The Vancouver Canucks seem to *really* like Nick Bonino

Dimitri Filipovic
July 23 2014 02:01PM


The Vancouver Canucks official Youtube account released a video that has been making the rounds online today. It essentially aims to give us a little behind-the-scenes look at the team's war room on the day of the draft, in which the braintrust is discussing the Ryan Kesler and Jason Garrison trades that they're about to make.

While it lasts for only just over a minute and I'm sure it was both expertly and conveniently edited, I personally eat this sort of stuff up. We don't often get access to these sorts of nuggets which makes those rare instances when we do pretty cool. 

There's one big takeaway that gets hammered home if you were at all unclear about it by now: the team's decision makers sure seem to be awfully fond of one Nick Bonino.

"We're going to get Bonino, he scored 22 goals last year. So if he can get 20 for us, he gives us goals next year. The other thing is.. our coach wants Bonino. The coach really likes Bonino and wants him. Bonino is a distributor, he makes players around him better because he can get them the puck."

For whatever it's worth, 101 players scored 20 or more goals last season. As Benning pointed out Bonino was one of those 101 players (which the Vancouver Canucks happened to regrettably have just one of on their roster). I'm not sure how repeatable an accomplishment that is, however. 

We know by now that individual shooting percentage tends to generally even out over time, and there are only a small amount of outliers on either end of the spectrum. David Booth has proven over the past few years that he'll probably never be even a league average finisher again, whereas someone like a Mike Cammalleri has shown a knack for converting his opportunities at a high rate.

Not to dismiss Bonino's craftiness or skill, but the chances that he's legitimately a 13.8% true talent shooter moving forward strike me as exceedingly low. Only 26 players finished with a higher shooting percentage on at least 150 shots on goal last season, and if you look at the list you'll quickly realize that most of the players on that list are superstars. The league average was 8.99% last year, and has around 9% over the past 5 seasons.

For Bonino to reach the 20-goal plateau again, he'll almost certainly need to generate shots at a higher rate than his 6.99/60 last year (which was good for 178th in the league). Whether he's able to do that remains to be seen. As does his ability to soak up the larger quantities of ice-time that he seems poised to receive heading into next year. 

If he's actually capable of even filling the 2C void in a passable manner is a legitimate question mark, but if you're buying what Jim Benning and the team are saying then he'll get every opportunity to try and do so to start the year. 

At the time of the trade it was widely thought that the team had settled on a suboptimal return for a star player because their hands were tied and they had no leverage. Nick Bonino as the center piece of the trade seemed like it was at least the 3rd or 4th thing on a hypothetical wish list. That still may be true and this may all very well be a well executed spin. But maybe it all boils down to one thing: whether it's justified or not, maybe they just really, really, really like Nick Bonino.

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Dimitri Filipovic writes about hockey on the internet, and is the Managing Editor of Canucks Army. You can follow him on Twitter @DimFilipovic, and email him at dimitri.filipovic@gmail.com.
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#1 Kobra
July 23 2014, 03:13PM
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I am just curious if he will be able to put up more points than Kesler this upcoming season..... I am going to laugh my ass off, if he does.

It was starting to worry we would not get a decent return in the future, with one more injury to Kes.

Considering the way the Nucks had their hands tied with him, Trader Jim did good at getting the maximum for him me thinks.

I am looking forward to seeing what Banino can do with the boys this season.

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#2 Jay
July 23 2014, 03:24PM
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Kesler had a lot of intangibles as well. Points aren't the only thing that matter.

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#3 kagee
July 23 2014, 03:30PM
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Seemed like almost every Ducks fan on the net' before the Kesler trade was against trading Bonino, even one for one for Kesler as he was that good and likeable, clutch, affordable, versatile etc.

I like how most Canuck fans don't know much about Bonino, so in time he will grow fans here in Vancouver pretty fast, just like the once unknown Santorelli.

I think he Bo' will flourish here, and will get good quality minutes behind the Sedins and on pp.

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#5 jung gun
July 23 2014, 04:49PM
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Hey Dimitri, and fellow friends of the blog, what do you make of Bonino's last two years of shots? There's slightly over 240 of them, at both the AHL and NHL level, and through that time, he's gotten through over 13% of them. When can we start saying that a trend is legitimate? 300 shots? 400?

Or is Bonino at the point where we can say that he's an above average shooter, and is likely to pot 20 goals if he gets the right shot volume? I'm leaning towards the latter, especially since the trend has been positive in his last few years of development.

If he's going to regress to somewhere around his NHL average of 11.1%, then he needs somewhere around 190 shots to get around 20 goals. Seems kind of unreasonable, but feasible if he has the right linemates and deployment.

If he maintains something around 12%, then his chances of getting 20+ goals are obviously way better, and that's what I'm hoping for.

What do you think?

Also, as a sidenote: I remember reading that Anaheim was unwilling to part with Bonino sometime late in the season, probably around the deadline. Was that the case, or am I thinking of someone else?

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#6 Jamie E
July 23 2014, 04:55PM
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Yo Dimitri! How the heck have you gone 24 hours without lamenting the one that got away - Kyle Dubas?

Does this mean every math nerd in the country has to be a Leafs fan now?

I still get to be a Canucks fan, because while I find advanced stats fascinating, I can't actually do math myself.

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#8 Mike
July 23 2014, 05:12PM
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@Dimitri Filipovic

Hey, wasn't Gillis one of the first to jump on advanced stats? Keeping specifics all very secret. If so, who's his stats man, and let's speculate how he stacks up to Dubas...

As for Bonino, with all the hype coming from management, it sounds like he's a lock for the 2C position, earned or not. If he gets the ice time a 2C normally does, then whether his % is 11% or 13% wont matter as much.

I dont really know where he played on ANA to say whether he'll get more or less time, my assumption is more with the nucks.

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#10 NM001
July 23 2014, 05:18PM
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They are asking for 20, he got 22 last year. He's young and should improve right. So the question becomes even if his shooting % goes down, how much does it have to go down vs how much improvement do we typically see from a player of his age and No. of NHL seasons.

If the answer is we would see some improvement and could see him putting in 25, but due to the regression in his shooting % he will score 5 less goals then perhaps 20 is about right. The thing I find troubling when I come to this site often is that you tend to cherry pick one stat, draw a conclusion then try and cram it down the readers throat.

To give an honest evaluation you have to take a look at the stats for expected improvement (you could look at players of similar age and point totals +- 2 years and take a look at improvement in their NHL season +-1 and probably graph out the expected improvement we would see). You could then take this expected improvement and put it against an expected regression in shooting % and see where he would likely end up.

What you get in Bonino that you don't get in Kesler is the improvement factor because he is young. And in almost everything I have read on this site it is never taken into account. The only number that gets looked at is we'll he did put up 22 goals, but his quality of teammates, powerplay and high shooting % are all things where it is unlikely he'll ever do that again. But that's not the proper way to evaluate him in my opinion. Sure his shooting % may regress, but can he expect more minutes in Vancouver, how about powerplay time? Should we expect him to take more shots next year, or was his number of shots also an outlier like shooting % and we should expect less. This is the real crime when it comes to the analysis of young players traded for aging vets.

It's like evaluating the Naslund trade. Naslund came to Vancouver never having cracked 20 goals (Bonino has) and in the year before he was traded when he put in 19 goals his shooting percent was 15.2% a full 1.3% higher then Bonino. In his time in Vancouver he never had less then 20 goals except his second full season, had 3 40+ goal campaigns, and had a shooting % of 13.2%. So Naslund became a prolific sniper despite his shooting % going down cause he got better. That's what happens with young players, so while Bonino might not maintain his shooting % make me a believer as to why he can't put in 20 goals.

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#11 Lemming
July 23 2014, 05:41PM
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@NM001

You make a really good point, I'm going to keep potential improvement adjustment predictions in mind.

If you have any interesting articles on the topic, please share (assuming no one locks you down for sharing links). Unless, of course, you're interested in maintaining your dominance as chief actual-interesting-critique-of-this-blog.

Also, and this is only tangentially related to the topic of the Canucks really coveting Bonino, I find myself wondering how much Benning and Willie REALLY like the Sedins, considering all their talk about meat and potatoes. I know the Sedins aren't soft, but they have that reputation with pretty much anyone who doesn't watch Vancouver regularly. I'm willing to bet that Linden likes the Sedins a lot, but I'm also willing to be that Benning isn't their biggest fan. Of course he'll say he likes them, but I can't help but wonder...

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#12 Spiel
July 23 2014, 06:02PM
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At $1.9M per season, Bonino's salary slots him in as more of 3rd liner and I would think the Ducks probably realized he is 2nd/3rd line tweener by the contract they gave him.

I get the feeling that after the Sedin/Vrbata line the Canucks will try and roll 3 balanced lines and not have a dedicated second line. Scoring depth is the mantra being touted by management. We have a group of 2nd/3rd line tweeners at this point who will be playing on our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines. Plan is to hold steady against teams that ice a good 2nd line and plan on our "depth" on the 3rd and 4th lines making a difference. Time will tell.

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#13 OPtomistic
July 23 2014, 06:23PM
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I love that C.A. is trying to be optimistic about Bonino, but caman. We're all looking at the same #'s over the last few years for this player and they're not good. They're the opposite. He's barely stayed above water in easy minutes, and played in the 1st PP unit in Ana with Perry/Getzlaf. Unless he gets extended time with Sedins, the Canucks 'magically' find another centre who can play tough mines - Boninos gonna have a tough yr. This team just realistically doesn't have the depth to shelter him like Ana him. It means he'll have to play tougher minutes.

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#14 wes
July 23 2014, 07:09PM
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Jay wrote:

Kesler had a lot of intangibles as well. Points aren't the only thing that matter.

one of which was celebrating goals by executing a choreographed "17". neat.

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#15 Neil B
July 23 2014, 08:17PM
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Something I've wondered about for a while in the Kesler/Bonino debate. If I understand QoT correctly, Kesler had better linemates than Bonino did; and if I'm reading the charts correctly on extraskater, Kesler's better linemates had a worse year than Bonino's linemates.

So, if Kesler's former linemates are expected to have *better* performances this year (while playing with Bonino), and Bonino's ex-linemates are expected to have *worse* years (while playing with Kesler), then why do we expect Bonino's performance to drop while the other four skaters on the ice with him are all collectively raising their games?

If we look at his PDO of 103.0, I get that it should regress to the norm; but unlike Getzlaf, Penner, Beauchemin, etc., his PDO is buoyed by a higher than team average save %, not by the on-ice shooting percentage, which is slightly below team average. If we look at his relative Corsi, he's -0.4%; basically average. He's not an anchor. The closest comparable among Canucks forwards is Kassian, at -0.7%.

To me, all these stats together suggest that Bonino's performance this year with Vancouver will be a wash. He'll get in the vicinity of 20 goals, and in the vicinity of 45-50 points. More or less the same as he did last season, but in more minutes with better (and more regular) linemates..

Will he do as well as Kesler would have, given the same circumstances? Heck no. Will he provide NHL-average 2C production while not being a defensive liability? Yes. Will he look good doing it? Heck no. Nice hands, especially in close, but the kid skates like a duck. Gets him where he's going, though.

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#16 Bob
July 23 2014, 11:25PM
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Jay wrote:

Kesler had a lot of intangibles as well. Points aren't the only thing that matter.

Ya, like surley

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#17 Origamirock
July 23 2014, 11:40PM
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@NM001

While I do take your point and Naslund did indeed have 19 goals with Pittsburgh before he was traded to Vancouver, he got those in 66 games (the same season he was traded!). He was also 22, so he had a lot of room for improvement. Bonino is 26. Kesler and Naslund both had 40 goal seasons when they were 26.

I think Bonino is a sufficient 2C for a team that doesn't have cup aspirations, but we should really be realistic with expectations here. He's never going to be a Kesler level replacement and comparing him to Naslund is REALLY reaching.

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#18 mfalk92
July 23 2014, 11:59PM
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Dimitri Filipovic wrote:

Let's just pick a random number for his shots on goal.. say 180 (he had just under 160 last year, but at this point it seems fair to assume that he'll receive more than 16:14 of ice-time/game if he is in fact going to start as the 2C).

If he falls down to league average sh% that's ~16 goals for Bonino.

If he shoots 11% that's 20 goals, and if he shoots 14% like he did last year that's 25 goals.

That's a pretty big range, no? It definitely matters. Though I do acknowledge the point that in theory more ice-time --> more shots on goal --> more wiggle room for scoring roughly around 20 goals while still taking the sh% regression hit.

The 9% league average sh% - is this for all skaters or just for forwards? 9% seems low for just forwards at first glance. Obviously it's not really relevant if it includes defensemen... The way Bonino has trended in terms of sh% over the years I think it's fair to predict that he will finish above the league average this year. I'll be expecting anywhere from 11%-13%.

Plus given the opportunity that it seems like he will be given, he will have better linemates than he did in Anaheim. Burrows and/or Vrbata will likely be alongside him for a good chunk of the season. And then maybe Kassian on the other wing. With Kassian dishing to Bonino and Vrbata/Burr, and Bonino passing to Vrbata/Burr and Kassian, it is fair to expect his assist rate and even shot rate to increase.

And also, despite what an earlier CA post said about his WOWY's, they are impressive. The author's claims in that piece were flat-out wrong. This isn't related to the author's claims, but Getzlaf and Perry (seperately) were both around 56% CF when they played with Bonino (small sample size- ~110 and ~65 mins together respectively). Not surprisingly, Getz and Perry did MORE of the heavy lifting, but they clearly benefitted from playing with Bonino too.

I just think the CA crew is way overly pessimistic on Bonino. We will see!

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#19 Kevin M
July 24 2014, 12:39AM
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Mr. Filipovic I am tired of the constant questioning of the club about the trade of Kesler and how they did. First let us deal with what we lost. A) A center who had been injured several times in recent years and appears to be breaking down; B) A great skater who plays for himself and has no record of making his linemates better (he scores more than he passes); C) A selfish individual who held a gun to the head of an organization that had been good to him, the first time it looked like rough times ahead; D) An arrogant man who would only allow himself to be traded to a few teams; E) From rumours (multiple sources) a negative angry person to staff and to team mates.

Now what did we get for him. A) A six years younger center who according to most evaluators will get 20-25 goals a year, with additional ice time, who is an above average skater and good puck distributor and for all sources a great teammate. B) In comparison to Kesler he is perhaps only 80% as talented but the other factors including age, maybe make the difference 10%. C) We got a defenseman Sbisa who again in scouting reports is at least an average 4-6 dman. Let us say the worst ranking a number 6 dman who will be good for 5 goals a year. So between him and Bonino we will get 25 to 30 goals, about what we could have expected from Kesler and Stanton. D) With the draft pick we traded for an upgrade on our fourth line from Sestito to Dorsett, who can at least skate.

I am glad that the brain trust of the club accomplished what they did. A locker room cancer who didn't want to be here is replaced by a player 90% as good, a dman who has potential and a better 4th line. And they did it within a month of taking over and saved enough money in the process to bring in a scorer to play with the Sedins, so that Burrows could move to a less taxing second line. And we made room for some young talent.

What the hell did you expect from them and tell me what you think could have been done that would have been better? In fact I would ask all the negative nellies that congregate here, what are your alternatives? Demonstrate how you are smarter than Linden/Benning.

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#20 Optomistic
July 24 2014, 12:44AM
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mfalk92 wrote:

The 9% league average sh% - is this for all skaters or just for forwards? 9% seems low for just forwards at first glance. Obviously it's not really relevant if it includes defensemen... The way Bonino has trended in terms of sh% over the years I think it's fair to predict that he will finish above the league average this year. I'll be expecting anywhere from 11%-13%.

Plus given the opportunity that it seems like he will be given, he will have better linemates than he did in Anaheim. Burrows and/or Vrbata will likely be alongside him for a good chunk of the season. And then maybe Kassian on the other wing. With Kassian dishing to Bonino and Vrbata/Burr, and Bonino passing to Vrbata/Burr and Kassian, it is fair to expect his assist rate and even shot rate to increase.

And also, despite what an earlier CA post said about his WOWY's, they are impressive. The author's claims in that piece were flat-out wrong. This isn't related to the author's claims, but Getzlaf and Perry (seperately) were both around 56% CF when they played with Bonino (small sample size- ~110 and ~65 mins together respectively). Not surprisingly, Getz and Perry did MORE of the heavy lifting, but they clearly benefitted from playing with Bonino too.

I just think the CA crew is way overly pessimistic on Bonino. We will see!

How are Boninos WOWYs impressive w/ regards to Getz, Perry? Both have better numbers without him than with him (last season). That's what WOWYS are. That would suggest they are better off playing 'without him' than 'with him'. It doesn't help his cause.

Yes, Perry/Getzlaf spent more time with better line mates (without Bonino), but they also played exponentially tougher mins without Bonino than with him.

I understand posters/fans trying to find the positive in this trade. You trade a player like Kesler and you don't want to feel ripped off. And realistically, the season hasn't started yet. But I don't see any conceivable way (via the #'s) that suggest he's gonna be the guy Benning thinks he is. Unless Horvat turns into Couturier's clone (i.e. able to eat toughs mins as a rookie centre in 1st yr pro) - Bonino isn't gonna get sheltered mins. Even with sheltered mins in Ana his numbers were poor.

Sooooooo, it begs the question. With tougher mins, or in an alternate universe he manages to get sheltered mins - how is this guy gonna repeat what he did last yr with all these inflated stats?

And how do the Canucks not understand this? How do they not have an advanced stat guys on the payroll anymore. Did Benning fire them along with the guy who built the mind room when they canned Gillis? This new management team is clueless and heading down a road the Leafs followed for so long. It leads to failure.

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#21 Jim Benning
July 24 2014, 12:57AM
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@Kevin M

I'm right there with ya Kev. Who does this Filipovic think he is having the audacity to question any of my moves with his logical reasoning and facts. If I do something everyone better brainlessly fall in line, because goddamnit I'm in an NHL front office and we all know that means I'd never get anything wrong.

The posts on here are just far too negative for my taste. I'm off to CDC, where I might actually just happen to stumble on an interesting potential trade idea.

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#22 mfalk92
July 24 2014, 01:20AM
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Optomistic wrote:

How are Boninos WOWYs impressive w/ regards to Getz, Perry? Both have better numbers without him than with him (last season). That's what WOWYS are. That would suggest they are better off playing 'without him' than 'with him'. It doesn't help his cause.

Yes, Perry/Getzlaf spent more time with better line mates (without Bonino), but they also played exponentially tougher mins without Bonino than with him.

I understand posters/fans trying to find the positive in this trade. You trade a player like Kesler and you don't want to feel ripped off. And realistically, the season hasn't started yet. But I don't see any conceivable way (via the #'s) that suggest he's gonna be the guy Benning thinks he is. Unless Horvat turns into Couturier's clone (i.e. able to eat toughs mins as a rookie centre in 1st yr pro) - Bonino isn't gonna get sheltered mins. Even with sheltered mins in Ana his numbers were poor.

Sooooooo, it begs the question. With tougher mins, or in an alternate universe he manages to get sheltered mins - how is this guy gonna repeat what he did last yr with all these inflated stats?

And how do the Canucks not understand this? How do they not have an advanced stat guys on the payroll anymore. Did Benning fire them along with the guy who built the mind room when they canned Gillis? This new management team is clueless and heading down a road the Leafs followed for so long. It leads to failure.

http://www.stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1310&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

I'll try to lay it out for you as clearly as possible:

Getzlaf WITH Bonino: 68.5 mins, 55.9% CF Getzlaf WITHOUT Bonino: 50.4% CF Bonino WITHOUT Getzlaf: 49.3% CF

Hence, Getzlaf is doing slightly more of the heavy lifting, but clearly Getzlaf was better off with Bonino than without him. And again, it's such a small sample size but I thought it was worth noting still.

Perry WITH Bonino: 114.1 mins, 56.4% CF Perry WITHOUT Bonino: 52.4% CF Bonino WITHOUT Perry: 48.7% CF

Again, Perry's CF% was 4% HIGHER when he was with Bonino than when he was without him. Perry is doing the heavy lifting, sure, but it is easily a mutually beneficial pairing.

As far as your point goes about him having tougher mins: sure, they will be a bit tougher... But he was a 2C in Anaheim, just as he will be in Vancouver. And he will probably play ~18 mins per game so I think there is an argument to be made that his minutes next year will actually be more conducive to putting up points -- especially when you consider who his regular linemates are likely to be.

I wish we would hire an adv stats guy too but IMO management really has not done a bad job so far. The Vey trade was great, and given the circumstances, the Kesler trade yielded fair return.

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#23 Matt
July 24 2014, 04:58AM
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@Jim Benning

Eh...how about... grow up? ;-)

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#24 Mantastic
July 24 2014, 09:25AM
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@mfalk92

have you even looked at which players actually shoot above league average? and you think Bonino is an above average shooter how?

Bonino also played with Getz and Perry, so I doubt Bonino will play with better line mates in Vancouver...

did you forget that Anaheim desperately needed a 2nd line C and the fact that Bonino could not fill that role, on a much deeper team speaks volumes

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#25 mfalk92
July 24 2014, 09:53AM
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@Mantastic

It makes it a little more difficult to fill the role of a 2nd line center when your most common linemates are third liners - Beleskey and Palmieri...

And he only played 68 mins and 114 mins with Getz and Perry respectively.

Maybe I shouldn't be as confident that he'll shoot between 11-13%, but his career shooting pct is 11.1%, and it has increased every year in his career.

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#26 NM00
July 24 2014, 10:28AM
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@Optomistic

"And how do the Canucks not understand this? How do they not have an advanced stat guys on the payroll anymore. Did Benning fire them along with the guy who built the mind room when they canned Gillis? This new management team is clueless and heading down a road the Leafs followed for so long. It leads to failure."

So then who or what should Vancouver have targetted from Anaheim if not Bonino?

Look, it was/is definitely an underwhelming trade as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not really sure how much better Bonino will be than Santorelli who, in all likelihood, would have required a smaller committment for less money based on what he eventually signed for to go back to the inferior conference.

And Santorelli is a right handed centre which the Canucks don't really have anymore aside from possibly Vey...

This management team has also said at least once that they think Sbisa "could be" a top 4 defenseman.

In reality, Anaheim was glad to be rid of the $2.9 million salary they would have paid for a utility defenseman...

Part of management's job is selling delusional Canuck fans on their nonsense.

It doesn't mean you have to take the bait...

You would actually have to present a better alternative to what the Canucks received to legimately make the claim that the Canucks overvalue Bonino...

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#27 Fred-65
July 24 2014, 10:44AM
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The one area that will improve is Kesler was not a player noted for "sharing" the puck. He was puck hog and even a marignal improvment in that area will mean the second line as a whole will benefit. Really the stat to look for next seaon is the Kes line versus the Bonino line. And I wonder how long it will before Keslers line mates get turned off by his selfishness. Kesler is a good player and he's proved it, but I doubt his line mates gloated in playing alongisde him

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#28 NM001
July 24 2014, 11:08AM
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Origamirock wrote:

While I do take your point and Naslund did indeed have 19 goals with Pittsburgh before he was traded to Vancouver, he got those in 66 games (the same season he was traded!). He was also 22, so he had a lot of room for improvement. Bonino is 26. Kesler and Naslund both had 40 goal seasons when they were 26.

I think Bonino is a sufficient 2C for a team that doesn't have cup aspirations, but we should really be realistic with expectations here. He's never going to be a Kesler level replacement and comparing him to Naslund is REALLY reaching.

My point was not to compare Bonino and say he was going to become Naslund. In fact I don't think he will ever be even close to Naslund in terms of production or goal scoring ability.

My point was that if the Canucks Army crew had evaluated the trade for Naslund they would have ignored the fact he was in his third season and only 22 with room for improvement, and instead would have tried to convince everyone how Naslund will never be more then a 3rd line winger unable to crack 20 goals, because he has an unsustainably high shooting % of 15.2% (way higher then Bonino) and that only translated to 19 goals in 66 games. So in a full season they would be telling you how he would be lucky to put up 19 again because even though he might play more games his shooting % should crater.

I don't really believe the Canucks management thinks Bonino will be better then Kesler. This isn't what is said in the video. What they are referencing is that they think he can probably get 20 goals. I find it interesting that they didn't say 25-30 goals. This leads me to believe that they understand his shooting % should regress, but how much it will regress vs how much improvement they hope to see means they expect 20. 20 is a number I'm comfortable with.

I know Bonino is unlikely to be as good as Kesler is now or in the future, but he was one piece of the trade. A piece that I believe is better then what is being portrayed here on this site. He might not be an elite 2nd line center like Kesler, but that doesn't mean he is bad.

The Ducks made the trade cause they want to try and win NOW. Kesler gives them their best shot at winning a cup now over someone like Bonino, but in 3-5 years tell me that Kesler is contributing at a higher level then Bonino will be. Both teams got what they needed from this trade. My hope is that Bonino can fill in somewhat as a 2nd line center on a bubble playoff team and then 4 years from now is a legit 2nd line center option, which should coincide with the current youth group (Horvat, Gaunce, Shink, Corrado, Hutton, McCann, Virtanen) playing for the Canucks.

Not everything is bleak, and to get what they got from the Kesler trade, with only 1-2 teams they were allowed to deal with makes the return seem just fine to me.

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#29 Barnabas
July 24 2014, 01:34PM
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What seems to be forgotten when comparing Kesler and Bonino is the addition of McCann to our roster. He may yet turn out to be the best player in the deal at this stage and we will have his services for much longer than the 2 years that were remaining on Kesler's expiring contract and expiring career. No matter how you look at it, JB did the best he could under the circumstances - acquiring youth and cap space and ridding the room of a huge distraction.

The team will be much closer with this leadership group and should gel quickly, IMO. The motivation to make amends for a season like the last one is not singular - everyone will be motivated and collectively, that should make for a much better season.

Looking forward to it - with tempered expectations.

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#30 JFR
July 24 2014, 01:51PM
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I'm sure Benning would rather have had 5 teams to bargain with, which is why Millers contract has 5 teams he can be traded to.

Benning got a guy that played well on a good team, unlike Gillis that went after "stars" on bad teams. Bonino will play a role and not have to be a star. The Ducks traded a good player with potential for a Cup now. If they don't win with Kess the next two years, the Canucks won this trade BIG time!

They get a 2/3rd line center and a 3rd pairing Dman for 1/3rd of what they paid Garrison and Kessler and a #1 pick. A lot will depend on who Bonino plays with....

Burrows/Kassian/Higgins? The ideal Would be Burrows/Bonino/Kassian which would bring speed, size and skill.... If Kassian learns to stop making stupid plays and get back, perhaps D?

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#31 dan
July 24 2014, 08:09PM
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@NM001

Forwards actually reaching pick at 25-26.Obvious you are not aware of this.Also no evidence that BoBo has any distribution talent ans Jimbo and brass suggest. Also, the best indicator of skill is TOI. The fact he was only played ~14 min/g by ANA strongly suggests he is a 3rd liner at best. Santy was a cheap comparable they let go of and clearly a silly move. Ignorant Canuck fans saying "he score more than Kesler ....." are simpletons. Kesler is an elite two-way player who played big minutes all carerr and in 2 Olympics. He is one of only two players that was in top 35 in TOI for ES PP and PK (Getzlaf) the other. With quality players Kes will thrive. BoBo is a replacement part not bad but a thrown in nit someone you target. LOLOLOL

Deal should put Ana in cup final in next two years. The Canucks floundering in mediocrity with tons of characyer, grit, and 3rd liners.

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#32 david
July 24 2014, 08:42PM
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Jay wrote:

Kesler had a lot of intangibles as well. Points aren't the only thing that matter.

like what? being a douche in the locker room and sleeping around town and whining non-stop to the refs? yupp...a lot of intangibles there.

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#33 Matt
July 25 2014, 12:41AM
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@JFR

Burrows/Bonino/Kassian sounds like a veeeeery interesting line :-)

Higgins/Matthias/Vey could be our third...

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#34 zed
July 25 2014, 01:34AM
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Bonino was a beast in the playoffs... Unfortunately for him (and the rest of the league) so was LA.

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#35 antro
July 25 2014, 07:48AM
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Yah, I agree with those that are skeptical of the Bonino narrative. Dan's point about TOI is well-taken, and at 26, Bonino is no longer a young player that might develop. At best, Bonino is a stop-gap while we wait for one of the prospects to (hopefully) develop. Who knows, maybe Vey will be the 2nd line C by the end of the season. I'm not too disappointed by not signing Santorelli. That's a lot of injuries already, and at some point, those are hard to recuperate from (see Booth, David).

One thing though, there's a good interview up by Travis Yost of Jim Nill, GM of Dallas Stars (many of us Canucks fans were hoping that Nill would get hired by Vancouver waaay back when Gillis was hired). In the interview, Nill acknowledges the utility of advanced stats for evaluating a player, but he still talks about fit for the players. For example, signing Hemsky because he's a good distributor for Benn and Seguin, who are shoot-first. Now, this is coming from one of the GM's who's considered to be really forward thinking about stats. So, maybe Benning is betting that Bonino will be a good fit for Burrows and Kassian, and these two will do most of the two-way play, and prop Bonino up. And if Bonino gets 15, and doesn't do too badly on the 2nd unit PP, then that's not terrible for under 2 million.

On other matters: what's with the NM0001 moniker?! We old-timers (?) already have our resident grouch and curmudgeon, to stir up us delusional fans. NM00 cannot be replaced. :)

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#36 NM00
July 25 2014, 10:37AM
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@antro

To be fair, 26 is pretty young on this team...

Nothing against Benning, but Nill would have been a much more intriguing option.

He's completely turned Dallas around in a matter of months.

Gaglardi may have the last laugh over Aquillini when all is said and done...

Heck, the freaking Leafs get Kyle Dubas and we have, what, Sham Sharron selling us black boxes.

Inexcusable...

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#37 antro
July 25 2014, 11:26AM
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@NM00:

I agree that Jim Nill would have been a great hire, esp back in 2009. Though he may be getting credit for some of the stuff Nieuwendyk did, and only came to fruition later. Plus, they seem to have great scouts.

Now, now, don't poo-poo Sham Sharron. He may be the best scout in Vancouver.

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#38 Spiel
July 25 2014, 11:44AM
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Jay wrote:

Kesler had a lot of intangibles as well. Points aren't the only thing that matter.

Yup, douchebaggery is a hard thing to quantify.

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#39 NM001
July 25 2014, 12:41PM
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@antro @Dan

I didn't think it was worth responding to dan since his post is clearly written in troll (at the very least that shit is not English). Here are some things to consider in short form.

This article say forwards peak at 28 and don't drop off till 30 www.cbc.ca/news/when-nhl-players-peak-hockey-metrics-1.2646054 . Kesler is turning 30 for next season so the expectation is that he should start to decline, and not by a little but by a lot. As for Bonino he is 26 so we should expect 2 years of improvement typically then another 2 years of high level of play before we see the decline. If you have an article that argues 25-26 is a players peak year and then we see a drop off by all means share the link I'd love to read it.

As for the next point regarding TOI being somehow related to skill, or position within a team. Bonino played 16:13 on average last season (www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20142ANAFAFALL&sort=avgTOIPerGame&viewName=summary) which is a full 2 minutes more then Dan was arguing. Now you might say 2 min, so what that's not a lot. We'll Bonino was third on the Ducks last season in TOI for a forward. Only Getzlaf and Perry played more from the forward group, so by Dan's very poorly written argument, you can see how he would be a first line forward. Now I don't believe he's a first line forward, nor do I think he is better then Kesler, but he is a good player, with room to improve, who should be able to fill the need we have for a 2nd line center given that we are at best a bubble playoff team.

As for my name, I've been on these boards for a while now, this is not a new account, and you will see I have posts dating back some time, but perhaps people just see my name assume I'm NM00 and never noticed their was a difference. Also I'm usually upbeat about the Canucks while NM00 is the exact opposite, think of me as Ying to his Yang.

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#40 Kevin M
July 25 2014, 02:57PM
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dan wrote:

Forwards actually reaching pick at 25-26.Obvious you are not aware of this.Also no evidence that BoBo has any distribution talent ans Jimbo and brass suggest. Also, the best indicator of skill is TOI. The fact he was only played ~14 min/g by ANA strongly suggests he is a 3rd liner at best. Santy was a cheap comparable they let go of and clearly a silly move. Ignorant Canuck fans saying "he score more than Kesler ....." are simpletons. Kesler is an elite two-way player who played big minutes all carerr and in 2 Olympics. He is one of only two players that was in top 35 in TOI for ES PP and PK (Getzlaf) the other. With quality players Kes will thrive. BoBo is a replacement part not bad but a thrown in nit someone you target. LOLOLOL

Deal should put Ana in cup final in next two years. The Canucks floundering in mediocrity with tons of characyer, grit, and 3rd liners.

Hey Dan, Kesler was an elite two way player who did not pass and never got 80 points a season (not sure why he is titled elite) He was a very good player who was extremely self absorbed. As far as fans who noted Bonino scored more than Kesler last year being ignorant, there is no need to be insulting, especially when one is being obtuse themselves. By the way it is spelled "character".

Anaheim may make the cup final in the next two years, but I doubt it will be because of Kesler. He does not help team-mates and he is becoming injury prone. He had a couple of elite years that were phenomenal, but he is not the player he was in 2011 and his numbers show that. When people note that Bonino scored more, they are simply noting that he scored more than a player who had more playing time by a significant margin and that this is interesting. When you add in the additional resources received other than Bonino, this was a deal that benefitted both teams and who "won" may not be decided for several years. What I don't appreciate is the deprecating intent of many Canuck nay-sayers who seem to enjoy attacking the team.

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#41 Graphic Comments
July 26 2014, 07:42AM
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@NM001

Oh, so you're not comparing Bonino to Naslund, but rather how their trades would be evaluated by Canucks Army.

Well, I am quite confident that no matter how pessimistic anybody at Canucks Army would have been about Naslund's potential (and I don't agree with this premise), they still wouldn't have thought it was a bad trade.

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#42 andyg
July 26 2014, 08:38AM
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Fans that mention that he out scored Kes last year are just calling it the way it is. You can use all your fancy stats to say is 49 points were a fluke but it does not change the facts. This guy has got progressively better over the last 5 years and came into his own last year. His play off performance last year tells more about him then all of the stats that you can dig up.

I will laugh my ass off if Kes gets hurt and Bonino has another solid year.

Kes is a great player but his injury's have taken their toll and doubt he will be very durable going forward.

McCann could be the winning piece of this deal.

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#43 Neil B
July 26 2014, 01:59PM
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mfalk92 wrote:

The 9% league average sh% - is this for all skaters or just for forwards? 9% seems low for just forwards at first glance. Obviously it's not really relevant if it includes defensemen... The way Bonino has trended in terms of sh% over the years I think it's fair to predict that he will finish above the league average this year. I'll be expecting anywhere from 11%-13%.

Plus given the opportunity that it seems like he will be given, he will have better linemates than he did in Anaheim. Burrows and/or Vrbata will likely be alongside him for a good chunk of the season. And then maybe Kassian on the other wing. With Kassian dishing to Bonino and Vrbata/Burr, and Bonino passing to Vrbata/Burr and Kassian, it is fair to expect his assist rate and even shot rate to increase.

And also, despite what an earlier CA post said about his WOWY's, they are impressive. The author's claims in that piece were flat-out wrong. This isn't related to the author's claims, but Getzlaf and Perry (seperately) were both around 56% CF when they played with Bonino (small sample size- ~110 and ~65 mins together respectively). Not surprisingly, Getz and Perry did MORE of the heavy lifting, but they clearly benefitted from playing with Bonino too.

I just think the CA crew is way overly pessimistic on Bonino. We will see!

I just crunched a couple numbers on this, and I think it is highly unlikely that Bonino will score less fewer than 19 goals.

With a player with under 1,000 shots, there is really no statistically reliable way top say what kind of a shooter they are at the NHL level. So the most accurate modelling would be to compare him to the NHL player average.

From what I've found online, over the span of the prior CBA forwards have had an average shooting percentage of 10.82% and defencemen 5.23%. (I suspect that variance in year-to-year NHL shooting percentages are more dependent on the forward/defenceman shot ratios, but that's another story). For my calculations, I am assuming that next year's average for forwards holds to about that range, and that Nick Bonino is an average (no better) NHL player.

'Reverting to the mean' suggests that his next year's shooting percentage should fall within a couple standard deviations (0.48%) of 10.8%. If the above numbers hold, then there is a 63% chance Bonino will shoot between 10.34% and 11.3%, and a 95% likelihood that he will shoot between 9.86% and 11.76%. (It is 99% likely that he will shoot between 9.38% and 12.26%.) All things being equal, there is a roughly 2.5% chance that Bonino will shoot appreciably below 10.0%.

If Bonino can get 180 shots on net next season, and assuming he isn't a statistical outlier, he is likely to score between 17 and 22 goals, with 19-20 goals being the most likely result.

I'd say Trader Jim has a pretty solid grasp on the realities of the situation and the player in question.

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