Bye Bye Week

With the Canucks off on their bye week, it’s time to finally face the inevitable. I have always hated the Wave at sporting events, but in this case I’ll make an exception. It’s time to wave good-bye to the playoffs for this edition of the Canucks.

They simply aren’t good enough.

I know. I know. They’re only six points out. There’s lots of hockey left to be played. But the fact is they are not any better than they were last year at this point in the season. For all the vaunted changes and being harder to play against, they are barely treading water.

As fans we want to hold out hope. They just need to string a few wins together. Squeak into a wild card spot. Gel as a team of plucky underdogs and go on a run.

Sure, do that. Hope for the best. But prepare for the worst.

Yes, they are six points out but would have to leapfrog four teams to squeeze in. Four teams that are going to be playing each other a number of times to close out the season, and splitting two (and often three) points between them each and every time. This does not bode well for the Canucks’ chances.

And while they are six points out of a wild car, they only two up on 27th overall. The exact same spot where they finished last year. This, in a season where the Western Conference has been dismal overall. They still haven’t made up any ground. They currently sit at 25th overall, and 26th in points percentage, which takes games played into account.

All that to say that as the NHL trade deadline approaches, it’s time to try and salvage something out of this season.

Unfortunately, that process should have started already. However, it appears that Jim Benning doesn’t understand how markets work.

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As Daniel Wagner over at Pass It to Bulis astutely noticed, Benning appears to think that because there are very few teams actively trying to trade away assets, that it must not be a seller’s market. As anyone that has successfully completed and ECON101 course will tell you, that’s not how supply and demand works:


But much like last year, the expectation is that Benning will realize that moving some assets for picks at the deadline is the right move. But unlike last year, hopefully he hasn’t left it too late and has the necessary conversations with the veteran players that might be moved, whether to get a list of teams as allowed under their modified no trace clauses, such as Hansen and Miller, or just as a courtesy for someone like Burrows.

One player we know won’t be moving is Loui Eriksson. Even if he didn’t have a no movement clause, that contract itself is not only buy-out proof but untradeable given the season he’s had. Now there is a Swedish tragedy that isn’t fake:


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But Benning isn’t the only one channeling the Trump administration these days. Just as the White House Press Secretary Melissa McCarthy Sean Spicer likes to come out and tell the press that they should be reporting on all the good news stories about what Trump is doing, there was Willie Desjardins after the loss to the Flyers on Sunday, telling the assembled media what story they should be telling:

“It’s a tough league…instead of the story about how tough, it’s how hard these guys have battled. I think that’s what they’ve done. I think they’ve played hard as a group. I think every guy’s committed. I think most nights they’re in it.”

At least to Willie’s credit those things are actually true, unlike the alternative facts coming out of Spicer’s mouth every day.

And speaking of giving credit where it’s due, if there’s one thing that we discovered with Willie’s failed attempts to make a Sutter-Sedins line work, it’s that Benning may actually have been right way back when he compared Sutter to Patrice Bergeron:


But in all seriousness, if Benning blows this deadline again and isn’t able to deal Hansen to avoid losing him or Granlund in the expansion draft, the one thing I’ll say about Brandon Sutter is that he would make a great pawn to leave exposed instead. There’s very little chance that Las Vegas would pick up that contract with four years left to run over Sbisa with one year left.

It might turn out that Sutter is useful after all.




  • TD

    I almost skipped the story because GC’s articles are usually always the same. I agree that the Canucks need to rebuild, but disagree that the team is the same as last year. While the results may end up being similar, last year had Hamhuis who was aging and not part of the long term plan and Bart who was simply not part of the plan. The addition of Stecher and Tryamkin are young players who should improve going forward. Similarly up front, the Sedins have taken a large step back in performance and the kids (Bo, Baer and Marcus) have taken on bigger roles with each having a chance at 20+ goals. The results may not be there, but there is more hope than if the kids weren’t developing and the aging vets were still the best players.

  • HockeyTruther69

    Jim started playing in the AJHL at the age of 15, when he would have been in grade 10. So for his final 3 years of high school, he was not in school like a typical student. Without the benefits of online schooling like we have today, he was at a disadvantage.

    Jim retired from professional hockey in 1992. He began working as a scout in 1993. It’s safe to assume he did not get a post-secondary degree in that year. Since the job of a scout involves constant travel, it’s also safe to assume he did not attend a university simultaneously.

    Now I do recognize that this is more of a slight on hockey culture, than Jim himself. But the fact can’t be ignored that Jim Benning has a grade 9 education, and it shows.

    • Bud Poile

      Some of the most successful people I know left school early.

      There is little to nothing to be gained from enduring grades 10-12 unless you are heading to university and need the credits.

      Jim probably has grade 12,which means nothing, but your negative bias towards him shows.

        • Bud Poile

          This coming from the relentless Benning basher with the name ‘Braindead Benning’.

          Benning has had a professional hockey career spanning almost four decades with a Stanley Cup to his credit.

          Please tell us what your hockey history is,Braindead? What makes you so SPECIAL?

      • Freud

        People who stayed in school wouldn’t post 7 comments about how ignorant we are not understanding Boeser could just snap his fingers and become a free agent, only to be proven completely wrong.

  • Bud Poile

    The Sutter/Benning bashing is predictable and is your continued poor judgement.

    The one player the Canucks should pad his remaining starts and expose is Markstrom.

    There is a lot in this article that is opinion and hearsay presented as facts.

    Just like Hitler’s Goebbels,if you tell lies long enough people start seeing the lies as truth.

  • tyhee

    “… 27th overall. The exact same spot where they finished last year.”

    Sorry to quibble, but 3rd worst in a 30 team league, which is where the Canucks finished last season, is 28th, not 27th. 30th is worst, 29th is 2nd worst etc.

  • Locust

    Quality or quantity – as usual, we get neither……

    So do you guys have a draw every month to see which Canuck gets the slag job???

    March is coming so I guess Sutter is free soon…..