Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: June 19th

Don’t get me wrong — I really like Jonathan Marchessault’s game. The Canucks really missed the boat letting him pass while they signed players like Borna Rendulic, Jack Skille, Michael Chaput, etc. to painfully similar contracts. And I think we’re at a point where that ship has sailed.

I have a hard time believing that the Florida Panthers want to part with Marchessault, so much as they want to leave their defence corps intact. If they keep him beyond the Expansion Draft (not terribly likely), I’m sure they’ll be all too happy to have him next season. If the Vegas Golden Knights get Marchessault, I’m sure they’ll keep him around. If not, the price for a player that productive on so cheap a contract as Marchessault’s would come at an exorbitant cost — he should, anyways.

Marchessault isn’t too old to help the Canucks by the time they’re competitive again; I just fear the cost of futures to make a deal of this ilk happen won’t merit the return they get on Marchessault when they’re at that point in their arch.

  • Anaheim Ducks
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Florida Panthers
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • New York Islanders
  • Ottawa Senators
  • San Jose Sharks

I can’t see Vegas having any interest in either given the bounty of top four defencemen available to them for free through the Expansion Draft. They’ll probably have one of the better defence groups in the league already. They don’t need to add through trades, etc.

I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t think you’ve even set the framework for this kind of trade. The Montreal Canadiens just dealt Nathan Beaulieu to the Buffalo Sabres for a third round pick, and at best, I have to imagine they view Ben Hutton as a slightly lesser version of Beaulieu. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is fascinating, insofar as he can make the best and worst trades just days apart. This is a stretch even for Bergevin on his worst days, though.

My interpretation of game theory and how I might use a practical hockey related scenario to explain it is this:

Imagine a team on the draft floor. They know way ahead of time that Jamie Benn is going to be one of the best players in his draft class; they also understand he’s going to fall to somewhere in the fifth-round. The goal, then, isn’t to take Benn with a top ten pick. What you want to do in this scenario is use the latest pick possible to secure Benn. It’s not about getting the best player; it’s about getting as many of the best players possible.

You should learn how to MUFB.

Everyone I’d consider a hockey insider has said it’s all but official. That was before the Detroit Red Wings made the whackiest move of the day and exposed Petr Mrazek. I still think Marc-Andre Fleury is going to finish the Expansion Draft as a Golden Knight; I’m just less certain he stays there for long.

At this rate, I’m going to set the over/under on first round picks the Golden Knights acquire by the draft at four. They need to hit the cap floor, and there are many, many terrible contracts out there.

The Golden Knights have to select one player from each of the league’s other 30 teams, and a team can only field a roster of 23 players. That math doesn’t add up. They’re going to have to make some deals after the draft. I can see them stockpiling four starting calibre goaltenders and turning that market on its head.

The hockey men are back, and like any decent hockey man, they value third pair defencemen like Alex Petrovic ahead of bona fide top six wingers like Reilly Smith and Marchessault. It makes total sense. Stop staring at a spreadsheet, nerd.

I think there’s more of a market for Erik Gudbranson than there is for Brandon Sutter. In fact, I’d be willing to be the Canucks could secure a package close to what they gave up for Gudbranson initially if they went in that direction. As for Sutter, that’s going to be a tough sell — even to the hockey men of the league.

The biggest single mistake? That has to be protecting Jimmy Howard (who I think fairly high of) at the expense of Mrazek. That’s just such a bizarre move.

The Canucks not exposing Sutter is a close second.

Is this a thing? What’s the apology for? The Canucks are free points for the other 30 teams of the league. Their fans should be thanking you, not demanding an apology.

I highly doubt Nikita Tryamkin has significant trade value. It’s nothing worth dealing him for I’d imagine. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Tryamkin coming back to the Canucks, though. It was more about the North American adjustment than playing for the Canucks when it comes to reasons why he left the team. At least, that’s my understanding of the situation.

The Washington Capitals.

Best case scenario? Let me throw out some random, bordering on useless best case scenario comparisons. These are more about style than talent.

  • Casey Mittelstadt – Matt Duchene
  • Miro Heiskanen – Hampus Lindholm
  • Elias Pettersson – Nicklas Backstrom
  • Gabriel Vilardi – Leon Draisaitl
  • Nico Hischier – Pavel Datsyuk
  • Timothy Liljegren – Erik Karlsson

I’m not a huge fan of Jake Bean’s game. He’s certainly not someone I’d identify as a priority trade target for the Canucks. I can’t imagine the Hurricanes have much of an appetite for dealing Bean, either. And if they do, Jake Virtanen isn’t even a worthy starting point.


I don’t think the Golden Knights will claim Luca Sbisa. There are far too many defencemen who are legitimately good to justify taking on Sbisa. Some of them are cheaper, even. Whether Sbisa is with the Canucks or not, I like Olli Juolevi’s chances of making the team next year. He’s already better than Sbisa.

I keep going back to the fact that Detroit’s exposing Mrazek. Just can’t make sense of it for the life of me.

I can’t see that as a possibility, no.

  • Killer Marmot

    The biggest single mistake? That has to be protecting Jimmy Howard (who I think fairly high of) at the expense of Mrazek. That’s just such a bizarre move. The Canucks not exposing Sutter is a close second.

    Leaving Sutter exposed would greatly lessen the chance that LV would draft Sbisa, a contract most think Canucks would better without.

    Thus even accepting CA’s views on Sutter (which I don’t, entirely), the Canucks would not gain as much by exposing him as Burke thinks.

    • Vintage

      Exposing Sutter isn’t as much about LV selecting him over Sbisa, as it is about being able to protect another player, like Gaunce. If they (Canucks) had, LV would be offering picks to the Canucks in order not to have to take on one of their players. That, or maybe they select Jayson Megna and everyone is happy…

      • Killer Marmot

        Exposing Sutter isn’t as much about LV selecting him over Sbisa, as it is about being able to protect another player, like Gaunce.

        Yes, protecting Gaunce is a factor. But my point still stands — exposing Sutter increases the chances of keeping the Sbisa contract, and therefore it’s not as inviting to the Sutter detractors as it first appears.

        How important protecting Gaunce is depends on whether LV is likely to pick him over Sbisa. If Benning is reasonably confident that Sbisa will be preferred over Gaunce then he did exactly right. It’s better to give up the Sbisa contract than the Sutter contract.

  • Dirk22

    Weird how Vegas is trying to accumulate draft picks instead of obtaining players that make them slightly more competitive in the ‘now.’ It’s almost like they’re trying to build something for the future?

      • Dirk22

        did they make some trades or something?.. seems to me they only have 7. Traded their 5th and 6th rounders. They had 6 last year. Leafs had 11 just to put it into perspective. They’ve had one second round pick in three years. Leafs have had 10 picks in the first 3 rounds over the past two drafts – Canucks have had 4 (including no second rounders). You can argue against the merit of accumulating picks all you want (whether it’s a good strategy or not) but you can’t argue this management has been proactive at actually doing that.

        • Killer Marmot

          You’re right, I’m wrong. Seven draft picks.

          Although, in my (pathetic) defense, they have lost a 5th and 6th rounder and gained a 2nd and 4th rounder, a considerable improvement.

          I have trashed my original post as punishment.

      • Dan B

        They have 7 picks, and one of them was giftwraped from another team with no cost. They’ve traded away two and only traded for one. And both of the ones they traded away are for players who won’t be in Vancouver this fall.

    • apr

      Weird how 15,000 people will still show up for Vegas in a 10 game season, while only 150 people wearing grocery bags to cover their face while throwing jerseys on the ice will likely show up for Canucks game if they do the same thing. Weird.

    • Dan B

      I think it’s more because they are selecting 30 players, and virtually all of them will be bona-fide NHLers. But you can only have 23 on your roster. Maybe they’ll get a couple of guys that are waiver-eligible, but I don’t think they’ll get 7 of them. So turning up to 7 guys into draft picks makes a lot more sense than losing them to waivers. They could try and package players together for better talent, but those are hard trades to make, you’ll usually end up with someone just a bit better than the best guy in the package.

      • Pat Quinn Way

        They have a farm team to stock as well and draft picks are the smart way to do that if they are not yet NHL ready. Then you call them up ala Pittsburgh when they are primed and ready. Unlike buffoon Benning, McPhee won’t rush his prospects and ruin them.

        I agree with JD (for once) that the Vegas team will finish above the Canucks in their first season. The incredible bounty of goalies and Defence on offer alone will see to that – cannot recall an expansion team getting such a ‘sweet’ head start as this – complete rip off but there it is.

        • Braindead Benning

          Dude. Don’t let old “Special Bud” ruffle you feathers so to speak, he is constantly High off sniffing JB jock strap so his sense of rationality is delusional.

          Anyway it’s obvious that with the 29th finish and the comets being rather disappointing the draft picks and prospects after 3 years are actually quite bare…

          • Pat Quinn Way

            Yeah true mate, but what people don’t seem to realise is that Dud has at least TEN sock accounts (crofton, Jamie E, pheenster, I Am Ted, LTFan, bobdaley44 etc are all him) which is why he has at least ten thumbs up to ‘back up’ his own bs posts and 10 or more down on ours…meaning he signs in n out ten times to do so, how sad is that lol.

            If JD did his job and checked Bud’s ip address against these names he’d see this and do as he promised and ban the idiot for continued trolling, which by Jackson McDonalds own words is driving readers away!. Trolls like Dud can be reported on SB Nation and after a certain amount of complaints get BANNED… CA is dropping the ball big time here.

            Yah the whole sh^t show after three years is an obvious disaster mate, but one troll is revelling in our team going into the gutter… and like his hero Benning, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem and have to go eh 😉

          • pheenster

            Sock accounts ahahahaha get over yourself. You might also want to do some Twitter research before making outlandish tinfoil-hattish accusations.

            Also Bud’s english leaves something to be desired (sorry man, just saying). Mine is impeccable.

    • Braindead Benning

      Ya man that is totally weird… who would have thought that kind of idea would work in this neck of the woods…I guess that kind of theory flew way the hell
      over the thick head of Dim Jim while he was salivating over the likes of Vey, Sutter and Gudbranslug..

  • The write-up on Jonathan Marchessault is revisionist, isn’t it? Marchessault chose Florida over resigning with Tampa Bay because of the opportunity to play, not about money – hence the bargain-basement contract. If he came to Vancouver, he would have been fighting tooth-and-nail for a crappy 4th line spot. No way Desjardins plays him over Sedin, Horvat, or Sutter. He’d be competing against Gaunce, Chaput, and Megna for <10 minute nights. No thanks.

    Gimme a break. The Canucks didn't miss the boat, no one predicted how well Marchessault played in Florida. If the Canucks really want to make up for it, they'd sign Curtis Valk to a 2-way contract and give him some games playing some meaningful minutes to see if they have a diamond in the rough.

        • Bud Poile

          “Hey we don’t have many prospects..should probably make the draft a priority to build that up don’t you think?” Dirk

          Canucks Benning pulls 5 NHL’ers from draft #1.
          Gillis had a total of six-first round picks.
          Over 6 NHL drafts Gillis pulled 7 players that played a half season or more in the NHL.
          Bennng will have surpassed that in his second draft with Boeser,Brisebois and Gaudette.
          Add the picks Benning used on Baertschi,Dorsett,Pedan,Vey,Gubranson and Sutter and it makes Gillis look like an unemployed lawyer/ex-player’s agent.

          • Dirk22

            Bud – how many times are you going to reference the draft of 2014 as an argument FOR Benning.

            Virtanen – Even if he has a decent NHL career this pick will forever be Benning’s worst miss at getting a first liner with a #6 pick.
            McCann – was it ‘attitude issues’ you like to reference?
            Demko – TBD
            Tryamkin – Da svidahnia
            Forsling – nothing to show for him
            Pettit – still playing in jr last year
            Stewart – career ECHL’er.

            How can one look at that draft in a positive light as a Canuck fan? Unless Demko goes on to be Marty Brodeur this was a disaster considering they had 3 picks in the first 36.

          • Pat Quinn Way

            How many more times is this sh^t stain Bud going to be allowed to ruin this forum with the same trolling nonsense over and over JD? I am sick of it aren’t you others??

            NONE of Bennings 2014 draft picks are playing for the Canucks they were chosen to play for.
            ONE of 21 draftees picked by Benning (Boeser) is a Vancouver Canuck player.

            JD why did you totally reneged on your promise to rid the site of trolls like Bud who are not here to talk Canucks hockey, even after Jackson called him out for ruining the site for the writers and commenters?? Do your job man…

          • pheenster

            Also, you have a very creative way of evaluating drafting skill. In all likelihood, Benning will have selected 5 NHL players from that draft. By my count the best Gillis ever did was two (may become 3 depending on Subban). What he did after the fact is open to discussion (and honestly it’s way to early to tell with these guys and anyone who says otherwise is either a fool or a charlatan) but there’s no doubt that GMJB has an eye for NHL talent.

          • Dirk22

            Pheenster – when did this become a Gillis vs. Benning draft debate? Is that the only argument for Benning? He’s better than Gillis at drafting?! Well you’d hope with the picks he’s had! Truth is both are mediocre drafters – the only difference is that Benning is heralded as a draft guru! Where does that come from? Certainly not his days in Boston where their draft record looks eerily similar to Vancouvers over the same period. Go check it out. Only notable names are Hamilton and Seguin – both first rounders. Buffalo a little better but really what’s the fuss about? Drafting Jason Pominville? Miller?

            Also – Forsling, Tryamkin, McCann all gone. The point of being the GM of the Canucks is so that he would build the future for the Canucks! Continuing to bring this draft up only builds the case against Benning.

        • Vintage

          Button makes a good point. Why select a player who takes up contract spots, can’t be sent to the AHL without waivers, and has relatively no value on the trade market when you can simply take a pending UFA and be done with it – “I don’t want anyone from New Jersey”.

          • DJ_44

            This logic is along the “expose Sutter” logic. What exactly is there to loose by selecting a player. Worst case is they are waived. If they clear, they are on the AHL squad. It provides additional flexibility to the roster, meets cap floor requirements and guards against injury.

            Taking Skille (or UFA Vrbata) is pretty stupid; since they can either be signed to a PTO or had in free agency. Looking at his list he obviously watches junior games but does not watch NHL hockey, and nothing in the western conference.

  • Bud Poile

    ….by and large, the Canucks were one of, if not the worst drafting NHL franchise between 2008 and 2013.

    Jeremy Davis
    Canucks Army

    Gillis has the worst success rate at the draft table between Benning,Quinn and golfer Gilillis.
    I’d have to run through the Burke and Nonis drafts to make those comparisons.
    To claim that Gillis is a “mediocre drafter” is an uneducated and laughable statement.
    Read Jeremy Davis’ piece and have him teach you that Gillis was the worst in the league and lft Benning with next to nothing,Dirk :
    Gillis draft record:
    6 drafts/37 picks
    6 -1st round picks
    Hodgson,Schroeder,Connauton,Corrado,Hutton,Gaunce and Horvat have played more than a half season in the NHL.

    7 out of 37 picks. 19% draft success rate.

    Only Hodgson,Gaunce and Horvat have played more than a half season as Canucks.
    3 out of 37 picks.
    Horvat came about through the loss of Schneider.

    • Bud Poile

      To make matters worse, Gillis’ staff whiffed on a large percentage of the picks that they did keep, especially in the early going. At the time of his termination, no team had fewer draft picks that had reached the 50 NHL game plateau…..
      Gillis was rightfully criticized at the time for leaving the cupboards bare, so to speak.
      In terms of Mike Gillis’ record…. Not only did he not compile that many draft picks, he made poor selections with the ones he had.
      But the man flat out could not draft hockey players. Or at least, the group he created and managed couldn’t.
      The Canucks were one of, if not the worst drafting NHL franchise between 2008 and 2013. We’ve just been so accustomed to terrible that we were impressed by below average.”
      Jeeremy Davis
      Canucks Army

      You were saying,Dirk?

      • Dirk22

        Hate to repeat myself, but I was saying that if you were to remove Seguin (a #2 overall pick who was traded for a bag of pucks…but that’s a different story) then Bennings Draft record in Bostonn is the same, if not worse than Gillis’ over the same period. If we want to call that bad, since you had a problem with mediocre, then I’m game!

        I was also saying that if one is to make a case for 2014 being this terrific coup for the Canucks then you have to concede that Benning has severely mismanaged these guys since as all we have left is a goalie prospect (never know how that’s going to go) and a player show was drafted about a round too soon.

          • Tom Selleck's Moustache

            Pfft. Talk about the teapot calling the kettle black. Except the difference between you and Dirk is he can actually hold a coherent thought. With your flip flops, self defeating posts, and just flat out fabrications, you’re just all over the map.

      • Donald's Hat Trick

        Gillis was bad at drafting, and he’s no longer here. He could get players to sign for 70 cents on the dollar though, which is no small thing in a cap constrained world.

        • Bud Poile

          We’re still paying for Luongo.
          Mats Sundin,David Booth and Keith Ballard all come to mind.
          The NHLPA had a word with Mikey.Ehrhoff told him to stuff Bieksa’s salary/term and it was all a downhill ride after that.