Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: May 31st

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Anything big happen with the Vancouver Canucks this week? I heard something about a trade in these parts. Something about a punishing, physical defender entering the prime of his career, right? But they paid how much? 

Oh well, onto the next item. Or several items, I suppose. You’ve got questions and I’ve got something that might qualify as answers. Let’s get to it, on the other side of the jump.

Well, for a number of reasons. Firstly, much of what they relied upon to either show his value or explain his shortcomings has been proven more or less useless. Quality metrics, and particularly those based on competition aren’t really of much use in the grand scheme of things. The same can be said of zone start metrics.

Both these statistics are more indicative of how the coach views the player than it is a display of the difficulty of their environment. 

To be honest, I’d read this article on Hockey-Graphs for a better description on the topic. 

Well, based on the Philadelphia Flyers, one could reasonably argue it won’t take very long at all. Then again, this is all under the assumption that the next general manager will be any better. Sometimes it seems like things can’t get any worse, but you have to remember that Dave Nonis was once a general manager in this league.

I don’t think those two players are necessarily related to one another in way shape or form. Even in the Canucks view. I would say, however, that the addition of Troy Stetcher might make Jordan Subban expendable. 

Sure, why not?

I absolutely think that Matthew Tkachuk could project as a first line winger. In fact, I’d say he’s as good a chance as any outside the top three of this draft.

The idea of loyalty in sports just doesn’t seem to exist. Not sure it should, either. These are businesses we’re talking about after all. That said, the Sedins are a special case and this city genuinely should be grateful for all they’ve done.

That said, the best chance the Sedins have at a cup is for a tear-it-down rebuild to begin now. The Canucks could, with a little luck, return to contention in four years. Who knows. I’ve seen crazier things happen. They’re never going to get anywhere near the Stanley Cup on this path, though. Just year after lost year finishing between 8th and 11th overall in the Western Conference. What a joy.

  • LTFan

    “That said, the best chance the Sedins have at a cup is for a tear-it-down rebuild to begin now. ”

    Yep, just waiting for the rebuild to start… change is coming, can’t wait. 😉

  • pheenster

    Unbelievably low to answer a question of the next GM as if there was a tire fire burning….

    1.Injuries can’t be foreseen

    2. NTC players and extra years have been hard to deal with

    3. Benning has set up contracts so they drop off in consecutive years allowing much cap room.

    4. While salaries of certain players might be high? The term hasn’t been. 3 yr contracts in today’s NHL are not punitive.

    Last year was a surprise visit to playoffs, this past year injuries forced young players into larger than expected roles. You “pundits” sound more like half tanked season ticket holders.

  • LTFan

    The Canucks can tear down, rebuild and contend, with the Sedins and draft picks/assorted pieces available pre-Gudbranson, in four years.

    But, *Benning* is the idiot.

    Ladies and Gentlemen…the Canucks Army Major Domo.

    At this point, I sincerely hope that you guys *do* get jobs with other teams.

    • -The Canucks can tear down, rebuild and contend, with the Sedins and draft picks/assorted pieces available pre-Gudbranson, in four years.-

      You’re new to Canucks hockey aren’t you?
      In four years the Sedins can apply for a pension.

      Can woulda shoulda coulda….NEVAH.

        • pheenster

          -also more man than you’ll ever be and more woman that you’ll ever get-

          Hey, no one is attacking your dual gender and right to use both washrooms but…why would you watch a team that’s never won a championship for so long?

          Do you like losers?

          Oh wait….

          Coulda woulda shoulda NEVAH!

  • EddyC

    I’m a bit puzzled by your response to the question about the Yost versus LBC analysis of Gudbrandson. The LBC ranking of their prospects (and by all accounts Gudbrandson did indeed take a good step forward this year) is full of all kinds of superlatives, not only in terms of (some) analytics but other measures that are by definition, difficult to gauge (and the post has some interesting points by among others Charron about that). But the article you posted as a counterpoint from HockeyGraphs while illuminating the nuance needed to understand linemate and competition metrics, doesn’t really support your continued bashing of Gudbrandson. Among the conclusions reached in the piece:

    “Competition is still a real variable”

    and

    “your teammates, especially most common linemates, will impact your results more than how your coach tends to line match you. No matter how much a coach tries, there are still changes on the fly and the opposing coach muddying the line matching. In addition, there is the problem of measuring the competition and linemates. We know that not all Corsi% is the same. A 50% Corsi player on a fourth line does not demonstrate the same talent as a 50% Corsi player on a top line. Ice time has a similar issue as well; a 13-minute per game forward on a contending team does not have the same talent level as a 13-minute per game forward on a lottery pick team”

    So I’m left confused as to how we should not take into account in reading Gudbrandson’s performance the context of his playing almost exclusively against the top players of other teams, of being paired with offensive d-men whose numbers improved as a result, of providing shelter for the younger players like Ekblad and Petrovic, and of getting zero PP time and precious little offensive zone time (both of which must surely affect the numbers of shots, shot attempts and overall points).

    To say that we should ignore his performance because it’s based on Gerard Gallant’s tendency to play him because he THINKS he is good is…interesting. So you’re saying the fact that a player is trusted by a coach is reason not to take him seriously? I mean I get the fact that we’ve all seen players who are trotted out who are really not very good — I mean Alain Vigneault’s made a career out of having bizarre favorites from Aaron Rome to Tanner Glass. But unless I’m seriously misunderstanding the HockeyGraphs article I don’t think it proves your point.

    • crofton

      Gotta say PB’s making more sense than the columnist on this one. I mean JD’s pretending to take on counter-evidence with his answer to the tweet in this column, but he’s not actually making an argument, supported by, you know, evidence. More like he’s going with gut, reputation, and groupthink. Which is all kinds of ironic, given what this site is, or used to be.

    • Whackanuck

      It’s almost as though CA has an agenda to push here…

      The same thing was going on during the Gillis era and many of us woke up during the end of his reign of terror.

      The current regime does not publicly validate the work of basement bloggers…

      They will use any “science” at their disposal to push their devoid-of-logic narrative.

      It is nothing new.

      The ruling class have been doing it forever…

      • Whackanuck

        So in other words the Canucks suck and will never win a championship cause they love money and hate losing.

        You can’t have dealers if there are no addicts.

        I amazes me how so many “fans” watch sports where multi millionaires are the supposed athletes. You want real competition? Go watch a sport where if an athlete doesn’t win anything, they get paid squat…then you’ll see real competition.

        Pro sports with millionaire athletes with signed contracts are nothing but meaningless entertainment.
        In real competitive sports, if you don’t win nothing, you get nothing. Guys driving around in 100k or more cars. Yeah, those folks really want to win trophies. lol

  • JD it is nice too see such an unbiased opinion written from you. I like reading your articles that you haven’t cherry-picked a Stat or spun it in the favour of your opinion.

    Tell us how you really feel about Benning’s direction with this team.

    Although I haven’t agreed with all his moves I can see the direction he is headed and feel much more comfortable with the direction of this team Than I did just 2 years ago.

  • EddyC

    It seems that if the metrics are opposite to what you want them to say then they are proven to be wrong or we don’t use them anymore. Somebody is using them. The new GM of Arizona isn’t telling what he uses so a lot of the metrics that you are using are outdated and wrong. I would have to think that starting in your own end would have an effect on the ability of the other team to score. Is this the Leafsarmy posing as the CA?

  • Whackanuck

    Can you define a rebuild vis-a-vis what Benning is doing?

    Getting young 21 to 24 year olds gets the Canucks, on average, what a bunch of post 1st round draft picks would get them. In 3 year’s.

    Benning has gained a net first, third and 7th pick and given up a net second, fourth, fifth and sixth pick. Aside from the relative vale of those picks he’s bled 1 pick, net.

    So far Benning will have gained Boeser, Demko, Virtanen and McCann in the draft.
    Plus Tryamkin. Not bad.

    Yes, he’s overpaid from selected players, both in players and salary. Yes he hired a debatable coach but that is easy to fix. Any time.

    Above all, this team was not going to be a playoff team if nothing was done except draft, if Gillis, Bonus or Burke were here or if Lou Lamoriello were here.

    I don’t have a problem with CA writers points unless they are sarcastic and nasty. Even though I disagree with a lot.

    I just don’t accept that, except for Benning, in two years this team would be well on its way to being a contender.

  • Whackanuck

    Can you define a rebuild vis-a-vis what Benning is doing?

    Getting young 21 to 24 year olds gets the Canucks, on average, what a bunch of post 1st round draft picks would get them. In 3 year’s.

    Benning has gained a net first, third and 7th pick and given up a net second, fourth, fifth and sixth pick. Aside from the relative vale of those picks he’s bled 1 pick, net.

    So far Benning will have gained Boeser, Demko, Virtanen and McCann in the draft.
    Plus Tryamkin. Not bad.

    Yes, he’s overpaid from selected players, both in players and salary. Yes he hired a debatable coach but that is easy to fix. Any time.

    Above all, this team was not going to be a playoff team if nothing was done except draft, if Gillis, Bonus or Burke were here or if Lou Lamoriello were here.

    I don’t have a problem with CA writers points unless they are sarcastic and nasty. Even though I disagree with a lot.

    I just don’t accept that, except for Benning, in two years this team would be well on its way to being a contender.

  • Whackanuck

    @PB:
    I agree, that post says basically “we don’t have a good way to assess the impact of competition or teammates yet.” Which has been a problem for analytics since day one. Although teams probably have more stats than are available publicly.

    With the publicly available stats, it might actually be pretty hard to distinguish between Gudbranson and Cowen, even though there may be a difference. I wish a CA or other stats sophisticated blogger would try. My guess is there’s a lot of eye test behind the hot takie stats. Still we should remember that Oilers bloggers criticized Lowe/Tambellini for years, & were right.

    This was probably a very bad trade.

    • Cageyvet

      “Still we should remember that Oilers bloggers criticized Lowe/Tambellini for years, & were right.”

      A number of “casual fans” criticized Lowe/Tambellini for years and were also right.

      A certain segment of the analytics community like to appropriate these criticisms as though they have sole ownership of these criticisms.

      A lot of people I know that are extremely skeptical of publicly available analytics hated the Clarkson contract, for example.

      In any case, when there is publicly available data that paints Guds in a positive and negative light, a legitimate analyst should be willing to acknowledge both.

      Even if the conclusion is simply “we do not know”.

      That would be a marked improvement over what CA has been doing.

    • Cageyvet

      While I disagree with your analysis, I respect that, unlike CA staff, you used the word “probably”.

      I think we overpaid a little, but the market dictated that, just as the goalie glut dictated that we got underpaid for dispersing our talent at that position around the league. Supply and demand is a fact in an open market, and needs to be acknowledged.

  • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

    There has been talk that maybe McCann was not so liked in the dressing room, which we will never know for sure. However, it did make me think that if you do have a cancer in your dressing room but has great CORSI numbers, just call up Florida or Arizona, they will take them off your hands.

    Someone previously suggested here in the Forms, what has already happened in baseball, that there will be a market correction again. Teams who rely solely on analytics are going to be targeted. The best team on paper is not always the best team on the field or on the ice. And there has yet to be a definitive stat for being clutch.

    What bugs me about the analytics bloggers, is the self-righteous tone. There is nothing worse than the person who thinks they are always the smartest in the room. They do not take criticism well and they need to learn to be a little bit more humble if they truly want to be taken more seriously.

    BTW – Does anybody have any suggestions for other places to get Canucks content, which isn’t so negative in tone? I like unbiased writing, which brought me to this site in the first place, but now they are completely biased against current management.

  • Whackanuck

    @Sean:

    “In any case, when there is publicly available data that paints Guds in a positive and negative light, a legitimate analyst should be willing to acknowledge both.”

    Yes, this is exactly what makes me skeptical about many quick conclusions. Many analytics bloggers on twitter too quickly agreed with each other about this trade, and threw out deployment, youth and other context. And given the level of interest, it would certainly be worth someone’s while to study it. Especially since Benning claims something changed this year for Guds.

    On the face of it though, McCann and that high 2nd rounder is hard to stomach.

    • Whackanuck

      The perception of the trade is based on individual interpretation.

      In my opinion, the Canucks acquired the better player now as well as the player with the higher ceiling.

      While I like McCann, projecting him as better than a second line forward seems like a stretch.

      If Guds is already being trusted by his coach with the hardest minutes, that is a top 4 defenseman until proven otherwise.

      I also doubt he will have the extreme deployment in Vancouver since Tanev will soak up a lot of the defensive zone shifts.

      A 33rd overall selection – in the area where the draft begins to turn into a crapshoot – is well worth adding to get the better player, in my opinion.

  • Whackanuck

    Has anyone here actually seen Gudbranson play, oh say 5 games? Ever?

    BTW, I’ve watched our 2016 second round pick play at least a dozen games and he’s not what people think he is. Yes, he’s big and hits but he makes poor decisions in his own end and has a very erratic shot. Struggles with positioning at times. Basically a younger Aaron Rome.

  • LTFan

    Whackanuck

    Surprised about this comment from your post at #26 “I’ve watched our 2016 second round pick play at least a dozen games”

    If this is in reference to the NHL Draft in late June then you should probably proof read your comments before posting. The 2016 Draft hasn’t happened yet. If it is about some other draft, please specify.

    • Whackanuck

      Mild sarcasm as much is written about Gudbranson without posters having seen him, thus irony that I “have seen” the now traded 2nd round pick and “he” didn’t turn out nearly as well as people think he will in advance.

      Could be Shea Weber2.0, more likely to be Adam Clendening2.0.

  • Cageyvet

    @JD Burke:

    “I think we have it right: your teammates, especially most common linemates, will impact your results more than how your coach tends to line match you. No matter how much a coach tries, there are still changes on the fly and the opposing coach muddying the line matching.

    In addition, there is the problem of measuring the competition and linemates. We know that not all Corsi% is the same. A 50% Corsi player on a fourth line does not demonstrate the same talent as a 50% Corsi player on a top line. Ice time has a similar issue as well; a 13-minute per game forward on a contending team does not have the same talent level as a 13-minute per game forward on a lottery pick team.”

    So, according to the conclusion of the article that you told us to study if we want to understand why the Canucks lost the trade, a 46.3% Corsi player on a first line with top minutes on a 103-point team is probably demonstrating more talent than a 47.4% player in fourth line deployment on a 75-point team.

    Also, in light of the statement “an increase of 1 percentage point in teammate Corsi% has an equal but opposite impact (+1.5) in observed results as competition Corsi% (-1.5)”, please explain why we should disregard the effect of Mitchell’s 42.4% Corsi on Gudbranson’s score.