Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: June 5th – Part Deux

I remember a time when I had to ask for Monday Mailbag questions two, sometimes even three times before I’d have enough to run the article. Those days are long gone. Sometimes I write the Mailbag three hours after asking for questions, and by the time I’ve finished it I have enough for another one.

Whereas I used to just kind of shrug my shoulders and let it go because the season was bogging me down with other Canucks stuff to write about, I think I can pay those people who aren’t caught in the first wave the respect of answering their queries. So, if your questions aren’t answered in the first mailbag, and there’s enough for another, don’t sweat it! I’ll make a Part Deux. I did just that today.

I might be the wrong guy to field this question. I’m not entirely convinced that the Canucks are all-in on the rebuild yet. Even if they are, I like the small ‘r’ rebuild as a descriptor. A rebuilding team doesn’t re-sign a 37-year-old goaltender. A rebuilding team trades Chris Tanev and Alex Edler. The Canucks have staked their claim on the wrong side of how to handle all three players. You do the math.

It’s probably fair to suggest the Canucks were reluctant sellers at the deadline. The Canucks and general manager Jim Benning, in particular, deserve a tonne of credit for the coup they pulled off at the deadline. Full marks for extracting excellent value for Jannik Hansen and Alexandre Burrows. By that same token, they finished 29th overall and traded… two players. It wasn’t a fire sale. Somebody who was keen on selling off assets probably finds a way to make a little more happen.

I’d think it wise if the Canucks take either Henri Jokiharju or Jesper Boqvist at 33. At 55, if Josh Brook or Mason Shaw is available, either would be a worthy selection.

I had Old Man Burke over, and we hung out, drank beers, had overcooked barbeque and watched the Nashville Predators kick some Penguin ass. My friend Amir showed up too. He’s a Penguins fan. I revelled in his suffering. So, no, not a hot date. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

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I appreciate that you’re asking me questions for the mailbag. Really, I do. I feel like I’ve answered this one three or four times now. I’ll answer this one with a couple of options, but if we could go a week or two without this question, I’d be A-Okay with that.

  • Drew Stafford
  • Patrick Sharp
  • Dmitry Kulikov
  • Daniel Winnik

You trade Chris Tanev for a prospect because it offers financial flexibility to eat bad contracts from contending teams in exchange for more prospects and futures, and also because that prospect has a far higher likelihood of contributing to this team’s ability to contend in three-to-four years than Tanev.

That said, I’d think the Canucks would do well to secure Jonathan Drouin for Tanev. I even believe that it’s a deal I can see coming together. The Canucks might have to take Ryan Callahan’s albatross of a contract back to make it happen, but that’s totally worth it.

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It’s going to be an ugly, long, frustrating season for Canucks fans. Sorry, that’s just reality. Maybe they can PDO their way into something resembling contention, but the talent just isn’t there. It probably won’t be for another two to three years.

There are going to be players and moments to enjoy, though. Based on Nikolay Goldobin’s run with the Utica Comets last season, perhaps new Canucks head coach Travis Green and he have a good working relationship that will foster the young Russians development into a bona fide NHL’er. That’s worth checking in to watch. I also think this market underappreciates what a gem Troy Stecher is from the Canucks’ blue line. He could be a legitimate first pair defenceman by the end of next season. Cheer on the individual players; they’ll let you down far less than the team.

The way Brock Boeser played to end last season, I think the Canucks are going to have to reconsider their original plan, which was to send him to the Utica Comets to start the year. I can see Boeser playing with Sven Baertschi and Bo Horvat on the Canucks’ first (?) line. Fans should be happy if Boeser can put together a 30 point season. That’s reasonable.

As for which youngsters make the team, I think Boeser, Goldobin and Olli Juolevi all have a great shot. I want Reid Boucher to come back and force his way onto the team. I think there’s something there. Jonathan Dahlen needs seasoning, and I’ll be surprised if Jordan Subban is still a Canuck by training camp.

Yes. Burn it with fire.

The Canucks. And they block Jason Botterill’s number.

  • Buula

    Noice JD. As silly as it is, it really makes the people feel good to have their questions answered.

    Be thankful there wasn’t any “Will he waive?” Questions this round lol

  • DJ_44

    So the measure of a “true” rebuilding team is whether they re-sign Miller; and whether they trade Tanev or Alex (full-NTC) Edler. Hmm…those are pretty slim arguements to hang the rebuild mantle on.

    The Canucks require two solid NHL goalies. Any rebuilding team needs that to mitigate the mistakes made by inexperienced players. While JD has stated that winning in the NHL is overrated, apparently by the Canucks at least, most folks understand that winning, or the realistic assumption of winning, is a key part of developing players. Miller will give them that.

    As for trading Tanev, GMJB stated he will listen to offers but will not actively shop Tanev. Sounds like a good approach…maintain a high price….trade when it is the correct value, not trading to appease the misguided burn it all to the ground approach. Were you not advocating that a Hansen trade must happen last summer? Burrows was what? GMJB has more than demonstrated he knows how to deal; let him work. Worse case, Tanev plays for the Canucks another season and helps Juolevi, Stecher et al break into the league. Perish the thought.

    As for Edler…he has a full-NTC that has shown no intent of waiving. Benning has shown respect for NTCs. There is not much he can do without full cooperation from Alex.

    • Rodeobill

      and last year’s TDL disappointment can now at least count for something, as no one will expect him to be rushed into low ball deals made hastily under pressure, He has shown he wont make those deals.

  • truthseeker

    So here’s how it works with Tanev….and I’ll keep posting it until people get it through their thick skulls. (funny how stats people here don’t seem to want to use the stats to value Tanev).

    Every time Benning gets asked about Tanev by another GM he should cite precedent.

    He should then tell them they should think along the lines of Larrson for Hall. And tell them that Larrson ain’t no Hall so the cost for you will be more than a “Hall”. And then he should add the Shattenkirk trade in as a further example. One of the best NHL prospects, a first round pick, and a second round pick, all for a few month long rental player. (He doesn’t need to tell them how valuable D is. They know)

    Then he should send them here,


    And dare them to find another guy with shot suppression as high. And when they finally find one….Anton Stralman…he should then ask them what they think the chances are they’ll get Stralman out of Tampa.

    Then you sprinkle in the mcdavid “unsung hero” comment type thing…

    Then he should proceed to tell them that the cost for Tanev will be whoever their best young producing center (short of a “franchise” center, obviously) is, plus their first round pick this year.

    So if it’s Dallas, Benning should say, OK….I want Radek Faksa and your first round pick.
    If it’s the Leafs he should say I want Mitch Marner and your first round pick.

    And so on.

    And if they say thanks but no thanks then Benning needs to say “OK…good luck to you.” And walk away. End of discussion. And we keep Tanev and benefit from having pretty much the best defensive Dman in the league on our team.

    Anything less is not worth it.

    • Donald's Hat Trick

      Problem is, both Anaheim and Minny are looking to move D that they won’t be able to protect in the draft and that creates a bit of a buyer’s market at the moment.

    • Billy Pilgrim

      No credible hockey source suggests Tanev’s value is that high. I wish it were true, I really do. But Tanev is worth one valuable piece, with throw-ins from either side depending on what comes back. The #3 pick, Sam Reinhart, or Jonathan Drouin are all logical starting points. It might be bad contracts, mid to late draft picks or middle prospects that get thrown in. I really hope those of you who see big packages coming back are right. But it is simply not realistic and if management shares those expectations then Tanev will almost certainly remain a Canuck. That is a not a bad thing if you want the team to be competitive at all in 2017.

      • truthseeker

        To both those responses I say again….fine….if Benning can’t get that they he should just say to the other teams “good luck with your season”.

        Nobody ‘moving D’ is moving as good a D man as Tanev. It’s not that much of a buyers market. Not even close in my opinion. There will always be more teams wanting great D than great D available.

        Marner isn’t even as good as Hall yet. Neither is Faksa. And Sam Reinhart was more valued than either of those two. My proposal is totally reasonable given the proven market value of top D.

        And yeah…that’s the point. Trading him is virtually not worth it in almost every possible way. So that’s why Benning needs to set the price like I’ve suggested, and not budge.

        It’s interesting that the Benning hater types and the few who have thumbed down my posts about this subject, over the various threads, have really not once addressed the issue of D value precedence or Tanev’s top numbers as a shut down D. No counter arguments proving that wrong at all. Just “no way that will happen” and at best a cite of Tanev’s injury history, which is about the only valid point they make.

  • Killer Marmot

    As for which youngsters make the team, I think Boeser, Goldobin and Olli Juolevi all have a great shot. I want Reid Boucher to come back and force his way onto the team. I think there’s something there. Jonathan Dahlen needs seasoning, and I’ll be surprised if Jordan Subban is still a Canuck by training camp.

    Virtanen is going to work his ass off all summer long, come into camp with 10% body fat, and force his way back onto the roster.

    • TrueBlue

      Then he’ll streak down the right wing, bully past the defenseman at the wall, and load up for a shot from wide of the right face-off dot.

      I guess the key is whether or not his shot will come back to the point that the goalie will let it in or give up a rebound.

    • LTFan

      Virtanen won’t make the team – he is simply not good enough. That being said. I wish he could make the team and play close to the way a #6 Overall pick should play.

      • Locust

        For every Sean Monahan at #6 there are a dozen Gilbert Brule’s……

        Anything after #3 overall pick is considerably less than a 50/50 shot at a 50 point player or a first pair defender. I agree, wish Jake well but he has about six months to show he is an NHL player.

        • Rodeobill

          I hope Virtanen figures it out but he needs just that. He is strong, fast, skilled, but seemed to lack the smarts. Maybe he figures it out. Maybe the coach simplifies his game, maybe it’s just patience until he grows up a little and sees it. He will be a good middle six one day, but some people need patience.

  • What’s with the hate-on for Reinhart? I think a trade of Reinhart plus more (e.g. 1st round pick plus another pick or prospect) would be a good trade for Tanev. Reinhart is playing like a 2C based on points and possession metrics but has upside. He’s stuck behind Eichel and O’Reilly and he’s local so he should be happy to take a playmaking 1C role with the Canucks.

    • truthseeker

      yeah i’m with you on this one.

      as I mentioned before though…I just don’t think it fits the direction Buffalo probably wants to go. They aren’t a win now or win very soon team. Tanev doesn’t fit them very well.

      In terms of value though…it’s a totally fair deal.

      • I think a 3-way trade between Tampa Bay, Buffalo and Vancouver is the way to go with the major pieces being Tanev to TB, Drouin to Buffalo and Reinhart to Vancouver. I view Tanev as the highest value player in the deal so I would expect extra value coming from TB or Buffalo in the form of, at least, a high 1st round pick or A-prospect to make it happen.

  • Rodeobill

    “Cheer on the individual players; they’ll let you down far less than the team.”
    I like this, it is this thinking that allowed me to watch all the games this year, and this is why Tryamkin’s departure sucks so hard too.

  • Killer Marmot

    It’s going to be an ugly, long, frustrating season for Canucks fans.

    The Canucks have lost Hansen and Burrows, and that hurts.

    But it’s not hopeless. Boeser, Goldobin, Rodin, Dahlen, Boucher, and Virtanen, all stand a chance of improving the Canucks offense. That’s a fair dollop of young forward talent. Not all of them will make the grade, but some will, and there will be a lot of competition for the bottom-six positions.

    • truthseeker

      A lot of the NHL these days is coaching. Personally I think it’s more important than talent. Team’s need a coach with a solid system and they need the players to buy in 100% to that system. No team can win without that first. And even great coaches will have years when the players don’t execute the system well.

      Then after you have that, it’s the talent that separates teams. But even there, I think it’s pretty even. All these kids coming in are all really good players. The difference level in talent between a McDavid and a just a decent NHL center is very small compared to back in say, Gretzky’s day. The greats back then knew subconsciously about the importance of constant training, and the average player was just straight out lazy. Nowadays, every single player in the NHL is training year round and working on their weaknesses.

      Hopefully Green can get commitment and buy in from this group. I said before, the canucks have a great opportunity here to build a team in a different way from the ‘get a superstar or two and then fill roster holes’. If the luck keeps preventing us from our “McDavid” then they need to stock up on good solid producers on all lines.

      That kind of team can be competitive with a team like the oilers who in a few years will be top heavy with salary and only have 2 really potent lines. A team with better balance should provide an even match up against teams like that.

      • Killer Marmot

        I disagree. The Canucks had horrendous drafting between 2005 and 2011. This leaves them with few talented players in the sweet spot of mid to late twenties, where players have both youth and experience.

        A better coach might have squeaked the Canucks into the playoffs. That’s about all I would concede.