Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: May 28th

You must not have listened to last week’s episode of the Canucks Army Podcast. We discussed this topic at length on the last show. Call me biased, but I think it’s an alright podcast and you should probably give it a try. Here’s a link to our iTunes page.


I don’t want to spoil the episode, but I absolutely believe the Canucks should shop both Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev. Sure, moving one or both of those defencemen would put a dent in the Canucks’ defence corps. However, it’s not like having the two of them is making much of a difference. They did for most of last year, and they were still terrible.

I haven’t heard anything since TSN’s Bob McKenzie said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Tampa Bay Lightning dealt him. We’re on the same page here. The Canucks would be better off for a move to acquire Drouin, though. For it to happen, the conversation starts with Chris Tanev going the other way and Vancouver probably taking Ryan Callahan and his albatross of a contract back.

It’s not the pick that I would make were I in their shoes, but I’d think it a defendable decision. Basically, a lot like how I feel about the Olli Juolevi pick. Speaking of, they’d make a damn good first pair to build around. Talk about getting the blue line in order.

  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Ground chipotle pepper (and lots)
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Not-so-secret ingredient: white pepper, and I swear by it in almost every recipe

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I can’t tell you how that affects perception from onlooking general managers elsewhere in the league. That would just be lying. If pressed, I’d probably suggest they don’t have anywhere near the impact some would like to ascribe to this kind of stonewalling.

On the other hand, Canucks General Manager Jim Benning secured Jonathan Dahlen and Nikolay Goldobin in return for Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen in separate trades just months after going public about his outright refusal to deal any veterans. Maybe it’s different on a per case basis? Or perhaps he could’ve got those players anyways. It’s a neat example to support your point, though.

I have no damn clue. That would be a solid add though.

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It’s not a trade that I would make, but dealing Ben Hutton for Ryan Spooner wouldn’t be the death knell of the Canucks rebuild-like-thing. I say this now, but if Ben Hutton gets any better than he already is, which is a distinct possibility, it’s a move that could look really ugly really fast.

I’m not a huge fan of how this one is worded, but I certainly understand where the angst is rooted. Again, I’m not a fan of advocating for people to lose their job. That’s just not how I roll.

If the Canucks front office has another season like the last two, I think a lot of people will be having that conversation among themselves though — whether that’s cool or not.

I feel like this is great material for a Benning on Empty.


I’ll give full credit here to Eknoor. I hadn’t even put Nikita Filatov on my radar to this point. Now that I’ve had to do some research, it seems like a savvy enough move. That’s especially true if he’s willing to play an AHL deal. Hell, why not? Maybe he can be a mentor to Goldobin, catch fire and recoup serious value at the trade deadline. Worst case scenario? He’s gone by November like Alex Semin from his try with the Montreal Canadiens.

I can’t help but like a player like Sean Dhooghe. He’s 5’3″, if memory serves, and played for the USNTD last season. He acquitted himself fairly well, too. The only problem is he’s 5’3″. I’d take a look at Dhooghe in the seventh round. I mean, why not?

I give more weight to primary assists than secondary in every situation. That said, secondary assists are less volatile for defencemen, if memory serves.

He’s a bit younger, but I’d see if the Detroit Red Wings are willing to part with Andreas Athanasiou. That guy is so, so damn fast, and they just don’t seem sold on him. He’s a bit younger at 22-years-old, but he’s got a pretty high ceiling. The Red Wings need cheap defencemen, too. Maybe there’s a fit?

I think there’s something to the notion that teams can develop a losing culture over time. How much of a something, I’m not certain. All I know is the Canucks way overvalue the impact of winning. Besides, even if they value creating a winning environment for their prospects, they’ve been trying for two seasons and finished in the bottom three each time. Let’s get real. Benning can value it all he wants; I just don’t think he has it in him to create that environment.

Whether it’s avoiding overage players at the draft or comparing scoring among first-time draft eligible players, age is something we place a premium on at Canucks Army. It’s something that played a significant role in the PCS draft analytics and pGPS that followed in its stead.

When you’re talking about prospects, usually you’re talking about players in the 18-20 range. A difference of even six months in development is huge. It can have a significant impact on a prospect’s ability to produce.

Markus Granlund.

I’m starting to lean towards the latter of those two options. We’ll get a better idea of what their plan is in time.

It should be scorched earth. Anyone under 25 should be a tradeable asset for the Canucks right now. That applies to their blue line, certainly. Rebuilding teams, usually, follow a similar course of action. Look at the Toronto Maple Leafs. They traded everyone deemed expendable, and that seems to have worked out fairly well for them.

From what I can gather, it doesn’t sound like the Canucks have interest in taking Gabriel Vilardi with their first round pick. They want a player who can skate reasonably well. That’s something they seem to place a premium on. I think concerns about Vilardi’s skating are overblown but rooted in reality all the same.

I might write an article on this topic in the summer.

Owning a smoker. Cooked one in there for seven hours on Saturday. It was delicious.

It’s always the coaches choice as to who plays at any position. That includes Ryan Miller. In Miller’s case, he wants to be close to his wife who lives in Southern California. Vancouver offers that to him.

I like Jalen Chatfield’s game a fair amount. He’s a great skater who sees the ice well and does great work at attacking and defending the neutral zone. I think he’s going to struggle a bit physically based on his size. His offensive game needs polishing. I wouldn’t be surprised if he one day carves out a low-end NHL career though.

Ben Hutton probably won’t be one of them. Beyond that, who knows?

Rasmus Dahlen and Andrei Svechnikov come to mind.

There isn’t even a hope in hell that would happen.

We don’t.

I haven’t followed Derrick Pouliot closely enough the last year to give you a worthwhile answer. It’s not looking good for Pouliot, though. I wonder if maybe getting him back with Travis Green would help. The two were together in Portland with the Winterhawks at one point.

Andrei Loktionov, Nikita Filatov and Evgeni Dadonov come to mind.

Henri Jokiharju at 33rd overall. I’ll go with three defencemen overall.

That’s between Timothy Liljegren and Cale Makar.

I think he’s stepping out of prospect territory and into useful depth territory. I wouldn’t hate the signing, but I’m not going to advocate for it either.

Probably Cody Glass.

  • A quick google search of Nikita Filatov reveals a HF thread talking about how Filatov is really lazy, selfish and generally an embarassment to any team he’s on. Other than a quick reference to an elite skillset, I don’t think anyone had one positive comment. Make like Henrik and pass.

  • Bud Poile

    Since Canucks Army doesn’t have a barn to fill or face their customers and can live a life of endless hindsight your idea of “getting real” is a distant galaxy away from actually running a franchise.
    Gut the d-corps.Doesn’t matter.
    Winning is overvalued.
    The team hasn’t been competitive.
    A certain somebody only has a brisket to attend to and not a wife,kids,billionaire,organisation,colleagues,scouts and fanbase.
    Let’s get real,indeed.Some time soon.

    • Psych Major

      A fascinating case study here. Notice how this user instantly jumps on any post by JD Burke, petbugs or Jackson McDonald, desperately looking for attention like an annoying little terrier nipping at his masters pant legs begging for a response.

      This is a classic case of a sad, lonely internet troll trying to give his empty existance meaning by using vitriolic nonsense and thinly veiled personal attacks from the alleged safety of his keyboard.

      In my professional opinion, the only logical solution to rid the site of this pathetic individual is to take away his bone – an ip ban of all his numerous sock accounts… yet the managing editor seems incapable of doing this. Why?

      • Bud Poile

        I’s called a blog,psycho.
        Since you’ve never posted using ‘Psych Major’ here I’m betting you /PQW/Braindead/ Freud could spend a weekend trying to ascertain why your lot and the three amigos can’t or won’t take the high road of positivity instead of driving the bus to run over management.
        You seemed confused as J.D and the other amigos so read ‘ronning4ever’ below to get a realistic account of the state of the franchise.
        Not all fans enjoy being trolled with endless negativity like some of you do.

        • Braindead Benning

          Hahahaha… again, another “spin” now on the positivity bandwagon…waving the pom poms, jumping up and sniffing the jock straps of TL, JB & Co only to continually make “negative” comments about the past regime that made big strides to contribute and provide a winning environment.

          Ya, I am negative… and I will always be until I see some sort of logic to what this “3 years NEW” regime can say and DO !

  • wojohowitz

    Interesting question about Pouliot, an 8th overall pick. When the Canucks were shopping Kesler to Pittsburgh they wanted Pouliot included but the Pens were so high on the guy they refused to part with him and here we are three years later and Pouliot could probably be had for a second round pick. It`s a good example of how iffy it is using high picks on defencemen. For every Karlsson there are a dozen Pouliots.

    • truthseeker

      It’s even more of an example of the over rating and over value put on picks and prospects in the first place.

      They’re just kids. You never know. With any of them. EVEN the “sure things” like McDavid or Matthews.

      It’s why people who are willing to give up Tanev for only a pick or prospect or even both….are totally ridiculous.

  • Ronning4ever

    “Besides, even if they value creating a winning environment for their prospects, they’ve been trying for two seasons and finished in the bottom three each time.”

    This is a key point of difference I share with many. There’s a big, big difference on morale and commitment to systems when the playoffs are a non-starter in November and when they are a non-starter in February. Ask anyone who’s ever played any sports (even recreationally).

    I think the Canucks have actually done the best tank job you can do in this regard. They’ve played meaningful games until February, then sold what they could and given their youth a taste in the last couple of months, losing hard enough both time to fall to bottom three finishes.

    I think the risk is what has happened in Colorado this year. They’ve sucked, and so hard they they stand to lose some of their young talent who just want out of town.

  • TD

    Taylor Hall recently spoke about how tough it was coming to the rink and always losing. That’s not an environment that is Heather for development. The leafs did it differently, left Marner, Nylander etc in the minors where they were a powerhouse AHL team and they developed there.

    Thankfully, the Canucks weren’t as bad as JD states until the late collapse. They were in a playoff spot in January, although most rational people knew it wouldn’t last. The attitude around the team was way better when they were competitive. I’m not upset that Edler wants to stay, let him and trade Tanev. Edler can log the tough minutes protecting the kids. Sign a vet or two like Fransen to help Edler. The Canucks will still be bad, but hopefully somewhat competitive to make it a bearable environment for the kids.

    • Neil B

      This is one of the reasons that I hope the Canucks *don’t* put Boeser directly into their top-6 rotation. If he, Goldy, Dahlen, and Jake (yes) stay in the AHL next year, they would be growing up in a far better environment (getting top-6 minutes, a winning environment) than playing in the NHL for bottom-6 minutes and losing. After a year, bring them on up.

      • Psych Major

        Ah yes, Neil B, another know-all (know nothing) armchair GM who bored everyone to death on SBN*tion with his pompous novels so came back here to do the same again, and again and…

        Here he is trying to tell us that Utica is a ‘winning environment’ yet their non playoff aspirations merely match that of the parent club at a lesser level.

        This is what we term as ‘skewed logic’ and ‘delusions of grandeur’ best dealt with in one of two ways… mocking or ignoring. Next patient please.

        • Bud Poile

          Bad day on the couch,eh, Freud?
          Neil is pretty knowledgeable and makes a valid point.
          Benning and his scouts have amassed a lot of young talent in the last few months so Utica should be far more of a competitive environment this coming season/year.

        • Neil B

          Delusions of grandeur (actually “inflated self-esteem to levels of grandiosity” in DSM) is a symptom of bipolar disorder I, and is best treated with lithium, divalproex, or an atypical antipsychotic medication in an aggressive treatment program, accompanied by psychoeducation (“therapy”). It should not be ignored as a symptom, as it can lead to other comorbidities and overall poor health outcomes for the patient.

          Sorry to hear that you’re doing so poorly in your major. I hear journalism is easier, and involves less research. Maybe try a transfer?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    I would argue that winning culture is more than just winning. It’s believing that you have a chance to win.

    Many unsuccessful teams that have had numerous high draft choices have significant challenges with regard building a challenger. For every Chicago there is a Columbus, NYI, Atlanta/Winnipeg, Buffalo, Colorado, Florida. Are Toronto and Edmonton truly successful tanks without being lucky enough to draft a generational talent?

    I think a winning environment matters. I think that Taylor Hall’s comments about what things were like in Edmonton supports that (as was also evident to just about any fan watching the team prior to 2015-16). For most teams, I think a balanced approach is best. Yes, work to get younger. Yes, accumulate draft picks. No, don’t spend big $$ on free agents that you can’t flip for assets later. But yes, yes, yes, keep enough good players to ensure that the team believes they can win on any given night.

    • truthseeker

      yep….the morons only look at the Hawks and Pens, forgetting their years of uselessness (more hindsight), and ignoring the fact they simply got lucky in the draft in two regards. That they first off got the high picks, and secondly, lucked out by getting the players that had that internal drive to be great pros.

      There are far more examples of failures in “full rebuilds” than their are successes.

      It’s not the only way to rebuild a team successfully.

  • Locust

    JD you actually made me laugh out loud when I read this…. “All I know is the Canucks way overvalue the impact of winning.”
    After all the slag you throw on everyone …. that is truly funny. Talk about playing both sides of the net….

    • Bud Poile

      “Besides, even if they value creating a winning environment for their prospects, they’ve been trying for two seasons and finished in the bottom three each time. Let’s get real.”JD

      Troll ‘o meter just hit maximum readings.

      • Psych Major

        Utterly fascinating… this is what we in the profession call ‘reverse psychology’. one of the oldest troll tricks in the book. But once again this measure is easily dispelled as a smokescreen by the real troll… BUD who has indeed broken the troll’o meter with gems such as these

        “all that matters is the playoffs” – Bud Poile
        (yet he ‘supposedly’ fully supports three years of abject playoff failure)

        “Benning dumped his act (Ryan Kesler) on day three.” – Bud Poile
        (a troll classic, seeing as Kes demanded a trade of his choice and would not play under Jim Benning)

        and the giveaway…
        I was in the Saddledome during the Battle of Alberta days.
        (not only does this prove he is not a BC native, it proves he is in fact a Flames fan)

        Case closed. Nexttttt

        • Locust

          Freud, give it a rest. The dick issues you have is with yourself, ie: you are the dick.
          Or if CA is trolling us again for page hits – go pound sand.
          Every three months there is another “new” troll here.
          Coincidence …. you be the judge.

          • Freud

            Locust. Sorry, this guy isn’t me.

            But I am hurt by your names. I took you under my wing, tried to develop you with some tough love. I challenged you to actually present your own opinions, rather than the “you suck” hot takes you were offering up. Sure, your one and only attempt was a complete failure, but you should have kept trying.

            Instead, you’re bitter and right back when you started. I may never be able to mentor someone again…

  • Dan-gles

    To side track the convo about who is a more righteous and justified arm chair gm. I why are we not talking about the Canucks trading not up but trading to get the rumoured stars third overall and keeping outnumbered fifth? Two in the first two in the second goes a long way to putting more darts on the prospect board? Do you think a tanev for the third overall and say honka, or shore or Ritchie is realistic? Next isn’t going to be pretty no matter what you do. So why not Ben a bigger risk taker now is the time.

  • truthseeker

    One more time. Drouin is nowhere near Tanev’s value. And we should even be considering a trade for a winger.

    And Derrick Pouliot is the perfect example of over rated prospect value. Remember a few years back when he was a Pens “untouchable”? Almost no circumstance existed that the Pens would trade him. Now he was a young D and I get the value thing…but regardless….His example is why Tanev must be moved for NO LESS than a currently performing well, young NHL center. A prospect is not enough. A first round pick is not enough. A prospect AND a first round pick is NOT enough.

    Edler straight up for Drouin. That makes WAY more sense than Tanev for Drouin plus a crappy Lightning contract….lol…that’s just a ridiculously one sided win for the lightning.

  • TheRealPB

    “It should be scorched earth. Anyone under 25 should be a tradeable asset for the Canucks right now. That applies to their blue line, certainly. Rebuilding teams, usually, follow a similar course of action. Look at the Toronto Maple Leafs. They traded everyone deemed expendable, and that seems to have worked out fairly well for them.”

    Please stop peddling this line. The Maple Leafs are an anomaly because they a) have the financial resources to absorb terrible contracts in real money and stash them in the minors and b) they have a fanbase that won’t go away no matter how many decades they ice an awful team. There are almost no other equivalents in the NHL — maybe Montreal. I’ve made this argument before and I’ll make it again — if you look at Chicago or LA, the years they were at the bottom they were also at the bottom of the league in attendance. In softer Canadian markets that kind of gate performance can spell an existential threat to the team. The Maple Leafs rebuild-plan is as flawed and faulty as that of the Kings/Bruins “heavy” model or the Blackhawks/Penguins “skilled” ones. Each of these circumstances is different and in the case of the Kings/Bruins, both teams squandered their chances at longer-term competitiveness through poor trades and/or giving big money contracts to the wrong players (whereas the Blackhawks/Penguins made the right choices in which players constituted a good core).

    Your argument doesn’t even make any sense. If you’re rebuilding why would you trade anyone under the age of 25? Wouldn’t that consign you to a constant rebuild? At some point you have to stop accumulating draft picks and prospects and actually try to develop them. That’s why your nonsensical statement deriding the Canucks management’s commitment to winning is so ludicrous; do you see young players actually improving if they’re getting their teeth kicked in every shift? Besides, you’re not even accurate when it comes to the Leafs. They kept most of their young players in the minors with some support around them and invested in vets to play at least to the trade deadline. This year despite the groans of most of the data analytics community the Leafs invested yet again in Polak and Hunwick regardless of the fact that there were younger, cheaper prospects around.

    You will never develop your young players if you don’t have some vets around to do the heavy lifting. I know it seems to you as though the latter should just be interchangeable assets who can later be flipped but that speaks to a complete ignorance about building a team or supportive culture or frankly, the way humans actually behave when not simply names on a spreadsheet.

    • Psych Major

      Here is another great example of a self-opinionated fool who has more holes in his act than Swiss cheese.

      Case in point, he derides the Maple Leafs, forgetting to acknowledge that with the holy trinity of Shanny/Lamo and Babs in place making all the right moves they turned a joke franchise into a cup contending powerhouse in three years! Edmonton have adopted the same model. Outstanding job by both.

      The best example of this commenters utter ignorance is that he laughably derides the Bruins, Kings, Hawks and Pens as ‘flawed’… they have eight (soon to be nine) Stanley Cups between them in the last… nine years!

      Straight jacket and rubber room for ‘the realpb’ please – he is what we term as ‘completely off his rocker’.

      • truthseeker

        lol…what “right moves” did they make? The extremely difficult choice of drafting Matthews first overall? The Leafs were the 8th seed and only made the playoffs by ONE point. “Cup contending powerhouse”? Losing in the first round is a “cup contending powerhouse”??? lol. They were 22nd in the league in Goals Against. They didn’t do a thing to address their defensive deficiencies. Yeah…real “cup contending powerhouse”.

        So yeah…they have a good coach and lucked into kid that scores like crazy, and you’re going to try to act like this is the model for NHL franchises to emulate? LOL…

        Same thing applies to the Oil although they did address roster issues better than they have in the past.

        Both teams are one injury away from the lottery. Both teams have virtually zero depth beyond their superstars.

        LOL…talk about people in glass houses.

        • Psych Major

          This is the type of deluded ‘serial poster’ we refer to as a ‘no-lifer’ who lacks basic intelligence, humility and any semblance of hockey iq, as proven in the above post.

          Consumed by hatred, envy and self-loathing, the truthseeker is actually more of a ‘windowlicker’, one who is always looking on from the outside – a social misfit if you will.

          Like many Canucks fans choking on their own hot air, this user fails to acknowledge that hockey is a total team game, and with their great goaltending, stellar balance and depth on D and multitude of star players like Draisaitl, Lucic, Maroon, Nylander,, Kadri, Marner and JVR, these two excellent young teams will be playoff contenders for years to come.

          Nurse, tranquilizer for the mutt truthseeker – my diagnosis is he is more of a delusional fairytale teller.

      • TheRealPB

        It’s not about whether or not those other teams have been successful. It’s whether or not we should follow any particular “model” without understanding their specific contexts. The Toronto model only works if you have the resources and fanbase they have. We don’t and as I already stated, no other franchise really does. Edmonton is also a very bad example for a model. In both TO and Edmonton’s cases their success is largely predicated on luck not planning — getting a generational player at the top of the draft. McDavid is not the same as Yakupov, Hall or RNH, as time has clearly shown.

        • wojohowitz

          I must admit I greatly enjoyed the Harold Ballard years when he showed Leaf fans a lack of respect that was unprecedented because he knew the games sold out regardless of quality of play. Was it fact or fiction that Roger Nielson come out wearing a brown paper bag over his head? The puzzle was why did he not raise ticket prices higher more often as he knew the Leafs were like a car accident that passerbys could not look away and Leaf games always sold out no matter how badly they played.