Photo Credit: Daily Hive Vancouver

Canucks to Make Changes to Front-Office Staff

When Jim Benning was first hired as general manager of the Canucks, one of his most significant roles has been to ignite an alamingly bare prospect pool. Going into his fourth NHL Entry Draft with the organization, his drafting so far – although not stellar – has been much better than the previous regime’s.

During the Mike Gillis era, Ron Delorme served as Director of Amateur Scouting – a position that had a crucial voice at the draft table. His draft record in that role was sub-par, which led to his demotion once Benning’s group took over in 2014. At that time, John Weisbrod assumed the role of Vice President, Player Personnel – yet another significant voice amongst the scouting staff. Eric Crawford took over the board for Delorme, but his time spent was short lived as he was fired by Trevor Linden the next year.  In comes Judd Bracket, one of the Canucks’ regional scouts who had monitored the Boston-New England area for seven years. Two years is hardly enough time to draw conclusions from a given draft group, but it appears the Canucks have had enough.

Matt Sekeres has reported that the Canucks will be making changes to their front-office department, including their scouting staff.

For now, the focus appears to be on the scouting department, which includes it’s scouts and player development personnel. Those hoping for a more dramatic change will be disappointed as the chances of Jim Benning and Trevor Linden being effected are unlikely. Changes within the regional scouts do occur relatively often, but it’s unsure whether this will include the likes of Thomas Gradin, Harold Snepts, and even Ron Delorme.

This overall movement shouldn’t come to a surprise as many have called for this since the new regime came in. Although it took a four years for Trevor Linden and company to act, it appears the dissatisfaction with the scouting staff has reached it’s peak. Sekeres believes that these moves will be made around July 1st, with announcements following shortly after.

  • wojohowitz

    This is very weird timing. Get all the scouts together, get everyone`s opinion, make the draft day selections and then fire the scouts for doing a bad job. Maybe this year they get everything right and they all deserve a bonus for a job well done.

  • Not surprised with this development at all. Canucks scouting was crap for years, arguably decades. Benning comes in and provides new direction and a common framework but doesn’t change the personnel substantially. Holy crap, before Benning showed up, the scouts didn’t have a *common vocabulary* for describing a player, how stupid is that? Very telling about the quality of people in the scouting department. Predictably, the scouting staff can’t adapt and here we are. I hope Benning anticipated this likely outcome years ago and has assembled a team of replacement scouts to parachute in.

  • Locust

    “Although it took a four years for Trevor Linden and company to act…”
    So I guess doing your job by evaluating your staff, giving them a chance to prove themselves and working with them to get results is now somehow a negative.
    Only on Canucks Army……

  • Timing seems odd, unless this news somehow leaked.
    Out with the old, in with the new, and don’t forget to give the good ones a raise. This is Jim Benning’s area of expertise, so it’s his call. From the outside looking in, I say things haven’t been right for some time.

  • Forward Thinker

    I am guessing that the scout who is in charge of evaluating European and American college gallant are safe. That would leave Delorme as the guy if indeed a scout is in jeopardy.

  • Pat Quinn Way

    This proves what i have been saying all along – the so-called ‘draft guru’ Benning, heading into his fourth draft, is a bloody disgrace! While other teams are drafting players straight into their NHL line-ups with immediate success, it’s all if-buts and maybes, high turnover and only ONE player out of 20 picks (Boeser) a bonafide Vanouver Canucks player right now. This falls on the scouting staff… and who heads them up? the GM who ‘still’ spends more time scouting than any other in the league… BENNING!

    Vanessa, I also take exception to calling out Mike Gillis’ draft record for the following reasons – as LA and Chicago can attest, it’s very difficult to draft well when you are a contending team every year being told to focus on full ‘win now’ mode and therefore also have very few high picks to work with, as we were every year bar one under MG…
    2008 – 10th, 41st… no further picks until 5th round
    2009 – 22nd, 53rd, 83rd…
    2010 – 115th, 145… with no 1st, 2nd or 3rd round picks
    2011 – 29th, 71st, 90th…
    2012 – 26th, 57th, 147th… (pulled Gaunce n Hutton out the bag)
    2013 – 9th, 24th, 85th… (traded to move up and pulled our best player Horvat)

    2013 was the first year ownership told MG to focus hard on the draft. He delivered!

    In comparison Benning has had a 5th, 6th, 23rd, 24th, 36th and given away two second round picks and has still NOT delivered anything near a Horvat (or a free agent signing as good as Tanev) for us.

    So, a little more research and balance required in future methinks Miss Jang.

    Guys, if Benning blows it at this draft (5 of 7 home runs minimum) he HAS to go, and so does the whole sh*t show (Linden, Green, scouts etc) because ticket sales and interest are at their lowest for decades! Unacceptable for the 7th most valuable franchise in the league.

      • Bud Poile

        That’s revisionist history,to be polite.
        Gillis had 42 picks available to him.
        Jeremy Davis points out in his piece that successful teams transitiiion from success to success by not handing out NTC’s like candy and instad selectively trading veteerans to get younger and faster precisely because you don’t have top picks.
        Gillis did everything totally opposite to what highly successful franchises accomplish.
        On top of doing everything back a$$wards his drafting completely sucked,like ‘the worst team record in the entire league’ kind of sucking.
        PQW is a Benning hater that would smell Gillis’ used underwear every morning at dawn if he could.
        Here’ what Jeremy Davis of CA says about PQW’s man crush:
        “Mike Gillis and his staff did not do that. Chasing a Cup, they dealt their selections and failed to recoup them, while also failing to grab the greatest prize….
        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 NHL 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, though, he went in the complete opposite direction. Not only did he not compile that many draft picks, he made poor selections with the ones he had.
        Mike Gillis bears responsibility …..in failing to recoup the draft picks he traded away while chasing a championship.

        In fact, I could make the argument that Mike Gillis and Lawrence Gilman’s contract wizardry ended up hurting them in this regard, in a very strange twist. They massaged the salary cap to the point that they hardly needed to remove any core players following their big run. Compare that to a team like Chicago:
        •They received a 1st and a 2nd round pick in Dustin Byfuglien and Ben Eager trade, and a 2nd round pick in the Andrew Ladd trade in 2010.
        •They received a 1st round pick for Troy Brouwer in 2011.
        •They received 2nd and 3rd round picks for Johnny Oduya in 2012.
        •They received 3rd and 5th round picks for Michael Frolik, and a 2nd and two 4th round picks for Dave Bolland in 2013.
        •They received a 3rd round pick for Brandon Bollig, and a bevy of prospects for Nick Leddy in 2014.
        •They received 2nd and 3rd round picks for Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen, and two 2nd round picks for Andrew Shaw in 2016.
        Comparatively, the nearly three years that Gillis remained with the Canucks following the 2011 Cup Final, they accumulated the following picks:
        •A 4th round pick for the negotiating rights to Christian Ehrhoff.
        •A 3rd round pick in the trade of Mikael Samuelsson for David Booth.
        •A 1st round pick for Cory Schneider (which of course became Bo Horvat).
        •A 5th round pick for Rafael Diaz.
        But the man flat out could not draft hockey players. Or at least, the group he created and managed couldn’t.
        Recent NHL debuts, and the blossoming of certain Gillis-era picks hasn’t changed the fact that, by and large, 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 were impressed by below average.”

    • Carl Jung

      Benning’s first 3 drafts are pretty much a lock to produce more impact than all 6 of Gillis’ drafts combined.

      Boeser & Juolevi alone are probably going to match or exceed Horvat & Hutton – the only two players with impact potential in 6 years.

      Virtanen, McCann, Demko, Tryamkin, Brisebois, Gaudette & Lockwood certainly have potential to be NHL regulars as well.

      It is far too early to judge Benning’s drafts whereas we know Gillis was a disaster.

      And if ticket sales were the previous regimes primary interest, they should have left the organization in better shape than they found it.

      Gillis and co did the opposite and Linden and co are left cleaning up the mess.

  • Braindead Benning

    The timing and announcement of a shuffle just before a draft shows how incompetent and disorganised this Micky mouse management group has been since day 1…
    What a f@cking joke and disgrace yes man Trevor and meathead are Jim to this once proud and successful organization.
    They better hit a couple of home runs or else it’s going to be another dismal 5 years of crap

      • Psych Major

        f^k off you fuking idiot troll – that is it for Benning – this kid is 150 lbs and staying in sweden. awful.
        brutal brutal pick with all the great centres that were still on offer wtf!!… and Bettman has to tell Benning some punkass kid cannot take the mic to make the announce??!! – what a joke!!!!

          • Braindead Benning

            Duh…. I kinda think the writers on this blog did a piece on every conceivable player that could be taken in the first round or that would be potientaly slotted 5th you retarded retard… man your mother should have swallowed you

        • Canuck4Life20

          Bud Poile might be a little overly positive, but he’s not a troll. How many accounts do you have Psych Major? All you do is put people down. You contribute nothing. You are the definition of a troll, and not even a good one. You are not nearly as smart as your name implies you think you are. You’re a psych major? Ooooh. Let us know when you get a job and some real world experience. If you plan on reacting the same way to your patients as you do with people that you don’t agree with on here you will have a very short career.

          If this comment won’t get you banned then I don’t know what will. Pathetic.

          • Silverback

            Braindead…calling someone a retarded retard might have gotten you a snicker at 10, at 15 , an embarrassed laugh, at 18…probably a broken nose. Time to grow up Buddy…

  • RoCkFaThEr

    Everyone is entitled to make mistakes from time to time. This is however is your first bad article, and hopefully you learn from it.
    Because as a reader of a free website I demand articles to be written exactly as to how I feel and think.
    Jk…. even though I don’t agree with your article I still think you are one of the most top notch writers on free blogs that I have ever read! Keep up the good work!

  • Ginner Classic

    Delorme is the canary in the coal mine. Always was. Canucks are not serious about building an elite scouting department because they hire and retain incompetent people.

    Top to bottom this team is the biggest joke in the NHL.

  • really?

    Could we maybe have articles written by people who know how to use apostrophes correctly? Maybe even people who don’t say things like “come to a surprise”?