Who do you think is going to be the next surprise prospect named by Linden & Co coming out of the next 4-5 days?
— Big Wiercioch Fan (@RileyMiner) July 2, 2017
Well, can we really say with any certainty that the Canucks are going to shock us with a new prospect? I haven’t spent much time digging into the Canucks invites to Development Camp, but perhaps somebody gets a deal like Michael Carcone did last season?
That’s my long, winded way of saying I haven’t a clue.
State your opening night line combinations.
— Taranvir Atwal (@Taranvir_Atwal) July 2, 2017
D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Eriksson
Baertschi – Horvat – Boeser
Gagner – Sutter – Granlund
Gaunce – Burmistrov – Rodin
Edler – Stecher
Del Zotto – Tanev
Hutton – Gudbranson
Does Boeser start the year in Utica?
— Max Tellier (@Telmax98) July 2, 2017
Brock Boeser shouldn’t start the year with the Utica Comets, but I think it’s a distinct possibility.
Which Canuck do you think is most likely to be traded next year?
— S7 (@S7HDesign) July 2, 2017
Do you see this team as the Leafs from 2 seasons ago? Could be entertaining and hard working, but not good. And a lot of prospects in AHL?
— Kevin Doughty (@no_doughty) July 2, 2017
The Canucks aren’t even close to where the Toronto Maple Leafs were two years ago. By that same token, the Maple Leafs are a high bar to clear when it comes to how to properly build a team. That’s how you rebuild a franchise.
Why are you such Benning homers?
— Garret Hohl (@GarretHohl) July 2, 2017
What a world.
Is it good for goldy/boeser/virtanen all to start I Utica? What do you think Gudbranson/Tanev trade value was in offers Van received?
— Imitating the Game (@Franz_NHL) July 2, 2017
I guess that depends on how they show in the preseason and at training camp. I think Boeser is NHL ready, and I think that Nikolay Goldobin just needs to get a consistent look. Jake Virtanen could probably use another year in the AHL. I don’t see any of these players spending time in Utica as a negative development. For Boeser and Goldobin, I just don’t see it as necessary.
As for the trade offers, it sounds like the Canucks almost dealt Erik Gudbranson back to the Florida Panthers for Jason Demers. In Chris Tanev negotiations, it seems as though they went for immediate help on their back-end rather than futures.
Regarding value, I think Gudbranson and Tanev are probably comparable. Gudbranson is a touch younger and still has the cachet that comes with being a former third overall pick, whether he should or otherwise, and that probably covers much of the sizeable gap between the two in terms of quality.
I could definitely see a scenario where either player returns a bounty similar to what the New York Islanders got from the Calgary Flames for Travis Hamonic — a first and second round pick.
Are Canucks are following what the Leafs have been doing at the TDL? Signing veterans and trading them for picks, like the Winnik deals.
— A.Shokar (@AShokar313) July 2, 2017
The only players they signed on Saturday that I see as holding value at the trade deadline are Alexander Burmistrov and Patrick Wiercioch. So, no, I don’t see them doing what the Leafs did in years past.
However, I think some of these moves were made as a means of creating flexibility that might allow them to move other players. In a roundabout way, they might’ve created tradeable assets for the deadline. It’s just not the way most teams do it. That’s not even a bad thing — it’s just different.
Could demers have meant moving Hutton or Tanev?
— Sawyer Marsh (@SawyerMarsh) July 2, 2017
I don’t see trading for Demers having that big an impact on the Canucks’ willingness to deal Tanev or Hutton. If it did, I would lean more towards it impacting Hutton than Tanev.
Perhaps the Canucks interest in acquiring Demers for Gudbranson is two-fold. They know that they’re staring down unrestricted free agency with Gudbranson, and there’s a fear that his cost could, with a few good months, skyrocket beyond reason. Demers might be significantly older than Gudbranson, but there’s a guarantee that he’s in the fold for another four seasons. It could very well be that they value his cost certainty.
The main reason is probably that they realize Demers is the significantly better player than Gudbranson and that they might be able to pull a fast one on the Panthers.
Where do you put the over/under on Gaunce goals this season if he plays a full 82? I feel like there is some upside and was a bit unlucky.
— Kyle Schram (@maxikyle) July 2, 2017
I’m going to set the over/under for Gaunce goals at eight. I take the over. And yes, Gaunce was a touch unlucky. The biggest problem is, he’s slow as hell, and his shots aren’t generally from dangerous areas of the ice. There’s a legitimate shot quality argument for why Gaunce doesn’t score. By that same token, he’s one of the smartest players on the ice whenever he plays. If he can skate just a little better, I think he’ll start to score like an average third-liner.
Benning was willing to trade Gudbranson for Demers. With Gagner, they now have 4 top 9 C. Would this make a sutter trade possible?
— Eknoor Singh (@eknoor17kesler) July 2, 2017
The Gudbranson and Brandon Sutter situations are far too different to work as good comparisons. I don’t see a Sutter trade as a possibility after free agency.
Benning has a history of placing a premium on centre depth. I don’t see the Canucks front office looking at their current situation as an excess that needs culling; they probably see it as depth worth lauding.
Is it really out of question for the Canucks to make a wild card spot w the new signings, and if everyone stays mostly healthy
— Brody (@BradenHalabiski) July 2, 2017
Anything can happen. PDO is a hell of a drug. And yeah, I think that if everything breaks for the Canucks, this is a team that can finish in a playoff spot. For the second straight season, I see the Canucks as having the most variance in their range of possible outcomes. I can see this team finishing anywhere from eighth in the West to last in the league. Of course, I lean towards the latter of those two options.
What do you know about the Canucks analytics? Do you know Jonathan Wall?
— mike higashi (@hirokidude) July 2, 2017
Contrary to popular belief, the Canucks have, for the entirety of Jim Benning’s tenure, had an analytics department. I know they’re skeptical of much of what’s out there in the public sphere, which speaks to the incongruity between their moves and what the data available to us suggests they should do. They definitely have some level of investment in analytics, though.
As for John Wall, I’ve had the privilege of meeting him on several occasions. He’s as good a person as you’ll meet.. His backstory is fascinating, too. I also think it speaks to his quality that he’s survived multiple regime changes.
What do you think are realistic expectations for Canucks fans to have regarding Virtanen now?
— Andrew Stegemann (@AndrewStegemann) July 2, 2017
My expectations for Jake Virtanen are today what they were on the day the Canucks drafted him sixth overall. I see a player who probably projects as something similar to Raffi Torres. Virtanen just doesn’t have the hockey sense to be a top six player. And that’s one of the hardest things to fix.
The new FA signings may force younger players to stay in AHL. You think that'd be ok with fan base that wants to see youth in lineup?
— Trevor Crawley (@tcrawls) July 2, 2017
I can definitely foresee a scenario where fans are upset with the amount of good young players stuck in Utica. I don’t think that’s reasonable, though. The goal is to win a Stanley Cup, not to have the youngest roster in the league. Sometimes the two go hand-in-hand, but they certainly don’t have to.
JVR for Tanev?
— Darryl Keeping (@dkeeping) July 2, 2017
Does gmjb actually pull trigger with "r" rebuild at deadline day with new FA signings? If so who? I now doubt team in rebuild
— Michael Egger (@michaelegger) July 2, 2017
I’m just going to dodge the first question, because I think my answer to the second renders it moot. Which is to say that I think your skepticism has merit, and I’m right there with you.