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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski - USA TODAY Sports

Canucks need to be decisive sellers

It’s that time of year again, where we suggest that the Canucks travel the path clearly laid at their feet. It happens every year but this year is a little different, so hear me out.

Over the last few months of last season, the organization followed through on their plan to acquire young players and additional draft picks. When the Canucks followed through with the additions of Nikolay Goldobin and Jonathan Dahlen at the trade deadline in separate deals, it was met with excitement from their fans. Both players still have a prominent role in the organization’s prospect pool.

Vancouver also entered the 2017 NHL Entry Draft with four picks in the first 64 selections. It allowed them to add Elias Pettersson, Kole Lind, Jonah Gadjovich and Michael DiPietro. All four have had fantastic starts to their careers in the organization. There are no guarantees, but the outlook on their 2017 draft class is extremely encouraging.

Those are just some of the transactions that leap off the page as steps in the right direction. They can easily continue down that path this year.

Moving pending UFA

The most obvious and crucial part of this plan is the Canucks moving their pending unrestricted free agents prior to the February 26th deadline. That includes Erik Gudbranson, Alex Biega, and Thomas Vanek. Even if the return is just a pick, it’s a worthwhile venture.

As of Tuesday, the Canucks have a 4% chance of making the playoffs:

That number represents second-lowest odds in the entire NHL for making the playoffs after the Arizona Coyotes. Keeping these players with the hope of winning a handful of games over the final couple of weeks is a fruitless endeavour that hinders their ability to stockpile assets. TSN recently did an update on their trade draft board, and the Canucks were well represented with Gudbranson at six, and Vanek at eight.

For Gudbranson specifically, it appears that the Canucks will move him prior to the deadline as the fit long term doesn’t make sense, and given the price they paid to acquire him, they can’t lose him for nothing. He represents their best chance to acquire assets from their unrestricted free agent group. Obviously, they won’t recoup the entire cost that they paid for him, but to let him walk in free agency without recouping any assets would be a disaster. There have been rumours that a second-round round pick and a “B” prospect would be the return. If that is the case, you take it.

The Canucks signed Vanek on September 1st to provide depth in the forward ranks and give them a tradeable asset at the deadline. The first part has worked out well, as Vanek has paired well with Brock Boeser over the last couple weeks and has 32 points in 45 games. But you can’t let his recent hot play dictate the long-term direction of the organization. If you can get a draft pick for Vanek at the deadline, you jump at that opportunity. It allows you to give an opportunity to younger players as the season winds down. Vanek turns 34 on Friday and doesn’t fit into the life cycle of this team. Move him, get a pick, find another Vanek in the summer… or just re-sign Vanek again on July 1 when he becomes a UFA if you like him that much.

Lastly, if someone wants to trade for Biega, you take it. The Canucks will have Olli Juolevi making the leap to the organization next year, and if you have any hopes of keeping Philip Holm in the mix, you have to give him some games. Moving Gudbranson and Biega opens up space for the Swede this year, and then makes the picture a little clearer for next year.

Hoarding Picks

Off the hop, I mentioned that the Canucks had a very encouraging 2017 draft. One of the main reasons for that was because they had more than the allotted seven picks, and four in the top 64.

That is what rebuilding teams do.

You pick early and often to build up the prospect pool. You ignore the final 15-20 games of a lost season, add as many picks as possible, and then makes your moves accordingly in June. At this moment, the Canucks have six picks for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft:

Image: Capfriendly

The Derrick Pouliot trade is the reason for why the Canucks don’t have a fourth-round pick at this moment – it was an excellent trade that has easily earned more value than what the fourth-round pick likely would’ve reaped. By being decisive in their direction, the Canucks should be able to recoup more value than the fourth-round pick that they have already traded away.

Just purely speculating, let’s say they can acquire a second-round pick for Gudbranson, and a third-round pick for Vanek. Suddenly they have five picks in the top 93. Combine that with the four from last year’s top 64, and you’ll see even more excitement for the prospect pool. There will be tangible skill and upside that an organization can build around.

This path continues to be a selection because the organization has never actually followed this plan. Last year, they were gifted a second-round pick from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a now-defunct rule and made a trade on the draft floor to move down and acquire an additional pick. If that did not happen, they would’ve ended up with only six picks. Which is an alarming trend for a team that is rebuilding:

To be fair though, the Canucks did decide to sell assets at last deadline and went the route of adding Goldobin and Dahlen. That’s basically the same idea with a different outcome. If that is what they want to do, that is defensible.

An obvious rebuttal to the lack of pick accumulation is “well, the Canucks have Judd Brackett and Jim Benning.”

This suggests that the Canucks scouting staff is so good as to produce NHL’ers at an above average rate with a below average asset base. To some degree, I can understand that thought process. But if they are adept at finding players, wouldn’t you want them to pick as many times as possible? If they can find two players with six picks, why not try to get 8,9, or 10 picks and really create a wave of talent.

Personally, when someone is good at something, I want them to have as many opportunities as possible to excel.

Reclamation Projects

Another avenue that they have gone down in the past is trading for reclamation projects with hopes that the skilled players can rebound and provide value to the organization.

The organization has seen varying degrees of success with this tactic, but there is little arguing that the Canucks got good value on acquiring Sven Baertschi. The jury is still out on Derrick Pouliot, but he has shown flashes of what made him an 8th overall pick.

There are two ways the organization can do this for this year. They can target players who have fallen out of favour with playoff teams and leverage their tradeable assets to those teams looking to make a run at the playoffs. We obviously aren’t privy to who is available right now, but there could be a few of these type of players available. You do have to be careful with this though, as you want to ensure you are not paying full value for these players. You can’t be swayed by their draft position, their past success, or “untapped potential.” You need to leverage the market, time of year, and other team’s need to extract value.

If there aren’t options available now, by accumulating picks at the deadline, it allows you to have the flexibility to make those moves at the draft. Teams are basically built that weekend, so if you come armed with a plethora of picks, it provides flexibility to make moves for players that can play for you the upcoming year.

Every year, players that shouldn’t become available do. Given where the Canucks are in the life cycle, being able to make moves with additional assets is a fool proof way to supplement your core. If a deal doesn’t present itself, you make picks and continue to build the pool as suggested above.


It’s clear that I am beating the same drum that has been beaten the last two years, but a few things have changed since that time.

Two years ago, they dragged their heels and it arguably cost them the ability to move Dan Hamhuis and Radim Vrbata for futures. Last season, they knew the path and made the correct moves. They were made the decision early and made the appropriate steps to execute it. They need to be those same decisive sellers again this year.

Even if the organization won’t openly admit to being a rebuild, it’s clear they are in one now. They started down that path last February, and the excitement was palpable. Fast forward a year, and the fan base is excited about the prospects that they have acquired and what they could build in the future.

It has to continue.

If they don’t, they run the risk of just constantly replacing players that are ageing out or having their current prospect pool not have enough of a supporting cast to push this organization upwards. There is a lot to like in their current system, but it needs more, and this upcoming deadline is another chance to continue to down that right path.

  • apr

    A lot has been made of not moving Vrbata and Hamhuis (though they had NMCs) for a bag of pucks. I think a reasonable argument can be made that Benning would have not done so well last year if he did cave to the pressure of getting fourth round picks and/or prospects like Pokke for Chicago and Jokiparra from Dallas (both of which are waiver wire fodder). While I agree that trading Vanek and Gudbrandson is a must, foolishly relenting to the market and giving away Gudbrandson and Vanek for pennies on the dollar will do more harm then good down the road. Its like making a stupid trade in Monopoly; once you make a stupid one, everyone is trying to sell you their utilities for Boardwalk and Park Place.

    • Dirk22

      Such a cop out excuse for not trading those guys. Also, implying that the lack of moves in 2016 had anything to do with the 2017 deadline has no basis other than you saying its a “reasonable argument.” Truth is they waited far to late to make to decision on asking Hamhuis to waive and then got hemmed in a corner with no good options. Dallas’ offer was crap but they set themselves up for that situation.

      This guy is paid millions to orchestrate these moves. The lengths people go to defend incompetence is absurd.

      • apr

        You don’t think the actions from one year does not impact those from another? There is a reason why Gillis always traded with the Panthers year after year because no team would talk to him and the Panthers were the only one willing to pick up the 2 am booty call for a trade. Like a drunk frat boy, all Gillis got was the cash taken from his wallet whilst humping a pillow alone as the booty call fell asleep on the couch. I’m not a Benning defender by any means, and yes he painted himself in the corner as a first year GM with a first year President and coach. It was a stupid situation from the on-set, but I just don’t think he needs to exasperate the situation by trading Vanek for a 5th round pick from a top team and Gudbrandson/MDZ for Forsling and Seabrook – just so he can say he made a trade.

        • Dirk22

          So what you’re saying is that GM’s left the 2016 deadline thinking: “don’t try to low ball Jim Benning. He drives a hard bargain.”

          What were they saying three months later when he traded for Gudbranson?

        • Dirk22

          Except we know Benning has no problem asking people to waive their no-trade clause (Bieksa, Garrison etc.) we know he said in January 2016 he wouldn’t ask free agents to waive, we know how late Hamhuis was asked to waive his no-trade and we know what the relative price was for a defencemen heading to free agency.

          I’m not saying they should have accepted a 3rd for Hamhuis if that’s what was being offered. I’m saying they should have been more proactive and worked with him well in advance of the deadline to sort out a deal. He was 2 years removed from being a Team Canada defencemen – he had value. They blew it – end of story.

      • DJ_44

        So Vrbata, who was having an amazing year last year in Phoenix, at 20% the salary, and no trade protection, got Chayka buckets full of picks and prospects…… woops, no wait…..

        Maybe the value of the assets were not as billed.

        Hamhuis would go to only two teams…..Chicago chose to bolster the forward (no defence were added); and Dallas went with Russell. All turned out to be poor decisions.

      • Holly Wood

        So…. Dirk, do you remember Hamhuis telling the media that he did not want to leave? Benning was in a no win situation. Not sure but I don’t think nhl gm’s give a rats ass what the fan base think

      • Silverback

        Dirk22

        It constantly astounds me that people would assume they know what goes on in the backroom and boardrooms of an NHL team…specifically the Canucks. We read the newspaper, read the blogs, and watch the games. How is it that we know all that is being said between teams and players? The Vrbata and Hamhuis situation wss a sticky one, with both players taking an antagonistic and non cooperative position due to NTC. Certainly there was some blame to be shared by Benning & Co due to their inexperience, but it certainly wasn’t the self inflicted tire fire you describe.

        • Dirk22

          Don’t know if that particular situation was a tire fire but it certainly was a ‘fail’ from managements perspective.

          What was a tire fire and disastrous from this group is shown by the tweet in the article – they picked twice in the first 139 picks that year in a draft which was hailed as being a very deep. Twice. Not only did the not stock up on picks at the deadline, they, had two picks in a frame where they should have had 5 if they simply held onto their picks. You can point to a number of reasons why that happened but overall its plain mismanagement.

          And the same posters who will gush over the B+ prospects such as Lind, Gadjovich, Demko and Lockwood can’t wrap their head around the fact that a) not all of those guys will pan out b) there would be twice as many prospects in the range of those guys if management simply held onto their picks…let alone were proactive in accumulating more.

  • NeverWas

    Great insight and game plan. I hope they follow suit and have a similar or better trade deadline than last year. Please… one more great draft atleast. How the team would look after a high/strong (draft dahlin or not) keeps me watching games this year… that and Brock Boeser!!

    • Kneedroptalbot

      I hope the Canucks keep one of the veteran D-men around (Del-Zotto or Gudbranson). I would be ok with trading Edler (ntc), big contract and inconsistent. 2 veterans, 2-3 younger D-men, 1 rookie. That would be a good mix and give them a bit of depth. Injuries always happen. Edmonton played rookie/young D-men together, mixed and matched pairings. It was a complete disaster.

  • JMoney

    I’m optimistic the Canucks will continue with the rebuild mentality and act accordingly at the deadline. I think in the past, more than Linden and Benning, it’s really been ownership holding up the rebuild process. I think Aquilini was loathe to accept it, but over the past few years things got so bad that even he had to come around. And now that Boeser has emerged they really ought to see the dividends that accrue when you uncover a young star. The Sedins are hitting the end of the line. The organization needs new faces and there’s only one way to get them.

    • DJ_44

      I just don’t buy the argument that their is an overarching angst from anyone in management or ownership that does not realize where the team is at, or where it was at.

      Stating that they should have rebuilt (and by that term they mean burn everything — not even a realistic possibility) in after 2013-14 were not overly vocal at that time, or while the Canucks finished second in the Pacific and should have done a lot better in the playoffs then they did (a common theme with the exception of 2011). They have approached the TDL the same way in 2016, and 2017. The results differed (sometimes the deals are available, sometimes not); but the approach was the same.

      I expect the approach to be similar in 2018. Gudbranson and Vanek should go (unless Gudbranson signs at or below current salary which is not going to happen). I think they should also look to move youngish player that may have perceived value but should not be with the Canucks moving forward. Hutton is a perfect candidate. He is a 6/7 defenceman; let Tanev make him look better than he is and pick up a third, maybe a second. He was not and will not be missed in the lineup.

      Who else? You have Dowd and Gaunce. One is fine moving forward. Dowd has more value (to both the Canucks and on the market), and may provide center depth for a mid to upper level contender moving forward. I like both players but if offers come in…..they will be considered.

      The Canucks are competitive this year when healthy. They could not handle their top center, top line winger, second/third line center, and best defenseman injured and hang in there. Not many teams could.

      Now that all are back, they will win at a similar pace to the pre-Bo injury. The names involved in these trades will have little effect on the number of wins.

  • Killer Marmot

    I would try to trade Gudbranson (definitely) and Del Zotto for draft picks or prospects. Then bring up one or two defensemen from Utica to see how they look in the NHL.

    I would offer Vanek a trade extension, and if that fell through then trade him as well.

    I can’t see Biega bringing much. If you can get a draft pick or prospect for him would be great but unlikely. Trading him for another fringe defenseman makes little sense. Biega is a good coffee sipper for the Canucks as he can play both forward and defense, important given that it takes a minimum of 10 hours to get from Utica to Vancouver.

    • Goon

      I’m not sure you can realistically move Del Zotto at the trade deadline. He’s been at best a 3rd pairing guy and he has another year left on his contract. You might be able to move him in the off-season but he doesn’t seem like an ideal pickup for a team that is near the cap and gearing up for a playoff run.

      There’s no way you should be extending Vanek, either. He’s 34, he’s worth something at the deadline, and if you really want him next year, you can re-sign him in free agency, as was noted in the article.

      • Killer Marmot

        I realize that Del Zotto has another year to go, but I say trade him at the first good opportunity. It would let some defensemen from Utica — or even Finland — get some NHL ice time in the spring.

        It doesn’t matter what age Vanek is, as he would only be offered a one-year extension. The Canucks want to ice a decent team next year even if they are rebuilding, and Vanek’s a valuable player. If you trade him, you will have to bid against all of the other teams for him in the summer, whereas if you offer him an extension now the Canucks would likely get a more affordable contract.

        • Goon

          I’m all for trading Del Zotto at the first opportunity, but I doubt such an opportunity’s going to come around any time soon.

          Regarding Vanek: What’s more important to the team at this point, getting a solid pick or prospect, or getting one more year out of an aging middle-six winger when you’ve got prospects like Dahlen, Goldobin, Petterson, Gaudette, Gadjovich, and Lind all looking to crack the roster neck year?

          • Killer Marmot

            Keeping Vanek is not going to interfere with developing prospects, especially with Dorsett and Burmistrov gone, and Dowd becoming a UFA this summer. It may even be that the Sedins will not be back next year, in which case the Canucks are going to have a tough time filling out the roster.

          • Kneedroptalbot

            Signing Vanek was brilliant by Benning. didn’t cost us anything. Gave us depth and another scorer on a team that is bottom 5 in goals for. Then you flip him at the deadline for a draft pick.

      • BlazerFan

        According to Gilman, telling a player you’re moving at the deadline you’ll resign them is a very big no no, even if it’s a ‘nudge nudge,wink wink’ type agreement. You are allowed to say that you’ll be calling them during free agency if they are available.

  • Rolland

    I agree with pretty well everything, Pouliot I like and wouldn’t move him unless the return was something special. He’s young and his game is evolving. More draft picks the better and Gudbranson has to go. Hopefully someone will take Vanek for a decent return, although I like what he adds and wouldn’t mind seeing him back for another one year deal.
    Biega is a workhorse but a fringe NHL D. Make some room for the prospects and see how they look, the season is lost.
    Development mode the rest of the way.

  • Jabs

    Given that the Canucks have announced that they are in a rebuild, then they have to sell and remain sellers for a period of years.
    This year we have been fortunate to see some pretty good hockey but that should not be enough for the team brass to want to change direction…..Keep accumulating young assets and draft picks GMJB!!!!!

  • Sandpaper

    So, Green likes to play an up-tempo game, with lots of speed, yet some want to re-sign Vanek, who provides very minimal speed, kinda like a turtle does I guess.
    If you get offers for any of those guys you have to at least consider them.
    Biega would get nothing, and he provides some depth as the 23rd player on the roster, would rather see him than Chaput.
    Also Ryan, why haven’t you mentioned Granlund or Gaunce, who must be worth something to a playoff contender. Both those guys are responsible defensive forwards and good on the PK.
    Might squeeze a 3rd out of someone for that.

    • Goon

      Granlund and Gaunce are both useful players who are under 25 and will be RFAs when their deals expire at the end of this season and next season respectively – these are not the kinds of players you trade away when you’re rebuilding. Why trade one of these players, who are both legit NHLers, for 10% chance at drafting a similar player?

      • Sandpaper

        We have 68 of these same types of players, how many do you want?
        Granlund is a poor man’s Erickson, but we are stuck with Erickson for what seems like an eternity.
        Dowd has surpassed Gaunce, as a better all-around player.
        Rather take the 10% chance in a pretty deep draft.
        I believe the author was suggesting ways to get more bullets to shoot at the target and I put in my 2 cents worth, on player types we have an over-abundance of.

        • The fact that the team had to trade to get Dowd when injuries struck suggests the team does not have “68 of these same types of players”.

          Makes a lot more sense to trade Dowd than either of Granlund or Gaunce, as he’s older, he’ll be a UFA when his contract expires, and he’s certainly a weaker player than Granlund and while he brings more offence than Gaunce, his numbers suggest he’s not as defensively sound.

  • krutov

    i’d like to see us either trade or re-sign gudbranson (cheaply).

    i am skeptical vanek will yield much, but why not try and trade him.

    i’d move gagner or erikkson if we could. i’d consider moving a bunch of other guys if there was interest.

    but i am really skeptical any of this happens. between az, mtl, edmonton, and buffalo all pooping the bed much worse than we have this season, we are in a buyer’s market. our baubles have to compete for attention. sadly, they are not very shiny and our store is a bit run down, whereas our competitors have been renovating for longer.

    • defenceman factory

      not sure I agree. There is a surprising number of teams in the playoff hunt this year and all of them have some need to upgrade or backfill injuries.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      If Benning found a taker for Erickson and his contract, he would be a unanimous choice for GM of the year. He’s stuck on our 3rd or 4th line until such time as they buy him out.

  • andyg

    I wonder if they could package the two and get a first and mid round pick. They both have a very palatable cap hit at 5.5 mil combined. If the Canucks carry a chunk of that it would make the two of them a fit for any team , cap wise.

  • andyg

    The way our drafting has improved just makes it even more important that they keep their our picks and find as many more as possible. Even the owners should be starting to see that the future of their company can only be secured through the draft. Winning wise and cap wise.

  • Cageyvet

    Because we’re not going to see it all happen in one year, my dream scenario for Vanek involves trading him, signing him in the off-season, and trading him again. Of course, I kind of want him back because I think I’d let the Sedins retire. Vanek only eats up one slot as an aging vet/mentor and is younger and more productive.
    Gudbranson has to go, and MDZ and Gagner if possible. I prefer picks, but would listen to any offers. Other than Gudbranson, the other 3 were signed as free agents and the returns are found money.
    I’m not so sure I’d move Biega, you’re unlikely to get value given the heart he plays with. He’s not likely to bring a skill upgrade, and he’s going to still be very cheap, he doesn’t have a lot of bargaining power.

    • Holly Wood

      Ok with most of it, but I think Biega is worth keeping and resigning. No maintenance, low cost 7-8 defencemen. When he does get in the lineup he can deliver in the short term

  • Burnabybob

    Benning should go hard after defensemen this draft, like he did forwards last year. They’ve made big strides, but defense remains a relative weakness, especially with how Gudbranson and Tryamkin turned out.

  • russb

    The thing I don’t understand with this popular trade suggestion is this….the Canucks lack scoring touch and are (yet again) far too soft to play against. So the solution is to trade the one guy (other than Boeser and maybe Horvat) with offensive skill and the toughest guy on the team. Help me out and explain it to me……I for one would far rather get rid of Edler

    • Vanek and Gudbranson are pending UFA’s with no indication that they’ll resign with the Canucks at a salary that makes sense for a rebuilding team. The value of retaining these players over the last 20 games is outweighed by the remote chance that the returns (assume draft picks) will become future roster players (round #) like Hutton (5), Raymond (2), Hansen (7), Bieksa (5) or the dozens of non-first rounders drafted by other teams. But just as the chances of getting a long-term player in return is low, there is a risk that Vanek or Gudbranson may not continue to deliver whatever perceived value (e.g. points, intangible toughness) post-trade deadline.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Gudbranson is the toughest guy on the team? Not much on ice evidence of that. He’s definitely the worst puck handler on the team, that is a proven fact.

  • truthseeker

    I don’t agree with saying you “have to” get a pick for Vanek. It really all depends on what pick. There is value in what he brings in a resigning situation that can be compared to a given pick.

    For an extreme example, it would most certainly not be worth it to trade him for a 7th round pick where you end up with something ridiculous like a 3% chance the player will ever be a top 6 forward or top 4 D and only an 11% chance the player ever even plays 100 games.

    So when we get to the third round, which is what CA is saying we could expect for him, the odds really don’t get that much better. You’re looking at a 6 to 9% chance at ever being a top 6/4 player, and a 24 to 33% chance they will play 100 games.

    It’s more of a judgement call here but to me those are still pretty bad odds of finding anyone who will give anywhere near the value Vanek has given to the team in even this single season, let alone what extending him for one more might do.

    It’s only in the second round where you start to break 10% on getting a guy that will be a top 6/4 player. And the 100 game player odds are still only in the 30s.

    In my opinion I would do a second rounder for him, or a prospect like the trades last year for Burr and Hansen. I would not take a 3rd rounder for him. Rather keep him for another season.

    I agree it’s good to have a lot of “shots” in the draft, but I also think almost everyone totally over rates the importance of draft picks. Of course they have a value, but many seem to rank that value higher than the already proven value of players in situations like Vanek. Again, the most likely outcome of a 3rd round pick or lower is to never give us even a single season as good as Vanek is having this year. Sometimes the “single season value” that a player like Vanek brings to a team is worth sacrificing a ticket at a super long shot with ridiculously low odds.

    source for my numbers

    https://www.tsn.ca/statistically-speaking-expected-value-of-nhl-draft-picks-1.317819

    Check out the average rating numbers…it’s pretty sobering.

    • jaybird43

      Yes, riverside, people really overestimate what’s pick is worth, especially after the second round. Some here were very critical when JB “throws in” a fourth rounder, but the cost/value of that is very low and sometimes that’s what it takes to get a Pedan-Pouliot trade done.

    • Nuck4U

      No changes?!? You are being sarcastic but this team has been a change machine since TL/JB arrived. Here’s the problem the talent level. Trades usually don’t up that but changes pieces. UFA’s are like draft picks they pan out or not. Just harder to get and cap restricting. Prospects just take longer to realize if they have an impact.

      If you go with the move and let go UFA theme in this article this good be next seasons line up.

      Petersson Horvat Boeser
      E. Kane Gaudette Virtanen
      Baertschi Sutter Eriksson
      Gaunce Gagner Granlund

      Hutton Tanev
      Edler Stecher
      OJ Pouliot

      MDZ extra trade because of demand for D at TDL. But basically adding two prospects and signing a young UFA to next season’s line up would be in line with pace of change. The difference here is the talent level would be higher then in past years. Yes the D is a huge concern. Good thing is 2018 draft is full of good D from top to bottom.

  • Bud Poile

    Ryan,you are the man. I love your contributions.
    However……..:
    RE:”But if they are adept at finding players, wouldn’t you want them to pick as many times as possible?”
    Not at the expense of iceing a competitive team,as this .org has managed to do each season.Fine line between gathering questionable picks and manning a competitive roster.
    Re:”Lastly, if someone wants to trade for Biega, you take it. The Canucks will have Olli Juolevi making the leap to the organization next year, and if you have any hopes of keeping Philip Holm in the mix, you have to give him some games. Moving Gudbranson and Biega opens up space for the Swede this year, and then makes the picture a little clearer for next year.”
    Olli and Holm are LHD.
    Bulldog and Guddy are RHD.
    This team overlows with LHD and moving both the Bulldog and Biega leaves Tanev as the sole RHD on the roster.Pouliou prefers the rigght side but unless there’s an UFA RHD the Canucks are willing to overpay for the .org keeps one of the two RHD you suggest trading.

    • Bud Poile

      edit:
      Ryan,you are the man. I love your contributions.
      However……..:
      RE:”But if they are adept at finding players, wouldn’t you want them to pick as many times as possible?”
      Not at the expense of iceing a competitive team,as this .org has managed to do each season.Fine line between gathering questionable picks and manning a competitive roster.
      Re:”Lastly, if someone wants to trade for Biega, you take it. The Canucks will have Olli Juolevi making the leap to the organization next year, and if you have any hopes of keeping Philip Holm in the mix, you have to give him some games. Moving Gudbranson and Biega opens up space for the Swede this year, and then makes the picture a little clearer for next year.”
      Olli and Holm are LHD.
      Bulldog and Guddy are RHD.
      This team overlows with LHD and moving both the Bulldog and Guddy leaves Tanev as the sole RHD on the roster.

    • Dan the Fan

      I don’t see much of a problem with trading Gudbranson and Biega. Tanev, Pouliot, and Troy from Richmond play the right side. There’s only 20 games after the trade deadline, so even if one of those 3 gets hurt, it’s not going to make a huge difference to play another lefty on the right side. It’s a lost season, a dozen games with an LD on the 3rd pair right side isn’t going to hurt anyone.

      After this year, pick up another depth righty this summer to eat popcorn in the pressbox, or resign Biega if he’s interested in coming back.

      Having said that, I don’t even think you could get a 7th for Biega, there’s players of similar talent level on waivers several times a year, and most teams would just call someone up from their farm team if they had a need for an 7/8th defenseman.

  • Wanted to add a tidbit on the rebuild vs retool fire, Gilman recently said that Benning traded for Vey because Desjardins asked for him. Although one can argue about how a GM should or should not cater to anyone else (e.g. coach, owner, CA commenter), it implies that Benning isn’t the sole architect of the retool failure. It suggests that Benning wouldn’t have necessarily traded that 2nd and would have used it himself. It also adds to the plausibility that the retool approach was indeed an external pressure (i.e. Aquilini). Last trade deadline, we finally saw some trades that are aligned with the rebuild concept (i.e. vets for prospects) and in April, Linden finally said rebuild. Accordingly, in my mind, the Vrbata / Hamhuis non-trades are irrelevant because that retool mandate is gone. Let’s see how Benning does *now* now that management has admitted (committed?) to rebuilding and the team is virtually out of playoff contention.

    • We’ll see. I’m inclined to think a lot of the screwups of the last two years of the Gillis regime and the first two years of the Benning regime are probably more due to ownership meddling than GM bungling. It certainly appears that the ship’s been righted and there’s some kind of rebuild plan in place now, but how Benning treats this trade deadline, draft, and off-season will go a long way to confirming (or rebutting) that impression.

      • I’m a little surprised how people are still looping back to Hamhuis and Vrbata. I thought the last trade deadline was enough to show that a) Benning was willing to make “rebuild-like” trades and b) when he did, he was shockingly good. Benning should be judged against Burrows/Hansen now rather than Hamhuis/Vrbata.

        • Puck Viking

          He should be judged for both as he was the gm BOTH years. Screwing up the Hamhuis deal was probably not even on him it was probably on ownership but he waited WAY too long to get that deal moving. He should have had a plan a month at least before the deadline and did not. Vrbata probably wasnt worth anything but 7th is better than nothing.

          The burrows trade was good.

          The Hansen trade was not exactly a win. We retained salary when we shouldnt have which may be an issue at this deadline. We got back a fringe player who hasnt shown anything. The only saving has been how bad Hansen has been.

          • Vrbata was half a season removed from scoring 30 goals – he might not have been worth a first like Hamhuis, but a good salesman should have been able to get a 2nd/3rd or B prospect for him.

            The Hansen trade was absolutely a win. Goldobin’s been great in the AHL, and he’s shown flashes in the NHL. There’s still a good chance he’ll be an impact player at the NHL level. Solid gamble. If even one of Goldobin and Dahlen ends up being a top-six winger at the NHL level, that trade deadline will have been a massive success.

          • Bud Poile

            Condemning a GM because of a 7th round pick non-acquisition takes the prize,especially when Benning is OTR that not one call was recieved for his services.

          • Puck Viking

            The 500k is an issue if we for example have 2 highly paid players that we can move but would have to eat money. We can only take a portion of one players salaries.

            For example(wont happen)Sedins instead of being able to send them both for 7 million now we can only send them both for 10.5 which would not allow as many teams in the bidding.

            Same could be if you want to deal any 2 of Tanev, Sutter, Gud, MDZ. If we didnt eat 500k for Hansen we could eat up to 50% on 2 of these contracts.

        • Dan the Fan

          He’s said he traded Hansen because of the expansion draft. That trade can’t be used to support the position that he was, at that point, committed to a rebuild. It wasn’t a rebuild-motivated trade.

          • Puck Viking

            Agree. I wish we got a 1st in return and didnt eat salary. Not sure if it was an option but I think the Sharks knew Goldy wasnt going to be anything but a tweener so they unloaded him while he had value. Management should think long and hard about whether he is in the future plans. We have loads of wingers and if we pick in 2-5 in the upcoming draft we will have another. Deal him while he has any value at all.

          • Beer Can Boyd

            Jeez, Benning got a pretty good prospect for an old guy who sits in the press box in San Jose, and is a UFA after this year. How anyone could expect more, I can’t understand. And Puck Viking? A first for Hansen?? I can guarantee you that was not an option.