— Kelly Hubbard (@ktccoach) February 6, 2017
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.
@JDylanBurke is a hot dog a sandwich?
— HATRICK SWAYZE (@Countyslinger) February 6, 2017
Don’t ask silly questions. Hot dogs are obviously sandwiches.
@CanucksArmy which coach could get the most out of this mediocre collection of talent and play at least a semi entertaining brand of hockey?
— Stephen Quinn (@GoFour3) February 6, 2017
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.
@CanucksArmy any concern that Boeser is only at a 1.0 PPG pace this season instead of dominating?
— Ravi Gill (@ImRaviGill) February 6, 2017
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.
@CanucksArmy Is there a plausible scenario where Willy coaches the Canucks next season?
— Mike Lawson (@Mlawson32) February 6, 2017
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.
@CanucksArmy Whats the likely hood of Canucks drafting michael rasmussen?
— Jason Trejo (@JasonTrejoRizky) February 6, 2017
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.