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N Is For Negativity

Much has been made of the negative sentiment surrounding the Canucks in the local market ever since Elliotte Friedman brought it up after the trade deadline. And in the swirl that followed, there was plenty finger-pointing about who was to blame.

Strangely, though, the most likely source of the negativity seems to have been largely overlooked. Given that oversight, and the fact that it was largely house radio leading the charge against all that negativity, it’s no wonder many thought it was the Canucks organization pushing back at what they perceived as unfair media coverage. (Ron Howard voice: they were.)

But just because you don’t like the fallout, doesn’t mean you aren’t the ones responsible for the tire garbage reactor fire.

I mean, the idea that Canucks fans should in any way take the fall for the negative sentiment around a team that has gone from the fifth-best record over the course of Mike Gillis’ tenure with the team, to the fifth-worst under Benning, is utterly ridiculous:

In fact, I’m astounded at how much some of the media has been pushing back about how negative the fans on twitter are. I’m not sure what else you should expect from rational fans, to be honest. I suppose if you’re stuck on semantics and say ‘fan’ is short for ‘fanatic’, you might have an argument. Yes, you clearly still have those fans out there that see nothing but a bright future for this team, despite the history of unmet expectations. And I guess there’s something to be said for that:

Unfortunately for the rest of us, reality has a well-known negative bias.

But for all this focus on negativity, it’s interesting that some negatives get a pass from the organization’s media defenders:

But I digress.

The point is that this team is ungood, and they’ve been ungood for years with no indication that the management team knows how to turn things around. The reason for the sudden surge in “negativity” is that with each passing season of unmet expectations, and these are expectations that are unnecessarily set by management, more and more fans are forced to face reality. It is a truism in any business setting that you should under-promise and over-deliver. This management team has done the exact opposite for the last three years, and it’s starting to take a toll on the remaining blissful holdouts.

It’s been almost three years since I wrote this about unmet expectations in this market:

This team is slowly getting worse. The core is aging and/or being shipped off one piece at a time. Yes, there are some potential younger pieces coming along, but not nearly enough to fill the holes. The fans, as a whole, see this and if there’s one thing this market has had enough of, it’s mediocrity.

But if the expectation is that the team will continue to get worse for years, the bleeding of season ticket holder support will continue until such a time as those expectations turn positive.

So with all due respect to Linden, I believe this current course of action will actually make the business side of the franchise worse in both the short and long-term than if you let it bottom out quickly and got fans excited about an upward trajectory.

If you’ve been following along, I thought they had turned that corner last year at this time, but recent decisions have made me rethink that optimism.

And if you think I’m just some nobody banging away at a keyboard on the internet, you are right. But it just so happens that there are real live hockey people who feel the same way about how best to take a team through a necessary overhaul:

Trevor Linden, meanwhile, sent out his own letter to ticket holders, and while the Canucks finally appear to see the benefits of selling hope for the future, they still can’t help but make excuses about the present:

In the shorter term we have faced some challenges with injuries and inconsistency. That being said, I think fans can see hope for the future, especially through young stars like Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser.

Setting aside the fact that Linden apparently has forgotten about a draft pick they made in between Horvat and Boeser, the idea that injuries have anything to do with where this team is in the standings is ridiculous. I covered this already back in December, but this team has been playing at its natural level since early November. And that level is about 46% of shot attempts and expected goals at 5-on-5:

Sure, actual goals for has swung much more wildly over the season, but that’s what it does. Call it luck, bounces, whatever, but the fact is goals are much more random in nature than the underlying shot-based metrics. As I explained in that December post, the difference between actual goals and expected goals is directly related to PDO, which accounts for the fluctuations in shooting and save percentages. Looking at the underlying metrics is very much like economists and policymakers looking at core inflation, instead of headline inflation, which is heavily influenced by the volatile price fluctuations in food and energy.

So if we focus on those more stable numbers, injuries have had little impact on the underlying performance. Sure there have been some minor fluctuations, and the expected goals drop has come down with the loss of Boeser and Baertschi, but they’re down to the same 46% level they’ve been at most of the season even with those two in the lineup. Where you can really see that the Canucks are missing those two is on the powerplay, but in terms of team performance as a whole, injuries have little to do with where they find themselves. This, again, from December, still hold true today:

Yes, there was a dip when Tanev first went down, and also with the loss of Horvat and Baertschi, but the team appears to have found its level at the 45-48% mark in terms of expected goals for. And if you look at the final standings from last year, you’ll see that at level, they would finish the season 20-25th overall, and well out of the playoffs.

If anything, that outlook wasn’t negative enough.

It turns out that N is also for nobody saw it coming.

 


RECENT GRAPHIC COMMENTS

  • “The point is that this team is ungood, and they’ve been ungood for years with no indication that the management team knows how to turn things around.”

    Lots of cherrypicking to fit a negative narrative. Where are the facts that show Pettersson, Dahlen, and Gaudette were mistakes that won’t help the team? Halford and Brough were talking about Curtis Sanford and Sanford was saying that Demko is NHL ready now, after killing it in the AHL. Where’s the reference to the TSN article that says we have the best prospect pool and the top prospect? Sorry we didn’t win any draft lotteries and didn’t draft any impact players, rather really good prospects that need a few years to develop (like every other prospect). But hey, we’re millennials and we expect instant results. Let’s just look at the team now and exclude the prospects so we can say Benning doesn’t know how to turn around a team.

    Even when looking at the current team, you need to exclude more information or distort perceptions. Can’t make Boeser a positive, let’s attach him to Virtanen. Let’s downplay injuries and ignore that we’re currently missing four Top 9 wingers in Boeser, Granlund, Baertschi, and Eriksson.

    According to NHL playoff odds (http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html), we were at 60% probability until Horvat got injured. If we were inherently that bad, we should have immediately flatlined out of the gate like Buffalo, Montreal, Edmonton, and Arizona. The Horvat injury showed how little depth we currently have and that our UFA veterans failed to carry the team but then again, this team is incomplete without Benning acquisitions such as Demko, Pettersson, Dahlen, Gaudette, Juolevi, Lind, and Gadjovich.

    Oops, sorry. I used facts instead of distracting graphs to get my point across.

    • “We want a rebuild! We want a rebuild!”

      [Team starts rebuilding…team sucks for three years, gets high draft picks, assembles prospects…]

      “This team sucks! Why isn’t the rebuild done yet? Why are we soooo bad!?!?”

      And they say Canucks fans can’t handle a rebuild? And why on Earth are people are saying there is too much negativity in the media/blogosphere?

      WHAT DID YOU PEOPLE EXPECT A REBUILD WAS GOING TO LOOK LIKE?

      • What did people expect it to look like? How about accumulating some draft picks for starters. How about not trading away young players and picks for veterans. How about not signing free agents to 6 year deals.

        • Well, Benning wasn’t doing a traditional rebuild at that point. He was still focusing on making the playoffs when he signed Eriksson. Since they’ve changed their tune and used the word “rebuild”, true, they haven’t acquired draft picks (except the conditional 4th from the Sharks) but they also haven’t been trading away young players for veterans. Since the Gudbranson trade, Benning has acquired Leipsic, Motte/Jokinen, Dowd, Pouliot, Goldobin, and Dahlen. That cost us 2 UFA’s, 2 failed prospects, and 2 veteran players, and this year’s 4th round pick. All of those guys (with the exception of Jokinen) are young prospects, all of whom were drafted (ironically, with draft picks).

        • I would have preferred them to acquire more picks, for sure. But they have managed to put together a good prospect pool in three years with the picks they did have. I’m not sure what young players and picks were traded for veterans. Baertschi, Granlund and Pouliot were quite young when acquired and are clear wins (Vey was also young but didn’t pan out). The Gudbranson trade isn’t one that I would have made but he was only a couple of years older than the prospect traded for and was an attempt to meet a clear need. A fail, for sure, but an understandable gamble. The Erickson deal is hard to swallow but didn’t cost them picks or young players. The other FA deals have mostly ranged from “meh” (Del Zotto, Gagner) to decent (Vanek, Miller).

          Look, nobody is suggestion that all of the moves have been great. We aren’t stupid. But, by the same token, nobody is going to hit on every move. These are gambles.

        • If you can’t see that this is a rebuild, then you are being willfully blind. Why is everyone so obsessed with the word “rebuild”? Their actions are their actions and, quite obviously, amount to a rebuild.

          If you take Linden’s letter and compare it side by side to the NY Rangers’ letter, they are almost exactly the same – an objective of building a Cup contender, the desire to add more prospects, excitement for talent in the system, a request for patience…

          Seriously, its almost like people are searching for reasons to be outraged.

      • Vegas.

        Gillis bet it all and lost.
        Torts calls the team tired and stale.
        Linden/Benning hired and say team can be turned around.
        WD gets a 101 point season.

        At this point who do you believe? Torts or Benning? This team had recently gone to the SC finals … back to back Presidents Cups, two Art Ross Trophy winners … do you go to FA and say “team sucks (just had a 101 point season) we need to tear it down, lose for 3-5 seasons and your play-off gate is zero.”

        Or do you try something else and end up there anyway.

        But now some fans are pissed because the team is losing (that never happened in their short lives); some fans are pissed because they fee lied lied to; some fans are pissed because they don’t understand the process and others are pissed because they do.

        Benning is in an untenable position until this team turns around and at that point will likely get fired because while the team is good, management is now stale and tired.

        And from my tinfoil hat perspective, Benning learned in Boston where ownership swings a big dick with Gary Bettman. In contrast, when Gary needs to take a piss he aims for Aquilini’s shoes. I don’t think Benning gets the same reception or respect here as he did in Bean-town. He’s had to learn the hard way that he’s out in the wilderness looking like Bambi to a pack of wolves.

        The one good thing about Benning for all his faults, bad decisions, and seemingly poor management choices, is actually, sincerely, trying to build a better team out here. He may not build it in your image (JD) but he will build it.

      • This version of the Canucks is currently competing to be the worst team in team history and yet they have fans like you that keep blindly supporting them despite everything.

        You deserve Benning and Linden.

          • Keep drinking that crap flavoured koolaid Benning and Linden keep serving up.

            Because you’re smarter than everyone else. Because you know the real truth.

            Just like Trump supporters.

          • Canucks are on track to finish 30th-31st… would it make the team *worse* in the ‘has more points than other teams’ metric?

        • They actually have to ice a team. The prospects aren’t ready. The Sedins and Edler can’t be traded and, even if they could be, you would have to replace them. What precisely do you suggest the Canucks do, Einstein?

    • We need to do something about these Russian and/or Alberta hackers coming here and posting this garbage, trying to distract Team Resistance with lazy, simple minded and divisive posts like this.

      Anyone who pretends to believe things are alright around here is a troll.

      • Virtanen, McCann, Boeser, Tryamkin are all NHL caliber. Gaudette is knocking on the door. Joulevi is behind a few picks from his year but will likely be in the league next year. Demko, Dahlen and Petterson may well be in the NHL next year. Seems pretty decent.

        What do you reckon would be a decent number for a team in a similar situation, particularly picking 5th or later? Toronto and Winnipeg are obviously out performing but have had the benefit of 1st and 2nd overall picks (and not picking Virtanen!).

        • Absolutely agree Nucker, sadly you are wasting your breath on these succubusses. They are the resident down trodders here. Of course among their own sad circle they are pioneers with a clear vision and have all the inside information required to know the ins and outs of running a franchise. Also you may find it rather strange/convenient that this post was put up and within an hour this board was spammed with the doubters….almost as if it was planned. I dont wanna sound like a conspiracy theorist here but basic logic dictates that something is amiss with how quickly there post went/are going up and how quickly they are also swarming onto everyone who is them in the comments. How many people does CA have on the payroll one might ask….

        • What will be interesting to see is what happens if the Canucks get lucky and win the Lottery. If they become decent in 2 years time with all their prospects, will CA then blame it all on the Canucks getting lucky with the lottery. They never factor Toronto’s win or the organizational depth they had from so many poor years when they look at Toronto’s turnaround.

    • How about looking at the NJ, Avs, Jets all teams that have managed an upward path and in the play-offs….not to mention Vegas. It can be done and has been done by other franchises. Vcr is stalled, you have to think that 4 years should be atleast sufficient to make progress, but we’re actually worse now then 4 years ago

      • NJ, the Avs and the Jets all sucked when Vancouver was still good. Let me get out my crayons so that you can understand. They drafted near the top for a bunch of years before the Canucks recent run at drafting near the top. Now their prospects are in the NHL while the Canucks’ prospects aren’t there yet. NJ also lucked out and won the draft lottery last year. The Avs won the lottery for McKinnon.

        It still may not work out for our prospects, but you can’t compare them to teams in a different place in the development cycle.

  • Another article using strange graphs and questionable facts to prove that 1 + 1 = 3. God forbid that the Canucks should ever get better. There would be nothing for the Canucks Army to write about.

    • It’ll be interesting to see if/when our impressive prospect pool is able to make an impact (and, god forbid, actually make the team good), how many of these CA writers just quit writing. Articles like this, and many others, are just going to be pulled up and used as evidence that their insight is worthless.

      Not sure how you can do a much better job rebuilding than taking your pool of prospects from amongst the worst in the league to amongst the best in four years. We would’ve needed a hundred draft picks the last four years for Gillis to draft this many decent prospects.

    • God forbid we have a fanbase that has an IQ level higher than 60.

      Maybe you should stick to Provies (no offense to Botch whatsoever). Sounds like his style is more up your alley.

      • No. Provies are too accurate. They hurt the “Treadmillers”. Amazing how calm the fans are that want a plan for the future, and how indignant the koolaid drinkers are. Sorry we speak the truth; it’s not negative; it’s reality. By trying to win now, Benning set the rebuild back by two years. AND he won’t admit it. That’s why there’s negativity. He f’d it up. It’ll be another two years before the Petersons and Gaudettes make an impact. Sad.

        • If u want to get mad at somebody about the rebuild being pushed back 2 years blame ownership. I guarantee you he is the one pushing for staying competitive. The most hilarious part is, if he wasn’t such a stupid owner, and let management do their thing the rebuild would likely look a whole lot better by now, and he’d be well on his way to making his coin again.

  • The majority of mainstream media wanted the Canucks to tear everything down and do a complete rebuild. Funny how things work out. The entire team except for 4 players (the Sedins, Tanev, and Edler) has been changed over. During that time our prospect pool has been built up to be ranked at one of the NHL’s best. Also during that time we have added some very good young NHL players (Granlund, Bartschi, Pouliot, Leipsic) to assist in the rebuild timeline.
    Still the mainstream media complains??

        • You’re exactly right about Benning chasing Leipsic, and that just demonstrates how most everything coming out of Benning’s mouth is BS. He consistently says one thing and does the opposite.

          • maybe you should just stop listening to press quotes then? It’s pretty simple really….Management’s comments to the press might be true or they might not be true. It doesn’t matter. They are all worthless because we can never know when they’re just giving the stock answer and when they actually mean something.

            Better to just judge them on the actions they actually do. I couldn’t care less what Linden and Benning say to the media. It’s virtually meaningless. Like a player being interviewed with stupid questions that have the same stupid boring answers. It’s not necessary. Just watch the game.

    • Using the word “mainstream media” is assine.

      It’s a moronic word created by the alt-right idiots south of the 49th and you should be ashamed of using it.

      • Omg now i think you are an extreme moron ??? anybody who believes anything CBC or CNN says is incredibly stupid and brainwashed. I suppose you actually believe those Parkland kids leading the gun grab in America are really victims, and not actors. And that 911 was exactly as they say, and Stephen Paddock was the lone shooter at Mandalay Bay in Vegas ??? no respect for your simple mind.

  • As much as I appreciate the insight at CA, I wish they would leave politics out of the conversation. It’s not smart, witty, or edgy. It’s redundant. We can get a leftist take at ESPN. Please stick to hockey! You really do a great job at it.

  • Oh wow, were still on this topic. Okay. Thought we were moving on to prospects updates and our RFA extension/trade windows. I guess not. Suppose the morally correct thing to do is skip that new material and circle back to focusing on negetivity. I am so embarrassed for my oversite. Sorry for not helping to keep this subject alive and well for the past 5 weeks. Thank god this article brought it back from the dead for this site. I was worried they were gonna keep pushing out some fresh takes for a while there. Perhaps people are missing the irony that writing about negetivity will be in of itself negetive. Unless of course you are the sultan of spin and can write a puff peice on a terrible/sad subject. Of course if you had the skill level to do that you wouldnt be working at CA I suppose.

  • Great piece from petbugs as usual, putting the blowhards here firmly in their place at the bottom of the Canucks food chain. I am so grateful to the media for exposing this current Canucks travesty, as are true, honest commenters such as myself, JD, Jackson, Jeremy and petugs.

    I personally feel most for the loyal season ticket holders who sink (waste) huge amounts of their own money into one of the worst run teams in pro sports, as petbugs dilligent numbers clearly show us. Guys, this lying contradictory Linbenning sh^t show beggars belief and quiet why the Aquas are letting it slide like this after four years of elite ineptitude is a complete mystery, because surely our loyal passionate ownership who spend to the cap every year along with the game going fans deserve better than this, don’t they?!

  • To all the “negativity people on this site including some of the Bloggers. IMO the following comment written last week is one of the the best comments I have read on this site by anyone. He absolutely nails it.

    This is from the Jason Hamilton blog “Unhappiest Place on Earth” written by Kootenaydude

    I think a lot of the whiners need a reality check. It seems they want us to win the Cup and get the 1st overall pick. These same people think were going to do well by barely squeaking into the playoff picture. It doesn’t work that way. These are stats from the teams that have recently won multiple cups.
    Pittsburg from 01/02 – 07/08 had 69,65,58,58 and 105 point seasons. They drafted 5th, 1st, 2nd, 1st, and 2nd overall. They drafted Whitney, Fleury, Malkin, Crosby, and Staal. Their lucky pick was Letang at 62nd overall. Even with these top picks including a couple generational players. It took 4 years of being bottom feeders to make the playoffs. The Canucks haven’t drafted higher than 5th. So how can they compete when we haven’t even tanked for 3 complete seasons. Next team Chicago. From 01/02 – 08/09…had 96, 79, 59, 65, 71, 88 and 104 point seasons. During that time 14th Seabrook, 3rd Barker, 3 Toews and 1st overall Kane. Lucky picks Keith at 54th and Crawford at 51st. Finally LA Kings. From 01/02 – 09/10….had 95, 78, 81, 89, 68, 71, 79, 101 points. Draft picks 13th Brown, 11th Kopitar, 2nd Doughty, 5th Schenn. No lucky picks. Besides the top picks that these teams received. Their draft choices generally sucked. These teams were at the bottom for a long time. The penguins had the best ever picks at the draft and still took them 4 years of being bottom feeders to become an elite team. The Canucks haven’t drafted higher than 5th recently. We haven’t even completed our 3rd terrible season. Yet we have a bunch of so called fans that are nothing but whiners. So what do you want people? A team the barely makes the playoffs year after year or a team that tanks for 4-5 years and then becomes an elite team eventually? Its hard to make a quick turnaround when the Canucks draft no better than 5th. So have a little patience. Rant over.

    • Look at the bad picks those teams made and still succeeded. Pittsburg picked Jordan Staal with the second overall. Chicago picked Cam Barker at 3rd. Remember when we had him before he went to the KHL? Not one of those players lived up to their pick. Jordan Staal is a solid player, but not a first line talent. Barker was a complete bust. Even Braden Schenn at 5th was traded a bunch of times and has been wildly inconsistent throughout his career. Yet they won lots of cups despite the odd hiccup. Drafting just isn’t that easy, but finishing at the bottom and making mostly good picks led to those teams winning lots of cups.

  • I don’t know why everyone is so upset about the Canucks being near the bottom. Would people rather have them just miss the playoffs and get a lousy draft pick? Would you like to see them barely make the playoffs and get swept in the first round?! Then get a lousy draft pick. Do people understand that when you finish at the bottom you get to draft guys like Crosby, Kane, Ovechkin, Malkin, Tavares, Stamkos, Toews, McDavid, Staal, Ekblad, Matthews, Laine, Eichel, MacKinnon, Hall, Seguin, Nash, Duchene, Doughty, and Kovalchuk. I’m sure you’ve heard of those guys. They’re superstars!! When you barely make / miss the playoffs you get Nedorost, Knyazev, Niinimaki, Nokelainen, O’Marra, Helenius, Miller, And Pulock. So who do you want to draft? Superstars or guys destined for the KHL?!

    • Ditto. Also in a similar expectation level as Chadallac, I had accepted that the Canucks would be rebuilding or retooling in the next few years. As a long time fan, I atleast hopeful that unlike previous GM’s,

      • To finish my response before a mis-pressed of the post comment button. Unlike, previous Canucks GM’s, I am atleast hopeful that JB will be able to draft an actual roster player to be a core or a support player and in a cap world both type of players are important. I believe that no human made system is infalliable and that there is a cycle to everything. Hopefully the Canucks, finally gets there first ever 1st overall draft pick.

  • N is for i(N)tellectual dishonesty (ok, it is a stretch…work with me).

    Petbugs selectively quotes part of Linden’s letter to fans and leaves out the parts where Linden emphasizes the “need to add more prospects to our pool” and the “need to be patient”. Apparently, petbugs didn’t get the message.

    What did you want Linden to say? “Every player on our roster sucks! There is no hope for the future! We are going to trade everyone and put the nerdz in charge!”

    Would that satisfy you?

    • What would satisfy me is Linden and Benning stepping up and addressing these quotes, instead of making excuses and pointing to prospects that fell into their laps because of mismanagement or random chance. Then they could admit they grossly mismanaged this team, demonstrated spectacular inabilities to evaluate players and set it back years with their mismanagement and contradictions.

      Then they could suggested they let the fans down that continue to fill the arena to 95% capacity, instead of blaming them for being negative.

      If you believe Linden’s quotes from that letter, then you have to believe these quotes as well. They made it clear they weren’t rebuilding, they were competing.They failed in breathtaking fashion.

      “This is a team we can turn around in a hurry” Jim Benning , May 23, 2014

      “The easy way out is to just strip it down and blow it up and start over and draft in the top 5 every year. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to be a playoff contender every year” – Trevor Linden, May 2015

      “I spent a lot of time working on that (Lucic trade) and I guess Boston felt they were getting a better deal from LA.” Jim Benning, June 25, 2015 (LA gave up their 1st rounder, the pick that got Boeser would have been gone)

      “You win with players like Brandon Sutter” Jim Benning, Aug 5, 2015

      “Realistically, if you’re asking me when will the day be when we can compete with the best teams in the league, I think that (Sedin contract) timeline is fair. This is year 2 and by the forth or fifth year, I hope we’ll be there with the elite teams in the league” Jim Benning – July 2015

      “He (Gudbransen) can move the puck and he kind of came into his own this year… he can make a good first pass, he has a real hard shot.. he’s a high character person” – Jim Benning, May 25, 2016

      “Decisions have to be made by hockey people who know what winning teams look like and how to build them.” Jim Benning, May 25, 2016

      “In my four years since I’ve been here, I feel this is the best team we’ve had” – Jim Benning Nov 2017

      “I would have prefered to get picks, it wasn’t available to us” Jim Benning, Feb 26, 2018

      • So if I am to understand the CA rebuild model correctly and the way they imply the simplicity of rebuilding from ground zero, than every team will be in the playoffs within 3-5 years. All Montreal has to do is trade Price, Pacorietty, Weber, Galchenyuk and Gallagher for a plethora of picks and than merely use those picks to draft elite players that ‘fall into there laps’. Chicago might have it even easier, they have Toews and Kane after all….throw in Crawford and Duncan Keith and they will have enough draft picks to choose at least 8 superstars. WOW. Armchairimg is so easy. I just built 2 stanly cup teams in 2 minutes. I have a resume ready for any interested parties.

      • Why the obsession with the quotes? Why not focus on what they are doing? Most executives are not going to run down their teams. They are going to say positive things and preserve the value of their assets. Some of the quotes are cringey, for sure, but I don’t give a flying f(*&*%ck what they say as long as what they do is improving the team.

        I think they wanted to stay somewhat competitive and try to avoid the complete tire fire we have seen for the last month. I can see how stretches like this could be damaging for young players. They failed in their quest to stay somewhat competitive. But, while I might lean a different direction, their strategy was not unreasonable, particularly in light of the draft lottery. Finishing last or second last just isn’t as rewarding as it used to be. Also, four years ago, they had a 100 point team and Sedins/Edler under contract for three more seasons. Tanking was going to be challenge.

        The intervening years have shown that a full tank is the right course. To me, aside from trading for picks that may not have been available (Hamhuis, Vanek, etc), the only glaring error inconsistent with a rebuild was the Erickson contract.

        • Fraud’s opinions are formed strictly by what others say in the media. This is an example of the superior critical thinking abilities that he possesses.

        • The irony that everyone seems to be missing is that Benning would have pulled off his rebuild on the fly if he hadn’t messed up his first draft. Like taking McCann over a guy he scouted in Boston, or a number of other guys over Virtanen. Heck, even if one of those two picks had been better this team would be much, much different today.

      • Why do you think the messaging out of this front office has been so amateurish, contradictory and terrible?

        Why do you think Linden and Benning consistently sound like new hires in press briefings?

        Why do you think every veteran worth their salt (except Edler, Sedins and Tanev) has noped their way off this team?

        Why do you think this MGMT keeps hiring n00bs for MGMT positions?

        It’s because of ownership. It’s because it’s not just one person leading this team, it’s three entities and none of the three entities have a clue on how to operate a hockey team.

        So with regards to those quotes, they really don’t mean anything. Nothing that comes out of Benning and Linden’s mouths actually mean anything because neither person is remotely qualified to be in their position.

  • Shouldnt that chart say stuck with Trudeau?? This is a canadian page and we have more problems with our current leader than the americans do with theres.

  • the question is whether the negativity is making rational criticism based on reasonable expectations, or it is wallowing in self pity and engaging in scapegoating worthy of a greek tragedy.

    the other question is whether the strategy the canucks have pursued of making a show of competing while not even using the word rebuild is a business strategy dictated by ownership, or a hockey strategy dictated by management.

    if it is/was a hockey strategy i think it is fair to dump on benning and linden. if otoh they were tasked with a schizo strategy with the sedins declining in the heart of their lineup, they have done ok.

    either way, this year looks exactly how one would have predicted it in 2014. it is the last year of the sedins contract and we suck the hardest. there was always a very low chance of a full turnaround/rebuild taking effect during that contract. kesler called it, and he was not alone.

    • Reasonable expectations? TF are you talking about?

      WE ARE CURRENTLY COMPETING FOR 31ST IN THE LEAGUE.

      LAST YEAR WE FINISHED 29TH IN THE LEAGUE.

      THE PREVIOUS YEAR WE FINISHED 28TH IN THE LEAGUE

      Kings, Ducks, Sharks, Flames, Blues, Wild, Stars…

      All teams that we USED to compete with and all teams that have NEVER spent as much time as we have had at the bottom of the league EVER.

      Get some perspective man. Your weak attempt to defend this cluster of a front office is laughable.

      • Your list of teams is interesting.
        Kings: currently in 8th
        Ducks: currently in 6th
        Sharks: currently in 4th
        Flames: currently in 11th (and traded their lottery draft pick to NYI last summer)
        Blues: currently in 9th
        Wild: currently in 5th
        Stars: currently in 10th

        Of the 7 teams you mentioned, 4 hold playoff spots while 3 do not. If the three that are currently out of a playoff spot manage to get into a spot, they will probably be knocking one of the other teams out. Only one of the teams will be hosting a first round series and none are considered as serious contenders for a cup.

        We used to compete with Chicago. I will give them their props for 3 cups, but they are out of the playoffs and everyone talks about the horrible spot they are in with lots of long expensive contracts for declining players. We used to have some great series with the Avs back in the West Coast Express years. They of course sucked for a long, long time and now are looking to bounce back after years of high picks.

        This is not meant to completely defend this management team as they have made both good and bad moves, but rather to point out how ridiculous your argument is.

      • Mathonwy…do you have any clue what rebuilding looks like? How did Pittsburg get their stars? Chicago?

        YOU HAVE TO FINISH AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LEAGUE TO GET HIGH DRAFT PICKS!

        I’m so confused. I was under the impression that the Rebuilderz(tm) were in favour of tanking and accumulating high draft picks. I thought that was the “expectation”?

        • We’re not rebuilding. We’re competing. Sutter, Ericsson, Gudbranson, Gagner, MDZ, et al. It’s called rebuild on the fly. What did Trevor say? Something about not wanting bottom-five finishes?

          • That was a cringey quote. Absolutely. But if you look at their actions, its a rebuild (while trying not to completely crater). It failed but there isn’t that much that they would have done differently in any event (apart from signing Ericsson). They have to ice a team.

  • “you clearly still have those fans out there that see nothing but a bright future for this team, despite the history of unmet expectations… Unfortunately for the rest of us, reality has a well-known negative bias.”

    You predict the future to be bleak, because well, that’s how things go in Van.

    And here we are, with your readers stewing and spewing more of the same tragic hopelessness.

    Congratulations on so effectively proving Friedman’s point!

  • First of all you totally lose any respect from me that you are dumb enough to believe that Trump colluded with Russians. You’re just another sheeptard who believes main stream medias bulls**t. Secondly, great job bringing back all the negativity dum**ss. Thirdly, so if some of us Canucks fans are smart enough to see a positive future with this franchise, we are ignorant? Is that what you are saying? Do you even realize how many teams would love to have our young players, our prospects, our cap space? If you can’t see a positive future with this organization, then you are the ignorant one. Fourthly, i psraonally have not had any expectations for this season, last season, the season before, or the next 2 seasons at least. Maybe 3 more. So come 3 years from now, when i am hopeful our rebuild is done, you will look like the ignorant one. Stop your whining you phoney Canucks fan.

  • OK, we get it. You don’t like the Gudbranson re-signing. That horse is dead – stop flogging it. Negativity can be understood but constantly repeating your negative comment is just annoying.

  • It comes from a no fun city with one major pro sports team. Indy is gone people complained. NBA is gone people complained and owner came in and saw an opportunity to move the franchise. It comes from a city full of people who love rules right from the government to the people living here. No skate boarding on the side walk have to go to a park, no cycling on the sidewalk have to go to the the bike lanes. It goes on and on right to the Province newspaper. No fun city that people have nothing to do but focus on one Major league team the Canucks. Yes I am not counting soccer or CFL.

  • As an aside, the word “fan” wasn’t initially short for “fanatic”, it was short for “fancier”. As in “Lord Middlethwaite is the most dedicated pigeon fancier amongst all the Peerage”.