Building A Contender – Part 5 – Conclusion

Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports

Canucks fans have spent a considerable amount of time over the past couple months debating the recent moves made by management. The individual complaints are fairly wide reaching, but a lot of our concern comes down to a high degree of skepticism around management’s plan of rebuilding on the fly.

Read on for the conclusion to our series on Building a Contender.

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Our own Managing Editor, Thomas Drance, had this to say on the matter following a recent interview with Trevor Linden: 

Too often we (the royal we, I mean) underestimate the costs and the risks associated with ‘tanking’ and in my view that harms our team building analysis. 
Benning’s and Linden’s is a nuanced approach, but from moving out veterans on expensive no-trade contracts, to loading up on successful AHL players in their early 20s to help bridge the chasm between the Sedins and the Horvats of the world, there’s definitely method underlying the club’s moves. What the Canucks are doing this summer has seemingly confused the hockey world, but it has long looked to me like a gradualist rebuild. Considering the particulars of the franchise’s marketplace and history, I think that’s a defensible approach.

Proponents of this approach tend to point to the business side of the argument. Will the fans of market X really support an ugly rebuild that lands them first overall pick(s)? It’s likely true that many fans would be less inclined to pay over $200 a ticket for a team destined to be less competitive. However, if a team is more likely on a path to race to the bottom, rather than the top, there is no reason why they would have to spend to the cap. 

In theory, profitability could be maintained under a structure where a “tank team” spent closer to the floor than the cap, while passing on those saving to fans in the form of more affordable tickets, but this is probably a topic for another post at another time. 

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There is also the emotional side of the argument, which is just as important to consider. Hockey lore is filled tales of the gritty underdog who achieved great things despite facing seemingly insurmountable odds. The nobility of doing it the hard way is etched into the our psyche, and we place a high value on teams and players who earn their success by not choosing the easy way out. Most would much prefer a team that tries to win and fails miserably, than a team that is designed to fail and does so spectacularly. 

Many of these fans espouse a general distaste for tanking in general, looking down on Tim Murray’s ruthless efficiency as if he was a teenager who found the cheat code to a video game. However, what Murray has done is rather extraordinary. Any GM can find themselves selecting in the top 5, but this is usually accompanied with the GM being out of work shortly before it becomes time to make the pick. The motivation for self-preservation presents a pretty significant motivator against a strategic tank, as what’s in the long-term interests of the team and the GM aren’t always the same. 

Where Murray was successful was in his ability to present a ruthlessly efficient strategy to rebuild a club in a relatively short period of time through losing, and successfully getting the buy in from management to execute this plan.

Today’s Collective Bargaining Agreement dictates a complex structure under which management can build their teams. The draft is determined by a certain structure, which favors the worst teams in the league. Top players don’t reach unrestricted free agent status until 27, but most of the elite players get locked up by their teams before ever reaching free agency.

Like it or not, today’s NHL is a highly competitive environment, where advantages are gained an lost by those who understand its structure and build their strategies to exploit advantage. This is why many fans in Toronto and Buffalo actively cheer for their favourite team to lose. 

So over the course of this series, what have we learned?

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NHL is a Superstar League

We have learned that despite all the discussion about how much parity there is in the NHL, the vast majority of teams who compete for the Stanley Cup do so with the help of two or more star (>15 GAR in single season) or superstar (>20 GAR in single season) players. Today’s NHL is about the stars, as it always has been. 

The Trade and UFA Markets Are Unlikely to Help you Land a Superstar

Trades are also a bit of a non-starter, as elite players in their prime rarely get traded. Sure, there’s the rare exception of the odd Tyler Seguin, but you can’t really build a strategy around another team making a misstep of this magnitude, you can only hope you’re positioned to exploit them when they do. Similarly, a well executed free agency strategy is an excellent avenue to supplement depth, but the chances of finding an elite player via free agency is remote at best. At worst, there’s a high likelihood you’ll likely to have to overpay for a player in the decline of their career.

Build Through the Draft by Volume

Because of the discount teams pay on young players still under their ELC years, who are also in the prime of their career, constructing team depth is largely dependent on successfully developing a prospect pipeline that regularly produces players that can contribute. As ESPN’s, Corey Pronman noted in a recent article, NHL team’s teams don’t draft well or poorly consistently. In fact, he found that draft success can be broken down to 25% skill and 75% luck, which is why its so important to draft by volume. 

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The Canucks used this approach effectively in both 2013 and 2014 when they had two first round picks in both drafts, and it will be interesting to see whether they look to move players on expiring contracts, such as Radim Vrbata and Dan Hamhuis, in order to accumulate more high picks in the 2016 draft. It’s less likely that you’ll find a Superstar slide into your lap outside of the top five, but there are examples of players like Anze Kopitar, Claude Giroux, Ryan Getzlaf, and Corey Perry falling much later to they should. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that a pick outside the first few will turn out to be a Superstar, but provided you scout well, your odds increase with each additional pick you have. 

Take the Toronto Maple Leafs, for example. At the deadline, the Leafs traded two pending UFAs (Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli) for a Prospect (Brandon Leipsic), a 1st rounder (24th overall) and Olli Jokinen’s cap space. At the draft, they traded down twice, with the net impact being the 34th, 61st, and 68th overall picks. There’s no guarantee that Leipsic or the players selected (Travis Dermott, Jeremy Bracco, and Martins Dzierkals) will pan out to be NHLer, but they’ve increased their odds considerably through savvy trades and drafting by volume. 

You’ve Got to Be Bad to Be Good

This is by far the most controversial recommendation. From fans to many management teams, there is a palpable distaste for teams that build teams designed to lose. There is likely truth the importance of building a winning culture and having guys who are strong leaders in the room, especially in times where the team is facing significant adversity. However, it’s hard to avoid the reality that in today’s NHL reality, elite players are more often found in the top 5 picks in any draft than anywhere else, and it’s not even close.  

Of course this approach doesn’t guarantee success. Far from it. The Sabres may never become contenders, despite the additions of Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. Critics are quick point to the Oilers “lost decade” as the prime example of how a tank rebuild can fail. The point of a tank isn’t to guarantee success at all, but rather the choice to follow the highest probability path to creating a contender, and sacrificing the present to attempt to meet that objective. Critics may characterize this as sleazy, or cheating, but as a young Ice-T said almost two decades ago, Don’t Hate the Playa, Hate the Game. 

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Your Vancouver Canucks 

The following graphs show the GAR trendlines by Canucks players as they age: 


As we can see, there is a large clustering of Canucks forwards in the -5 to +5 group. Unfortunately, the team’s best forwards (Vrbata, Henrik, Daniel, and Burrows) are all on the wrong side of the aging curve, without any of the teams prized young assets looking to fill the gap. 


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While we are encouraged to see positive trendlines for Chris Tanev, Yannick Weber, and to a lesser extent Alex Edler, overall this is a pretty mediocre group, with perhaps their best defender over the past few years showing significant signs of decline (Hamhuis). 


This graph shows just how dominant Ryan Miller was at one stage of his career, but unfortunately not at this stage. We’ve heard great things about the improvement Jacob Markstrom has demonstrated over the course of the past year, but in terms of what he’s shown on the ice at the NHL level, he’s still very much a wild card. 


On the topic of a tear it down rebuild Trevor Linden was recently quoted as saying:

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“It’s unrealistic to just flush everyone out. I don’t understand that. I have trouble with the realism of that question. It’s not possible. You have to look at where we are and what we have…I don’t know where things go in the future, but right now, it’s not possible and furthermore I believe strongly that we have to integrate young players with some sort of foundation for them to be successful.”

By and large, all the Canucks’ divisional rivals improved this offseason, while the Canucks by most accounts took a step back. Despite the efforts of Linden and Benning, they look poised to find themselves in a wild card at best scenario, or worse depending on how you look at it. 

While we have many reasons to believe that the Canucks find the thought of a tear-it-down rebuild distasteful, based on the roster they’ve assembled this offseason, they may find themselves closer to this reality than they may like to admit. Depending on how their goaltending holds up, there’s a very real chance they’ll find themselves outside the playoff picture when the trade deadline approaches. 

With a number of pending 2016 unrestricted free agent players it will be hard, even for this administration, to avoid the temptation to monetize these assets, thus enabling them to accumulate the additional draft picks they so desperately need long-term, as well as improve their draft position looking towards what appears to be a very strong 2016 draft class. 

You can call it a tank, or an accidental rebuild. It doesn’t much matter. You can’t always get what you want , but sometimes you get what you need. 

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Others in this Series





  • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

    Tanking is more than just distasteful. Hockey is a business, whether you like it or not. None of the people proposing the tanking solution is ever going to buy a season ticket or buy merchandise. Deliberately sucking for four years is going to lose a heck of a lot of money. Seriously, even if you land that game changer, you are never going to recoup the losses sustained during that period.

    And with the new rules for the lottery, there is no guarantee you are even going to get that superstar. Buffalo and Arizona went full tank last year and neither won the prize and its only going to be more unpredictable moving forward.

    You play to win, you try your absolute best and if half way through the season, you are not measuring up, then you speed up the rebuild process, that is what most teams do. The goal should always be to win.

  • Steampuck

    I didn’t get much indication that tanking works from this series. Did the Kings really tank? Chicago had some lean years, and the team is built around a couple of elite players. In the NBA, the 76ers are in deliberate tank-mode, but I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. It’s too easy for an injury to an aspiring elite player to derail the whole process. The takeaway for me is that you want to draft smart, make some astute FA signings, and trade when the opportunity presents itself.

    The point in a couple of comments above is a good one: without some financial rubric on the cost of tanking, I don’t think we have a complete understanding of what this involves.

    I would submit, too, that some teams can afford to tank better than others. The Oilers are a case in point. They’ve been ridiculously managed (there’s no way anyone should have to tank for that long and still not show much in the way of light). The Canucks would have moved to Las Vegas by now. But it’s Edmonton: what else is there to do? It’s not an indictment of Vancouver’s fickle hockey culture, but rather an acknowledgment that it is what it is.

  • Dirty30

    Tell me Im wrong:
    The Canucks finished last year with 101 points.
    The Stanley Cup champs finished with the same amount of wins and just one more point.

    Instead of bashing Benning and Linden and co. it might be helpful for scribes to at least wait until the season actually finishes before you make negative inferences.

    The Canucks have aging veterans with healthy salaries and NTCs that have yet to expire. It is not like everybody is asking for those players or that they want out of Vancouver.

    The only one was Kesler and he held a gun to Bennings head ,if I remember correctly.Even Garrison did not want to leave but reluctantly waived for Tampa.

    The team needs a couple of high draft picks and Benning has a couple of pending RFAs to unload if necessary.

    All that is left to do is watch the season unfold and hope he keeps drafting as competently as he has already shown.

    • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

      You think there was really any comparison between the Canucks at the drop of the puck for playoffs last year and a team with:

      Towes,Kane,Hossa,Sharp,Saad,Keith, Seabrooke, Oduya, Shaw, Bicknell, and Richards. And that is just off the top of my head.

      Bettman points make the regular season look like the league has much more parity than it really does.

      • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

        Sedin,Vrbata,Burrows,Sedin,Edler,Bonino and Hamhuis.

        There is a lot of luck that goes with playoff success. Goaltending is what put Chicago over the top and Lack is not a #1 while Miller was put back coming off of injury.

        If the Canucks had lights out goaltending they could have beaten Calgary and may have beaten Anaheim. After that it is anybodys guess but the Canucks could have beaten Tampa with a hot goaltender.

        • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

          Sorry man, but that is not even remotely close to reality. Nor were the Canucks last year close to the Hawks. I honestly hope you’re joking when you think that better goaltending would have got them past Calgary let alone the Ducks and Hawks.

        • Steampuck

          I agree with goaltending and good defensive play….

          Are the Canucks going to go shot for shot with McDavids Oil or Sam Bs Flames, NO! Benning has the Canucks to be the toughest team they will face night in night out. Centers Horvat/Sutter/McCann/Cassels…. That’s tough 1-4 add in Demko in Goal and every high flying Western conference team will hate seeing the Nucks on the schedule.

          WHY….. Do people forget that the Blackhawks also were a minor league team for over a decade!!! The arena was empty and the games weren’t even played on local TV!!

          This tank mentality some bloggers have is revisionist history. If the Canucks went tank mode, Drance and the rest of the boys would hammer them for 10 years and in 2025, when the “new” Canucks take the ice, praise the 3rd GM for doing such a great job.

          Benning and Trev have a well thought out plan that involves battling for playoffs while young guys find their game, as vets salary drop off replace them with young players or younger FA and solid goaltending not just for this year, but the future. Run on sentence but too mad to punctuate!

        • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

          ” Goaltending is what put Chicago over the top ”

          LOL. You don’t know much about TEAM sports, do you?

          The Canucks were never even close to any of those teams these last few years. The c
          Canucks couldn’t even get out of a paper bag maze, and Calgary proved that they are nothing more than a brand X country clubbers, looking good winning in the regular season but can’t get the Manzo up when it counts.

          The Canucks are not a team, they are a herd of donkey’s on a horse racing event.

  • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

    Good series of articles.

    As mentioned, the Canucks finished in the #8 spot with 101 points last year. Utica went to the Cup final. That’s a good year for any organization.

    I believe the Canucks will fare better than many think.

    • Double Dees

      Bad series of articles.

      Dude the Canucks got served their lunch in the playoffs!!!!

      The regular season means jack shiz man!!! No one cares what or where u stood in the regular season man!!!

      Get a grip.


  • andyg

    “Sure, there’s the rare exception of the odd Tyler Seguin, but you can’t really build a strategy around another team making a misstep of this magnitude, you can only hope you’re positioned to exploit them when they do.”

    For an pro-canuck article, you make a terrible point here. It’s unsettling to think the only superstar traded like this in the past 5 years has Benning written all over it, as he was the Asst. GM ‘talent evaluater’ for the Bruins, and a major component of this misstep. It seems teams are doing exactly as this sports blogger suggests, continuing to position themselves around trading with the Canucks to further exploit Benning’s missteps.

    Thanks for the reminder, money puck. We need another kick in the mouth, apparently.

      • Mantastic

        Go to youtube and look up “Behind the B” videos regarding Seguin.

        There is video proof that Benning was one of the guys pushing hard for a Seguin trade out of Boston. In fact, he was the one pushing hardest for it. The rest of the braintrust there looked pained at the thought, but Benning wwas gung-ho to make that move.

        • andyg

          Wrong,wrong and wrong.

          The only thing in all those videos said by Benning is that we will miss his speed but if we get a descent return then we still win. It is the rest of the management that want him gone. Their head of player development is the most vocal. Plus Neely.

          If you can find a link showing him pushing for the trade then post it so we can all see.

    • Double Dees

      i cannot stand basement degenerates that know dick about the game or the state the canucks are in. Put away your daddy’s skin mags and come up for air. Canucks have an aging and rotting fore #Torts. Between Nonis and Gillis they ripped down years of draft picks through bad trades. Sure Benning has traded away a couple to but not to the magnitude of nonis/gillis era.
      The team needs a couple more good drafts, so finish low, and get out of the ntc’s then play the hell out of the youth and spend your UFA $$ on a player that makes a difference.
      Go back to reading now.

    • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

      lol yes we needed another kick in the mouth.

      I cant wait for all these great stats journalists on this site to get real jobs running real NHL franchises. clearly they know what they are talking about.

      I luv me some fancy stats.

  • Mantastic

    The author ultimately advocates losing as a strategy for NHL success. The inherent contradiction in that statement speaks volumes to the weakness of his logic. His argument also shows that the author is, at heart, a loser.

    I advocate a different approach. I advocate winning as a strategy for NHL success. Play to win. Coach to win. Draft and trade to win. Win a playoff spot. And then win 16 playoff games.

    I have no time for losers. A professional hockey team should have no time for them either.

  • andyg

    Let me get this straight. The Province has Botch and the undertaker running the Canucks. Tsn 1040 has Pratt and Canuck Army is running the team off spread sheets on their window 95 computer. Damn it’s good to know the Nucks are in such good hands. I will sleep well knowing this ?

  • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

    I’m not sure that I would hold Tim Murray up as the ideal GM when it comes to rebuilding. The guy walked into a position where there was no where to go but up. Virtually no risk to him personally. Yes he got rid of a lot of players and picked up a lot of draft picks and admittedly some of them look pretty good, but the team has yet to play a game, so lets see how successful his plan is in a year or two.

    There is also a very important point that the people in the “blow it up” camp seem to be missing. All the good players that would result in good draft picks and/or prospects have no trade clauses. Sure, management could do some arm twisting and these players might provide a list of teams they would go to but that immediately reduces their marketability. If we only have 3-5 teams to deal with as opposed to the entire league then our return is going to a lot less. Might as well keep them rather than give them away for virtually nothing.

    On the matter of “blowing up” the team. Edmonton blew up the team, got lots of very high draft picks and consistently came in last. Buffalo blew up the team and has yet to play a game so we have no idea if they will be successful or not. Neither of them can yet be called a rousing endorsement for blowing up a team.

    And finally. If you have a team that is striving to finish last It is going to be much more difficult (i.e. expensive) to keep the players you want and very difficult to get players via free agency. You may be prepared to wait 3-5 years but these guys want to win now not 5 years from now.

    Maybe, just maybe, we should wait and see how management does before we consider them totally incompetent.

  • Mantastic

    “You can’t always get what you want , but sometimes you get what you need.”

    we want the old CA back. we get this crap instead.

    look at this graph….


    2012………-……………quality journalism
    – – –
    – – –
    – –

    – –
    – – –
    2015…………………….garbage journalism
    – – –
    – – –
    – –

    as you can see by this great graph the quality writing has been on a down hill trajectory since 2000.

    time to tear this website down and rebuild it according to my fancy stats.

    • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

      clearly my graph didn’t turn out the way I designed it but really I don’t think anyone is suppose to understand it like the ones used on this website so maybe it does work.

  • Mantastic

    stay tunned for the next great 5 part series from this site written by RHYSS and MoneyCluck……


    PART 1 – MEATLOAF. can we learn to make it without mama?

    PART 2 – The impact of having to wear pants 24/7

    PART 3 – Managing my own life without Mama.

    PART 4 – The difficulty of living on my own.

    PART 5 – Conclusion. we aint moving out of the basement.

  • sh1t4brains

    Even if you are bad; it doesn’t guarantee that you will be good. It still requires at least 5 things to happen: (1) the business decision to know that ownership has to finance some (or a lot of) money losing years, (2) the ability to spot generational talent early on and plan the tanking/draft picks, (3) luck and some astute asset management to be able to stock up and pick the “good ones” for a few years while at the same time stocking up the farm with supporting casts, (4) good chemistry and coaching from top to bottom, and (5) give up any ethical standards to lie and not admit to tanking purposely.

    The last time the Oilers won the cup was in 1990 (Messier drafted 48th, Kurri drafted 69th?). Took them 25 years before they were able to land the “next one”. Chicago (till they landed Toews and that other douche) won it in 1961. I wouldn’t be surprised to see if the trend is the same for each cup winner over the past 5-10 years.

    So, why are the whiners here whining about current management and the moves they are making? Because they can. They like to pretend that they know EXACTLY what the options were and what went down during every trade they didn’t like!

    Instead of Sbisa…who else was available? Instead of Miller….who else was available? Hiller? Instead of Sutter….who else was available (and willing to trade)?

    How long do you hold on to Kassian? Lack has been given ample opportunity to run with it; couldn’t elevate his game to the next level. Bieksa? May as well get something now. Kesler? He was good when he wanted to be…but NTC screwed us over. Garrison? Didn’t come in as advertised. Sedins? Don’t we still hear some stupid fans still wanting them to be more “tough”? Dorsett and Prust? We need sandpapers! if you play competitive hockey enough, you know the value of sandpapers! Remember Ferland? what’s Ferlands GARRRRRRR? or Marchands’ GARRRRR?

    Let the puck drop first and let’s see where the team takes us. What Linden/Benning are doing ain’t unpredictable….management 101

    Year 1. Observe and make subtle changes and see how it goes.
    Year 2. Learn from Year 1 and make as many changes you can to mould it according to your plan/vision. Adjust along the way.
    Year 3. Is your plan working? if so, continue. if not, you could be axed.
    Year 4. See the fruits…or the debacle
    Year 5. Rinse and repeat.

  • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

    The Oilers and Flames have been bad for a decade…..

    Is that what Canucks fans want! A chance to start moving back to he too in 2025! Benning made his bones in this league by Scouting. If anyone will find diamonds in the rough or figure out a way to trade NHL ready Coal for potential diamonds… It’s Diamond Jim!
    How many drafts slide by without a Suoer star in the top five. It’s on everyone’s mind, because we just saw a good one. I have faith the Canucks brain trust is building a solid two-team the way the Kings have and they won two of the last four cups!

    The future Canucks will be tough to play against, defensively responsible with great Goaltending… One of Bennings Keys is a Goalie and Thatcher seems to fit the bill.

    • Double Dees

      Wow. I Never would’ve thought I’d have my first copycat fan.

      Welcome, my friend.

      The fact that you went out of ur way to actually make a fake account in my name is quite humbling yet disturbing at the same time.

      It must’ve been a turn on to do it with the lights turned off and a bag of zesty cheese Doritos in between ur lap. Or wait.. You’re moms a red head, right?

      My bad bro….have fun!

      • Double Dees

        The same people who call us trolls apparently love copying us “trolls” as well.

        NM00 finally left after burning them countless times over the years. If only the poor guy knew sooner what Canuck PR psychos he was dealing with sooner. Maybe they lured him into a Granvllle pub one night and killed him for good with more lies and BS.

        You gotta love their troll-less integrity, though.

        The Canucks and their PR fanboys… INTEGRITY? HATE IT!

  • andyg

    I just love the statement that the Canucks took a step back. It is easy for people to say because they look at the players that are gone and simple subtraction to show the points that were removed. No one looks at who might replace the losses.

    Defense; If Sbisa makes less mistakes and Corrado out plays Bieksa. If Hamhuis rebounds and Tanev improves. Then our D is better not worse.

    Sutter scores 35 points plus helps to improve our PK and face off %. Horvat gets 40 points and continues to improve defensively. Beartschi scores 40 points and 20 goals. Vey gets 15 goals and 30 points.

    We could score just as many goals and improve our goals against. We will also have more depth in Utica.

    I would be more than happy to see a top 5 pick this year but I don’t see that happening.

    Our goal tending will need to seriously crap the bed
    for us to miss the play offs.

  • Double Dees

    I seriously don’t understand why Canuck fans actually believe in this team…

    They can’t do ANYTHING when it matters. Absolutely NOTHING.

    No backbone. No culture. No heart.

    No cup. EVER.

    • Steampuck

      I try not to feed the trolls…but I do have to hand it to you. It takes a *special* kind of dedication to go day after day to the comments section of a blog site for a team that you don’t even cheer for and post so regularly. You must have a *special* kind of love for the Canucks to be such a regular contributor. It is an excellent use of your time…

      • Double Dees

        It takes more dedication to go on a blog site and make endless excuses and hype for a team that’s got no past, no present and no future.

        Spam will always be spam, not prime cuts. It’s ok if you like greasy road kill brain matter spam in a can, but I guess it takes real dedication to come on day after day and sound off to the world dhow wonderful your spam is.

        But as I said before, don’t worry, once Seattle gets their own NHL team, it will be pink slips for all you Canuck PR staffers. LOL

      • Double Dees

        I get paid to do this kind of “special” work…it’s not easy thinking about the Canucks, but when I do I always think about the “special” fans that they have because they always think that they have a “special” team that will always win the “special” cup.

    • Dirty30

      Obviously better to be an Oilers fan because at least they know how to lose when it matters.

      No pride. No conscience. No guts.

      Never coming out of the basement. EVER.

      • Dirty30

        Their basement houses five Stanley Cups in the man cave.

        The Canucks basement has nothing but girly posters and to get cup laid VHS tapes.

        Now the Oilers have the so called next great one. That alone wold sell tickets for a while and some hope.

        The Canucks? Sbisa…..WHO?

        Alex, I’ll take 500 for Boesner.

        • Dirty30

          If your team had won something in the last ten years — like a game — I’d respect those cups.

          But that team is long gone, just like your hairline and dreams of every meeting anyone you didn’t have to inflate with your bicycle pump.

          Don’t forget your toque Dougie, it’s snowing outside.

          • Steampuck

            Never mentioned the Oilers did I? Your assumptions are funny but you know what’s longer than ten years? 47.

            That team is long gone… You guys never had A SC team.

            Talk like you’re good at something when you guys have won more than presidents choice trophies.

            PS the bicycle pump is for your legendary goalie, who’s in Florida now putting on a twitter show for the retirees.

          • Mantastic

            hope you know that in the past decade the canucks have accomplished as much as the oilers have playoff wise, game 7 of the SCF… so, congratz to the canucks on being as successful as the oilers in the past decade!

  • Double Dees

    “This is why many fans in Toronto and Buffalo actively cheer for their favourite team to lose.”

    to be fair all leaf fans are doing, all they have ever been doing, is cheering for their team. it just so happens that for as long as anyone can remember all the leafs have been doing is losing. so the fans cheers and the team loses. but it only LOOKS like they’re cheering for their team to lose.