The Odd Couple: Benning and Linden seem like they’ll need each other

New Canucks general manager Jim Benning faced the fans and media for the first time on Friday, and it was quickly apparent that his commendable accomplishments over a long career in hockey stand out far more than his public speaking skills. Though he was forthright and balanced, Benning doesn’t seem to have the sharpest tongue. He ducked multiple questions on Friday with the old “it’s my first day on the job!” dodge, he started a large number of sentences with a distracting, drawn out “well,” and his syntax is littered with “like” and “y’know.” 

In a telling moment towards the end of the Q&A with season ticket holders that preceded Benning’s formal introduction on Friday, the modest lifelong scout was asked about his immediate plans for the near future and he listed an itinerary. No seriously.

“From here I’m going to the announcement,” Benning joked, “then on Sunday we’re flying to Toronto, and we start the scouting combine on Monday, so we’re going to be there through the following week interviewing the players for this years draft, after that we’ll start in on interviewing for the head coaching position and from there we’ll head right up to our meetings in Whistler, and that’s about where it ends for me right now…” at which point Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden jumped in, put a halt to the rambling, and talked about “definitely hitting the ground running” and interviewing “the next crop of Vancouver Canucks, which is really exciting.” Essentially, or at least as it seemed to me, Linden threw his new general manager a lifeline in that moment.

Read on past the jump.

It’s not that my first impression of Benning was wholly negative on Friday, because it certainly wasn’t, he came across as knowledgeable, and humble, and hard-working, and honest. But in this new Canucks front office structure, it’s clear where the energy and big-picture strategic vision is coming from – and it’s coming from the handsome, well-spoken guy with the final say on hockey matters.

Which of Benning or Linden would have their finger on the button for real was perhaps the biggest question going into Friday’s introductory press conference, and it was ultimately answered about 30 minutes before Benning and Linden took any questions from the press. “I believe in a collaborative approach,” Linden said during the Q&A with season ticket holders, while complimenting Benning’s experience as a scout, a “builder”, and a guy who has “certainly … been involved in transactional situations.” Benning meanwhile was deferential: “On every decision we’re going to sit down, we’re going to talk about it, we’re going to talk to our people, and at the end of the day Trevor will make the decision.” 

In describing their interview process, and their shared vision for the team, Benning and Linden both used words like “character,” “high-chracter,” and “the right kinds of players,” to describe their high-appraisal of the Canucks’ core – lambasted as “stale” by outgoing head coach John Tortorella just six weeks ago. “Our core players are high-character people,” Benning explained of why he’s optimistic this club can turn their fortunes around quickly. “For whatever reason things didn’t go right last year, but I think we’ll be able to turn it around this next year.”

That “core”, stale or high-character depending on who you ask, is mostly comprised of guys on no-trade clauses, and Benning put a target on their backs when he indicated that he’d be willing to approach such players about waiving their no-trade clause if it would result in a deal that might improve the team. As for the one guy in that core who is willing to move on, to one-of-six teams at least, Benning sounded like a guy who was reluctant in the extreme to see the Ryan Kesler era in Vancouver come to an end. 

“I love the way Ryan Kesler plays, he plays hard, he competes hard, he’s a big bodied guy, he plays the way you win with,” Benning opined during the Q&A, and later during his introductory presser he referred to Kesler as a “warrior.” Continued Benning: “But I haven’t met Ryan Kesler yet, I haven’t had a chance to talk to him, so I don’t know what his thoughts are. If it’s up to me I’d like to try and keep him.” That meeting should happen in the next week or so and its outcome will presumably dictate much of Vancouver’s off-season.

Benning and Linden both also gave their young goaltenders, the Brynas duo of Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom, a strong vote of confidence. Linden told a story (twice, actually) about how Canucks goaltending coach Rollie Melanson inserted structure into Jose Theodore’s game and helped him become a star, and Benning essentially said that he’d “trust” Melanson and Linden’s judgement in net. 

Quality goaltending has covered any number of sins for the Canucks over the past decade – from Byron Ritchie on the power-play, to Andrew Ebbett on the third-line. Going into next season with Lack and Markstrom between the pipes seems an enormous risk for a club that seems dead set on qualifying for the postseason again. Of course, it’s also super affordable, and for a team that’s desperate to add depth; spending just over $3 million in cap-space in net is desirable to some extent. 

If Melanson, Lack and Markstrom can pull it off then it begs the question: has a goalie coach ever been nominated for the Jack Adams?

On the subject of coaching, Benning and Linden both suggested that NHL experience isn’t a must. Linden talked again about his “profile” of a desirable candidate, and it sure sounds like he’ll have most of the input on who is behind Vancouver’s bench next season. From the qualities he listed – a guy who has won at different levels, a communicator etc. – it sure sounded to me like Texas Stars head coach Willie Desjardins has a serious shot at this.

At the conclusion of the press conference, I came away with the overall impression that not much is likely to change this summer with the Canucks. The organization will chase some “grit” for the bottom-six surely, they’ll try to keep Kesler of course, they’ll roll with inexperience in net (unless their expressions of faith on Friday are some sort of cynical effort to further drive down the asking price of Jonas Hiller and Ryan Miller), and they’ll find a new head coach. 

Under Linden and Benning the Canucks are not suddenly assuming a “banners fly forever” all-in posture, and neither are they dismantling for the future – they’re looking for sustained success, which was essentially the mantra under Mike Gillis, Dave Nonis and Brian Burke. Miss the playoffs as a Canucks general manager, after all, and you’re out. Beyond those internal forces of inertia, this press conference just sounded significantly less radical in scope and ambition than Gillis’ introductory presser back in 2008.

Maybe that’s not a bad thing. What Benning lacks in charisma, Linden lacks in experience. Benning may not seem like he has a pulse when he’s asked about, say, his immediate schedule as he takes on his new job as Canucks general manager, and Linden sounds like a bold guy with all of the world’s energy when he takes on the same question. Benning springs to life talking about his resume in hockey, however, and Linden’s resume in hockey, aside from his accomplishments as a player, isn’t a thing that exists.

“I started from the ground up,” Benning explained of the path he took to become Canucks general manager. “I started as a part-time scout, then I became a full-time scout, then director of amateur scouting, then director of player personnel, to assistant general manager. So I learned every step of the way and at this point I feel I’m ready…

“I have a good foundation about what it takes to win… I was happy every step of the way, but I’m grateful for the opportunity today.”

Between the two of them they’ll be trusted to steer an 83 point team back to the postseason, and quickly. An odd couple, like Rust Cohle and Marty Hart, it’ll be fascinating to see how they complement or clash with one another going forward. On Friday, at least, they seemed like two guys with a shared vision, two guys who are going to need each other a whole lot. 

  • Sorensenator

    Great writeup as usual Canucks Army.

    After watching this presser, my first thought was “they fired Gillis……why?”. Cause everything stated today has been reiterated by Gillis in the past. Even word for word – if you will.

    Second of all, my immediate though was “yep, Aquilini still pulling the marionette strings from behind the curtains”. Maybe firing Gillis placates the season ticket holders (who seem to be their only concern, but the avg fan is wondering why they’ve heard all this before. Well, cause we have. Even Dowbggin was sounding off on twitter about this all being the owners design, and they’ll once again pick the coach.

    The joys of meddlesome owners……

    • RooblinDooblin

      The fact that Aquilini is an owner gives him every right to do whatever he deems correct regarding staffing issues. He OWNS the friggin’ team. I know the fans like to think they are more important than the owners, but without someone ponying up hundreds of millions of dollars this team wouldn’t exist. Hockey is a business, and the Aquilinis own a VERY profitable franchise. Meddle away Fran . . .

      • Marsh

        You should ask some Knicks, Redskins or Cowboys fans about how they feel about the meddlesome OWNERS of their VERY PROFITABLE teams before advocating such a position.

        If you really are a Canucks fan, that is…

  • Sorensenator

    Pretty standard boilerplate. I’m sure a few heads will explode around here over the keep Kesler talk. That will be fun to watch.

    I’m not sure I believe the sincerity of their position on our current goaltending situation, but as last year proved, they ‘ain’t expensive to trade for if it turns out they are wrong.

    • andyg

      He is talking about filling the bottom six not the whole team. If you have a bottom six that can put some hard minutes on the opposition it opens things up for your skilled players.

  • Marsh

    I really enjoyed his earnestness and I think his focus on scouting and prospects IS a pretty big departure for us.
    How many CHL games did Mike Gillis personally scout like Benning says he wants to? I’m not saying Benning’s way is better but it seems like Benning isn’t into running the kind of organization where the NHL and AHL coaches never speak once in a whole season.

  • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

    Nothing surprising coming out of Trevor Vanilla’s mouth. The guy and his coup against Messier indicated what kind of “character ” Linden really has, which is none at all. This is like a college student summer job for Linden. No plan, all talk, where have I heard that one before. Even Benning said he never heard of a Boston model when he was in Boston. Well they want to revisit 2011 and get that team back. The only problem is that the weak division is gone, the fluke goal from Burrows to get them past Chicago are gone, the key players coat tails who the Sedins and the core road all that year are gone. The only good news is that Gillis and Leaky Luo are gone. But hey, who am I to say this, I’m sure the Sedins will become the Niedermayers next year and lead the team to the cup. Hahahaha… I was kidding there.

      • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

        “Our core players are high-character people,” Benning explained of why he’s optimistic this club can turn their fortunes around quickly.”

        Hahaha. Yeah, I believe that as much as I believe Jennifer aniston when she says ” the secret is out, hydration IS IN!” Hahahahaha.

        Yeah, I’m a troll because I don’t buy into the Canucks BS. Right on, you’re so smart. Hey, what do you think of the emperor’s new clothes today?

      • acg5151

        BTW. I’m not trying to troll you canuck fans, I’m trying to help you, but just like a bunch of nicotine addict fools, all I hear are unrepentant proud to be smoking smokers. To which I say, well, go ahead, smoke away. In fact smoke 10 packs a day, see where that gets you.

        The Canucks will get no where because of Trevor Vanilla, not me. try directing your emotion on the real problem, the club and maybe you will have a winner in 5 years. Beep, nah, continue on blaming the whole world for the Canucks failures.

        Just one more person and the Axis of Mediocrity can begin! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!

      • andyg

        Because the Oilers suck so bad and with no light on the horizon, he needs to try and make others feel his pain.

        Messier was a washed up has been by the time he got here!

          • andyg

            So the Oilers are winners?

            You need to stop living in the past. You won’t be able to go to that shinny new arena and watch the past.

            Messier was a great player in his day but was washed up when he came here.

            Now if they can find a defense then they will have a chance. To bad they didn’t take Murry. He looks like the reel deal.

          • andyg

            Did I mention oilers? No, Batman, the oilers are losers like the canucks are. except the oilers haven’t been lifetime losers…that award goes tot he canucks and their lifetime of losing supporters, like you…

          • andyg

            Hey you know, when someone’s giving an addict free herion for 44 years, why should they quit doing what they’re doing? the Canucks have been enabled, supported and encouraged in their losing ways for so long, why would they stop now? Linden is no more than a poster for heroin use. Canuck heroin that is, the kind you don’t get high from but it just brings you and the whole province down. Of course, if you don’t buy into that then you must be an Oiler fan.

            Only a true Oiler fan would support the Gillis regime and now the Linden circus and oh, -39 Edler.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Remember that the vast majority of fans – whether of hockey, basketball, Bieber…whatever – are completely irrational. It even makes sense when you think about it; ‘fan’ is short for ‘fanatic,’ after all, and many fanatics don’t tend to be rational.

            For example, there’s a team that didn’t win a cup for 44 years. If you call them losers, their fan base would probably passionately argue that once in the 1990’s and once in the 2010’s that they were a really great team. Their detractors would just continue to say that they suck. You know what team I’m talking about.

            I’m talking about the Los Angeles Kings, of course. The only difference between them and the Canucks in a lot of fans’ eyes is exactly one cup in 44 years. Apparently, it’s the one and only thing that separates a God-forsaken, terrible, garbage team cobbled together of hobos and third rate players that should be urinated on by all us hockey fans from an elite, highly-touted group of individuals with an immaculate record of success and a rich tradition of winning that deserves all our respect from now until eternity.

            I know, it doesn’t make a ton of sense, but long story short: Don’t feed the trolls.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Well said.

            I don’t care if it’s Benning or Linden or whoever else calling the shots (I assume Gilman’s still got his job?) as long as there is an actual plan and we stick to it instead of chasing whatever the latest trend is supposed to be.

            I really hope we don’t go after Miller or another established goalie. If Miller wasn’t about to sign with an excellent team in St. Louis because of money I can’t possibly see him taking a short term decent cap hit to play in a rebuilding franchise. And since we just unburdened ourselves from Lou’s contract why would we take on another albatross? Better to spin the wheel with the ones we have, most of the UFA goalies aren’t really an upgrade, and better to focus on spending the money if we have to elsewhere like a top six winger and maybe a PP specialist if available.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey


            I’d presume Gilman’s safe for now. Barring he pours sugar in Benning’s gas tank – or something like that – he should be just fine.

            Agreed on the goalie front, by the way. As a recent article underscored, goalies are voodoo and as scoring seems to be the primary issue in the Canucks camp recently, time and attention are better placed up front. The farther forward, if you will, the better.

            Sorry about the pun.

          • andyg

            No sir, hockey is a competitive sport. There is something to be won. If you want the Canucks to just play for entertainment that why don’t you advise them to drop out of the playoffs? why don’t you ask them to charge people to watch a bunch of millionaires play for nothing but entertainment? Why don’t you ask the NHL to do way with even keeping score because it’s all just entertainment anyways?

            Sir, the real losers are the ones who want others to pay for a lousy product that’s no more than a sham. You want entertainment? Go watch Seinfeld.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Well, now that Canucks Army has heard from someone wearing a tinfoil hat claiming that the Boston bombing tragedy (and it was a tragedy, much respect, Boston) was a hoax and another poster who professes to be an expert in American history (and a guy who’s proud of coining the nickname ‘Trevor Vanilla’ for what that’s worth)…

            …How about we mutually agree that Canucks fans everywhere don’t care?

            I pose a fun, actually debatable point: Should the Canucks and Oilers do a little defense-for-front-line in a mutually beneficial (and intra-division) hockey trade this off-season?

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            The fact that you believe what happened in Boston without any shred of proof says what a lacky you are. You must also believe they shot and killed bin laden just because someone on the news said so, and because they showed a picture of Obama in a room with other politicians looking at a so called TV of the so called operation. I’m sure if the Americans told you that Santa Clause did the Boston bombings you wold believe too, because it’s in your nature. By the way, before you reply with another comment why don’t you take a look at the video or pictures of the two so called comerical airlines that hit the trade towers, airplanes that are black-gray and unmarked. I guess in your world, black-gray logo-less airlines exist? Oh but hey, I’m the one wearing a tin foil hat, and you’re the one who isn;t because you believe what you hear without any proof of any kind. must feel proud of yourself kid, to say that i wear a tin foil hat. do you also believe that jet feuel can cause two skycrapers to fall down at near free fall speeds where concrete and metal was turned into dust? Please tell me what science says that can cause that? Can you? no, you can;t you just like to believe and throw out the tin foil hat term. Oh, don;t worry, the Americans aren’t spying on you through csis, just because they told you so…and your emails are not being watched either.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Buffolobillsof hockey is a believer..a Cancuk belieBer. LOL.

            Poor sucker believe in the Canucks…enuff said about him. You know you don’t have much logic or reason when you believe the Vancouver Canucks. He probably thinks bush went into Iraq because he cared about freedom and not oil. LMFAO.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Wait, then that means that anyone who doesn’t believe what the Canucks and the government barfs out must be wearing tin foil hats! LOL.

            Oh those unbelievers are so wrong, no way that policicians can be crook, no way 911 can be an inside job and no way the Canucks are bullsh^tters! LOL

            We are all tin foil hat wearers. hahaha!

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Yes, a few terrorists with box cutter brought down airlines in the most advanced secure nation in the world, no black boxes ever found ( or hidden) metal and concrete turned into fine powder from jet fuel fires, not one shred of video of the plane going in to the pentagon, not one real plane debris of the plane going into the field, unmarked black planes hitting trade towers, ppl who have had their two legs blown off who are shown to be conscious and holding their own tourniquet while being wheeled away in a wheel chair, martial law on Boston to catch a guy who was hiding under a boat in plain sight, evading 1000 cops for over 10 hours so he could write a confession in a boat next to a house on a lawn. You can;t make that stuff up you can’t. but that’s what they want you to believe…and they do. Willingly, like a slave.

            It’s like the plants in a magic show who seem surprised the magician made cream appear in their coffee. No one seems to want to believe that their plants, but the cream magically appeared in the cup on TV. No one wants to think that maybe those morons who had their legs blown off could have been actors working for the gov who have had their legs offed in a previous non related event. Hey, that Boston victim has no legs, so the bombings with their bright red colored arterial blood must be true!

            And they wonder why there are suckers in the world. They pray to a European god or a Muslim god or whomever god that floats in the skies and answers their prayers. They never stop to question anything, just believe what you are TOLD, period.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            There are people who actually do not believe in global warming. Even as the seas rise and the ice melts, they still will not believe. but of course if any news “opinionator” tells them otherwise, then they believe. Such is the fate of human beings.

            Albert Eisntein is regarded as arguably had the greatest and still felt discoveries of any human ever made, and despite his many brilliant gifts he left mankind, I think his greatest quote was “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

            Einstein was not only a genius but he was also humble and never even considered himself a genius. He had what is known as creative thinking, and he was curious to ask simple questions almost all would never bother to ask.

            Einsteins discoveries are present in all of our lives today and without them, we would be living in the technological dark ages. But of course, who wants to believe in science, or what they can prove, when they can believe in a news “opinionator”, a news celebrity. We are all conditioned to believe what we are told and most people never stop to ask simple questions. Questions like, who owns the media? Who really finances politicians and their campaigns? Is there a law that says n

            These simple questions with such simple answers are not even asked. What chance does man kind really have with global warming? Like the canucks, I’am sad to say… not much at all.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Hey man, here is another great Einstein quote you may have heard of.

            Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein.

            Yep, that sounds like the Canucks 44 year plan alright. LMFAO

            BTW | propped you man.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            This is a hockey forum. I’m not here to debate conspiracy theories.

            The one thing everyone can agree on regarding the Boston bombing and 9/11 is that they were terrible tragedies.

            And that’s all I have to say on that matter.

          • andyg

            You debate conspiracies all the time. It’s called the Canucks and why there are people who keep defending a club who’s never won anything in 44 years. hahahaha!

          • andyg

            You know you can;t explain the logo less black gray “commercial airplanes ” and you stick to your spoon fed US government theories. Don;t reply to my original comment if the only information you ever had was from one us gov source or have never did any other research on it. It makes you look like an ignorant arrogant know nothing know it all…kind of like the majority of Canucks fans.

          • andyg

            What do you expect from a guy who is oblivious to the complete and utter failure that is the Canucks franchise? Monkey see , monkey hear no evil. In one ear and out the next and here he wants others to consider what he’s saying when he’s dismissing others. No, he’s not delusional and a follower of anything at all…

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Say that when your politicians get you to pay for skytrain, icbc, cheese, milk, gas, property tax, all for you won good and because your government loves you.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Thanks for assuming I blindly listen to US Government press releases. No, my line of thinking is more aligned with this guy:

            And though he won’t address your concern of “black gray ‘commercial airplanes'”, allow me to: How do you make 2 767’s, 2 757’s and hundreds of civilian passengers disappear without a trace or even a rumor while you crash unmarked planes into targets?

            You don’t. For the same reason all the morons who claim that NHL hockey is rigged are wrong. How do you silence 600 odd players, as well as countless coaching, front office and auxiliary staff on the subject?

            Again, you don’t.

            Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming: Canucks Hockey.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            “You don’t. For the same reason all the morons who claim that NHL hockey is rigged are wrong. How do you silence 600 odd players, as well as countless coaching, front office and auxiliary staff on the subject?”

            Referees are blind. Game managers they are .

            Second, how do you keep people from talking? threat of either death, or in most cases, you talk and you lose your job, your benefits.

            Would you open your mouth if |i told you by tomorrow you would lose the means to earn a living and put food in your kids mouth? Didn’t think so. But we all know that people in general, in government or not can never commit crimes for money.

            And people have opened their mouths, on the the assassination of JFK and 911, it’s just that “mainstream” media never reports it. Just like how the canucks never talk about their real problems. If they don’t mention it, then it must not be true or happening. By the way, FB is also a CIA creation. But you wouldn’t believe that, and you certainly wouldn’t believe you’re being spied on even as Snowden tells you, because the media says he’s traitor and becasue they said so, then it must be true.

            Now go to Sea world with your children and watch all the whales they keep as slaves in a small pool not because of making money but because your kids need to know how orcas live in a cage pool.

            You want to be heard but you are incapable of opening your ears? Ha. Then don’t talk. Don;t reply.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            civilian passengers disappear without a trace or even a rumor while you crash unmarked planes into targets?”

            And I never said that. READ my post properly. i said two unmarked so called commercial airlines hit the towers. i never said nothing hit the towers. Try reading what I post before you change the subject. And because two towers fell down at near free fall speeds while turning into dust and fine power which is scientifically impossible means that the official story is true? Yeah, two planes hit those towers alright, but unmarked planes are NOT commercial airlines. There’s one smoking obvious gun right in front of your nose, yet you refuse to see it right? If they told you that monkeys flew the plane you would believe it too, because hey, you saw two unmarked planes fly into the towers and so it must be true!

            they were 2 logo less unmarked commercial planes buddy. did you hear that? the gov claims that 2 commercial airlines where hijacked, yet 2 unmarked logo less planes hit the towers. That’s like the Canucks telling that their team is a winner despite having never won anything.

            Two Unmarked Commercial airlines buddy. did you read that properly? Now that’s just one glaring inconsistency among many many more. Get yourself something called simple logic before you start bringing up another subject. you can’t even explain why logo less unmarked commercial airlines were flying through the air and yet you bring up a new subject? BTW there was and is still no flight manifesto for whomever was on board those planes which by law all planes are supposed to have. but you don’t need that because the US media has already told you on their news that so and so terrorists where on the plane and that’s good enough for you because we all need to trust what we hear on TV. Just like what we hear from the Canucks brass.

          • andyg

            This is why I don’t post here anymore. The only ones posting are idiots and trolls. The articles are decent sometimes, so I keep coming back, but these comments sections have really gone to hell over the past year.

            Also, I think the odds that the Canucks and Oilers will trade are slim to none. For one thing, the last the Canucks need is ANOTHER strong team in the division.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            I can certainly respect that outlook. The articles are largely high-quality, and I appreciate the metrics-centric approach of the writers.

            But you’re correct about the comments section; it does seem to be overrun with trolls. Time to blow up the comments section and rebuild.

            Great point about the Canucks not needing yet another strong team in their division – though personally, after years of being the big fish in the positively tiny pond and dominating the Wild, Flames, Oilers and Avalance, I welcome the new Pacific Division – but it seems as though an actual hockey trade could be struck between the two clubs. Specifically, a high-quality, reliable d-man who can set an example from the Canucks for a budding, young forward with scoring potential from the Oilers.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            If you think that’s what a troll is, you need to go on CNN comment section and see what real pro trolls and shills sound like. LOL

            Face it, no one but you and the 5 Clavens here believe the BS that comes out of a club that’s NEVER won squat in 44 years. But you want everyone to believe, and those who don’t are trolls to you. Hot diggity dog, momma run for the hills, we have non believers!

            I don’t trust a team that has never won anything is 44 years. I don’t trust their fanboys and i certainly don’t trust any one or organization that does not do what it says its sets out to do and has failed for so long.

            Once bitten call you shy, 44 years bitten call you a shill. LOL

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Hey man, a troll by definition is –

            is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community..

            First of all, all my comments have been about one thing and one thing only. Why the Canucks are lousy and why everything they have said is BS based on 44 years of losing.

            Second, I don’t start buy upsetting people but if it’s not my fault if they get upset because I pointed out the fact that the team hasn’t won anything in 44 years. Those are called “facts”. You see, trolls usually make up and hide facts to serve their purpose. Ask any of the folks here, I have never claimed anything about the team that isn’t true. Canucks, never won a cup – true.

            Third, it’s not me that has choked on the ice in the last 44 years, it’s the Canucks. I’m only pointing out the obvious. Always have, always will point that out. The 44 year drought isn’t fiction, it is true. You’re not a winner when you don’t win, you are a winner when you win. so if the canucks have not won anything in that time then they are not winners. and winners who don’t win are called losers. We are idiots because we refuse to drink the kool aid? Are you a kool aid drinker? You must be, it’s been 44 years and has that kool aid helped the team win? No, right? So by doing the same you should expect different results. You are truly a genius. How many cups has the team won to vindicate that hypothesis?

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            Dude, don’t make fun of people unless you have had a little open mind and maybe explore the possibilities of what they said. I have to admit that over 10 years ago I was a rube like yourself. and in the case of 911 I too was horrified etc. I also bought the Time magazine where the cover had the plane hit the tower. Many years alter after the financial scheme crisis, little easy research has opened my eyes on the true nature of the world. And when I look back, many of it was right there in front of my face.

            the mag cover with the planes, starring right at me, blackish gray logo less planes. Not one mark. Ok, it was in the shadow, but it was a sunny day, not one logo, just black gray planes with no logo. It was right under my nose and i believed because I was conditioned to trust what the news tells me.

            Listen dude, no offense, just because you can’t or are not willing to count past three doesn’t mean another person should not. If you’re quick to trust everything the Canucks tell you that’s your prerogative but don’t expect everyone else to trust like you without question.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            See: my above response to Boston Wrong.

            Beyond that, believe and trust whoever you want to. You’re entitled to it and I won’t try to stop you.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            The juvenile trolling by fans of other teams is one thing and fairly meaningless if a little tiresome. And I was about to ask the Linden haters what exactly he did to them to earn their ire (didn’t cancel a gym membership? made their Messier fan club memberships expire? who knows?) but the bat#$it crazy turn that the comments section has taken is, umm, a little alarming.

            “Hey, it’s not being paranoid if everyone’s out to get you” – Dr. Johnny Fever

            Back to the Canucks — I’d never trade within the division just because we’d have to play them so often. If we did trade Kesler (and I really would like to know who is the coach before we contemplate it) then I’d hope it would be to the Eastern Conference.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            And here I thought you were going to defend Edler again. Country club Linden has never won a ting as a player and wasted many years here with his mediocrity. But you would defend that too wouldn’t you? I guess it’s not true that Canucks fans hates winners and loves losers.

  • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

    Another fine Drance penned article.

    They both need each other, but it’s more fun to ask who needs who more.

    I do like that Benning seems to be the quintessential architect in that he stated that he’s willing to approach anyone regarding waiving their NTC, though.

  • pheenster

    Benning sounds like linden’s lackey and linden seems like aquilinni’s personal bootlicker. So aquilinni is poised to draw down on his substantial hockey knowledge and run the franchise into the ground. Why bring Benning in if he’s going to defer to two guys who know bupkis about running a hockey team?

  • andyg

    I think Benning said all the right things. He is new to the scene and it’s a legit reason not to have all the answers. Also, you need to approach these matters with tact. There are way too many idiotic media/blogger types that will dissect every word you say and analyze it for days.

  • andyg

    I don’t get why everyone is soooo obsessed with “Who” will make the decisions and who is the face of the team. Frankly, I like a GM that will work hard, stay out of the press, not bad mouth/ former players and won’t make enemies in GM offices across the league. Gillis was a royal pain in the A$$ that thought he was the smartest guy in the room and probably foiled his own attempts to trade Luo with his attitude.

    A well run organization wether sports or business relies on hiring people that are competent and letting them do their jobs. Owners own, Presidents handle hiring, talking to press and make sure everyone gets what the need to succeed. GM’s draft and acquire Players that are better than yours and Coaches coach those players. Simple formula!

    I trust Benning took this job with a vision of a revamped team including relying on young players like Kass Jensen Horvat and Corrado, mixed with FA’s like Vanek or Stasny and a better work environment than last year. Let’s face it Torts has problems! Should have known when he nbenched guys in NY that are leading them in the playoffs this year.
    Lack did as good a job as possible, with being thrown in and playing behind a very unorganized D. Min Rollie I trust! He has forgotten more about playing net than most writers know, so if says they can do it… Then that all I need.
    I like the new approach. Quiet front office let the players do the talking.

    • andyg

      why not talk about who’s going to be making decisions for the club? It’s not like the Clavens here ever talk about the real problems with the Canucks, ahem..the players? so what, people are not supposed to talk about the players, the management, the scouts? what’s left? Oh, I know, let’s all sit around and talk about stats and stats and more stats because stats will make the Canuck players show up for the games. Hahaha… sure.

      • andyg

        Obviously you missed the point of my post. You hire people that have the same philosophy and let them do their jobs.

        Why on earth are you and anyone else obsessed with the players at this point? tThe playoffs are only at the conference finals and the draft is yet to come?? What is Linden supposed to do, just toss players in the street and call up the AHL club….

        The offseason hasn’t started yet. I always wonder why non fans bother to log in, read the articles and posts then just spew non sense like” it’s the players duhhh” like I believed Linden and Benning were going to suit up again. Go watch videos on youtube, play more Minecraft or just stare at a wall for an hr. Something more productive than waste your time reading about a team you obviously despise.

  • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

    Tsn reports that Bettman is talking about Seattle as a possible franchise destination. Well if Seattle is to get a franchise the good news will be that half their fans will come from over the border here in Vancouver. Lousy sport monopolies like the Canucks will soon realize that people will go to a second non gouge option should there be one. The days of the Canucks serving up stale hockey to paying fans would be long over.

    Just like the wheat board, milk board cheese board, icbc and sky-pit board, those bozos can charge whatever they want and consumers will just keep crossing the border for their shopping. Does anyone here still believe Bettman isn’t going to move the entire game into the US? If Seattle does get a franchise, say good bye to the over priced, over rated inept 44 year Canucks. Goodbye and good riddance to them and their mouth piece media, especially team shill 1040.

  • andyg

    Interloping owner, Trevor as prez, his club house buddy Benning and one more piece and the Futile Triangle can start! Maybe Linden can hire one of the fat green snot men as the coach. Haha! Jesus I can’t wait for next year!

    Meanwhile one time NHL GM Gillis is over in Springfield Florida trying to sell the mono-rail again! Hahahaha!

  • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

    Still too early to tell what type of GM Bennings (GMB) will turn out to be. After all, this is just his second day on the job…

    I must admit that parts of yesterday’s news conference, when GMB mentioned “we need depth” and “we need to roll 4 lines” caught my attention. It got me thinking… I am glad that GMB didn’t go for the sound bite and tried to sell the “Boston model”. After all, Championship teams comes in all shape and sizes. Just look at Pittsburg, Detroit, LA, Anaheim and Chicago as examples. Run and gun. Puck control. Big and bruising. What all consistent Championship teams have in common is that they are usually the BEST at whatever system they employ (which requires buy-in on ALL levels of the organization from ownership, mgt, coaches and players). In addition, having sufficient bench depth to handle the 2 month playoff grind (playing just the top 9 forward for that long a period is a recipe for disaster) is critical IMHO. Beyond that, staying healthy and getting a couple of luck bounces here n there is often the difference between playing hockey or golf in June. That said, I do believe that some systems are more successful in the playoffs (when the referees tend to put away the whistle).

    He also made a point to mention that the core was something to be built around. Pretty delusional considering most of the roster are now on the wrong side of the performance curve IMHO. That said, I’ve always thought that GMMG’s downfall was his failure to manage organizational assets properly; often getting little to no value on non-returning players (Ehrhoff, Malhotra, Lapperire, Torres, Raymond, Weise). GMB’s comment can be construed as either touting the company line to postpone the rebuild, or as a tactful way of not further diminishing player value (after all what kind go bargaining power will he have if he trashed his current roster in public)? The redeeming point is that he was willing to entertain asking players to waive their NMCs if it should benefit the team. A big step in the right direction if you ask me.

    I guess either way it is going to be an interesting summer….

    • andyg

      Benning said the way to build a teem was too slowly work youth in as they are ready.

      We need to have solid vets for our young players to learn from. I can see him moving 1 or 2 but I will bet you most stay put and we see them work on the depth.

      I know we will not see 100 point seasons out of the twins but if they are kept around 18 min a game they will produce.

      In 2011 we had 4 lines. AV is running 4 lines in NY something Torts never did.

      • andyg

        Agreed. I don’t think that this market (owner and fans alike) will tolerate a full scale Buffalo Sabres rebuild. More than like it will be a few key pieces that will be shipped out. Here’s hoping that the pieces shipped are at their peak value (Kessler and maybe Tanev) in order to maximize potential returns, all the while hoping that better coaching will help non performing players return to reasonable levels of performance. What is interesting (from watching “Behind the Bs”) is that GMB doesn’t seem to have any strong emotional attachment to players, and do seem to view them as assets which should be moved if value can be maximized in a trade.

        The alternative is to parlay these under performing players for peanuts, and opt for a full blown 5 year rebuild…

    • andyg

      It’s not that Benning is a bad candidate, it’s that he’s the new sauce on a stale tired old stinking pizza. plus the cook is Trevor Mediocre Vanilla, so how do you think that pie will turn out eventually? You know what the American sheeple and the Canucks fans have in common? They both believe everything they are told, without so much as a thought, without even looking at the history and the history of failure is alllll there.

      I would believe Trevor Linden as much as I believe that in Boston, when you supposedly have two of your legs blown off in a ” terrorist attack ” you’re put in a wheel chair while your asked to hold your own tourniquet while two nurse are pushing you in a wheel chair on a full sprint to the ambulance. Now that’s medic S.O.P. in North America.

      Or how the Boston police shut an entire neighborhood down to look for the “suspect” with over 100 law enforcement officers for over 10 hours, yet failed to locate him even though he was siad to be bleeding. And somehow the dude manage to hide in a boat parked in someone’s law in plain sight, oh and get this, he was said to be writing a confession in the boat while bleeding half to death and evading 1000 cops in a small area for over 10 hours. turns out the brother also was said to have confessed to the car he supposedly jacked…and oh, the 3rd ” suspect” also to have confessed to cops. No proof, just talk and what the shill cia media wants them to say.

      Now to Linden’s Canucks, same thing. No plan, all talk, making it up as they go along. But the sheeple fans will believe. Can’t say I feel sorry for humanity or the fans, those who believe without reservation deserve to be victims.

      • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

        Well since you’re talking about it, I have to say that many Americans are none too bright. Their ancestors from Europe and other parts will be the first to tell you that after being scammed by the BS government media for thousands of years, they don’t believe what their media tells them.

        America has only been around for over 200 years and they think nothing but the truth comes out of their media…the poor basterds. They’ve been brainwashed to think that way. Since birth, they’ve been brainwashed by slogans like land of the free, home of the brave. Or that they are the best country in the world. Or that they are free, implying that no other country int hr world is free, yadda yadda. No one in America is told when they are born ” Trust no one, especially politicians who want you to go to wars they themselves don’t even volunteer for.” And we all know all politicians are crooks. When you spend more money in campaigns to get the job then what the actual job pays, it’s a red flag for anyone with a brain and believable for self induced retarded people.

        So in that way it’s kinda like the Canucks, they talk, their players talk, they never win, and people still show up to buy tickets! I hope Jim Benning doesn’t like buses because throwing guys who want real change under buses is what Vancity Canucks do best.

        One day we will see Gillis with his Neck beard drunk on Robson and yelling out ” I WAS ONCE AN NHL GM, DAMN YOU!”

  • JCDavies


    my feeling is ’til you can quantify courage and character in the amateur scouting side of it analytics don’t really help with that, on the amateur side.


  • andyg

    It would be nice to start seeing some discussion on the draft.

    I wonder if there is potential to move up? Both Florida and Edmonton need to start thinking about now.

    • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

      You’re a rube. And like the Canucks fanboys, you want everyone else to be sucker like you. and if they don’t go along with the party line, then they must be trolls, or conspiracy theorists. What do you call the Canucks plans for winning? Also a theory because it has yet to happen.

      Hey don’t worry, just cast your vote for the 3 parties and that will surely make a change. God knows how people in your world are not corruptible and governments and Canuck hockey teams are angels. This world doesn’t run on money and BS and greed, it runs on fairy dust and new clothes for the emperor.

  • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

    Troll (HPC, Boston Wrong, whatever handles your other personalities go by) I think you might need to go get a room. A padded room. You can entertain yourself all you want there, with your conspiracy theories about everything from politics to the Canucks. Grassy Knoll! A second shooter! Atlantis! Vaccines!

    There’s a lot more out there. Why waste your energies on this poor lot? You should be out there educating the masses with your wisdom.

    • andyg

      Hahaha! many folks are not believers in many things, namely the Canucks. You, like many others in the world are believers, in the Canucks and you believe the government judging by what you just wrote.

      You truly are a believer. It must take alot of divine strength for you to believe in -39 Edler. No , I need a padded cell while you make love to losers like Edler. Loser lover. LMFAO

    • andyg

      Plain and simple. You defend and lover Edler -39, worst in the league. Edler is a loser -39 = you defend losers = you love losers = you love losing.

      Surprise, a Canuck fan who loves to defend losing! How fresh and new! Ahahahahaha!

      • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

        That’d probably help quite a bit.

        For my part, I apologize for getting into it with the 9/11 troll, but it would certainly help if there were a moderator in charge of removing off topic posts (I’m lumping my response to his absurd posts into that catergory, too).

        It’s sad that internet forums always seem to eventually need a “sheriff,” though.

        • pheenster

          Nothing that a little moderation wouldn’t fix. At some point the devolution of this comments section into a cesspool complete with its own resident tinfoil hat-wearing lunatic will outweigh the page hits Nation Network gets from said devolution. But with the Canucks on vacation and decreased interest among the faithful resulting in less people reading Canucks blogs, I suspect they’re taking those views wherever they can get them at the moment. And hey, apparently we’re still here, so it can’t be that bad, right?

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            I wouldn’t be so certain.

            The troll infestation is pretty bad.

            However, on the “+” side of the +/- troll debate, I’ve deduced the identity of said troll based on his repeated references to Edler being -39 for the season.

            It must be Don Cherry, the only person old enough to both watch hockey and still use the +/- stat.

            Now that we have that settled – as Grapes has been unmasked and is telling me that he “would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling adults” – I hope someone deletes all of Don’s “insightful” comments under his various aliases. Then people who actually follow the team can get back to having worthwhile discussions.

            Y’know, the kind that don’t end with “LOL,” and garbage like that.

          • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

            There you go again, pointing your finer and blaming someone else. Wake up rube, Canucks haven’t won a ting in 44 years, the most important stat in the NHL. Talk about being dense.

            LOL LOL LOL 44.

  • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

    It’s slightly funny to poke the bear (HPC et al. who seem more and more likely to be the same person) but in truth it’s really rather sad. I am guessing the thought is that he/she/it will eventually tire of it (especially during a slow offseason) and retreat back to whatever basement they crawled out of, but perhaps a more serious medical intervention is needed?

  • BuffaloBillsOfHockey

    Does anyone here but me notice that Av and his Rangers are now leading 3-1 in the series thanks to St. Louis? St Louis made such a contribution right after the dramatic sad event of the passing of his mother.

    Flashback to the Canucks. their coach Torts goes into Calgary’s dressing room to stir it up and stand up for them in another much less dramatic event and the players repay him by playing like SH&T.

    The cwoach made me bwock shwots….gave me oowie!
    Fire the coach!

    The Canuck circus is going to be so much more fun than anything the PNE can do next year.