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Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

WWYDW: Make This Stop

Today’s edition of What Would You Do Wednesday is brought to you by Thursday! I hope you don’t mind the delay; better late than never, right?

Besides, you could hardly blame us if we wanted a day off from the Vancouver Canucks from time to time, right? Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knight was their seventh straight loss, and they’ve only scored in four of those games. It’s just not a good time to follow this team, frankly.

What makes it especially trying is the fact that this is starting to feel like Groundhog Day. It’s the same thing every season. Think I’m exaggerating? Last year the Canucks closed out the campaign with an eight-game losing streak — sound familiar? Two years ago, the Canucks set a new goalless streak of about 320 minutes — sound familiar?

It’s one thing to be bad; it’s another to just fall apart at the end of every season for three straight seasons. Hell, I think most could even tolerate the losing if the hockey was at least palatable, but it’s not. It’s just plain not.

The Canucks have made so many moves to counter stretches like these, and it’s hard to see how any of them have made even a shred of a difference. So, with that, I’m asking you, the reader, what you would do to prevent this. Get creative. Trades, free agency, you name it. I just need suggestions that will make this team a little bit more fun — this is supposed to be fun, right?

Last week I askedWho do you want to see the Canucks call-up from the Comets in the event that they lose another forward to injury. I’ve specified the forward position because there aren’t any defencemen in Utica knocking on the NHL door, and the Canucks seem to be in better shape with that part of the roster.

The rules are simple. As long as the player you’ve chosen is on an NHL contract, they work for the purposes of this exercise. So, have at ‘er.

SJ:

I know the obvious answer is Thatcher Demko, but what about getting a look at Zack MacEwen? He’s been one of the biggest surprises down there this season. While I think pulling him out of the Comets lineup might be a bit of cruel and unusual punishment to Trent Cull, it might be interesting to see him play a couple games, just to see if he can keep up.

Ser Jaime Lannister:

Jalen Chatfield, his game is developing nicely at the pro level and its just a matter of time before we see him called up. Although he has few points, he is constantly joining the rush with his speed and creating offense, and is a work horse in the defensive end, he will fit nicely in TG system.

Forever 1915:

Guillaume Brisebois. If Benning thinks he’s going to be a core defenceman going forward, it would be good for his development to get a game or two in.

Vintage:

I would do the exact opposite of calling anyone up from Utica. I would send all the bubble players I could down to the farm (Goldobin, Boucher, Motte etc) to give them a fighting chance in the playoffs, and then I would sign whatever FA were available on 1 year deals to finish out the season (no elc’s). Like Mason Raymond and Derek Roy. To help ensure the last place finish.

  • argoleas

    Actually, I would say for Canucks to embrace it. Stop fighting it. They suck. Rebuild properly, or be stuck in purgatory.

    Otherwise, embrace the Colorado model. Not sure it will work, but it’s the best direction. If they went after someone like Carlson, they would have to way overpay. Bad idea.

    Bring in Pettersson, Gaudette, Dahlen, and Joulevi.

    Sacrifice one of Sutter’s balls to entreat the Hockey Gods to win the draft lottery, then ask someone else to donate one for next year’s draft lottery.

  • TD

    More talent, more depth and less injuries. With the talent they have in the NHL and AHL this year, the Canucks would have to be healthy to have a chance at being a bubble team. Every time they suffered injuries to important players the results showed on the ice (Horvat, Baertschi and Tanev in December and Baertschi, Boeser and everyone else to end the season). Not many teams could remain in the playoffs losing two thirds of their top line and other legitimate top 9 players for huge chunks of the season. The lack of organizational depth in the AHL and NHL showed when they had injuries. The replacements were literally replacement level or lower. If Pettersson, Dahlen, Gaudette, Lind and Gadjovich are in the AHL next year, the Canucks will be able to call up players with more upside. Some of them will end up being like Goldobin and Boucher struggle to show they belong, but others will likely make it hard to send them back down. The depth won’t be quite that good in the AHL next year as the fans will revolt if some of those players aren’t on the team.

  • Super Pest

    Oh, interesting? All that’s left for that would be a couple of things: 1. Demko for a few, just because… (didn’t hurt Boeser, did it?). 2. A Mea Culpa from all in management AND coaching. Sorry Greener, you broke Hutton and the development of Goldy spotty; Boucher? Non-existent. (I’ll give you Virt, but we needed so much more, including Markstrom. They all failed. Benning did NOT supply either enough or the right depth. Trevor? Get the messaging right and the fans would eat out of your hand; you’re loved, use that leverage. “Development is our top priority; getting younger, our top priority. Winning will come; we will choose our “core” culture carriers and no free agent signings that will prevent our youth from gaining experience, both good and bad. Our youth WILL make mistakes and will be sent right back out onto the ice.” We are “building” a championship team; anything else will be a failure.

  • Bobaner

    Start drafting and developing hockey executives from top business schools with strong sports traditions. Why should bringing in young, cheap talented personnel only apply to the on ice product?

  • NeverWas

    I’m actually a pretty big supporter of this site and love to joke around and have been following for a pretty long time… this is the worse post I have seen.

    It’s so obviously biased, anti canuck propaganda.

    A) this team is a shell of the team that started the season so they aren’t “falling apart” they are missed how many of there best players all season and this was a team that needed everything to go right, just to be competitive. Cause, you know… they are rebuilding…

    B) if it’s so “difficult to cover this team right now” than let’s focus on the future because we got an unprecedented level of skilled prospects and another high end draft pick coming, dahlin or no dahlin. We also have a potential elite talent probably joining the team next year.

    You guys got time to write this trash but can’t finish the prospect reports on the most interesting and optimistic subject of this team right now…

    Did that Freud troll draft this up?

    Come on, this is not the level of writing nor analysis that this is… or what I though it was suppose suppose to be producing.

    Rant over.

  • KCasey

    Prospects. More prospects equals more hope which becomes more engagment with the product which in turn creates more fun/excitment. If we all are relying purely on more wins as the only way of extracting excitment out of these games than were stuck with disappoinment for at least 3 more years but possibly 4 or even 5 (please no). However after watching Boeser and Horvat come around and even Stetcher as well as Leipsic and Virtanen showing signs of flash, I think just seeing newer, younger faces over the likes of Dowd and Joiken as well as eventually the Sutters and Gudbransons ( I dont hate them but they are stop gaps for the up and comers) and in the near future both Sedins. All of that will create a different atmosphere. Its one thing to watch Dowd sit half the game in the box while we lose. Completely different watching a young team make mistakes but at least grow and learn together. Plus younger guys are generally faster and fast pace makes for more high danger scoring games.

  • Tylered As F***

    Play around with the roster as much as possible, and finally give respect-your-Edler’s that chance to play goalie he’s always wanted. Make a Marky-Nilsson d-pairing to set the record for most Swedish/tallest pairing in league history.

  • Ken Priestlay Fan

    Everyone complains that the team isn’t tough enough or doesn’t have enough snarl so I’d fix that by signing The Predator, Dolph Lundgren in Rocky 3 (imagine him trucking Ferlund and then standing over his mangled body and saying “if he dies, he dies”) and WWE wrestler The Undertaker. Then trade for Matt Martin. Doesn’t matter who we send- Horvat, Boeser, whoever- because we’ll be TTTTUUUUUFFFFFF

  • truthseeker

    well…first I’d conduct deep player interviews and interviews with Green to determine if there are any issues with communications between the players and the coach.

    I’d resign the Sedins as cheaply as possible for one or two years.
    I’d let Dowd walk.
    I’d try to find takers for Guddy, Del Zotto, Gagner, and maybe Sutter at the draft.
    I’d trade Sven and Granlund if there was a decent (2nd round or better type) return. If not I’d resign both of them as cheap as possible.
    I’d ask Edler to waive and try to trade him at the draft. (probably won’t work)
    I’d still insist on an A+ prospect plus a first round pick for Tanev. If I couldn’t get it I’d resign him now for another 3 to 4 years.
    Resign Stetcher, Pouloit, Jake and Boucher. Making sure I could bury them in the minors if I had to.
    I’d see if I could lock up Boeser for max term at around 6 million. Might be willing to go to 7.
    Try to trade Neilsson and then bring up Demko for the backup.
    Draft a D with our first round pick. Hopefully number one but even at number 2 overall. Because of Button’s article Bouchard would be my choice.
    I’d go D again in the 2nd round and if I managed to get another 2nd round pick I’d make sure to get a goalie.
    I’d look to sign some decent but cheap younger UFA shot suppressing D men as hold overs, maybe guys like Michal Kempny, Greg Pateryn or Mark Barberio….(really don’t know much about them just that their shot suppression numbers are pretty good…more of an example rather than specifics)
    If I could get Evander Kane for 6 million per….then…..y……yeah…I’d do it.

    Something like that.

  • Quantum

    The Canucks need to embrace going young… follow the examples set by Colorado and New Jersey. They got rid of there old players and embraced youth. Winnipeg has also done this, to a certain extent, although they’ve taken a longer more methodical approach with how they’ve developed their prospects and are now one of the best teams in the NHL.

    1) Get creative. Canucks need to be willing to deal anybody not named Boeser, Virtanen, Horvat, and Stecher on this current team. Nobody should be safe from a deal. Is there an offer to offload Sutter? No heinous contract coming back? Take it, even if it’s a third and a b prospect and a guy you have to stash in the minors (like what the Leafs do from time to time). Somebody wants Markstrom? Maybe it’s time to move on from him. Or Nilsson. Whatever comes first in terms of a palpable deal. And if anybody wants any of our defensemen, they should not be safe. Despite Gudbranson just signing an extension, if I had my way, I’d still consider dealing him. At the end of the day, I’d just try and dump as many contracts as I could to whoever would be willing to take them.

    2) Open up spots for youth. Canucks should be wide open at the start of next training camp with roster spots. Opening up upwards of 5-6 spots throughout the lineup. Instead of signing guys on July 1st, Canucks should be on the hunt for guys to sign to tryouts for training camp. This way youth can fight to be on the roster. From my count, upwards of 5 rookies could claw their way into this lineup. That’s insane, I know, but think about it — Gaudette, Petersson, Dahlen, Demko, and Juolevi have legitimate shots to make this club and will need roster spots. On top of this, you have guys like Jalen Chatfield, Evan McEneny, Michael Carcone, Zack MacEwen, and whoever the 1st rounder of 2018 is (if it’s one of the top 3 guys picked, you can count on them making a GIANT push for a roster spot). By committing to guys on tryouts instead of handing out deals on July 1st, the Canucks can easily sign veteran depth in the event a majority of these guys aren’t ready to play in the majors. However, as the league gets younger and faster, I have a hard time believing they’ll all sink when they show up into the NHL. Especially guys like Petersson, Gaudette, and Juolevi.

    3) Let the Sedins walk. If they want to play in the NHL, let them sign elsewhere. This team needs to become Horvat and Boeser’s. The time is now to transition. We’ve had 3 seasons of collapses under the Sedins. Sure, there points will be missed, but they’re only getting older. The young guys need to be responsible and the roster spots the Sedins occupy are too valuable. If there was only 1 Sedin, it would be easier to want to re-sign them. But there’s two. And at this point, I’d only want Daniel back. Henrik clearly doesn’t have much left in the tank. Besides, I think they’d benefit the most from playing elsewhere without the burden of legacy and history and pressure on them going for one last run at a cup.

    4) If Demko’s not ready and you move one of Markstrom or Nilsson, Canucks should consider waiting until waivers to pluck a goalie. A guy I think could be a savvy pickup, if he’s available, is Garret Sparks of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’ve always liked him as a player and think he’d be a good goalie partner to Demko in the long run. He’s one of the best goalies in the AHL right now and could have been claimed on waivers this past year but wasn’t. With the Maple Leafs also having Calvin Pickard in their system, I can see Sparks getting sent down again. This would be the time for the Canucks to pounce on a guy like Sparks.

    Essentially, I believe the Canucks need to get creative with how they approach the future from here on out and that’s WWYD if I could.

  • Killer Marmot

    There is one course open to the Canucks: bring up fresh blood. What else are they going to do, trade their way to glory?

    Benning has assembled one of the best prospect pools in the league. One player is arguably the best in the SHL. Another the best in the NCAA. There are at least five others with excellent chances at NHL careers. And the Canucks will get another early draft pick in June.

    So in the next two years, bring up seven or eight prospects in total. If the Canucks have anything to lose, I can’t think of it.

  • Kootenaydude

    Heres something a little outside the box. What if the Canucks don’t resign the Sedins and instead sign UFA Stastny. I know he would much rather stay in Winnipeg, but he would only take up one roster spot. He could centre Petterson on the second line. Til the kid grows a bit and gets more experience. Due to his age it wouldn’t be a very long contract and wouldn’t cost more than 2 Sedins. If Horvat gets injured. He slides into first line centre. Petterson, Sutter or Gaudette move to 2nd line centre. He’s a pro that can mentor our youth for a few years. Sure is making Laine look good!! No draft picks or prospects to give up either.

  • Moves that need to be made have already been made. It’s time to start phasing in Benning draft picks, something that will happen over the 1-3 years:

    2018-2019: Gaudette and possibly Pettersson
    2019-2020: Dahlen, Demko, Lockwood, Gunnarsson, Juolevi, Brisebois
    2020-2021: Lind, Gadjovich, Chatfield

    And that doesn’t count the flyers like Brassard, Palmu, Rathbone, McEneny or even Tryamkin. As these players take roster spots, current roster players can be moved such as Sutter, Del Zotto, Baertschi, Granlund, Gudbranson, and Gagner.

    Trades are clearly not Benning’s strong points as he tends to lose trades more often than win. And UFA signings are generally overpriced because of the salary restrictions of ELC’s and RFA status: Ladd, Eriksson, Oshie, Belesky, Moulsson, Okposo, Sekera, Petry, etc. Make a trade or UFA signing if it’s clear value (e.g. Leipsic, Vanek) but otherwise, stick to the new “rebuild” focus and stop trying to rush what should be an organic and sustainable “rebuild and maintain” strategy.

    On the ice, I would tell Green that it’s okay to lose if you play the young kids more. Experiment and take chances. See if guys like Goldobin and Virtanen can do more with more ice-time. See who’s deserves to remain with the core and who can be traded.

    • Kootenaydude

      Forever 1915. Lockwood is done and Gunnarsson is a bust. Would like to see Nilsson gone and Demko in next season. The guy seems to be ready. Although like most people. Im not an expert and have never seen him play. Doing well in the AHL though.

      • I know Lockwood elected to do another year which is why I predict he’ll sign with the Canucks the year after, 2019-2020. He’ll be 21 by that point and there’s a good chance he can challenge for a roster spot rather than go to Utica. He represented the US in international competition and is considered to be the go-to offensive guy in Michigan, a team that has only 2 other drafted players. He’s more accomplished than a typical underdrafted NCAA free agent.

        As for Gunnarsson, I don’t know why he’s considered a bust. If your metric is points scored, you’ve picked the wrong metric. He’s always been a non-factor offensively. But he’s on one of the best teams in the SHL, along with Rasmus Dahlin. If you look at the Swedish stats, he’s only getting 9 minutes TOI which is not uncommon for young players in that league. That’s why Benning said he’d keep him there for another year (this season) and then bring him to Utica.

        • Just to add another point, Gunnarsson is classified as an SHL rookie this year. He is tied for 2nd in hits (35) among all rookies (top rookie had 39 hits) and is the top hitter for all rookie defencemen. So he’s living up to the expectation that he would be a tough physical defender.

        • Kootenaydude

          My bad. I thought after 3 years he’s a NCAA free agent, but it’s 4 years. I still wouldn’t take a defenceman that has put up zero points in 40 plus games. We have a team full of defenceman that put up minimal points and it’s gotten us nowhere ,but to the bottom of the standings. When we were a successful team. Our defence used to put up a lot of points.

  • BC SPORTS FAN

    Nice photo of Bennings two worst signings. Erikson and Gudbrandson. If you think t

    The photo of Gudbrandson and Erickson are Benning’s worst signings ever. Gudnrandson was our 7th best d-man and we sign him to a 3 year contract ? We have another 4 years of Loui, time to trade him for a hockey bag.