Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

CanucksArmy Monday Mailbag: Trade Deadline Edition – Part Deux

Yeah, I think that’s a fair assessment of yesterday’s trade deadline in a lot of ways. That said, I thought the Canucks did a good job of taking advantage of the Vegas Golden Knights roster crunch to land Brendan Leipsic. That was a damn good move — credit where credit is due.

I’m going to answer this question under the assumption that the alternative to signing these players is letting them walk in free agency.

With that, here’s my list: Sven Baertschi, Markus Granlund, Jake Virtanen, Darren Archibald, Troy Stecher, Derrick Pouliot, Reid Boucher, Ashton Sautner

Players that I’m not as certain about: Nic Dowd, Cole Cassels, Alex Biega, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin

I have no clue. It’s one thing when it’s a Brendan Leipsic, Derrick Pouliot or Sven Baertschi — players with some semblance of upside. It’s another entirely when the best-case scenario is a replacement level player that they can find in free agency for the veteran minimum every off-season — Tyler Motte, I’m looking at you.

Maybe they’re just the tiniest bit better off because of the Leipsic acquisition, but as always, it’s not even close to enough. The future isn’t all that much brighter after yesterday in Vancouver; it is in almost every other rebuilding team’s market.


The Canucks just took on Jussi Jokinen’s salary to make the trade with Columbus easier from a financial perspective. There’s nothing more to it.

I can’t say there’s much faith left to shake at this point.

This is a great question, so my thanks for asking it!

Here’s something I always try to preach: plus/minus isn’t flawed, it’s completely useless. That said,  Ashton Sautner has a 64% goals for and a plus-13 goal differential, which is great in its own right. That said, there just isn’t a lot of information available to us from the AHL, so we have to be careful how much we read into that number.

Are the Comets outscoring their opponents to such an extent because Sautner is just that dominant? Or is he the beneficiary of favourable on-ice shooting and save percentages? Is it perhaps a bit of both? Without being able to see his shot shares and where the shots are coming from for and against with him on the ice, it’s tough to say.

We’re dealing with a 50 game sample for one of the rarest on-ice events in hockey. There might be some value in that information, but not enough to satisfy me. That said, Sautner’s having a great season by all accounts — I’m not trying to cast aspersions on that.

There isn’t a tonne of certainty about who should be the third overall pick, so it’s hard to say what is or isn’t on or off the board. I doubt the Canucks trade the third overall pick if they landed there just because they still desperately need high-end talent.


The Canucks would be lucky to get ten goals out of Motte next season.

Well, in fairness, the Canucks did accidentally get an extra second-round pick last year for the Columbus Blue Jackets hiring John Tortorella as their head coach.

It can’t be that far off in the distance if this keeps up.

Use a printed out copy of the letter Canucks president Trevor Linden sent to the fans about two weeks ago.

I fear that’s a significant part of the equation, yes.

Sidenote, I don’t think anyone should call Benning by the name of “Jimbo”. I just don’t think it’s terribly respectful. Say what you will about the direction of the team, he’s a salt of the earth type of a guy and deserves to be treated as such on a personal level.

I tend to think that, in general, people overestimate Nikita Tryamkin in his time with the Canucks. All I ever saw was a fourth or fifth defenceman, and until he learns how to make an outlet pass, that’ll never change. That said, he’s having a great year in the KHL, so maybe there’s more there.

Probably not.

I’ll answer this two different ways. The best rebuilding team’s move was the Detroit Red Wings getting a first, second and third round pick for Tomas Tatar. That’s a massive win for Red Wings general manager Ken Holland. The best contending team’s move was the Tampa Bay Lightning getting J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh; I don’t see any weaknesses on this team now, and I can’t see anyone beating them for the Stanley Cup.

I don’t have a damn clue.

The Tampa Bay Lightning.

I’ll admit, it gets difficult. I desperately want to see a team that’s doing well. I’m not a fan anymore, but I want nothing more than to see this team bring a Stanley Cup to Vancouver so all the people in my life who I love and care about can take in that experience — this city deserves it!

There’s a lot to write about, certainly, but at some point I’d like to write about the team in a more positive light. I have a hard time seeing that play out anywhere near as often as I’d like, and it sucks. I can only say so much about Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat, then the reality sets in that this team is destined for its third bottom-three finish and doesn’t have that bright of a future ahead of it.

Defence is one of the more difficult positions to project, so it’s hard to say. I think a player’s vision matters a lot for finding a power play quarterback. I think that’s why Olli Juolevi will be effective at the NHL level on the power play, even if he’s not prolific or doesn’t have the best shot.

It’s possible.

The Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault era of Canucks hockey sure was fun.

Consider Troy Stecher is fifth in points on the Canucks blue line, I have a hard time seeing him lead them in points by season’s end.

Yes, at the conclusion of his NCAA season.

He better crack the lineup next year. And I think he has the ability.

To your first question: yes. To your second question: I don’t know.

They’re not even remotely similar players. Look at their first two years, and you’ll find that Adam Gaudette’s production is way higher than Motte’s. I think people underrate what Gaudette is most likely to be as a Canuck, but perhaps overrate Motte’s likelihood of even being a surefire NHL’er.

Petrus Palmu.

I’m not sure the Canucks ever strayed from that plan.

I’ve got nothing.

You have to have the puck in the offensive zone to put up points, and that’s not something the Canucks have proven to be terribly good at this season. That, and I think people overestimate Ben Hutton’s offensive capabilities.

I think one could make a case for Filip Zadina at second-overall.

It probably makes the Canucks about the same team they’ve been for the last three-to-four years.

Keep ’em coming!

The Canucks might have to move someone with all the incoming bodies.

Of course Benning cares about the Comets. They’re just always going to be his secondary concern to the Canucks. If Comets fans are going crazy, I hope it’s because they’re thrilled with how their team has played this season through intense adversity.

I think that’s a fair point and just speaks to the struggles this team has with communicating their vision, whatever it is, to this fan base. This team is lacking a clear direction, and that reflects in the way they sell it to their fan base.

  • argoleas

    With Tanev’s injury being possibly for the rest of the season, Hutton will get a chance to play regularly. If he incorporates any of the lessons that Green wanted him to learn and looks good, then his trade value over the summer will go up, assuming Canucks will want to part ways in favor of Joulevi.

    • Killer Marmot

      If Hutton incorporates the lessons that Green wants him to learn then the Canucks shouldn’t trade him. He’s talented enough. He’s just — apparently — not terribly coachable.

      Let Del Zotto sacrifice his spot for Juolevi.

      • argoleas

        Agree 10^googol. IMO, next yr D lineup on a rebuilding team should be:


        Need Elder for some veteran mentorship and Guddy is not tradeable.

  • I can’t see much change happening outside of the draft until Benning’s draft picks get into the line-up and start producing. At that point, we can see players like Baertschi, Granlund, and Sutter getting moved (gasp, for draft picks?). I have zero interest in watching the Canucks get slaughtered on a nightly basis with bottom-of-the-barrel UFA’s like Shore, Megna, Chaput, Skille, Bartkowski or waiver-wire rejects like Cramarossa or Laplante in the line-up. Yeah, I’m going out on a limb to say that the people who put down $2,000 for a season ticket aren’t interested either.

    • Dirty30

      And yet someone is still buying season tickets … and that may be the only way to choke some sense into this organization… when there’s more players on the ice than fans in the seats then management may wake up!

  • apr

    I think its a little bit nuts that everyone is freaking out about not getting enough draft picks for the upcoming draft. Jim can probably draft his 2nd for a later 2nd and a 4th. Tanev trade where there are more teams. 2nd overall for 6th overall and 3rd rounder. There are so many things that can happen up to and during the draft that coalesce with his “draft picks are currency” line.

    The reality is that no one wanted Vanek; Tanev and Granlund are hurt; and the market for Dowd, Biega, Boucher is non existent. Morrow and Reilly, who have a little more cache than Hutton went for 4th and 5ths. Who would want to take on Hutton, his healthy scratches, and his $2.8 salary? Sutter, and Edler, Sedins, Erickson have NMCs. You just signed Guddy. You’re not trading Bo, Boeser; TDL is not a time when you trade Pouliot, Stecher, JV, or top prospect for picks/prospects as playoff teams are not looking for that – you do that at draft. Nilsson sucks. Maybe Baer gets you a first, second, and third if you get an early jump on the edible cannabis; I am sure teams are lining up to trade for him as a RFA and wanting a long term contract starting at $3 mil and 3 years.

    The right move was to not sign Benning; wait for Holland (you see how many draft picks Detroit has accumulated?); and trade Gudbrandson for a couple of picks; but all of this should have been done a few weeks ago. Given they made those decisions, I really don’t see what else they could have done in the deadline.

      • apr

        You really think that Tanev is as valuable as McDonagh? It would have been even worse if Benning did trade Tanev for a lower bounty than McDonagh. This market and media lost their minds when Nash went for so much more than Vanek; but McKenize, Button, Dreger et al basically said that no team wanted Vanek.

  • wojohowitz

    Vegas defencemen have 143 points from their top seven while the Canucks have 90 points from theirs. I did notice that Vegas moves up and down the ice as five man units. On the Canucks is it lack of talent or just bad coaching?

    I`m not seeing a positive influence from the twins. Re-signing them and finish 28th again makes no sense. Better leadership is available at a much cheaper price. What we saw from Vanek this past few months had a very positive effect on the young guys.

  • Killer Marmot

    It’s one thing when it’s a Brendan Leipsic, Derrick Pouliot or Sven Baertschi — players with some semblance of upside. It’s another entirely when the best-case scenario is a replacement level player that they can find in free agency for the veteran minimum every off-season — Tyler Motte, I’m looking at you.

    A few facts about Motte:

    1. In 2015-2106, he had the fourth most points in the NCAA in arguably the best university hockey program anywhere — Michigan.

    2. In the fall of 2016, Peter Harling of The Hockey Writers had Motte as the Blackhawk’s second best prospect.

    Obviously things have not worked out so well since, but it means Motte is a more interesting reclamation project than some think.

  • fretallack

    JD you talk about how every rebuilding team has a brighter future now, but man we’re there some big sacrifices of the present this year! NYR and St Louis, backing out of playoff aspirations. Detroit traded one of their best young players – someone that could have part of their rebuild. Big sacrifices indeed.

    • canuckfan

      This is one of those years that if you were in a fight for a playoff spot you made a decision of lets see what could happen in the playoffs or see how we do in the lottery. St Louis and NYR have made the playoffs last couple years and fizzled out either get older and go down the road like the Canucks did and hit rock bottom or see value in trading assets and moving in younger faster players. Better chances of winning the lottery than the Cup so they took the path to getting first overall.

        • Killer Marmot

          This site, for some reason, puts up with your crap, but don’t call the Sedins “the sisters.”

          Anyone who has played at the highest level of NHL hockey for 17 years, and done so with dignity and grace, is ten times the man you are on your best days.

        • truthseeker

          Those sisters are tougher than ANY player on whatever team you like. In fact I’d say the Sedins are two of the toughest most durable players in NHL history. Henrik especially.

          So go ahead…make your boring sister comment that you weren’t intelligent or creative enough to think up yourself. Any player on your team play over 700 consecutive NHL games? Yeah….they didn’t.

  • Fred-65

    Without doubt the best question from todays mail box is

    When do we get to start calling Trevor Linden our Kevin Lowe? Now, or a year from now?

    I keep asking myself how does this guy survive. Just like players he’s supposed to bring his best day in day out and then you listen to him being interviewed, he’s like an advertisement for Nothing Burgers