Has The Canucks’ Front Office Earned The Right To Rebuild?

The Canucks’ front office has had one of it’s best stretches in recent memory, receiving excellent returns for veterans Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen at this year’s trade deadline, and hiring a progressive, up-and-coming coach in Travis Green.

They also lost one of their most promising young defensemen to the KHL and dropped three spots in the draft lottery. But the bar isn’t exactly set high. Finishing in the bottom-three in two consecutive years has a way of lowering expectations.

Especially when the team’s President is finally willing to use a term the franchise has deliberately eschewed since the summer of 2014.

That’s right, Trevor Linden has finally uttered the “r” word, and it’s earned him a great deal of good will over the past few weeks.

How quickly people forget.

When Jim Benning was named General Manager prior to the 2014-15 season, his stated goal could not have been more clear: The Canucks were going to rebuild this roster on the fly, and remain competitive while developing youth. By every conceivable metric, they’ve failed to deliver on that vision.

Serving two masters is a difficult task. The common refrain in pro sports is that attempting the so-called “rebuild-on-the-fly” is a fool’s errand from the start. But that doesn’t mean it was impossible. The Canucks could have traded some of their veterans while they had the chance. They could have signed Jonathan Marchessault (something I advocated during the offseason), who’s 30 goals would have led all Canucks last season.

I could go on citing suggestions I’ve made in the past about the course the Canucks should have charted, but at the end of the day, I’m a hobbyist with little to no experience or expertise in the field of managing a professional sports team. So instead, I’ll appeal to the authority of an actual NHL team employee: Cameron Lawrence of the Florida Panthers, who charted a course for a Canucks rebuild-on-the-fly in the spring of 2015:

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I’ve argued that the Canucks need to be aggressive and proactive to be successful in their plan. They need to move veteran players immediately while they still have value and receive draft picks in return. They need to fill in vacant roster spaces with shrewd free agent signings. And finally, they need to identify talented young prospects that can form the core of a contending team in the future…

Here are some of the actions Lawrence advised:

  • Selling off veterans Radim Vrbata, Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, Chris Higgins, and Shawn Matthias.
  • Signing cost-effective, proven veteran defensemen to short-term deals, citing Barrett Jackman, Zbynek Michalek, Cody Franson, and David Schlemko as options.
  • Signing cost-effective, proven veteran forwards to short-term deals, citing Justin Williams, Joel Ward, Eric Condra, Sean Bergenheim, and Brad Richardson (who was already in the organization) as possible targets.
  • Utilizing the Prospect Cohort Success model (RIP) to identify first-round draft targets, suggesting Evgeny Svechnikov, Filip Chlapik, Anthony Beauvillier, Nick Merkley, and Jansen Harkins.
  • Utilizing the Prospect Cohort Success model to identify mid-to-late round draft targets, suggesting numerous options.

It should go without saying that this exercise was purely hypothetical and highly speculative. Still, the fact remains that an amateur hockey writer with no professional experience in sports charted out a reasonable course for the Canucks that likely would have yielded much better results than what the Canucks’ front office has delivered.

The jury is still out on the draft targets — especially considering the trajectory Brock Boeser has been on since being drafted by the Canucks organization — and Cam makes a couple of errors in his contract estimations. However, the point is that there was no shortage of options in free agency to keep the Canucks competitive in the short-term.

Instead, the team paid top dollar for Brandon Sutter, Erik Gudbranson, and Loui Eriksson, in some cases giving up significant assets as well as money and term to do so.

If this is how this team evaluates veterans, who’s to say they can do any better at evaluating youth?

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Even the draft, an area of relative strength, has been a mixed bag so far under Benning. The Canucks have unearthed some gems in the later rounds (although two of those players are now no longer with the organization,) but their first round picks have been more coolly received. In fact, one could make the case that the next forward taken after the Canucks’ selection in three successive drafts has turned out to be the better player, if only in the short-term.

Even if you’re of the view that Jake Virtanen or Olli Juolevi will prove to be better than the players selected after them, it’s important to remember that up until about two months ago this team was dead set on competing in the short term. And instead of selecting plug-and-play forwards, they opted to go with long-term projects.  The Canucks could be icing a top-six forward group that includes William Nylander, David Pastrnak, Travis Konecny, and Matthew Tkachuk this season. Even without the inclusion of Brock Boeser, the crown jewel of the Canucks’ rebuild, that’s a much stronger forward core than they currently possess, and they could have had it without surrendering a single asset.

That may seem like hindsight, but the truth is that each of those players was advocated for either in this space or in other publications before the time of the draft. While Benning’s reputation as a scout is well-deserved, he’s yet to prove he’s significantly better than the competition, specifically in the first round. The process behind three of these four picks may have been sound, but this is ultimately a results-based business, and after three years, this front office hasn’t done enough to inspire confidence among the fans.

In other words, if it’s easy to make the case that the Canucks front office has bungled the course they charted for themselves three years ago. If the goal was to be competitive and rebuild at the same time, it’s impossible to say that they’ve succeeded on either front. So why give them another chance?

Well, there may actually be a reason for optimism. That may seem like an odd thing to read considering the source, but the truth is that when the Canucks have made moves in the vein of a “classic rebuild”, they’ve done so very much in the manner Canucks Army would advocate.

(I’ll let you debate whether or not that’s a good sign.)

Praise has been heaped on “Tuesday Jim” Benning for the deadline the Canucks had, and deservedly so. I don’t think anyone could have drawn up a better-case scenario for trade returns on Burrows and Hansen. As much as the Canucks and the blogosphere may seem out of step, Jonathan Dahlen and Nikolay Goldobin are exactly the type of players stats bloggers would advocate for acquiring. The same could be said for Sven Baertschi and Linden Vey, too, although the latter didn’t exactly work out the way anyone had hoped. Even claiming Reid Boucher shows a willingness to stray from the beaten path in the name of building a future contender.

Every General Manager will occasionally make good decisions. What makes Benning’s good decisions so interesting is that they’ve generally all coincided with acquiring young players. Sure, Adam Clendening didn’t exactly work out, but for the most part, the Canucks have done a reasonable job of acquiring good young players. It’s the veterans and the stop-gap players that have failed him miserably.

Maybe the problem was that this direction was doomed to fail from the beginning. Maybe with the green-light to undergo an actual rebuild finally, the Canucks front office can prove all the doubters wrong.

Then again, maybe not.

    • Braindead Benning

      The same can be said about watching Jimbo and TL continuously making stupid player decissions, spotty drafting and handing out stupid contracts (Gudbranslug will be next) thsrvto me is becoming old, frustrating and boring…

      Best thing that could happen is to fire this current regime and find a competent group of young thinking hockey minds…

          • North Van Halen

            5 years, 3 players (1 that was a free agent not a draft pick) who’ve had 3 – 8 years to develop. I’ll bet even taking away top 10 picks, Benning’s picks will be considerably better when we look back in 5 years.

          • Bud Poile

            Six drafts and three roster players later,Tanev a free agent and Bo a direct result of losing not just Shneider but Luongo,as well.
            That gives Gillis one pure roster player picked from SIX freakin’ drafts!
            That’s some dream.

        • Pat Quinn Way

          “Bud has generally served to make the comment section an unwelcoming place not just for the authors but also for a lot of the commenters as well. Since ignoring Bud hasn’t had an effect, the least I could do is occasionally remind him that CA’s readership is constantly growing and if all he is going to do is be rude to other readers he doesn’t need to come back” – Jackson McDonald

          Judging from your own words Jackson, isn’t it time to ban this pos from the forum? He is obsessively posting and ruining threads with the same old trolling sh*t every day now … even with the season long over! He is also now using multiple sock accounts (crofton, Jamie E, North VanHalen, Whatthe…, Locomotion etc) it’s a joke – check the ips and you will see.


          • Pat Quinn Way

            Truth hurts doesn’t it Dud. Get a life useless troll.
            “Bud has generally served to make the comment section an unwelcoming place not just for the authors but also for a lot of the commenters as well.” – JMc

          • North Van Halen

            Son, I am no one’s sock account and was posting long before you arrived. I rarely post because most of the smarter posters usually make the point and generally are more entertainment than the bloggers. I’m as disinterested in the overly positive posters as i am the overly negative, again the same as I feel about the bloggers. The overly negative just get on my nerves more.

          • Pat Quinn Way

            Ten trashes on a post only relevant to ‘Bud’ eh lol… looks like i expertly pulled all of Dud’s sock accounts out in one post guys. Notice how his ‘Bud’ persona has swiftly disappeared, tail between his legs. That’s how you out and deal with trolls. Ten accounts???!!!

            Now CA/JD time to get rid of this guys ip address and the vile I Am Ted (who mocked the editors mental health and still didn’t get banned) as well. These posters are costing you hits and ruining the forum ffs!

          • detox

            when I said, you can’t get rid of the guy, I meant it as CA shouldn’t. I like some of his posts, Bud has his moments, and is no worse than posters from other teams posting drivel.

  • I am Ted

    So, now the front office has to earn the right to rebuild? Really? I think it might be time to stay away from CA for a few weeks until the exp. draft and draft etc.

  • North Van Halen

    Good god the basement blogger’s desire to try and seem smarter than the gm is just painful sometimes. 2 things really irk me about this one:
    First, he compliments their best stretch by pointing out they lost Groot to Russia and dropped 3 spots in the lottery. In one case there’s no way of knowing how much, if any, control management had in this scenario. In the second management had no control whatsoever, but somehow it goes down as a negative on the work they’ve done.
    Second, and the one that really gets me considering how often it’s mentioned, is the bloggerverse and specifically this site’s contention that the rebuild shoulda started 3 years ago. You know, right after the Sedins new 4 year contracts had just kicked in. So many seem to think the Canucks and Benning owed them nothing and should have just started tearing down right there. Ridiculous. The Canucks had to try and give them at least 2 years to compete. I know when making decisions in your Mom’s basement it’s easy to say tear it down and why didn’t they make these trades or sign these guys.
    Reality says, when the 2 Greatest Canucks start untradeable 4 year contracts handed to you by the previous regime, you try your damnedest to give them a couple of years to try to pull you to the next level before you tell them welcome to the rebuild.
    Could we at least try to consider this once in a while?! Probably not..

      • North Van Halen

        The time to decide on a rebuild was before they were signed to 4 year extensions, not after. As soon as ink went to contract on those the Nucks were committed.
        How do you tell two guys that have done more for this franchise than anyone, we’re not even going to try for the playoffs essentially for the length of your freshly signed contracts? Would they have signed knowing that? How stupid would you look to the entire league? Could you get a free agent to sign knowing you royally screwed the Sedins?!
        Sorry, Gillis set the course, Benning had to follow. Now if you want to questions the decisions he’s made trying to compete, I’m ready to listen. You want to tell me they had any other choice but to try and compete, sorry not reality.

          • Neil B

            Quick reality check, Dirk: every GM has to del with the table set by the previous GM; and usually you don’t know what his team actually looks like until year 2-3, because it usually takes that long to clean house.

            If Gillis gets credit for Hutton and Gaunce and Tanev (as he should), then he also takes the blame for the Sedin contracts (as he should).

            Personally, I don’t fault Gillis for the contracts. They’re good value, and the twins earned them. I do blame him for not adding the necessary secondary & tertiary talent to back up those contracts. And I do blame him, as well, for the dog’s breakfast he made of the goalie situation. And I do credit him for assembling the best contingent this team has ever seen. With, of course, some credit to Burke, and to Nonis…

          • Dirk22

            Quick reality check Neil B. Gillis was fired remember? He wasn’t just fired for the sake of being fired – he was fired because he made mistakes. The argument is: what did Benning do when he inherited a team that was past it’s best before date and needed to be rebuilt from the ground up with young talent.

          • Neil B

            Dirk, of course he was fired. You know why? Because he didn’t die on the job, and his name isn’t David Poile. GMs, like coaches, are fired by owners to generate positive buzz in the media and with fans. Sometimes, they are fired because they did a bad job. But mostly, they are fired because the team “wanted to go in a new direction”. Which is code for buy a few years of lowered expectations.

  • Killer Marmot

    Here are some of the actions Lawrence advised:

    I’m sure many analysts — including those at CA — proposed courses of actions for the Canucks a few years back. And note the weasel word “some”.

    So McDonald has cherry picked both the proposer and the proposals.

  • Whatthe...

    Jackson McDonald is officially the ultimate “cherry picker of information to fit the party line” on this site (that is saying something). Those who can’t do, preach/teach.

    Benning has certainly learned some lessons the last three years but thankfully he didn’t take Cameron Lawrence’s advice (which McDonald is championing in this article).

    End of the day, I don’t care about the regular season, only the playoffs; Benning doesn’t make the sexiest moves but I think he is onto something with the players he targets. In two years the franchise is going to be full of guys who have skill but also have a passion for the game and a drive to be better. That is the type of team I want to watch, especially when April rolls around.

    • Dirk22

      You care about playoffs! yet you support a management team that tried to piece together some kind of playoff contender only to finish 28th and 29th in successive years – all at the expense of a quicker road back to contention by making moves geared at building the prospect pool instead of trading for average ‘now’ players.

        • Dirk22

          Sorry, I must have blacked out there from 2014-2017. I could have sworn they acquired Prust, Dorsett, Sutter, Gudbranson etc. for future players/picks, didn’t figure out how to trade expiring contracts until March, 2017 and put no emphasis on the draft by regularly possessing the least amount of picks.

          • Whatthe...

            Except for Gudbranson, they haven’t given up much to get said players. People overreact regarding this issue. Management used over valued second round picks to fill out a roster devoid of players between the ages of 23 to 27. It will pay dividend this year and next as more of Benning’s draft picks join the team. And moving forward, you won’t see them moving picks like before because the have a group of players in that age range now.

            People can chew out Dorsett and Prust all they want but they serve a purpose on a team trying to integrate young players (offer protection and veteran leadership). Should either of those guys be on contending teams? Of course not but no one thought the Canucks were/are a contender.

            The detractors always quote Benning’s public statements but I am more concerned with the long-term vision. Many disagree with their vision but they do have a plan and they are sticking to it. The team has become significantly younger over the last couple years and Benning just needs to draft well. If he doesn’t, then he will be gone.

          • truthseeker

            And I already went over “all those prospects and picks” they lost. But why don’t you remind us? What was it exactly they lost in the way of picks and prospects? Let me know. Lay them out here and let’s see how bad it was.

          • Bud Poile

            Benning’s three drafts:
            3×7=21 picks granted and he picked 20…
            PLUS acquiring Prust, Dorsett, Sutter, Gudbranson etc..
            You didn’t black out,you just constantly whine.

  • Oilerchild77

    Jim Benning needs to learn when to shut up if he’s going to be a successful NHL GM. His big mouth has gotten him into trouble two or three times already.

    Also, ownership neds to stay out of hockey decisions if a rebuild is to be successful.

  • TD

    Cam Lawrence may be a in NHL management, and he may even excel over his career, but the Panthers dramatically underperformed after hiring him and going the way of analytics. They eventually fired the analytics GM and went back to Talon. Maybe they do turn it around in Florida, but at this point it’s way too early to trash Benning based of Lawrence’s one year NHL track record. If anything, Florida’s performance compared expectations was way worse than Vancouver’s.

  • Dirty30

    Too many things have happened to make a black and white generalization about this entire situation.

    Gillis left some good players who collectively collapsed in one season — which left now bad contracts to try to move them. Benning signed FA’s who collapsed leaving an even deeper hole to fill.

    Gillis left a dearth of prospects which Benning tried to fill with some success and some failures.

    Gillis left a lacuna in picks and Benning made some good and bad choices with what he had.

    Gillis signed some crappy contracts as did Benning.

    The fact is that Gillis tried to win now and lost and if the Canucks had won no one would care what it cost.

    Benning et al seemed to think this team could turn it around fast, gambled and lost.

    Now the rebuild truly begins and it’s going to look very different than trying to keep a declining team competitive…

    With all that has happened over the past five years I’m amazed this team is even functional… drama, injuries, illnesses etc … and the rebuild hasn’t even begun yet. And yeah, this management deserves a shot to try something different.

  • TheRealPB

    When does a rebuild start? When the management team stops mouthing the platitudes expected by the ownership and at least some of the fan base about competing? Or when it actually starts moving out veterans and focuses on drafting and developing prospects? I just don’t understand this obsession with Benning and Linden’s comments when they took over. They took on a team that was on the clear decline. There is simply no way around the fact that the Sedins and their supporting cast was getting long in the tooth and short on skills and a decade of strong regular season results and abysmal drafting meant that no transition to the future was set up. Ever since taking over the current management team has done much of what you’ve been advocating — dumping veterans and trying to draft and develop prospects. The main complaints here seem to be that they signed high priced free agents like Miller and Eriksson during this period instead of cheaper ones (but the concern here doesn’t seem to be about money which is after all not ours, but that getting them would make us “too good” and not “tanky” enough). Or that we are sacrificing picks and prospects for overvalued vets — but Sutter, Sbisa, Dorsett and Gudbranson (none of whom I love) fit that age group of players you need to have and that we didn’t because of the aforementioned lack of transitional players in the system. The cost of none of them seem to me to be prohibitive (though Sutter and Gudbranson’s contracts I don’t think are worth it). But the team hasn’t spent picks and prospects on vets in their 30s like Vermette — that’s what a truly delusional team would have done. And they have gotten rid of veterans — many with NTCs like Bieksa, Kesler, Garrison, Burrows and Hansen — and received picks and prospects in return. The guessing game of valuing some draft picks in hindsight over others is ridiculous — were Columbus and Edmonton wrong in picking Dubois and Pulujarvi because Tkachuk had a good season? Carolina, which is generally lauded for doing a good job in rebuilding chose Hayden Fleury over Nylander and Ehlers.

    The main point is that the central contention of this article and the legions like it you’ve published is wrong. It’s not whether or not the Canucks management has “earned” the right to a rebuild (even writing that sentence makes it seem stupid); it’s that it’s been going on for a number of years and it is worth asking how effective it will be in the five-to-ten years that we will see its outcomes.

    • truthseeker

      Exactly on point with your Dubois and Pulujarvi comments.

      Only in self loathing passive aggressive moron vancouver does hindsight bias win out by choosing a 13 goal winger who no showed in the playoffs over the best D prospect in the draft. In an NHL where virtually the BEST winger in the game (Hall) brings a return of a #4 position AVERAGE D man. lol. The lack of understanding of value in the NHL is almost as bad as their hindsight bias.

  • truthseeker

    geezus…seriously? Again?

    “people forget” because they’re stupid. As is much of the canuck’s fanbase.

    So…for the MILLIONTH f’in time….the rebuild started the DAY Linden and Benning got hired. Only complete morons can’t look at this situation and see that the team is saying things like “retool on the fly” to keep confidence WITHIN the team.

    They are TEAM managers. No fan expectation managers.

    What is Benning supposed to say to the guys who have him over a barrel with their contract status and vets he wants to keep. Not too mention anyone he’s trying to get or sign?

    “yeah….we’re rebuilding now so you know…don’t have any expectations of winning here. Really we don’t care what you do on the ice cause we’re rebuilding now so… you know…go out there…float around…we’ll pay you. Doesn’t matter.”

    Yeah….great management all because morons need to hear the word “rebuild” out of their mouths.

    And I like how you try to imply in the second paragraph that dropping two spots was somehow managements fault. lol. Of course you’ll probably deny it but they why word it like you did? Why list some accomplishments and then in the next breath drop something that management has absolutely nothing to do with? Right. Cause you’re IMPLYING it. See how that works? That’s called comprehension. If you honestly didn’t know you were doing that…well…I suppose that’s even worse.

    “His stated goal couldn’t have been more clear….”

    So you’re a “words speak louder than actions” kind of man are you? Cause what he said is just fluff for consumption. Again….for the million and first time…it’s what he does that matters. And he began tearing down the team right from the start. You can debate the choices….but you can’t debate the reality. By the second year of his job almost all the 11 players were gone. Pretty good considering there were guys who didn’t want to leave.

    Could of could of could of….

    How do you know what they tried to do? How do you know they were offered anything of value for Hamhuis? Look what dallas gave the flames for Russell. That offer for Hamhuis would have been an insult and if it was something like that Benning was right to say go f…… yourselves to Dallas. Sometimes the best play is to say no. Sometimes even losing the player for nothing is better than getting a reputation that anyone can low ball you.

    And seriously…shut up about all the undersized wingers the canucks “could have” had instead of Virtanen. Everyone in Vancouver was whining and complaining about the canucks lack of size and being easy to play against in the “big heavy western conference”.

    And yeah….we should have taken good old 13 goal winger…(whooopty dooo!) No show in the playoffs Tkachuk over the top ranked D man in the draft…..lol…..People need to shut up about that too. A winger….lowest value in the NHL, who will be lucky to ever score 30 goals over the best D prospect in the draft. Are you people out of your minds?

    It doesn’t “seem like hindsight”….It IS hindsight. And it’s moronic. No matter what you think you lobbied for in your old articles. Trying to deny you’re using hindsight and writing off a couple of picks after only TWO years, doesn’t mean you aren’t using hindsight and making a stupid argument. You are. It’s a stupid argument.

    What a total joke of an article. Just more self loathing, passive aggressive nonsense. Typical of so many canuck “fans”.

  • andyg

    This site is always good for a laugh. When you guys can get the bugs out of your site then I will give things said here more thought.
    The writers are about s good as the IT people.

  • Ronning4ever

    “Here are some of the actions Lawrence advised…that likely would have yielded much better results than what the Canucks’ front office has delivered.”

    This is absurd. Signing players is not as simple as: “hey, do you want to sign with my team?” They have to actually want to play for your team and you never know what term they will demand. They tried to sell off all the players listed except Matthias.

    “That may seem like hindsight, but the truth is that each of those players was advocated for either in this space or in other publications before the time of the draft.”

    BS. Canucks Army lauded the Juolevi and McCaan picks as being based on sound analytics. Not Boeser and Virtanen, but Boeser has ended up being good.

    “It’s the veterans and the stop-gap players that have failed him miserably.”

    Totally disagree. The Sutter trade was bad and I would have kept Garrison. Every other move has been reasonable as far as I’m concerned.

    The one thing I don’t really understand about CA is that their main bones of contention seem to be 1) the Sutter and Gudbranson trades, 2) the signing of Dorsett, Sbisa and Eriksson, 3) and picking JV. All fair criticisms, but overshadowned I feel by the overall body of work that’s been OK.

    • andyg

      The only glairing mistake seems to be JV and the jury is still out on that. Any of the trades or signings made have not effected the long term development of the club. Eating up salary cap effects their potential to sign other ufa’s but intern helps to keep them at the bottom of the league where they need to be. Yes he gave up some draft picks but finding Baer and Granlund looks like a win all round. How many draft picks would it take to find two decent young NHL players.
      Lets take this conversation up in about five years.

      • truthseeker

        No kidding the jury is still out on that one. It’s been 2 years. He’s what? 20? It’s unbelievable how these people decide a draft was a failure virtually the day after the draft.

      • Ronning4ever

        In all fairness to CA, I think what they (and they have diverging opinions for sure) have advocated for is totally reasonable. The prob is I don’t think it’s been possible. Much has been made over the “are we rebuilding or not” comments and moves, but at the end of the day, if you can’t/won’t move the twins (and they can’t/shouldn’t IMHO), and the other NTC’s then I think what they’ve done is reasonable: compete as much as you can while stuffing as many prospects in the system as possible. I think some of the criticisms have been very valid, I just don’t agree with one of their previous writers who called them ‘critical fails’.

        I think a lot of this comes down to how you feel a team should rebuild. CA generally advocates for a scortched-earth, all youngins and draft picks policy, while Benning and Linden seem to be more about mentorship groups and a mix of vets and youth.

  • TimfromAnahim

    The real question is, has Canucks Army staff earned the right sit in judgement over Jim Benning and Trevor Linden? Benning’s and Linden’s body of work in the field has been well documented. Not so for Canucks Army. To sit in your armchair and assume you know more about what’s going on, and what’s going on behind the scenes, than Canucks brass is arrogant at best. This blog has not earned the right to imply that it could do a better job than current management. That is facile and flat-out stupid.

  • Dirk22

    Top 10 excuses on these boards for Benning’s actions over the past 3 years. This will make it easier for you going forward:

    1. They ARE rebuilding – look at the amount of crappy veterans we’ve picked up
    2. It’s not financially viable to rebuild
    3. tanking breeds losing so we must try to win (even though they’re not)
    4. It’s hindsight saying we should have picked Nylander/Ehlers….lol!
    5. It’s Gillis’ fault for bad drafting
    6. Benning played defence in the NHL
    7. Draft picks are worthless because they barely pan out
    8. Give Sbisa time, he’s a young defenceman
    9. Hindsight to say they should have rebuilded
    10. He inherited no trade clauses (never mind Sutter and Eriksson’s)

    • truthseeker

      1. Yep. Gotta start somewhere, especially when your team doesn’t have much of value to offer. But tell me again about the tragic loss of Jared McCann and Hunter Shinkaruk or those 5th round picks we lost.
      2. Can’t disagree on this. But that’s on ownership. Nothing anyone can do about that if that’s what they want.
      3. Yep. Just ask the Oil. Far more examples support me than you. For every Crosby Cup I’ll show you 1000 failed seasons from other losers.
      4. Yep it is. Canucks needed “toughness for the heavy west”….Nylander at draft…175lbs…Ehlers…165… LOL indeed…..you’re ridiculous.
      5. Well…it is Gillis’ fault for bad drafting during his tenure. But he did what was necessary to keep a team at the top for nearly a decade. I have no regrets over the Gillis era. It’s just too bad the picks he did make were pretty lame.
      6. OK.
      7. Draft picks aren’t worthless. But they are vastly over rated. Especially anything after the first round.
      8. He improved this year. What else do you want?
      9. Nope. not hindsight at all. Just blindness…cause they started the rebuild 3 years ago.
      10. This is called a red herring argument. You’re trying to link two unrelated things.
      Benning did inherit a lot of NTC’s. Is that something you disagree with? lol.

      So now let’s look at the separate issue of NTC’s Benning has given.
      Sutter….yep…probably too much given to a guy who hasn’t really earned it. But it changes to a modified NTC for the last two years.
      Eriksson…..well…every team in the league would have given him a NTC of some sort. You’re going to act like the NTC was a big “Benning failure”….lol. OK. Debate his signing in the first place…fine…but the NTC. Give me a break. And even it changes to a modified NTC for the last two years. That’s pretty good. It means the canucks will have the ability to dump that contract in some way if he’s not producing. So you were saying?

        • truthseeker

          And how great it is that you’re don’t have any responses to your own sarcasm.

          I guess you’re finally coming around.

          Still waiting on all those “lost draft picks”. Every going to try to lay them out to prove your point?

          Yeah….thought so.

          Don’t worry though…the next time you make the same stupid argument, I’ll be right there to ask you to prove it, again.

          • Dirk22

            You must be new here truthseeker. I’ve laid this out numerous times and am not about to do it again for Benning’s latest fanboy. You’re online I assume. You can easily discover the net negative picks your ‘rebuilding GM’ has garnered during his 3 year tenure.

          • Pat Quinn Way

            truthseeker is yet another idiot troll with many accounts and too much time on his hands…

            Speaking about Benning though, let’s look at that ‘amazing’ 2014 draft list that was raved about by the usual mugs on here…

            2014 Draft Class
            Virtanen – sucking in the minors, an absolute disgrace of a pick chosen over Ehlers, Nylander, Ritchie, Fiala and Dylan Larkin among other ffs. MASSIVE BENNING BUST

            McCann – no longer a Canuck and sucking in FLA. BENNING BUST

            Demko – did not deliver in the AHL last term and the jury is still very much out on this kid as an NHL starting goalie ??

            Tryamkin – no longer a Canuck, bailed back to Russia after just 79 games BENNING BUST

            Forsling – no longer a Canuck and sinking like a stone in Chicago. BENNING BUST

            Petit – who?! BENNING BUST

            Stewart – see above BENNING BUST

            in fact the ONLY draftee currently playing on the Canucks is Boeser out of 21 Benning picks. Draft genius my a$$.

          • truthseeker

            Nope….you haven’t.

            ONE more time moron….

            His trades for picks that either didn’t work out or were for “older” guys.

            He traded a 2nd for Vey.
            Traded a 3rd for Dorsett
            Traded a 5th for Prust

            I’ll even give you the 7th rounder and the 5th rounder lost for Etem and Larsen even though Etem was a young player who at the time had “potential and Larsen was youngish and an “answer” on D, which obviously didn’t work.

            So in three years he’s traded away a 2nd rounder, a 3rd rounder, TWO 5th rounders and one 7th rounder.

            Yeah…that’s soooooo terrible…..HAHAHAHAHA….only TWO of those picks were for “old” guys.

            There’s a reason you just say stupid garbage like “I’ve laid it out many times and…not going to do it again”.

            Yeah…cause you know when you do….like I did……your sad pathetic little argument falls apart.

            Oh and KEEP UP THE SELF LOATHING pat quinn way……lol….looks good on you!

          • Dirk22

            In three years he’s traded 11 picks away – 4 2nds, 2 3rds, 1 4th, 2 5ths, 1 6th, 1 7th
            he’s acquired 10 picks: 1 1st, 2 2nds, 3 3rds, 1 4th, 1 5th, 2 7th’s

            10-11 = -1. That’s a net negative for a rebuilding team. That’s not an argument – that’s a fact.

          • truthseeker

            Haha…..so you’re hanging your hat on him having a “net trade” deficit of ONE pick!?! ONE pick?

            You think that “wins” you the point? HAHAHAHA…..

            Yeah…he’s lost SOOOOOOOOO many picks……

            Not to mention it’s just idiotic to look at it like that without examining what was done with the trades….

            You’re bloody ridiculous.

            A self loathing sad pathetic “fan” never willing to see anything in an unbiased way. Everything this canucks management team does is always wrong no matter what.

            What a joke you are.