With Quinn Hughes electing to return to Michigan, it’s looking more and more like the Canucks could come back with the same defence they iced last year. The only question mark that remains is 2016 fifth-overall pick Olli Juolevi, who will be making his return to North America after spending the 2017-18 season with HC TPS in Finland.
The team currently has a full complement of defensemen signed for next season, which means Juolevi will have to make room for him if he plays well enough to earn a spot. Where would you like to see Juolevi start the season, and how would you go about making room for him?
Last week I asked: Who would you like to see as the new President of Hockey Ops?
See what Benning can do as VP of Hockey Ops. Hire an assistant GM to design trades, identify UFA’s, and negotiate contracts. You know, everything that Benning is bad at.
Gino’s 3rd Cousin:
Francesco should get back on the horn with Ralph Krueger to see if they can pry him from South Hampton.
Somebody in the Province threw Chris Pronger out there as a maybe, whoever it is they find, I hope it is on the merit of his aptitude at that job; negotiating, contracts, and trades, PR, etc. I have nothing bad to say about Linden, he was ultimately probably a good choice for the hard times they were going to have to go through, and old fan fav to help keep the fans on board, but the next regime will be responsible for carefully managing contracts of blossoming superstars and cap issues, while building a team that can win games against the leafs and lightning over the next 4 or 5 years. Time for shrewdness and competency now rather than loyal figureheads.
Think outside the box – Benning is a classic “hockey man” with a particular set of skills and an obvious set of deficiencies as well. Get a lawyer, or former player agent, someone in the Gilman/Gillis mold, who excels in the areas Benning is poor – contracts, outside-the-box thinking, willingness to experiment and take risks. Someone whose skillset will compliment Benning’s, rather than another “hockey man” who will merely duplicate what Benning already brings.
Whoever Aquilini hires, he should give him independence to run the team. Ownership meddling has caused a lot of problems for the Canucks post-2011, and if they’re going to get the team back on track they need to put a plan in place and execute on it without interference from ownership.
I’d be curious to look to Hockey Canada and see if BC guy Tom Renney would be interested in returning to the NHL.
As a coach, he had very little success with this team but he is known to have a very shrewd hockey mind and is a brilliant tactician and visionary. Also, as CEO of Hockey Canada, he does have front office experience.
All in all, the Canucks will should look away from ex-players and look to those with good front office competencies and a strong vision for leadership.