Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: September 26th


The Vancouver Canucks training camp is officially underway, and the pre-season isn’t all that far behind. We’re so damn close to the regular season. Even closer than the last three or so times I pointed out how close we were.

The Canucks added Jack Skille to a professional tryout and Jacob Trouba’s demanded a trade. That’s what’s happened in the last week or so. Oh, and of course, the Canucks camp and scrimmages from Whistler. This, after the Canucks held their annual Young Stars Tournament in Penticton. Everything is happening.

This is where the inane small-talk ends, and I get to your questions. You know the drill.

I’m going to go ahead and treat these two questions as one. Yes, the Canucks should absolutely try to trade for Jacob Trouba. Players of his calibre hitting the market and staying there (hello, Travis Hamonic) are so rare. That’s because they’re so hugely valuable. Trouba just finished his first professional contract, and he’s already a high-end first pairing defenceman — not to mention a right-handed one at that.

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I’m less certain, however, of the Canucks ability to make a competitive offer for Trouba. According to Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press, the asking price is a left-handed defenceman of similar quality to Trouba. That player probably isn’t Alex Edler, and he’s the best left-handed defenceman the Canucks have.

If the Jets are willing to take a prospect for Trouba, I’d suggest offering Olli Juolevi. Honestly, if Juolevi becomes a defender anywhere near Trouba’s calibre, the Canucks have done well. I’d take the certainty of Trouba. It matches with their ‘win now’ agenda, too. Then again, the Jets don’t sound eager to take back a project for Trouba.

I get the sense based on the quotations that this tweet was very tongue in cheek. I’m not really sure it should be. You could take this front office to task on a number of issues, and I wouldn’t bat an eye — this isn’t one of them. I honestly think the accelerated timeline bets that the Canucks made were all sound process moves and in some respects ahead of the curve. Linden Vey and Adam Clendenning haven’t worked out, but Sven Baertschi sure as hell has. That’s a good average.

As for the question itself, I don’t think the Canucks have many more of those moves in the tank. They’ve mostly required a draft pick in the mix. The Canucks don’t have a tonne of those going into the draft, and if this season goes about as poorly as everyone expects it will, then it will be even more difficult to reconcile parting with them.

That’s a hard question to answer. Dealing in hypotheticals, and so on. I’d like to think the Canucks would have more prospects. I don’t imagine they’d have parted with draft picks to the extent that they have with Jim Benning. They’d probably have targeted different players. You can take Luca Sbisa and Erik Gudbranson out of the lineup. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. 

I have no idea how you look at this lineup and take issue with the Chris Tanev and Alexander Edler pair on defence. They’re legitimately one of the few bright spots on this team. And really, they’re an above average first pair. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

As for Olli Juolevi, I don’t see him making the lineup. The logistics aren’t in his favour. Inserting Juolevi into the Canucks’ opening night lineup means placing two defencemen on waivers, probably. That’s a tough call to make. You’d have to be very, very certain he’s a marked upgrade on the players you’re placing on waivers to accommodate him.

For whatever it’s worth, a lot of the scouts I spoke to in Penticton suggested that Juolevi making the team was a real possibility. In fact, they all said they would do just that in the Canucks shoes. Don’t rule it out.

  • Whackanuck

    “what does this team look like right now if Gillis was never fired?
    4:22 PM – 25 Sep 2016”

    “I’d like to think the Canucks would have more prospects. I don’t imagine they’d have parted with draft picks to the extent that they have with Jim Benning.”

    You have to be mistaken. Gillis routinely traded draft picks including a year where his first pick was in the 4th round. His drafting was suspect at best. Even if you believe that his last draft was a sign of better things to come, his overall contribution of prospects was shabby. Perhaps having more 4th and 5th rounders counts as having more prospects but that hardly suggests there would be more future NHLers. I’m thoroughly puzzled by this comment.

    • wojohowitz

      Totally agree. What possible historical evidence would JD think that the Nucks would have more prospects? If Gillis were here, Higgens and Burrows would be in the top 9, Garrison and Hamhuis would still be here eating a ton of cap space, and we would have one expensive free agent defenseman. More importantly, there would be no buffer from the Sedins/Burrows/Higgens to Bo and whatever first round pick Gillis is rushing.

    • Fred-65

      Frankly different times call for different approached. Gillis was manager during a period on great success. 2 Presidents Trophies and a game 7 of the S. Cup. He was willing to gamble for that “extra piece” And if we’re honest if Vcr had not have suffered so many injuries who knows. Now when Benning has duplicated Gillis success then we can compare until then, todays team is still a gamble.

      Personally looking at what we currently have on defense and the relative low impact of the Salary Cap I’d stick with what we have. Trouba wants big money and that will screw up the distribution of Vcrs Cap.

      • Whackanuck

        I generally agree with you on different times.

        I’m specifically referrring to JDs comment that we would have more prospects with Gillis. I don’t see how. Even if Gillis had embarked on a rebuild after the Torts year.

  • wojohowitz

    Tomorrows lineup. Looks like the Sharks play the Comets.








    Goalies: Bachman-Gartieg.

  • wojohowitz

    “what does this team look like right now if Gillis was never fired?…You can take Luca Sbisa and Erik Gudbranson out of the lineup.”

    You can also take Juolevi, Boeser, Virtanen, McCann, Demko, Tryamkin out as well and add a bunch of guys who will never play in the NHL.

    • crofton

      Agreed. The CA bloggers relay some good facts and should stay away from putting forth their opinions. It just makes them look bad.

      Gillis was a nightmare in many ways. He didn’t have the ability to evaluate talent and rarely won a trade. I didn’t like how Benning handled the last trade deadline, the Shinkaruk trade (should’ve gotten more value in return) but that’s about it. Benning is looking way better than that idiot Gillis right now. Benning needs to be more pro-active but I am sure it’s not an easy job.

      I guess CA isn’t going to do an article regarding yesterday’s scrimmage or today’s cuts?

    • defenceman factory

      and don’t forget Eddie Lack is the starting goalie. Maybe Mats Sundin would be preparing for another comeback and the search for a screaming American coach would be on.

  • Bob Long

    Trouba for Juolevi is a bad deal. Juolevi projects to be a more responsible D, and might have similar offensive potential.

    Pedan, Hansen and our 2018 1st seems about right to me

  • Dirk22

    Sometimes people on here can be thick as Trump supporters. Comparing Benning to Gillis is apples and oranges. Gillis was trading picks at a time for assets to win the cup which is the reason he “routinely traded draft picks.” What’s Benning’s excuse for trading picks? Brandon Prust, Linden Vey?? Come on people.

    And the commenter claiming that it’s Benning’s expertise that’s resulted in: Virtanen (awful pick when Nylander is right there for the taking), Juolevi (anyone with a wifi connection who could google 2016 draft prospects could have made this pick or pick Tkachuk….doesn’t matter it’s nothing to do with Benning being a good’s like praising the Oilers for picking McDavid..great job). Also love how you included McCann in that list!! What happened to him? I’ll give you one move that appears to be in Benning’s favour – Boeser. The others – give me a break. Let’s not start congratulating someone for hitting on top 10 picks (or missing in the Virtanen case)

    You say Tryamkin and I’ll say Tanev or Hutton..y’know..Gillis players who will actually be in the starting d rotation. #teamgillis

    • crofton

      After seeing Tkachuk’s performance in the Young Stars, I am very happy Vancouver did not draft him. Trip after trip to the penalty bow, and I’d say he got very very lucky on some of his penalty assessments. In different games he too spearing penalties, the first a double minor!!!and the second an incomprehensible minor. For spearing!!! Another of his trips to the box, he took a minor for high sticking or elbowing, I forget which….in spite of the fact that his opponent was bleeding. On the same play, he crosschecked the player 4 times while the player was prone on the ice. Embarrassing. I know “playing with an edge” is a desirable trait, but this style of play would reflect badly on the Canucks. With all the knuckle draggers Calgary finds, it’s no problem, he fits right in. Plus apparently there are some attitude concerns. I’ll take class over crass any day.

    • Whackanuck

      So you liked Gillis?

      Fans routinely overstate the number of NET picks Benning has actually given up. He’s received quite a few back. If there’s any debate, it’s the price he’s paid in trades and the Sbisa and Dorsett contracts.