Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: June 20th


Thought escaped me forever, eh? Unfortunately for the readers here at Canucks Army, I haven’t so much left as much as I’ve been distracted by the insanity that’s going on in the land of East Coast Bias. In the meantime, you get to hear better opinions from smarter people than myself, with today’s mailbag being the exception. Let’s see what’s on everybody’s mind!

@CusanoDamon asked: What will it take for Canucks owners and management to focus primarily on development and less on shortsighted playoff pushes?

A sale. The post is eight months old now, but Tyler Horsfall may have written the most prophetic post of the year when he detailed why the Aquilini family’s strive for team valuation might hurt the Canucks in the long term. Owners, historically, look to buy teams that are in the playoffs or close enough to them to make them attainable, unless the franchise’s key rebuild chip is a gigantic name. Even still, Pittsburgh’s ownership looked into selling shortly post-Crosby and didn’t get any particularly enticing offers.

Alternatively, Francesco can suddenly decide that he wants to be involved long-term and stop worrying about his valuation, and that might help, but in the meantime, these are the cards being dealt.

@Lucmeister asked: What would the average price of a house in Vancouver be by the time the Canucks make it back to the Conference Finals?

I read an article about four-bedroom houses basically becoming “name your price” over the past few years. It’s terrifying, really. I’m already panicking because the prices in Toronto are going up by over $500 a day, but even that’s not quite at Vancouver scale. I’m starting to think I’ll never own, at least in a cool city.

Let’s all move to some small town in Nova Scotia because by the time the conference finals rolls around, these brick slabs are going to be in the billions. I’m not sure if that’s a shot at the Canucks or the market. Maybe both.

@sedinitronic asked: Let’s say the Oilers don’t draft Matthew Tkachuk or Pierre-Luc Dubois, will Jim Benning draft Logan Brown for the LOL’s?

Jim Benning is a lot of things, but he’s not crazy enough to go off the board here. He’ll obviously draft Max Jones.

No, but seriously, both of Dubois and Tkachuk seem like they have the type of skillset that this management fawns over, and whichever is left would be a slam dunk decision. Legitimately, as much as we criticize Canucks management, even their most baffling moves have a (highly disagreeable) direction to them, and going off the board doesn’t fulfill that.

@Always90Four asked: Are there any realistic moves that could win the Canucks a series next year?

Throw all the other Western Conference teams in helicopters and drop them into a vineyard maze with no exit in Pitt Meadows.

@CFL88 asked: Did you watch Game of Thrones?

Nah. Too busy watching another King take his throne.

  • Ryan Biech

    So Jeff, my question to you is this, as ìt is a late 1st (30) is it considered almost like a 2nd because it is the “great lou” making the trade or is it that the Leaves paid too much for a questionable goalie?

    My opinion doesn’t count only yours does.

  • Ryan Biech

    I’m not really sure you want to put out there that thought has escaped you forever…(oh the tragedy of the missing “you”)

    Just to confirm — trading a young prospect a high second and a high fourth for a young shutdown defenseman is a highly disagreeable direction but trading a low first and a future second for a platoon goalie with two years of being a semi-starter is more genius? Signing a youngish center to a five year deal without having seen him play a game is a highly disagreeable direction but signing that platoon goalie to the same is part of that great plan forward? Just checking.

    • I appreciate you putting words in my mouth.

      I don’t agree with Vancouver’s present plan but it’s clear that they have a plan of sorts. I wouldn’t make the moves that they’ve made, I’d be looking towards a full out rebuild and playing more of a puck possession game, but I also don’t have ownership screaming at me.

      As for you bouncing it back to the Leafs, if you’d like to head over to TLN I noted there that the Andersen trade is their current regime’s most curious and probably not something I would’ve done either, but seems to fit in with their own path.

      Not everything is blind love or hate.

      • I didn’t put any words in your mouth, I used your previous analysis of the Gudbrandson and Sutter trades and contrasted them with your analysis of the Leafs’ moves.

        You don’t just “not agree” with the present management’s plans in Vancouver, you call them “highly disagreeable”. Your review of the Andersen trade (which I did read) was far more measured than any reaction to the Gudbrandson or Sutter (or pretty much any other Canucks trade). In fact much of that piece read pretty much as a defense of why trading those picks for Andersen’s rights and then signing him before seeing him play was a good bet. I don’t fault you for that at all — I think the Leafs may have overpaid but I think it’s still a good gamble to make. And I think it’s better to take gambles on players that have already proven something than draft picks that are entirely unproven. I just think you should be consistent. The kind of hysteria that greets just about any move that the Canucks make is ridiculous. Trade a player? We didn’t get enough. Trade a prospect? Not committed to getting better long term. Sign a player? Too much money, why this guy? Draft a player? Didn’t draft the right one.

        I am all for healthy skepticism — I also have no idea if the Canucks’ direction is the right one. I would just try to be a bit more even handed — as for the most part you are in your Leafs’ analysis.

        Also, if you want to be all about the snark and you also want to have a legitimate voice in sports media you might want to consider being a little less thin-skinned.

        • TrueBlue

          Yeah, seems like Toronto either got into a bidding war with Calgary or tried to avoid it by bidding high for a player they wanted, which is my thought process on what the Canucks paid to acquire Gudbranson.

          What’s funny to me is that the stats community typically agrees “goalies are voodoo” and should be regarded as variable assets at the best of times, so I’m surprised there’s been a general lack of criticism surrounding the move and the subsequent signing.

          It just goes to show how much TO’s mgmt group has managed to win the popular opinion of fans & the media. Despite the fact their largest success has been finally deciding to follow “the Pittsburgh model” of winning the lottery that Brian Burke despised so much.

      • krutov


        if comments like these get you riled up (see your twitter profile), then take a peek at the at mentions for people like Damien Cox. If these upset you (we see they do) then perhaps this isn’t an industry for you, it won’t get any easier.

  • krutov

    ‘Also, if you want to be all about the snark and you also want to have a legitimate voice in sports media you might want to consider being a little less thin-skinned.’

    This x 1000000

    Question for Jeff that Im sure will go unanswered. Previously you tweeted that your abilities cannot be questioned because Cam Charron, Josh Weissbock, etc have written for the site.

    What does that have to do with you? Why are their accomplishments lumped in with you? Why are you given a pass for poor advance stats writing? Bobby Orr played in Boston, does that mean every defenceman on Boston can’t be questioned?

    Your argument has no merit. If you want to defend yourself, don’t use Charron and Weissbock as shields, you have nothing to do with them.

    • I only bring those people up when talking about Canucks Army and the entire Network’s ability to assess talent on the whole. It’s a response to “you’re all a bunch of basement bloggers who will never amount to anything” more than a direct “your work is bad, Jeff”.

      I don’t personally think I’m very good, I’m a guy who is lucky enough to spew out my hockey thoughts for a living but I’m obnoxiously far from the top tier in terms of bringing actual analysis.

      • Hey Jeff

        Thanks for replying. I have said this a few times in the past and you have chosen not to address it, so Im glad that I can now understand your thought process when posting things like this, appreciate it.

        Here’s the thing. We’re not going after Canucks Army, we’re asking for a higher level of content and discourse with our writers here. When it doesn’t happen, when a writer nit picks stats to fit his own narrative, we push back. Its got nothing to do with Canucks Army other then its posted here, its about the content that’s being provided.

        I hate to track back to it, but your Gudbranson article is what started this mess for me. You had a formed opinion, found a basic stat to fit it, and published it. That’s not what this site is about, or at least that’s not what it was about when Cam and Weissbock where here. They had opinions, but they went deep and didn’t just rely on basic numbers. They didn’t accept that as a standard. That’s why we push back and that’s why when people question you, and you bring them up, there’s no logic here. You can’t use them as a shield. They have nothing to do with you.

        Please don’t take this personal, its not, I have zero doubt that your a good guy and Id enjoy having a drink with you, but understand that we as readers feel we are not being served with what we came to expect, and it shouldn’t be unfair to call out those who take a lazy way out to make a comparison. Thats not what Cam or Josh would do, so don’t use them as your shields.

        Id love to see your feedback with this one as well, no reason to hide from it. A non answer in some ways is an answer in itself.

  • TrueBlue

    When I 1st joined this site earlier in the 15-16 season I joined because I was informed that I would learn more about the analytics from the writers on this site. So far that hasn’t happened as I learn more from some of the commentors like PB, Neil B and several others.

    Being a fan for 45 years I thought maybe it was time too try to at least understand the line of thinking from an analytical point of view, unfortunately I have been more confused than anything (I confuse easily).

    Although I very much enjoy Ryan Biech articles I believe the bloggers on this site need to step up their games.

    Oh well the comment section is usually well worth the read.

    • Neil B

      If you’re wanting an introductory walk-through for hockey analytics, there’s a number of good articles starting from 2011 on Lighthouse Hockey (, or you could read the FAQ at, which is also one of the best websites out there for raw data. He provides a link to his Maple Leaf Hot Stove series of articles on intro to hockey analytics in the FAQ as well.

      What might be a fun project for the site would be to take an individual Canuck and use them as a case study for different ideas in analytics (how QoT affected Vrbata, year over year, WOWY with the Sedins–and the importance of sample size in such comparisons, etc.). Something like that might get you a bit more of what you were anticipating when you joined the site.

      • Cageyvet

        I’m dying to see the CA team put out analytics to highlight their various opinions, as well as show a correlation to things that have actually happened already, or some definitive projections we can track.

        For example – let’s have some analytics on Baertschi – the Calgary version, the early Canucks version, and the later, blossoming version.

        Let’s see a profile of Corrado – aside from the question of asset management, do they see him as a true NHL defenseman? Or is it much ado about nothing, as he projects as a fringe player anyway?

        How about Vrbata? Did analytics forecast that he could disappear entirely? If not, and it’s the Canucks mismanagement of his role and ice time, why weren’t any of the analytics-loving teams lining up for this guy?

        I could go on, but my point is, as others have pointed out, quit just cherry-picking stats to support your viewpoint, and let’s see some unbiased data-crunching on things we in this market can also put to the eye test.

        Finally, I’m not forgetting the blasting of Gudbrandson. I truly hope we get a review of his advanced analytics halfway through next season to shine a light on whether he is the “3rd pairing defenseman” CA was quick to label him as.

        I’m all for the stats, bring them on, but bring them ALL on, not just a few here and there.