WWYDW: President Wario

Since college is finally, mercifully over, I’ll be taking the reins back from J.D. Burke as the curator of What Would You Do Wednesday. Before we get into it, I’d like to extend a sincere thank-you to him for taking it off my hands for the school year.

With the Stanley Cup Final nearing it’s end, attention will turn to something that until recently tradition for just about every championship-winning American pro sports team: the annual White House visit. The invitation extended to the Philadelphia Eagles was recently rescinded amid suggestions that many Eagles players would choose to skip the visit, and LeBron James made waves yesterday when he said both teams in the NBA final would likely skip the visit. Hockey is a little different, to say the least. But goings-on in the Oval Office of late have been a touch controversial as of late, to say the least. If you were a player on the Stanley Cup-winning team, would you attend the White House visit? Why or why not? Should these semi-traditional visits just be scrapped altogether?

Last week J.D. asked: what would you do about the Noah Hanifin speculation? Would you make a trade for the 21-year-old defenceman, and if so, what would it look like?


Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Depends on the price, but I would pretty much move any piece outside of Pettersson/Boeser/Horvat/7th for Hanifin, and the 7th is negotiable.
If the 7th is involved, it depends on who is still on the board at 7. If by some miracle any of Wahlstrom, Hughes or Zadina fall out of the top 6, I would no longer be willing to move the 7th overall. Once those guys are off the board, I am open to the idea.
After watching Vegas, the idea of Hanifin and Juolevi running the Canuck’s transition game from separate pairings is appealing. At the same time, I think concerns over Hanifin’s offensive upside and defensive deficiencies are legitimate, so the price has to be right.


Canes are trading from a position of strength: They have an excess of Dmen, and Hanifin is expendable. Any trade Canucks do should be from the same position, and trading picks and prospects, especially for a rebuilding team, is IMO dumb. Not a knock on Hanifin. I’ll let the experts decide his worth. I want our prospects to be developed, and when we do that, and not before, and have a surplus somewhere, then do such trades. In other words, wait until you can do one of these Sergachev-Drouin or Jones-Johansen deals.


Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

I’d be pretty okay with a top four of Juolevi, Hanifin, Dobson, and Stecher. That’s even letting Edler and Tanev ease their way down the depth chart as they age. It may not be the meanest blue line, but it’s reasonably big and mobile.

So long as you’re not trading Horvat, Boeser, Pettersson, Demko, I think you’re bringing in a “core” player and addressing some pretty major deficiencies. Even Benning is on the record, acknowledging that a winning group depends on not more than six or seven key guys. Right now, none of those key Canucks are D-men. By all means, try and hold onto 7, but there’s a very good chance that whoever goes at 7 never reaches Hanifin’s current ability. We can lust after potential and high ceilings, but I still tend to err on the side of caution and go with the known entity.


The Canucks could use Hanafin, but it’s not worth overpaying for him. The Canes have lacked a starting goalie for a decade. They’ve had several years where they’ve been a strong team and missed the playoffs due to Cam Ward and his .905 save percentage.

I’d offer Demko for Hanafin straight up, and then go fishing in the Leafs’ AHL team to pick up Garrett Sparks or Calvin Pickard on the cheap.


Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

No trade, too expensive. Instead, I’d take advantage of the fact that this draft is deep in defencemen and spend the first 3 rounds hunting for the best defencemen available (who are likely to be BPA too). For example, if we got Noah Dobson, Calen Addison and Filip Johansson, we’d have 3 defencemen with decent to high offensive upside. Dobson and Johansson are of decent height so it’s not like we’re drafting Smurfs either.


The potential for some of the D available in the draft may exceed Hanifin’s ceiling. I say don’t make the trade, keep our picks and our prospects. Hughes, Dobson, Boquist, or Bouchard will be wearing a Canucks Jersey next year at training camp, and I am fine with that.


  • Killer Marmot

    Yeah, visit the White House. You’re an adult, you can put away your political differences for a few hours and shake the president’s hand. Many players, I’m sure, strongly objected to Obama’s policies, but they respected the fact that tens of millions voted him into office. Enough with the bitter partisanship every minute of the day.

    • Dirk22

      There’s a difference between objecting to policies of Obama and supporting an obviously corrupt and racist kleptocracy.

      BTW – Tim Thomas didn’t go see Obama so where was his ‘respect for office?’

      • Killer Marmot

        Yes, yes, yes. You hate Trump. Got it. But many people hated Obama just as passionately, and yet rarely did a player refuse to show up at the White House.

        BTW – Tim Thomas didn’t go see Obama so where was his ‘respect for office?’

        I disagreed with Thomas. He should have been able to put his differences aside for an hour. A little camaraderie with “the enemy” might have done him some good. Why would you think my opinions align with his?

        • Chris the Curmudgeon

          False equivalency alert Batman. Barack Obama upheld his oath of office, whereas Trump has repeatedly betrayed his. People might say “respect the office”, but no one in history (not even Nixon, or Harding) has ever disrespected it to the extent that this President has. I think at this point, the most obvious reason not to attend is in solidarity with the players from the NFL and NBA, who chose not to because Trump specifically elected to demonize them for acts of conscience, and for repeatedly lying about the reasons for those acts for political gain.

          • Killer Marmot

            When football players enter the stadium, they are employees just like you and I. Neither of us have the right to overt politicizing while at work. We can be fired for that.

            Similarly with football players. If the owners wish to limit players’ political expressions while they are on the job, the owners have the right to do so.

            I am not saying the owners are correct in this, only that this is not a constitutional free speech issue.

            Thus your argument falls completely flat.

          • Killer Marmot

            Whether Trump’s actions are defensible of indefensible, it in no way constitutes a violation of his oath of office. That oath holds him to uphold the constitution. Encouraging owners to do something that in no way violates the constitution just plain doesn’t apply.

          • Killer Marmot

            Also, I take issue with your blame of the players for politicizing their work. They’re not the ones that have set up a forced flag salute at the beginning of their workday.

            Players were never required to salute, or to place their hand over their hearts, or to sing. The most some fans wanted was for them to stand quietly during the anthem.

            And in fact, players are not even asked to do that now. They have the option of staying in the clubhouse while the anthem is playing.

          • Chris the Curmudgeon

            Oh my goodness where to start. Relevant to this discussion, how about the fact that he “pledged to uphold the Constitution of the United States” and yet has advocated for, and successfully obtained, punishment for pro athletes who are exercising their First Amendment rights to protest. And yes, I know how “free speech” works and that it doesn’t mean that words don’t have consequences, but this is a case where the Executive branch of the United States government specifically intervened to violate those rights (NFL owners have since admitted as much). That right there is the most pertinent violation. I don’t have time to spell out all the other places (emoluments, obstruction of justice, pardoning of political allies/punishing of political opponents, etc etc) but unless you’re living in a Fox News parallel universe the number of cases where this President has done so is beyond the ability to even reckon with. The fact that no one in the spineless Republican led congress is holding him to account for it does not change the facts.

          • Chris the Curmudgeon

            The owners have the right to do that, yes. They have not violated anything. But I’m not talking about them, I’m talking about the president who repeatedly lashed out against the players for doing so, and then who used the power of his office to coerce the owners into enacting rules to punish players for doing so. You’re trying to tell me that isn’t a clear case of a member of government using their influence to specifically prevent an exercise of freedom of expression? Please don’t tell me you’re naive enough to think that because Trump didn’t pass a law, that his actions are somehow defensible: that a President’s words represent government speech is not exactly a stretch.

            Also, I take issue with your blame of the players for politicizing their work. They’re not the ones that have set up a forced flag salute at the beginning of their workday.

        • truthseeker

          As disgusting as human being as I think Tim Thomas and others like him are…..I actually respected his choice not to attend. Nobody should have to “put aside” anything.

          As for him or other anti PC backlash losers ever learning anything from anyone….that’s pretty much impossible. We just have to wait for the ignorant to all die off. And they will.

        • Dirk22

          you’re so close getting there. Maybe ask yourself why people hated Obama just as passionately.

          A little camaraderie might by ok if you’re in disagreement with the President over things such as universal healthcare. It is not ok or warranted when the person in charge is so clearly lying about (among 1000 other things) player protests in order to sow division in the very country he is leading.

          • Killer Marmot

            Obama unilaterally and without support of congress did his level best to shut down the American coal industry. He failed, but not for lack of trying. By 2016, 25% of all coal production was in bankruptcy. It wasn’t all Obama’s doing, but part of it was.

            The bitterness towards Obama must have been palpable by those who lost their jobs. And yet even to those people, I would have recommended meeting with the president and shaking his hand.

          • Killer Marmot

            Almost everyone thinks that their political views are just and valid, and the other side’s views stem from hatred and ignorance. Being friendly even with those you strongly disagree with is a way to broaden one’s horizons, and come to understand that the world is not so cut and dried.

          • Dirk22

            That’s so weak.

            You’re talking about differences between Conservative and Democratic/liberal ideas where there is room for debate of course.

            That’s not what this is about though. This is about being racist or not being racist. It’s about being a liar or not being a liar. Cozying up to that doesn’t broaden anyone’s horizons.

      • truthseeker

        Dirk! Greatest post you’ve ever made!

        Exactly. All the anti PC backlash losers never seem to want to talk about Tim Thomas. How convenient for them.

        Obama’s a corporate prostitute too though. They all are. Every single president since WW2 has been a war criminal.

  • Kootenaydude

    I think we can do better than talk American politics on a Canadian Hockey team website. I guide many Americans that are pro Trump. I also guide many Americans that are anti Trump. Here’s a question. If you worked on the oil rigs in Alberta. Would you shake the prime ministers hand? The common theme here is neither question is related to the Canucks in any way. Enough with politics. Let’s stick to hockey.

  • Mindset Expert

    Frankly, I’d rather players focused on their offseason routine, getting better at hockey. Foley or Leonsis isn’t paying you to do a politics, he’s paying you to play hockey. Get back in the rink and do some wind sprints. Get in the gym and do legs. Never skip leg day. Too many athletes these days don’t have the ability to focus on the task at hand and are either kneeling for the anthem or are visiting some old guy. Play the game.

  • Yes, I’d go. It’s not about whether you agree with the politics of the person who occupies the White House, it’s about respect for the office of the president and recognition of your own achievement.

    That said, I completely sympathize with NFL players who refuse to go, given Trump’s direct, personal attacks against the NFL and its players.

  • TheRealPB

    The fact that a pretty meaningless photo-op “feel good” moment for the major sports has now become…I don’t even know what…should be enough to convince me not to go. That’s doubly so in the case of this President. It’s not just that I wouldn’t go because he’s a racist, misogynist, xenophobic, elitist idiot who is playing all kinds of dangerous games with trade, foreign relations, the environment, LGTBQ rights and all sorts of other things he may or may not have an interest in but will exploit to have keep the culture wars going, it’s that it’s he who has made the WH visit into a political spectacle. This latest debacle with the Eagles is just the best example — disinviting them (as with the Warriors earlier) because not enough of them wanted to show up, using his state media arm to make grossly misleading and false accusations (i.e. using the pictures of them kneeling in prayer to imply they were kneeling in protest), and just generally deflecting all of his own inadequacies into a false narrative about (mostly black) football players being unpatriotic. Patriotism, as Samuel Johnson once said, is the last refuge of the scoundrel, and that is so clearly true here. So why play along? Why honor the office of an institution that the office-holder doesn’t care at all for? How in the world did so many Americans end up rooting for THIS guy, the one who doesn’t care about democracy, the little guy, rustbelt cities, coal miners, poor white people, really, anyone but himself? I don’t know why anyone thinks that sucking up to him will help. It doesn’t. Ask Jeff Sessions. Or the NFL owners.

    And the idea that the NFL has lost fans because of the anthem protests is laughable. Did anthem protests lose NASCAR half of its fans? Or MLB?

    So the answer is hell no, I wouldn’t go.

    • SJ

      I should follow this up by saying I think the whole thing should be scrapped. It’s been turned into a political decision. As much as you want to push all the “put your differences aside/take the politics out of it”; I believe it’s too late for that. We’re already there. No matter what you do/say/decide it’s going to be viewed through the political lens. And if the NHL wants to appear to stand for equal rights for everyone then nobody should go.

      • Laxbruh15

        This argument is ridiculous. It’s essentially “we can’t handle conducting ourselves in a decent fashion, so the entire event gets canceled because of us.” The players that object aren’t five years old, they can and should be capable of public interactions without throwing a hissyfit. The players that are objecting manipulated sports into a political event when it had absolutely no place to begin with. At that point, it’s pretty reasonable to expect politicians to get involved. The players brought this upon themselves.

        • SJ

          It’s not a hissyfit man, sit down. If you had even a shred of understanding for the situation you wouldn’t call it that. Even if you want to go down that road, they’re taking a freaking knee on a field! How is that a “hissyfit”? If anything it’s Wario throwing the hissyfit.
          Your whole post just proves you have no clue. Of course the players brought this on themselves! They wanted to! They wanted people to start listening and understanding what was going on! The problem is that no one f—ing gets it. They all just get butthurt about their flag and soldiers and don’t bother to listen. Sit down.

      • SJ

        The biggest problem with all of this is that the detractors–the people that believe everyone should “stand and respect the military”–aren’t f—ing listening. They don’t understand what it’s about, and they aren’t interested in learning. They’re much more interested in yelling their opinion at you, without gaining an understanding of what the real problem is, and what everyone is really protesting.

  • DeL

    They need a goalie? Markstrom plus Baertschi for Hanifin they don’t want it move on. Ease Demko in with Nillsson nobodies expecting the Canucks to finish out of the bottom 3-5 anyway.

        • Not arguing Markstrom wouldn’t be a marginal improvement, but Carolina is not going to trade a young top-4 defenceman for a mediocre goalie and a mediocre winger. They can sign a goalie on the cheap in free agency who is likely to give them similar goaltending to Markstrom, and they have plenty of wingers as good or better than Baertschi on the team already.

          People need to stop thinking that packaging up a couple mediocre players will buy them a good player. This isn’t how trades work, unless you’re dealing with Peter Chiarelli.

          • Killer Marmot

            Actually, Markstrom would have been a substantial improvement. Carolina’s goal tending was baaaad.

            I’m not claiming that Carolina would or should make this deal, but they undoubtedly could use Markstrom.

          • That’s assuming Markstrom will continue to outperform his career average, and Darling will continue to substantially under-perform his.

            Those aren’t bets I’d make, personally.

  • Defenceman Factory

    Championship teams visiting the whitehouse is a time honoured tradition that should be continued …… as soon as Trump is no longer president.

    It should be made clear this is a rejection of him as an immoral individual and not a slight to those that might share his political affiliations. Sports transcends politics but they do not transcend being a decent human being.

      • Bud Poile

        The day before Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas he affirmed to pull the troops out of ‘Nam. 100 Americans had died and Kennedy said it was senseless.Then there was Cuba in which he went directly against the CIA and collaborated with Krushchnev to avoid nuclear war.LBJ killed everyone around him and allowed the CIA to become a separate entity unto themselves.America’s soul was sold the day the music died.

  • To quote a disgruntled military guy who had a lousy commanding officer: “I’m respecting the rank, not the man.” That being said, I’d attend and if anyone asks for a soundbite, I’d say: “Your president is one of the worst ever, I’m just here to raid the deli tray.”

  • Riley Miner

    Personally, I would not, just as I wouldn’t visit the PM if he reflected Trump’s views. The whole ‘respect for office’ thing is frankly a little ridiculous, the Whitehouse visit is purely a political photo-op. When someone is actively parting families from their children and exiling as many of an ethnicity that he can, it’s probably okay to pass on giving the guy a pretty picture to hang.

  • Moosekayak

    Visiting the WH (or 24 Sussex) or not doing so are equally political. I’ll admit that if I was an NHL player I’d probably be too full of a PR mindset to want to cause a stir – but also I really wouldn’t want to go. I’d make up some excuse (prior family commitments!) and justify it with not being American.

      • Kootenaydude

        Bud the problem is if you look at the draft over the last twenty years you will quickly realize that the first round of draft selections is what really matters. After the first round most of those players will never ever make it to the NHL. Even fewer will play on the Canucks. It’s just wasted time and space. How many of these so called rankings will actually come true? Probably around 1-2 %. First round rankings and some wildcards would suffice. Maybe if Canucks Army gave an in depth description of what all the analytic numbers and graphs meant. People would comment more. Until then it’s just a bunch of meaningless numbers and graphs to most Canucks fans.

        • Bud Poile

          You appear to be doing Ryan Biech a disservice.
          Ryan diligently runs through the prospects using his metrics and offers his formula and thoughts for the record.
          If we want to learn and take notes there is an opportunity to do so right here-gratis.
          That’s an opportunity to learn and get an education.Wasted time and space is in the eye of the beholder.
          When Ryan lays out his top 100 I use it as a reference point on draft day.I see how accurate his picks relate to actual NHL team’s picks.
          I also go through the available Canucks picks and look at Ryan’s listings in and around where the Canucks actually pick.
          6th rounder-Jasek
          3rd rounder-Lockwood
          6th rounder-Palmu
          4th rounder-Rathbone
          5th rounder-Gaudette
          2nd rounders Lind and Gadjovich represent picks with high hopes.
          The same can be said for 3rd rounders Demko,Brisebois and to a lesser degree,DiPietro.
          The Canucks draft record before Benning arrived is well documented.
          In Benning’s first draft he pulled NHL players in rounds 1-5.
          If we include the five first-rounders the Canucks have acquired 17 actual/high potential NHL-ers through four drafts that Benning represents.
          First rounders are headline click bait but NHL teams are also built in later rounds.

          • Kootenaydude

            Ryan is doing a great job, butttttt if before he gave all these rankings. He gave us a little bit of schooling on analytics it would go a long way. Then when I looked at all the graphs and such. I could make an educated opinion on the players listed. Right now it’s just a bunch of mumbo jumbo to most. Talk SEAL to me or GF%, maybe some with player / without player talk. If you’re going to talk analytics to your followers at least help teach them some basic analytics. I hope someone at CA reads this comment.

        • Killer Marmot

          The later rounds are where successful managers are made.

          A team that walks away with only one NHL-caliber player per draft is going to have trouble down the road. A team that can consistently finds two or more NHL players is going to have depth and trade bait to spare.

  • Druken Lout

    A man bread by capitolism who’s only goal is to in turn breed more capitolism… someone posted something about comradarie, how about showing some solidarity with those who are standing up to a modern day tyrant?

  • apr

    As much as its a team game, something like this has to be an individual decision. Ownership/management should allow players to have discretion on whether they go or not. Its stupid that the Pens made Crosby go when he clearly wanted nothing to do with it. Its more than fine if Brady wanted to go. It does no one any good when players are forced to attend. On a personal note – that orange f### can go f### himself.

  • truthseeker

    I hate patriotism and propaganda. And that’s what sucking up to the president/prime minister is.

    The only reason to go would be to protest directly. Call the leaders out, right on the spot. That would be something to see.

    • Bud Poile

      Smith-Pelly to skip White House visit if Caps win

      LAS VEGAS — Count out Devante Smith-Pelly if the Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup and are invited to the White House to celebrate with President Donald Trump.

      “The things that he spews are straight-up racist and sexist,” Canada’s Postmedia quoted Smith-Pelly as saying Wednesday as the Capitals prepared for Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights. “Some of the things he’s said are pretty gross. I’m not too into politics, so I don’t know all his other views, but his rhetoric I definitely don’t agree with. It hasn’t come up here, but I think I already have my mind made up.”

      Smith-Pelly, one of two black Capitals players, is from the Toronto area.