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Photo Credit: Nam Y. Huh/AP / Sportsnet

The Flying Take: Boeser’s Contract, Stecher’s Scratch, and Hockey’s Hazing Problem

Our long national nightmare is finally over.

William Nylander has mercifully signed a six-year deal with the Maple Leafs worth just over 45 million dollars. It’s an unconventionally structured deal that has newly minted AGM Laurence Gillman’s name written all over it.’s The contract will set the tone for the organization’s negotiations with their other young players, and given that Nylander’s AAV has come out significantly under the figure many were quoting in the media, it’s looking good for the Center of the Universe. Losing out on Nylander to at the 2014 draft has been a topic that’s been dissected ad nauseam online over the past four years, but losing Gillman to the Leafs may end up being the tougher pill to swallow.

But enough about Toronto. We’ve heard the refrain “how does this affect the Leafs?” enough times for it to become a well-known cliché. So it’s time to finally turn the tables and ask: how does this affect the Canucks?

Brock Boeser is currently in the last year of his entry-level deal, and he’s indicated he’s more than happy to wait until the end of the season. He’s due for a big raise, with some folks speculating after his rookie season he could get as much as 8 million a year.

Something tells me that’s not happening now.

Boeser and Nylander are fairly comparable players. Nylander posted back-to-back 61-point seasons in his first two full years. Boeser finished last season with 55 points in 62 games and is on pace to put up similar numbers again this year. Boeser’s point-per-game pace and goal-scoring ability is better, but his injury history puts them on equal footing.

If I were a betting man, I’d say his AAV doesn’t come in a hair over 7 million. Jim Benning should send his old employee a thank-you card.

1. Speaking of contracts, you have to think the Canucks are searching high and low for ways to unload Loui Eriksson’s six million dollar cap hit. His deal becomes surprisingly movable after next year, after bulk of his signing bonuses have been paid. That leaves the usual list of budget teams as possible trade partners. There’s also been word that the Montreal Canadiens had interest at last year’s deadline, but couldn’t get a deal done. Even with the decrease in the actual dollar figure, I don’t see the Canucks moving him without retaining salary. That is, unless they take salary back. One option I haven’t heard anyone mention yet is the Boston Bruins. They have their own aging, once-great underperforming forward in David Backes. Backes has struggled perhaps even more than Eriksson has through the first third of the season. Could he be a fit? He has the same ugly cap hit, but a year less on his deal. The Bruins get a slightly younger forward who’s produced more as of late, and take a bet on a player who’s had success there in the past. The Canucks get help in the faceoff circle and cap relief in time for them to sign Elias Pettersson and possibly even Quinn Hughes to their second contracts. Plus, there’s no one left on the team to ask him about Kelly.

2. Troy Stecher found himself in the press box for a game against the Los Angeles Kings last week, to the surprise of many. It was a puzzling decision, given that the underlying data suggests Stecher has been the Canucks’ best two-way defender this season. He leads all Canucks defenders in shot contributions and Corsi-for percentage, but has the team’s second-lowest TOI average per game among defensemen, and his usage on special teams has been scant. It’s easy to get frustrated, but it’s worth noting that the numbers suggested the same thing about Ben Hutton last year, and he received more or less the same treatment. The fact that Hutton’s taken such a major step this year could be cause for praise or criticism when it comes to Travis Green’s approach, depending on how you look at it. It’s all about intention. If Green is trying to motivate Stecher and mold him into a better defenseman, that’s understandable. If he legitimately believes Stecher isn’t one of his best six defensemen, then it’s a concern.

3. (Content warning: abuse.) Former NHLer Daniel Carcillo made headlines again this week for speaking out about abuse he suffered as a rookie over the course of the 2002-2003 season with the OHL Sarnia Sting. On Twitter and in interviews with CBC’s HNIC Podcast and The National, Carcillo described how he and the team’s other rookies were subjected to vicious hazing rituals that included beatings with a sawed-off goalie stick; forcing rookies to kneel in the showers while veterans spat or urinated on them; and “hotboxing”, the practice of stripping groups of players down to their underwear, locking them in the bathroom, and spitting chewing tobacco on them through the vents. In one particularly harrowing incident, Carcillo recounted how one rookie was stripped naked, tied to a table, and whipped with his own belt. When the incident was overheard by a coach, he allegedly responded by cracking jokes with the veterans and participating in the whipping himself.

Carcillo’s story is coming at a time when the old ideas of masculinity are being challenged and redefined in the broader culture. Hockey has always had a “warrior” mentality that’s left generations of emotionally and physically damaged men in it’s wake. Carcillo’s honesty and vulnerability offers a new path for players who have been victimized by institutional and cultural violence in hockey. It’s remarkably brave, and Carcillo deserves credit for calling “hazing” what it is: abuse.

4. If you’d like an example of what “completely missing the point” looks like, TSN’s Jeff O’Neill has you covered:

5. To the surprise of many (including myself), Don Cherry emerged as a surprisingly progressive voice on the topic of hazing in last night’s edition of Coach’s Corner:

“I’ve played in every league in existence… I’ve seen guys ruined through hazing, I really have…I’ve seen broken arms, I’ve seen everything… When I was in junior, I swept the buses with the rest of the rookies, I carried the bags and everything, helped the trainers, put the pucks away- that’s not hazing… you’re a rookie, you do that… The OHL had meetings… if you’re a coach and you have hazing, you’re gone, you’ll never be hired again. So cut it out! I never liked it.”

So, the next time Jeff O’Neill opens his mouth about literally anything, you can remind yourself that his views on hazing are significantly more retrograde than Don Cherry’s.

6. Carcillo offered his own opinions on O’Neill in his appearance on the HNIC Podcast: “You have guys like Jeff O’Neill, who don’t understand, who make condescending comments about abuse… it’s guys like him that drive stigma about mental health and about abuse victims coming forward…

“I grew up in King City with Jeff O’Neill. If you wanna learn about somebody’s character, go back to King City and ask people about me and then ask them about him.”

As bad as Carcillo’s experiences were, others have had it even worse. In his own interview with The National, Carcillo’s former teammate Charles Amodeo discussed his own experiences with hazing. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in the topic.

The highlight of the interview came at the end, when he was asked about his feelings toward the game of hockey and how he would feel about his own children playing at the junior level:

“To be very blunt, I don’t even play anymore. I volunteered with a AAA team a couple years ago and just being around the rink… it made me sick.”

Judging by what’s been implied by Carcillo, Shawn Matthias, and others, we may just be scratching the surface of how deep this problem goes.

7. These stories of abuse come amidst a backdrop of related OHL controversies. Earlier this month, Ontario’s new provincial government announced the league would be excluded from provincial employment standards legislation, maintaining the status of the players as amateur athletes and prevents them from being defined as employees and regulated by the province’s Employment Standards Act. Last April, a class action lawsuit was also filed on behalf of former CHL players seeking $180 million dollars in back pay.

Carcillo’s comments will put the league in the spotlight for a third time in recent memory, once again in a negative context. Coupled with the 2017 lawsuit, it ought to re-ignite interest in a CHL player’s union. The players came close to forming a player’s association in 2012 under guidance from former NHLer Georges Laraque, but it fell apart at the last minute. For all the talk of wanting a minimum wage, the proposed CHLPA’s demands were rather quaint at the time. Chief among them were calls for players to receive more help transitioning out of the hockey world and broadening scholarship eligibility to include older players. The next time around, chances are they’ll be a lot more demanding.

The CHL has improved in a number of respects over the past decade or so, including how they deal with the issue of hazing; but Carcillo’s comments should make it clear that players need more avenues to exert control over their well-being, not less. In Ontario, OHL players will still be afforded protection under the Occupation Health and Safety Act, but the OHL has clearly dragged it’s feet when it comes to doing right by their players. Because junior hockey offers its best players the chance at NHL superstardom, it’s easy to forget that most players never go on to have a career in hockey. Even for those who do, it’s left many emotionally and physically scarred, and ill-suited for a transition to life outside the sport.

8. Last month, America’s best worst Canadian sports podcast, Real Good Show, said goodbye to two of their three hosts in Stefan Heck and John Cullen. For just over three years, together with Justin Morrissette, they mined the absurdity of the pro sports world for comedic gold, with the Vancouver Canucks as frequent targets. For those of you that are unfamiliar, their interview with former Canuck Kyle Wellwood is a great place to start.

The unholy alliance between sports coverage and the comedic world of Weird Twitter was tense at times, but it created a show that was completely unique in the Canadian context. The absence of the original incarnation of the show will leave a Big Country Reeves-sized hole in this market.

For those of you that have been missing it, there’s good news. Stefan and John are back with a new show called Blocked Party, a comedic take on social media, while Justin is transitioning RGS to a one-on-one interview show that he’s assured me will feature a number of fantastic guests in the near future. You can listen to a preview of what’s to come here.

9. A big thanks to twitter user @geordiedent for pushing me to discuss the CHL/OHL stuff this week. I’d like to explore the subject of hazing and unionization in so-called “amateur” sports more deeply in the future if the opportunity arises. I urge anyone with relevant stories to reach out to me via DM or through email.

  • Killer Marmot

    There are countless possible reasons why Stecher was scratched that have nothing to do with his overall performance. He may have felt ill, or Green thought he looked tired the game before and could use a rest, or Stecher had some minor injury that was slowing him down, or there was some minor discipline problem like a missed curfew, or Green wanted to give Biega some ice time, or some combination of the above.

    In short, I would not get my tail in a knot over a single missed game.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Agreed, but its time for Biega to come back out of the lineup, and Pouliot to get back in. Biegas energy is infectious, but after a few games, he starts to make terrible mistakes and take untimely penalties. He is what he is, a great 7/8 defenseman, and a great team guy.

      • canuckfan

        Ys it is time for Biega to move on and have someone else fill his difficult position as an extra. He sure makes a lot of bonehead passes and crappy passes. Plays his heart out but man it is hard to watch the mistakes he has been lucky the other team has not converted.
        We need to try someone else in that depth position and have him get some minutes on the farm if he gets picked up off the waiver wire so be it.

    • Cageyvet

      Agreed, km. Players get traded or waived when they don’t have what it takes (in the team’s opinion). Getting benched is something that happens because you’re not playing well. There’s a huge difference there, an it was unnecessary for the author to even infer any conclusions about his overall position on the team.

      Call me old school, but I miss the days when coaches used to bench veterans more often. I think it’s largely due to the media, who blow everything out of proportion and make it seem like a big deal instead of a message, or re-set for the player.

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      Boo hoo hoo, my name is Jeff O’Neill and I’m afraid of airplanes, boo hoo…hey all you losers, suck it up, it’s just a little bit of abject humiliation and physical pain…waaaa, flying, be sympathetic to me.

  • North Van Halen

    I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall but…why can’t stats guy get past the numbers when assessing a player. I’ve watched Troy Stecher for over 2 years now and I don’t care what any underlying stat says, by no means is Troy Stecher the best defenceman on the Canucks. None.
    I like him. He seems like a nice guy and he’s from Richmond and all but Troy Stecher is at best the 4th best defenseman on this team.
    Do I think he should get special teams time? Well I see Pouliot on the power play, which makes me sad, and MDZ on the penalty kill, which makes me sadder, so there’s definitely room. But stop telling me Stecher or Hutton is good based on stats when no team has ever won a cup based on ‘underlying stats’ and the eye test clearly shows Troy ain’t a top 2 guy, or 3 or 4.

    • Jackson McDonald

      You like to put words in my mouth. I never said he he’s a top pairing D, I said the numbers suggest he’s been the team’s best defender, which a) doesn’t even mean I’m saying he actually HAS been their best defender, and b) comes with the obvious qualifier that he plays for the Canucks, and their D is among the worst in the league.

      On a good team, he’s in the bottom four. On the Canucks, he’s among their best defenders.

      • North Van Halen

        Last week you listed him as their best defender. Literally. you made a list of the best Canuck defencman and put him #1. Are you now saying you didn’t list him as their top defenceman?

      • North Van Halen

        And I never said you said he was a top pairing defenceman, I said, I don’t care what any underlying stat says, by no means is Troy Stecher the best defenceman on the Canucks.

        Which is what you said in your list reaffirmed by what you said above.

    • NVH, this attitude makes zero sense.

      The game is won by numbers – who scored more goals and allowed fewer goals. Those numbers are determined by other numbers – which team took more shots, had more scoring chances, and made more saves. If what you’re doing on the ice results in your team taking more shots, getting more scoring chances, and reducing chances against, you’re helping. If what you’re doing on the ice looks good but results in your team giving up more shots and scoring attempts, you’re not helping.

      Arguing whether Stetcher is the best defenceman on the Canucks is certainly damning by faint praise: You have old and broken Edler and Tanev, average Hutton, not-very-good Gudbranson, and mixed-to-terrible MDZ and Pouliot. It’s not at all a stretch to argue Stetcher is at least one of the best three defencemen on the Canucks. It’s not like he’s being compared to PK Subban and Ryan Ellis.

      • North Van Halen

        Stecher plays against softer competition in more sheltered minutes. The Canucks have 2 – 3/4 pairing dmen (Edler/Tanev w/with another possible #4/5 (Hutton), 3 bottom pairing dmen (Guddy/Stech/Pouliot) of which Stecher is likely the best.
        Putting him as one of the top 4 dmen on the team is completely realistic. Saying he’s the best because of fancy stats is what doesn’t add up.

  • North Van Halen

    Oh ya and good stuff on the hazing stuff. The world is trying to move forward despite cro-magnons like Jeff O’Neill trying to hold us back. Here’s hoping kids growing up today can just play and love the game without idiots ruining the experience.

  • DJ_44

    The contract will set the tone for the organization’s negotiations with their other young players, and given that Nylander’s AAV has come out significantly under the figure many were quoting in the media, it’s looking good for the Center of the Universe………. but losing Gillman to the Leafs may end up being the tougher pill to swallow.

    Great contract? He is getting more than Pasternak, for about 60% of the goal production, and 75 % the point production. While Nylander wanted more, how does reaching a compromise around in the middle, a third of the way into the season, show great contract savvy? The structure of the deal is pretty standard as well, offering front-loading and signing bonus components to the deal.

    Horvat, a player with a more complete game and similar point production on a weaker team, signed for $5.5M AAV. Let’s keep the Gilman myth alive!

    • Dirk22

      Horvat’s deal is a good one for sure but that doesn’t mean Nylanders deal is not also a good one. Horvat got paid $5.5 mil as a 21 year old after a 40 point year and a 52 point year. Nylander got $6.7 after 2 straight years at 61 points (cap also increased). What about that seems off to you?

      Let me guess. Something about Nylander being a floater Swede who rides the coattails of Matthews? Nothing lazier or more tunnel visioned than those takes. Well except for maybe using goal totals as your primary measurement of contract worth instead of points – H Sedin would have been screwed.

      The deal squeezes a bit more cap space for the Leafs who obviously are going to need every penny in the next couple of years. And even if it is overpaying, (which it’s clearly not based on comparables), wouldn’t you rather overpay a 22 year old first line player than say a 30+ year old third/fourth liner?

      BTW – before this year Horvat was a terrible ‘two-way’ player. And weaker team means he gets prime offensive opportunities. Nylander played on the 2nd pp all last year. He also played about 2 and a half minutes less per game than Horvat.

      I’m a huge Horvat fan BTW. This comes down to a couple of things:
      1. People on here can’t accept Nylander is one of the better young players in the league (alongside Boeser, Horvat, Pastrnak etc) because they can’t admit their GM swung and missed with his first golden opportunity to get a first line player
      2. It’s Gilman. Gilman is close to Gillis. Gillis is to blame for all that ails the Canucks.
      2. It’s Toronto. I don’t want to see the Leafs win anymore than the next guy but it is painful watching one team grind a 22 year old star while the other team is wasting the same amount on veteran third liners.

      DJ – what do you think Nylander should be paid?

      • DJ_44

        Horvat’s 51 pts was substantial injury shortened, yet he had more goals than Nylander. The question is not whether he is a very good player; the question is his value.

        $6.95M is by no means a bargin. Nylander won the negotiations. I have never referred to Nylander as a floater. As for playing with Matthews; it helps that you have a strong chance of getting a point when you pass him the puck. Imagine thinking that playing with a generational player may inflate point totals. What a lazy take.

        The original take was Dubas (with the help of Gilman) won. This is clearly not the case. At best it was a draw. Nylander does not deserve Pasternak money, simply because he does not produce like Pasternak. A fair settlement for Nylander is between $5.5M and $6.5M. Given the hype, less than six was not possible (a kin to those suggesting Bo should have been signed for $4.5M).

        BTW – before this year Horvat was a terrible ‘two-way’ player. And weaker team means he gets prime offensive opportunities. Nylander played on the 2nd pp all last year. He also played about 2 and a half minutes less per game than Horvat.

        A weaker team does not mean that he gets prime minutes; Bo had hard matches last year, took defensive draws and killed penalties. The Sedins received the sheltered minutes, not Bo. That extra 2.5 minutes per game 1:35 was on the PK, and let’s think that the remaining extra minutes was out there on faceoff duty. Nylander had got the big “no data available” for the PK, not out for one second apparently.

        • kermit

          I agree with this. The deal was a draw, maybe slight advantage Nylander. But he may be as good as Pasternak, they are similar players. And they both play with future hall of fame linemates. Unlike Paternak, there is a good chance he will eventually be traded, and if he is, it will be interesting to see how much he drives the play, as opposed to being a complimentary player.

        • Dirk22

          It’s lazy because its used to diminish the player. You don’t hear the same for Pastrnak or Mariner or any other good young player. It also dismisses the numbers he put up as a teenager in the SHL and the AHL…or his world juniors where he was dominant.

          Nylander is not in the very top echelon of forwards but everything he has done has been indicative of a first line player. In 2018 you don’t get those for 5.5-6.5. You think Boeser would sign a long term deal for that?

          • DJ_44

            Pointing out he plays with a generational player is not lazy and is not used to diminish a player; it provides necessary context. By your argument, pointing out a player that excels despite much tougher minutes and weaker players around them is equally lazy ….. nonsense. Junior numbers do not matter with respect to contract negotiations, and neither do AHL number (unless you are a tweener).

            Pasternak also plays with a (boarderline) generational player in Bergeron, and an elite player in Marchant. Somehow he managed to pot 38 goals last year and is on pace to exceed that this year. Nylander has not produced close to Pasternak: his comps are $6.0 to 6.3M. Was it a bad contract? No. Was an overpay. Yes. Are the reasons for the overpay in the Leafs case is justified? Short-term – yes.

            The article makes it out like a coup for Dubas and Gilman. It clearly dwas not.

          • Dirk22

            I’m not saying his AHL/SHL numbers matter in reference to his contract – I’m saying people always point to Matthews as being the reason for Nylander’s success while ignoring his earlier successes away from Matthews. It’s not his fault he’s good and they want him to play with Matthews. Same with Kuznetzov’s and Ovy, Ehlers and Scheifle, Pastrnak and Bergeron, Skinner and Eichel, Kucherov and Point, Marner and Tavares.

            You never hear that those players should be paid less because they play with elite talent. Why not?

            If I had a choice I’d take Pastrnak over Nylander but there’s a couple of factors:
            1. the cap has gone up. As I mentioned the percentage cap hit is actually larger for Pastrnak’s contract at the time than for Nylanders.
            2. RFA’s are starting to cash in more…players are realizing they should be getting more early as opposed to waiting for UFA status which from all accounts makes a whole lot of sense.

      • bobdaley44

        Can’t compare Horvat to Nylander. Horvat plays a more important position, wins draws, plays D, has leadership qualities and is a physical bull. Nylander is none of these. I wouldn’t be comfortable paying a complimentary piece like Nylander 6.7. Thats more than Scheifele and Pasternek. Not to mention him being totally invisible in the playoffs. Glad the Nucks didn’t draft him. You only have the capacity to carry a few high contracts and I’d much rather pay Petey that money. Way better and actually plays hard D.

      • Kootenaydude

        I think Nylander should have gotten paid what Ehlers got. Only makes sense. Same draft year and ranking. Same points. Same position. Same age. Same contract year. Why not the Same money?

    • North Van Halen

      Gilman’s Canuck contracts were short term boons with no regard for the future whatsoever. To say almost all of those contracts had an adverse long term effect on the Canucks is a fact that seems lost when discussing Gilman’s brilliance with his supporters.
      Just because the rumour is Nylander wanted $8mil does not mean getting him for $7mil is a good deal. Compared to the contracts of similar players signing their second contracts, Nylander got every bit what he was worth and then some. The fact TO was able to hide $500,000/yr of cap hit by waaaaaay overpaying him the first year doesn’t mean the $7mil cap hit over the next 6 years is a good deal. It isn’t. You have to be a huge Nyalnder fan to think it was anything but full value.

      • Dirk22

        It’s almost like they were trying to win a Stanley Cup.

        Should the Sedins not have gotten a NMC?

        They would have gotten more back in some cases without the clauses but every other NTC (except Edler which is upcoming) was waived by the player: Burrows, Bieksa, Hamhuis (yes he waived but wasn’t traded), Garrison, Kesler.

        Which players are you comparing Nylander to? Draisatl who got $8.5. Pastrnak? You realize that the cap goes up every year so Nylanders % of the cap is actually lower than what Pastrnak signed for.

        Like DJ, I’ll ask you what you think a fair deal for Nylander would have been? How about Boeser too..what would you think is a fair deal?

        • North Van Halen

          On the Gilman subject what I’m saying is there’s more to the story than just fitting the ‘almost cup team’ under the cap. There was as much bad as good that Gilman did here. It’s abut balance, great short term value, bad long term. In almost every case, specifically Kesler & Hamhuis they got less value. Combine that with disastrous drafting, the Winter Classic fiasco and turning the best goaltending duo in the league into a s*#t show and I’m sorry I don’t get the reverence for these guys. Great first couple of years, bad last couple.
          As for Nylander, I never said the contract was bad, it’s just not good. Good would have been $6 – 6.5mil. Bad would have been a cap hit of $7.5mil+ $7mil is what he’s worth with no home town discount and asking for every dollar. Throw in the extra $500,000 he’s getting thanks to the gross front-loading this year and I’d say I think he’s paid about a half million more than Id want to pay him and about a half million more than I hope the Canucks get Boeser for. I was hoping $6mil, now $7mil seems to be the base.

          • Dirk22

            When you’re going for the cup you have to sacrifice some long term value for short term though. What’s Bennings excuse for giving out NTC’s? You still haven’t explained the adverse long term effects. The only player left is Edler who’s arguably still their best defenceman! It’s not Gillis’ fault Benning targeted Sbisa in the Anaheim deal and then dealt the 1st rounder they drafted. It’s not Gillis’ fault Benning flipped the seconds he got for Garrison and Bieksa. It’s not Gillis’ fault he botched the Hamhuis deadline by waiting too long to ask him to waive. He got good value from Burrows. What are the issues?

            The Schneider for Horvat trade was the best deal the Canucks made in the last decade. On top of that it was twice as bold a rebuilding move as anything Benning has done. Luongo they got bad value for from Florida although it was more a salary dump than anything. Having Luongo for the last 4-5 years would only work to mask what this roster is.

            Winter Classic fiasco?! That’s a bit of a reach, no?!

          • North Van Halen

            Winter Classic fiasco a bit of a stretch?!?! They embarrassed the best goalie in franchise history causing a hasty trade for 50 cents on the dollar, throwing the goalie situation into a sinkhole they still haven’t recovered from.
            Further, in case you’ve forgotten, this town was enraged and demanding blood. As someone that owns multiple paraphernalia, for the only time in my life, I refused to wear or buy any Canuck merch until someone was fired and I wasn’t alone. This town has never been as out for blood like it was that day and someone’s head was going to presented or Aquillini was going to face a full fan revolt.
            Calling it a fiasco is being kind. Starting Lack for the Winter Classic was the one of the most tone deaf, dumbest move I’ve witnessed and it’s the only time I’ve seen the fans here demand a head on a platter.
            As for the rest of that stuff are we debating Gillis or Benning? I’ve said nothing about Benning and his value just that Gilman & Gillis made a lot of mistakes at the end, (Booth, Ballard, bad drafts, etc). Again great first 2 years, bad last 2 years.
            You really think the Canucks couldn’t have gotten more if they had more than 1 team to negotiate with for Kesler? How do you know he targeted Sbisa? He had one team to negotiate with and they knew it. He coulda said, we want Theodore. No, Sbisa. How bout Fowler? No, Sbisa. etc. There was no leverage so didn’t have to offer their stars. Saying they got near value for a guy when they had 1 team to negotiate with and no leverage is disingenuous at best.

          • Dirk22

            – Gillis/Gilman did not sit Luongo for the Winter Classic
            – it was a brutal move by Torts no doubt but trading a 34 year old goalie to get out of 8 more years is not the fiasco its made out to be, despite not getting fair value back.
            – The Canucks would definitely have gotten more if Kesler didn’t have the NTC – I referred to that in my first post. Not getting optimal value here does also not equate to the franchise having a huge set back though.
            – Widely reported that Benning targeted Sbisa. It was also widely reported that he wanted a center who could play now.

          • Matty T

            What a pathetic, ignorant ill-informed tw@t you are Halen…

            JOHN TORTORELLA made the decision to drop Luongo in favour of Lack and nobody else – it had ZILCH to do with the GM, ownership, Don Cherry or the stickboy. Torts throwing Lu under the bus in the eye of national tv was the straw that broke the camels back and Luongo demanded a trade (back to his beloved FLA) through his agent immediately after the game.

            Also, you totally overrate Schneider and Lu. Sure, ok regular season goalies by Canuck standards but both were playoff chokers and neither has done anything of note since leaving the Canucks. Get your facts right before spreading fairytales on here, bitter, deluded pr(*)ck.

          • North Van Halen

            Gillis was the boss. What happened at the Winter Classic ultimately falls on him. If he couldn’t see the revolt that was about to occur and order Torts to start Luongo, he’s as culpable as Torts. Gillis had the choice to make Torts start Lui, he chose to watch the s@#t hit the fan and it cost him his job.
            As for Sbisa, what’s Benning supposed to say? I asked for 5 other dmen, they said no to all of them so we settled for Sbisa? Or he was the guy we wanted?
            Kesler’s trade was part of the death by a thousand cuts, if you consistently get 80% value in trades, you end up with a team thats 20% less valuable.
            Again, we can debate (and have) Benning and his work another day, I’ve long said I think he’ll be fired after next season when they don’t make the playoffs again and I won’t miss him one iota, I’ll just be thankful for his overhaul of the amateur scouting. I also think there was ample reason to get rid of Gillis/Gilman.
            This is what I don’t understand, why can’t I think Gillis/Gilman sucked for the last 2 years of their tenure and believe Benning hasn’t been perfect too?
            They are 2 separate management groups each to be evaluated for their own work. Gillis did great work early and whiffed on every single move in the last 2 years. Couple that with him idly standing by while Torts turned the Winter Classic into a clown show and his departure was not upsetting in the least to me, no different than how I’ll feel if Benning became unemployed.

  • speering major

    I thought Seattle would also be a good option to move Lou. If Benning is doing his job then he should be selling at the deadlines. The Canucks will likely have nothing of interest exposed in the expansion draft. Since the expansion team still needs to hit the floor and Lou’s cap hit will be larger than his salary, the Canucks could even throw in a pick and retain salary to make it happen.

    The sooner the better on moving Eriksson but there really isn’t any urgency to make it happen. The team has tons of cap space and this years lottery pick, O.J., and probably Q Hughes will all be on ELC until literally everyone on the roster except Horvat’s contract has expired. They only really need room to sign Petterson and Boeser at this point, and they have plenty of room for that. It still would be nice to get rid of the overpaid vets but it’s not keeping any prospects out of the line up.

  • Gino's 3rd Cousin

    I applaud Carcillo and others for bringing this forward. I went through something similar in Ontario when I told another rookie that some of the older players pissed in his skates. I lived under threat of violence for being “a rat” and eventually had to deal with it on the ice. There was lots of other sick hazing routines that also made me hate the culture behind the sport. I hung up my skates for almost a decade because of those experiences.

    • truthseeker

      That sucks man. It’s a shame that garbage has to ruin the game for people. I wonder how many great players we never got to see because that kind of environment “filtered” them out. You gotta figure I would be very difficult on many of the smaller players.

      Not to mention the weird Home O (lol…filters won’t let me write that word) erotic nature of the hazing described above. Society really has huge problems when groups of men are isolated together with no women around.

    • Fred

      Different sport but many, many years ago I walked away from a junior football club because of the culture of hazing and rookie shaming. There was an upcoming rookie night and I heard all about what was in store, and it was disgusting. No thanks. I had 4.5 speed and decent size so sometimes think, where would I have gone with football if I’d sucked it up and got through the hazing. Must be lots of talented kids around that make decisions like that.
      You’d think in this day and age we’d be past BS like that but the stories keep coming out.

      • North Van Halen

        Played against a guy named Robin Sadler, 1st round pick of the Canadians during their 70’s heydays. He left during the first training camp. The sanitized Wikipedia version is he just didn’t love hockey and didn’t want to put in the effort.
        The story I heard from his teammates was he was hazed so bad he said ‘f*# k this I’m outta here.’

  • truthseeker

    I agree with you on Boeser. Canucks should work their tails off to get him signed asap for as much term as possible at 6 million. Use the reasons you mentioned and go 6.5 If it ends up being right around 7, that’s not terrible but I think if they really pushed hard they could get it around the first two. Which would be a great value for him and leave plenty of room for others coming along.

    1. Think I’d rather keep going with Loui. I still think his game will “age” better than the “big body” type players like Backes. Plus I really don’t think his cap hit will be any kind of issue. The canucks have set themselves up very well with regards to the cap.

    2. As I mentioned in another thread, I’ve been as critical as anyone about Green and is often times stupid “message sending” but I don’t think this is one of those occasions.

    3 – 7 Hockey “culture” has always had massive problems. I repeat again. Hockey players are the most classless of any of the pro sports. They are taught from a very young age to hate their opponents in a way that’s much worse than any of the other sports. Lack of respect at all levels, and it manifests itself with stuff like this. I mean, what more do people need to see? If they can’t even treat their teammates with respect, then how will the game ever get rid of the cheap shots, the head shots, and all the after the whistle baby nonsense?

    Personally I think it all starts with terrible parenting, and adult role models which then extends right on through the institutions from the lowest levels all the way up to the NHL.

    People will debate me on this and point out the odd time a player says “sorry” to another player, but in the end it’s the actions that speak far louder than words. And the actions, again and again, and again, prove my point. Tom Wilson anyone?

    A note on Don Cherry; As someone who pretty much hates his jingoistic american style patriotism, and many of his caveman views regarding the role of the “code”, the fact of the matter is the guy knows the game very very well, and much of what he says is bang on.

    • truthseeker

      Just watched that CBC video report above with Charles Amodeo. Wow…that’s a bit painful to watch. Poor guy.

      A couple things that caught my ear as much as the stuff about the hazing was when he was talking about the coaches and how they talk to the players. Using the “stick” as “motivation” by verbally abusing them. These are 15 or 16 year old boys. These coaches and parents have internalized this garbage so well that it’s just accepted. Products of apprentice based hand me down jobs requiring no education in managing people. It’s no wonder it ends up in a totally dysfunctional system.

      But the more interesting thing to me was when he talked about how studying on the bus was basically not accepted. How he was ostracized by the managers and coaches of all people, about wanting to better himself. That’s some right wing American level of ignorance right there.

      That reminded me of that ESPN series where they followed the teams to the winter classic or whatever. Remember how all the Flyers guys thought that goalie, Bobrovsky was weird simply because he was interested in questions about life and astrophysics etc…lol…it was so bizarre. That he, was considered the “weird” one. The rest of them just a bunch of meathead robots so conditioned by the systems they came up in to be empty vessels who think talking about totally normal subjects is weird.

  • Beefus

    A big no thank you to the idea of trading Eriksson for David Backes. Apparently you haven’t seen Backes play this year. He has regressed to the point where he makes Loui look he’s having an all-star season in comparison.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Discussions concerning how player X compares to player Y under the cap system can go on forever. No doubt Nylander, Draisatl and Pastrnak are all superb young players but look who they’re playing with. But bringing in Bo Horvat into the conversation in comparison isn’t really fair. Bo is the on ice leader of a lower echelon team who does more things across the board all by himself than the players aforementioned. Maybe he doesn’t quite the same sexy scoring stats but that’s how more often than not these guys get more money than an all rounder like Bo. Personally though I don’t get too bent out of shape if some athlete gets a million or so dollars less than what the market may bear. The average schmoe should have it so hard.

  • Kootenaydude

    Why does CAhave such a hard time accepting the fact that Hutton showed up fat and out of shape last year. There is a reason the Hutton sat in the press box. He deserved to be there.