5Cheers and Jeers!
Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Cheers & Jeers: February 20th

The Canucks are nothing if not inconsistent. They seem to relish fitting in the odd blowout win in the mix with their mostly listless and uninspiring performances.

At least those performances offer the odd break from what’s been an otherwise painful season that seems destined for another bottom-five finish. So, there’s that.

Next up is the trade deadline. Moves are already coming in one after the other, and one has to think that business will start to pick up even more as the week drags on. The question in Vancouver is to what extent the Canucks will be involved.

With that, let’s get to it. Welcome to this week’s edition of the CanucksArmy’s Cheers & Jeers.

Cheers to Bo Horvat. Just in general. He just means so much to this franchise. After missing a month with a broken ankle, he’s come back and hardly skipped a beat. The goal Horvat scored on Saturday against the Bruins, taking the puck outside against Bruins super-rookie Charlie McAvoy and driving the net to put the puck past Tuukka Rask. It was a perfect power forward-type goal. You know what else? If you prorate Horvat’s production (30 points in 41 games) over the course of a full season, he’d be on pace for 60 points. Just imagine if Horvat gets his two-way game up to speed.

Jeers to the Canucks decision to extend general manager Jim Benning’s contract. I know this isn’t going to be well received in the comments section, but I just don’t think his work to date suggests he’s the right person to get the Canucks back on track. The Canucks’ prospect pool is as good as it’s ever been, but concerning young pieces that they can build a franchise on, they only have two players that qualify currently on their roster — part of the reason their pool looks so good is that so few of its pieces have graduated to the NHL. This raises the question of whether an average to even above average amateur talent evaluator would have done a worse job at the draft — is the Canucks pool really exceptional considering how bad they’ve been for the last four seasons?

Then there’s everything else associated with the job, and the struggles there are well documented. I’m just not sure how you can argue Benning’s succeeded in his first four years on the job or shown enough to warrant another three to see out his plan.

Cheers to the success that the Utica Comets are having under head coach Trent Cull’s watch. It’s truly remarkable how well they’ve done with all the adversity that team has faced. Whether it’s injuries or call-ups, they’ve had upwards of five-plus players in their lineup on professional tryouts — sometimes that number is higher!

Honourable mention cheer to Cory Hergott for providing excellent coverage of the Utica Comets. Truly, we are spoiled to have him as a part of CanucksArmy.

Jeers to Benning’s appearance on the Hockey Night in Canada Broadcast, where he cited the club’s priority at the deadline as acquiring a big player who’s hard to play against and can make plays. Seriously, that’s what the Canucks are trying to do at the deadline? Even in the best-case scenario that it’s a hockey trade, how is that the priority? Especially when it means that the Canucks would have to part with some of the little skill they have to make that happen… or another draft pick.

This team should have one thing in mind at the deadline — selling assets. Get draft picks; get prospects. That should be the Canucks’ focus. Put as many bullets in the draft chamber as possible and let Benning do what he does best: scout.

Cheers to Zack MacEwen who has seven points in his last six games, and 27 points (eight goals and 19 assists) in 47 games in his rookie season with the Utica Comets. I have to admit; this signing didn’t strike me as a particularly good idea at the time the Canucks locked down the undrafted CHL free agent. It looks like I was wrong, though, not as wrong as Jeremy Davis.

Jeers to the circulating rumours that the Canucks are hard at work trying to work out a contract extension with pending unrestricted free agent defenceman Erik Gudbranson. According to the most respectable insiders, it’s looking like they’ll work out a three-year deal valued at just north of $4-million annually. There is just no way Gudbranson is worth that kind of money — not even close. This would be an absolute disaster for the Canucks.

Update:

The Canucks signed Erik Gudbranson to a three-year deal at $4-million annually this morning.

  • Cageyvet

    I didn’t read Benning’s comments on acquiring a player at the deadline as having to be a veteran, or unskilled. In fact, I’d like to fill every position with a player who is “hard to play against and makes plays”. Sounds like Canadian hockey to me, if you could get a forward who fit that description for Hutton, sign me up, especially if that player is 23 or younger.

    • TD

      Cageyvet, don’t fill in Benning comments to make sense. At CA, you MUST always put the worst spin possible on everything Benning says or does. You are going to lose your secret decoder ring if you keep this up.

      • tyhee

        If you disagree with Burke’s position, it is helpful to see a rational argument why and not at all helpful to see a snide comment about negativity with no details.

        What specifically in this article do you disagree with and why?

  • Locust

    Jd, you should teach passive aggressive writing, you are the best and have taught the groupies here well.
    Why dont you just save everyone the pain of reading multiple articles by just cut and pasting Canucks Suck a hundred times for each article. Like, why are you even here?

  • Jack Sparrow

    I enjoy reading JD whinge about the Canucks like I enjoy reading Baggedmilk sour on the Coilers. Who says negativity can’t be uplifting?
    Turn a phrase or two just the right way and you’ll be the next Tony Gallagher JD. You’ve pretty much followed Gollum’s method of melodramatic criticism mixed with a few convenient supporting facts, twisted just the right way to support the “obvious truth” of it all. Tony made a living at it, you will too.
    The trouble with the rants JD is it gets old. Good bye TSN 1040, hello Sportsnet 650. You have so much more potential JD……..Hello Nucks Misconduct.