74
Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

CanucksArmy Monday Mailbag Part 2: 4th Lines, Making Room For Youngsters, and More Angst

There’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s start with the Vegas comparison. I don’t think there are really any similarities. Tomas Nosek is 25 and an RFA who had a cap hit of 615k when the Knights made their run to the final. Ryan Reaves was on a two-year deal with a 1.1 million dollar cap hit. He got a raise, but still makes less money and term than either of Antoine Roussel or Jay Beagle. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is an older depth player, but was on a two-year deal with a 1.45 million dollar cap hit. We can debate their effectiveness, but that’s what you want to allocate to your fourth line. Those three players alone only counted for just over 165k per year against the cap more than Jay Beagle will for the next four years. The situations aren’t remotely close.

As far as having nothing better to spend money on, players become free agents every year. Trade opportunities come up every year. You have to plan for that. Spending money on things you don’t need just because you have money is a bad financial plan for anybody. It’s even worse when the amount of money you can spend is limited by a salary cap.

The Canucks’ front office doesn’t strike me as a group of party animals. Maybe John Weisbrod. He seems like he likes to have fun.

I feel like this is more of a rhetorical question, because he won’t, and they can’t. That’s the end of it. We haven’t seen this team prioritize playing the kids if it means veterans have to sit in the press box. It hasn’t happened yet and there’s no evidence that’s going to change.

You might be putting the cart before the horse a little bit. The projected Canucks lineup for next year did have some youth, with many prognosticators giving Elias Pettersson, Olli Juolevi, Jonathan Dahlen, and Adam Gaudette spots in the opening night lineup. Obviously that isn’t happening now. You’re half right, though. These contracts won’t insulate the youth movement, they’ll block it from happening. And the projected opening night roster after these signings isn’t remotely young anymore.

I think when a rebuilding team has the opportunity to give fourth-line players money, term, no-trade clauses, and bonus-laden contracts, they have to take it.

This is an interesting question and would be a pretty good idea. Signing Beagle would seem to portend a Sutter trade at some point down the line. I’ll answer your question with another question, though: based on the type of moves the Canucks have made in the past, does inflating Sutter’s stats seem like something they would do?

I’ve got nothing, Jamie.

First overall picks just don’t get traded. I think it’s unlikely something like what you’re suggesting could ever materialize with the way the NHL currently operates.

Look, I like Travis Green, but there’s nothing about his first year on the job that gave me the impression he would even want to bench players like Jay Beagle. Brandon Sutter was one of his most utilized players last season. He refused to scratch Michael Del Zotto at any point last season. Even if he felt he could scratch veterans, he’s given no indication that is something he would do.

I can’t even begin to speculate as to why the Canucks have been so attached to such an objectively bad roster. It can’t be that they’re scared trades will make the team less competitive, they’ve been awful for three seasons now. It can’t be because trades weren’t on the table, we know there has been interest in Tanev, Sutter, and even Loui Eriksson. The only answer I can give you is that they feel they aren’t getting fair offers. Let’s be honest, though: there’s a wealth of evidence that this team as awful at negotiating.

Players like Del Zotto and Gudbranson won’t be getting scratched to make room for younger defenders. Hutton and Pouliot will be the odd men out. Maybe even add Troy Stecher to that list.

The rule you’re referring to wouldn’t apply to Hughes, who would be playing in the AHL next season if he signs and doesn’t play with the Canucks. The NCAA doesn’t allow players who have signed NHL contracts to play, so Hughes can’t return to college if he signs. No matter what, Hughes will burn the first year of his ELC if he signs.

EDIT: Turns out I completely misremembered things. This rule does apply to Hughes. If he signs before December 31st and plays 9 games or less he will not burn the first year of his ELC.

Adam Gaudette will start the season in the AHL. There won’t be any surprise forwards who make the team out of camp. Nikolay Goldobin could be on the outside looking in, too. As far as Virtanen goes, I think the organization has accepted at this point that he’s a bottom six player, so that’s where I expect to see him.

You’re correct to point out Ryan Johnson as someone who has a bright future in the organization. Jonathan Wall seems like a bright guy who could move up the ranks at some point in the future. I’m also curious as to whether or not Thomas Gradin might be interested in moving into a managerial role. He’s done an excellent job on the amateur scouting side of the organization, I wonder if that would translate to operations at the pro level.

Refer to the answer to question #5.

Despite Trevor Linden’s recent comments about weaponizing cap space, I get the impression that the Canucks are still a little bit behind a large chunk of the league when it comes to acquiring bad contracts. It wasn’t long ago that Jason Botchford reported that Jim Benning expressed genuine confusion at the concept.

For better or worse, the Canucks seem to have a very straightforward approach to player acquisition. If they’re goign to trade for a player, there will have to be genuine interest. I’m guessing they didn’t like any of the players with bad contracts that were on the marke

You know, in spite of the well-earned criticism, I still think the Canucks are closer to contention than either of Montreal or Ottawa. Montreal loves to trade good players for worse players, and has no centre depth whatsoever. Ottawa is just a complete gong show and likely will be until the team is sold. I give Calgary the advantage over Vancouver, though. The Dougie Hamilton trade was questionable, but Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin are still good players and they have a great forward group. I wouldn’t bat an eye at them making the playoffs next season.

I’m not sure what you mean. What’s my crazy prediction? My crazy prediction is that none of the Canucks young prospects will make the team out of camp. No Pettersson, no Gaudette, no Hughes, no Juolevi, no Dahlen, no Demko. I don’t really believe that, but it’s the craziest thing I could see realistically happening.

  • Marvin101

    the lowest scoring team in the league blows its wad on grit and grinders. it seems that for a low scoring team with a shaky defense, the money could have been better spent.

    they should be more fun to watch but it’s hard to imagine them being a better team.

  • Beefus

    I don’t get it. The trend in the new NHL is to have at least three scoring lines. With Sutter and Beagle pencilled in as two of our centres and no legitimate second line centre we are doomed to have only one scoring line. I’m predicting another low scoring, non-entertaining season.

    • Killer Marmot

      Sutter is likely to take on a more offensive role next season, with Beagle taking over the shut-down line (that is, a lot of defensive-zone faceoffs and tough line matches.) I can see Sutter getting 40-45 points next season if he stays healthy.

      • Andy

        You know what’s funny about your prediction?

        Sutter has played 6 full-ish (60+ seasons) in the NHL, and scored 35+ points once, back in 2010.

        We’re going to run into the Sbisa/Gudbransson issue where Sutter’s stats will crater, and everyone talk about how they’re ‘played too far up the lineup’.

        • Killer Marmot

          He got 26 points this season in 61 games, and that was with onerous shut-down duties and often uninspiring line mates. Half again as many points seems in reach if he plays a full season.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      Your argument seems like it would have supported the Mark Messier signing purely based on his empty “leadership”. I’d also like to point out the fact that despite the team having ample cap room, signing 4th line guys to $4M per contracts is inherently not good as it only raises the monetary expectations of EVERY other player that feels they are better than said player. Hence, Brock Boeser will automatically now command even more money….

      CA hates on this mgmt group for a very good reason – THEY NEVER LEARN FROM THEIR PAST MISTAKES (probably cause they never believe they do anything wrong?)

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        They also NEVER demonstrate an ability to adapt, or think outside their own little tiny old world way of thinking that they have locked themselves into and thrown away the key. They also suck at pro scouting, communication between themselves, and communication with the media. Oh yeah, and JB is a head scout who still (after 4 years) hasn’t learned a damned thing about the roles/responsibilities of a GM outside of amateur scouting.

  • jaybird43

    Boy, the answer to the last question, while realistic as the ‘worst case realistic scenario (so to speak), makes me want to go slash my Canuck wrists … baaaaa

  • DJ_44

    The rule you’re referring to wouldn’t apply to Hughes, who would be playing in the AHL next season if he signs and doesn’t play with the Canucks. The NCAA doesn’t allow players who have signed NHL contracts to play, so Hughes can’t return to college if he signs. No matter what, Hughes will burn the first year of his ELC if he signs.

    Pretty sure this rule applies to Hughes. When in doubt, read the CBA (sorta along the lines of when in doubt, watch the players play).

    Assuming Hughes signs this summer, he will be 18 at the time of signing as per the CBA (the rules apply to 18yr olds (9.1 d [i] ) or 19yr olds (9.1 d [ii] )). He would be in fact eligible for two years of ELC Slide under Article 9.1 d (i) and (ii).
    —Article 9.1 excerpt below:

    In the event that an 18 year old or 19 year old Player signs an SPC with a
    Club but does not play at least ten (10) NHL Games in the first season
    under that SPC, the term of his SPC and his number of years in the Entry
    Level System shall be extended for a period of one (1) year, except that
    this automatic extension will not apply to a Player who is 19 according to
    Section 9.2 by virtue of turning 20 between September 16 and December
    31 in the year in which he first signs an SPC.

    This means that if he does not play 10 NHL game (so AHL games do not count), his ELC slides. This exact case happened to Leafs 2017 1st rounder Timothy Liligren last year, as he played the entire season in the AHL.

    I do not think it will matter, because if Hughes signs, I expect him to play more than 10 in the NHL this season.

    The difference between Hughes’ case, and that of NCAA players like Gaudette, Boeser, Demko, etc, was their age at signing. (they were 20+).

  • Defenceman Factory

    It is easy to understand the money/term issues people have with the most recent UFAs but I don’t get the blocking of prospect concerns. The only centre that might not get a spot is Gaudette. He needs to beat out Schaller who would be a great 13th forward. If Gaudette isn’t better than Schaller he goes to Utica because he simply isn’t ready. Roussel likely gets a shut down line left wing spot because he is the best in that role. There are 3 more spots to compete for. If the young players are ready it is Gaunce, Gagner and Granlund that lose roster spots. Baertschi is no shoe in for the top line.

    Jackson no idea what you are talking about regarding Dmen. If Hutton and Poulliot are the odd men out it is because of their own play and Hughes or Joulevi beat them out of spots. Everybody but Edler on the left side sucked last year. Del Zotto can be moved or sent down if there are legitimate better options. Who is going to play if Stecher sits? What a stupid remark.

    • Jackson McDonald

      I never said if Pouliot or Hutton sit that it wouldn’t be because of their play.

      He asked if MDZ would ever sit to make room for a young guy. I said Pouliot, Hutton, and Stecher would all be more likely to sit than MDZ based on how they were utilized last season.

      Don’t understand what’s hard to understand about that.

      • Defenceman Factory

        It is hard to understand because it has no basis. Poulliot and Hutton sat because of a lack of effort. Del Zotto doesn’t lack effort, skill maybe but not effort. No Green won’t take away a veteran’s roster spot until someone puts in the effort to earn it. When did Stecher ever get sat so Del Zotto could play?

        • Holly Wood

          I agree on MDZ. It’s not his effort that is in question. Yet he does have some puck skill. From my seat he seems to have trouble thinking the game at this level. It’s happening faster than he can handle. He would likely be an awesome minor league player. If you have ever played at a level that was above your ability you realize pretty quick it’s more you being able to see the play before it happens rather than after the pucks in the net. Hockey, baseball,basketball are all similar in that regard.

        • Whatthe...

          Exactly the fact that he included Stecher in the conversation shows the bias…JM hates this Mgmt group so much he’ll spin it negative any way he can.

        • Freud

          lol.

          Then what part of Benning’s “contending with the elites” plan this past season included giving a big contract and giving up picks for two d-men that lack basic effort?

      • Killer Marmot

        If Hutton takes his off-season training seriously, I can see him rebounding from last season and logging a ton of time. But the ball is in his court.

    • ColdOne

      Except for the fact is that, Jimbo and Green showed no proclivity whatsoever to bench or send Delzaster or Guddy down last season, even though they were objectively outplayed by Hutton and Pouliot by just about every conceivable metric.

      • Defenceman Factory

        You don’t seem to know what a metric is. How many points did Hutton have last year? Points are a metric. Hits are also a metric.

        As Guddy plays the right side whether Hutton and Poulliot sat really has little to do with him.

        I truly hope Hutton and Poulliot put in the effort to push Del Zotto out of the line-up as he is not a good defenceman.

      • DJ_44

        Hutton did not out play anyone on the team. In fact, Sautner was massively better than Hutton as well. Green to Mercy on Hutton by letting him play in the Sedin’s last two games. It certainly was not because Hutton was better. Trade him or waive him. He will not be missed.

      • Killer Marmot

        Pouliot had an event-strength goal differential of -20, which was the worst in the team by 4 points.

        And Hutton was out of condition, a cardinal sin in a sport where every player is expected to give their best. On well-run teams, being out of condition is going to get you benched no matter how talented you are.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      I’m gonna assume you have no idea what Jackson is talking about regarding dmen because you possibly lived under a rock last year (and possibly more?). Clearly you saw the same positive things in DJ MDZ’s game that Travis Green (and only Travis Green) also saw. I think everybody else saw a vet who sucked at large most of the year on a defence that sucked at large all year with equally crappy dmen left right and center. Jackson’s point was that no matter how crappy a vet dman played (and for long extended periods) he would never be scratched, or even benched for lengths of games. But if that crappy dman was a young player, Green would have no qualms about benching/scratching them. It goes back to Green’s whole “accountability” garbage he spewed to the media all year yet refused to actually put into practice when it came to making a point to the useless veterans that continuously saw minutes and action despite horrific numbers night in and night out.

      • Defenceman Factory

        Well at least you are consistent in being classless and seldom right but never uncertain.

        Stecher had a higher average TOI than Guddy so the evidence of a young player being behind a vet doesn’t hold up that well with the D.

        No one said DelZotto was a good D and one can assume Green wanted Hutton and Poulliot to play Del Zotto off the roster. They didn’t. Making matters worse their effort levels were poor. Hutton was soft and Poulliot bled goals. There are good arguments to sit Del Zotto but not so someone even worse who isn’t trying as hard can have a roster spot.

  • KGR

    Wow! Signed up just to comment. it obvious that CA has no love for Trevor or Jim: but, why not (at least) look at it from a different perspective. There is very little leadership left in the dressing room. The canucks needed to address this. Who cares if they overspend a bit to get a guy they identified as a good veteran with great “room” qualities. It’s not like they have any concerns about the cap for a few years. Even four years out.
    Also, at best a couple of kids start in Vancouver: realistically they should all start out in Utica, unless one of them blows the roof off. This team is not going to be very good this year anyway.

    It makes sense to have good leaders in the room….It is hard to continue to learn on a bad team; easier when you are insulated and shown how to learn the game and how to behave. I’ve been around enough organizations in the real world to understand the role continuity plays. You lose that – it is a long road back. The oilers are a very good example of this.

    Gillis drafted poorly and mortgaged the future for a run at the cup. It didn’t work; but, (perhaps) was worth the attempt. The team was left in the gutter after that. Benning’s first moves were around securing youngish (22 or so) talent in an attempt to provide shorter term players. He now has that hole filled. Next, continue drafting and developing players. insulate them with veterans and slowly work the kids into the line up.

    This team is going to be bad this year, and I am fine with that. All that matters is they work hard and compete and keep moving forward. Unlike CA, I do believe the future is bright.

    • Gino über alles

      Nicely said, I’m in favour of loading up the Comets with everyone eligible, give them all a call up or two when you can, and make a run for the AHL title. Are they going to develop more playing limited minutes on a bad NHL team or lots of minutes on a great AHL team? Just think of the line up we’d have and how they would all grow together, that’s what they did with prospects in Detroit and it’s worked really well for them.

    • Holly Wood

      Welcome to Canucks Army, KGR. Where there are several staff and many commenters that actually believe they know more that the career hockey people that get paid to run hockey teams.

      • Roy

        You are the worst commenter here. The “armchair GM” critique kind of falls short when the team has finished in the bottom three for four years.

        And trotting out my favourite argument – a crippled, skinny mutant pony by analogy – that we need veterans and leadership and grit. It’s so bad and completely worn out and has no basis in fact.

        This team is terrible. Their vets are terrible. Benning has no clue what he’s doing. Our prospects are okay and they are going to float around with no guidance and be mediocre when they do crack the lineup in three years.

        We’re the Oilers until Benning gets fired. Anyone who doesn’t see that is Rip Van Winkle.

    • FinkFast

      Yeah honestly, I am usually a supporter of the CA staff and their relative pessimism. But it has gotten to be a bit much even for a grump like me.

      Pull yourself together boys. The sky isn’t falling quite so hard. It’s a couple mil and a couple years too much, for a couple of generally decent depth guys. They seem like good guys, and should be more fun to watch than a lot of the 4th lines we have had recently. During a period where we are unlikely to be that great anyways.

      It may not be a win.But it was FAR from the biggest loss of the day. And I will still have fun watching them play.

    • Whatthe...

      Great post, as a warning get used to reading Canucksarmy blogs that are created in a vacuum and/or ignore context.

      No one is denying that Mgmt has made mistakes (what mgmt group doesn’t) but Canucksarmy usually takes it to ridiculous level.

      I am with you, no shame in stacking Utica for the next two seasons and calling up prospects when ready.

  • rediiis

    JB had roster moves to make. He coveted Beagle and Roussel. I have no problem with either of them as they are tough hockey players, committed and driven to exceed. I really do not care about term as most. Both can be tossed at a trade deadline. Centers and grit are usually good trade assets. Shaller may have more impact long term. Keep working the phones and the waiver wire. This is a re-build, it won’t happen today. JT didn’t sleep in a Nucks jersey as a kid. Welcome to Vancouver Mr. Beagle, Mr. Roussel and Mr. Shaller.

    • Dirk22

      “Both can be tossed at a trade deadline”

      Did you miss the part about them being 4 year deals, not to mention whatever NTC’s they have worked in? Nobody’s picking up any term on Beagles contract and they’re certainly not trading for him in his last year when he’s 36. Not to mention the fact that Jim B’s gone 1 for 4 in his trade deadline performances.

      • janmoh

        Beagle reminds me of Matt Cullen. Cullen is 41 and signed this year again with Pittsburgh. I can see us getting a 4th rounder for Beagle in his 4th year because teams covet that type of player in their bottom 6. Also Roussel will be 32 in his final year of his contract. Again that can be traded for a low pick because he can be an asset to a playoff contender.

    • Puck Viking

      and then actually moved him for a return at some point any deal over 2 years on scraps is just a waste and the contract term and bonus structure of beagles proves these guys dont have a clue what they are doing and need to be replaced. saying thats what the market was dictating once again proves they are too stupid to walk away from a bad deal..

      could have had steve mason but no lets no use any cap space to make the team better in the future even with an owner who is willing to spend to the cap even for the worst team in the league.. i would be pissed if i was FA

        • Puck Viking

          its every year for the last 3 years..

          last year with Gagner was the same 3 year deal to a guy who just the year before was in the AHL and still needs a sheltered role.. I wouldnt have signed him to a 1 year deal..

          We are now loaded with terrible contracts.. one is not a big deal but 5 multi year deals is an issue we are talking in more than 20 million dollars

      • Cageyvet

        Nothing new for the everything mgt. does is crap. Logic fails them, anyone who can crack a roster needed an overpay to come to Vancouver, you’d think all those who say the organization is crap would at least take that into account. Must work differently for them on the video games, I thought Calvin de Haan would have signed for 2 years at less than 3 million? No? Shocker……welcome to the real world.

    • LTFan

      Puck Viking – Yep we could have just signed Stastny – very simple. Maybe, just maybe Stastny had other ideas on where he was going to sign – do you think??

  • Killer Marmot

    We haven’t seen this team prioritize playing the kids if it means veterans have to sit in the press box.

    At the beginning of the season that’s true, but it’s pretty much a necessity. A team tries to bank enough depth for when injuries take their toll, and that means most waiver-ineligible players are going to have to start in Utica so that older players are not exposed to waivers unnecessarily.

    But as the season rolls on and the injury list grows, the kids get their chance. I can’t think of a Canuck prospect who should have been in Vancouver but was held back for long.

  • Canuck70

    It looks like these signings could block some prospects from making the big club. But, realistically, all three of the ufa signings are proven NHLer’s and if a prospect can’t outplay them then they should not be on the Canucks roster. Look at Gaudette. In his debut last spring he looked encouraging but he could not put up points. I know it was a short trial but compare him to Boeser a year earlier and Gaudette does not pass the eye test as well. Maybe he needs AHL time or maybe he busts out at camp and makes the club. As ardent fans we all want success but remember, this team had all of the guys like Goldy, Leipsic, Boucher, Virtanen, Hutton, etc and still ended up near the bottom. Lind put up next to no points in his AHL time and Gadjovich and Jasek likely are not ready either. The amount of injuries last year was just brutal. Utica was worse. How many PTO’s did they need last year? The Canucks have dropped a number of minor leaguers to make room for the fresh batch of draftees. Guys like Goldy, Hutton, and Boucher have this year to prove themselves or they will be gone. Pouliot and Virtanen might be as well. I hate to give up on guys like them but they better show improvement or they should be gone. Benning has added the new guys for competition, mentoring, toughness, and also for depth. Has anyone considered the next expansion draft? Maybe this is a sheltering plan to avoid losing young playets and continue seasoning some prospects in the minors. I agree with the speculation about moving Sutter. These signings certainly make that option more available. Only Benning knows how much interest other teams have shown in Canuck players. They have very few tradeable assets and maybe he can move Sutter for draft picks now. This would be a move that everyone here would welcome. I like Sutter a lot. On a better team he would be a great asset for a cup run and these signings make him moveable. Personally, I was on team tank last season and I am still on team tank. Especially for 2019 when Jack Hughes is there. I believe in karma and like everyone else here having two extraordinary Sedin-like brothers on the team would be awesome. I am all in for the Marlies model. Utica has been a decently performing farm team. Let’s keep the prospects together there for this year and next and build a winning powerhouse. Cull looks like a great development coach.
    Vancouver does not have a winning culture and the projections are not good for this season. Utica could and should be strong with the prospects we have. For the most part the young guys are not NHL ready and Vancouver’s management knows this. Hence these signings. Term is a little long, salary is ok. Attitude and culture improvement? Probably. Standings improvement? I don’t think so. That’s OK though. Let’s get a couple of more high draft picks next year. Oh yeah, for those of us that are worried about roster blocking, Stetcher made the club by his play. Weircoch never made the big team. Virtanen was deservedly demoted and kept up when he improved. Green will play guys who deserve it.

    • Andy

      As nice as it is to follow the Marlies plan, it’s crucial to understand that said plan is an extension of the Leafs strategy; protect the young kids by playing out whoever is still on the roster – take on other teams’ bad contracts in exchange for assets, don’t sign depth players needlessly (Orr/McLaren, but Matt Martin was a mistake for them), let go of solid players if they’re more valuable to other teams (Phaneuf/Kessel), don’t break the bank until there’s a worthwhile bet (Zaitsev/Tavares)

      • GMT+1 !!!!

        Well said Andy. It is a trap to look only at one piece of the Elephant (TO) and champion it alone as the solution.

        Plan the fight and fight the plan. I can be generous with mgmt, because they are rookies, but I don’t feel out of line by being both disappointed and critical of their performance to date.

  • argoleas

    I believe your “crazy prediction” will mostly prove true. A vet lineup. Green’s delight. But for Pettersson. He looks like someone they have penciled in. Probably something would have to go bad in TC and PS for Pettersson to not make the starting lineup.

    Gaudette will still play a lot of games in the NHL this season due to inevitable slew of injuries, but highly likely he does not start.

    Demko should get some games in, and maybe even full-time backup after TDL.

    Hughes? Dunno. Love to see him. But will the so-called “MacAvoy” play win out?

    Everyone else will start in Utica, and may not even get spot injury duty all season. Unless things get really bad. Like they did towards the end of last season. You know, so they can all ruin our lottery position again!

    • Killer Marmot

      Even with the addition of two older players (my guess is that Schaller will spend much of the season in the press box or Utica unless there’s many injuries), the Canucks will not be “vet lineup”. They’ll still have only 5 forwards over the age of 25. And when the older players get injured, most of their replacements will be young.

      • argoleas

        That’s fair about the vets, although if one reads the message boards, one could get the impression that Virtanen is a over the hill. He is will turning 22 in August. By this token, one could be mistaken that anyone over 22 is in the same boat.

  • KekeMortson#12

    I think there’s an argument for the veteran grit helping the youth flourish and open up space for more goals. And JB hasn’t gone as loco as he did last year (I know.. give him time!), adding Holm, Wiercoch, Burmistrov and Vanek to the mix. So I am trying to calm TFD. We may not have as many young bucks up in the show as we wanted, but I like this guy Cull down in Utica and I think he has development stuff to offer. Plus, like others have said, injuries will no doubt provide opportunity.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    How’s that cap weaponization going Linden? Still primarily looking to poach Bruins rejects every summer? Check! Don’t forget that grit + 30 somethings + little offensive upside + lots of defensive upside + community & dressing room leaders = Stanley Cup aspirations

  • andyg

    When did Hutton ever out play Del Zotto or Guddy?
    The problem hasn’t been that Green wasn’t willing to play the kids it is just that the kids haven’t made his decision for him. He has been pushing Jake and is seeing progress.
    Players like Gagner , Gaunce , Del Zotto and Biega will be traded or waived at the blink of an eye. We have the cap space to berry them.

  • Evergreen

    Not sure what to think with this latest managerial coup if tying up 24 million dollars in salary for the next 3-4 years. This whole nonsense of “protecting the kids is utter BS. It’s not like they are playing 14 year old bantams, nor is this a rendition of Saving Private Ryan. I am so glad I can’t even afford to buy a game ticket n only have to watch the odd HNIC game when they’re on TV. Nucks fans deserve better, but then again maybe not for supporting TL/JB show. Two other points—there were no smurf dman in the cup final and just because a player wins a hobey baker doesn’t guarantee he will be a nhl roster guy

  • Fred-65

    Here’s a concept many residents or fans on Vcr. I’m confident that many player have no wish to play in Vcr. The cost of living is high, taxes are high, Players are predominantly from the East so they like to be close to friends and family and they’re under a microscope constantly undermining their abilities, the team is a loosing team, who wants to be fed a constant diet of loosing. I suspect to get players to sign here the Canucks need to pay more than many other clubs. To compound this, there’s a huge financial investment, debts and mortages need to be serviced. They need paying fans, because while fans with few financial attachement complain about doing this or that ownership needs to attract fans who do ay to watch, it’s a balance that has to be struck. There’s more to hockey that “he shoots, he scores” For the most part ghost fans complain the most and contribute the least.