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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

WWYDW: New Year, New Canucks?

The Canucks didn’t start 2018 as they’d hoped they would, I am sure. A 5-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks in front of the Rogers Arena faithful feels like a new low in a season full of them.

Clearly, things aren’t going the Canucks way. Even with the return of Chris Tanev, their defensive coverage left a lot to be desired and, in what’s becoming an alarming theme to this season, they couldn’t get a save when they needed one. Only compounding matters is the fact that other than Brock Boeser this team hasn’t been able to score consistently since Bo Horvat’s injury, not that you can outscore your defensive issues when they account for a touchdown surrendered.

So, obviously, there’s no one thing the Canucks need to fix to right this ship. Everything is in the dumps right now, it would seem. But if you had one New Years resolution for this team — think baby steps — to try and get things moving in the right direction, what might that be?

Last week I asked: if the Canucks come out of the Christmas break and continue to trend towards the sellers part of the market at the trade deadline, who do you see getting moved out? What would you do if you were in charge at the deadline?

Forever 1915:

I’m not sold on Goldobin, his inability to play defense has not been offset with NHL scoring. If he can be packaged with someone else to get a legit Top 4 D or Top 6 C prospect, I’d trade him.

Ginner Classic:

Gudbranson and Vanek as soon as there is a good fit, and unlike Benning’s past moves, picks are better than prospects you did not really want in the first place (Goldobin). Toronto may be the best current fit for Gudbranson, and there should be more than a few parties interested in Vanek.

Speaking of Goldobin, if you don’t like what you see, you trade him. There are plenty of teams that are looking for scoring upside from the wings. Florida is one that jumps to mind. It makes no sense to let the asset depreciate or lose hope in finding opportunity here.

I’d consider moving Nilsson if there was an offer that made sense. Again, the objective would be to acquire a pick (or a prospect you actually want). I’d look at Tampa for a third-tier D prospect like Hajek, the Islanders for a pick (they have lots), Edmonton (pick), Calgary (Rasmus Andersson), or wait for an injury to crop up and find a compelled buyer. It’s also just fine to keep him.

Beyond those names, I’d certainly be listening on any offers for Granlund (RFA), Sutter, and Biega (UFA). Eriksson, Gagner and Del Zotto have negative value. We are stuck with those horrible contracts. Edler would be the ideal trade candidate for a rebuilding club but it sounds like he will never agree to a trade. Tanev would generate the most interest but the return would have to be massive (Liljegren + 1st,
or Heiskanen, or Foote and a 1st) to even consider the absolute destruction of our defense for the foreseeable future.

What I fear Benning will do: Trade Hutton, re-sign Gudbranson to another boat anchor contract (because he’s good in scrums), and/or trade for Evander Kane.

Sandpaper:

Goldobin to Caps for Lucas Johanson. Goldobin could learn how to be a better floater by the best floater in the league, Ovechkin.

Tryamkin for A 2nd(Fla) from Caps. Washington becomes Team Russia.
Either one of the goalies could go at tdl

truthseeker:

It’s a good question.

Move Guddy for whatever they can get. Move Vanek for whatever they can get.
If they could get Edler to waive I’d be interested to see what we could get. He’s still got some pretty decent value I think. Maybe Goldy thrown in with him as a sweetener to get back a promising young D. (Don’t think Edler has the pull to bring back a good young D prospect on his own)

Aside from that I’d say keep what we’ve got and let it play out. It’s either guys who are to valuable (Tanev), guys who’s value sucks (Gagner), guys who could be solid producing cheap players (Granlund), or veteran leaders who are actually important to young development (Twins).

Cageyvet:

Move Gudbranson, entertain offers for Hutton, move Vanek, move Edler whenever you can which is probably not soon, and Gagner is expendable, I’m not concerned in the least about the return for a free agent signing if we could actually swing a deal.

I don’t understand the push to move Goldobin at all, it’s far too soon to make that call……if you support that, I’m wondering why you don’t want to move Virtanen….maybe because it takes some time to see what you’ve actually got? Goldy showed some sick puck skills and poise on a memorable play against St. Louis, when I see a player do that I give him plenty of rope. As if the rookie should be held accountable for a defensive standard that damn few veteran Canucks can manage right now……..

 

    • wwc926720

      Agreed. However, if I’m not mistaken, Detroit GM, Ken Holland’s contract will expire this year. Why can’t Canucks try to pursue? Detroit wants Yzerman to come back anyway.

  • Trade Gudbranson asap for a scoring centre that can be part of the next core. If this is a hockey trade, then I wouldn’t expect a defenseman back and I wouldn’t want to waste Gudbranson on a goaltender with Demko/DiPietro in the pipeline. There is no guarantee that Horvat will get help in the immediate few years (e.g. Pettersson will play centre at the NHL level or that Gaudette can be a Top 6 scoring centre). Ideally, I would like to see a reasonable Gudbranson package (e.g. plus Goldobin) go to Buffalo for Sam Reinhart.

      • Straight up, I think Gudbranson is a terrible hockey player that barely meets the definition of AHL depth call-up. Eliminate the pedigree and size fetish and you have a facepuncher that can’t score or defend. But if others view him as Top 4 and Benning can recover his cost, I think getting Reinhart with Gudbranson as the main piece going the other way would be robbery.

        • wwc926720

          There are demands on Gudbranson so it should not be that hard to trade him on trading dead line. I would take a pick instead. This will allow rooms for young players to continue to develop. With Sedins likely retire end of the season or renew for another year, the team will free up significant salary cap that can be used to sign couple of decent defensemen, if they are available that is….

    • Dirk22

      Not a chance Gudbranson gets you Reinhart. He’s having a rough year but has at least shown he’s a 50 point C. I’ll be impressed if they get a 2nd for Gudbranson. My guess is it’ll be a C+ defensive prospect and a low pick. Knowing this management team, they’ll probably resign him and then blame Gillis for all their woes. Hopefully I’m wrong.

      • truthseeker

        snark about benning aside I have to agree with you. No way guddy brings back a Reinhart even with Goldy. Reinhart looks to be over rated so far in his career and I would say his value is low compared to where it should be. At this point he only has two things going for him, and one of them doesn’t mean very much in my opinion. First is he’s still young and that’s good. Second, he was the 2nd overall pick. For some reason that seems to matter to people in spite of on ice play. But I bet Buffalo still thinks of him as a “franchise” center in trade terms, and if so they’ll have a hard time dealing him for what they think he’s worth.

        And he is worth more than guddy. But, for example….for an underachieving 2nd overall center I’d trade them Hutton and Goldy and maybe a pick of some sort. 2nd rounder or something. To me that would be a fair deal for both sides. That would give the canucks some great center depth.

        • defenceman factory

          While I agree finding a solid return for Guddy will be difficult I don’t understand why we would want to put a package of other assets together to target getting Sam Reinhart. If we are moving out assets I’d rather the Canucks target 1st round picks or prospects with higher upside.

  • apr

    For some reason, this team plays better on the road than at home. I’d assess where the team is at after this next road trip. The most obvious issues to me is the cheap first goal and the mushroom effect has on the team. I really don’t think the team is playing that bad, but clearly they all have to play well to be competitive. Its not like the Nucks are the Oilers, whos team has no soul and players hate living there for a couple of extra bucks.

    • Holly Wood

      First thing that crossed my mind when I read this one is the old Harry Neale expression that went something like this. We are not good on the road, we’re not good at home but my problem is I can’t find anywhere else to play. He was a beauty

  • defenceman factory

    One small step which needs to be made is to replace Cloutier as goalie coach. He has successfully coached both Markstrom and Nilsson to play just like he did. Like Dan, both current Canuck goalies are skilled and athletic but lack focus. It seems they have both become less confident and less fundamentally sound under Dan’s tutelage. Make sure he never gets near Demko.

    • wwc926720

      I tend to agree with you on this. We don’t have a true no. 1 goalie, but rather 2 backups. I now understand why Benning signed Miller when he said that he wanted to stabilize the goalie situation.

    • crofton

      I agree, Cloutier has shown to be ineffective with both goalies, and keep him the hell away from Demko. But I actually believe if Melanson had been still here, both Nilsson and Markstrom would be at least marginally better, if not more so.

  • Bud Poile

    With the two best defensive centers injured and 2/3rds of the first line this is not unexpected.
    The early softies/goaltending are prominent issues that will need addressing.
    Maximum trade return values come with the trade deadline.

    • wwc926720

      Can’t trade Markstrom nor Nilsson, as both of their values are sinking. Once traded to other teams, both of them will be taking the backup roles for sure. Sign a decent goalie off season and hope Demko can be ready in couple of years. I lost confidence in both of them, but still I have a soft spot on Nilsson.

  • SJ

    There’s something up with the defensive system right now. I think it was working early in the season (first 15 games or so), but teams have figured it out and started exploiting it. This is was written about in the Provies somewhere, quotes and all, but I’m not paid to do research. Anyway, I think they need to switch it up, as it clearly isn’t working. This isn’t a top-tier defense, but they’re better than they’ve looked recently, and I think it comes down to the system they’re playing. Work to limit grade-A opportunities, and maybe your goalies will make some more saves, and maybe–just maybe–you’ll be able to turn the puck the other way a little more.

  • Sandpaper

    Pay to get Tryamkin out of his current contract and get him signed.
    Bring over his mom dad grandparents and in-laws.
    It would show a sign of trying to revamp the defense and goodwill for any future Russians we may acquire.

  • Goon

    Things *are* moving in the right direction. This team showed they could play entertaining and competitive hockey until bad goaltending and injuries threw them off the rails. We all knew the Canucks weren’t going to compete for a Stanley Cup this year, so tank for a pick, finish 27th or 28th (we all know they’re not catching Arizona or Buffalo in the race to the bottom), and cross your fingers that they actually get some luck in the draft lottery this year.

    With Petterson and Juolevi almost certainly joining the team next year, along with the possibility of Gaudette, Dahlen, and another high draft pick joining the team (plus outside shots of players like Lind and Gadjovich), I’m hoping no one in management does anything silly. Sell Vanek at the deadline, trade Gudbranson as soon as possible, resign yourselves to the fact that this season is lost and look to the future. Pray the Canucks pull a New Jersey and move up from a ~5 overall pick to first, because holy crap does Rasmus Dahlin look awesome.

    • Holly Wood

      Agree on most of your points, but feel the need to remind CA that Gudbranson led the Canucks d in even strength ice time last night and yet was on for ZERO goals against. He is not the problem on the blue line. Way too many sweet hearts on this team.. Except for Huttons hit on Brown on Saturday Del Zotto, Hutton Stecher Pouliot all play soft. I see Biega making more impact but unfortunately he doesn’t seem to be more than a 6 or 7, which says a lot for the others. I wouldn’t re sign but he will bring back more than anybody not named Tanev .

    • crofton

      Goon, don’t lets get ahead of ourselves. At this point, I would say it’s far from “almost certain” that Pettersson and Juolevi will make the Canucks’ roster next year, while we can certainly hope (dream?). IMO they are in the “possibility” category with the others you mention. And let’s not rush Demko either.

  • Ginner Classic

    The only thing that can be done to get things going in the right direction is a complete organizational commitment to a rebuild. That means an immediate change in philosophy to completely abandon any notion of competing for the playoffs as the measuring stick for success. The entire focus of the entire organization should be orienting their business to the long term. That means communicating that to fans. That means telling coaches their primary mandate is development not winning. That means taking picks in trades, not busted prospects that are filling an imaginary ‘age gap’.

    A complete commitment to a patient rebuild. It is just one thing, and it is the only thing that matters.

    • Holly Wood

      I am not a believer in tanking but with our current roster built on mostly 5-6 defencemen and third or fourth line forwards, two backup goaltender s along with a couple good looking prospects in Jake and Boeser, who says they are not tanking. This team will finish bottom 5 once again and be in line for the lottery. On the bright side the prospect pool looks very good.

    • So what do you communicate to the fans? Give us your hard earned money and time while we ice a garbage roster? Even at the cheapest price of $57 per ticket, I’m paying to see an entertaining hockey game now, not 3-5 years later. The AHL is for development, the NHL is for winning.

      • Holly Wood

        That’s why they won’t tell you they are all in for a rebuild /tank season. Cant or won’t move the twins or Edler so they make it look like they are gearing up as a playoff team yet fill the roster with stiffs. You have to have 23 on the roster , so this is what we get until the rebuild starts to kick in. Thanks Mike Gillis and your astute scouting staff for getting the Canucks into this mess. Log into hockeydb and look at the draft results from Gillis’s tenure. Might go down as the worst drafting stretch in Canuck history.

          • Wise Canuck

            Gillis made key aquisitions, kept key players onboard to the cap and promised ownership he would put us over the top and make us the perennial playoff team and SC contender Nonis and Burke could not. He delivered. Full stop. Get over that.

          • Holly Wood

            Gillis fine tuned a team built by Burke/ Nonis and did a good job as it was the best stretch in franchise history, but at the expense of the future. Traded tons of picks and abysmal drafting.

          • Dirk22

            for those saying he mortgaged the future to keep them competitive, the truth is Benning traded more picks in his first three years than Gillis did. All for what you’ve seen on the ice the last 3.5 seasons.

          • Silverback

            In a results oriented business like hockey, the bottom line is that Gillis never won the Stanley Cup and decimated the prospects pipeline. There are many teams that planned for succession of their star players, Gillis Canucks wasn’t one of them. Long term contracts with no trades thrown in like candy and a sh***y draft record. If he was playing roulette, he was betting the farm and all his cash on 8 with no money left for dinner…and lost. Running a hockey team isn’t Vegas.

      • Ginner Classic

        We have been a cap team playing veterans and trying to compete and finishing bottom 3 playing a style that is unwatchable until this season. The win and retool philosophy failed. This GM failed. Badly.

        You sell hope. You sell entertainment. I bought my 1st ticket in 3 years this year. I’ll buy many more and take my two young kids…if and only if they rebuild. I have zero interest in paying to see Chaput, Megna, Del Zotto, Eriksson, Sutter. Won’t even watch for free (turned down free tix three times last year). I’ll pay for Boeser any day.

        Rebuild. Only thing that matters…after firing Benning that is.

  • argoleas

    Agree with the last person: WAY too early to bail on Goldobin. He is just half way into his ELC! No reason to do an evaluation until the end of next season. Right now, Vancouver should not be in the business of bailing on prospects, period.

    • canuckfan

      I agree do not give up on Goldobin he is learning the game and will be good once he has learned to play hard on every shift much like Jake. We definitely need a centre and maybe our goalies need to gain a bit of weight so that they can have a better chance of having the puck hit them

    • truthseeker

      No one hypes up the value of D more than me on this site, and I think for good reason. Trade precedent continually proves it. But that one might be a bit ambitious.

      Every team would love a shut down game closing D man like Tanev. And if it were forwards, he’d bring back an amazing haul. But teams are loath to give up their young D potential. It’s really hard to pry a top D prospect away from a team, let alone a first round pick with it. The leafs sure could use a Tanev, so I suppose it’s possible but I’d suspect the canucks would have to ad a bit more to get a top D prospect and the first as well.

      Even a straight up trade might be difficult. If I were the canucks I’d want more than just one of those two guys for Tanev, but if I were those teams I might not even want to take the chance of losing either of those guys and just wait it out.

      It’s an interesting proposal though.

      • Holly Wood

        As someone who appreciates the value of a good D man, what could the Canucks hope to receive for Tanev? They have all those young forwards that are appealing like Nylander, Marner, Kapenen and others. Plus Some interesting D prospects . Just wondering what others think of Tanev’s value.

        • argoleas

          That’s a tough one. On one hand, a fantastic shutdown Dman, experienced, and on a very good contract. On the other, injury history.

          I suppose it’s up to that old adage: He is worth whatever a purchaser is willing to pay. But I can say 100% that Canucks will demand a young D in return. Someone with the comparable talent level, but not necessarily same skill set. Benning basically said this explicitly. As to any additional assets, who knows.

          So yes, not realistic, but teams can get desperate.

      • truthseeker

        I think Tanev’s value is slightly lower than last year due to him being a year older and another injury. But once he’s healthy I don’t think any contenders will be that concerned with future potential injuries. They’ll be thinking “cup this year” and do almost anything possible to get that. He’s still just about the best shot suppressing D man in the NHL and is still constantly under rated by everyone including canuck fans. He literally is pretty much the best defensive D man in the entire league. That matters big time. He’s still relatively young and more importantly he’s a HUUUUGE bargain at 2.5 more years at 4.5 million.

        So to me, given D trade precedents…means he should bring back roughly the following…

        If it’s a winger, then basically the best young roster winger on whatever team their trading with. So Nylander for sure. Plus prospects/picks…varying depending on position.

        If it’s a center then a little less. So basically a team’s current NHL roster up and coming Center with first line potential. Or an already producing well young second line C with less potential. So a Marner type for sure, plus a pick or a good prospect. I didn’t mention a young “franchise” center simply because that’s the most valuable position in hockey. No team will trade that to us.

        If it’s a D, then hopefully what was mentioned above. If we could get a projected top pairing young prospect plus maybe a pick of some kind that would be pretty huge. But after “franchise center” this is the hardest thing to get. Tanev’s age now becomes a factor. I’d say more realistically, teams would be willing to trade someone projected to be a top 4 D. Even a current roster young “maybe top 4” D plus prospect/pick.

        In the end the best play may be to just keep Tanev around. He’s still got a good 7 years left. Plenty of time for him to be the amazing “Hamhuis” type veteran on a young powerful team. Guys with his kind of shut down ability are just as rare as the ones with the amazing offensive skills.

        Unless the return is massive, I say they should just keep him. Not worth it for anything less, such as my second D trade example. The “top 4” potential young player plus picks. Not enough in my opinion.

          • truthseeker

            Yeah maybe they should have. The problem is, a deal like that will be very difficult to make for both teams. Benning knows what he’s got and other teams know what Tanev is, and they know it will be a painful trade to make even if it helps them. So stars have to align for a Tanev deal to be made and cold feet would be common.

            Benning is right to stick to an extremely high price for Tanev and if he doesn’t get it, then to just say, “sorry…we’re keeping him” (and he should add “good luck in the playoffs”….lol).

            Thing is…we’ll never know. And frankly I’m fine with that. I will not say it was a “mistake” to not trade Tanev, because it isn’t. I’m just going to assume that if he isn’t traded, then the offers were not good enough.

          • Dirk22

            You’re implying he’s sitting back waiting for the perfect offer instead of working his ass off making demands on what he wants in return for Tanev. I’ll take the aggressive GM instead of the one who is going to see their best asset deteriorate.

          • truthseeker

            Well now you’re doing the same thing. Implying he isn’t. I’m sure teams have offered and he’s looked at their roster and said, “nope, it will take this guy and this” etc. Maybe he’s done what you said and the other teams have said no. So now you’re implying he should come down on what he accepts. That would make for a terrible GM as well.

            Nothing wrong with keeping a great player around and letting them “deteriorate” at home. Tanev has plenty of years left to contribute when this team is ready to compete in the playoffs again.

  • BC SPORTS FAN

    Jim Benning, please trade Del Zaster and Guddy. With Petterson and Boeser next year we have a good group of young forwards, now if we can get a couple of good D-men.

    • Holly Wood

      The problem is, to acquire a couple of good D-men, you will need to give up several good forwards or multiple draft picks. Pick your poison. Benning is trying to grow his own but it’s not happening as fast as we had hoped. Many have pointed out a couple of times that Del Zotto has deteriorated in recent years and he is being asked to play as a #3 or 4 where he is barely a 6. I see Gudbranson as 5 but when he is gone CA will be begging for a stay home defensive guy with size and some nasty in his game that can kill penalties

      • argoleas

        This is one of the reasons this upcoming draft should be pivotal for the Canucks. If they get a high pick (say top 5), then they could snag a top pair D, that could hopefully grow with Joulevi into that pair. But your point is true, and that may mean the team will keep Tanev to at least the end of his contract, if not beyond.

      • Cageyvet

        Which is why losing Tryamkin hurt do much. Looks like he has legitimate top 4 skill and while he’s not really nasty in the conventional sense, bodies fly around. I still hold out hope we can bring him back.

        • argoleas

          The good news on that front is that Canucks retain rights to Tryamkin for the next 5 years, and he indicated that a return to the NHL is desirable. In the meantime, his development is continuing. His contract expires in 2.5 years. A warm spot will be available to him on the team if he wants it, and I suspect he will be such a good commodity that if he wants to play elsewhere, Vancouver will be able to sell him very high.

      • Beer Can Boyd

        Gudbranson might be a 5 on an AHL team. Classic case of a kid who was so much bigger than all his peers, that people mistook his size for talent. Anyone remember Alek Stojanov (7th overall pick)? Shawn Antoski (18th overall pick)? Jim Sandlak(4th overall pick)? Kids who were great junior, only because they were twice the size of everyone else. This is Gudbrandson in a nutshell.

        • crofton

          Shawn Antoski turned into Josef Beranek, who played a few seasons but didn’t amount to much, but was still worth more than Antoski. Stoyanov turned into Marcus Naslund. Sandlak was a failed 1st rounder they eventually traded for Murray Craven. They won that deal. But of the 3 you mentioned, if I knew that the best I would eventually get for ALL 3 was Naslund, I make those picks and trades. Interestingly, Jack Gordon, GM at the time of Sandlak, thought he was better than Neely was going to be and traded Neely for Barry Pederson and kept Sandlak. (until the Craven trade)

  • Dirty30

    WWIDW? Be glad I’m not an Oilers fan! Not exactly over-achieving these days are they? Our entire geriatric line, two-thirds of which may retire before next season, doesn’t cost what their two superstars do! I’m so glad JB didn’t get Lucic, and I’m not missing Kassian like I used to either.

    Oh there’s lots I would do … like pour a good Scotch, put up my feet and read 156 hair-pulling, shirt-rending, blame everybody down to the puck polisher in the Oilers organization posts from their fans for the eternal inevitability of their abject failure. But most of all, what I would do on this foggy Wednesday, is simply enjoy the futility of the Oilers. Its what makes being a Canucks fan so freakin’ great.

    • Holly Wood

      It’s gonna be interesting to see how the Oilers can fix this going forward. They had to pay McDavid but by overpaying Draisaitl and Lucic they will be hamstrung for a while. Please take note JB.

    • crofton

      I was sooo glad we didn’t get Lucic. He’s doing not so bad right now, but it looks like they will have to jettison Maroon (at something under $2m/year), because they overpaid Lucic and that makes him basically untradable. Another downside to the Oilers’ woes is if they don’t turn it around, and I don’t see any signs they will, they will finish in a lottery position and likely win Dahlin. Imagine.

  • Holly Wood

    WWIDW. Well if I could I would bring Gary Bettman and the players association into a room and push the idea of a franchise player that could make a maximum of 10% of the current salary cap. Some teams can’t seem to help themselves and continue to get into cap trouble. Most teams have great top end talent but the bottom of their roster is constantly changing which is tough to build a winner and equally tough on the fan base. More money for the bottom half of the roster may create stability on teams. That might be a winner all around except for TSN on trade deadline day.

  • TheRealPB

    Losing 9 out of 10 or whatever we have has pretty firmly pushed us out of any talk of the playoffs; even if we got back to decent goaltending (which we also haven’t had) and had Sutter, Horvat and Baertschi return soon, it’s hard to imagine us going on enough of a run to make it. That’s not the worst thing in the world; for a resolution I’d like to see us play competitive games that inflate the value of the players who are good (Vanek) as well as those that are not (Gudbranson) and hope to unload both of them at the deadline. I would also try and sell Tanev just because I think he’s gone from under to over-rated and also because he can’t stay uninjured. I would focus on the youthful core that’s already here — Horvat, Boeser, Baertschi, Granlund, give Goldobin, Virtanen and even Gaunce more opportunities at the expense of Dowd, Gagner, Boucher, Chaput and all the other AHL filler. I’d put Pouliot and Stetcher in positions to succeed (i.e. try not to play either with Hutton or Gudbranson) and fire MDZ into the sun. I would seriously consider recalling Demko for 5 starts if neither Markstrom or Nilsson can get their act together. I’ve been willing to give both the benefit of the doubt but they inspire no confidence whatsoever. If you can recoup a 1st and 2 seconds for any of the vets I would do it in a heartbeat.

    • Holly Wood

      I was nodding my head with you until the last line. Which GM is gonna give us a 1st or second for castoffs on a 28th place team. If those players had that kind of value the Canucks wouldn’t be in this position.

      • TheRealPB

        Sorry I should have been more specific; I certainly didn’t mean you’d get a full complement of picks or prospects for any of our players. But the ones I think would be most attractive to other teams would be Vanek (no commitment beyond this year and can still clearly score — for a team looking to boost secondary scoring I think a 2nd or a low 1st is not out of the question), Gudbranson (because teams continue to be dumb and believe that he’s more than he is, I would not be surprised if he fetches a mid-1st or a high 2nd), Tanev (because he’s legitimately good even if injury prone, I think he has the highest possibility of getting a 1st). Eriksson is valuable but not at that cost and term, Gagner the same, Edler’s never going to waive his no-trade, and neither goalie is worth more than a 5th at this point. Vanek, Tanev and Gudbranson would fetch a decent amount of picks and we have a massive amount of cap space opening up even with decent (if no longer huge) raises due to Baertschi, Granlund, Stetcher and Pouliot. Even if we were to resign the Sedins (which I could see as them asking for a 2 x $5 million for 1 + 1) we would likely have more than $10 million in cap space so I wouldn’t sweat having Eriksson and Gagner on the books.

    • Bud Poile

      Fire MDZ into the sun.
      Sell Tanev.
      Do not play Gudbranson or Hutton but trade Gudbranson.
      That leaves Edler,Stetcher and Pouliot with 7th d-man Biega rounding out the d-corps for half an NHL season.
      Sutter’s defensive contributions have been completely ignored and even ridiculed on this blog.
      With Bo and Sutter playing team defence isn’t much of an issue.

  • Bud Poile

    “for those saying he mortgaged the future to keep them competitive, the truth is Benning traded more picks in his first three years than Gillis did. All for what you’ve seen on the ice the last 3.5 seasons.” dirk
    What you ‘forgot’ to mention in your version of ‘truth’ is that there is a grand total loss of two draft picks over 22 Benning trades.
    Gillis was spectacularly inept at building the franchise’s future.

    • Ginner Classic

      Benning proved historically inept at icing a competitive hockey team. Three consecutive bottom 3 finishes while spending to the cap and playing a veteran lineup (check out minutes played x age). He has done far more damage in a thousand cuts than Gorton did in one. Worst Canuck GM of all time.