Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: February 6th


Will the trade deadline be as much of a confidence shattering, humiliating disaster as last year? Well, that’s a hard bar to clear, so I lean towards no.

With Canucks general manager Jim Benning getting ahead of this year’s deadline and just refusing outright to trade draft picks or ask his players to waive no-trade clauses, he can do nothing and it’s mission accomplished. The story won’t be that they failed to recoup value on assets, because they never stated a desire to anyways. In that sense, they’ll come out of this deadline looking better than they did after last year’s.

If they don’t trade Jannik Hansen or Alex Burrows, this year’s deadline will be worse from where I’m sitting than last. To me, that indicates they’ve learned nothing from last year — or the year before, even. If they don’t trade either player, the potential exists (and it’s more a likelihood than potential) that they lose both for nothing this off-season.

Don’t ask silly questions. Hot dogs are obviously sandwiches.

That’s a tall ask. Getting bad teams to play well usually means limiting the events and hoping your team is on the winning side of a 2-1 game most nights. Looking at what Mike Babcock is doing in Toronto, I’d think he’s the guy. Even when the Leafs were losing last year, they were playing great hockey, it’s just that they didn’t have a lick of finishing talent.

I don’t have any concern regarding Brock Boeser. Well, not that are borne of this season anyways. There’s valuable context to consider here. He’s a scoring winger whose best asset is his shot, and he’s fought a wrist injury all season. In fact, Boeser underwent surgery for that injury. He’s also playing on a team that’s much worse than they were last year. Oh, and the coaching staff is asking him to play centre from time to time.

Boeser might not be the hero this franchise and their fans hope and need him to be, but nothing about this season has dulled my enthusiasm about him as a prospect. To me, he’s still the best in the Canucks’ system. That’s not a knock on anyone else there, either.

That’s hard to say. If the Canucks play as poorly down the stretch as their underlying results indicate they likely will, then it could spell doom for Desjardins in Vancouver. If they remain competitive and finish between eighth and tenth, I think he gets another shot. Whatever the case, he’s not the problem in Vancouver. Not by a long shot.

That depends on entirely on where the Canucks are drafting, I’d suppose. If they’re picking after 15th overall, I’d rate it as somewhat likely.

I’m guessing this has a fair amount to do with Jeremy Davis’ excellent piece on Rasmussen this week. The research in that article was excellent. I don’t think the takeaway should be that Rasmussen isn’t a worthwhile prospect, though. If you expect Rasmussen to be a top six centre, therein lies the problem. If you view him as a player who can hold down defensive minutes and centre a third line, he might be that guy. Finding players of that ilk late in the first round isn’t the worst fate imaginable.

  • Bud Poile

    “Will the trade deadline be as much of a confidence shattering, humiliating disaster as last year?” J.D.

    When you rise above tabloid journalism antics you will note both the rising quality of your writing and blog participation entries that will follow . Until then…..

    • canook

      What part of that is untrue? Mismanagement and unpreparedness caused us to fall further behind teams trying to get better asset-wise, and the rest of the league was laughing at us. Humiliating disaster.

  • Locust

    JD slams the Canucks and praises Babcock … well at least we know we are not living in an alternate universe.

    I think JD would bite his own nose off to spite other people’s faces …..

  • TrueBlue

    Jeebus…. I thought there were some thoughtful answers in there. Took the questions a few steps further.

    And please… do we love Babcock once every four years and hate him the rest?? I can’t stand the Leaves, but objectively you’re looking at what a universally acclaimed coach has accomplished with a very young and very inexperienced team this year. Resurrecting Kadri and not only giving him a role, but helping him establish his identity? Finding a way to make THREE 19 year old superstars play his brand of hockey while simultaneously allowing them to thrive? Sure he’s got his warts.. the Corrado thing rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, and he can definitely be a bit “Babcockish” every now and then, but as for finding a way to make it work on the ice, he’s pretty darn good at it.