Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

CanucksArmy Monday Mailbag: Trevor Linden, Olli Juolevi and Other Stuffs!

The Toronto Maple Leafs would say no to that trade in a heartbeat, I would suspect. Then again, I’m not even sure the Vancouver Canucks would have much of an appetite to move on from Olli Juolevi at this stage either.

I wasn’t asked where stand on such a trade, but I’d take Liljegren ahead of Juolevi in a heartbeat. That’s not a knock on Juolevi — it’s just that I think that highly of Lilijegren.

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I guess it depends on who you ask. Noted asshat, Steve Simmons, wrote a piece in which he suggested just that — that Trevor Linden was the voice of reason, and further to that end, that Jim Benning and John Weisbrod sold him out to ownership accordingly for their own job security. The Province’s Ed Willes, a journalist who I hold in high-esteem, corroborated that story on Twitter, suggesting his source, a hockey man close to Linden, offered the same insight.

Some, including the Canucks, have suggested that Linden and the team both agreed this was the right decision for everyone involved.

It’s all a bit fishy, and that aura lends itself to the Simmons’ version of events. I get that the market and the average fan don’t care about this type of stuff, usually, but it’s really bizarre that Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini didn’t face the media after a move of this magnitude.

I’m not sure where I stand on the whole thing. I’m not privy to the conversations that happen behind closed doors at Rogers Arena, so it would be a little disingenuous to cast aspersions on anyone involved. If what’s out there is true, though, man, is it a bad look for everyone not named Trevor Linden. Whether that made him the ‘voice of reason’ or not is another thing entirely, but I guess everything is relative.

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For context, this Twitter user is referencing a radio hit I did on TSN1040 on Friday, in which I described the Erik Gudbranson trade as one example of the Canucks setting themselves back over the last four years. You can listen to that radio hit here — I think people are still yelling at me for it on Twitter, even.

In that radio hit, I explained myself using the timeless adage of a missed first-round pick setting a team back two years (some put that number higher). In my estimation, the loss of Jared McCann, who would probably be the Canucks’ second or third best centre right now, and the high-second round pick, which could have been Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat, for example, are like losing two first round picks for nothing.

That seems harsh, but it’s not like Gudbranson has added many wins to the Canucks lineup. Consider the cap space spent on Gudbranson (which is about to jump to $4-million a season for the next three years) and the additional fourth-round pick, and yeah, the Canucks added basically a negative-value asset. Luckily for the Canucks, Gudbranson’s perceived value is probably still high in hockey circles, and they could probably recoup some of that lost value in a trade if they ever went that route. But for now, that move alone set them back a fair amount.

I’d like to think those days are in the Canucks’ past. Then again, Vancouver’s reported interest in trading for Noah Hanifin (before the Calgary Flames jumped on that grenade for them) doesn’t instil a tonne of confidence. Depending on the exact trade, I think that this type of move would generally be a nightmare scenario for the Canucks as well.

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Who’s to say there will even be another president of hockey operations? Of course, Aquilini tweeted out that he’d get to work on replacing Linden promptly after news broke about the split, and then Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Canucks had interest in former-Los Angeles Kings general manager and current Philadelphia Flyers executive Dean Lombardi.

Not long after, Benning went on the airwaves and said that he’d been told by Aquilini that the Canucks won’t be replacing Linden and that he’ll take on those responsibilities. And again, not long after that, Friedman reported that Lombardi is out of the running because of his contract situation in Philadelphia.

As for who should be the next president of hockey ops, I’m just not sure. My first thought is Mike Gillis, but that’s not even remotely realistic — not with Benning still holding the job, certainly.

I’m sure the Canucks will keep their farm team in Utica for the immediate future, even with Linden out of the picture. Whether that arrangement lasts or not, I can’t say. The one thing I’ll add is that I get the sense that the Canucks as an organization like that arrangement, not just Linden. So they have that going for them.

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It will be interesting to see what kind of a chance Canucks head coach Travis Green gives Ashton Sautner and Evan McEneny. Both would have to clear waivers if memory serves, so there’s that added wrinkle. The Canucks just don’t have space for any “dark horse” prospects to make the team, though, so I think this is a moot point.

A lot of statements in this question, for a Monday Mailbag submission. That said, I think your observations are mostly fair. Just look at my last response — there isn’t room for any of their prospects to make the team out of camp, barring injuries.

The one part I might quibble with is how certain you are that Jonathan Dahlen is ready. You might be right, but I’m not there yet personally.

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Matt Brassard.

I hope I’m wrong, but if last season is any indication, my guess is Nikolay Goldobin.

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My answer would be no if Linden were still around. Nobody was in Benning’s corner like Linden. Now that Benning’s lost that buffer between himself and ownership, I’m less certain. That’s absolutely possible in my estimation.

Not only is Olli Juolevi underrated — he’s unfairly maligned by Canucks’ fans. Look back at most major draft publications for the time of Juolevi’s draft. A lot of them will have Juolevi close to the range that the Canucks drafted him in, at fifth overall. Certainly, it wasn’t uncommon for people to rate Juolevi as one of if not the best defenceman in his draft year.

This year is his draft-plus-three season. Juolevi has so, so much room to grow, and I don’t think he’s played anywhere near as poorly as some have suggested in the last few seasons. Juolevi isn’t in the tier of Elias Pettersson or Quinn Hughes, but he’s still a great prospect to have in the system.

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Lukas Jasek, Petrus Palmu, Juolevi.

Other than the 3,000 or so Nikita Tryamkin-related questions I’ve had to field, I feel like the audience at CanucksArmy tends to do a great job of asking interesting questions and setting the stage for great conversations.

Besides, the thing I love about the mailbag is the chance that it gave me to connect with the readership regularly and hear what their concerns, interests and expectations were for the team. It always helped inform my article ideas, and helped me ask the right questions when conducting my analysis.

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Not a chance. The Canucks grabbed Reid Boucher off of waivers, and it’s not like his stock has improved since. In the absolute best-case scenario, the Canucks could get a seventh-round pick for Boucher, I imagine.

I’m a huge fan of Oliver Wahlstrom’s game, and I think the New York Islanders should be overjoyed that he fell to them with one of their two first-round picks. I just think that the Canucks should be even happier that Hughes was there at seventh overall. No way should the Canucks have taken Wahlstrom.

For context, here’s the article that this Twitter user is citing for this question about the Canucks’ defence pairs.

My guess is that this group could score about 135 points. That number is probably far too high, but what can I say, I’m an optimist. Have fun with that, comments section.

  • 2 minutes

    I think that Dahlen will be given every chance to make the big club, and could even supplant Goldobin. Depending just how focused Julovi is, he too could make team out of training camp. I could see Goldobin being on the trading block by October. The future is with the Swedes now, Pettersson, Dahlin, and Erickson on one line

  • Burnabybob

    I’m skeptical about the whole “Linden wanted to stay the course with a rebuild and ownership wanted to win now” storyline, for two reasons:

    1. The Canucks are already most of the way through their rebuild. You could say they already have the makings of a good team in their system, with players who just need time to develop. 1 or two more high draft picks and they could have the makings of a contender.

    2. The Canucks did not go after any big names in free agency, which is what you would expect if management was trying for a playoff spot this year. People have (perhaps justifiably) criticized the free agent signings for taking up too many roster spots, but they are journeymen players meant to insulate the young prospects.

    Clearly ownership as accepted that the Canucks are going to lose a lot this year and are planning accordingly. Coupled with Benning’s three-year extension, it sounds like they are onboard with the rebuild.

    • apr

      The most telling gem unearthed in Linden leaving was that Benning reported to FA after re-signing. If Linden was such a backer, then why the change in reporting structure. Linden professed the team would go young; the decisions on July 1 completely contradicted it.

      Linden was supposed to be just a figure head, meeting fans, representing the owners at governor’s meeting, corporate stuff – but my sense is that he had his hands on daily operational decisions, and in did not always coincide with Bennings. Its impossible to tell who had what philosophy, but I do know that Linden was a top rated draft pick and excelled almost immediately; whereas, Benning was also a top draft pick that never realized his potential. I can see how their philosophies would be different based on their personal experiences.

      Trevor will always be my favourite Canuck (well, maybe Henrik), but IMO there wasn’t a clear delineation of responsibilities, and Trevor may have just taken on too much responsibility. Hence, the new reporting structure, and both parties mutually agreeing shortly thereafter to part ways.

    • Defenceman Factory

      I’m skeptical as well. JD deserves some credit for not jumping on the “vilify Benning” bandwagon.

      Linden is a likeable guy and deserves his reputation as a player and a person. It’s easy and perhaps human nature to assume the less likeable Aquilini and Benning are directly responsible for Trevor leaving and it was entirely them responsible for the more questionable moves management has made.

      In time we will get a better sense of what factors led to Trevor and the Canucks parting ways. The moves made between now an the end of training camp will shed some light on what influence Linden had over Benning.

      Linden is a highly competitive guy who hates losing. His years with the NHLPA gave him a benevolence toward players. I find it easy to imagine he was on board with the player decisions made.

      The front office does not have enough resources or expertise. Here’s hoping an experienced president of hockey ops is hired, one capable of setting a clear vision for the team and a course to achieve it and then adding the negotiation and player evaluation skills that seem lacking.

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      Yeah, these are fairly solid points. One can only hope that it wasn’t Linden holding Benning back from trading a good prospect for a more experienced player. Alternate explanation was that he was insulating Benning from having to explain to FA why he wasn’t doing that to speed up the rebuild…really, there are a lot of unknowns here in trying to piece together what happened. Maybe somebody “Jeff Browned” somebody…does that happen in NHL front offices?

    • Jabs

      I’m skeptical about all of the conspiracies around Linden’s departure.
      Everyone involved seemed to say that he just wanted out so why not just leave it with that instead of all the gossip to try to sensationalize a story. Vancouver media and bloggers are just the worst.

  • bobdaley44

    Mcann second or third best center on the Canucks if he weren’t traded? Don’t think so. He’ll be out of the league in a couple of years. KHL? Liljegren over Juolevi? Give me a break.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Jared McCann, 6 feet tall, 200 lbs, 28 points and +11, playing limited minutes last year on a crappy Panthers team last year. But don’t let your prejudices get in the way of a good story. The Canucks got totally dusted in that trade, and only a fool would think otherwise.

      • DogBreath

        Dusted is a bit strong. There’s no clear winner. People can paint that trade to support whatever narrative they want. My view is both teams were hoping for more from the trade as the key players involved have hardly made a dent. Gudbranson’s value has been propped up because the Canucks lack physical defencmen and was a high draft pick. McCann signed for identical terms as Virtanen so he’s hardly high impact. The draft picks? How many games have they played?

        IMO this trade needs more time before we can clearly see winners and losers.

        • Lemmy Kilmister

          IMO, time has already represented a complete loss on the Gudbranson trade. Not only have they lost 2 skilled players who are producing @ ages 20 & 21 respectively ( Mcann and hypothetically Debrincat) they also added salary and an older player who is an pylon that cant stop fast players on the rush or add any offense.

          So ya… that was a terrible and unjustifiable trade

      • bobdaley44

        Ya thats right a crappy team and he couldn’t get minutes.Wait until this year and watch his minutes drop. Not to mention he’s a head case and cancer. Ask Luongo if he’d want Gudbranson back. I’m not prejudice just stating facts. Mcann being traded away is a dusting. Hahaha almost fell off my chair. That was hilarious.

        • DogBreath

          For whatever reason Willie Mitchell’s tweet after the Gudbranson trade has stuck with me. The former Panther captain tweeted ‘wtf’ upon hearing of the trade. The assumption being Gudbranson was highly regarded by Mitchell and the trade made no sense.

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Hey Daley, heres a fact for you. Gudbranson has consistently had amongst the worst defensive metrics of any player in the league. But you’re probably an “old school hockey guy” who thinks advanced stats are meaningless. And he’s a “head case and a cancer”? You know him?Also, for Truthseeker, kind of wondering how a guy (McCann) who was “repeatedly scratched” managed to play 68 games last year as a 21 year old. One more thing, you may think 28 points is a “whoopty doo” , but that would have been good enough for 9th on the Canucks. Anyone still thinking Gudbranson has more upside than McCann is seriously deluded at this point. Lets agree to talk again at Xmas, pretty sure my point will have been proved by then.

          • bobdaley44

            You’re right Beer I don’t believe in advance stats. Its just a minor tool. Theres more to the game than advanced stats. Intangibles can’t be quantified. Even Bartkowskis mom couldn’t stand Mcann and said he was a douche not to mention the Sedins blasting him. The Sedins for gods sakes. You think they might know something about character. All I can say for Gudbranson is sure he’s had a tough adjustment but right handed defence who are 6’4″ 220 lbs , mobile, hit hard, have character and clear the front of the net are more of an asset then a perimeter dime a dozen, not tough enough to be on a checking line but not skilled enough to play on the top two lines, who’s a cancer. I don’t think the winner of this trade can be determined yet but the Canucks did really need more size and bite so I actually commend Benning taking a chance on this deal. After all Gudbranson was a top five pick. Not to mention the fact the Canucks need some size back there. You didn’t see any smurf D in the finals. It’s still a physical game.

  • myshkin

    if benning, henceforth know judas, doesn’t know the difference between a power point presentation and a slideshow, how can he be expected to review analytics?

    and aqualini is going to add the presidents role to his duties?

    slideshow jim or judas, it’s a toss up which one is more fitting.

  • North Van Halen

    The McCann line is just silly. McCann appears to be a 3rd line centre at best and the jury is still out on whether he’s good enough to be a 3rd line centre on a contender. He couldn’t come close to doing the things Sutter does for the Canucks.
    Then of course good ole ‘twist the facts’ Burke cherry picks Debrincat as the guy we coulda had instead of giving up the 2nd rounder.
    Why not use the guy Fla. actually picked, Adam Mascherin, who they didn’t even sign? Did that set them back a couple years in their rebuild too?!?! Cherry picking facts to twist the truth, maybe so JD but it really is bs.

    • LorneM

      The pick that the Canucks traded was 33rd overall which was used by Buffalo to draft Rasmus Asplund who had a successful few years in Sweden and is coming to NA next season. You shouldn’t cherry pick facts to twist the truth like that

      • North Van Halen

        Not cherry pick or twist the truth, just looked at who Florida picked, I made a mistake and am more than happy to admit it. But the premise remains the same, you can’t cherry pick the successful picks and say with certainty thats who we woulda picked. It’s total bullcrap.

    • Dirk22

      Debrincat was rated as a first round pick by many and was a noted Benning favourite – he was also available at 33 – not a stretch at all. That round was stacked though so you can take your pick (no pun intended) Asplund, Girard, Hart, Raddysh etc.

      Also let’s stop pretending McCann wouldn’t be a massive upgrade right now for the Canucks center position. Whether at this point he’s better than the marvellous Brandon Sutter who knows but at the very least he would be the #3 center and is barely in his 20’s. The Canucks are out here signing Jay Beagle for 4 years and you’re pretending the center depth is healthy.

      This trade was lost on Day #1. Stop defending the indefensible.

      • North Van Halen

        I’m not defending the indefensible, I’m defending truth twisting. We don’t know who the Canucks would have chosen and by NO stretch is having Gudbranson over McCann delaying or setting back any rebuild. At all.
        I hate the trade and I’m not a Guddy fan but saying that having McCann and a player that may or may not be an NHLer instead of Guddy sets the rebuild back 2 years is patently ridiculous. what if they had chosen Nathan Bastian or Masherin or Cameron Morrison? Just as likely and each put us no further ahead than we are today.
        Again, hate the trade all you want. I’m no fan. Just don’t invent crap to further your anti-Benning agenda, there’s enough to debate without bs assumptions and flat out lies.

      • As much as I like McCann and regret having him traded, his FO% is absolutely terrible, between 34% and 39% over the last 3 years. For a guy that’s designated as a centre, that’s unacceptable. In contrast, our regular centres who have drawn over 300 face-offs per season have been at least 46% (Henrik) or better (up to 54% by Sutter).

      • truthseeker

        He wouldn’t Dirk. McCann has done virtually nothing in his career so far. Healthy scratched multiple times last season. Pathetic point totals. Stop putting this guy up as some kind of huge loss. It’s ridiculous. McCann, at the moment is a terrible NHL player. He wouldn’t be a “massive” upgrade on anything.

    • So Benning is a draft guru who makes better bets than other teams at the draft, except when he isn’t and would have made the same mistake as another team.

      Makes sense.

      And yes, McCann is a third line centre on a decent team now, and has the potential to be a good middle-six centre in his prime, though the jury’s still out on whether he’ll reach that potential. That makes him equal to or better than every centre the Canucks currently have other than Horvat.

      • North Van Halen

        I don’t make assumptions nor do I invent facts. 2nd rounders carry a 30% chance of success. Benning may have chosen a winner, he may have drafted a stiff and the odds say more likely a stiff. There is just as good a chance we would be no better off having made that trade (depending on what if any eventual return they get on Guddy) as not made it.
        Just cuz you guys want to see the worst in every thing Benning does doesn’t mean it’s the truth.
        I will absolutely agree I’m not a fan of the trade but I have hope Guddy is traded for a decent return before it’s up. I will also say it requires massive assumptions and a keen bias to say this trade set us back 2 years.

        • I agree it’s a bit of a stretch to say this trade set the team back two years, but it was definitely a setback, and taken as a whole with the other ill-advised trades Benning has made has certainly set the franchise back two to four years.

          And I agree, it’s cherry-picking to say “they WOULD HAVE drafted DeBrincat”, and it is also cherry-picking to say “they WOULD HAVE drafted Adam Mascherin”. However, if the Benning apologists want to claim he is a draft guru, you have to give him better odds of landing an NHL player than 30%, since he’s supposed to be significantly better than average at drafting.

          So lets say the trade is Jared McCann and a 50% chance of landing a solid NHL player for Erik Gudbranson. That’s a significant setback, and I don’t share your optimism that the team will move Gudbranson to recoup their losses – they had the opportunity last year and chose to re-sign him instead.

          • North Van Halen

            The only other ill-advised trade was Sutter and really that’s mostly do you like Bonino more, we swapped about 15 spots in draft, that’s all and you still don’t know if we will recoup a return on Sutter.
            You assume no return on Guddy and you assume no return on Sutter because you hate Benning, again thats not a fact just an assumption based on hatred.
            What set the rebuild back 2 years was the Sedin signing. and we’ve been over that enough times I’m not doing it again.
            I AM NOT A BENNING APOLOGIST. If he were fired tomorrow I wouldn’t bat an eyelash. I just don’t like bulls**t. The Canucks were going to make another run no matter who was in charge, rightly or wrongly. I consider this when I judge Benning. You Benning haters don’t. The haters think convincing Aquillini to admit a $56mil mistake and eat that money without another run is realistic, again I don’t.
            So my judgments always come with that caveat, you guys choose to not believe it, whatever, sorry reality gets in the way of my rush to vilify Benning.
            That said Benning is far from perfect but the one and only reason I’m not on the ‘I hate Benning’ bandwagon is simple. 5 drafts ago we had 5 players under 25 with NHL aspirations, now we have over 30 and some look like homeruns. Somebody deserves some credit for this (i know had we started earlier we could had 40). i’ve watched the Canucks 50 years and they’ve never been close to having this many young talented players
            It literally took us 50 years to find a guy that could amass this amount of talent, I’m not ready to rush him outta town yet. If by the end of 2020 season, after we draft Jack Hughes, this team still looks like it’s floundering, I will lead the charge to burn Benning at the stake but for now, let him keep collecting.

          • DJ_44

            That’s a significant setback, and I don’t share your optimism that the team will move Gudbranson to recoup their losses – they had the opportunity last year and chose to re-sign him instead.

            Signing Gudbranson was proper asset management. He was injured so you could not get rental value for him. Resign him to a reasonable cap hit (even JD knows that, while he disagrees, most GMs do not regarding a healthy Gudbranson’s trade value with that contract).

            As far as setting the franchise back, you have to state an expected timeline for where the franchise should be if they had completing a “proper” — or what the other term — “full on” rebuild. Would the prospect pool be farther ahead? Not likely. (and let’s not draft four years after the fact).

            They made the playoffs with 102 pts in 2014-15. The rebuild began (aside from excellent drafting) at the TDL in 2016.

            They have averaged 4 solid prospects per draft (2014 – 2017) (28 picks). That is remarkable. More picks may not boost that average. The Leafs had 33 picks, and overall have fewer prospects; the Sabres 31, fewer prospect. Aside from acquiring high to mid-first round picks (which are incredibly difficult to get), getting more prospects per draft then they already have acquired is statistically unlikely.

            The reality is the Canucks, in my opinion, have turned the corner. This season will be challenging, but the prospects are poised to became professional players. Continue drafting and developing. Some once promising prospects will not make it and my be moved or waived (to screams of poor asset management), but that is a good problem to have.

        • Beer Can Boyd

          I’m no Benning hater, but the Gudbranson trade was egregious. Worst defensive metrics of any player in the league. What more is there possibly to say? Doesn’t fight, doesn’t play physical, slow as molasses, and constantly out of position. The idea that this guy is tradeable with the 3 years, 4 million per, contract is ludicrous. Please, name one team that would take him?

          • North Van Halen

            Again, don’t like the trade myself, I just think saying that trade set the franchise back 2 years is as dumb as any of the dumb things JD has said. First it’s a flat out falsehood.. Second it requires an assumption whoever we drafted was going to pan out for us. Third, it assumes McCann is assuredly a solid contributor to a Stanley Cup contender (which isn’t unrealistic, just unproven). Fourth, it assumes there is no chance we recoup anything of value for Gudbranson, which we don’t yet know.. 5th it presumes that 2 mid level prospects sets back a rebuild by years (that is some big assumption). 6..you get the idea, total BS.
            Hate the trade, that makes sense, just don’t turn it into something it’s not

      • Bud Poile

        McCann: 36.8% o-zone f/o 2.2 f/o per game
        McCann: 38.8% n-zone f/o 3.9 f/o per game
        McCann: 40% d-zone f/o 1.9 f/o per game
        overall f/0% 38.5%
        That’s Florida’s 11th best face off performer by %.

        Beagle has the 4th best % in the entire NHL -all situations.
        Beagle is the second best d-zone f/o man in the entire NHL.
        Sutter is ranked 31st( tied with Seguin/Pavelski) in the entire NHL on d-zone draws.
        Sutter is ranked 20th in the entire league on o-zone draws.
        Taking face offs is a primary function of a center.
        McCann can’t hold a candle to Sutter,Beagle,Horvat nor Sutter.
        Then there’s McCann the person that got his act turfed out of Van City.

        • PQW

          Let’s put this trolling multi id blowhard back in his ‘Bali’ dog basket guys…

          “The Canucks are over paying for the assets they are acquiring. The Sutter trade is a good example. They trade Bonino, Clendening and a 2nd for Sutter and are paying him double Bonino’s salary” – Bud Poile

          tumbleweeds… NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • bobdaley44

            Actually the slug Bonino is making more money than Sutter on a longterm contract that I’m sure Nashville regrets. I’d take Sutter over Bonino anyway. He can play defence and skate. Loved watching guys whip by Bonino’s waving stick when he played here. Good on the power play though. Think about the Canucks down the middle without Sutter. You think Horvat’s enough?

    • apr

      McCann a second line center here under Green is laughable. And Nucks picking Cody Hodgson instead of Erik Karlson set this team (and 14 others) back by 10 years, so there’s that…

    • truthseeker

      yeah these people who are trying to put Jared f’in McCann on a pedestal now are completely ridiculous. The guy was healthy scratched repeatedly last season and was pathetic offensively. So far he’s done nothing to answer the question that he was a locker room prima donna cancer who was exposed directly by that other player’s family. It’s not like this was a “rumor”. It was all but directly verified.

      At this point McCann sucks. He may turn it around. Maybe he’ll develop into a good center. At which point I’ll say the canucks lost the trade, but as of today the trade was a massive failure for both teams.

      • Beer Can Boyd

        No one is putting him on a pedestal. But he’s a way better hockey player than Gudbranson already, and he’s only 22. If you can’t see that, then you aren’t watching closely. Seeing Gudbranson play so poorly for the last 2 years, I’m sure Florida thinks they won this trade handily. At this point, he really brings nothing to the table, and it was indeed a dark day when they re-signed him.

  • PQW

    Same old delusion from the no life sheeple on here i see…

    Virtanen and McCann – Massive Benning busts when we could’ve had the likes of game changers such as Larkin, Pastrnak, Tuch, Nylander and Ehlers.

    Juolevi – Benning bust. We were promised a Drew Doughty elite D and ended up with a Drew Barrymore – the draft guru passed on gamechangers like Sergachev, McAvoy, Keller, and Matty ‘the beast’ Tkachuk for this this bust who has been unable to break into one of the worst D corps in the league.

    Pettersen – we were promised a powerhouse number one CENTER and ended up with a lightweight winger ffs.

    Guys, this is WHY Linden bailed from the sinking ship and the standings simply do not lie. Vancouver is the worst run franchise in the NHL alongside Ottawa. Trevor knew it, i know it… why don’t YOU!

      • Cageyvet

        With Bud as the target again. The trolls are in mid-season form. LAKID can ignore his Oilers’ repeated failures, and the many-headed troll is hungry again, don’t feed him. I liked them all a lot better when they made some sense, but these days it’s Petterson is a bust, Hughes won’t sign, and other ludicrous comments. I like trolls who bait me with something that sounds like they’ve watched hockey before, but the site’s volume and quality of trolls has waned along with it’s content.

        • Cageyvet

          Its target, not it’s, I know the difference (not my phone, however) but apparently its a matter of principle for JD and the gang to ignore their audience’s repeated call for the return of the edit button. What principle that is, I’m really not sure, but if there was a sound reason for not having it, they can’t be bothered to explain it to us.

          I know it’s free, but so are other, better sites. In the Nation Network alone, CA is a last-place, mismanaged squad with a thinner prospect pool than the Canucks. Glass houses and such, but this is nothing new to any regular reader. There’s a cadre of good commenters here, but too many who worship Jim Rome and talking smack because it insulates them from their inability to participate in intelligent conversation. I don’t begrudge any of us our inevitable biases, but let’s keep it in the real world at least. The fiction that gets paraded here by bloggers and trolls is tiresome. Some of you piss me off some of the time (then make comments I agree with the next day) but some of you piss me off all the time. That more than likely means you just desperately need a reaction. Join a circus, clowns, we will all be happier.

    • PUCKLUCK78

      …And if I would’ve bet on France in the World Cup, I would’ve struck it rich!! You’re arguments are based on hindsight and are completely ridiculous. Are you seriously complaining about the Petterson pick? Funniest thing ive heard in awhile, get your head out of your a$$!!

  • Marvin101

    Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Benning signing Eriksson was a total disaster, Del Zotto and Gagner were very questionable. The only good free agent signing was Vanek and it was only for one year.

    And now Benning runs out and signs Beagle to a 4 year contract? Benning’s free agent signings would probably get him fired from a good organization and his trades are questionable at best. Letting Benning sign any more free agents would be total lunacy!

  • Linden vs Benning

    It’s really quite simple. Both have a vision in mind and ownership went with the one thought best, in this case Jim Bennings. My guess is Trevor wouldn’t support this vision, voiced his disapproval, a heated argument ensued, and now he’s hanging at club 16.

    Francesco is the Boss. He signs the cheques and what he says goes. Trevor flexing his muscles is silly in a corporate environment and saying he was sold out is also silly.
    Two different visions, and Trevor unwilling to change his, cost him his job. Everyone has to pull in the same direction.

  • liqueur des fenetres

    While back at school the Canucks will have far less influence on Hughes’ development than if he were in Utica, and of course won’t be able to call him up for a look while #44 misses some of his 30+ games. Yet all the window lickers are back slapping as if the team had won a playoff series.

  • speering major

    I don’t see Bennings job on the line this season but there is a ton of unknowns. They just signed him to an extension and everyone in the organization and hockey world knows this is a rebuild and expecting a losing season. They have a bunch of cap space they aren’t even bothering to use. I don’t see how the Canucks losing will put Benning on the block this year. The top reason I can see is if ticket sales are a disaster and the club gets desperate to sell a change

    It’s hard to put together a perfect draft record but I would say Benning has done well. Way above average.

    -JV is definitely not Nylander or Ehlers but he’s looking like an NHL player and considering who went 4,5,and 7, He isn’t a disaster.
    -McCann draft pick was good and it fetched a nice return… on paper. At the time Guddy was valuable so IMO JB made a good pick but a bad trade.
    -Tryamkin, Demko, Gaudette. Uh yeah, This is an absolute home run from a drafting perspective. Obviously it’s too early to determine how these picks pan out but they are tracking way above expectation.
    -Brock is a home run pick to anyone, especially a team not winning the lottery. To take him late in the first is an absolute steal
    -Oli is a disappointment so far considering how other D and forwards have done from his class. That said, if Oli becomes a solid top 4 D then this pick is just fine. Oli isn’t a bust yet and still has plenty of promise. I think if he doesn’t stand out by the end of the year in Utica, its time to worry. It is really hard and expensive to acquire those assets these days. Look at what teams are giving up Taylor Hall or Ryan Johansen for. IMO it is crucial to build a core of Centers and D through the draft. It’s just too hard or expensive to get them otherwise. Benning has Drafted two D and if Oli becomes a steady but not outstanding top 4 D, he will be better than having Ktachuk or Puljujarvi (who were both passed for a center… cough cough look at this draft year also), who are the kind of players that can be replaced in free agency or trade.
    -Petterson is now tracking as the first or second best player in his draft class and taken 5th
    -Lind had a huge season and produced at the same rate as Cody Glass.
    -Hughes is a great pick

    Bennings FA signings have been terrible. His trades have been questionable but I would say hit and miss. People have been to hard on Bennings trades IMO. McCann hasn’t really turned in to anything of a difference maker, Baertschi is a big win, Granlund is a definite win, Sutter still has value TBD, both Dahlen and Goldobin are a win and potentially a big win.

    IMO when you look at Bennings strengths, they play to a rebuilding team. I just seems unlikely he is on a short leash or the wrong man for the job. I could see Benning gone at any point but I suspect the team will replace Linden with someone who will be looking to assess Bennings ability to trade and manage contracts and either take over the role themselves or replace him with someone suited for that roll as the team transitions to a development and contending phase.

    • Bud Poile

      Re: Benning’s trades have been questionable.

      In 1.5 years or 2017 /2018 here are the players Benning traded for:
      Leipsic,Motte,Pouliot,Goldobin,Dahlen and Gudbranson.
      He acquired four to six roster players while losing McCann and a pick.

      These last two drafts might be seen as franchise best for many years to come while the Benning draft dept restructuring is also just two years old.
      The Achilles heel of the Canucks franchise historically has been drafting.
      So,a Canucks GM has finally put together a draft team/organisational structure that is successfully building the franchise and yet is seen as the wrong man for the job by some.
      His trades and drafting have rebuilt the franchise over three losing,yet competitive seasons.
      His FA signings haven’t been perfect but they cost nothing but Aqua dollars and were designed to fill holes in an organisation that lacked depth at every position.
      2.5 down years to rebuild an entire organisation is exemplary.

  • Rodeobill

    Maybe JB has a good ability to evalute potential and talent, and thus drafts above average, but does not have a very good ability to evaluate the best tool for the job (or perhaps understand what job needs doing) and therefore flubs on trades and FAs for the most part. If this is true, perhaps listening to TG might be a good thing?

  • Tennyson Woodcock

    The Linden event is the biggest event other than the Hughes event. My take is that Linden was the voice of reason. He championed the full on rebuild. The direction of the franchise is and was at stake here. If Benning and ownership are not fully committed to a rebuild, we the fans are in for a helluva let down. Also, if Benning is FA’s yes man, god help us!