Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: July 5th – Part Deux

Based on last season, Jaromir Jagr is still a player I’d comfortably consider a low-end first liner. He can’t move, but if the plan is to sign him and play him alongside the Sedins, then that won’t be much of an issue. It also means the Canucks can turn him into a trade chip at the deadline with serious value, in theory. I mean, really, why not?

I’ve been in Brandon Pirri’s corner for a couple of years, and I’m still there now. He’s a similar player to Sam Gagner, but unlike Gagner, Pirri can probably be had on a short-term deal for a song.

Another player that’s worth looking at is Simon Despres. I wouldn’t give him a standard contract, but if he wants to make a comeback attempt, the Canucks should be one of the first teams to offer him a professional tryout.

I’m thinking somewhere between four-to-six years with an annual average value (cap hit) of something in the $4.5-million to $5-million range.

The Canucks have a good influx of young talent on the way for the Comets and a few players who will be forced to play there just because of the numbers game. I don’t see the Comets as an area of need for the Canucks to address in free agency this summer. At this point, they just need to find depth players — if that.

If the Canucks try to move Erik Gudbranson, it will be due in large to a struggle to lock him up long-term. I think that’s why there were rumours they were trying to ship him to the Florida Panthers for Jason Demers. Demers offers cost certainty, something that they can’t say about Gudbranson. So, no, I don’t think free agency has had any real impact on the Canucks desire to deal Gudbranson.

The Canucks absolutely should try to trade Gudbranson. The market for his services is still sizeable — the Canucks were taking calls on Gudbranson as recently as the draft. And I think his value greatly exceeds what he actually brings to a hockey team. The Canucks should take advantage of that market inefficiency.

Josh went on to add that he meant Alexander Burmistrov — not any Brunnstrom character.

I think the Canucks have Burmistrov pencilled in as their fourth line centre. As for Anton Rodin, it’ll be an uphill battle from training camp onward to make the team and stay there. I see Rodin spending much of this season with the Utica Comets, unfortunately.

I guess not.

I think Travis Green is a hell of a coach, so yeah, I could definitely see him guiding the Canucks (with a little PDO) to the promised land (ninth in the West).

Playing on the second line of the Utica Comets.

Evan McEneny.

I’d see if they were willing to part with Shea Theodore for Gudbranson.

The answer is somewhere in this post. Look closely.


  • Killer Marmot

    Trading Gudbranson is risky, as it’s not at all clear that the Canucks have a decent replacement for him.

    But should it become clear — should one or more prospects demonstrate that they belong in the lineup, and should Del Zotto prove not to be the master-of-disaster that some claim he is — then trading Gudbranson becomes a reasonable option.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    The only two players I can think Benning would want before draft picks #20 are Brannstrom or Liljegren. I’m not seeing any hint in the post that would indicate some other player Benning was interested in. Any other opinions?

  • Gregthehockeynut

    The Canucks could have signed Emerson Etem for some size with speed and modest skill for the bottom six. The new fad for 170-180 lb speed and skill players I feel will be exposed when the heavy teams roll into town. A good mix of size with the skill players would serve the team and the prospects better.

    • Pat Quinn Way

      Excellent post. Lucic, Maroon, Gezlaf, Kesler and the bruiser Kings are just licking their lips at the current Canucks newbies! It really is laughable how Benning inanely follows the latest fad thinking it will make the Canucks a contender. It never does. The fans on here are just as bad. When the Kings and Bruins were winning everyone was ‘too small’, now they have to be ‘small and fast’ ala Chicago and the Pens. It’s hilarious.

      The irony is Pittsburgh, the team Benning is most trying to copy (after originally being hired to copy the Bruins), are fast and skilled but their key guys like Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Hornqvist and doughboy Kessel are anything but small. Ridiculous.

      Find your own identity Benning and learn that in the Pacific and the playoffs you need size, skill and power like Smashville, Edmonton and the dirtyest team in the league, the hated Ducks!

      • Ragnarok Ouroboros

        When Bruins were winning, everyone tried to copy them and be big but this is mainly a result of Gregory Campbell playing for the Bruins, and his dad Brian Campbell being in charge of officiating and player safety department. In those days, Bruins could get away with murder.

        • Sandpaper

          Brian Campbell was playing defense for Florida I believe, during that time, whereas Colin Campbell is Gregory Campbell’s dad. Colin worked in the job you are referring to.

  • TD

    I think the Jagr and the Sedins would not be good together. They are all too slow. The possession game would be something to watch, but that would be way too slow a line when they didn’t have the puck.

    I can’t imagine Horvat signs for less than Drouin. They each had similar points, but Horvat is a centre while Drouin has mainly played as a winger. Centres are more valuable and tend to be paid more. I think Drouin signed for 5 years at 5.5 mil. Not sure why JD thinks Horvat will sign for 4.5 to 5. Unless he is setting it up to criticize Benning when Horvat signs for 5.5 – 6 mil per on a 5 year contract.


      B*llocks. Jags brings size and grit which is what this powderpuff line up needs. Plus he’s a true legend still producing points and outworking every new kid on the block. Can’t wait to hand over my cash to see him on the ice wearing my Jagr emblazoned Canuck sweater.

    • Ragnarok Ouroboros

      Look at Jagr’s Corsi and Fenwick numbers for the last 5 years. His numbers are elite and destroy most other players in the league. He would be a fine addition to the Canucks. People will play to see him play because he is a legend, a great character, and he plays hard. Additionally, I’d love to see the flying Jagr’s in attendance on a regular basis as well. Jagr can play and it would be a great PR move for the team.

      • ENFORCER

        101 per cent. Only wimps and dumbasses who don’t go to games wouldn’t want Jags in a Canucks sweater during this so-called rebuild where there is nothing worth watching. Whats the hold up, sign him already!

  • TheRealPB

    Why would you slot Virtanen in as the second line RW in Utica? Who do you see ahead of him? Wouldn’t the Utica lines look like Chaput-Virtanen-Goldobin, Molino-Dahlen-MacEwan, Megna-Carcone-Cassels, Labate-Laplante-Palmu? I get the disappointment with Virtanen but I think as much as the hype when drafted and even during the first season was unwarranted, so too is being this down on him. I hold the Canucks significantly responsible for mistakes in his development, as clearly there was some problematic messaging somewhere if three top prospects (Virtanen, McCann and Tryamkin) got poor instructions regarding off-season training (a focus on adding muscle instead of combining size with speed and better conditioning). You’ve mentioned the Raffi Torres comparison many times but I don’t see it. Torres it’s true was a good scorer in junior and actually a decent depth scorer in Edmonton and Columbus coming out of a relatively weak draft in 2000. But he was a different kind of player — yes, he had the dumb hits later on in his career but that wasn’t as much evident in the beginning. And while Virtanen had the obvious stupid hits and penalties, I saw that more in junior than in the majors or AHL. I still think people are writing him off way too early. I think he needs time in the minors still as you say, but pushed into a more obvious offensive role now.

  • sloth

    I really don’t get why this site has soured on Rodin? He likely would have made the team last year if they hadn’t rushed him back for training camp, where he looked really good but re-aggravated his injury. I assume they have been monitoring his rehab very closely, and they decided to offer him a one-way deal indicating they believe his knee is recovered and that he has the skill/brain to play as a top-9 winger in the NHL. Obviously he hasn’t proven anything yet, but he’s 26, so it’s now or never. I suspect he starts the season in Vancouver for an extended look. If they don’t like what they see after 20 games they should try to trade him, and if there’s no trade value there’s no risk putting him on waivers to send him to Utica. Burying him in the minors is pointless cause he’ll probably head back to Sweden next year if he can’t stick in the NHL.

    • Ragnarok Ouroboros

      I’m glad Rodin is getting a second chance and I really look forward to seeing him in the preseason games. I hope he makes the team because before his knee injury setback I thought he was playing great.