Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

CanucksArmy Monday Mailbag:

I still think the most optimistic timeline for the Canucks to improve to the point where the Toronto Maple Leafs are already is close to three-to-four years. Even then, it’s not a guarantee. The Toronto Maple Leafs are the golden standard for how to rebuild a hockey team; the Canucks are the example of how not to rebuild in every non-Vancouver market.

My guess: the Calgary Flames.

I haven’t heard too much about the Canucks having interest in John Carlson. Until they make a trade with one of their blueliners, they won’t even have the room for him. I think Carlson’s price point is going to be a touch rich for the Canucks, even if they do clear out some space to sign him.

Age matters when you’re talking about players at the stage of their development that Adam Boqvist and Quinn Hughes are in currently. I just don’t think that, in this case, it even comes close to covering the gap in production between the two when we use the SEAL (Situational Era Age League) adjusted scoring as a way to compare them. Hughes is still the superior choice.

I think it depends on a case by case basis. In some cases, players are just trying to get their payday — totally fine in my books. Others are willing to take a financial hit for the opportunity to chase a Stanley Cup — also totally cool. Some players fall somewhere in the middle.

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In most cases, whatever increase in salary the Canucks offer will likely be matched by the other teams bidding for star players. In others, the competing teams will get close enough to close the gap and make the choice an easier one for the player in question.

I think the fans should have some level of concern based on what the Canucks have spent their cap space on in the last few off-seasons. Let’s recap:

2015: Matt Bartkowski at above market value

2016: Loui Eriksson for six years at $36-million on a buyout proof contract that goes into his late-thirties

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2017: Sam Gagner for three years, Michael Del Zotto for $3-million, Anders Nilsson for two years at $2.5-million and Thomas Vanek on a one year deal at $2-million. Let’s say the Canucks batted .250 this off-season.

They haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt.

The Canucks best-case scenario for this off-season is that they weaponize their cap space by taking on bad contracts for assets while using any remaining space to sign veterans to one-year deals that they can then flip for assets at the deadline. Hell, maybe they mix in a couple of rebuild-type moves with the players on their roster, too.

For next season, the Canucks show progress with their on-ice progress but are ultimately undone by a lack of finishing talent and bad goaltending. I’d like to see the Canucks improve their on-ice ratio of shot control, etc. to show that there are signs of improvement underneath the surface. As they add scorers and improve in net, it will make a turnaround all the easier. And then, of course, they sell everything off that isn’t going to be of use as this team turns the corner.

I honestly can’t give you an answer to this. It just doesn’t make any sense that someone wouldn’t want the Canucks to have the best possible odds at first overall given where this franchise is in their development.

This isn’t a question.

Yeah, I think that Dmitry Zhukenov has moved on from North American hockey, and based on his first season back in the KHL, I bet the Canucks have moved on from him.

Ben Hutton.

I’d just go into next season with an open battle for the backup spot in training camp. Whoever loses has to go to Utica, even if it’s Anders Nilsson with his $2.5-million salary. If Thatcher Demko is ready, let him take the backup role and run with it; if not, let him have another year in Utica.

I lean towards the former of those two options.

Honestly, I’d love to see both of those things happen as soon as possible. Realistically, I think it’s more likely that an NHL player comes out first.

Jason Spezza and the Canucks shouldn’t get anything less than a second round pick for the trouble. That said, Julius Honka wouldn’t be half-bad either.

I suspect they’ll go after players like Evander Kane, James Neal and Tyler Bozak. They’ll sell them as players who are going to show the younger players the right way at the NHL level. Book it.

The Canucks will definitely make a pitch to John Tavares. I just don’t think they’re going to get anywhere.

Oliver Wahlstrom, Ty Smith and Noah Dobson.

Not a chance.

Ask me this again at the end of next season. Based on his first handful of games, I give the edge to Ashton Sautner over Erik Gudbranson.

Valtteri Filppula.

One player I can think of that is in the midst of a similar transition is Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander — hell of a player, that Nylander. So far, it’s been tough sledding. Nylander hasn’t been able to stick at centre for any prolonged period of time. He’s been great on the wing, though, so it doesn’t really seem like much of an issue.

I don’t want to rule out the possibility that Elias Pettersson can develop into a centre, but he’s played so much wing over the last few years that it’s getting harder and harder to envision. Hopefully it works out. Canucks general manager Jim Benning was adamant when he drafted Pettersson that he was a playmaking centre.

  • Killer Marmot

    The Toronto Maple Leafs are the golden standard for how to rebuild a hockey team; the Canucks are the example of how not to rebuild in every non-Vancouver market.

    The team that made the playoffs once in an eleven year stretch is the gold standard? Benning should relax then. He’s got seven more years to complete the rebuild.

    • DogBreath

      JD, Ryan O’Reilly’s comment today was very interesting about how all of the losing caused him (and not doubt, other players) to lose their love for the game. Its easy to understand how this could be the case and is why the notion of outright tanking is a problem. Too many teams have tanked, drafted talent and haven’t been able to figure out how to win. Look at teams like Florida, Arizona, NYI, Buffalo, Dallas, Edmonton and even Calgary and you can see cultures of losing in most of them.

      To advocate for scorched earth and “just tank” is easy to do. To maintain a winning culture is a losing environment is difficult, but necessary. To create a winner out of a losing culture is extremely complicated. Typically you end up cycling through many players before you get the right mix.

      • Dirk22

        People are advocating for smart moves aimed at building for the future – not scorched Earth although sometimes that can be the result. If losing really has that effect though than the Canucks must be screwed. They have been the worst team in the NHL since 2015. Worse than Arizona. Worse than Buffalo. Worse than Edmonton. Numbers don’t lie.

        • Super Pest

          Why is Dirk22’s comment trashed? It’s the F’ing truth. I don’t get it. Do fans think this is a winning culture. I don’t get it. Someone explain how all this losing Is insulating the young players. Please.

          • Freud

            Team Lemming is coming strong after that fabulous end to the season. Last year they ended poorly. Benning said last year those games don’t matter . Suddenly they are important when the results go his way. Everything is on track and stuff . Team Lemming loves these contradictions.

          • Dirk22

            A comment’s trash rating doesn’t usually mean much on these boards and it’s certainly not an indicator of reality. I think my biggest trashed comment was when I said William Nylander would score 50 points his rookie season. People were outraged! He then went on to score 61.

        • DogBreath

          Numbers don’t lie but they tell a different picture when you frame them to support a bias. Relative to the others, what’s the Canucks record compared to he same list since 2014? I thought so.

          Most teams take, what, 5-7 years to do a complete rebuild. Canucks are probably in year 3 of the rebuild. How does their record compare over the last 7 years against those teams? Yes, those teams are in perpetual rebuild.

          Perhaps another (fairer?) way to look at it is to compare the Canucks record against others who actually started at the same time and see how they match up. That may be a better assessment of management and rebuild strategy.

        • Super Pest

          Sorry people have trashed your comment, too. Explain to me, someone, how management has NOT failed to ice a competive team in a winning environment. Someone. Oh, and Hutton’s now broken…

        • TD

          I don’t know what the culture is like in the room, but last year the Canucks were in a playoff spot until sometime in January and this year it was into December. Arizona and Buffalo were out early every year, so while they still lost a lot, they were playing meaningful games for large parts of both seasons. They have a long way to go to be a winning team, but I know both Arizona and Buffalo have gone full tank with very little success. When a player like Ryan O’Reilly, who was on Canada’s World Cup team two years ago, comes out and says all the losing took the fun out of hockey and made losing acceptable, I think it’s worth at least considering that the full tank could do harm to the young players.

        • Hack-smack-whack

          Playing to win doesn’t necessary equate to a win today, but it will likely create the skills and good habits precursive to winning tomorrow.

          Think AV early in is tenure with Canucks, I think they had lost something like 9 straight, yet he was insisting they were playing the right way and wins would come. That eventually turned out pretty good wouldn’t you say?

          It probably doesn’t matter much whether the kids get the results now or not, as long as they think they can get the results and are competing each game, trying to find ways to be better.

        • DogBreath

          Teams go through talent cycles. We were void of young talent from the Gillis era. Need to restock. It takes time. Record has sucked but it’s how you go about it. Yes they’ve lost (a lot) but have they seemed demoralized like other franchises? Team leaders worked to manage the mindset (the culture carriers). You go scorched earth and you’ve basically neutered that. Don’t underestimate its importance.

      • truthseeker

        The leafs have no doubt done a good job with drafting good young forwards, but they, for two years now, have not addressed their issues on D and what the are now is a middling playoff team. Just like a lot of other playoff teams. Nothing wrong with that. They’re still building, but they aren’t a perfect example by any means.

        I’d much rather build a team like the Preds. From the D outward. Unfortunately it looks like the canucks are starting to copy the leafs model. They need to break that in this draft and collect D men a much as possible.

        And what you said leads into my response to JD’s “confusion” over draft odds. It’s pretty clear. And I’ve said it clearly many times. Wins are more important to the psyche’s of the young players than are the 6 % points going from 6th to 2nd. (Nobody was catching Buffalo so give that a rest). The importance of the last home win for example…playing and giving effort like that does mean something. My opinion of course (and O’Reilly’s too apparently). He’s free to disagree and say that 86.5 % odds against is better than 92.5% against and that difference is worth all the losing on the current players. But to claim to not understand the argument? Really? It’s completely logical and completely sound. I think some bias must be playing a role if that’s the case. Wouldn’t be the first time around here.

      • Super Pest

        AND he’s no Burke or Nonis either. Sorry. Like the man, but he’s not my ace for rebuilding this team. He may stumble to competitive simply through the draft, and good on him, but it won’t be based on shrewd trades.

        • Sandpaper

          So what are you saying, you want Benning building through the draft or by trading.
          I prefer the build through the draft, like most cup winners have in my lifetime.

          • Dirk22

            If you want to build through the draft then wouldn’t getting more draft picks be a priority? Yet here they are in his 5th draft going in with less than the standard amount of picks. This team went two straight years without a 2nd round pick! But yes…build through the draft.

    • Super Pest

      At least Leaf management was straight with the message: there will be pain.

      I don’t know about anyone else, but the last three years would have been easier to stomach with a PLAN. “Winning atmosphere my a#%”

      • Killer Marmot

        Management was straight with fans when they came on board. They said they were going to try to “rebuild on the fly”, meaning rebuild why still remaining competitive.

        They failed at that, but that’s a different issue.

      • DogBreath

        Leaf management played it perfectly. They paid $50 mill to get the best coach on the planet and then they got lucky by winning the lottery to get Matthews (top 5 centre in thw league?). Suspect they’d be a few steps back without Matthews.

        • TD

          I agree Leafs did a good job, but they started from a different place. They had Kadri, Van Rymsdyk, Bozak (good third line centre this year), Reilly, Gardiner and others that are part of this team before this management group took over. After years of losing, they had way more assets in the system as well. Yes they did a good job, but they got lucky on the draft with Matthews and started from a very different position than what Vancouver started from.

  • jaybird43

    A player with Peterrsson’s imagination and skill is a centre. Don’t care that he’s played wing. If Linden could be a centre, then Peterrsson can certainly be a centre.

    • DogBreath

      though I’d like that to be true, not sure its necessarily the case that a player with high skill automatically should be a centreman. Linden was a smart, defensively responsible player who had the size and strength to be a good third line centre, so it was a natural fit. Don’t know if this is true, but it may be that EP has high end talent but isn’t strong in his own end. In this case he’d be a better fit for the wing. Hoping that’s not the case though because this organization is short one strong centre and it’d be great if he were the one.

      • Holly Wood

        You have likely nailed it why E.P. is playing wing. He may be struggling with the defensive responsibility of playing centre but excelled at offence. With some added strength and size he may eventually play centre. Safe to say that all NHL wingers played centre early in their hockey development

        • TD

          Being a great back checker is not what makes a centre. All forwards have to back check. A good centre is the third defence man in the zone. He has to be able to check the opposing forwards in the corners and in front of the net. I hope Pettersson is the guy, but he may have a hard time competing against the strength of Malkin, Kopitar or Getzlaf. Even if he can’t play centre, he can still run the offence with his creativity from the wing the same way Gaudreau does in Calgary.

          • Well, that depends on the coaching system used. Remember Crawford and the left wing lock? He always had the LW drop back to the blue line to defend while the C and RW forechecked. Other teams use the weak wing lock so it depends on where the puck is on the ice. Neutral zone trap? 1-3-1? Swedish torpedo forecheck? A centre needs to be more defensively aware by virtue of his positioning but the level of defensive responsibility will vary depending on the team strategy.

  • TD

    JD, can you get someone (is it Jeremy Davis?) to give use the SEAL ratings for all the top D? You refer to the SEAL comparison between Boqvist and Hughes without saying what they are. I can see Boqvist’s SEAL rating being quite varied depending on which league you are examining as his numbers are quite different in the three leagues he played in this year. You also seem to rate Dobson over Bouchard despite Bouchard being much more productive in a harder league (OHL vs QMJHL). Dobson is a bit younger than Bouchard, but under 3 months as compared to the 10 month difference between Hughes and Boqvist. I have been hoping this would be presented for a while, but maybe it’s better suited as an article vs a mailbag question.

    • Canuck4Life20

      No post game for the Sedin’s final game, nothing on the season-ending media conference yesterday, but we do have three separate articles where JD responds to tweets.

      • Locust

        I hope people here take my advice and check out the other sites- CA is an anti-Canuck douchebagging joke.
        Constantly trolling Canucks supporters/fans (of which most of the writers are not) and routinely cherry picking stats when it suits their negative agenda.
        Canucks fans are getting ripped off ….. go look for yourselves.

        • Canuck4Life20

          Any tips on which sites to check out? I originally came to this one after sportsnet and tsn got overrun with trolls and will have no problem moving on from the garbage on this site.

          • Locust

            Just go to the bottom of this page and click on any of the other teams ‘Nation’ sites.
            Go back and read some of the articles….. then compare it to what we have here.
            Then you’ll understand what I am saying….
            Like I said … BIG … changes needed here or this site is doomed.

          • truthseeker

            I read a couple oiler articles during the season just for giggles when they were failing particularly hard, and that guy is absolutely awful. the “baggedmilk” guy or whatever. Total homer with no sense of neutrality at all.

            CA has it’s warts for sure. Some of them pretty irritating. But they also do a lot of good work too. And frankly…I couldn’t care less about any of the other canadian teams.

  • speering major

    I get the impression that the criticism of Bennings free agency moves are over stated. The Eriksson signing was bad. Not just because he’s been an unexpected bust up front, but because they failed to see the rebuild is in order. That said, I suspect this direction was coming from ownership that wanted to sell tickets

    Moving on to last summer, I think Benning did his job. The Canucks didn’t keep any ready prospects out of the line up. The forwards were and are thin and those signings aren’t creating any problems with roster spots or contracts. Those players are filling a gap.

    Time will tell but moving on to this season I think Benning will not be making another Eriksson type move. I think the Canucks will be making rebuild and gap filling moves. Next season will be another rebuilding year and all of Bennings signings last summer will be deadline bait this season or next, totally in line with the rebuild.

    I’m on board with the CA writers and using bad contracts to get futures. I like Lucic in this department in theory but I’m not familiar with his contract structure and the buyout details. Assuming its reasonable to buy out Lucic in 3-4 years I would jump at this for a first rounder. The rebuild would be in much better shape drafting 2 D in the top 15 in this draft. Not only is this draft deep on D, it’s a position that takes longer to develop, and it’s a position that the Canucks are extremely thin at

    • Ser Jaime Lannister

      Sam Gagner was a terrible signing, 3 year term was way too much. Travis Green is not going to sit him, so now we are stuck watching this bum float for another two seasons? low intensity, terrible defensively, doesnt produce? Awsome!

      • speering major

        I’m definitely not a Gagner fan. He actually surprised me at the end of the season because I thought he was completely useless. That said, his contract and roster spot will not interfere with the prospects. The final season they can do whatever they want with Gagner, including stick him in the press box or send him down. This season the Canucks need to fill roster spots, have no cap issues, and plenty of room for prospects. Again, I’m not a fan of Gagner but its not a problem at all. Eriksson and his contract is a big problem

        • Defenceman Factory

          Why is Eriksson’s contract a big problem? Fair to say it is a large overpay but the team isn’t crunched for cap space. Play Ericksson in a shut down role with Sutter and Archie. He serves a meaningful purpose there and is probably better than anyone else currently available for that job.

          I hate Ericksson’s contract and consider it a waste of money but If you hold your nose on the cost what problems does it cause?

          • truthseeker

            Yeah I don’t see his contract as a big issue either. It’s for sure not great, but it’s got outs and at least he’s still defensively responsible. It’s not like he’ll cost games on the ice.

            Edler and Del Zotto are done next year so there’s another 8 million. Gagner the year after that.

            Offensively it really can’t get any worse, and he’s still only 32. I could easily see Eriksson rebounding with the twins gone.

            The team really has zero long term cap issues. They are in fantastic shape for getting the young players resigned when the time comes.

            Benning rightly deserves the criticism for signing Gagner and Del Zotto, and for me personally to a lesser degree Eriksson as I get the appeal at the time, but he also deserves a ton of credit for getting the cap/contract situation under control and for setting the team up for future young signings.

            Now, if he wastes space this summer, we’ll talk again and I’ll gladly criticism him, but at this point anyone who is worrying about the canucks contract situations is being ridiculous.

      • TD

        Gagner was a 4th line PP specialist when he put all the points in Columbus. He did not fit the Canucks first PP this year because he is best playing the same role Henrik played this year. While I would rather see Pettersson on the right and Boeser on the first PP, Gagner may take over from Henrik and add some stability to the first PP with the loss of the twins.

        Personally, I want to see them start with Pettersson there, but can see that putting that much pressure on him may not be beneficial. So Gagner may be a nice option if that happens. Boeser put up a lot of PP points, so the loss of the Sedins needs to be addressed in order to keep Boeser and other young players on the right development track. Putting up points adds to confidence and can affect their play and development.

    • Holly Wood

      No thanks to Lucic and that albatross contract. He would get in the way of young development plus just all around painful to watch. Eriksson does contribute defensively but that’s about it.

      • speering major

        I would not sign Lucic if his contract couldn’t be bought out in 3-4 years. Getting a top 15 pick for him would be worth it imo. Lucic can play anywhere in the line up and provides leadership and protection for the youth movement. He’s 29 so He shouldn’t see another large drop off in speed for 2 or maybe 3 seasons

        I wouldn’t touch Lucic’s contract with a 10 foot pole if it didn’t make sense to buy it out at some point or the canucks had to keep an eye on the cap in the next couple of seasons

  • Ronning4ever

    “2017: Sam Gagner for three years, Michael Del Zotto for $3-million”

    On a purely ‘cost per point’ basis, out of 166 UFA dmen, Del Zotto clocked in #65 – so in the top 40% of UFA’s. Not terrible IMHO. Gagner comes in at basically the same – 174 out of 466 UFA’s.

    I think if the team is just looking for some bargain depth, these weren’t bad moves.

    • It’s arguable that Del Zotto fell short as he scored at PPG rate (0.27) that was below his historical average (0.39).
      However, Gagner matched his historical PPG average when you adjust it for reduced TOI so he came in exactly as advertised. It’s ironic that these UFA’s that “sucked” are exactly the type of players that people think we can sign and flip at the deadline for draft picks.

    • Ser Jaime Lannister

      You dont just get players for points Ronning…you need to be able to play hockey. How is Sam Gagner in his D zone? On board battles? on the forcheck? Just watch the games and youll realise its a bad signing because hes a terrible player. As for MDZ…sure he gives a better effort,, but is he constantly making mistakes in his D zone? caught out of position? Hows his Plus/Minus? Does he make his team mates better? You watch the games Ronning you should know the answers.

      • I thought it was pretty clear we were getting Gagner to help with the power play and not win the Selke. Everyone knows he’s softer than jello. But Gagner said he was feeling more confident in the latter half of the season and it felt like he really upped his game when he was playing with the Sedins. Not just because of the Sedins but he was more aggressive and attacking the net more.

  • Canuck70

    CA believes signing vets to short term contracts and flipping them for assets is a good strategy? Sorry, but this has not worked out too well. Vanek is a great example. He performed well but there was not a single GM that was willing to trade draft picks for him. The Canucks got Tyler Motte instead. This is a losing strategy. It may have worked in the past but today’s NHL is geared towards youth and most GM’s are demonstrating their unwillingness to move draft picks. I looked at the 2018 free agent group and the only two players below the age of 30 were Carlson and Tavares. Because players’ production usually nosedives after the age of 30 I would not go after any other free agents. Simply said, do not pay for past performance! I hope JD Burke reconsiders his comment about the Canucks blue line not having the space for Carlson. Was that comment a joke? Seriously, what happened to internal competition and sending players to the minors? Now that the Canucks have a lot of cap space they can sit back and wait for a top talent team in cap hell to expose a younger talent because of their inability to pay.
    Example, Panarin to Columbus from Chicago. Chicago had to go with cheap 3rd and 4th line guys to afford the big contracts to their core players. Look to teams like Nashville, Winnipeg, and Tampa being in the same situation in the next season or two. They have drafted well and likely have great talents playing in the minors with little hope of moving up to the NHL club. If those teams reach the finals or win the cup then their situation will worsen. Their players will all expect a raise and they will be forced to move some of them. If Vancouver has patience and keeps their cap space high then they will be in a position to take advantage of those opportunities. If JD Burke wants tradeable assets then this is the way to go rather then vets like Vanek, Jokinen, or Filppula who no-one will be willing to give draft picks for.
    Also, some people believe Benning is good at drafting. I am not so sure. The 2018 draft will tell if he is good or not. There is a lot of talent available in the first round but after the first three picks it will take knowledge, intuition, and luck to select the best player available. Picking those players that turn into gems in the later rounds show how skilled the GM and scouts are. 2017 seems to have been a good draft for the Canucks but we will only know for sure if and when those players make it to the NHL. If, and that is a big if, Benning can repeat his 2017 draft picking in 2018 and 2019 then this team can really have hope for the future. We need more than one NHL pick from each draft to become and remain successful in the future. I hope Benning can do it again and solidify his reputation as a talent evaluator. But I fear that he may regress to the mean and pick more busts than wins which would show definitely show that drafting is more about luck than anything else. Every GM has his day and wins once at the draft.
    One of the most interesting things for me that came out of the Sedin’s retirement was the story of how Brian Burke was so aggressive in getting the picks necessary to select Henrik and Daniel. I hope Benning can learn from that. Anything worth having in life requires effort and Burke used that maxim to get the Sedin’s. If Benning continues to demonstrate good drafting then hopefully he can learn to be more aggressive in signing and trading players, both aspects of his GM skills which appear to need upgrading. I can’t wait for April 28th. The draft lottery will either provide a big win if the Canucks move into the top three, or it will give the Canucks a 6 – 9 pick which will still be great. Either way, excitement is sure to generated. After reading Mondays mailbag I am glad Benning is the GM rather than anyone at CA. It sure is easy to be an armchair GM.

    • speering major

      Vanek did not get a good return but that was kind of unfortunate. Leipsic was a good pick up and that kind of value is reasonable. Vanek didn’t take the roster spot of any prospects and his salary was a bargain for his production. It’s unfortunate that the market was low for him at the deadline but all in all I would say Benning made a good signing and should continue to do the same

      I agree with the assessment about teams over paying for 30+ year old UFA’s and signing players in to their mid 30’s in general. The blackhawks have completely screwed themselves. They have had to trade away Panerin who is young and great scorer to deal with contracts of multiple players heading in to their mid 30’s.

      I don’t think even contending teams should be signing 30+ guys to 5 and 6 year deals for big money. That’s the market right now and I expect as it continues to backfire, the market will lower and those players will be getting offers for either shorter term or less money. Probably shorter term

  • tbone

    The Canucks cannot and will not be a consistent playoff team because:
    1. There is no “Canucks culture” or team identity to promote to the players or the fan base
    2. There is no sync between Utica and the Canucks. They play 2 totally different systems. They do not play the same offensive or defensive systems. When a player is called up to the Canucks it seems he struggles to fit in. Horvat had problems as did(does) Virtanen. A square peg in a round hole is a bad fit until you sand the peg round. But the sanding process (development) should be done at the AHL level not in the NHL. One of Babcocks sayings is “we like to get them ripe or overripe when they get here”. Did we see Dermott, Kappinen, or Johnsson struggle this year when they were called up? No because the square corners were sanded off in the AHL.
    3. TL and JB are nice guys who have been involved in hockey their whole lives. But we all know that nice guys finish last. You have to be smart and ruthless to build a team and then keep it relevant in the NHL. Both these men are smart hockey people but they lack ruthlessness at the management level.

    • Canuck70

      One of my favorite all time players is a guy named Steve Yserman. Guess what he does now? Currently he is one of my favorite GM’s. He is really good at his job but I would not consider him “ruthless”. He stands his ground for sure as seen by the Drouin situation. He turned that into gold by getting Sergachev. Sharp, yes. Ruthless, no.

      • tbone

        As a player Yserman was tenacious and ruthless. He took no prisoners and did not put up with teammates sandbagging the team. He is one of the most ruthless GM’s in the league. He built Tampa thru drafting and trading and by ruthlessly using his cap space. As for Drouin, he was drafted as an elite talent but he wasn’t getting the job done so Yserman sent him to Syracuse. He wouldn’t report. He became a problem. Yserman did not forget this and even though Drouin did make it back to Tampa he was showcased to increase his value in a trade. The trade he made for Drouin was ruthless in that he was able to sell Montreal on his talent while not dealing with his poor attitude. The return he got for Drouin…..well that was ruthless too, just ask Montreal.
        Yserman is one of my favorite GM’s and he is ruthless.

    • An NHL team and its farm team shouldn’t need to sync its coaching systems. NHL teams play a very structured game with hockey veterans while the AHL is a development environment using mostly prospects (hence the veterans rule). A single system wouldn’t work. Both teams should instill a good work ethic and ability to learn and adapt in its players but the on-ice strategy should reflect the roster. Both teams should also focus on winning and being competitive. Always.

      Syncing styles would be a headache. Coaches are different, to sync means one or both coaches would need to make compromises in how they coach. Moreover, what happens if one coach leaves for another team? Do you change the other coach too? It wouldn’t work and shouldn’t be the case.

      • Dirty30

        One of the main reasons Gillis lobbied for a farm team was because the teams Canucks prospects were farmed out to were playing different systems and call-ups didn’t have a clue how to play with the Canucks without practices.

        Gillis also mentioned that Canucks prospects were not getting playing time, and were deployed in the interest of the coach not their development.

        So it is important that the farm team prepare players to step right into the system and not learn something completely different.

        By the time players arrive at the farm teams they have likely been exposed to different systems and coaching styles, but it helps the big club to have a player ready to step in rather than need excessive time to adapt.

        • But that was a unique problem with the Chicago Wolves. The stupid owner wanted to play veterans to maximize revenue and didn’t give a rat’s ass about the Canuck prospects. So if the Canuck prospects didn’t know how to play with the Canucks, that’s because they weren’t even getting played by their farm team. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  • Kootenaydude

    I don’t think most Canucks fans or the owner can handle a proper rebuild. We go thru a losing stretch and most fans are losing their mind. This is on down years where we’re supposed to be finishing low in the standings and getting years of good picks. The same fans that get all happy when we win a bunch of meaningless games at the end of the season. We should be losing, but we should be losing with the kids getting a significant amount of play time.

  • Why Valtteri Filppula? Jokinen has a better historical PPG and has already proven he can score at an even higher rate with the Canucks. Moreover, Jokinen has way better possession metrics compared to Filppula. We have a real good utility player that has outscored the rest of the team but I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

    • Fred-65

      Jokinen for what it’s worth could be the equivalent as a forward similar to Biega is to the defense. Neither are paid a lot of money and both can take in stride sitting out games and then offer energy when they come back in

      • speering major

        Jokinen Is like a full zone behind the play. I get that he picked up some points but even in the 3 point night you look at him trying to compete and he just can’t keep up.

          • canuckfan

            Jokinen I don’t think will return he and the Sedins did the final shootout of the season we knew that Sedins were retiring I take the fact that Jokinen was put out there by Green was to let him enjoy his last game even if it was in the shadow of the Sedin tributes he had a good career and not a fun year expect him to retire.

          • Killer Marmot

            Although the Canucks have a bunch of promising young players to insert into the lineup, their roster is still short of players going into next season. A few short-term free-agent signings are (is?) warranted.