Is a Jim Benning Hiring a Formality at this point?

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 12.02.00 PM
Photo via Ken Gregg

Exactly a week ago today, still relatively newly minted President of Hockey Ops Trevor Linden held a press conference to announce the firing of John Tortorella (and Mike Sullivan), and field questions about the direction of the team and the plan for the summer. 

Muddled somewhere in the middle of it all, was a question from a reporter specifically about the team’s reported interest in bringing Boston Bruins Assistant GM Jim Benning to right the ship. In the sort of politically correct form that we’ve come to expect from Linden, he quickly brushed the question off, referring back to the nondescript “narrowed down and focused list” of candidates he had compiled. What it was, was a pretty thinly veiled confirmation without actually technically confirming what we’ve all been suspecting for some time now, ever since the firing of the position’s predecessor. 

Now there’s a report coming from Darren Dreger that it’s just really a matter of time before the two sides can formally go out in public arm-in-arm, putting their mutual affection for each other on display for the hockey world to see. 

Read on for more.

Obviously we’re still in something of a ‘wait-and-see’ approach with regards to this, but since Dreger came off fairly confident with his verbiage and the source isn’t exactly an Eklund or HockeyyInsiderr, let’s use it as a launching pad to navigate the landscape.

In that aforementioned press conference Linden made sure to repeat numerous times that he hadn’t received any sort of pushback on timing from teams still competing in the playoffs. With that being said, it makes plenty of sense that they’d hold off on making any sort of formal announcement considering the ongoing 2nd round series between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. For whatever it’s worth, the Bruins find themselves in a 2-1 hole, and even if the series winds up going the distance, it’ll be over by this time next week

The name seems like a good enough one, by all accounts. He’s well regarded in the hockey community, and his record as the Director of Amateur Scouting in Buffalo was sparkling; which, based on past history, would fill a most urgent of holes for a Canucks team that hasn’t been able to hit the broad side of a barn with an overwhelming majority of their picks. All of the other stuff, I remain unconvinced about. While there’s no disagreeing with the success the Boston Bruins have enjoyed, I’d say the concept of the “Boston Model” that people seem to readily lust over is more fool’s gold than something worth striving to replicate for other franchises

That’s not to say that Benning wouldn’t be a savvy get for the Canucks, who’d be wise to establish a General Manager before turning their attention towards other needs, like filling the coaching vacancy. Doing so in a timely manner would also surely be beneficial, before the list of potentially viable candidates dwindles down with times that have the advantage of currently having the requisite infrastructure in place already picking from the bunch. 

For a while there it appeared that they would be benefit from an over-reactionary firing to another abrupt playoff exit by the St.Louis Blues, but they wisely spared themselves by announcing that he’d be back next season for another kick at the can. Another potential option – particularly according to Bodog’s odds – Brad Shaw, was retained by those very same Blues in his assistance capacity. It has also been rumoured that they’ll add Kirk Muller to the staff, because they’re a greedy bunch that wasn’t taught to share with others!

Similarly along those lines, it appears that Todd McLellan won’t be on the open market if Sharks GM Doug Wilson has anything to say about it, which is disappointing because he would’ve been a prime option. Same goes for Randy Caryl– hahaha, I’m totally just kidding. But back to reality, Peter Laviolette was astutely snatched up by the Predators as they look to put the Barry Trotz Era in the past and move on.

Which brings us to the guys that are still available, with Trotz leading the pack based solely on name recognition and pedigree. Other names that are commonly bandied about in this discussion are the likes of Guy Boucher, John Stevens, and Kevin Dineen. Another very enticing name that circulated has been Jeff Blashill, but Red Wings GM Ken Holland is on the record in saying that he won’t let other teams talk to the guy he has been grooming in the AHL should they approach him this summer. 

There’s a lot to mull over here, particularly given how devastatingly massive a flop the last time the team brought in a coach wound up being. While there’s technically no rush based on it still being early May and a long summer still looming ahead, the fact remains that we’re talking about a team that as things currently stand have next to nothing in place, forced to stand by and watch others participate in the playoffs. 

Soon enough the draft and free agency will be just around the corner, and positioning themselves to have the types of minds in place capable of getting them off of the sidelines and back into the mix is the first step. It starts with the General Manager, and if these reports are true, it could unleash a cascade of moves to be made in the coming weeks.  

  • acg5151

    “While there’s no disagreeing with the success the Boston Bruins have enjoyed, I’d say the concept of the “Boston Model” that people seem to readily lust over is more fool’s gold than something worth striving to replicate for other franchises.”


    Believe it or not, there are people that would gladly take the Boston model of building via the draft, trades and being opportunistic in free agency because it was similar to how the best Canucks team ever in 2011 was formed.

    And the failures in these three areas is the reason this team has been on a steady decline for the last three years.

    Trevor has yet to do anything that would suggest he is overvaluing grit like his predecessor.

    All he has done is taken over for a trend chasing rube who overvalued grit while swiftly firing the coach so the new GM has a clean slate.

    But, hey, Trevor made an ambiguous comment about a successful organization so let’s ignore all of his actions up to this point…

    • Yes, I too got the idea that he doesn’t mean more Tortorella “grit” by referring to the “Boston Model”. He means the Boston Model you described, which is great… But it isn’t unique.
      Gillis heralded the Detroit Model to a notorious degree, and both model’s are great… when you can implement them.

      For whatever reason, Detroit/Boston has been able to hit enough times in the draft and win enough trades that they can be patient and stick to a vision over a number of years. An underrated component of that is their stability throughout the organization.

      Ken Holland was hired in ’97, Babcock in ’05, Chiarelli in ’06 and Julien in ’07.

      When your GM’s/Coaches don’t have an axe over their head (Gillis from ’08-’11), they can make rational decisions and take the long-run approach without having to prove their worth to their boss.

      It would behoove Linden to take his time in picking a GM and stick with him for the long run.

      • islander

        Cam Charron as general manager.

        Dmitri Filipovic as middle manager.

        But only on the condition that the new management team can convince Jaroslav Halak and Mikhail Grabovski to sign in Vancouver for less money with a smaller role…

    • andyg

      First order of business will be to trade kesler and burrows for Wayne Simmonds
      Release booth. Trade edler and gaunce shinkaruk for another 1st rounder this year. Draft two fins Virtanen kapanen. Resign kassian. Make a pitch for Ryan miller in goal.

      My projected lineup will be

      Sedins with Sinmonds
      Jensen kapanen Virtanen
      Hansen horvat Higgins
      Kassian Richardson mattias

      Hanhuis tanev
      Bieksa garrison
      Stanton corrado


        • andyg

          Well the ideal scenario would be to get Carolina’s pick… With the sixth and seventh picks the canucks are pleased to select from kalpa in the finish elite league kasperi kapanen and jake Virtanen from the Calgary hit men. How sensational would that be?

          • andyg

            I would be OK with Virtanen and have not found enough info on Kapanen so I am up in the air on him.

            There is some good talent in the top 10 this year but maybe not good enough to give up 2 for 1. We need to build our depth.

            We would be giving up 2 players who will be in the farm and available for call ups next year for a player who will probably play a couple more in Europe.

  • acg5151

    The Boston Model is impossible to replicate due to the simple fact that most other teams would have 5 guys in the box and half the roster suspended. Easy to play physical and wear other teams down when you are allowed to punch, spear, and slash them all game.

      • acg5151

        What did you expect from Vanilla Linden? His first order of the day was to fire a cup winning coach. The circus is just starting. Stay tuned for the ride because the freak show is coming up next. In a short time you Einsteins here will be calling for a new president and looking for new play mates for the stale useless core.


  • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

    Not sure why everyone is lusting about the “Boston” model… and it seems like even the Boston model comment is being convoluted into (A) a team that bullies other teams with their size, tenacity and skill; (B) a team that is built from within their youth; (C) both..

    I think the Chicago Blackhawks are the team to model after… because they are more skilled than the Bruins.

    Although the Blackhawks have smaller guys, these guys play just as tenacious as the Bruins… However, I do reserve my comments on whether they are the BEST team to follow after how I see them square off against the LA Kings.

    Nevertheless, my point about Chicago is that they have a better overall skill set than the Bruins.. in which they are more exciting to watch than the Bruins.. their consistency is off the charts (i.e. when Kane and Toews were injured, the Hawks still won a large majority of their games).

    And I feel that, in the comming years, the NHL too wants to emphasize the “skill” aspect of hockey more than the rough stuff that the Bruins display….

    If the Canucks follow the “Boston model” and the NHL emphasizes skills over toughness in the next few years with different rules… we’ll be FKD again…. just like how Gillis was spending to the salary cap maximum.. only to be screwed by the new CBA.

    We must have better foresight to see what the NHL wants… and build the team around the direction that the NHL is moving… or else, we will always be left behind…

      • You have to tank to get high draft picks?! I disagree.

        Since you said that the Canucks being “antitank” implied that they could not follow either the Boston or Chicago model, I’ll take a closer look at the Boston model.

        The last time the Bruin’s picked above where the Canucks are picking now was in 2006 with Phil Kessel (the pieces gained from the Kessel trade notwithstanding, as that was the result of one good draft pick and one shortsighted GM).
        Since then, they have had only one draft pick in the top 10, Zach Hamill in 2007, and he didn’t help Utica much this year, let alone the bruins.

        The Canucks have had two top 10 picks since then, Hodgson and Horvat, and have a third coming up.

        So basically, I think you have no idea what you are talking about. They had one #5 draft pick (Kessel) that they were able to turn into two more top 10 draft picks. We have a #6 draft pick, on top of two more top-10 draft picks.

        There are many, many reasons that following the bruin’s model is tough. Tanking is certainly not one of them.

        • Mantastic

          they obviously traded for some of their picks as well but they acquired them via a very high draft pick (Kessel). 8/10th overall isn’t very high. top 5 picks are very high picks…

          so yes tanking to acquire very high draft picks is the primary way both of these teams have done it. and i said tanking for high picks is INCLUDED, not strictly part of their model.

          and clearly the canucks don’t have the assets to acquire very high picks

          and man do you seem to extrapolate(/make up) a bunch of stuff based off my 2 sentences

          • Mantastic

            they drafted an elite scorer… from a deep draft and was able to flip them for great assets.

            you are drafting 6th in a weak draft… how are you comparing apples to oranges? 1 pick doesn’t make a team… i don’t know how you don’t understand this.

          • andyg

            Consistently providing the most logical and realistic outlook for the Canucks even though (if I read you correctly) you seem indifferent to this team and favour the Oilers.

            Canuck fans would be even more delusional than they currently are if not for your comments…

    • andyg

      I think that both Boston and Chicago built their teems the same way.One has a little more skill the other more size. (drafted,developed and traded well)

      I still think size in the playoffs is important but there is no reason we can’t find players with size and skill.

      This years draft has players like Dal Colle, Perlini,Richie,Vertanen.

      When we think of skill it dose not mean they have to be small.

      • andyg

        Quite frankly, it’s not a dichotomy between skill and size so it really should not be expressed as such even though many of us do as shorthand.

        Chris Pronger has size.

        And there are a number of reasons to have wanted him when healthy on the team for which you cheer. One of which is explored here:

        What needs to be avoided is overvaluing players simply because they fit into the skill category (i.e. Cody Hodgson, Jordan Schroeder) or the size category (i.e. Steve Bernier, Alexander Mallet) or whatever other trend is being chased…

  • andyg

    I think the problem with the Canucks is that we are too loyal to our plugs. We have too many guys clogging up roster positions… which does not allow the youths to hone their skills, make mistakes, learn from their mistakes, improve upon their mistakes.

    Antitank or not. Those are excuses. Only losers find excuses.

    Deal with the problem in hand. Objectively.

    What is constantly being repeated within the Canucks lineup?
    same old plugs.. that do the job.. but doesnt do the job GREAT…. Booth, Higgins, Hansen, Richardson, Lapierre, Carter, Klatt, Bernier….. just cut them loose… and have younger guys play… look at Mike Brown now.

    Just to touch on that.. Mike Brown was drafted by the Canucks… but he was let loose for other more “experienced” crappy plugs…

    Its the whole point about pleasing the fans cuz they want to see some PR stunt.

    Just let the team grow… i mean even Grabner had glimpses .. but he was let go for Grabner.

    What did we expect to see if we keep chasing old guys and letting our young guys go?

    Im all for getting rid of Patrick White for Ehrhoff…. but those trades rarely ever come by becuz teams arent retarded. Put yourself in their position, they wouldnt give players away over and over again.

    Skill can’t really be taught. And size CANNOT be taught too… but why is Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw so effective?? Its because they know when to be aggressive.. and when not to be. Canucks have no clue..

    Our 4th liners… For example, Tom Sestito (im not singling him out.. just an example) forgets to hit… and when he hits, he takes a penalty. It happens way tooo much with our 4th liners.

    • andyg

      I think the problem with the Canucks is that we are too loyal to our plugs. We have too many guys clogging up roster positions… *

      Where have you been the last 4 decades? That’s what the Canucks do best, keeping plugs while wasting time.

      Skill can’t really be taught. And size CANNOT be taught too..*

      Yes, but improvement is what counts. The players who keep improving on teams who keep improving set the bar. The losers are the ones who make it tot he NHL, cash their in and check out.

      Have you see any real improvement from the Sedins, Elder, Hansen, Bieksa, Burrows etc?

      Look at Andy Murray, he had to improve to a point where he won the All England, and he had better keep improving or else he’ll never win a major again.

      Now look at the Canucks. Not only are they not improving, they are DISproving. LOL. Those fools are getting worse with every passing year and of course, they get NTCs and doted on by the fanboys.

      Canucks have done nothing in their existence but try to pass off imitation crab meat for real crab. Sorry, the owners, the fans and even the players can buy into that delusion all they want but the fact is the people that count don’t buy it, namely the other NHL players.

      • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

        “Have you see any real improvement from the Sedins, Elder, Hansen, Bieksa, Burrows etc?”

        Henrik Sedin and Bieksa were actually one of the brighter spots this season. I think they have alot to offer still.

        Henrik still holds the puck quite alot in the offensive zone and makes effective plays. His brother, Daniel, doesnt seem confident on the puck.

        Bieksa is one of the leading voices on the team and I would hate it if the Canucks reneged on their NTC promise to let him go.

        The Canucks must not go FULL PANIC mode and just offload everyone. We build the team out with the Sedins, Bieksa, Edler…

        YES.. Edler… for fk’s sakes, keep him. He’s 27 and has the best potential out of our “top 4″… OKAY… i get it.. worst minus record in the NHL blah blah blah… Edler has the biggest frame and highest offensive skill set (which was no where to be seen last year.. i get it). But with a new coach and GM.. and some patience, he’s our most valuable asset 3 years down the road.

        If you compare the top 4 with what’s to come in a 1, 3 and 5 year frame, Edler has the most potential.

        Now, i might get some stick for saying this.. but I honestly think… we should move the BC boy, Dan Hamhuis… He is the best d-man consistently on the Canucks for several seasons. I know. But the guy is kinda small… he’s not very well-suited to the NHL ice.. His offensive instincts and skills are average. His defensive instinct is excellent..

        But i dont know.. ever since game 1 injury from hitting Lucic in 2011SCF.. he doesn’t seem to hit anymore. He’s trending downwards it seems…

        All i want to see on the Canucks D, is that they get just a bit bigger.. becuz the chemistry of the top 4 just isnt there…. and if we are keeping Bieksa and Edler (who for some reason cant play together), we need to get rid of the next most valuable asset.. which is Hamhuis. We would not be getting much from a Garrison trade so i rather keep him and get him a skating coach (maybe David Booth’s skating coach). And following the Whitecaps’ youth debut in the Amway Canadian Championships, lets give our young guys a shot… Corrado (if he works hard this summer) and Tanev more chances. Or maybe even try a shot at signing Matt Niskanen from the Pens this summer when he becomes a UFA.

        Garrison/Tanev (similar mold to Hamhuis)

        If no Niskanen:

        The D needs to get nastier…to cause more turnovers than this past season…

        • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

          “Henrik Sedin and Bieksa were actually one of the brighter spots this season. I think they have alot to offer still.”

          If Bieksa and the Sedins were the bright spots on the team then I would be very scared to see what you call brilliant hockey.

          So I guess the Sedins and Bieksa have been saving their good stuff all that time? I guess the SCF wasn’t a good time to show up but the best time to do something is coming up.

          Oh, by the way, do you know how old those players are? You do know ppl get worse as they get older right?

          “YES.. Edler… for fk’s sakes, keep him. He’s 27 and has the best potential out of our “top 4″… OKAY… i get it.. worst minus record in the NHL blah blah blah… Edler has the biggest frame and highest offensive skill set”

          Enuff said there…keep the worst, cause the worst has upswing. With players like Edler, you don’t need opponents… you are a Canucks fan right? Wouldn’t it be better to trade Edler to an opponent , that way they can watch him kick goals into his own net.

          Face it, Edler is the new Jyrki Lumme. Now with Captain average on board as the prez, the only one left is Quinn and Mclean and I’d say 60 years of futility is as sure as Judas will betray Jesus.

          • andyg

            It is easy to get on here and say trade every one because they are all crap and replace them with something better.

            So what exactly do you expect to get for Edler after last year?

          • andyg

            It’s even easier to say keep the team and keep going the same route. Oh wait… that is what’s happening…again.

            Ah, the Vancouver Canucks. Don’t make the right moves before the player hits the ice, don’t make the right move when after the player stinks it up on the ice.

            “So what exactly do you expect to get for Edler after last year?”

            Everything I expected the Canucks and there fans to do and say, is right on cue. It’s so easy to predict the folly that is the Canucks culture…so so easy. Hope the core stays put for another 15 years cause lessons sure as hell never seem to be learned in Canuckville.

          • andyg

            I’m just saying that he’s exactly trying to have a dialogue is he? You’re actually responding as if he’s making intelligent points about Edler or whoever. Someone calling the Sedins “sisters” or some such nonsense pretty much removes the need to engage with them I think. He and the rest his ilk are just flinging whatever feces they can against the wall and seeing if anyone will try and convince them to clean up their mess. It’s not really worth it.

            Mantastic or NM00 even if I don’t always agree with them at least have interesting and often intelligent points to make. This guy along with all the Oilers (or whoevers) trolls are completely pointless.

          • andyg

            You were defending Edler, worst in the league. Have you no shame? Don’t call yourself a Canucks fan when you wish such a lousy player to be on the team. No one would wish Edler except on their enemies. You must be an Oilers fan.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            While I’m not a huge Alex Edler fan myself, as a fellow reader of this blog, I can say with reasonable certainty that you’re aware that as it’s now 2014 and not 1984.

            Not many people (statistically inclined or otherwise) tend to put a lot of stock in +/- figures in terms of assessing a players overall value these days. Personally, I only find +/- useful for evaluation of a player’s deployment usage, quality of competition and of course, the rarely mentioned quality of cooperation (i.e. teammates) and even then it can be pretty vague. Largely, it’s an archaic statistic from a bygone era. It’s the rotary telephone of hockey statistics.

            For example, if I were to assign a statistic to every individual in the human race that counted, say, the number of cracks in the sidewalk you stepped on in a given year and one year you stepped on more than any other person and I, in turn, labelled you, “Worst in the human league,” you would likely accuse me of prejudice based on data of highly questionable value. And you would be correct in your assertion.

          • andyg

            You forgot one important stat…most people who walk on the sidewalk do not kick pucks into their own net the way Edler does.

            And that’s just the tip of the ice berg.

            Assertion corrected, mate.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            I don’t see you posting any, “#FireStanton,” or, “Trade Kesler!!!!11!!!11111,” nonsense, so I’ll take that as a sign that you’re a reasonable person that can be rationed with.

            Stanton scored three own goals this season, two of which were in one game. Admittedly, I was amazed at how few people were calling for his head after that game, considering the historically temperamental nature of the fan base in question.

            Furthermore, Kesler, widely considered by many to be the club’s best player (for what that’s worth, the season being what it was), was a -15 for the year (via, ranking second worst on the team.

            Given these facts, what makes Kesler a valuable trade asset to many and Edler dead weight or even a blight? Why is Edler (7 goals, 15 assists) a boat anchor and Stanton (1 goal, 15 assists) not?

            Simply consider the possibility that just because a player has a terrible season in light of one ancient statistic doesn’t mean that we should crucify them, burn them and the cross they’re nailed to and then box up the ashes, put the box into a rocket and launch the rocket into the sun. Or even worse for their career yet, trade them to the Florida Panthers.

          • andyg

            There are too many things to list, but the team as a whole stinks. The management stinks, the scouting has always stunk and player development…well, that obviously does not exist.

            Kesler, along with Luongo and Burrows and the Sedins are also the problems. they had their chance to get rid of them, but as usual, always trying to pass spam as real pork.

            One terrible season? Edler has shown he doesn’t have what it takes, he’s older and worse. But I always knew Vancouver hockey was a charity, not a real competitive team. Why do you think Trevor Linden is back? Because the poster child for mediocrity doesn’t know when to quit.

            Quitting is better than fake trying and the Canucks have been fake trying for 44 years.

          • andyg

            Oh, BTW, it’s one thing to try and pass off spam as ham in the first year, but after how many seasons with this core? Do you think real people ( not shills and mouth pieces for the Canucks) really believe that this stale core can do it next year? Oh of course not, maybe in a couple of decades when the Sedins are in their 50’s. Then it”l be good times.

            44 years… tic toc tic toc tic toc tic toc tick toc tic toc tic toc tic toc tic toc tic toc tic toc. Here’s a stretch, next year the Canucks will waste time again. Now where did I get that idea from? After 44 years of failure and half assed fake trying, we should all expect a winner tomorrow. Ha!

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            It was so refreshing to see your comment, because it actually made sense beyond some kind of vague “everyone sucks/doesn’t suck” ranting and made good coherent sense.

            That seems to be lacking around these parts lately.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            The Canucks don’t suck. They have the winningest team in the league’s history and countless cup their delusional fans can rally their arrogance around. There’s nothing vague about the team’s championships.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey


            Keep calm and carry on. Sometimes it’s important to remember that old chestnut.

            This year the popular choice for village idiot seems to be Alex Edler. However, I recall the end of last season when Booth was the goat and many wanted to see him bought out and shipped out of Vancouver in a packing crate without an air hole drilled (and many still do). The problem with getting rid of your goat is that you could wake up the next day and wonder why you don’t have any goat cheese. Booth – who was already playing here and there between injuries and was under-producing – had sustained another injury that he was told at the time would take a minimum of one year to fully heal.

            He continued to underwhelm well into the next (i.e. this past) season and fans continued to talk of the need to buy out David Booth.

            Suddenly, almost exactly one year later, his production suddenly jumps way up. It’s showing in his regular stats, fancy stats and the even the much touted eye test. Thomas Drance posted on twitter last year that Booth would score 10 goals. Booth scored 10 goals. OK, so he scored 9, but a lot of people saw the replays and let’s face it, Booth scored that goal, not Daniel Sedin. The point being that Metrics are an extremely useful predictive tool and in this case, they were bang on. Booth appears to be on the upswing; why buy him out when he only has a year left on his contract, anyway? Are you going to vastly improve the team with one more space on the roster and another 4.5 mil in cap space to play with? Probably not.

            That, plus I distinctly recall a recent article on this site in which it was shown that Booth and Kassian were absolutely crushing it in the possession numbers department. Furthermore, the same article demonstrated that empirical evidence, the “U2” statistic – as I’ve personally come to refer to the, “With Or Without You,” or whatever-they’re-called charts that are frequently deployed on this site depicting stats relative of a player with and without another player – suggested that it was Richardson in the library with the rope that was holding back the third line.

            Not bad for a young dude who’s been called both inexperienced and inconsistent and a guy who many insist is a lemon in need of a compliance buyout, eh? Dominating their opposition without the luxury of a satisfactory pivot, and yet both are somehow still considered questionable by many. Gotta love it.

            Long story short: I agree with you. The Canucks fan base can be jaded and emotional bunch. As a part of that fan base, I understand that implicitly. But freaking out and making emotional roster decisions carries the potential penalty of making the club worse, not better, as intended.

            Then again, sometimes you hold on to your goat for too long before selling and you end up with something similar to what the Calgary Flames got: Nothing but peanuts in return and a lingering stink of goat.

            Either way, I’m just glad it’s Trev who’s currently responsible for these decisions and not me.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            “Either way, I’m just glad it’s Trev who’s currently responsible for these decisions and not me.”

            You’re not going to be glad come next year when Trevor Vanilla starts up Camp Mediocre again


          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey


            “#FireLinden”…I love it. Keep it coming.

            I too, am old enough to have seen all this before in the ’90s.

            I am also old enough to have paid for my own computer, live in a home that I own and pay monthly bills for my (terrible) TELUS internet connection. In addition to this, I am able to type a similar statement to yours both with spaces and without a hashtag in front of any of my opinions.

            Yes, it may be another dark road we’re going down, but before you post again, reach deep down and ask yourself the following three questions; if you can answer, “Yes,” to any of them, please feel encouraged to rebut my comment, granted you include justification for your answers.

            1) Can you envision a realistic sequence of trades, drafts and hires involving the Canucks winning the Cup within the next 3-5 seasons given the current front office and team?

            2) As it’s already been 43 years, would you feel an unacceptable difference in level of team pride were the Canucks to win their first cup in 2025 (54 years) as opposed to 2015 (44 years)?

            3) The Toronto Maple Leafs are the third most Stanley Cup winning franchise to date. Their last win was in…1967. Before the Canucks or most of the other teams existed. Before the league expanded. That means that if you were an, “Original six,” team, statistically speaking, if the league were truly even strength, you were to able roll a six-sided die and if six meant you won the Stanley Cup, you were a champion. Try the home game version of this. Not too hard to win a Cup suddenly, is it? Imagine you suddenly have to roll a 30 sided die and only a 30 is considered a cup: your odds were just cut down to one-fifth what they previously were.

            In light of these parameters, can you MATHEMATICALLY GUARANTEE me that all 30 teams have won a cup after 10 rolls? How about 20 rolls? No? 30? 40? How about 50 rolls?

            If you have answered, “No,” to any of the above, take it down a notch and support your team.

            Of course, if not and you’re a 17 year-old closet Flames fan and internet troll typing your posts in a West Lethbridge basement suite, disregard my entire post. Otherwise, as I said, I love open discussion, so keep it coming.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            “BuffaloBillsOfHockey” keep on writing long winded comments I don’t even bother reading.

            You must love reading what I write seeing as how you tend to reply with an essay. Next time make sure you write something ten times as long. Ha!

            44 years and no cups but lots of excuses. Hahahaha!

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            You didn’t read my response to your last post in it’s entirety?

            Yet you clearly made it all the way down to the last line where I referenced Linden in my previous post, which you originally responded to.

            Based on that, I’m guessing you read my last post – despite your claim to the contrary – in its entirety, as well. That being said, I’m sure you made it through the last paragraph of my previous post as well.

            Now that we have that out of the way, how’s the weather in Alberta?

          • andyg

            I think you are over-estimating by at least five years if you think they’re 17…

            it is kind of you to humor their attempts at trolling though.

            Yes, the Edler scapegoating is idiotic. But beyond these dumb trolls I suppose the question is with any of the actual assets we have whether or not to try and flip them. Not because Edler is not a good player — he clearly is with his combination of skating, passing, and hard shot, but as so many others have pointed out here he seems not to have taken that next step. Trading him seems like a difficulty if he’s not willing to waive the NTC which it sounds like. If moving him is an option I think he’d bring us a far better return than some of the others we have here in a similar situation. But — again as others have pointed out here — this would seem like a bad time to even consider it since we’d be selling pretty low. As for Booth, I like him as a third line option but since we’re paying him as a second liner I’m not sure he’s redeemed himself to the extent you’re suggesting.

            I have no idea whether we’ll be a competitive team in the near future. Without an actual management in place it’s hard to even know the direction we might be going in. I don’t care about Chicago, Boston or Detroit’s particular style, it’s their management structure that we should seek to emulate as it clearly results in the building of perennial contenders with not only established stars but a clear pipeline of talent coming up. I think the imbalance in teams like Florida and the Islanders (all prospects and little present) or the Flyers, Canucks and some might even say the Sharks (aging core, few prospects) shows that lack of proper management and foresight. I think this is clearly why other teams are poaching assistant GMs from Detroit and Boston and why it’s a good idea.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey


            I shouldn’t have fed the trolls.

            Also, I personally agree with your stance regarding Edler. My previous post’s comments on him are more of aa friendly reminder that the old, “TRADE EVERYONE!!!11!!,” solution is getting played out to many who read this board.

            The only area where we may disagree somewhat is the emulation of Chicago and Boston simply because when you’re playing follow the leader, it’s important to remember that you’ll always be at least one step behind. Other than that, I’d agree that it would be a good way to get the club back on track as quickly as possible.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            The problem I have with trolls on sports boards is that they’re so boring. Seriously.

            Expect some response to my comment along the lines of “another delusional Canucks fan!!” or “44 years no cups LOOOOL!!”.

            I was actually losing interest in hockey because I had met so many stupid fans before I found this blog and was awakened to the interesting world of analytics, and I definitely appreciate everything you’re talking about.

            It’s a double-edged sword though: because I more or less understand a bit about fancy stats now, I find the trolling to be 10x more boring just because of how lazy it is. I can enjoy a good troll, but a good troll knows his material, and doesn’t repeat the same thing over and over. A good troll is an ARTIST!!

          • andyg

            It’s true, the quality of trolls here is pretty low. And easy to predict/provoke. I do like their commitment to hatred of Edler, sophomoric comments about the Sedins, references to 80s sitcoms and bizarre conspiracy theories alternately about Bettman or Linden. It would be nice if they could vary it up a bit though. If calling someone Cliff Claven is the worst one can do, well…

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            But but but, the Kings have won a cup in less time than the Canucks. Wait….have the Canucks ever won a cup? I’m not sure…

            What’s that? More excuses from a non cup team? Say it aint so Sammy!

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey


            B-b-b-but the Boston Bruins have won lots of cups. A recent one! They even beat the Canucks in a game 7 to get that one!

            And what are they doing now?

            Oh, yeah. Golfing. After a limp second round exit against a team they had a mathematical advantage against.

            The world of sports is a world of, “But what have you done for me lately?” That’s why even fans of teams with no Stanley Cup championships like the Canucks, Sharks and Sabres don’t care about the braying guffaws of Oilers fans still living in the eighties rolling around in their T-top Pontiac Firebird with Poison and Ratt cranked.

            I respect the hell out of Oilers fans who can stand by their team as it exists now and bleed orange, white and blue.

            I have no respect – and nor does anyone else – for miserable souls using prehistoric Stanley Cup wins as a vehicle for trolling.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            I’d never considered the possibility of trolling as an art form. The concept actually made me laugh out loud.

            I was in the same boat. I was losing interest in hockey until I discovered advanced stats and data analysis. Unlike you, however, it doesn’t make the trolling more boring to listen to others have silly conversation about how a player has, “A lot of heart,” or similar vague things.

          • andyg

            If you are truly committed to trolling you need to be ready to thumb down every single comment posted on an opposition team’s fan blog, you need to mouth nonsensical diatribes at everyone, and you NEED to convince everyone on there that they are bad people for believing in their team.

            Also you need to be fairly humorless. OK, that’s just the bad trolls. The good ones are actually somewhat interesting.

          • andyg

            Oh you Ciff Clavens need to get a room.

            Suck it up boys, your team blew another decade and it’s no ones faults but your own. Must hurt after so many decades and still with the same excuses.

            You just keep telling yourself all the same things to make yourselves feel better…like blaming Alberta for your cup drought…or cup never has been.


          • andyg

            Well we know they are Oiler fans because they are too embarrassed to tell us who their team is. Even Calgary fans have enough good things going on with their club to be proud enough to admit to it.

            If they were a fan of a playoff team then they wouldn’t be wasting their time hear but would be watching their team play. Just like we have done over the last 6 years and probably will next year. 🙂

          • andyg

            Oh, I forgot to wish you more years of Kevin Lowe to your Oils. Because like Edler, we all know how successful the guy is if he got a few more years…just a few more…and more.

          • andyg

            So how is your mighty team doing in the playoffs this year? Did you guys win any cups during all that success? i haven’t followed much Cnauck hockey but from the arrogance of their fans I assume they must have won a cup?

          • andyg

            Trolls. I fed them. Even after I told you not to. It is kind of amusing to come on here and post something just to see what will set them off. Their responses are unfortunately as predictable as they are boring.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Wait, were they trolling you with their “canucks suck” posts or where you trolling every rational human being with your ” Edler doesn’t suck” posts?


  • Mantastic

    The Boston model also includes the 2006 draft of Kessel, Lucic and Marchand while they did not have a general manager. Chiarelli was not allowed to join Boston until July.

    Does the Boston model show drafting and the GM’s role in drafting is alot more luck based than we think?

    Also, Jim Benning felt chasing Seguin out of Boston was a good idea. Is this cause for concern?

    • So as long as Linden doesn’t hire a GM until July, we should be golden?

      Seriously though, I think Benning will be a good hire. To have any chance of success, you have to luck out for a few drafts, then be able to develop that into an NHL core. If you can do that, then it is up to the GM to put the team in the position to succeed. A great GM can’t make a team win overnight, and I think Benning will look at how long it took them to have success with Kessel/Lucic/Marchand from the 2006 draft and hopefully ownership will allow him to be patient.

  • andyg

    I love this guy as the new GM.

    He played the game and has risen through ever level. The BOSTON model is a joke diversion. He has an eye when it comes to scouting and a knowledge of the Eastern conference , which will help our reset.

    No one recreates the Boston model because the Canucks are a West Coast team in a different Conference in a tougher division. Do you guys out there touting this believe he is in charge? He will create his own model.

    The eastern conference knowledge is big because I believe that if core players are moved it will be to a Philly, Toronto or Pitts type teams. Ready made veteran teams with easy travel and commitment to a high payroll. Just the type of teams vets will waive NTC for. Knowing the farm team and the young talent will be key in getting back corner stone players. If an Anaheim or San Jose wanted to deal we are talking more because of in conference trades.

    Best thing Trev could do is get a knowledgeable, amiable. Shark that will swindle every team and that team thanks Benning. Gillis was just a gruff troll living under a bridge. No one liked dealing with him.

    Hopefully Boston gets run and Benning can hire a coach and get to wheeling and dealing.

  • andyg

    Wouldnt mind seeing Tommernes, Andersson… even Ben Hutton and … to a further stretch, Cederholm…. given a couple chances.

    We must stop clogging up our bottom 6 and bottom D-pairing.. just cuz we want to win now.

    In order to win in the long run, we must learn to overcome struggles with our young guys.

  • andyg

    If there is a “Boston Model” it surely is this:

    1) Accept nothing less than total buy-in to the team concept. Tyler Seguin is a very good player and Boston was still willing to kick him to the curb for his indiscretions – and they are still a very good team in his absence.

    2)Build a team with playoff hockey and playoff success in mind. Skill will always matter in the NHL. Over time, the average size of NHL players has increased and will likely continue to increase so that matters too.

    3)Draft and develop well and don’t be afraid to give your own young talent a chance. Who thought Torey Krug would be a bonafide NHL player?

    Whether the dial points more in the direction of “skill” or more in the direction of “truculence” depends entirely on your own players. It’s not something you can force.

  • islander

    If we’re going to play canucks fantasy futurescapes I personally, am more interested in what will be done if the prospects with the bigger potential upsides turn out to be for real (horvat,shinkaruk,gaunce,fox,cassels).
    Hell, if I’m going that route I’d include kenins (reasonable chance for the bottom six), grenier(kid has turned a few heads) and ben hutton
    looks like a good ‘un. This is not to say that I’m
    putting on my pollyanna hat and getting all giddy
    (I’ll save that for training camp) but I can’t help wondering what this team is supposed to do if
    some of these kids surprise.
    Considering how many of our lads have the demon NTCs, where exactly would new blood fit?

  • islander

    Just to black and white it, as I look at the current roster this is what next year’s line-up
    looks like prior to any changes new management might make.
    Top six: Sedin,Sedin,Burrows,Kesler,Jensen(?)
    Bottom six: Higgins,Booth,Kassian,Matthias,Santorelli (if signed)Hansen,Richardson and Sestito.
    This is assuming that Dalpe and Schroeder are not re-signed to the big club.
    Seems a little crowded with foot soldiers.
    Add in a potential top six free agent signing and where in all of that does new blood fit? The bottom six in particular seems as open as a hermetic seal.
    With better systems in place and new management next year’s edition may well be half decent without an infusion. But is half decent anything anyone is looking forward to?

  • islander

    “#24 NM00
    May 09 2014, 12:20PM

    Mantastic wrote:
    “they drafted an elite scorer… from a deep draft and was able to flip them for great assets.

    you are drafting 6th in a weak draft… how are you comparing apples to oranges? 1 pick doesn’t make a team… i don’t know how you don’t understand this.”

    Consistently providing the most logical and realistic outlook for the Canucks even though (if I read you correctly) you seem indifferent to this team and favour the Oilers.

    Canuck fans would be even more delusional than they currently are if not for your comments…”

  • andyg

    Fire Vanilla Linden already! how long does it take to hire a GM? It took him one day to fire Torts and yet still no GM? Maybe he’s busing giving Daniel Sedin an ego massage.