Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: Wednesday February 7th

So, I’m sorry for the long wait on the Monday Mailbag. I’ve had just the worst two weeks. As soon as I got over a cold on Sunday, I found myself stricken with the flu on Monday. I can’t make this stuff up. I’m finally at a point where I can eat again, so I might as well get back to work. With that, let’s do it.

It’s looking that way, unfortunately. The worst part of it all is that I feel like Canucks general manager Jim Benning signed Loui Eriksson to a contract that was about market value — it’s a deal that would’ve made sense for a lot of teams, but the Canucks were never one of them.

Honourable mentions: Ryan Miller and Brandon Sutter

Some of the CanucksArmy OGs did an exercise along these lines in 2014. They didn’t have access to the predictive draft metrics that have helped inform our draft analysis since, whether that’s PCS (Prospect Cohort Success) or pGPS (Prospect Graduation Probabilities System), but the rule they used was in that spirit, so it’s roughly comparable.

It’s Radko Gudas by about a country mile. This might catch some of you by surprise, but Gudas is a genuinely useful bottom-four defender.

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Pumpkin pie, every damn time. I love me some blueberry and apple pie too though.

The last time I looked into the SEAL scoring adjusted scoring leaders, to my surprise, Adam Gaudette wasn’t that high on the list. That probably has a lot to do with his age. The thing to remember is that Gaudette’s age and production, as Ryan Biech points out in this article for The Athletic Vancouver, is pretty close to Jimmy Vesey — i.e. it’s good, not spectacular.

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I still remember that Gaudette’s only successful comparable player from his draft year, using the PCS prospect analytics model, was Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith. That’s funny, because all these years later, I see that as a comparison that I really like in terms of versatility, playing style and likely production output. I said as much on Halford & Brough on TSN 1040 last week!

Here’s the thing: hockey, for socio-economic reasons (i.e. it’s incredibly expensive to participate in any organized, competitive fashion), attracts people from privileged backgrounds who have shitty opinions informed by their privilege. Max Domi, step on up.

It’s a problem, and one that the hockey community at large should address, but until that day, it is what it is. You’d be surprised by how many hockey players share opinions like the one Domi expressed when he went on his ridiculous anti-immigrant rant in response to the Edmonton terror attack.

What would I do with Domi if I was the team that acquired him? Sit him down with the PR staff and have them grill into him what is and isn’t acceptable until it sticks. The Canucks would be right to be wary of how that rant would fly in Vancouver. So they have to do what they can to avoid that situation. They’d have to do it for a lot more players than just Domi though — don’t kid yourself.

I’m going to address this question as though it relates primarily to the Canucks first pick in the draft — do correct me if I’m wrong in the comments. They do almost have to draft a defenceman in that instance. Their blue line is in a rough place, in so many ways, but especially in their prospect pool. Unless they’re picking two or three, it has to be a defenceman. I’d take Quinn Hughes if I could.

Every damn time.

I don’t even know if the Canucks are interested in Domi, so for now, I’m going to say zilch.

I’m not sure many of you will believe this, but I was firmly pro-Milan Lucic ahead of Eriksson in that summer. I just thought that based on Lucic’s age, he was the better bet to perform to the end of his contract. It seems I was right, so far. So yeah, I’d want the Canucks to make that trade. I just can’t imagine a world where the Edmonton Oilers make that trade. Why would they?

I haven’t heard anything yet.

That’s a fair observation, to a certain extent. I’m not sure about the specifics, i.e. should Benning be aggressively blowing up the phones of his peer’s regularly, but it’s clear to me that he hasn’t been nearly aggressive enough as a general manager when it comes to shopping players.

I’d try to start the conversation with Ben Hutton, since it looks like he’s on his way out anyway.

They’re not getting what they want for Erik Gudbranson on the trade market, and they’d rather keep him in tow than trade him for pennies on the dollar after paying a premium to acquire him in the first place.

As for Thomas Vanek, the current Canucks front office really values familiarity and love to stick with what they know. Benning and co. feel like they know what they can get from Vanek next season, and there’s a comfort factor there that they can’t find in free agency this summer elsewhere.

Those are my guesses — informed guesses.

This feels like more of a Ryan Biech type of question. I’ll say this much: it seems unlikely given that Elias Pettersson doesn’t even have an entry-level contract yet.

I’d keep Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser and Troy Stecher. My coach would be Mike Babcock and the general manager would be Laurence Gilman.


Ben Hutton. In all seriousness, the guy is 24-years-old. At this point, Hutton probably is what he is. And that’s a compliment. I think you can do a lot worse than Hutton for one’s fourth or fifth defenceman.

Not even remotely, no.

Anything less than Team President would be an insult.


Teams always want to add defencemen at the deadline, and Alexander Edler has really turned it around in Vancouver. If Edler was willing to waive his no-trade (he’s not) then there would be teams interested in acquiring him.

If the price is right, then sure, the Canucks would be wise to take a stab at Domi. I’m just not sure there’s a fit. Compounding matters, it sounds like the Coyotes don’t have a tonne of interest in Hutton, who seems like the obvious trade chip for the Canucks to leverage.

I just don’t know what the price is on Domi. Maybe a low first-round pick? Maybe a roster player? It’s hard to say. Players like Domi aren’t usually dealt at this stage in their career unless it’s to bolster a team’s playoff chances. That’s not the case in Arizona.

No. The Canucks absolutely shouldn’t sign Evander Kane period.

There are a lot of general managers that I’d trust to get this rebuild right. If the Canucks are keen on experience, maybe look at Dean Lombardi. If you’re looking for a new wave, look at Kyle Dubas. If you want someone who can masterfully work the salary cap, look at Gilman.

This, again, seems like more of a Biecher question. I’d say Hughes’ skating is almost in a league of its own, which puts him ahead of his peers as far as defencemen in this draft go. I prefer Hughes. That said, I just haven’t had an opportunity to watch anywhere near as much of Adam Boqvist as I’d hoped to at this stage.

  • Bud Poile

    JD,when you’re not sure ,as in you have no real idea of any merit,offering an opinion is labelled conjecture:
    Conjecture definition, the formation or expression of an opinion or theory without sufficient evidence for proof.
    “I’m not sure about the specifics, i.e. should Benning be aggressively blowing up the phones of his peer’s regularly, but it’s clear to me that he hasn’t been nearly aggressive enough as a general manager when it comes to shopping players.”JD

      • tiger1731

        Freedom of speech? Don’t think he was anti-immigrant, all he said was more screening for those that come into the country. This coming from an immigrant. I do agree with you however on hockey being a rather privileged sport. Equipment is damn expensive. But seriously nothing wrong with being concerned about national security.

        • Freedom of speech means freedom from government censorship, it doesn’t mean freedom from people disagreeing with you or from your employer asking you to restrict your public speech while your in his employ.

        • Acronix

          Ya the Us tried deporting him back to somolia because he was a risk, they lost track of him and Canada obviously wanted to accept everyone with open arm, even if they support isil and have extremist view points

        • Acronix

          Also on that point Nikita Kucherov had to share one pair of skates with his brother.. For three years and they they weren’t on the same team!!! Ya that’s privileged.. But once again “J.D Burke” you know everything

      • Acronix

        Yes please make this political and try to persuade us that your opinions are “right” I’m sick of liberals these days most of them aren’t about free speech, get on their train or your a racist, bigot, sexist, islamaphobe. Read this to get always from politics and just read hockey, but thanks for informing us on your ignorant one sided view point

          • Acronix

            Oh forgot you get labeled “facist” as well very mature of you. All max said is “we should be aware of some people we let in our country” on twitter. But no he’s a bigoted sexist islamophobe just like me! Really don’t know what’s wrong with what he said but feel free to tell me what’s wrong with that?

          • truthseeker

            I said this back when he made the quote in response to someone else and I think it’s still appropriate.

            “…..Well, unless he understands the vetting process immigrants face when getting into canada, and I’m going to take a wild guess that he doesn’t, then his statement is completely baseless and should not be taken seriously by anyone who agrees with the concept of rational discourse.

            You see, just spouting (tweeting in this case; part of the problem in itself) out “This is why we have to be aware of some of the people we let into our country.” is basically saying absolutely nothing.

            He then later says

            “Do you care if anyone comes into our country and causes harm to our friends and family. Seriously. Let’s have a conversation about this.”

            OK….but what he’s doing is the exact opposite of having a “conversation”. See having a conversation about it means you take the responsibility to PROVE your point with a logical and sound argument.

            So Domi should be telling us what part of letting people into the country the canadian government isn’t “aware” of. What is it they are NOT doing?

            That should be the absolute minimum starting point to justify a statement like that. Otherwise you’re just a soundbite. A meaningless soundbite not offering anything in a way of justification for your position let alone a solution…..”

            So since I made that post, did Domi provide any evidence to back up his implied claim that Canada isn’t taking the necessary steps in regards to proper vetting of immigrants?

            I’m gonna guess he didn’t. And that’s what’s wrong with Domi’s statement. It’s a typical tactic of the anti PC backlash angry white male crowd. A lot of statements with no substance.

        • And if you want hockey and politics to be separate, you should agree with JD that Max should get media training and not talk about politics. Since, you know, that’s what JD’s point was.

    • Gino's 3rd Cousin

      Puck you seem like the kind of guy who drunkenly espouses his racist views at parties making all his friends and family uncomfortable. Am I right? Too real?

  • Bud Poile

    “I was not disrespecting any race or religion. I’m talking about the bad people that can come over here and harm our country.
    “Do you care if anyone comes into our country and causes harm to our friends and family. Seriously. Let’s have a conversation about this.” Max Domi

    • Rodeobill

      Having opinions and discussing them is how we refine them. Unfortunately having an unpopular one sometimes leads to being ostricized and made a pariah, which leads our fragile egos towards stubborness and resentment (we all too often identify ourselves with the opinions we express, and therefore an attack on our opinions are interpreted as an attack on our selves, and people reacting to an unpopular opinion are more often not doing that too with booing and finger pointing, and shaming) I no not agree with Domi’s opinion, but he’s still a young guy and if he is willing to have a real conversation, then he should be willing to listen to rational points made from all side of the discussion, seldom will that happen in these times, and more so in the public forum of the twitterverse.

      • Rodeobill

        That is to say, if his meaning is to really have a conversation about it then good for him. Having an opinion on a subject does not make you an idiot, not being open to changing it when presented with something more reasonably compelling does. Even having ridiculous opinions doesn’t make you a bad person necessarily, or someone “bad in the dressing room,” i have lots of people in my life I get along with well in spite of disagreeing on some subjects, some BECAUSE i disagree with. Short of it is having a bad opinion does not equal being a bad person.

  • Kanucked

    I enjoy Gillman’s weekly spots on TSN. I think he provides some good insight and I wish the Canucks kept him as part of the management team. That being said, it’s a real stretch to say that he would be an ideal GM or even a good one.

    Isn’t he part of the same leadership group that offered $20M for Sundin? If he had accepted, we would have lost the Sedins. I haven’t seen any evidence that he’s a good talent evaluator at the pro or amateur level. I know a GM has pro and amateur scouts, but the GM should have sense for it too.

    • apr

      He gets a lot of love in CA. I can only assume that CA writers have met him and have established a relationship, because as articulate and accommodating he may seem on the radio, he simply would be working for another NHL team if he was such highly regarded. Unless the CA writers are somehow in the know and can identify which are his decisions and which ones were Gillis/Bennings. CA can often appear to be Kenny Powers fanboys with respect to Gillman sometimes. That said, I always listen to Gillman on Wednesdays.

  • bobdaley44

    Wow I can’t believe people write in for JD’s opinion. Gilman? The man who helped handcuff the Nuck’s with NTC’s not to mention being on watch for the worst draft record in franchise history and thats saying something. Dubas? Whats he done? Oh ya Corsi man. Virtanen for Domi? A small slow plodding team trading their fastest most physical player for a small one dimensional one. Always the same theme. Guddy, Sutter, Benning.

  • TheRealPB

    I know it’s popular to rag on the Eriksson contract, but it really was market rate and though it’s little consolation, I think pretty much all the big money contracts signed that year have disappointed — Lucic, Ladd and Backes have all really underperformed relative to what they’re getting paid.