WWYDW: Playing The Kids


It’s been quite the week, hasn’t it? After coming up with nothing just one year ago, the Canucks have made off like bandits at this year’s trade deadline, getting great returns for Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows. 

Now that we’re almost certain the Canucks no longer see themselves as a playoff team, we come to the question of how to approach the rest of the season. Now that there’s not much to play for, the remainder of the schedule is the time for auditions and experimentation. With that in mind, which players would you like to see get an extended look down the stretch? 

Last week I asked: 

Who would you like to see traded at the deadline? Don’t be afraid to get creative. 

TD: I like the consistent effort the team has played with this year, but they are in need of a rebuild and hopefully ownership now sees it. Hansen may have some real value, but Burrows and Miller are worth a mid round pick at most.

The Canucks need more help than a mid round pick or two. They need to look at trading one or more of the veteran D men. I would love to see Gudbranson or Spisa get traded for some young talented forward prospects but that isn’t likely. The Canucks probably need to look at trading Elder and/or Tanev. They have real value and could jump start the rebuild. With Tavares and now Strom playing well for NYI, would they consider trading Mathew Barzal? 

TheRealPB: We’ve talked about Miller, Hansen and Burrows to death so I won’t repeat them. Beyond that I would like to see a strategy to protect the young players who are proving themselves to be NHLers no matter the bumps in their game (as mentioned by others any commitment to rebuilding and a youth movement has to have way more patience than this fanbase often shows with the hate for Hutton a case in point). This means making moves that increases the likelihood of us moving forward with a D of Hutton, Tryamkin and Stetcher from this year’s group, and Horvat, Baertschi, Gaunce and Granlund from the forwards.

I don’t see us moving Sutter because despite all the “evidence” to the contrary I think he has value in multiple areas. One thing I have liked about Benning has been his ability to sell high on some players even when everyone else thought he was crazy (e.g Shinkaruk). In that vein I would really like to see us move Sbisa (since JB is likely going to double down on the acquisition of Gudbranson which is scary). He’s developed into a pretty solid 4-5 D with much better positioning and decision-making to go along with a decent amount of physicality and good skating.

I know this will never happen but I did wonder if there was any scenario in which we moved the Sedins to a contender to play in a more suitable 2nd (or probably even 3rd) line role. It would likely mean eating half of each salary this and next year and it would likely be a tough sell for them given their families and roles in the community but they both seem like pretty competitive guys and this year in particular can’t have been easy. If we could get a prospect each or even a couple of 2nd or 3rd rounders it might again be a win-win situation. But I know it probably would never happen. 


I would like to see any trade where Benning gets draft picks back happen. Everyone on this team should be on the block, especially if they are over 30. 

natevk: I’d like to see Sutter moved. His usage and goal numbers likely inflate his value on the market and he’s still young enough that he may be able to fetch a relatively decent return.

Obviously that leaves a hole in the third-line C spot but I think that’s something Gaunce may be able to grow into in the future, and Sutter could be replaced in the meantime by a minor-leaguer or off-season cheap UFA while the Canucks aren’t close to contending anyways.

  • JuiceBox

    I’m not a fan of being bad on purpose and sending out a line-up of young and inexperienced players for the sake of playing young inexperienced players is pretty much being bad on purpose. They should be playing the most competitive roster they can muster regardless of age or experience.

  • krutov

    we watched this movie last year. the team is going to lose focus and discipline and become a mess, but for now you can loosen the reins a little to assess players and the mix. it’s a useful opportunity to lose any illusions and assess what the team really is when not playing katie bar the door.

    so i think you play a good team the way we have all year but you tell willie to play weaker opponents more or less straight up and see what we have. if we get hammered or lose our shape completely, revert to the trap, then try again in a game or two. if we do well, repeat the experiment with a slightly better team. rinse. repeat.

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    I would like to see expanded roles with the Canucks for Alex Grenier, Reid Boucher, Brendan Gaunce and Joe Labate down the stretch, to see what they’re actually capable of in the NHL. Let’s get a good long look at Goldobin too, play new waiver acquisition Cramarossa to see if he’s worth qualifying, and keep Granlund with the Sedin twins. I would like to see next year’s forward corps not include Megna, Chaput or Skille, who, despite playing hard this year, are all clearly limited guys who shouldn’t be in any long term plan and thus shouldn’t be offered contracts after the year. Shut down the plainly injured Sutter while you’re at it, let him recover during the final stretch so that he doesn’t have to adjust his off-season training to rehab.

    On D, please call up Subban again, and let’s see him, McEneny and Larsen all get real NHL minutes on a rotating basis. For Larsen, it’s really a chance to evaluate whether he should be in the plans after this year (I’m leaning towards no, but it’s still not impossible) and for Subban and McEneny, it’s to see what they can do against NHLers and what they need to work on to stick in the NHL. Not sure what’s happening with Pedan, but I would love to see him get a bit more of a chance in the NHL too.

  • wojohowitz

    In this situation winning and losing are secondary. All that`s left for us as fans is to evaluate and debate talent. Let`s see all the young guys and as I`ve said more than once; Bigger, meaner, tougher.

    • Steamer

      Agree. While a little LaBate goes a long way, there is always a need for toughness throughout the lineup. Canucks becomingly dangerously close to a ‘Euro’ squad that may be high on talent, but low in grit, like the Oilers of the past few years. Guys coming – Boeser,Juolevi, et al – not known for their toughness – gotta have it!

  • Dirty30

    Subban, Subban, Subban.

    Now that we have seen what Benning can do when the gloves come off, I hope he heads downstairs to smack some reality into Coach.

    How are you supposed to know what you need if you don’t know what you’ve got?

    Playing the plugs, the plodders and not the prospects might win a game or two but it doesn’t help you evaluate what’s really there. I’d even be tempted to start sitting guys like Loui and put in a prospect just to see what happens.

    As mentioned sit Sutter and anyone needing rest. What’s the point in depleting a player when the playoffs are gone.

  • tyhee

    Really, I’d be happier if the Canucks keep their youngsters away from the tire fire that this season is likely to be over the next couple of months.

    I also recall a quote from WD from a couple of years ago about not finding a player’s performance after his team has been eliminated from the playoffs useful in evaluation. So, if WD is the coach, little will be gained in evaluating the rest of this season.

    And if WD isn’t the coach next season, then little will be gained in evaluating players on the Canucks the rest of this season.

    One possible exception could be Grenier. He’ll be eligible to go to free agency this coming offseason and I’d guess he probably will do just that if the Canucks don’t seem willing to take a good look at him in the NHL before he becomes a free agent. Then again, he could decide to walk to free agency even if he does get a chance the rest of this season.