Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: December 19th


Well, that weekend disappeared quickly. Then again, sometimes it feels like they always do. Time flies when you’re having fun, and so on.

And what an eventful weekend it was. The Canucks played host to the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday, and somehow came away with the win. They were considerably less fortunate on Sunday, though, when the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets took the extra point in overtime with a 4-3 victory.

I think you’ve had enough of a stroll through memory lane, though. Onwards to the questions. It’s time to answer a few of those, I reckon.

Erik Gudbranson is, in my estimation, a third pair defenceman. That’s certainly the case on a good team anyways. With that in mind, he should be paid like one.

If I’m the Canucks, I just tender a qualifying offer. That would give Gudbranson a healthy raise from $3.5-million to $3.85-million for next season. If he’s not willing to accept his qualifying offer, just trade him elsewhere. For reasons that escape me, there’s always a market for a player like Gudbranson. Maybe the Canucks can play the role of vulture this time around.

There isn’t any striking a fair extension at this point. Gudbranson is probably making more than he should be as is, and the Canucks haven’t enough leverage to knock him from his perch. Let’s, for argument’s sake, imagine we can start from scratch, though. In that case, I’d be comfortable with Gudbranson making anywhere between $2-million and $2.5-million annually on a contract no longer than three years in length.

  1. Elf
  2. Die Hard (Don’t @ me)
  3. A Christmas Story
  4. It’s a Wonderful Life
  5. Scrooged

They’ve at least seven legitimate NHL defencemen in my humble opinion. I left Philip Larsen out, too. I think more highly of Larsen than most, but I can understand why his inclusion would draw reader ire. Honestly, defence is a point of strength for this franchise.

Well, that’s a loaded question. Seriously, he fit like ten questions in there. That’s getting your money’s worth!

If I’m drawing up the Canucks long-term plan, it involves Nikita Tryamkin occupying the right side on their third pairing. That spot will be made vacant by a Gudbranson trade.

I honestly don’t see the Canucks locking Gudbranson up for anything short of $4.5-million. Even with the terrible start he’s had to his Vancouver career, he just has so much leverage here. That and the grim reality that contract negotiations haven’t necessarily been a position of strength for this regime.

I think it goes without saying at this point that I prefer Tryamkin to Gudbranson. Tryamkin’s legitimately mean in the defensive zone. He’s disruptive and separates the opposition from the puck with a great deal of regularity. Wherein I’m concerned with Tryamkin is his inability to process the game. I don’t think he’s completed a controlled zone exit in months. If he can patch that part of his game up, he’ll be a great second pair defender for the Canucks.

I’d be willing to bet the Canucks could talk anyone out of their no-trade clause at this point. Seriously, these are competitive athletes with a drive to win. That’s just not happening in Vancouver. Not now and probably not for the next few years that follow.

Jannik Hansen would probably be the most willing. It’s not unlikely at this stage that he falls victim to the numbers game and winds up in Las Vegas otherwise. He’s just starting the back nine of his career, so I’d imagine he wants a chance to compete.

I think it was a comment about shot quality, to be honest. Has the stats community addressed shot quality yet? I didn’t think so!

Canucks and Beyond:

Alexander Edler – Troy Stecher

Ben Hutton – Chris Tanev

Luca Sbisa – Nikita Tryamkin

Andrey Pedan – Erik Gudbranson

Philip Larsen

Jordan Subban

Olli Juolevi

Alex Biega

Guillaume Brisebois

Cole Candella

Ashton Sautner

It’s rare that this type of management change-up ever occurs. So I’d find it unlikely in this situation. I’m Willie Desjardins biggest supporter (it seems) and even I wouldn’t argue he’s done enough to make himself indispensable. 

In a follow up to that tweet, John elaborated on Brock Border. Naturally, he meant Brock Boeser.

I have Boeser going about 17th in a redraft. That’s based on a cursory look at the 2015 class. He’s an excellent prospect, but that’s relative to where he was taken and the Canucks’ pool in totality. This city often forgets that there’s a Brock Boeser in almost every team’s pool. Hell, there are often several.

  • Bud Poile

    Hutton has made it a difficult job for Guddy.

    Stick Guddy with Stetcher,Edler or Tanev and he isn’t carrying Hutton,which is to say he will look a whole lot better,especially to those of you that have never played D.

    Think of Sbisa saddled with Bieksa,if you are still confused.

    • TheRealPB

      The problem is that the Sbisa/Bieksa comparison does little to make more of a case for Gudbranson. Sbisa has looked somewhere between terrible and ok until this season where he’s gone from serviceable to decent. The problem for him throughout is that he’s been overpaid on the basis of his potential — overpaid by Philly, overpaid by Anaheim when he was resigned and as a result of the CBA when we decided to stick with him we were saddled with a contract that was out of line with his performance. I think it’s always been a bit unfair but on the other hand it is his responsibility to live up to it.

      Maybe Gudbranson’s just been hampered by the wrist injury and it’s why he hasn’t been able to make more crisp passes out of the zone. But at this point as much as Florida fans seem to miss him I think it’s the collective loss of Mitchell, Gudbranson and Kulikov not just one of them that’s scrambled their back end. And increasingly it is seeming to me that it was Campbell and Ekblad making Gudbranson look better rather than the other way around.

      I’m very nervous that we are going to end up with a 5 year contract at $4.5 million for Gudbranson. I think if we were to get him at one or one and a half million less it would be ok though still not great for a guy who it’s unlikely is any more than 4th for your D. Even that contract will be a millstone around his neck. It’s hard to imagine that Benning will walk away from the investment made in Gudbranson though – regardless of how McCann turns out (and I’m sure he’ll still be a decent player), Mascherin and Ang are too much to give up alone for half a season of Gudbranson.

    • Dirk22

      Nice try Bud. Gudbranson is actually performing at pretty much the same rate (by the numbers) this year than he has the last two in Florida. I know – crazy right? And a bit scary. It seems he keeps getting stuck with bad partners…weird. You’d think a guy making 3.5 would have the ability to steer the ship a little better.

  • Steampuck

    In fairness to WD, it’s probably pretty difficult to be indispensable on a team that’s at the bottom of the league rankings. Unless the only espresso machine in the building is in his office, that is…

  • defenceman factory

    The Canucks are in dire need of high end prospects at forward. I hope
    Burrows and Miller both get moved for draft picks. Re-sign Burrows for another year after July1.

    Guddy is the best bet for a high end return at the deadline. Tanev should not be traded. There are at least 2 and probably more in the farm system who will be quality NHLers. There are a few more who will be 3rd pairing /replacement level guys. Benning has done well building up the D and he will probably find more diamonds in the rough in late rounds.

    Guddy is expendable and will cost too much to re-sign. He should bring a good prospect and maybe an additional later round pick. He is the kind of player teams looking to make a deep run are often looking for. Benning should be making a list and checking it twice of where to get the best value for this asset.

    BTW great call on Die Hard, a holiday classic.

    • detox


      Regarding bringing in Gudbranson, I thought it was a good move to bring in a big dman who could bring some physical play that we lacked but was disappointed to lose McCann.

      Now, with Tryamkin getting a regular look and doing okay, I’m okay with losing Gudbranson if we can get a good return.

      Tanev would bring a good return, but I like his cap hit and would just as soon move another.

      The bad thing about losing McCann is we don’t have much centre depth that can play in the bigs beyond what we have in the lineup now. Maybe Chaput and Megna are better options right now, I dunno.

      We need more draft picks and centre should be a priority, but wing isn’t far behind, we need more skill everywhere.

      • I can only hope that Benning swings a good trade with Colorado. They desperately need a roster defenceman and we could use one of their current (e.g. Landeskog, Duchene) or prospective scoring forwards (e.g. Jost).

  • Steampuck

    At what point do we start having a conversation about maybe protecting Sbisa over Gudbranson? I don’t think we’re there yet, but we could be soon if his wrist wasn’t a serious part of the problem. And at what point does management start having that conversation?