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.
is Louie Eriksson the worst Benning contract?
— leftcoastloser (@leftcoastloser) February 7, 2018
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
Has anyone at Canucks Army ever studied who the Canucks would have drafted at this draft spots over the past few years, if analytics were the SOLE determinant? And how the success of that approach compares to who they actually drafted?
— Jason Imoo (@jdimoo) February 6, 2018
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.
We think the Vancouver Canucks may have a scouting problem(!!!!) http://t.co/PTGkwbmoML
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) May 20, 2014
If you had to choose just one, Erik Gudbranson or Radko Gudas?
— Artem Zhurakhovsky (@nas19ua) February 6, 2018
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.
— Sawyer Marsh (@SawyerMarsh) February 6, 2018
Pumpkin pie, every damn time. I love me some blueberry and apple pie too though.
Given Gaudettes continued improvement, where does his SEAL currently stand? What should we be expecting / projecting in the NHL? Comparables?
— Dustin (@dustyvancouver) February 6, 2018
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.
It would have been so easy for @ryanbiech to tell people what they want to hear about Gaudette. Instead you get an honest and thorough review that's equal parts reasoned optimism with well-tempered realism. Great read. https://t.co/mci2e4OG89
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) February 3, 2018
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!
Listen: J.D. Burke Talks Ben Hutton, Erik Gudbranson & the Rebuild on the Fly https://t.co/YIeegXesGh
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) February 3, 2018
Max Domi made some ill-advised comments on Twitter a few months ago. Would you be less likely to trade for a player who has expressed controversial opinions, particularly on matters political? Do you think the Canucks would be wary of how such a move may be received in Vancouver?
— Bill Pecos (@realbillpecos) February 6, 2018
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 know the Canucks aren’t exactly strong up the middle yet but don’t you think they almost have to draft a Dman with this years first pick?
— Rob Mikuletic (@RLMF1997) February 6, 2018
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.
Should the canucka use a Wildcat formation?
— moosekayak? (@Moosekayak) February 6, 2018
Every damn time.
How many second rounds picks will Benning trade away for Domi?
— Trevor Crawley (@tcrawls) February 6, 2018
I don’t even know if the Canucks are interested in Domi, so for now, I’m going to say zilch.
Should the Canucks trade Eriksson for Lucic? Solves issues for both teams. Same contract.
— Mo Vee (@Mo_Zini) February 6, 2018
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?
All this talk about domi, is there any genuine interest by the canucks?
— kiel A (@theRealAaaaar) February 6, 2018
I haven’t heard anything yet.
I have heard Benning more than once state “the phone never rang for that guy”. He leaves me with the impression that he doesn’t grasp that it is HIS job to get on the phone and work out a deal. Is that a fair observation or am I reading too much into his comments?
— Jim Attridge (@jattridge) February 6, 2018
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.
What's a reasonable Canucks price you'd give up for Max Domi considering his minimal production this season?
— Kyle Dubas to the Canucks Please (@CanucksJays) February 6, 2018
I’d try to start the conversation with Ben Hutton, since it looks like he’s on his way out anyway.
What the hell is this management thinking re:Guddy & other FAs?
— Dan (@fthncwm) February 6, 2018
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.
Will Elias Petterson play games in North America once his season is done in Sweden? Would joining the Comets for their playoff run make sense?
— Chris Dickson (@ctdickson) February 6, 2018
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.
If you were to start the rebuilding Canucks from scratch, which 3 players would you keep, who would be your coach/GM?
— Jordan Hawkins (@JordanAMHawkins) February 6, 2018
I’d keep Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser and Troy Stecher. My coach would be Mike Babcock and the general manager would be Laurence Gilman.
Is there any circumstances under which the Canucks should consider bringing back Gudbranson?
— Markus Meyer (@Markus_Meyer27) February 6, 2018
Who is a current player that you can see Hutton developing into as his ceiling?
— Brody (@BradenHalabiski) February 6, 2018
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.
Is a Colorado style quick turnaround possible for the Canucks?
— Aaron Oviatt (@AaronOviatt) February 6, 2018
Not even remotely, no.
Should Vanek be the Captain next year?
— Ten Zowie (@TenZowie) February 6, 2018
Anything less than Team President would be an insult.
Would you trade Jane Virtanen for Max Domi straight up?
— bryce anderson (@Paciflik) February 6, 2018
With how Edler has been playing lately would teams be interested in him at the deadline?
— RandyRanderson (@DangerZoneRandy) February 6, 2018
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.
Do you think the Canucks should take a stab at Max domi? And what do you think the price will be
— Brad Ford (@Bradleyford_6) February 6, 2018
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.
If Pettersson makes the Canucks next year, do you think signing Evander Kane to play on his line is a smart move?
— RandyRanderson (@DangerZoneRandy) February 6, 2018
No. The Canucks absolutely shouldn’t sign Evander Kane period.
For a team that’s rebuilding ! Benning has traded away picks at ease I really hope they let him go but who do you think can step into his position and rebuild this team.
— K Town (@KtlieverseKelly) February 6, 2018
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.
Adam Boqvist and Quinn Hughes seem very similar players. What differentiates them and who do you prefer for the Canucks?
— Jay (@jOneKim95) February 6, 2018
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.