The six steps to success for Jim Benning

The Stanchion
May 22 2014 02:56PM

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How does Jim get back here?

The worst kept secret in hockey was finally unveiled on Wednesday, when it was announced that Jim Benning had agreed to a multi year contract to become the GM of the Vancouver Canucks. Unlike Torts' inexplicable five year deal (I have to assume he has copious amounts of pictures of Aquilini doing something awful, like maybe eating a hamburger from 7-11), Jim Benning will most likely see out several years of his contract. 

This is Vancouver, however, so one can never be too careful about job security when running the Canucks. Today you're the General Manager firing the food workers in the arena, the next day you're at Costco eating the cheap hot dogs, because hey, a good deal is a good deal.

That's why Jim Benning should take extra care in certain areas to ensure his reign in Vancouver is a long lasting, memorable one. Now I can't help Benning out with particular roster moves, but I can help him out with regards to how he should carry himself in this market. After watching Mike Gillis yell at radio personalities like a disgruntled father who blames the divorce on the kids, after watching Brian Burke threaten everyone and their mother that he'd drive them to the airport, and after watching Dave Nonis cry the day he was appointed GM (#NeverForget), I feel I have a reasonable amount of knowledge to impart upon our new overlord that will help him out immeasurably. 

Read past the jump.. you know how this works, I shouldn't have to tell you to do this, COME ON.

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Canucks Army Weekly Prospect Reportlet: Memorial Cup Edition

Josh W
May 22 2014 11:09AM

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Courtesy of Canucks.com

As the days continue to get longer, the number of active prospects still playing with their respective teams continues to diminish. Bo Horvat was the last one standing, with his team playing host to the Memorial Cup. Meanwhile if we look overseas towards Eastern Europe, we see the IIHF World Championships taking place as we transition from the elongated round robin portion of the tournament to the good stuff.

A reminder that if you're bored this summer, craving hockey news and all that jazz, you can stay updated on everything regarding Canucks prospects by following me on Twitter @nuckprospects. You're also more than welcome to send me any feedback on anything prospect related you wish for me to cover in the future.

For the Memorial Cup, Anton Cederholm and the IIHF Worlds, read past the jump!

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Welcome to the Jim Benning Era

Dimitri Filipovic
May 21 2014 09:51PM

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The undercover mission is over, Jim. You can come home now.

In a move that caught the hockey world by storm, seemingly coming way out of left field without any real tangible clues pointing towards it even having a possibility of actually happening Jim Benning has finally been formally announced as the successor to former General Manager Mike Gillis' now vacant throne as the guy charged with calling the shots for the Vancouver Canucks. Well, sort of. 

It remains to be seen just how much say he'll have in relation to say, Trevor Linden, who was the one brought in to conduct the search for the team's next GM, amongst other things of course. Linden confirmed the long-anticipated decision during a statement in front of a whole wad of season ticket holders on Wednesday night, allowing the team and fans to begin looking towards a medley of other important moves that'll need to be made over the coming weeks and months.

Consider this your last chance to filter the phrase "Boston Model" out of your Twitter timeline. 

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Why a simple statistical method is more successful than a complex scouting program

Cam Charron
May 21 2014 11:10AM

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If you haven't read Rhys' dirty ditty exposing the Vancouver Canucks scouting office for being, among other things, complete frauds, then go ahead and do that. It was interesting to me, because having read Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist actually has a full two chapters dedicated to the benefits of simple statistical measures when attempting to assess performance.

The thing that Rhys' piece exposes is that for the longest time, people in the game of hockey are determined to believe that hockey is a more complex game than it actually is. Winning teams, though, score more goals than the opposition. It is impossible to determine how many goals a player prevented, so counting how many goals the player contributed to the cause is basically half of our equation. However scouts try to add to the equation usually bogs down the process.

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We think the Vancouver Canucks may have a scouting problem(!!!!)

That's Offside!
May 20 2014 01:07PM

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I was recently having a Twitter discussion with Canucks Army contributor Patrick Johnston (@risingaction) and regular reader Ryan (@Verviticus), in which we were essentially arguing which Canucks entry draft in the Ron Delorme Era was the worst (it's probably 2007, although 2002, 2000, and 2009 are all pretty miserable too).

We came to the conclusion that, man, Vancouver's drafting really has been inexcusably awful for over a decade now. Sure, there have been a handful of home runs with guys like Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa, and Ryan Kesler, but nearly every Canucks fan can name The One That Got Away or That Guy They #ShouldOf Drafted. Still, every team in the NHL passed up Shea Weber or Patrice Bergeron or Milan Lucic, so is Ron Delorme's record as head of Canucks amateur scouting really that much worse than everyone else?

To find out, I decided to design an extremely basic you-don't-have-to-even-think method of drafting and compared it to Vancouver's draft record under Delorme. I've put a summer intern with nothing but a book of CHL stats and no access to any non-Canadian junior league up against an entire team of world-travelling, game-watching professional amateur scouts. If the Canucks' brass can't clear this woefully low hurdle, then holy hell they are awful.

Spoiler: it's even worse than you think.

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