WWYDW: Rebuild or Nah?

J.D. Burke
April 14 2016 11:00AM

wwydw

Welcome to the second straight Thursday edition of What Would You Do Wednesday. The first of its kind to follow the season's end. 

The Vancouver Canucks held their year-end press conference, for players and management alike, and gave the city plenty to chew on. Canucks general manager, Jim Benning, alluded to the impact injuries had on their ability to compete this season and what their plans will be this summer to address them. Trevor Linden, on the other hand, sounded much more willing to fathom an extended rebuild. I'd like to think their philosophies are more closely aligned than most, but what do I know?

Anyways, assuming Benning was alluding to fighting the good fight and battling it out for the playoffs, while Linden was playing the long game... where do your allegiances lie? Are you committed to an extended rebuild, growing pains and all, or trying to make the post-season, next season.

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A Tale of Two Finns: Patrik Laine vs Jesse Puljujarvi

Jeremy Davis
April 14 2016 09:00AM

A little while back, Canucks general manager Jim Benning announced that he’d be looking to draft a defenceman in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, barring an elite forward being available that was too hard to pass up. So a couple of weeks ago I set out a primer for this year’s top four defencemen, making the assumption that the Canucks were likely to fall in the 4-10 range on draft day.

Then the Canucks went on a nine-game losing streak, and although they somehow managed to win four of their last six games, their final standings position has been cemented at 28th. Suddenly a top three pick is not only possible, but downright likely - only leapfrogging lottery winners could shake them from the top three.

With the new lottery system this year, any team out of the playoff picture has three cracks to move into the top three, where they'll have a chance to draft a franchise altering player. The first overall pick is nearly a no-brainer - Auston Matthews is considered the best player available, and only a few rabblerousers are challenging that notion.

In the second and third spots though, two towering Finnish wingers are slated to be taken. Both are well above six feet tall, and are putting up respectable numbers in the top tier Finnish league as 17-year olds. Say you’ve got the second overall pick at your disposal, who do you pick: Patrik Laine or Jesse Puljujärvi?

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First Look: Canucks Sign D Troy Stecher from NCAA North Dakota

Jeremy Davis
April 13 2016 05:01PM

You could see this one coming from a mile away. How else could we have 2000 words on the subject within a half an hour of the news breaking?

Today, the Canucks signed NCAA free agent defenceman Troy Stecher, a junior at the University of North Dakota. Stecher is a native of Richmond, B.C., and had told the press just last week how he “dreamed about playing for the Canucks” when he was younger. Stecher also spent the season with Vancouver’s 2015 first round selection, Brock Boeser. This was a lay up.

Let’s take a look at what the Canucks have added in Troy Stecher, the season he’s enjoyed with the Fighting Hawks, and his hockey career to this point and into the future.

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From the balcony: Nobody likes a math geek

Statsler & Waldorf
April 13 2016 04:24PM

Statsler and Waldorf

From high up in the gondola at Rogers Arena, you’re favourite Muppets are back to offer some thoughts on the end of the Canucks' season…

Waldorf: Well, Statsler looks like another season has gone by. Do you think we’re any closer to seeing the Canucks win a Stanley Cup?

Statsler: The only thing we’re closer to is the grave, you old fool.

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Trevor Linden: 'we were hoping for the best and it didn't work out this year'

Jeff Paterson
April 12 2016 04:25PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 2.59.52 PM
Screen cap courtesy: CBC.ca

It was less formal and more revealing than what had just taken place on the other side of the wall at Rogers Arena. 

Moments after Jim Benning and Willie Desjardins descended from the podium where they had been pressed on the many failings of the Vancouver Canucks this season, President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden offered his thoughts and observations.

In a wide-ranging media scrum, Linden once again backed his head coach, broke the news of his captain’s broken finger, shot down rampant rumours of a front office shake-up and seemed to offer a glimpse into the team’s plans for the ample spending money the Canucks are likely to have to work with this summer when the salaries of Radim Vrbata and quite likely Dan Hamhuis come off the books.

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