Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: July 11th


Well, that was a relatively uneventful week of Vancouver Canucks fandom. I mean, unless you’re of the hardcore variety and you’re into development camps and so on. In which case, yeah, there was at least that. For the neophytes among us, not so much.

I mean, the Canucks did sign somebody. They inked Michael Carcone, fresh off the heels of his development camp showing, to an entry-level contract. That’s something, I guess. The big trade that we’re all waiting for has yet to drop, though. Similarly, the Canucks haven’t been connected to any free agents of consequence. 

Yet you fine folks still came up with a series of questions about the Canucks. And I will do my best to answer them in kind.

Now, with all due respect, that’s a pipe dream and a half. The Blue Jackets are a poorly run franchise, but I can’t imagine they’re that out to lunch. The Blue Jackets are in a tight spot. They’ve only $4.4-million in cap space. Then again, the Canucks only have $4.1-million.

The Blue Jackets are in the midst of a rebuild and much of what they’ve done reflects as much. The Canucks are going all in for the playoffs and refuse to rebuild. Really, when you put it in those terms, the Canucks aren’t exactly negotiating from a position of strength. I don’t see this happening. At least not in a one-for-one deal.

Well, frankly, I don’t like it anymore now than I did at the time. How does the saying go? If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it? I’d say that accurately reflects this situation. Both trades are terrible. Though the Oilers got the better of the two players, they had to surrender one of the league’s best two-way wingers to do it.

At the end of the day, the Oilers overpaid for a second pair defender. They massively overpaid, really. The Canucks overpaid for a player that’s probably closer to a third pair defender. 

Well, at this stage I’m resigned to the Canucks starting the season with Luca Sbisa on their roster. The thing is, they’re just not likely to find any takers for a third pair defenceman on a $3.6-million contract, for another two seasons. The only way I can see the Canucks pulling this trade off is if they take a bad contract back and from what I can gather they’re not all that keen on the idea.

I really don’t know how worthwhile an answer I can give to this question. Like, it would be conjecture and nothing more. I’ll say this much: of the two, I’m expecting more from Anton Rodin. 

  • Bud Poile

    McCann was going to be buried in Utica and Gubranson is an upgrade on Sbisa, while also filling a void that no defender has offered up since Bieksa (once in a blue moon).If JB could have moved Sbisa I suspect Hamhuis would still be here.

    Re: Though the Oilers got the better of the two players….

    Ah,my guess is Hall is going to make Chiarelli look bad for many seasons to come,just like Seguin has.
    Mc Cann was given an opportunity to play NHL hockey in Florida this season,something he would not be given(bar injuries)in Vancouver.If you offer up comment comparisons on the d men in those trades then comparing McCann to Hall makes that exercise seem silly.

  • TheRealPB

    Just repeating that Gudbrandson is a third pairing d doesn’t make it so. We can go over the deployment data from last year yet again if this still isn’t clear. He is not likely a top pairing D but he’s a 3-4 on most decent teams and higher on a bad team.

    Also on what basis do you say that the Canucks are all-in-on-the-playoffs and the Blue Jackets are in a rebuild? If the Canucks really harbored delusional goals of the playoffs (i.e. at all costs as you suggest) they would’ve done more than sign one top-six F and a bunch of AHL depth in the off-season and they would’ve traded for guys in their late-20s and early 30s and not someone who’s still relatively young.

    Their F are full of highly (over) paid guys in their late 20s and early 30s like Hartnell, Atkinson, Foligno, Clarkson, Calvert and Campbell. Other than Seth Jones their D is in their mid-to-late-20s and bad. Bobrovsky is an injury risk. They have some great prospects in the pipeline but they are not planning on playing most of them now. They are in fact not that much unlike the Canucks trying to rebuild and retool.

    Passing on Pulujarvi for Dubois looks, of course, epically stupid. Maybe he said something in Finnish to the GM.

  • RIP

    Larson: 5 seasons and 9 g 60 A. @ $4.17M till 2021. Gudbranson: 5 seasons and 11 goals 32 A. @ $3.5m one year.

    Gudbranson has 2 inches and 10 pounds on Larson.

    I am dumbfounded how you call Larson much better than Gudbranson? 5 points per season different. Gudbranson really came into his own this past playoff run with Florida. PLUS he brings the physicallity aspect and edge that you stats dudes don’t get. Sure if Larson does get to another level with Edmonton and becomes their blue chip defensmen the contract is very attractive. But at this point I would prefer Gudbranson as we need that toughness in the West more than ever. Plus we basically gave up half of what the Oilers gave up.

    I can’t believe you stats guys still haven’t warmed up to the Gudbranson trade yet. I can’t wait till he proves you wrong.

  • Mattchu

    Some good comments on here defending the Gudbranson trade, I like it.

    Well it is fun to pick apart trades and figure out who the winner is the second it takes place, I don’t see a point to say who won the trade till you actually see a good old fashioned sample size of the players in action (or, worse case scenario, if they never see any action). High end numbers only go so far and you just have to see the guy in his new environment. I think both Florida and the Nucks did well with the trade and it is as simple as that. I don’t think either team will regret the Gudbranson trade because they were getting the piece they needed/wanted by getting rid of pieces they had too many of.

  • JuiceBox

    “the Oilers overpaid for a second pair defender. They massively overpaid, really. The Canucks overpaid for a player that’s probably closer to a third pair defender.”

    Yeah I can look at the comparable HERO charts too….

    How many New Jersey and Florida games has anybody on here watched? My guess…. Not nearly enough to say anything regarding either Gudbranson or Larsson.

    Before anybody gets into a flame war over this, maybe we should go watch a full season or two of Panthers and Devils games OR (JD I’m looking at you) why doesn’t somebody call a long time journalist who covers each team and get their opinions on the players – at least you could start with that. Get an informed opinion on each player before we start talking $hit about either of them.

  • JuiceBox

    Why do I have this feeling the trading of McCann is going to keep coming up in the same way Corrado and Shinkaruk do….

    Good managers trade from a position of strength or depth to fill a position of weakness. McCann is almost NHL ready but is stuck behind Sedin, Sutter, Horvat, Granlund, and probably Gaunce on the depth chart so why not turn him into a viable asset?

    Gudbranson is an upgrade on Sbisa, Bartkowski, Weber, and Biega and he will slot straight into the top 4 without so much as a hick-up. If the end goal is to re-tool on the fly and get back into the playoffs, this is the kind of trade that needs to happen.

    If only some people would do their homework on the new players coming in and actually have an informed opinion outside of looking at a HERO chart.

    • Ryan Biech

      I am not disagreeing with your point… but let’s make one thing clear about McCann.

      He normally would’ve been in junior last season, and would be moving to pro ranks this upcoming season – so being ‘stuck’ behind all those players isn’t a BAD thing. He was just slightly ahead of his development curve, and if going to the AHL to round out his game was needed, then so be it.

      Arguably a normal development curve – would’ve been McCann going back to CHL last season, then AHL for the FULL season this upcoming year, then possible call-ups in 2017-18.

      With that being said, yes there is a fair argument to be made that the Canucks dealt from a position of strength to upgrade their defensive core.

      • JuiceBox

        Even if he did go to back to the CHL last season then the AHL this upcoming season and then realistically compete for an NHL job starting in 2017/2018, he would likely be in the same situation as Sedin, Sutter, and Horvat aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and he will never be big enough or strong enough to be the type of 4th line center the canucks are looking for.

        If anything the Canucks got lucky this season. They got just enough NHL ice-time out of McCann to make him appear NHL ready and raise his trade value to the point where they could trade him for a top-4 defenceman.

        Both the Panthers and Canucks have a direction. The Panthers are on an advanced stats crusade and they decided that EG’s metrics weren’t up to their standard and the Canucks felt that despite the positive metrics, JM didn’t bring enough size, grit, and/or character to the table.

        In the end, it was the right trade at the right time. Both teams got the player they were looking for to suit their current needs and their long-term goals.

      • Bud Poile

        Hard to say this was a bad deal after watching Chiarelli give up Hall and knowing how bad the Canucks needed a Gudbranson-type defender.

        Having a competitive team helps keep the franchise strong and operational in Vancouver.

        McCann was way behind in the depth chart so making the team stronger and difficult to play against was a great move.

      • Me

        But that just weakens your position.

        McCann is by no means a sure thing. As you say, he still needs at least one more year of development. He has a documented attitude problem and he doesn’t appear to be suitable for a bottom 6 role. Nobody can say if he’ll even stick in the NHL at this point.

        All that said, I think his odds are pretty good for being a mid-level top 6 player, but IMO he’ll never be a star. If that’s his ceiling, then we traded a surplus asset for something the team has needed for years. Tryamkin may fit that role in time, but certainly doesn’t make Guds redundant.

        • Ryan Biech

          Weakens what position?

          My position of McCann being ahead of his development curve? Or are you referring to the point made by J.D. above (which I didn’t reference)?

      • TheRealPB

        That’s true although a slightly different point regarding how the Canucks handled the development of Virtanen and McCann. It’s still not clear to me why they decided to go that route if neither was going to play that much (or what was preferable to spot duty for both when they went the longer and slower route with Shinkaruk but of course they couldn’t stash either in the AHL). It’s not as though they were averse to giving heavy minutes to a rookie, but perhaps having the extra years gave Hutton the advantage there.

        Also on a different note, in terms of need, I would suggest that the Panthers benefitted as much from the recouped draft picks (notably the 2nd from the Hudler trade) as from the addition of a very good prospect in McCann who doesn’t necessarily fit their needs. As a C he’s behind Barkov, Trochek and Bjugstad and even the crappy Bolland given his salary. I’d also think Marchessault is higher on the depth chart. In terms of prospects Grimaldi and maybe even McKegg are higher. If he does make the team I think his best bet is as the third line LW behind Huberdeau and Jokinen, but only if Crouse doesn’t make the team.

        • TrueBlue

          Grimaldi is now with Colorado, although I otherwise agree that it was a bit of a bizarre move unless they plan on converting McCann to wing.

          That said, it never hurts to have an overstocked prospect cupboard. Could see McCann being moved to fill another need as the Panthers roster takes shape next season. .

          • TheRealPB

            True on both counts (I forgot about the Berra trade); it never hurts to have more talent. I just don’t know that he’s going to have the opportunity to do much in FLA in the near future. I hope he does, he’s a good player and as someone else mentioned above I think this could well be a win-win trade for both teams.

  • LTFan

    Lots of well thought out comments. It is refreshing. The EG – JMc trade is getting a proven NHL calibre player for a prospect. The unknown is what it will cost to sign EG after this season is over.

  • Fred-65

    Gudbranson brings to Vcr what they’re lacking, which is good it might not sit well with the stats types and their calculators but it does provide the size Vcr needs. I’m not sure about Larson. But strangly enough I have followed Gudbranson and I’d have to say he’s just what the Doctor ordered. He may not be a fit on other teams