Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

CanucksArmy Roundtable: Setting Expectations

It’s the quiet before the storm; the Friday before a Monday NHL trade deadline. Trades are starting to come together, some with more ease than others — I’m looking at you, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators and… Vegas Golden Knights?

One has to think that if and when this trade comes together, it will be the final push on the levy and a flood of movement will follow. The real question is: to what extent will the Canucks be a part of that surge? Right now, it’s hard to say.

The Canucks locked up their premier trade asset in Erik Gudbranson, which leaves Thomas Vanek as their biggest bullet in the deadline chamber. All that’s left is to pull the trigger. But then what? The Canucks don’t have a lot of rental options outside of Vanek, but the likes of Ben Hutton and Anders Nilsson have worked their way in and out of the rumour mill all the same.

There’s no telling which way the Canucks will go. The results in each of Canucks general manager Jim Benning’s three trade deadlines are varied. So, with that, I’ve left it to the CanucksArmy staff to determine what constitutes a successful trade deadline.


They come away with as many draft picks as they have going in.

Catherine Silverman

They do as little as is humanly possible.

Cory Hergott

I think at the very least, Vanek has to be moved for an asset/assets. It would be nice to see the team do something to address the untenable situation on the blue-line as well. It would be cool to see them pull off a trade that nobody is talking about and have it actually work out for the team. As a Comets guy, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing some help brought in for Utica that can stick around beyond this season.

Jeremy Davis

I don’t care.


Draft picks are always nice, maybe moving Loui Eriksson, draft picks are always nice and maybe a foundational player no one saw coming and we they steal the day. Realistically, draft picks are nice.

Darryl Keeping

Unfortunately, the Canucks veterans will be incredibly difficult to move at the trade deadline for multiple reasons:

Brandon Sutter, 29, the $4,375,000 possession anchor signed until 2020-21. When Sutter is ‘shutting down’ opposing teams top players without the assistance of Chris Tanev, his CF% is 41.37, tough sell. Oh, and he has a no-trade clause.

Loui Eriksson, 32, good player, not worth anywhere near $6,000,000 per until 2021-22. A Catastrophic evaluation of talent by management.

Alex Edler, 31, playing well but has the no movement clause which he earned for his years of service for this team. I wish he’d waive because I think he could still contribute on a contending team with a reduced role. However, if he wants to stay, he’s earned that right and that’s fine by me.

Chris Tanev, 28, by far the Canucks most attractive asset is injured and it sounds like it could be long-term. On top of that, I’m not sure Jim Benning should consider trading Tanev. If the Canucks were to trade Tanev that would leave the right side defenders lacking depth. Essentially, leaving it up to Troy Stecher to usher Olli Juolevi into the NHL next season which would be asking for too much, too soon from both players.

Then we have Thomas Vanek, 32, $2,000,000, unrestricted free agent after this season who currently has 40 points in 60 games. The state of team, his age, his production, his contract, this situation screams ‘trade me!” to the highest bidder and that’s exactly what Benning should do.

I’ll consider the trade deadline a success if Vanek is recycled for a pick or prospect and the Canucks chance at Rasmus Dahlin isn’t traded for Tyson Barrie.

Jackson McDonald

They already re-signed Erik Gudbranson so the only way it could possibly get worse is if they don’t move out Thomas Vanek and decide to extend him, too. So obviously, that’s exactly what will happen.

Vanessa Jang

Acquire draft picks and/or young players. Not young-to-middle aged, 24-ish players – I’m talking about 18-21 year-olds. I don’t see a purpose to the rumours that they’re searching for middle-aged players (Bjugstad, Namestnikov, etc) because they will be past their prime by the time the Canucks are competitive again. I want to see Linden and Benning stay true to their word when they say the only way through the mess is to “build through the draft”. They’ve failed to do the very thing they’re preaching and I’m curious to see if it’ll be the same old story once again.

Specifically, with trades, I’d like to see the Canucks trade Vanek at the bare minimum. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy and I think he’s had a great season, but he could always re-sign with the Canucks in the off-season if he wants to be back. If Linden and Benning are confident that they can re-sign him, why not acquire some assets and then negotiate when the season is over?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    If only CA had a level 4 wizard on staff. Then they could use a banishment spell on Jim Benning. Or maybe they could polymorph him into Lou Lamoriello.

    • marcin

      That would be awesome if we would have Lu. did anyone actually listen to Jim Benning and Lindens press conference what they said was were all about drafting and developing and then like3 days later they go resign Gudbranson ( who is at best and 3rd pairing defenceman yes he was a third overall pick but eight freaking years ago what have you done for me lately) when you could get draft picksthat’s completely contradictory. Out of all the 31 teams in the NHL Jim Benning and Trevor Linden never actually tell the truth and I’m sick of it if I ask them 10 questions Will be lucky if they answer truthfully once. Superstars wins cups Crosby Malkin kessel Kane taves Keith kopitar doughty quick U only get these players by drafting Them so get as many picks as you can it’s not rocket science

  • Cageyvet

    Thanks for a quality response Vanessa, Cory and Always90Four. The rest pretty much avoid any substance and/or take the opportunity to take a shot at the team’s management.

    Sometimes I wonder why so many actual fans come here, then I realize that it’s the only thing keeping it going. If the journalism was better, fewer would jump ship.

    To the rest of the CA respondents above, this was your chance to outline exactly “what constitutes a successful trade deadline” as asked by JD.

    It was your chance to put your money where your mouth was, comment in advance, and tell us who you’d move and what would be a fair return. You passed on any meaningful plan, and avoided the task in front of Jim Benning. His actions or inactions will undoubtedly be subjected to your intense scrutiny, but you’ve sure dodged that bullet, haven’t you?

  • neal

    Vanessa is bang on and speaks for most of the Canucks fans. Fans that won’t be there if they keep players over thirty. Utmost respect for the Sedins.Time for them to retire with dignity. Hire them to the front office.

  • Dan-gles

    Good thread. Guddy signing was to save face. Has to be!?… We have vanek to offer and that’s about it. Everything else we would be selling low on for reasons mentioned above. I would see about Hutton and take a b prospect, or a 2nd or better. Everyone in free agency has warts but Hutton is replaceable even by someone with warts. Go hard on college free agent dmen. Double down on the stecher maneuver. Try to offload some fizzling prospects as throwins for picks if possible.

    • Super Pest

      Agreed. However, I get it. It gets depressing. Year 3 of the dumpster fire and, you hope for more. Trade Deadline did look promising. Sigh. I’ll repeat it again: only Demko can effect change next year. Look at Boeser. But what’s it done for the standings? Petterson can come in and score 20 or 30, but the impact can never be what Demko’s could be. He is my only hope for 2018/19. Otherwise? Buckle up, LinBennings. Here comes Year 4 of bottom five.

        • Giant-Nation

          I agree keep Demko away from this team for one more year. I’m not a big fan of Peterson sp playing in NHL never year either – the Ahl would give him a year to adjust to smaller Ice Andy heavier game, I think JB makes a move at the deadline will Ben a fun to watch!

          • Ser Jaime Lannister

            Agreed on Pettersson , That scout said hes still ironing out some defensive deficiencies playing C. Dont even bother bringing up as a winger, we drafted him as a centre and desperately need him to become that. Spend year in Utica getting stronger and learning on NA ice.

    • Puck Viking

      He doesnt care because why should he? This management group is destroying the team. I wont even go to a game for free anymore because I do not support the direction of the team.

      • El Kabong

        I don’t think its too big an ask that the people who covers the team at least like the team. Why would I ever care what somebody who is completely indifferent says about the team they are covering. Can you imagine a writer covering the Leaves with the same attitude, wouldn’t fly there so why should it here.

  • Kootenaydude

    Pretty disappointed by the replies of the Canucks Army staff. You quickly pounce on any mistake made by a GM, but fail when asked to make any kind of decision for the team. How about a little creativity? Having a decent response would have given the staff a little credibility. I’m sure we will hear what they would have done…. after the trade deadline.

  • jaybird43

    I’m disappointed in how three of the panel choose to answer the question (or not), in some cases taking gratuitous shots at management. Within the confines of “it’s only sports”, I found their responses disappointing, especially Jeremy’s.