Report: Canucks closing in on 5-year extension for Brandon Sutter

USATSI_8513638_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks are close to signing newly acquired centreman Brandon Sutter to a five-year extension worth somewhere in the neighbourhood of $22 million in total, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Sutter, 26, is a pending unrestricted free agent who managed to score more than 20 goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. He’s a large and sturdy defensive centreman with a propensity for getting buried in his own end of the rink and producing even-strength offense at a pedestrian rate.

If the annual average value of Sutter’s contract extension comes in a just under $4.4 million per, as Friedman expects, then that will be roughly in-line with what we’ve seen high-end third-line centremen paid for their unrestricted seasons recently.

A few examples of such players include Philadelphia Flyers centre Sean Couturier, Montreal Canadiens pivot Lars Eller, and new Chicago Blackhawks centre Artem Anisimov. Couturier and Eller have lower cap hits than Sutter will possess once this expected extension is finished, but looked at in isolation, the value of their unrestricted seasons hovers at just about the $4.5 million mark.

The issue for the Canucks here is that all of Couturier, Eller and Anisimov have been more productive offensively, particularly at 5-on-5, over the past three seasons. That’s likely to be reflected in the overall value of Sutter’s deal, but only partly. 

Because Sutter is so close to unrestricted free agency, the Canucks have no way of buying out  his unrestricted years in a way that restrains the overall annual average value of his next contract. The result is a hefty deal that, while absolutely in-line with market value, is still a lot of cap space to commit to a depth centreman that doesn’t drive offensive production or the run of play.

At least a hypothetical five-year deal extends through Sutter’s prime and not too far beyond it (he’d be 32 years old when such a deal expires). 

The deal also isn’t so rich that it serves to scuttle the team’s flexibility under the salary cap next summer, when Benning has indicated that he’d like to be a player in the high-end unrestricted free agent market. Assuming a $4.4 million cap hit for Sutter, the Canucks project to have $53 million committed against the cap for next season with eight forwards, three defenseman, and two goaltenders signed and a handful of restricted players (like Linden Vey and Sven Baertschi) who could help fill out the roster affordably. 

    • There’s a difference between goal totals and overall even-strength offense.

      Also @MichaelCinco – I think that’s a fair point (though Sutter is surely a third line C in my view). This is market value for a very good 3LC, but we can definitely quibble with whether or not Sutter meets that benchmark.

      • Also wanted to say that you’d have a tuff time building a contender if you’re paying “on par” for most positions….

        You have to be able to get some smart, fair signings and other than the cheap $1 mill or less signings, all of Bennings larger contracts SMELL.

        • This is a fair point, though your best opportunities for value contracts are for young guys that you’ve developed yourself. Benning’s best contract work, for example, is clearly Chris Tanev which is not at all a coincidence.

          We’ll have to watch how things play out, but the management team should have some opportunities to lock up younger players to favourable deals in the coming years (Horvat/Baertschi, in particular).

  • wojohowitz

    I think Benning is looking for leadership ability from Sutter and maybe it is there, but if he thinks he`s getting the second coming of Brian or Darryl then he has screwed up. If Sutter can play a hardnosed in your face game then it will work out fine.

  • wojohowitz

    It’s not like having Sutter for 6 years, Dorsett for 4 years and Sbisa for 3 years will be blocking roster spots for cheaper young players. Oh wait…

  • Benning is so clueless. The way this guy thinks is prehistoric.

    I want him as far away from our team as possible. Fire his ass asap. Can’t stand these bullcrap contracts that he keeps handing out to bottom 6 forwards and bottom pairing defenseman.

    Sbisa – 3.6
    Dorsett – 2.65
    Sutter – 4.4
    Prust – 2.5
    ————

    13.15 mil

    For 4 players who are bottom 6ers and a botttom pairing d man. Well no wonder we’re right up against the cap.

    • andyg

      Agreed.
      Kesler playing 2C with a top NHL club,plenty of PP time and 20 goals-5 PP goals,one SH goal and 4 GWGs.

      Sutter played on a #15 overall team that made the playoffs on the last game of the regular season(when he scored both goals to put them in said post-season).Scant PP time behind Malkin and Crosby but more goals(21) 3 PP goals, 4 SH goals and 4 game winners.

      Kesler with his attitude and injury prone versus a kid that has a great work ethic ,same goals,one of the best PK players in the league and in the prime of his career-for $2.4 million less every year.

      Lots of whining going on. You guys are half empty type people who act like this is not a fair deal or you are actually paying Sutter out of your pocket.

    • I’d rather have either of them than David Clarkson at $5 million for the next five years. There’s (almost) always a worse contract out there somewhere. But the best position to be in is not to have one of these albatross contracts hanging around your neck, and by my count if this deal goes through, Benning will have three of them (Miller at 6, Sutter at 4.5, and Sbisa at 3.6).

      • andyg

        The only Canuck Benning signed that has a full NTC is Vrbata,and he is full value for his contract. Nobody whines much about that here.
        Indeed,if we look at the Gillis NTCs Benning is shedding in Kesler,Garrison and now Bieksa the team still has to deal with Burrows,Higgins,Hansen,Hamhuis and Edler.
        All players not named Sedin come and go. Three year contracts when a GM has lost no players or future picks is hardly at the end of the hockey world mistake spectrum. Doling out NTCs while not able to draft or develop adequately is the disaster Benning inherited.

      • pheenster

        Albatross contracts are defined by term, not AAV. I would argue that none of these contracts (one of which doesn’t actually exist yet) would qualify as an albatross.

  • I saw some quotes from Benning defining the roles he sees as foundational to a team. In it he lists 7 important positions: 3 Centers, a scoring winger, an offensive defenseman (pun alert), a defensive defenseman and a goalie.

    Looking at the contract he gave Miller, this Sutter extension and talk about pursuing a big name free agent, it’s probably fair to cost out these 7 positions at an AAV of $6M each, for a total of $42M tied up in the foundation.

    Assuming a minimum cap of $72M that leaves about 30M to spend on the remaining 15 guys, an AAV of $2M per player. The low entry level and filler contracts provide the liquidity to pay the Dorsetts and Sbisas the cash they make above the AAV.

    And then the Nucks win the Cup!

  • pheenster

    Not sure why all the Benning/Sutter hate… Sutter is perfectly suited for the Western conference, he scored more goals than Bonino, is a top notch penalty killer and defensive player and will be matched up against the likes of Mcdavid, Getzlaf, Kopitar, Bennet, etc… When ready, Mcann and Cassesls will step in on an ELC and do their thing. As it stands we are cap complaint so the money allocated doesn’t matter. Also, I keep seeing people complaining that all other teams got better. How are we supposed to control that. Its not like Benning could have stopped the Oilers from drafting 1st overall… or Calgary trading for douggie hamilton…

    Canucks got SMASHED by an underwhelming flames team in the playoffs, so Benning makes changes he and his management team feel are suitable and everyone is up in arms. Think about the players we lost. Only one that bothers me is Lack, but he was going to command 4-5mill next year as a ufa. Hate that he is gone but we’ll survive… At the very least we got tougher to play against and we are rolling the dice on some young players such as corrado and baerthci. I get the flaming but look at our roster today. I, personally, prefer it to the same roster a year ago.

    Cheers,
    Method

    • Mantastic

      Sutter got smashed in the eastern conference, and the eastern conference doesn’t have the centre talent the west has… so how is he going to perform better against tougher competition?

      • birdie boy

        Are you referring to advanced statistics? Those should be analyzed with a grain of salt IMO. No GM in the league uses those stats as the be-all end-all for judging a player, hence why they have professional scouts and why they actually watch the games themselves.

        Sutter was a plus player (+6) as a shut down center playing with marginal NHL’ers such as Steve Downie and Beau Bennet. He also managed 21 goals somehow. I’d love to see how he does with Vrbata and Higgins/Baertchi.

        Again, Sutter hasn’t played a game with us yet, so although i’m glad we made the trade, I have no clue how this will turn ou. But this is sports. You take chances and you see what happens.

        Cheers,
        Method

  • We don’t even know how he’ll fit in with the team and we want to give him term? I don’t understand that at a time like this. Do we even know if he’ll have any chemistry with any of his teammates yet? Nope. This is a guy who has already been traded twice in his short career, clearly he is expendable. Why would you lock up a guy like that?
    This whole offseason is baffling. If Benning is trying to ice a competitive team, then this is a laughable effort.
    If Benning is trying to tank, he needs to try harder ’cause I think we will be bad but we aren’t even close to coyote or devil bad. Also, he needs to stop giving bottom 6 players deals with term!

    • That line of thinking is ridiculous. By that same token, you should never trade for a player who is already signed to a long-term contract.

      Also, he’s only been traded once, as the key player going the other way for Jordan Staal. How can you consider that as “expendable”? Pittsburgh wanted value for Staal, who didn’t want to stay in Pittsburgh.

    • andyg

      That is what I don’t get with Canuck fans.

      They cry the team is too old,it’s too old,it’s too old.
      We need to get younger because we are stale.

      But oh my god if you make changes and bring in youth,character or any new faces at all, they go off the deep end.

      • birdie boy

        The Canucks fans would be more forgiving if the moves the team is making made sense. On the one hand they are trying to do get younger by trading away aging pieces for draft picks, but on the other hand they are squandering the same picks and propects they need for their future on questionable moves to ‘win now’

        Canucks fans aren’t STUPID. How many actually believe that the Canucks team as currently assembled is even a threat to make the playoffs? How many would believe that even if they make the playoffs that they are capable of winning more than one series? Alot of the fans you see on here blasting the team are fans who do not believe ‘reloading on the fly’ is a viable strategy.

        Add to that the baffling and idiotic signings (Dorsett, Sbisa) and that leaves you with a fanbase that’s very much frustrated with the direction (or lack thereof) Management is taking this team.

        • andyg

          SOME Canucks fans aren’t stupid. After reading this page, we know some are extremely stupid.

          Anyone wanting Bonino over Sutter fits the stupid mold.

          Also, you idiots, who have already assumed Benning is a disaster, cement my argument.

          Gillis left the team in a mess and with very few good prospects. He also handed out NTCs and left the team unable to manage assets freely.

          Do I like the Sbisa deal? No. He should not be making over 2.9.

          I also feel he overpaid for Miller. We needed Miller but I am sure he could’ve been had for cheaper.

          Dorsett is another slight overpay.

          I don’t mind the rest of the moves. Kassian is a moron who has big upside but didn’t want to work at improving. Lack is not a top end goalie.

          Benning managed to get older players to waive NTCs. His hands were tied with Kesler.

          Benning is not killing it but he is doing OK. I’d take him over Gillis any day. Gillis was busy searching for the fountain of youth – that was his master plan; to feed his aging vets those magical waters and make it 2011 all over again!

          WhinerNation, get a life.

          • andyg

            The aftermath of the Gillis Regime when it was crumbling was indeed a mess, but that was the pric e to be paid for building a winning team. The Canucks had never won a Presidents Trophy in their history, Gillis gave us two of them. Gillis was one win away from a Stanley Cup, the Canucks were verty unlucky NOT to win one that year. It’s funny that you mention the NTC because the value and term being given out in the SBISA, DORSETT and SUTTER contracts effectively act as no trade clauses because no GM in their right mind would trade for those players at that cap hit and that term.

            You cannot look at Bonnino vs Sutter in a vaccuum. You have to factor in the term of the agreements (Bonino had a longer term agreement for less money) and the fact that the Canucks had to give up assets to aquire Sutter when the marginal value of doing so is marginal at best.

            Sbisa at whatever value he makes is less valuable than Clendenning at 800K both today and in the forseeable future.

            Kassian may be a meathead, but he’s a young meathead with potential to grow. The fact that Benning gave up a pick to trade him for an older asset on the last year of his contract is discouraging.

            Lack is not a top end goalie, but he’s better than Ryan Miller at a fraction of the cost. The fact that Benning could have moved miller but chose not to brings up serious questions on Bennings ability to evaluate goalie talent and even more serious questions as to his ability to build a succesful franchise in a cap environment.

            The pitiful return he got for Lack is just another in the growing list of examples of Benning bleeding value in his trades. This is a team on the cusp of a major rebuild where they will have to start trading veterans for picks and prospets. Benning has inspired zero confidence that he is the right man to helm this team in that respect.

            Talk all the trash you want to talk about Gillis but atleast the man had a plan. He executed it and for a few years the Canucks reaped the rewards. Benning on the other hand does not appear to have any clue as to what he’s doing. He’s baffling media types, stats nerds and his fellow GM’s think he’s in over his head.

          • andyg

            Gillis had a plan,all right. Trade future picks for present roster,do it until John Tortorella shows up and the franchise implodes.Booth, Sturm,Ballard,the Luongo two year fiasco,$20m for NY Mats,zero draft record and no player development. Yep, Benning and his 101 points has inspires zero confidence in some of you nutbars.

          • birdie boy

            Gillis had a plan?! Are you an idiot? I think your post answers that! Can you name me a few key additions Gillis made to the team that won Presidents Trophies or made the Cup run?! As in top 6 forward and legit top end D men? Gillis drafted poorly, lost almost all of his trades (the Hoff was a good score but not much else) and he couldn’t evaluate talent.

            Gillis was given a very loaded team with some great prospects. He added complimentary pieces (Higgins, Lappy, Samuelsson) and found a gem in Tanev. He did not draft a single forward that is a top 6 guy in the NHL (the 2013 draft may change that).

            So, what plan did that idiot have? Use up the talent, destroy control over assets and not replace the assets he was given? Yeah right. Get bent, you moron.

          • birdie boy

            Key Gillis Additions:

            1. Sundin signing which paved the way for SUPER Kesler to emmerge a few years later.

            2. Christian Ehrhoff. Key PMD that even Benning realizes is a key to success (Canucks have been desperately trying to replace him since he left)

            3. Manny Malhotra

            4. Raffi Torres

            5. Chris Higgins + Max Lapierre at the deadline

            6. Tanev

            7. A small, inconsequential player by the name of Dan Hamhuis.

            Key Gillis Moves:

            1. Re-signing the Sedin twins
            2. Negotiating cap friendly contracts which allowed the Canucks to load up on talent during the 2011-2013 seasons
            3. Drafting Cody Hodgson over Kyle Beach (Who?)
            4. Retaining AV and giving him the tools to succeed in a puck possession system when everyone and their cousin was clamouring that he was a ‘defensive specialist’

            Gillis was not a perfect GM. His drafting record was not spotless and his inability to properly deal with the goaltending situation mars his legacy significantly. But I’d take Gillis and his cold calculated plans over Benning’s fiery hot mess.

            As a poster suggested above, Bennings moves do not make sense either in isolation or as a sum of their parts. He is both limiting the ability for the Canucks to rebuild effectively AND ensuring the Canucks are not a competitive team in the forseeable future.

          • andyg

            Hey dude, I can see where you are coming from, but you are only highlighting Gillis’ solid moves (such as the entire 2013 draft class), for which there are many. What you have excluded are the following FACTS (not assumptions):

            -goalie confidential (i.e. schneider/luongo mess)
            -taking WAY too long to make decisions/trades
            -multiple NTC’s to especially to aging vets/3rd and 4th line players such as Higgins and Hansen which have handcuffed Benning when trying to dismantle this team (i.e. Kessler, Garrisson, Bieksa trades)
            -drafting of cream puffs such as but not limited to Jansen, Hodgson (yes he is a bust… look at him now), Sauve, Mallett, Rodin, etc…
            -NOT resigning the likes of Torres, Mitchell and Malholtra (and claiming Malholtra would be put at risk by continuing to play in the NHL…)
            -Hiring of Tortorella (people assume this was an Aquilini decision. Maybe, maybe not, we have no proof)
            -multiple bad trades with florida (i.e Ballard, Booth)
            -Trading for Derek Roy
            -Not adding sufficient depth to this organization
            -etc…

            Also, one of your central arguments is that Sundin mentored Kesler to be a better player, which may or may not be the case… But you bash Benning for trading for character guys like Prust, Dorsett and Sutter, who will largely help mentor the our prospects as well as assist on the ice. You can’t have it both ways… Benning isn’t a perfect GM… But i’d argue he is doing what he feels is necessary to bring this team along to the next level. Remember we finished 8th last year, much better than 24th, Gillis’ final year as Canucks GM.

            Cheers,
            Method

          • andyg

            Really? Mats “lemme hold out until the seasons half over” Sundin made Kesler? Dude, you’re on crack. The only thing that Sundin taught Kesler is how to be a prima donna. Kesler is Super Kesler because he works his ass off.

          • andyg

            Wow. Those are key adds? You’re reaching on a lot there. Most of those guys are bottom 6 guys. Hamhuis was a nice pick up but he was an established star D man.

            Yeah, give it a rest. You have no clue.

          • pheenster

            Manny Malhotra formed an elite shutdown line with Raffi Torres for much of that 2011 season, when he want down Lapierre took his place.

            Not to mention that the leading point getter in both the regular season and playoffs that year was Ehrhoff.

            And oh yeah, let’s conveniently ignore Dan Hamhuis just because he was ‘already a star’ when Gillis signed him.

            All you’ve done in this thread is make wild proclamations without any semblance of an argument. I’m through talking to you.

          • pheenster

            Lol, that’s right, Michael. Run away. I agree 100% with Ted. You Gillis fanboys always seem to forget that the Sedins, Kesler, Luongo, Edler, Bieksa, Raymond, Hansen, Burrows, Schneider, Salo were NOT acquired by Gillis. So let’s just ignore the top 6 forwards, 4 top defensemen and both goaltenders that Burke and Nonis acquired because signing Torres and drafting then trading away Hodgson was WAY more important.

          • andyg

            I’m not minimizing the Hoff or Hamhuis. Great adds. Gillis added some complimentary pieces in Malhotra, Lappy etc.

            Another poster also noted the fails. There are way more fails than wins when looking at GMMG’s track record. He was the GM for 7 years. What did he leave us? What shape did he leave us in? Exactly.

            Yes, I am done talking to you too. You’re almost as big of an idiot as NoMind00. Almost.

        • andyg

          So you tell the season ticket holders that we are going to tank for the next ten years. Tell them we will be Edmonton for a while.

          No, Canuck fans do not believe that we are a lock for the play offs. Most fans do not believe that tanking is good for developing youth and neither dose management.

          For me it depends on how well they draft. The first two years looks promising.

          Sutter is 26 which fits with a 3 to 5 year rebuild.

          They are not dumping our good prospects for a quick fix and all his contracts are short in term.

          Is Sutter worth a 5 year deal. Time will tell!! So unless you have a crystal ball!

      • birdie boy

        *Canuck fans want a rebuild and the team to get younger/more skilled*

        *Benning Keeps older veteran goalie, trades younger goalie*

        *Benning trades younger skilled forward and draft pick for older veteran*

        *Benning includes young player and trades down in the draft in trade for expensive 3rd line C with no controllable years left*

        *Benning signs several role players to overpriced contracts*

        *Canuck fans react negatively*

        *Canucks Army Commenter: “Why do Canuck fans get angry when Benning makes changes?”*

  • I guess the real issue is whether Sutter can be a #2 centre man. Metrics tell us what he has done but with changes in team mates, team philosophy, etc. it is difficult to determine what he will turn out to be. If he turns out to be a competent #2 centre then this will be a good deal. This is why we have GM’s and I guess we will have to wait and see.

  • It appears to me that Benning is trying to build a team that will be good 2-3 years down the road. Sutter is an example of this. Metrics may give an indication of how good a player is right now but they are less effective at predicting the future particularly when there is a change in team mates, defensive philosophy, etc. If Sutter improves and turns into a capable 2nd line centre then this is a good deal. Might be a good idea to wait until the season starts and see how he plays before we right him off.

  • andyg

    “If Sutter improves and turns into a capable 2nd line centre then this is a good deal. Might be a good idea to wait until the season starts and see how he plays before we right him off.”

    Fair point. Which is why I would have waited until mid-season to sign an extension. If he proves his value by then, extend him or trade him. If he doesn’t, trade him.

  • andyg

    andyg wrote:
    “That is what I don’t get with Canuck fans.

    They cry the team is too old,it’s too old,it’s too old. We need to get younger because we are stale.

    But oh my god if you make changes and bring in youth,character or any new faces at all, they go off the deep end.”

    Lol! Sutter is 6 months younger than Bonino!

    He is also going to be signed for 6 more years. I would have preferred to keep Bonino and trade him at the TDL this year or next and replace him with a younger player.

    I think signing Sutter to a long extension 1) doesn’t help us rebuild and get younger and 2) compared to Bonino, doesn’t truly improve the team significantly to compete now or in the future (and certainly not greatly enough to bother trading assets for and spending a large cap hit on a lengthy contract for).

    I hope I am wrong and that Sutter proves to be an excellent 2nd line center.

      • andyg

        I would prefer a team that doesn’t sign numerous long term contracts for marginal players thus significantly impairing their optionality.

        There is an opportunity cost to giving roster spots (and large cap hits) to players on 3-6 year contracts. It limits the ability to promote prospects from within the organization and limits the ability to import talent.

        Further, are we even improving our ability to compete now by signing/retaining/trading: Miller instead of Lack, Sbisa instead of Stanton/Bartkowski/Corrado/Clendening, Dorsett over Kenins/Grenier/Jensen/Gaunce, Prust over Kassian, Sutter over Bonino?

        In my opinion, we haven’t improved as a team with those decisions. However, we have expended a fortune in assets, salary and roster spots. Most problematically, we have hindered a rebuild.

        This management group has stated they are attempting to rebuild on the fly while remaining competitive. Many have argued this is poor strategy. I think the strategy is fine, albeit difficult to implement successfully, but the execution has been horrendous. Rather, they are hindering a rebuild *and* making it more difficult to remain competitive.

        • andyg

          How can you say the team was not competitive? (8th in the league)
          I do not want our prospects thrown into the fire until ready. To do this you need to retain some veteran players. You still need to ice a team.

          I am not sure where this fortune in assets is that you speak of.

          • birdie boy

            I didn’t. I said the team will struggle to “remain competitive”. Reading comprehension is an important skill.

            Nobody is arguing that prospects need to be thrown in the fire.

            Approximately 20 million per season on Miller, Dorsett, Sbisa, Prust and Sutter is a fortune, particularly when you factor in the draft picks and prospects dealt to get those players.

          • andyg

            Millar was signed to a short term deal to give a veteran presence.(1.5 mill too much) 3 years verses 10 for Lou.

            Lack was moved because they did not see him as a number 1. They kept the younger goal tender and have already drafted for the future.

            Sbisa came as a throw in on the Kess deal and is over paid.

            The Kassian deal needed to be done and if you wanted better value then you were dreaming. Prust may be moved at the trade dead line.

            Dorsett is slightly over paid but not by much. He brings a needed edge to the team.

            Sutter is 26 and so fits into the the theme of building on the fly. (no idea what he is worth but the money they gave Kess makes no sense either)

            They have not moved one first round pick but acquired a second one in the Kess deal. There will always be some wheeling and dealing of lower picks.

          • pheenster

            I’m aware of all the deals. My problem is that we haven’t significantly improved as a team despite all those deals.

            Instead of using cap and roster space to add talented players and under valued yet productive players, the team focused on signing bottom of the lineup players and have overvalued them in comparison to their probable contributions.

          • andyg

            Have you ever done a Reno on a house while living in it?

            You slowly tear things apart and rebuild small areas but try not to disrupt it to the point where it is unlivable.

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      Well… they are both Canadian teams in the same division and both are on the rise. Who else should you be comparing with?

      Interestingly, Backlund on the Flames is one of the most under-rated defensive centers in the game and just signed for 3.75 for 3 years. In my opinion, he is a far better centerman than Sutter is. He plays the toughest competition, plays a ton of minutes, starts more often in the defensive end than most other Flames forwards and still has some of the best possession numbers on the team outside of Giordano. If Benning pays more than the Backlund contract, it is an extreme overpay.

  • birdie boy

    lets get this straight canucks get bounced by a average calgary team, Benning knows changes need to be made and he is doing what he feels is needed.He says canucks need to be bigger faster and harder to play against well guess what, that sounds like fun hockey to watch this season,and i personally think he will do some good things ,to jump on such a new leadership team is short sighted to say the least. Lets not forget the value of a good coach ,these guys will play hard for willie should be another good year .

  • andyg

    Oh no the sky is falling. Most of you guys are hilarious… sure, some of the contracts are questionable but seriously, let’s see how the season plays out. Although Benning may be a novice GM I find it hard to believe there is no plan moving forward. Maybe we don’t see it fully come to fruition this year, maybe not next, or ever, but give it a chance and stop being so pessimistic.

  • birdie boy

    Advanced Analytics writers like Drance despise Benning! In a Sportsnet article Drance referred to Benning as “an old school hockey mind if there ever was one” a little condescending??? A little…. Maybe? Could have just called him a hockey Neanderthal and gotten to the point.

    1. What Benning is doing is no different than 2001. The Sedins grew up under Naslund/Tuz/Morrison and eventually took the leadership role. Sedins/Burr are doing that with the young forwards.

    2. In the Presidents cup years the knock was always toughness. The future Canucks centers look like this. Horvat/Sutter/McCann/Cassels…. All strong two way players that will make every shift tough for the opponent.

    Canucks will be a tougher bigger hockey team in the future. Type of team that Oilers and McDavid will hate to see show up!

    • birdie boy

      “1. What Benning is doing is no different than 2001. The Sedins grew up under Naslund/Tuz/Morrison and eventually took the leadership role. Sedins/Burr are doing that with the young forwards.”

      The difference being that in 2001 Burke wasn’t foolish enough to do this with two 35 year old players…

      • andyg

        Sorry to disappoint the Sedin bashes, but they had a very good year in 2014/15. Now 40 goals and 100 points won’t be the barometer, but they still show up in better shape than everyone, play almost every game, answer every question from the media….. They need a finisher, because that’s where they are lacking in their mid 30’s.
        Vrbata started w the Sedins last year, but after a fast start Bonino dropped off the map and Radim carried the 2nd line. That was impressive, both play maker and scorer.

        Since you obviously didn’t get my point. In the Early years….. The Sedins were bashed and so was Burke for drafting two guys that couldn’t play! He knew not to hand the keys over before players are ready!

        Horvat and Sutter are getting closer…. Sorry Twin haters, they still have more left and I hope they will be resigned on one year deals to play smaller offensive roles. They said as much in an interview and why not, if guys like Bourque, Chelios, Lindstrom , could still help at 37+ why not have the Twins around.

        I understand the hate from opponents, but Canucks fans,.., come on those two have been exactly the type of players that make a fan proud! If Horvat/Cassels/Jake V/McCann/… Can be 1/2 the players and people Danny and Hank have been for the city of Vancouver and the BC Province. We can all be proud to be Canucks!

    • FlamesRule

      Oh good, the old sedins aren’t second line players jab. Based on what standard? Not by offence where both finished in the top twenty of scoring in the NHL last year. Or the fact that Henrik has had the 2nd most assists in the NHL next to Joe Thornton since the lockout. Dealing with ignorant canucks fans is bad enough, ignorant Albertans take the cake.

  • pheenster

    I’d rather have Fehr at 2 million for 3 years, even though his name is not Sutter. In 3 years, you know what McCann and Cassels have become, and reevaluate.

    With Fehr, you could even keep Bonino for two more years as a 4th line center, or trade him at the deadline for 2nd/3rd round pick.

    Oh well, guess we can hope for the best. Sutter might hold the fort for a while, and flourish a bit more with better linemates. Or, he’ll become the forward version of Sbisa and help the accidental tank.