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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

WWYDW: Thomas Vanek, 2018-19 Vancouver Canuck?

There haven’t been many success stories to come out of the moves Canucks general manager Jim Benning made this summer. The one everyone seems to agree on as a smashing hit though is the Thomas Vanek signing.

In the late stages of free agency, Benning picked Vanek up off the clearance aisle on a one-year deal valued at $2-million in the hope of bringing in some secondary scoring, and perhaps, a trade chip at this year’s deadline. So far, everything is going according to plan. Vanek is second on the Canucks in scoring with 37 points (15 goals and 22 assists) in 53 games, and teams are apparently starting to inquire about his availability.

There’s only one hitch. Apparently the Canucks are considering re-signing Vanek for, at least, another season. He’s been so good that they’re wondering if they can sustain his loss next year. To me, that’d be an awful mismanagement of a valuable trade asset. The idea is gaining traction though, so it’s worth exploring.

So, I ask you, the reader, what would you do with Thomas Vanek?

Last week(ish) I askedWhat would you do with the Sedin twins assuming their interest in re-signing with the Canucks for next season is sincere?

truthseeker:

Re-sign them with absolutely zero doubt. They will be fantastic 3rd line players as more young talent gets added to the roster. Their production is fine this year and similar production at a lower salary rate will be win win.

1 or 2 years of term. 3 to 4 million per seems fair to me for both sides.

Dirk22:

5 mill each at the very least for a 1 year deal. Anything less would be an insult and there’s no other free agents that need to be pursued so cap space isn’t an issue.

Nuck16:

One year deal MAX, cost not a big concern due to our current cap situation, but $5mil ballpark. And for god’s sake can we please split them up once and a while? No coach seems to have the stones to try it, even when our seasons our complete write-offs…worst case scenario you put them back together after a few games.

Killer Marmot:

The Canucks may have trouble filling out their roster with competitive players next year, even if they bring up some rookies. This is especially so if players are lost at the trade deadline and thus not re-signed. Thus the Canucks will need to acquire some short-term free agents over the summer, so why not the Sedins?

But it depends upon the price. $4 million sound about right. The Sedins have scored well this year, but only by getting a lot of offensive-zone faceoffs and power-play time. Players who need protected minutes are not worth more.

bushdog:

regardless of the amount they are offered it’s going to have a big impact on the team’s ability to sign and re-sign other people. what if they stand in the way of a youngster who might otherwise be on the team? there are only 2 things that make sense to me. a trade at the deadline brings big returns, they resign for a day later and retire to the rafters. or they retire. that money is hugely important folks. there are guys here who need to be re-signed – think boeser. there will be free agents that can help along the way as kids develop. we don’t have to spend to the max when we are rebuilding even if that figure will be increasing. you bet it’ll leave us in a tough spot if things don’t pan out, like all the picks becoming superstars lol but what’s the problem with more picks? bye guys and thanks a lot…

LTFan:

The Sedins – should they be resigned or retired? For me it is a simple answer. Resign for a year with an option for a 2nd year (if that can be done). Why , well based on the points they have at 47 games – Henrik 32, Daniel 30 – they should both be in the 50 to 55 point range at the end of the season. IMO there is not a GM out there who would not resign 2 players who would contribute close to 100 points to the team in the 2018 – 19 Season. How much $3M to $4M each. I would also add that the Sedins make the PP work (even though Henrik should shoot more). As of this morning the Canucks have the 6th best PP in the NHL.

Finally, certainly would be a great asset in mentoring some of the young players that will probably be on the team next season. You cannot under estimate what their leadership adds to the team.

Adelphis:

Re-sign them for another year. And honestly, I don’t think the dollar figure matters too much — we shouldn’t be in cap trouble next year, regardless. (And they’ll probably give half of the salary to the Children’s Hospital.)

Nuck4U:

So JB wants to know about Sedins for TDL. How many forwards is he willing to move if they commit to returning?

If it’s only Vanek that means only one of Gaunce or Goldobin play. How does this make room for all these prospects from Gaudette to Petterson knocking on NHL door? Resigning the Sedins doesn’t make the team younger nor give room for to mentor new prospects. Unless JB is looking to deal 3 more forwards on top of Vanek at deadline for futures(picks) or prospect D. If that happens, very doubtful, then resign twins to hone town discount that allows cap space to take on bad contracts for picks and to sign a young UFA like Kane that can fit 5 year contention plan.

  • RobsNNAccount

    I have been a Vanek fan for years and I’ve been really happy with how he has p[played this year. That being said, I think the Canucks have to trade him at the TDL. Vanek has some value and the Canucks need to capitalize on it. This team needs draft picks to accelerate the rebuild and Vanek just doesn’t fit in the teams long term plans

    • canuckfan

      I think Vanek should be traded, Brock will be fine without him. I think it was Brock who got Vanek going not the other way. Vanek may retire going out on a high as he could totally fall to pieces next year. Give him a chance to go to a contender. Sign him in the summer as a sniper coach you would open the spot and have him to mentor young players.
      The Sedins can be signed to a one year contract but 5 million is way too much they have not been good defensively and have been in the frame on many goals not being able to get back. Our power play will be fine without them if they choose to retire. Lets see what they are going to do and then quietly see what they want for money if it is too much walk away.
      Gudbranson needs to be traded I have been a loyal fan from the time they came into the league and have seen many blunders signing Gudbranson to a long term agreement for more than he is getting now I do not believe will be smart. See what he will bring and move on don’t see anyone wanting to get into a bidding war but who knows we won’t regret losing him is all I know.

  • North Van Halen

    As someone that has defended Benning & Linden, let me say, if they think keeping Vanek (or Gudbranson for that matter) is a good idea, I’m going to be next on the fire everyone band wagon.
    He’s not core piece of any possible future championship here, he’s a stop gap fill-in that you can find any time you need one in the off season or at the trade deadline for a 3rd or a 4th. A flooded market may make him hard to move but all efforts should be made to flip him at this point. If the best you can get from him is a 5th or 6th you sign him after the trade deadline.

    I’d likely take the 5th though.

  • As NVH says, keeping Vanek should be considered a fireable offense. There is *no* reason to keep him. If the Canucks want him back, they can resign him as a UFA in the off-season. They are not making the playoffs this year and there is literally no advantage to keeping him on the team. The Canucks *must* move UFAs for picks if they’re serious about improving the long-term outlook of the franchise.

  • Ser Jaime Lannister

    They shouldve been doing this years ago signing “stop gap” vets to 1-2 max and dealing for what ever you can. Vanek has benefited greatly from playing with Boeser as will anyone who plays with an elite talent like him. On his own hes been below average imo, 17 goals on the PP, defensive liability with his 5on5 play and the minus 14 isnt helping his case. Canucks will have minimum two forward prospects make the team next year and are desperately needed. Youth, speed, and skill! Time to see this team make some improvements, these bottom finishes are embarrassing for the fans and players.

  • argoleas

    Trade Vanek. See what Sedins do in the summer. If they retire, see what’s available on the market that fits your needs. May or may not be Vanek. This may be shocking, but there could be other UFAs out there.

  • Prices for Nash, Pacioretty and Kane are supposed to be ridiculous so it would be insane not to capitalize on an elevated price for Vanek (a rising tide raises all boats). Trade and resign is an option and if he doesn’t want to come back, just move on with the rebuild. But to pass up on an opportunity to get more than a 3rd round pick is treasonous.

  • wojohowitz

    In comparison to Eriksson and Vrbata (who were both happy to take the money) Vanek shows leadership abilities. Bringing back Eriksson, Vanek and Sutter as the three veterans surrounded by youth makes sense while unloading the extras (like Baertschi, Granlund, Gagner, Hutton, Gudbranson and Del Zotto) to improve the defense is the way to go.

    • How does the dollar value of a contract reflect leadership abilities.

      What if your boss came up to you at work and said “Hey wojohowitz, we’re cutting your pay by 30% because we think you display real leadership around here!”

  • Steamer

    Trade Vanek for picks, then resign in summer to another 1 year deal, rinse & repeat. Trade Hutton and/or Guddy if picks/prospects are of significant stature ( 1st round picks, top prospects ). Many other possible candidates.

  • Rolland

    No don’t keep him, he needs to be moved at the TDL. I really like what he brings and hope he can be resigned
    when he’s finished his gunslinger role. Hopefully he’d like to come back. One can’t ignore the points he has put up.
    He’s done so most of his career. Another one year deal. He’s probably looking for a golden parachute though.

  • Dirk22

    A rebuilding, bottom feeding team with less points this year than they did at this time last year and the year before.

    How is it even a discussion as to what they are doing with their mid-30’s pending free agent not named Sedin?

  • truthseeker

    To me it all depends on the return. Vanek has a value and a potential value next season which needs to be weighed against the value of the return.

    There are some returns that are just not worth another season or two of say 40+ points that Vanek could reasonably bring. To make it obvious….a 7th round pick is not worth losing Vanek over. No 7th round pick is ever going to give us even a single season of even a few NHL games let alone a 40 point season. (this is where someone points out the fluky example of a 7th rounder who put up an amazing career….I don’t care…I don’t base decisions around flukes. I base it on the probability) You can extend this all the way down to the 3rd and even 2nd round picks which don’t really have that much better odds of developing into good NHL players. I get that having lots of young players “in the system” is important. Many kicks at the can and all that. But a single draft pick in and of itself is highly over rated. Tossing proven talent away for what is a lottery ticket with very bad odds, should be the fireable offense.

    In terms of talent value, I think at this point he should be worth a top prospect or first round pick. In the real world though I doubt he brings that much back. Seems like there are a lot of wingers available this year and traditionally the value of wingers hasn’t been that strong.

    Having said all of that, I would take no lower than a second round pick or equivalent current prospect, or I would resign him.

    • Cageyvet

      I agree, but I would reduce my bottom line to a 3rd round pick. That would be less than he’s worth, but given our position on the team development curve, I think it has to be done.

      The only thing I will say is that there is not much chance we can replace him with another UFA for the ridiculous deal we got for his production. 2 million with only a 1 year commitment and he delivers better than a half point per game? Good luck replicating that, but I’d move him anyway because it’s time to stop preaching we need vets and start playing the kids. I’d give his spot to Goldobin and run with it. CA keeps saying they hit 24 and they are what they are going to be, but I believe that applies to players who have had a chance to learn on the job. It’s damn hard to take a veteran’s job, in sports or the “real world”. In both cases, though, business owners make the same decisions when bringing in youth (McDavid, Boeser, etc. are exceptions to the rule). They either value saving money and the performance gap isn’t critical, or they’re preparing for a step forward long time term and allowing for a step backward in the short term. You don’t really just take someone’s job by out-performing them every time, let’s not be naive, contracts and business plans are all a part of it. It’s too old-school to say the kid has to steal the job from a vet in a young man’s league. Pick the kids you believe in and play them, for crying out loud.

      • Bud Poile

        The Canucks have a development team in Utica.
        Winning atmosphere.Competitive.
        The big club has had eight players play on it’s roster this season at/under the age of 24.
        If Vanek will sign here for a reasonable raise in pay and no second rounders are offered in trade it’s fairly obvious he’s worth more than a lottery pick to this club.

      • truthseeker

        Yeah that’s CA’s typical over reliance on stats. And frankly a very shaky interpretation of their own info. They posted or linked to a bell curve here about player age and performance and while it’s true that players do start to decline after their mid 20’s, I think the way it’s been presented here is in a way in which makes you think there is some big drop off after 26. The reality looking at the chart showed that from 25 til about 30 or so, the percentage drop off in performance is very very small. Only a few percentage points. Hardly enough variation to apply that to every player and say things like “he is what he is now”. There most certainly can be players who find their game in their mid 20’s and then go on to even better careers in their late 20’s. And I bet the number is much higher than they imply here.

        Basically a player’s peak is from 23 or so all the way to 30 with not much change. A player at 30 is still basically 90% of the player he was at his peak of 24 or25. So basically he’s still pretty much at his peak. When you simply say things like “players peak and decline after 25” it makes it sound worse than it is.

        https://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2014/3/13/5500522/nhl-scoring-stats-rates-age-analysis

  • Cal Buttercluck

    Vanek has been good for the Canucks. Exactly why I’d trade him, pretty much no matter the return. Losing the 2nd leading scorer makes the Canucks worse. Hello higher draft position!