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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

CanucksArmy Monday Mailbag: Quinn Hughes, Opening Night Lineup, and Trades?

The Canucks should trade Alexander Edler, but it’s not that easy. The 32-year-old defenceman has a full no-trade clause, and by all accounts, no desire whatsoever for a change of scenery. As for the return, I could see Edler bringing in a second-round pick or a B-grade prospect. I wouldn’t hold your breath on this one, though.

You would think that the Canucks have to make a trade before the season starts. There are far too many bodies for too few roster spots. The math just doesn’t add up. With a little maneuvering, the best roster I could put together in an article for The Athletic Vancouver had Adam Gaudette in Utica and Brendan Leipsic out of the lineup entirely on most nights. That’s less than ideal.

There’s no room for Quinn Hughes or Olli Juolevi on the Canucks’ roster, as currently constructed either.

This team is going to need a full complement of bodies to get through the season, but even this feels a bit like overkill. There needs to be a path for some of their brightest and youngest to make it to the NHL. Right now, there are so many depth players making big dollars on one-way deals, that the opportunity doesn’t exist.

You know they’d love to move on from defenceman Ben Hutton, but can they find a suitor? If they could, one would imagine he’d have a new home by now. It’s hard to see any of their depth forwards drawing interest. They’re in a bind.

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs
  3. Washington Capitals
  4. Edmonton Oilers
  5. Boston Bruins

Quinn Hughes play defence.

On the assumption that you mean Jack Hughes, I’d have to think that he’d be the Canucks’ second or third best centre already. That’s not what I’d call a good sign for the Canucks and their centre depth.

I’d love to see Michael Carcone get a shot. He seems like someone that could be a fourth-line player at the NHL level. I’m not sure I see it happening this season though. There just isn’t enough room.

It’s difficult to understate how awful a team the Canucks have assembled. Things are not looking good for next season. I genuinely believe that the Canucks are going to be fighting for 31st place.

As for whether to be sad or not assuming a Draft Lottery loss, I’ll just provide the usual disclaimer: it’s more likely for the 31st place team to pick fourth overall than first, so I’d try not to be too upset. That’s just the way it goes.

I wasn’t in attendance at Development Camp, but Ryan Biech and Cory Hergott were, and the content they produced from the event is top notch.

I have no clue, for either of those two questions. Apologies.

It’s the security of the extra season that most likely appealed to Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel. I know the money is the same, but they’re getting up there in age so that matters; especially if they want to play for an extended period of time.

From the Canucks’ perspective, three-year deals would be preferable, though, still a bit rich for my tastes.

I think so, yes.

I usually try to use score-adjusted data when conducting my analysis, at the player and team level alike. They can make a big difference, especially for polarized teams that are either exceptionally good or horrifically bad.

For those less statistically inclined, score-adjustments try to, well, adjust players’ on-ice metrics based on the score state in which they take place. The general idea is that a team tends to see an increase in their shots for rates when they’re down a goal or two; conversely, the team that is up a goal tends to see their share of shots go down.

I think that Bo Horvat is a first-line centre, and that’s likely where he’ll slot in for the foreseeable future. I wrote as much on the topic here, right around the end of the season.

The Canucks won’t need to protect anyone from anyone Hughes’ draft class, or even Pettersson’s, in a Seattle expansion draft.

I’d like to think that Utica Comets general manager Ryan Johnson could benefit from an increased workload. He’s always struck me as a bright, relatively young hockey mind with something to offer. His work with the Comets last season was nothing short of brilliant.

I don’t feel comfortable suggesting who has to step down for Johnson to rise up, in case you’re wondering why I didn’t address that part of the question.

Jett Woo.

Alexander Edler – Chris Tanev

Michael Del Zotto – Erik Gudbranson

Derrick Pouliot – Troy Stecher

Ben Hutton

Barring at least one trade involving a member of the Canucks’ blue line, it’s hard to see a path for Juolevi to make the opening night roster.

Nikolay Goldobin?

Antoine Roussel, by a fair margin.

I could see Troy Stecher getting about $2.5-million in arbitration. I’m sure there are teams out there that would be interested in trading for Stecher; I’m less sure the Canucks would have any interest in parting with Stecher.

There’s room for Elias Pettersson, and that’s about it. The Canucks say they’ll do what’s necessary to accommodate any training camp standouts if they make a case for the opening night roster, but I imagine that’s mostly bluster.

The Canucks need Hughes more than Hughes needs the Canucks. This team can’t bring back the same eight defencemen from last season. That would be a PR nightmare. They need Hughes to inject some offence into that group, and some hope into the fan base.

Turning pro could prove detrimental to a player’s development if he’s not ready. Hughes is ready.

Anthony Duclair to the Columbus Blue Jackets on a one-way, one-year deal for $650,000 is the early winner for value bet of the off-season.

It might not be the worst thing if those players ply their craft in Utica, no. But what about next year? Or the year after? Because those contracts run for four seasons, so they’re not going to stop being obstacles to the lineup for young players anytime soon.

 

  • truthseeker

    If that’s all Edler is worth then he should be resigned for another couple years. He provides far more value than a 2nd round pick or B prospect ever will. Much like Tanev, if the deals aren’t there, then they should keep them both. They are both excellent players. Unlike many here I won’t look back at not trading guys like Tanev or Edler as some kind of “missed opportunity”. There is value in what they represent in the here and now and for a few more years, that can far exceed the expected value in a trade that let’s them go for scraps or long shot odds.

    • TD

      The problem with Edler is that Hughes and Juolevi should pass him in the line-up really soon. Between the minors and even on the Canucks, they have lots of third pairing left d men. A second round pick could lead to another Woo, Lind or Gadjovich.

      • Ronning4ever

        Juolevi had an OK season as a rookie in SM-Liiga. He didn’t tear it up or bust out. Palmu had a better (Rookie of the year) season and I think no one is concerned he starts in Utica. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him there for 1 – 2 years before making the jump. If he made it to the NHL at 21, that would put him on the same path as Virtanen and Goldobin.

          • truthseeker

            yeah I know….Salo was way more positive than just “OK”

            Salo on Juolevi, “He had a really good year, he improved in the areas he needed, like in the defensive zone. He had a great playoff, he carried the team after we lost a key defenseman. He took the team on his shoulders, we were really happy with his development.”

            Sounds like he had a pretty solid season.

      • Steampuck

        There’s a lot of dead wood at LD that Hughes & Juolevi will pass (have passed) before they get close to passing Edler. Given Edler’s reluctance to waive his NMC, I think he’s an asset we can live with, even if that means re-signing him to a reduced role as the kids improve. Poor as the team is, they were a better team with Edler than without last year. I doubt that trend changes markedly for the next little while.

          • argoleas

            This is called a succession plan, and I’m all for it. Then when Juolevi and Hughes are established in the top 2 D-pairs, and Edler is ready to hang them up, we should have other 3rd pair D men ready to take his place.

            So I expect Edler to remain for 2-3 seasons past his current contract. I wonder how they massage the extensions w/ the expansion draft.

        • Rodeobill

          I thought I saw a whole new Edler last year, steady, consistent, responsible, and I swear I saw a glimpse of him role modeling when interacting with the young guys. Edler is not the guy we need to clear out, and probably a moot point anyway.

      • truthseeker

        Three guys who have done zero in the NHL. I hope Woo, Lind and Gadjovich become great players but the odds say none of them will.

        This is another example of over valuing prospects. You’re excited for them, I get it….but if any of them become even half as good as Edler already is, and will be for at least the next 3 years…that would be a major major over achievement of being a second round pick.

        Edler is more valuable than that chance.

  • Killer Marmot

    For all the kvetching about older players being obstacles to the development of younger players, I don’t recall that ever being a serious problem in the Canucks organization. Attrition is usually so severe that there are opportunities for everyone who is NHL caliber, and some who are not.

    • Super Pest

      True, but would you rather have DJ MDZ/Guddy or see Juolevi/Hughes playing? I’m sort of tired of last season’s movie; I can’t imagine having ANY interest with the same cast of characters. There’s no hope of better days; at least errors committed by a young player have the hope of being corrected. I enjoyed watching Virtanen improve last season. Goldy, too. Others? Not so much. Keep the older guys for your attrition, but THAT won’t happen 🙁

      • Killer Marmot

        I agree that a few left-shooting defensemen should be moved. Having eight under contract and others who are still unsigned is clearly in excess of needs. But the threat of older players blocking more talented prospects rarely seems to pan out in practice.

          • Killer Marmot

            About seven defensemen under contract on each side is about right. If they sign Hughes then it will be nine and five; i.e., too many left shots, not enough right. Granted many defensemen can play either side, but it’s not optimal.

          • Ronning4ever

            Shooting side optimization aside, they need bodies in Van and Utica. If 14 dmen under contract is about right, then they’ll have that if and when they sign Hughes. There’s not gunna be any need to trade (unless they really want to – I would) and no one would be blocked from Van…except maybe Biega.

          • Killer Marmot

            If both Hughes and Juolevi look good in training camp then a bunch of defensemen will have to go through waivers, and some (e.g., Hutton) might get claimed. I would rather Benning trade one or two this summer.

            I’m forever lecturing on how much depth is needed to get through the season, but left defense has exceeded any reasonable needs.

          • Ronning4ever

            I just don’t think anything is pointing to Juolevi being ready for anything other than a mid season call up. I think the only one guaranteed a spot (if he signs) is Hughes. If so, pull the trigger on a Tanev trade or waive Biega. Hughes and Brisebois can both play the right side, so I feel the team should have enough spots at least, even if they are unbalanced in terms of lefties.

          • Killer Marmot

            The Canucks are short on right-shooting D, and you want to trade one? Trade what you have in excess — a left-shooting defenseman. Pouliot does not have the defensive skills they are looking for. He would be high on my list of trading possibilities.

          • Ronning4ever

            “Trade what you have in excess — a left-shooting defenseman.” I agree with the rationale, I just don’t know who they would be able to deal and at what return. I honestly think they wouldn’t trade out a D man in Van without a replacement lined up either in from within or as part of a return. I think trading Tanev is their only possible move at this point – not sure if anyone else (icl Pouliot) will fetch anything back.

  • wojohowitz

    I think Schaller is the guy with some upside. Four years at Providence. Captain of his team. Two years with the Bruins let him figure out how to be successful. 27 years old gives him maybe a five year career. He might be a solid third line center that quietly becomes the goto guy.

    Beagle will be Beagle – no surprises. Solid guy. Maybe 30 points. What he does do is let Benning trade Sutter – maybe before the season starts. The offers are on the table. Benning just needed Beagle in place to move Sutter.

    Roussel is the big gamble. He could become semi-retired with a nice pay cheque – like the way Eriksson is semi-retired. Looks busy and accomplishes nothing game in and game out. Why didn`t Dallas re-sign him?

    • Super Pest

      As I’ve said before, I’m not interested in this “semi-retired” product. Great line, by the way. I’d rather see hope of better days. Eriksson is classic for me; sure, he’s got a solid pro game, but I’m left wanting. Excitement? Right… Some of the young guys, do though. Leipsic, Goldy, Virtanen, et al. AND I want more: Pettersson, Hughes, Gaudette, Dahlin, NOW. Not perhaps next season or the one after. This has been a gong show for four of the last five seasons. We have enough veterans to support on D; keep Edler and Tanev (solid) waive MDZ and Hutton. Insert Hughes and Juolevi. Depth? Sign some of the many UNsigned UFAs. Why let Wiercoch go? And you’ve got Biega, too, in a pinch. So tired of this… Rebuild should have started so long ago… Damn dead cat bounce of Willy’s first year 🙁

    • Goon

      Beagle has scored 30 points once in his career, and for the rest of it has been a ~15 point guy. Expecting him to meet or exceed his career maximum at 33 on a terrible team is unrealistic.

  • bushdog

    something people forget is taxes. us are generally a lot lower than Canada, there are states with 0 state tax. rousell and beagle are getting the extra year to simply even out the money. come to Canada and get taxed to death. a lot of players refuse to play here. Tavares will be lucky to pocket 5m…

    • TD

      It’s a mix across the states and Canada as well although we just saw an increase both federally and provincially. California and New York both have comparable or higher taxes as Canada. Sure is an advantage for Dallas and the Florida teams.

    • Goon

      This is not actually the case. There are some states with lower taxes, yes, but others with higher. Tavares would have been paying *more* income tax in California than he is in Ontario. With the exception of the couple of states with little or no state level income tax (Florida, Texas, and Arizona) and Quebec with obscene income tax, tax levels are close enough in Canada and most of the States to be a wash.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      Using the Tavares Calculator on TSN.
      For a 7 year x11 M contract, take home after taxes.
      Dallas/Tampa (Texas or Florida) no state tax. Tavares would have taken home 11.2 M more in 7 yrs over playing in Ontario.

      • truthseeker

        Sure, in those two states there are some savings but it virtually doesn’t play a role in swinging athletes to go play their. A) other markets will simply compensate if it were an issue, B) many players simply don’t want to live in Texas or Florida, and C) it would depend on the team and what they are achieving. Anyone who wants to play for the Lightning is probably doing it cause they’re good and have a shot at the cup. Not many NHLers are lining up to join the panthers, in spite of all that extra money they could pocket.

    • truthseeker

      The “low US tax” myth was busted a LOOONG time ago. A simple google search for “US sports tax myth” will bring up countless articles explaining what others here just did.

      It’s virtually a non factor in why players in any of the major sports decide to sign where they sign.

    • LTFan

      For taxation. In Canada it is based on residency, in the US it is based on citizenship. This should not be a problem. There is a tax treaty between Canada and the US so he will only be taxed once.

  • Keenyana

    I’m sort of at my breaking point reading the constant stream of hypocritical whining from all the CA/PITB writers about how awful a job the Canucks management is doing. ‘Start the rebuild already’, ‘there is no room for the kids’, ‘no long-term vision’, ‘why are you signing 4th liners’ . . . the thing of it is, this is a rebuild, the kids need to get physically stronger, they need mentors, support players to keep teams honest and yes ‘protect’ them, they need to earn their spot in the NHL lineup and not be entitled to one, most will. Never in the history of the Canucks has the prospect pool been so exciting, but a rebuild takes time, in part you need to be bad, and they are, and will be for a year or 2 more, then the window opens to reap the benefits of this complete overhaul when these ‘kids’ enter their prime.

    When JB says something overly honest, you grind him for showing his cards, but when he offers platitudes such as competition, winning atmosphere, proper development you skewer him for not doing everything to get immediate results and you think ‘letting the kids play’ is the obvious path to get there, really? because it would be exciting to watch them get pummeled night in, night out? How conveniently you forget the Virtanen, McCann year when you clamored for them to play. Perhaps JB is fine with stocking the cupboard for one more year and maybe get lucky with another top pick while this crop of insanely good talent matures so that when they hit their prime there is enough skill to make a run at a championship rather than be amongst the herd of mediocre teams that are a player or two short, year in, year out.

    Gillis took a run at the cup and came a win away at the cost of all our young talent, not only because he traded picks away. He might as well have traded them all, because his scouting staff came up with virtually nothing with what they kept. What JB is doing is assembling a renewable stream of talent that will sustain the franchise long term from the clearcut that Gillis made. It takes time, but I can see good years ahead. Patience and support, it will be a fun ride when the train leaves the station.

    • Dirk22

      I love that the people clamouring for a long-term rebuild for the last 4 years instead of ‘competitive now’ moves are now being asked to be patient.

      Have you heard of Jay Feaster? Craig McTavish? Dave Nonis? They’re cautionary tales.

      “Renewable stream of talent” – right…by not acquiring draft picks but signing Jay Freakin Beagle for 4 years!

      • Keenyana

        I share your frustration, 4 years ago I would have welcomed a house cleaning to start restocking with draft picks, even risk blasphemy by trading the Sedins, if they were willing. It was evident then that there was no way to re-tool to take another run, but it’s hard to pass too much judgement on JB without knowing what directives came from where.

        So, I’m not clamouring for a long term rebuild to start now, were in it, just patience to get through it. The ‘renewable stream of talent’ is the well documented list players drafted in the last 4 years, and J’F’B is part of a new leadership group that will hopefully teach them to be professionals and win. Professional fields are full of successful mentors that show new graduates how to master their profession, they just don’t have 18,000 people watch them work every night in person, countless more through the media.

        The scrutiny from writers is fine, but the piling on is excruciating and simple minded. It’s so much easier to knock people down professing to be able to do their job better, when in fact it’s delusional to think that your more qualified from your keyboard. This management group has made some curious decisions, who that’s tried anything hasn’t? Mistakes are made and not everything works out as intended, but from where they were to where they are, I think they deserve more respect than they are offered from the writers at CA. There is no easier article to write than to tear someone/something down, try journalism, we might like it. That said, it would take a more expansive vision than to only look at the season in front of us.

        • Dirk22

          This site’s biggest issues with Lindenning are not some way out there opinion that no other outlet shares. This is what baffles me about those who come on here everyday and take shots at the writers. There were numerous (the athletic, espn, USA today, Sportsnet, the province etc.) on how bad the Beagle signing was. What do you expect writers to do when that contract is signed? Ignore it? Pretend 33 is a good age to sign a 4th line checker? Say it’s not a big deal because they won’t be good until the contract expires? It’s an absurdly bad contract signed by a management team with some absurdly bad moves (and lack of moves) over the last 4 years. It’s going to get skewered. There isn’t a major sports team in any city in any country in the World who would escape criticism with the moves these guys have made. When they’ve done well they get their due as well.

          Here’s how it works:
          He makes a good draft pick (Boeser, Petterson, Hughes) he gets praise.
          He makes a bad draft pick (Virtanen) he gets criticized.
          He makes a good trade (Burrows for Dahlen) he gets praised.
          He makes a bad trade (Gudbranson) he gets criticized.
          He signs a good contract (Tanev extension) he gets praised.
          He signs a bad contract (Beagle) he gets criticized.

          .

          • truthseeker

            Right…it’s for the most part, not the writers here who are the problem, although they have their blind spots in places.

            It’s the self loathing posters who are the problem. Fair criticism is fine, (the Beagle contract) but illogical arguments are not. (OJ is a bust because Tkachuk is playing right now).

          • Dirk22

            Juolevi is a #5 overall pick so expectations are very high – rightly so.

            If you’re calling him a bust that’s one thing and it’s obviously way too early to say that. If, however, you’re concerned that he’s not progressing as a #5 should that’s reasonable. It’s not that he’s not in the NHL. It’s that, up to this point, he hasn’t inspired a whole lot of confidence for a #5 pick. His projections (not made by the writers or commenters on this site) seem to have gone from a potential #1, to a top pairing guy, to a second pairing guy.

            Let’s say Barrett Hayton (2018 #5) stagnated next year in the OHL, and then while had some positives, also had some noted struggles in his AHL D + 2 season. At the same time let’s say Quinn Hughes, Zadina and Bouchard start tearing it up this year in NHL. I’m sure Arizona fans wouldn’t be ecstatic.

          • truthseeker

            I agree with you Dirk. Except for the very last part with the “fans” comment. If Arizona fans wrote off Hayton because Hughes does well then they’d be morons too.

            And I do get what your saying. OJ has been somewhat disappointing. He may end up being a bust, but to me that’s just the gamble you take with draft picks. At any number. Some of them are going to bust. And predicting which ones will bust, is almost impossible. It’s simply to difficult to know how the character of kids in the 17 to 19 year old range will develop, or change or whatever… Every GM has some busts on their record if they’ve been drafting for a while. It’s why judging picks on what other picks do or don’t do is illogical.

          • Dirk22

            There’s risk involved with any draft pick sure, but that doesn’t excuse a GM if he whiffs on a top 5 pick (not saying he has) -particularly if he’s just recently whiffed on a top-6 pick. If you’re going to play the “we just never know how the players are going to turn out” game you could apply that to every personnel move a GM makes. There’s gambles involved with all players when you take them into your team. Even with established players, you don’t know how they’re going to age, adjust to their new team or role etc. Point in GM’s have to be held accountable for their moves, despite the unknowns that they are dealing with. If that wasn’t the case you would hear a whole lot of:

            “We didn’t know how Eriksson would turn out”
            “We didn’t know how Gudbranson would turn out”
            “We didn’t know how the Beagle contract would turn out”
            “We didn’t know how Barry Pederson would turn out”

  • Dirty30

    Um, who will the Canucks be “fighting” with to claim 31st? What other team is this “old and stale” even after a refresh?

    The ridiculous problem with JB’s contracts is that if a player performs well, this team needs him. If a player is hot trash — yes you Loui and you too Gunny — then there’s no way to get rid of him.

    And even if JB drafts well, signing up the whole cast of “Plodders — The Musical!” is not making the team faster, more skilled or tougher to play against … just tougher to play for if you’re a rookie!

    $20 Canucks finish 31st and Boston gets the top pick … because #We-can’t-have-nice-things

  • Ronning4ever

    Am I missing something with the depth discussions? Everyone seems to be freaking out about room, while I’m convinced they have a perfect level of depth and step-laddering for the youth finally. Schaller is recovering from hand surgery and will likely start the season on IR or at least a conditioning stint. Last year, Gaunce and Cassels didn’t make it out of camp and injuries just tore through both the NHL and AHL teams all last year to the point where they felt had to trade for Dowd for Centre depth. Year before, they had to sign Drew Shore.

    None of Lind, Dahlen, Palmu, Gaudette, Petterson, Jasek, Juolevi or Hughes have payed a full season in the AHL – so this obsession to start them all in the NHL right away seems a little weird. If you believe in the stats, only 3-4 are going to make it in the NHL. I think Petterson is the only sure lock to make the jump straight to the show. Hughes to if the sign him, in which case they’ll send down Biega.

    • Ronning4ever

      Baertschi – Horvat – Boeser
      Goldobin – Petterson – Gagner
      Rousell -Sutter – Eriksson
      Leipsic – Beagle – Virtanen
      Granlund (13) Schaller (IR)
      Edler – Tanev
      Pouliot – Stecher
      Del Zotto – Gudbranson
      Hutton (7) Biega (8)
      Marky/Nils

      If they sign Hughes, they send Biega down.

        • Ronning4ever

          ??? Heh, IMHO, I think it looks terrible – though I think it wold be worse without the signings.

          But no, not missing anyone I don’t think. Boucher and Archi are on two way deals. Gaunce, Kero, Saunter, McEneny and Bachman are all on close-to-minimum one ways. Biega would likely go down if they sign and play Hughes. They’ll all require waivers, but I would guess they all clear.

          • Cageyvet

            Gaudette could slide in if we could ditch Gagner. You make good points, but the doom and gloom, have it both ways or not at all contingent won’t acknowledge this. Instead we will be reminded how quickly Toronto turned it around, conveniently ignoring that they already had a prospect pool built from 1 playoff appearance in 11 years, 05-06 to 2015-16 inclusive. That’s some speedy turnaround, alright, but don’t let facts get in the way of your arguments.

          • Ronning4ever

            Gaudette could slide, yes. But is he ready? 5 professional games with no points…I’d give him 20 mins a night in the AHL rather than 8 mins a night on the big club.

            In terms of TO’s turnaround: I think they did it better and faster – however they didn’t have $19 mil tied up in long term NTC’s. There was no way the twins and Edler were going to waive, so I think you have to keep that in mind. However what Van did with their picks vs the Leafs…very different. Van more took a step ladder approach vs. the Leafs tearing it all down.

          • truthseeker

            The last 3 or 4 Hobey Baker winning, NCAA dominant players stepped straight into the NHL and performed with various levels of success, none being failures. All being more than capable.

            Gaudette is almost 22 years old. It’s more than time for him to be in the NHL with a regular role on the team so he can learn the league. The AHL would be a waste for him, unless he absolutely fails miserably in camp.

            Stop babying prospects.

        • Ronning4ever

          No. But I think when I look at the wingers, things could shift dramatically. A lot of things can change, the main point was: everyone who’s currently signed can fit. They won’t have to trade for a Dowd or sign a Shore mid-season.

      • DogBreath

        Second line would get lit up. Too early to call Pettersson a centre and Gagner and Goldobin are poor defensively.

        It’s unfortunate that this team lacks a true second line centre and a 2-3 Defenceman. If they had those it’d be a competitive lineup.

        Best case is Canucks get off to a good start before injuries expose their weakness at the top end of the lineup.

        • Defenceman Factory

          I agree its a lot to ask a skinny rookie to carry the load for two players that have been little more than a prima dona and a free loader. Gagner has to go (take a 7th round pick if that’s all you can get) and Goldy better figure it out. I see him as part of a dynamic scoring duo with Boucher in the AHL. Yakapov 2.0.

  • Burnabybob

    At least Hutton and Del Zotto are entering the last year of their contracts, so it should give opportunities for the young d men. Knowing Benning, though, he will sign a couple of aging pluggers next summer to take up roster spots following another strong draft.

    • Ronning4ever

      The team has used 10 dmen every year for the last 4 years. They currently have about that number and next year, they could walk from 3 in their top 8. If so, you’d need three more players that could at least make the top 8 on one of the worst D core in the league. Hughes – probably yes (if he’s not there already by seasons end). Juolevi and Brisebois are maybes. It would not surprise me to see another Weiricoch type signing next year for this reason. Either top-pairing depth in Utica or bottom pairing depth in Van.

  • Locust

    Another article that isn’t worth reading to the end. The only thing interesting is when JD said he didn’t have a clue – roger that.
    Comments are good as usual.
    Canucks Army – the ebola of fan sites.

  • ColdOne

    Shanahan was hired two days after Linden, the Leafs have made the playoffs the last two years and with Tavares are now a Stanley Cup contender. McPhee took a bunch of cast-offs and also-rans and the Knights made the Stanley Cup finals in their first season. The Linden-Benning regime has had more than enough time to complete the rebuild. It’s time for fans to start grading them on results, not potential.

    • Cageyvet

      Well, I wrote my earlier comment before seeing this, but it was no surprise. Ignore the gong show that was the Leafs, before last year it was the same script of BS about the Oilers but few will admit to pumping their tires now. The Canucks rebuild should have started earlier, earlier but please, the Leafs and Oilers stunk for a decade and we’re expected to applaud their mild success now. It’s fine, since the professionals don’t worry about all you knee-jerk, bandwagon fans anyway. 2 months away from the season starting and they are already a write-off. Let’s see your pre-season prediction for Vegas from last year. Let’s see the CA all-knowing staff’s predictions for Vegas. Yeah, so much for individual player stats, turns out it’s a team game played by people, not computer modelling, and that’s a whole different thing. Judge the results, to be sure, but let’s not pre-judge.

    • Silverback

      Such an old and tired narrative. Give the canucks 10 years of not making the playoffs with a few number one first round picks and a free agent like Tavares, then we can compare.
      For the time being, I am enjoying the process, watching the prospect pool grow and fill with talented youngsters. My suggestion is enjoy the process and have some patience.

  • DJ_44

    Who will the team depend on to gain the zone on the PP if Hughes isn’t around?

    Nikolay Goldobin?

    I will give JD the benefit of the doubt and assume he was responding to the “playmaker” part of the question.

    The fact that Daryl Keeping asks the zone entry PP question means he was not paying attention to the very good PP they had last year. The powerplay improved dramatically when one thing happened: they did not allow the Sedins to bring the puck up the ice. They were to slow. They relied on Boeser and Horvat to bring the puck into the zone. They were usually successful. Why would it change this year?

  • Kootenaydude

    For those of you worried we have too many left hand defencemen. There’s not a chance that Hughes plays this year. He’s weighs only a buck fifty soaking wet. Not a chance he’s ready for the nhl. Too small and too wimpy. Back to school he goes. Needs to muscle up and grow a bit.

    • Giant-Nation

      Hughes could play this year but all the people clamouring to see our hot prospects play now are going for a quick spike of enjoyment watching them. But this is a parlour trick that leads to middle of the pack team years from now. Over ripen your top picks if you can – keep drafting top 8, I couple of years you can take rocket from the basement to a top 10 team full of promise, in this league you gotta lose if you really want to win big. We got a stud d man and goalie coming along, and enviable young forward group. Let’s add another stud at the draft. It’s a rebuild ..it’s sucks not to have a competitive team but do you understand losing is actually winning right now? Drafting high is still on the menu this year. Rushing picks to play only shortens our window once these kids hit their prime. Botchford so worried about Hughes development “he needs to get good as fast as possible!” Lol, you can’t stop his development Botch, he’s going to be a star player in this league unless he has some type of crazy injury. During the rebuild it doesn’t do the team any favours to move prospects on to the team as fast as possible.