied for 11th in blocked shots (87).
What always kept the door open for a possible Tryamkin return, according to Diamond, was being buoyed by franchise direction when Travis Green was promoted to the coaching helm and assistant Nolan Baumgartner came to work with the defencemen.
Tryamkin and his young wife left Vancouver after the club missed the playoffs under bench boss Willie Desjardins, with Doug Lidster guiding the blue-line. And while the Canucks called the exit a “family decision,” there was much more to it.
“It’s a world of difference,” Diamond said. “The coach (Green) is demanding but fair and is doing a good job and can work with young players and same with the defensive coach (Baumgartner) and it’s night and day from where it was at.”
Regardless of Tryamkin’s history, or projections and promise of current value, the back end here continues to be a work in progress without Tryamkin.
On July 14, 2020, the Canucks signed Harvard University standout Jack Rathbone, their fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, to a three-year entry deal. Rathbone, who turns 22 on May 20, is currently on the taxi squad and expected to play before the club’s regular-season schedule concludes May 19.
Madison Bowey is also on the taxi squad with unrestricted free agents Brogan Rafferty and Ashton Sautner. Alex Edler and Travis Hamonic are also UFAs while restricted free agent Quinn Hughes needs a considerable contract extension.