Canucks’ Deadline Moves Are Symptomatic of an Organization That Lacks Direction

The Vancouver Canucks are a ship without a rudder; lost at sea, drifting aimlessly in the wind, and captained by a man who prays to God the ship washes up on the shores of friendly territory.

What other conclusions could you possibly come to after analyzing the organization’s moves over the last week?

First, the Canucks locked up a bottom-pairing defenceman in Erik Gudbranson to a three-year deal that will pay him 12 million dollars and expire as he’s nearing 30-years-old. This had a two-pronged effect. Not only did they attach more money and term to a sunk cost, but they also kissed their best tradeable asset at this year’s deadline goodbye.

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With Gudbranson off the market, that meant the team’s most valuable trade chip became Thomas Vanek. Vanek went to Florida for a pick last season, and many fans had hoped the Canucks could fetch a similar return to the one Detroit managed just one year ago.

Instead, they ended up with Tyler Motte and a negative value asset in Jussi Jokinen. Depending on how you look at it, that’s either an indictment of the team’s negotiating skills or of the talent they’ve brought in over the past few seasons.

They also acquired Brendan Leipsic in what could be described as a great deal in a vacuum, but one that really does nothing to move the needle for them in the big picture.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with taking bets on Leipsic and Motte. One could even argue Leipsic is precisely the type of bet worth taking for a team that is ostensibly rebuilding.

But when you take a big picture outlook, there are a couple of problems.

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The Canucks, by even the most generous predictions, need at least another two seasons before they’ll look like a team that can win a playoff round.

Leipsic will be 24 this May. Motte is a stone’s throw away from turning 23. Both players will require waivers at some point next season. They aren’t a few years away. They were acquired to help the team in the here and now, and if they aren’t contributing next season.

By any reasonable measure, the ceiling on Motte and Leipsic is a pair of middle-six wingers. They’ll be approaching 26 and 27 respectively by the time the team is competitive, and again, that’s being generous.

26 and 27-year-old players aren’t cost-controlled. They get paid, which means that the most significant potential value these players have will have been squandered by the time the team enters their competitive window. This is just one of the reasons many in this market would have preferred to see the team go after picks: not only would a potential future NHL’er from the 2018 draft be peaking at around the same time as players like Elias Pettersson and Olli Juolevi, they’d also still be on entry-level contracts or second contracts.

There’s also the question of upside. It’s undeniable that players like Motte on average have a better chance of turning out than your average mid-to-late round pick. But to borrow an analogy from Jason Hamilton, these players are like Scratch & Win tickets, whereas draft picks are like playing the Powerball. A Scratch & Win may pay out more often, but that’s because you’re usually getting $5 or another free ticket when you win. Your chances of winning the Powerball are much lower, but if you get lucky enough, you can become a multi-millionaire overnight. (Or, in hockey terms, you can land the next Johnny Gaudreau or Jamie Benn.)

The Canucks should be targeting draft picks for a myriad of reasons, many of which have been discussed at length by CanucksArmy in the past. The refrain that Jim Benning is supposedly a master at the draft table but doesn’t seem to like draft picks has been expressed ad nauseam in this market, but it bears repeating. The Canucks’ best asset is their amateur scouting, their pro scouting has been spotty at best; and in almost every draft, at least one bonafide cornerstone player slips through the cracks into the late rounds. The more picks you have, the better your chance of landing that player. Sure, there’s a greater chance your fifth round pick doesn’t even turn into Motte, but rebuilding teams don’t get anywhere by being conservative. At some point, you have to swing for the fences.

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That’s assuming picks were ever on the table, though. And if you believe the Canucks, that wasn’t the case. The statements made by management after the deadline passed were clear as day: the team wasn’t offered a draft pick for Vanek. Given the talking points Linden and Benning had stuck to leading up to the deadline, it’s entirely believable. The message seemed to be that the team wasn’t going to be aggressively shopping any pieces, and would instead be taking calls and listening to offers. Therein lies the problem: you’re allowed to ask for things. That’s how negotiations work. It’s not unreasonable to suggest the team could have had a better return for Vanek if they had been more aggressive in targeting that return.

What’s equally possible is that the Canucks track record with trades under the Benning-Linden regime has undermined their efforts at the negotiating table.

From the most recent edition of Jason Botchford’s Provies:

This was Benning last week:

“We want to do hockey trades. We have some UFAs to see if there’s interest in them and the point I was trying to make is there a hockey trade to be made for somebody with size and strength, who can play in our top nine.”

OK, fair enough.

But consider this question:

If Benning announces to the NHL the Canucks are looking for hockey trades, why the hell would any team offer a draft pick?

Take CBJ.

If you show your cards and say you want hockey trades, and CBJ knows you have a history of taking 22-23 year old players, of course they’re going to play hardball with this knowledge.

Of course they’re going to say, here’s the player, take him or leave him.

And if you really want him, you have to take Jussi too.

The return on the Vanek deal looks even worse when you consider the team’s messaging after their deadline debacle two years ago. Wasn’t the whole point of refusing to take a lukewarm return on Dan Hamhuis so that the team wouldn’t get lowballed in the future?

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At this point, it’s fair to ask: what the hell is this team’s plan? There’s mounting evidence to suggest it’s to continue to try and be competitive in the short-term. Signing Loui Eriksson; re-signing Gudbranson. And now, trading your best chip for a plug-and-play AHL/NHL tweener and the corpse of Jussi Jokinen.

Take an honest look at the moves the team has made over the past four years. Sure, the drafting has been good, but there are far more moves that say “we’re trying to compete now” than “we’re building for the future.” That should be a big red flag at this stage. The Canucks are en route to their third straight bottom-five finish — any attempts to stay competitive have been an abject failure.

In a vacuum, many of the moves the Canucks have made in recent memory are entirely defensible. Acquiring players like Motte and failing to target draft picks in trades won’t make or break anybody. But when a team has spent three seasons in the toilet, they have to do better than a handful of reclamation projects. The constant emphasis put on these types of assets isn’t the root of their problems, but it’s symptomatic of a larger issue: the Canucks don’t seem to know what their long-term goal is.

They have players coming. Pettersson looks to be the real deal. Juolevi could be a cornerstone in the team’s top four for years to come. Kole Lind, Jonathan Dahlen, and Adam Gaudette could form the nucleus of an effective middle-six group. Only time will tell.

A rudderless ship that hasn’t set a course can still wash up somewhere beautiful.

But it’s far more likely it sinks long before the crew can even see land.

  • Killer Marmot

    This is overblown. I think people are taking their frustration over the last few seasons out on this one event, and it doesn’t warrant it.

    Coming up to the deadline, everyone knew that the rent-a-player market was going to be anemic. Benning can not force other teams into trades, so he took what he could get. It’s disappointing, but there obviously was not a big demand for Vanek, and there would have been even less demand for Gudbranson.

    • LAKID

      Come on the Nuk’s didn’t have anything to trade after they signed Gudbranson to a 3 year deal @$4million. Do you think Mary-Kate and Ashley get that contract from Benning? I think it will be close.

    • Jackson McDonald

      In a sense, I agree with you. But that’s part of what I’m getting at. People aren’t just reacting to the deadline. They’re also reacting to every other move that led up to it. They’re reacting to what the move seems to indicate about the organization’s plan. I think for a lot of people, every perceived misstep becomes a part of a tapestry of ineptitude

      • Killer Marmot

        If you listed all of Benning’s dealings over the last year or so, most of them were either good or defensible. I thought he overpaid for Gudbranson, and I’m not a Sam Gagner fan (although I know it was part of a successful attempt to bolster the power play), but those were the only things I’d like a do-over on.

      • Super Pest

        You’re not alone Jackson. And here’s the real reason I died as a fan of the regime: Mr. Benning admitted to a change in direction last trade deadline when two favourites were traded. THAT was the moment fans believed the rebuild was officially on. The old guard had been given another opportunity to ride into the playoff sunset… and failed. Goldobin and Dahlen became the poster boys for “we are officially rebuilding.” Out with the old and in with the new… including a new coach for our youth. Then? Gagner, DJ MDZ, and Vanek signed. WTF? No worries. We can trade Vanek and Gudbranson, right? Well… let’s resign EG and sit younger d-men. Let’s have Virtanen become 10-Minute Jake. Goldobin? Boucher? Holm?

        What seemed promising a year ago had become the “Retool on the Fly” Part II.

        Next? Wait for it: Evander Kane 7×7

        • Chris the Curmudgeon

          I think that’s a really good point, and speaks well to the “rudderless” theme. We kept hearing how the fans won’t buy into the rebuild (false, but ok). Then, they signal that, OK, the rebuild is on, and fans are annoyed if only because we’ve watched the team sputter under the “quick turnaround” when we should have been rebuilding. And then, after shipping out some favorites and rekindling hope of a youth movement, we’re back to veteran contracts and reclamation projects instead of draft picks.

      • Cageyvet

        A tapestry of ineptitude……sounds like the tag line for CA’s brand of journalism. I heard actual professionals on the radio today discussing the media who cover the Canucks needing to be fair, balanced and accountable in their coverage. This site rarely hits the mark on any of those traits, much less all three. Once again, a “how can you arrive at any other conclusion” article instead of an “in my opinion” article. There’s two sides to every story (some would say three), unless it’s printed here.

    • harmbasi

      This. This site really likes to get people riled up. They intentionally troll people with their articles. They really seem to hate Benning and Linden, so they will keep posting negative articles no matter what the topic is as long as they get to bash the leadership.

      • tyhee

        When the team management says year after year that their goal is to make the playoffs every year, then proceeds to finish near the bottom for three years running, negative articles are inevitable. The performance of management outside of the draft is dismal and inside the draft better, but how much better remains to be seen in the future.

        I really have a tough time understanding all the management defenders who are surprised that after years of worse than mediocre results and trades and signings that were predicted to turn out badly largely turning out badly (yes, there are some exceptions) that a blog that exists for analysis makes negative comments.

        Are they supposed to write articles about how great it is that the Canucks couldn’t get a pick at the deadline, about how great it is that the Canucks signed Eriksson, about how great it is to see empty seats and how great it is to lose while clearly trying to win immediately?

  • Jamie E

    Rudderless or moving in a direction you disagree with? Benning has consistently demonstrated that he likes betting on existing prospects that are undervalued by the teams that picked them. One could even postulate that in a league where GMs are obsessed with the value of draft picks that players like Motte and Leipsic represent a market inefficiency worth exploiting.

    • Jamie E

      Let’s take the example of Canucks Army darling Jonathan Marchessault. He is 27 years old. He didn’t have have his breakthrough season until he was 25 turning 26 in Florida. Was Florida a directionless franchise because they took a a chance on him at that age?

      • NucksLifer

        I totally agree.

        Marchessault is a perfect example for the question I raised in my previous comment. What is the percentage chance that Motte, who obviously has some skill (was ranked as Chicago’s 8th best prospect a year or so ago) turns into a “Marchessault” versus the chance that a 2018 4th or 5th round pick turns into a “Marchessault” (with the Canucks)?

        (Leaving out the fact that the Canucks were, as far as any of us know, unable to secure a 4th or a 5th)

        In the circumstances, it seems to me that Benning pivoted at the last minute and got what he could – more than nothing.

      • Jamie E

        But of course, CA has a model that says forwards are washed up by the time they are 24 even though Henrik Sedin had his best statistical season by far when he was 29 and Daniel Sedin had his best statistical season by far when he was 30. Indeed, Daniel and Henrik didn’t really produce “at a first line rate” until they were 25.

      • NucksLifer

        This Blackhawks blog listed Motte as their #8 prospect in September 2016 – https://www.secondcityhockey.com/2016/9/23/13030878/chicago-blackhawks-top-prospect-rankings-list-tiers-nick-schmaltz-gustav-forsling

        They put Motte in the third tier with Hinostroza (currently playing on the Hawks’ first line with Toews and Saad), Hartman (just traded for a 1st round pick, a 4th round pick and a good prospect…in other words the proverbial CA orgasm) and Pokka (since traded to the Sens – hasn’t panned out yet).

        Of course, chances are that Motte won’t break out like Hinostroza or Hartman, but can anyone really argue that this was a bad bet by Benning given the alternatives?

          • Cageyvet

            Totally agree with truthseeker, Jamie E and the “lifers” aren’t blinded by stats or a negative bias, and aren’t looking through rose-coloured glasses either. Nobody is saying these moves are game changers, but the backlash is so out of line it’s crazy. For those of you buying into it, please take the time to respond to their extremely valid points against the CA stat-lines and the negativity fueled by certain media members and trolls.

            Don’t take a chance on any of these guys? Wasn’t this the same site who advocated signing every waiver wire player 2 years ago? Isn’t this the same franchise who built the West Coast Express from exactly this type of player? Thankfully their posts are being given many cheers, I was beginning to think real hockey fans in this city were a dying breed.

  • Fred-65

    I guess the acid test is compare the team and roster now with the team/roster management inherited is there a measurable or perceptible change. I think we all know the answer, what clouds the situation is tomorrow …. it’s going to be great …always tomorrow, forget now, forget the current success ( or lack of ) and focus on tomorrow.

    • Jamie E

      Of course not, especially given the fact that CA wanted Vanek traded at ALL COSTS because he is an expiring contract. They are just pouty that actual GMs didn’t agree with the trade they had made for Vanek in their own imaginations.

      • Jamie E

        Oops. Should have been posted after NucksLifer’s comment ending in “but can anyone really argue that this was a bad bet by Benning given the alternatives?”

  • Holly Wood

    30 other NHL organizations disagree with your assessment that Thomas Vanek was a valuable trade asset. He performed well above expectations here this season but the other GM’s didn’t feel that was enough to give up anything. To get Motte and see what he may do is not as much of a crap shoot as say a 6th or 7th round pick.

      • Killer Marmot

        Holm will become a restricted free agent this summer. The Golden Knights have the right to match any counter offers, which tend to be very rare anyway.

        Vanek will become an unrestricted free agent, and Columbus will have no advantage over any other club in signing him.

        That may be why the Canucks got more for Holm.

  • Dozer

    The thing that bothered me most was when he tried to explain that he didn’t get a draft pick because none were offered. It makes him sound passive and whiny in my opinion.

  • NucksLifer

    I’ve been lurking on this site for a while and generally appreciate the thought that goes into the articles. This article was the straw that finally drove me to sign up to post.

    I feel like the group-think at CA is negatively affecting the product. We all get that you don’t agree with what Benning is doing but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a plan or, quite frankly, that the CA plan would be an improvement (or even possible, in some respects). The trade deadline debate is an object example.

    Jackson suggests that “its not unreasonable to suggest the team could have had a better return for Vanek if they have been more aggressive in targeting that return.” The fact is that none of us, including Jackson, know how “aggressive” the Canucks now. What we DO know is that Benning has since said that they wanted picks but failed to secure a deal for picks. Why on God’s green earth would Benning admit to such a failure if he didn’t actually try very hard to get a pick? Why wouldn’t he just say – “We think reclamation projects are just as good as lower picks?”. You, and the other writers on this site, so frequently invent facts and impute motivations with little or no support.

    There are other obvious logical flaws in the piece but nobody wants to read a rambling comment. I’ll just pose one question: has anyone at CA attempted to assess the percentage chance that a young reclamation project like Motte (with a decent resume) becomes an impact player and compare it the percentage chance of a 5th rounder becoming one?

    (bonus question: what is the chance that Motte or Leipsic perform so well in the next year that they can be traded for something better than a 5th rounder at next years’ deadline?)

    • tru north

      Wow! Thank you for expressing what I believe a lot of the readership here feel. We get that CA writers disagree with the majority of Canucks management moves and ‘plan’ … we take offense at being told over and over that it’s WRONG, doesn’t exist and that the CA way is WITHOUT DOUBT better and the only way! It’s even worse when we think about how little real information CA has about the details of trade negotiations … opinions, best guesses or pipe dreams? For a website that prides itself on numbers, scientific methodology and measurable data this is debauched.

    • TD

      Welcome Nuckslifer! I seriously suspect the CA authors write to enflame the readers so that they feel compelled to post. CA is a business trying to make money. The more they rile up the readers, the more people post and then return to read and respond to comments. All that leads to more traffic on the site which attracts advertisers and allows CA to charge more for advertising space. I wouldn’t doubt that some of the authors also post under a variety of names to stir the flames. So well I’m saying welcome NucksLifer, I’m also saying you may have been had… Join the group.

    • Sharpshooter

      I think your bonus question is spot on, as both could be on expiring contracts next year, (provided they are not extended early) and Leipsic especially is the type of player that could be more valuable come playoff time.

  • TD

    Yawn, another article of the same, the management sucks and does not have a plan.

    Here’s an alternate theory. Bo and Boeser are top 6 forwards. Baertschi could also be considered a top 6 forward. If 3 of Petterson, Dahlen, Gaudette, Lind, Gadjovich and/or any of their other prospects now or in the next year or two also become top 6 forwards then the team has all they need.

    Bottom 6 players play a bit of a different role but are still important to a team. Do you think the Canucks can win the cup with Sutter, Archibald, Gagner, Gaunce, Granlund and the others as their bottom 6. Or should they look for better bottom 6 forwards that will make the team more competitive. Vanek has been a top 6 forward on most teams he has played for throughout his career. His reputation is as a productive one way scorer. He had no value at the deadline because he is not good enough to be on the top 6 of a competitive team and does not have the skill set to be effective in a bottom 6 role. If either Motte or Liepsic become a solid bottom 6 player that helps the Canucks win for the next 6-8 years, then this was a steal and an upgrade on the players they currently have in those roles.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      We’ll put you down in the “half full” column then. What do you have to say about signing a bottom pairing defensemen with amongst the worst metrics in the entire NHL to a 12 million $ deal. Just wondering how that fits your analysis.Also, Baertschi plays like a top 6 guy once in every 5 games. And not at all when he’s not on the Horvat line.

      • TD

        Yes half full is accurate, which is also half empty. I am not a fan of many of the moves that have been made by this GM, but also recognize that not everything is bad.

  • I am Ted

    Ah yes, the kids are allowed on their internet devices and are typing the words on this here blog. Awesome. Or not. Sure, Benning has a bunch of flaws but at least argue with facts. Your article is poorly organized and blurs fact and opinion over and over. Get a grip, man!

  • The_Blueline

    Please allow me a bit of a rant because I am so done with JB/TL. I am an adult man and I have not been so close to crying like last Monday. It was not these two particular moves (the problem is with all the deals JB/TL have made, in a vacuum you can defend them), but the realization that JB/TL has wasted 4 years of the Canucks, and essentially of my fan live.
    Aquilini gave JB the job because he promised to “turn this ship around in a hurry”. Now, if JB knew it would not work, he willfully destroyed our team for years. If he did not know it would not work, he was and is an unable GM.
    He has then traded away assets (vets and picks) for immediate help rather than futures to this day, only to end up in the bottom 5 three of four times, registering one of the worst records in the NHL over that span.
    Imagine now if JB/TL, as of summer 2014, traded Bieksa, Diaz Garrisson, Hamuis, Hansen, Higgens, Kassian, Kesler, Matthias, Richardson, maybe the Sedins (I admit, I do not know if I had been ready for that) and others for futures. It feels to me, all that’s left from that roster is Guddy, Sutter and Gaudette (who is the result of one of the few players for pick trade).
    Imagine if he did not trade away picks for struggling prospects. Imagine how the team and the prospect pool would look like now. And again, you can defend each trade in a vacuum. Fact is, most picks were wasted and the few successes (Bartschi, Pouliot) don’t make the difference now. These are the kind of players you add once you have a core of elite players (and I love both of them).
    There was sometime last year when JB/TL realized he actually has to rebuild. But since they repeatedly said the only way to get better is “through drafting and developing” they have not accumulated one additional pick.
    One week before TDL 2018, JB says he is looking for hockey trades. He does hockey trades. Then he complains about not getting any picks.
    JB/TL then go out to the media, saying they could not get more, one of the reasons being that they do not have the players that generate value in the market. JB/TL are responsible for all but 3 players on that roster. And ironically, these 3 (Sedins, Edler) are some with the best value.
    TL, pressured by the media, repeatedly says the “management team has worked really hard, tried their best”. This is a CAD 700million business. Trying hard is not enough.
    Instead of selling their players on high value for futures, they keep them (Tanev, Granlund). Also, instead of pushing the value by playing them in sheltered situations, they diminish the value by sitting them (Hutton). Boucher, for example, probably will not have a future. Why not, after his successful season in the AHL, give him 20 games before TDL to trade him for a pick? Even if it is a 6th rounder.
    I am not even going into the contracts handed out to Sutter, Guddy and Loui.
    In JB/TL’s tenure, the Canucks drafted the exact number of players allotted to them. For 2018 and 2019 (it will be in Vancouver!), they are one pick short. Other rebuilding teams (NYR, MOT, DET) are stockpiling picks. I am afraid, they are gonna overtake the Canucks.
    Lastly, JB has no vision that he trusts and continues to follow. Instead, he is behind each wave and makes decision based on one-time in-game events. JB trades gold away for Guddy; half a year later he says in today’s NHL we need puck moving D. Of course, after the Flow is hit once, he goes out saying we need to get tougher, signs Guddy for 3 years. After two years of meat/potato Boston model, and PIT winning two cups, he realizes that skill and speed is important (which at least results in a good 2017 draft). After the TDL 2018, he goes out to the media, admitting that he was surprised that D have trade value. THIS IS NO NEWS EVEN FOR ME.
    Now again, this is a rant of a disappointed fan, not an analysis of a hockey expert. You may pick apart my statements. You may argue that “trade X” or “signing Y” make sense. But that is not the point. If overall, you believe JB/TL have done an above average job in their tenure, I have doubts about your sanity.
    I have little to no trusts that JB/TL will improve, but hope dies last. At the moment, I am really really angry at them. But you know what? Angrier I am about myself. I am an adult man, I have a good job, a family, and I live a happy life in general. So why the f… do I care so much about this team? I don’t know…

    • Super Pest

      Blueline. You are emotional but correct. Imagine if the message had been clear like Toronto’s: “There will be pain.”
      You accept the course that’s set, just like the Rangers. This? I can’t stomach it. Even Keenan, whom I couldn’t stand, had purpose. (It hurt seeing Linden going, but are you going to argue the trade now?)

      If this is the plan, whatever it is, it isn’t working. Why are people content at three season’s of this? And why are the owners?

  • Jimjamg

    We can complain about management all we want but the real reason we can’t strip it down is that we do not have near enough young talent ready for the line-up and the young talent we do have is one or two years away. We should start to see improvement in this regard next year, but can you imagine if we had traded away all our vets and been left with 5 or 6 more Megna’s and Chaput’s in our lineup for multiple seasons? There would have been a revolt for sure, I know I would have. Don’t give me AHL plugs and call it a rebuild. Be patient with the youth we have so when they come into the lineup they are ready to help and don’t die on the vine. Losing with veterans or losing with AHL plugs makes little difference in the long run so let’s have a little bit of watchable hockey in the meantime (granted its few and far between).

      • DJ_44

        They do….constantly. they are forever saying we want to be patient…make sure the players are ready…..no rush them. That is how you rebuild. They adopt a patient approach…. They are building thru the draft… They appear to be constantly weighing trading young vets like Tanev B’s. The value he may bring in helping and teaching our d prospects/ younger players along…now and next year.

  • Holmes

    I think the problem with moving Vanek is that every GM knew they’d get chiseled for paying any type of premium for him. Canucks signed him – when it seemed like there was very little interest for him – with a pretty explicit intent to deal him at the deadline. So if you are are a rival GM, are you paying a third for a player you could have got for nothing other than a short-term deal?

      • liqueur des fenetres

        You can just as easily say that other teams didn’t want to risk signing him for fear that his tank was out of gas. But he redeemed himself with his performance so far this year. In fact, you could say that by letting him play the Canucks did the better teams a service by keeping a quality spare part in game shape. Clearly CBJ wanted him, they did a deal for him at the deadline, and schooled Benning again in the process by making him give up more than he got.

  • crofton

    ” Canucks’ Deadline Moves Are Symptomatic of an Organization That Lacks Direction” blares the headline! From that, it would be logical to expect an analysis of just how their direction, or lack of it, is symptomatic of…anything. Do the symptoms match up with other regimes, failed or otherwise? Show us just how it lacks direction, instead of just saying how you think it sucks.

    • #29JackMack

      Wow, I’ve been on this site for two years now and it’s really going downhill. Jackson and the rest of you so called writers, can you come up with something new to discuss? It’s like you all sit in a room and decide an angle then each of you write the same article about the same position two or three times. Yawn…boring, if you call yourselves writers, please get a little creative instead of this ongoing repetitive garbage. Interest in this site is gonna start to wane. Thanks gents!

      • liqueur des fenetres

        How about you suggest some timely topics. This trade deadline went against management’s most recent talking points, and that’s what the author is point out.

  • OMAR49

    It seems to me the real problem is the Media doesn’t agree with Canuck Management on how to do a rebuild. Benning and Linden made a big mistake by not assembling all the local media and getting them to approve their plans for a rebuild. On second thought it would probably be better if they left the entire rebuild up to the media. They obviously know best. Maybe we could have a weekly twitter poll to decide which player should be traded. That makes a lot of sense. Besides what do the owners and management know about hockey.

    • Rodeobill

      Doesn’t agree with management while simultaneously voicing sentiments from a fanbase collectively grieving the loss of the glory days and coping with the shambles left thereafter. At some point you got to just let it go, accept things as they are, and learn to appreciate things as they are – whatever that is. It seems like the common dialogue has just become habitually negative, and not just at CA. You can still get excited about a garden when its still just shoots and buds from the ground. Maybe that’s why people want the Sedins to retire. Regardless of if they are still good players, they perhaps represent lost glory days. What was and is no longer.

    • liqueur des fenetres

      Clearly the owners know nothing about hockey, as when they were meddling Benning was forced to pick Virtanen and McCann. But once they stepped back its been all roses!

  • speering major

    Look at any contender and “the plan” should be obvious. The Canucks need to have a true #1 center, goalie, and D-man. They are hoping Petterson and Demko can fill those roles and Oli is a bit of a long shot. They don’t want to have the seats empty and build a culture of losing while they acquire the core pieces. They will attempt to stock the system full of depth prospects and hope some pan out while others can be flipped. Core pieces are going to take a bit of lottery luck. leafs and oil look like brilliant rebuilders when they win the right lottery. Same with the pens

    Also the Canucks will be freeing up a bunch of cap space this summer

    I don’t know, this just seems obvious. I would have liked to see Tanev moved but maybe his injury got in the way, the market was too low, or they will wait til the off season. Otherwise this is about what someone should expect

  • RuxinsVinegarStrokes

    If so many of you guys disagree with the writers of CA so much, why do you keep coming back. Let us that actually want to look at the team critically do so. Go somewhere else.

    • TD

      I think that’s what most of us want. To look at the team critically. That means examining the good and the bad, not being constantly negative and then rehashing the same articles over and over.

  • BlazerFan

    So the same site that used to give Gillis credit for trying to find players by signing undrafted college players is now hating on Benning for trying to find similar age players that other orgs have given up on.
    Ok then.

  • Holly Wood

    I have a theory based upon the motivation behind what actually drives Canucks Army. The sponsors appreciate visitors to the site, so the more hype or controversy they can create drives up their income , not far away from the garbage from the National Enquirer. Tell me I’m wrong

    • Cageyvet

      I can’t tell you you’re wrong when you’re so right. When you are in the media, in whatever form, those without actual talent have always fallen back on the easy route….just print something inflammatory. I don’t fall for this BS from the National Enquirer, watch anything about the Kardashians, etc., but hockey and the Canucks are in my blood, so I read the good, the bad, and the outright crap, like this article. A couple of minutes from my life I will never get back, but the responses here show I’m not alone!

  • Burnbaby Bambinos

    ” trading your best chip for a plug-and-play AHL/NHL tweener”

    yikes…i think Canucks Army needs to do an article on this regimes picks from Rd 4-7,….none are AHL/NHL tweeners—– sorry, maybe Gaudette rises from 5th rounder to tweener status. The rest never signed a contract, or failed in attempt to make NHL

    To insinuate that the organization is directionless is false. They understand the value of picks…and they understand that its better to take an NHL player than a 6th rounder that will never play a game….but if Zhukenov , Stukel , McKenzie et al excite you, then maybe its not the Canucks that lack direction and basic player profiling.

  • Ronning4ever

    “The message seemed to be that the team wasn’t going to be aggressively shopping any pieces, and would instead be taking calls and listening to offers. Therein lies the problem: you’re allowed to ask for things”

    Benning literally 3 days ago: “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how hard you work, you have to have another team that wants your player enough to do a deal,” Benning said. “We’ve made all the calls.”

  • NeverWas

    How about that game tonight. I don’t care of they lost. Some of the kids look good. Just wait till the rest show up before you completely right off Benning…

    • TD

      That was probably the most entertaining game of the year. Lundqvist was awesome and still let in 5. I’m sure it will be hard to keep the emotion that high for every game, but Leipsic was really good and Motte looked pretty good as well.