Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag: Ben Hutton, Jesse Puljujarvi, and Rooting Interests

I don’t know if it’s improved much over such a short time span but I’d imagine it will significantly if he keeps it up. Playing over 20 minutes a night with Erik Gudbranson as your partner and looking relatively comfortable in the process is a huge step. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks just decide to keep him if he continues to improve.

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Almost certainly, but what he isn’t is younger or a significant part of the team’s future and for that reason I don’t mind seeing Adam Gaudette, Tyler Motte, or even Darren Archibald in his place. I think it’s fair to criticize them for a lack of foresight, but their handling of Gagner this season is defensible in a vacuum. They probably aren’t going to be very competitive this season, so I’m okay with handing the car keys to a couple of unproven younger guys as opposed to sticking with a veteran who doesn’t fit well in the lineup.

Depends on what you mean by “significant”. They’d probably have to offer up someone like Olli Juolevi, but Puljujarvi has struggled enough that it’s definitely possible they could still hold on to most of their remaining core young players. Depending on the price I could definitely get behind a Puljujarvi trade, it’s just a matter of whether or not there’s a deal to be had that makes sense for the Oilers.

My advice to everyone looking to go to a game is never to hope for a win. If you go in hoping to just be entertained you’re less likely to be disappointed. I’m not sure the Canucks are going to pull out wins consistently this season regardless of what their defense looks like.

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I don’t think any decisions regarding concussions are made without the approval of the medical staff, so I don’t think it’s fair to blame Jim Benning for what happened to Antoine Roussel and Thatcher Demko. In the future, I’d advise them to maybe respect the player’s opinion a bit more when it comes to flying after a head injury, but I can’t bring myself to get worked up about what seems like an honest mistake.

The Canucks only had two players suit up for 82 games this season, so it’s definitely possible they won’t see a player make it there this year. We’re a long way off from being to say that with any confidence, though.

I thought they looked pretty good, although you can tell Boeser is still under the weather. I like the idea of playing the three together given their individual skill sets and the fact that Nikolay Goldobin has been snakebitten over the last stretch of games and looks poised to break out any second now.

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I’ve mentioned it quite a few times but I think the team is going to be aggressive in their pursuit of Tyler Myers this offseason. I personally wouldn’t go that route, but I just think it makes too much sense given his age, size, and skill set. As far as what I would do given the opportunity, I’d make calls on Jake Gardiner and Martin Marincin and see if the price is right, and also see if I could pry Jacob Trouba out of Winnipeg since his name seems to always be thrown about in conversations about trade speculation.

I mean, he should be looking at all of them, otherwise he wouldn’t be doing his job. If I were the Canucks scouting department I’d probably take a centre in the first round and then take a volume approach in the middle rounds and try to make as many dice rolls on defensive prospects with upside as possible.

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He’s only laced up for one game so far, but he registered and assist; so, so far so good. To be honest I’m going to have a tough time determining what his ceiling is since he’s spent so much time at the high-school level. What I’ve seen, I’ve liked, but I won’t feel comfortable making any bold declarations until he plays a bit more college hockey.

Whether they’ll admit it or not, most people who cover one specific team would prefer if that team did well, all things being equal. When the team does well, the media does well; and when you follow one team 82 times a season it’s hard not to be more invested in the success of that team than you would be for an away team in a different timezone you only see a few times a year. It’s a little different if you cover the NHL at large, but for in-market guys it’s difficult to be truly neutral just by virtue of how much time is spent singularly focused on one team. The emotional element is completely gone, though. I don’t cheer when they score or get upset when they lose anymore and haven’t for a long time. The only thing I really “root” for is individual players to succeed and teams that make good decisions to be rewarded.

  • Bud Poile

    “I don’t think any decisions regarding concussions are made without the approval of the medical staff, so I don’t think it’s fair to blame Jim Benning for what happened to Antoine Roussel and Thatcher Demko.”

    One problem is the Canucks medical staff are not qualified to give advice.
    Regan is an orthopedics specialist and Bovard is a family physician.
    Benning had no idea Roussel had a concussion history before signing him.
    Unless the club has a neurological specialist that they defer to it’s the blind leading the blind in regards to concussions.

    • LTFan

      “One problem is the Canucks medical staff are not qualified to give advice.” Maybe – but do you not think they refer players who have an injury to a Specialist? Of course they do. Surgeries are not done by Canucks staff doctors but by a pecialist. IMO this is standard practice for all sports teams.

      • Bud Poile

        Both Demko and Petey flew on the day of their head injuries.
        That’s some professional advice.
        Not entirely sure but it looks like Demko’s camp then got their own advice.

        • East van canuck

          Sidney Crosby says hi – 2 Stanley Cups, 2 Conn Smyths, an Art Ross, a Hart trophy, a Rocket Richard and 2 Ted Lindsays AFTER three concussions and he is feeling GREAT flying all over the continent… now scuttle off Dud, tail between legs as usual.

          • Bud Poile

            Michael Farber: “How much of your brain function did you lose after the concussions?

            Paul Kariya: “At the end of my career when I was tested by Dr. Lovell who created the IMPACT testing, I dropped over 60%. When I was tested by another doctor, just a general test for my general age group, I was testing in the 25th percentile. I was a decent student. I got into Harvard. I’m not a 25% student. There was significant damage.”

          • East van canuck

            Concussed Dud going back to the stone age again… Kariya retired in 2010 ffs! Medical Science has PROGRESSED light years in almost a decade… unlike you!

            Following practice, Crosby told reporters that he is no longer experiencing any concussion symptoms. “I feel good,” Crosby said. “It’s encouraging to be able to practice with the team and go in the right direction. Guys have multiple concussions and they’re fine. You just have to treat them the right way, and make sure that the medical experts handle it right and that you’re honest with yourself. I’m comfortable and confident that things will be OK. I feel fine” – Sidney Crosby 2017

        • gnam

          That’s just not true. Neither flew the day of their injuries. I know you hey a kick out of trolling plq (or whatever his name is) but at least try to be accurate. Google isn’t that hard.

    • DJ_44

      I have zero access to the inter-workings of the Canucks, or other NHL teams. I am a professional, and understand how professionals, including medical professionals, operate.

      One individual cannot specialize in everything. What makes senior professionals “good” ( and great GP’s – or “family physicians”) is an ability to understand the problem space, and seek proper advice when required.

      Protocols developed by specialists go a long way to direct all medical and training staff on how to assess severity of injuries and proper course of action going forward.

      To state that they are “blind” reveals a lack of understanding of the world in general.

      • Bud Poile

        I’ve dealt with specialists.Lots of them.
        Was released from a hospital while having a stroke by one of the nation’s top neurologists.
        Was allowed to drive home from hospital after suffering a serious concussion.
        Should I go on?
        Your specialist world is a lot different than the one I experienced.
        Maybe get out and see some of the real world.

        • truthseeker

          So basically you’re admitting to being illogical.

          What you’re doing is a testimonial. Anecdotal. Because it happened to you it must be true for everyone.

          Should I go on?

          Maybe study up on basic reasoning and logic.

        • DJ_44

          You make my point. Specialists are just that; specialists. They can have an incredibly narrow focus: great if that is your problem, not so great if it is not.

          Generalists are far better trained at assessing the overall problem. Recognizing where and when specialist assessment is required is critical.

          Before it was the blind leading the blind, with specialists being the ones with vision; here it is specialists are anything but. Which is it?

        • Chuck-ey

          Was this in Bali?

          Bud is a proven liar and fantasist…

          “The volcano has nothing to do with Ubud – hours away. I’m going to the beach for lunch, buy a fuc’ing clue” – Bud Poile

          **Yesterday and last night in UBud it was very rainy with strong winds and the air is thick with volcanic ash clouds. In Ubud, we witnessed people wearing masks to protect themselves from the ash that was billowing into the air and crossing the region** – CBC News Report during the Bali volcano crisis… but Bud was on the beach lol

        • Canadian Paramedic

          I can assure you as a healthcare professional that there is no way you would be released from hospital in Canada while having a stroke! Show some respect here please.

          • kermit

            Good catch Canuck4life. Chuck-ey starts trolling, Beercan responds, Canadian Paramedic attacks Beercan and, presumably unintentionally, identifies himself as the author of the Chuck-ey post. The multi-account troll just outed himself. It must be difficult keeping things straight with so many names.

  • LTFan

    Team success. I have been a very long time Canucks fan. Over the years my highs and lows are now subdued. That being said the disappointment at losing the SCF in 1994 and 2011 was substantial. Going forward it certainly appears the forwards today are better than in the previous years. Defense is still a work in process. Once you get past Edler and Tanev there is a big drop off in ability. That is where some of the guys in Utica have to improve enough to come up and be better than Pouliet, MDZ, Gudbranson and Biega. IMO this won’t be done through trades or signing FA”s. Smart drafting seems to be the only way to go.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Agreed. Trading for quality young defensemen is virtually impossible, the price is inevitably so high. They do have some decent blue line prospects though. And Stecher and Hutton are both developing nicely. And I do like Biega a lot, but only as a #7 guy who can sub in occasionally and bring energy. IMO, Brisbois should be in the lineup tonight instead of MDZ or Pouliot. And why Leipsic is playing instead of Gaudette is unfathomable. Put Boeser back with Bo, and play Gaudette between EP and Goldobin. Or if you want to keep EP at centre, move Granlund back to the wing, and let Gaudette play centre on the 4th line with him and Motte. He’s been very solid so far, and parking him in the press box seems pointless. I agree with the past commenter who said that Leipsic looks a lot like Mason Raymond out there. Always skating around furiously, but not much to show in the way of results. And he does fall down a lot.

      • Chuck-ey

        “Trading for quality young defensemen is virtually impossible”

        Maybe this rings true when your name is Jim Benning but Seth Jones, Sergachev, Hamonic, Dougie Hamilton, Hanafin, Erik Karlsson and PK Subban have all been traded at fair value (PK a steal), so you are frankly talking [email protected]

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Sure, Nashville gave up Shea Weber, 4 time All Star, for Subban. What a steal. Except for Karlsson, who held the Senators hostage, a la Kesler, all of those players came at a very significant price. Jones cost the Blue Jackets their #1 centre. Sergachev had played a total of 4 games in the NHL and he cost TB Drouin. Hamonic, 1st round pick.Hamilton and Hanafin were traded for each other. So, in conclusion, if you want to trade for a quality young defensemen, it’s going to cost you heavily. And thanks to Chuck-ey, we know its happened a grand total of 6 times in the last 5 years.

          • Defenceman Factory

            Chuck-ey, another version of our resident troll, deserves no thanks for simply pointing out what we already knew. Trading for young defencemen is expensive but on rare occasions it is the right thing to do.

            Despite you explaining it Beer Can it is unlikely Chuck-ey understands how, by missing the point, he has given the evidence to prove it.

          • Canadian Paramedic

            Absolute twaddle… have another ‘beer’ you are clearly already drunk.

            Please don’t engage if you can’t READ properly. I said the deals i dilligently mentioned were of FAIR VALUE and they were. You said young high end D is impossible to trade for, i proved you wrong. Suck it up.

            As for Weber, he has been an injury nightmare for the Habs and is yet to play a game this season, he is 33 and has had zero impact in the playoffs. PK is PK, he is 29, playing lights out on an elite team, reached the Cup final already and had 82 points on D last season – Preds fans love him, ask Habs fans who they would rather have. Nashville made out like bandits. End of.

          • TD

            “Canadian Paramedic”, your post under the wrong account is the funniest thing I have seen on this site for a while. No, there is absolutely no trolling or multiple posters on this site.

          • Canuck4Life20

            What’s funnier? The fact that he screwed up, or the fact that he responds to himself? What a pathetic loser. It’s a shame this site has gone so downhill that they allow this to continue.

      • Beefus

        I totally agree that Gaudette should be centering the fourth line. I would have his linemates as Schaller and Motte however. I think that Granlund should be moved up to the second line to be given a chance to play with Pettersson. Granlund has shown in the past that he has some offensive abilities and may have some chemistry with Pettersson. Leipsic should not be in the NHL.

  • myshkin

    how much has hutton moved up on the depth chart? quite a bit in my opinion. tanev is chronically injured, edler’s injuries are increasing as he ages and the others have no appreciable higher skills. hutton has to be near the top of the depth chart these days. hughes will be at the top but he’s unproven.

    • TD

      Hutton seems to have separated himself from Poulliot. Hopefully Hughes and Juolevi develop into the top two left side d men. Hutton seems to be the next guy on the left guy going forward. It’s the right side that needs some prospects. I agree with drafting a centre this year as all the d men projected to go in the first round shoot left.

  • argoleas

    The Jets’ Trouba situation is perplexing. They look poised to walk from Myers next summer, and Buff will be 34 w/ 2 yrs left in his contract then. Are they seriously considering a Troubaless future too? So, in about 3 years, no Buff, no Myers, and no Trouba? Wow.

    Would love for Canucks to be able to trade for Trouba if his negotiations with the Jets go completely south, assuming they can sign him to a long-term extension. Does anybody have any idea what kind of assets that would cost, nevermind whether Canucks have such assets to give (I’m not sure they do)? Also, have to put this in the context of Jets current and probably prolonged cap crunch.

    • Chuck-ey

      Juolevi, Virtanen, Demko and many other Canuck system under-achievers the pom pom wavers are clinging on to should be tradebait for Trouba, because they are all busts.

          • North Van Halen

            So the mighty Chuck-ey/PQW/young Canuck/West Van Betty/whoever in the hell else you are today has deemed Juolevi, Demko & Jake all busts.
            So tell us all, oh great intellects/multiple personality disorders if you can recognize that all these Benning draft picks are busts how the hell could they fool Cheveldayoff into including them in a package for Trouba?!
            Can’t have it both ways. Either they’re busts and we can only hope to recoup low end draft choices when we move on or they’re significant pieces in a huge block buster for Trouba.
            So which is it? Or do you just have trouble following your own bs?

          • North Van Halen

            Not at all, I’m actually obsessed with chuck-ey, i mean young canuck, i mean east van canuck, i mean West van betty, i mean Canadian…., i mean corporate….., but not PQW.
            I could care less about him.

  • Puck Viking

    With the draft you take best player available in the 1st. Draft heavy on right defense after. Also, why we need to deal vets for picks so we can get this defense built up and turned around quick because it’s already holding us back. The longer its left unaddressed the longer it is until we are in the playoffs.

  • argoleas

    So, if Canucks are inclined to go aggressively after Tyler Myers as an UFA, whose job on RD does he take? And you all know it is not Guddy’s. Would have a hard time seeing it being Stech, so is it to substitute Tanev? So trade Tanev for assets while getting Myers to take his place? Does that work for anyone? Is his probably very high and long contract worth it?

        • Ser Jaime Lannister

          I would think Myers would deff be an upgrade on Stecher. Its tough to predict what kind of contract he would be looking at though, being at 5.5 cap hit right now i am hesitant to pay him that kind of money going forward.

          Trouba would be ideal but we dont have the assets to trade for him imo.

          • TD

            I agree, it would have to be a big overpay to get Myers. Right handed D are the hardest position to fill for most teams, so a good free agent right D is going to demand a lot of money. Too much money.

  • crofton

    “I’d advise them to maybe respect the player’s opinion a bit more when it comes to flying after a head injury” …do you know they didn’t listen to the players? Or did they ask and were told they feel ok to fly? Were you privy to any of those discussions? Are the players ever going to say otherwise, unless they need to be in a very dark room?

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    Why would you trade Hutton at this point? He may easily be our best defenceman right now. The idea that he should be on the trade market this year because he had a bad season last year is and always was a silly one, probably pushed by Vancouver sports media members looking for something to write about.

  • Kanuckhotep

    One who is not a neurologist can hardly make informed statements on the plight of athletes and everyday people who suffer concussions. These guys don’t go to medical school for as long as they do for no small reason. When it’s serious let the health care professionals/specialists decide proper diagnosis and treatment. Blaming Green or Benning is just plain stupid. You cannot screw around with a brain injury. Remember NFL great Junior Seau?