95
Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag: Help at Wing, Gudbranson-Hutton, and What To Do With the Kids

It has to be Pettersson, unless he’s out for a long time. He’s just got too much of a head start for Brock to make up the ground. It’s also going to be harder for Brock to get those looks if he’s playing with Brandon Sutter consistently. He’s got the shooting talent to make things interesting but unless something unforeseen happens I don’t think he can catch him.

It’s a good question. I think it’s really tough to say right now, given that they’ve done a lot in recent memory to damage their reputation with possible free agents. That being said, we’ve seen players sign in worse cities for an opportunity to play with star players, and even with worse Canucks teams for a chance to play with Henrik and Dnaiel Sedin. I don’t see why the opportunity to play with Pettersson would be any different.

I would hold off on saying with any certainty he can handle the AHL. In 14 games, he has a .884 save percentage. He’s young and a rookie, so that’s not necessarily “give up on him completely” territory yet, but it’s far, far, from “handling” it, and miles away from earning an ELC.

To be completely honest, I’m not sure I agree with the premise of this question. They could use a lot of things, and another offensive left winger is among them, but I wouldn’t put it at the top of the list. Sven Baertschi, Nikolay Goldobin, and Josh Leivo isn’t exactly a world-beating group of top-three left wingers, but I don’t think it necessarily costs you either, depending on what the rest of the roster looks like. I think the Canucks need another winger who can drive play, regardless of which side he plays, and another centre who can provide some scoring punch in the bottom-six, although it’s certainly possible Adam Gaudette could be that guy in a few years if all goes well. As far as finding a winger for Boeser and Pettersson to play with, I think both Goldobin and Baertschi should be cnosidered viable long-term options there. Petersson and Boeser are such a deadly combo that they don’t really need another superstar on the left side, and Baertschi and Goldobin both have the offensive instincts to keep up.

With that out of the way, I have to say that if I were in the GM’s chair I would not trade Olli Juolevi anytime soon. With his recent injury, his value has completely plummeted to the point where I’m not even sure other teams consider him a blue-chip prospect anymore. I don’t think there’s a trade out there right now that would bring back anywhere near the value you’ll get if he pans out.

If they want to grab an offensive winger, there are better options. They can look to the draft, sit on their hands and hope a guy like Kole Lind or Jonathan Dahlen works out, or even splurge and sign a difference-maker in free agency. I think all those options would be more advisable than trading Olli Juolevi, at least at this stage.

The cop-out answer is it depends on whether or not the team is in a playoff spot come the deadline. If they are, the answer will be essentially no one. Maybe they cut some dead weight like Michael Del Zotto or make a minor-league move, but we won’t be seeing any big pieces go.

If they really take a tumble I could maybe see one of Chris Tanev or Alex Edler going, but my instinct is to just say they won’t do anything at all, regardless of where they are. In four years on the job Jim Benning has really only ever jettisoned two noteworthy expiring contracts, and it was largely to avoid losing someone for nothing in the expansion draft. I’ve been fooled into thinking a big rebuild trade was imminent in the past only to be disappointed. I won’t be fooled so easily this time.

It was great! I didn’t really do anything interesting, but I did get some important stuff done, including finally getting the rest of my stuff back after it was scattered across various locales due to a house fire just over a year ago. Feels good, man.

I’m going to answer this question with another question: At this point, who do you see on the roster as a good fit with Erik Gudbranson? I’ll hang up and listen.

I know he’s a touchy subject with some corners of the Smylosphere, but I’m honestly past the point of caring and feel ready to finally claim victory in the Gudbranson Wars. Since coming to the Canucks, he has the worst on-ice goal-differential in the league. That’s a sample of over 120 games, and over that period he’s been outscored by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio. We’re not talking about the fancy stuff here. This isn’t zone exits or shot attempts or WAR, it’s what hockey is supposed to be about, and what all the fancystats naysayers would tell you Gudbranson is supposed to prevent: goals. In terms of how he performs in relation to creating and preventing the one thing that unavoidably always leads to wins and losses, he’s been literally the worst defender in the game since donning a Canucks uniform.

The Canucks can’t be happy with how he’s played. Not when Elias Pettersson is getting mugged every third or fourth game with little pushback, and not when he’s getting turnstiled for a goal against at a rate worse than a waiver-wire pick up. My guess, or maybe it’s a hope, is that they’d like to get out from under that contract, and to do that he needs to play. At that point, it’s about damage control. Hutton’s played pretty well, and putting Gurbanson up against top competition on a pairing with Edler or putting him beside another highly questionable defender like Derrick Pouliot is probably only going to make things worse. It makes a weird sort of sense, provided you take the fact that he has to be in the lineup as a given.

They need more offense. Seeing how they’ve performed without Pettersson in the lineup should only confirm that. Is it a goal scorer they need specifically? That’s harder to answer, but they need to find ways to produce without Pettersson carrying the team. I think that starts with having another centre who can move up the lineup in the vent of an injury and/or give them some punch on the third line, but I would be open to all sorts of other ideas.

It’s probably Sid. Connor McDavid is the undisputed #1 right now for me given what he’s been able to do despite a painfully underwhelming supporting cast in Edmonton. There are other guys who are in the conversation like Matthews and MacKinnon, but until one of them proves undoubtedly they can be better than the previous undisputed #1, he’s firmly lodged in second place.

This is a great question. The way the kids have been handled in Utica is something I’d like to tackle in greater detail down the road, but what I will say is this: Utica’s had an inordinately high number of rookies to handle this season and it’s put everyone involved in a situation that’s less than ideal.

Based on some conversations with Comets Cory, it sounds like the coaching staff has done their best to rotate the kids in and out of the lineup and bring them along at the right pace. It sounds like the issue might just be the amount of bodies they’re dealing with. I think it’s fair to ask whether or not all of Dahlen, Lind, Gadjovich, Palmu, and Jasek should have started their seasons with the Comets. I think Gadjovich in particular is the odd man out because he’s not a European-born prospect and likely has little more to learn in the OHL. So honestly? I don’t hate the idea. I’m not sure how realistic it is but I’d be in favour of the Canucks loaning a couple of their guys out to get them some increased opportunities in a less volatile environment.

  • DeL

    Juice at 37 would be better than Del Zotto or Gudbranson and he’d do a whole lot better job of taking care of business after cheap shots on Pettersson. Sign him for the rest of the year and next and get rid of the aforementioned duds. Plus he would be a good mentor for the younger D. He’s intelligent and would probably be coaching material eventually. Did I mention he bled blue and green for this team/

    • By the time the Canucks traded Bieksa, he was done as a player in the NHL. I was surprised that Anaheim gave up so much for him and then signed him to a multi-year deal. Bieksa doesn’t pass the eye test or fancy stats test.

      • detox

        Bieksa was a fan favourite, I thought he had a good stretch, but towards the end of his tenure, he wasn’t looking for an opportunity to defend teammates, he was dealing with whatever injuries or stuff he was dealing with. Why do we always want to bring back former players, either at the end of their playing careers or for a front office opportunity? just have to let it go.

        • Peachy

          For me, it’s not about bringing back a former player whose career is done…

          If you’re going to pay (trade, bad contract, both) a replacement (or sub replacement) player like Gudbranson or Beagle for their “intangibles”, why not sign an equally poor player with “intangibles” like Bieksa or Burrows on a cheap one year contract without giving up futures?

      • He was done as a top-4 D, but he was perfectly serviceable as a third-pairing guy for several more seasons. Would 37-year-old Bieksa be literally the worst right-handed D in the NHL if he came back? Probably not, and that makes him an upgrade on Gudbranson.

        • detox

          I think Gudbranson is looked at as someone who will drop the mitts. maybe he doesn’t want to often, but I think he will. Bieksa didn’t want to drop them towards the end of his time here, he wasn’t sticking up for teammates anymore than anyone else. I think Gudbranson sees that as his role to some extent. we need to see some guys from Utica push for spots or opportunities.

          • wojohowitz

            Guddy is always late to the party. He never initiates – instead he only reacts. Bieksa has made the highlight reels twice in the last couple of seasons by dropping guys with one punch and that sends a strong message – don`t mess with Bieksa. He doesn`t have to fight – the death stare is enough.

          • detox

            wojo, from what I remember of Bieksa’s last couple seasons, he wasn’t throwing any superman punches. wasted space. I used to think he was Jovo lite, but that kinda faded away.

          • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

            Always stellar to defend a guy on the fact you think he “may” be willing to drop the gloves to defend a teammate….He just chooses not to, 99% of the time…yeah, thats the guy a team wants, who also possesses the worst stats of any dman in the entire league over an older dman who even on crutches has 10x the heart Guddy has cause even you admitted that he didnt appear to want to drop the gloves any more than his teammates.
            The collosal difference is that back then, there were several players willing to go to bat for their teammates on a regular basis. Something the Canucks of new seriously lack as evidenced by their play when push comes to shove 99% of the time (outside of the TB massive outlier obviously).

            TEAM CULTURE. They used to have it.

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        The same is easily said of Ryan Kesler, especially after his play fell off a cliff, but they still resigned him for 7 more yrs…. Bieksa should have taken a year off to heal his body.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    For me, the eye test says Pouliot is the worst of their defensemen, and I would be mortified if they re-sign him. Watching him get turnstiled by a 4th liner in a 1-0 game the other day was sickening. When is enough enough for Green and Benning? Like Cherry said, “if that had happened to me when I was playing, I never would have seen the ice again”. I’d rather watch Chatfield, Sautner or any of the kids learning on the job than Pouliot, MDZ, or Gudbranson, who brings almost nothing to the table if he doesn’t use his size. Get rid of all of them.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      In all honesty, why would you be mortified Beer Can? The evidence over the past 4 yrs paints a pretty clear picture that JB will likely double down on his past mistakes (Guddy extension) instead of owning up to them (see Sam Gagner).

      I honestly would not even bat an eye that Benning will resign Edler and in doing so, will overpay him in $$ and in term. Why? Look at his history. He more often passes/fails at maximizing opportunities to improve his product.

      • Beer Can Boyd

        LOL. Mortified is different than surprised, and I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if they did re-sign him. Actually, yeah I would. I can’t believe he’s still getting into the lineup. Even MDZ causes less damage on a nightly basis.

  • petey 40

    Though their stock is justifiably low right now, I still think Juolevi (medical pending) and Tryamkin (rights) can be packaged up to some desperate team in exchange for picks in the upcoming Vancouver draft – the more the merrier on home soil. I believe Buffalo has nine picks including three first rounders so let’s swing for the fences down at the Rog here.

  • Killer Marmot

    With three obviously weak defensemen — Poulliot, Gudbranson, and Del Zotto — it’s a bit of a mystery why management isn’t more aggressive in bringing up prospects from Utica to see how they look in the big show. Perhaps they will later in the season.

    • Kootenaydude

      Agreed Mister Marmot. I think Benning wants to see what he has with a healthy team before he starts moving people. Also waiting for a team on the playoff bubble that might have an injury to a key defenceman. We’re in a position of strength right now. The team has been playing well most nights, but it doesn’t matter if we make the playoffs or not. So Benning only has to make a trade if he feels he’s getting the right deal. Let’s just hope there’s a desperate team out there with injuries on defence…… and lots of draft picks!!

      • Beer Can Boyd

        ” it doesn’t matter if we make the playoffs or not.” Literally the best thing on this entire thread. Because its 100% true. Every player on this team, outside of EP, Boeser, Horvat, Virtanen, and Demko could and should be traded now for the right offer. Most teams in the UFA/Salary cap era have a 5 year window to peak and contend, and the Canucks window should be 2020-25 seasons. Players like Sutter, Elder, Tanev, Baertschi, et al will be of zero use then.

    • Outside of McEneny and Brisebois, we don’t really have any prospects to bring up. Everyone else is injured (e.g. Juolevi), committed (e.g. Hughes, Rathbone) or destined for an AHL career (e.g. Chatfield, Sautner). Even then, McEneny and Brisebois haven’t demonstrated that they can any more than a bottom pairing guy.

      • Killer Marmot

        McEneny and Brisebois haven’t demonstrated that they can any more than a bottom pairing guy.

        A bottom-pairing defenseman sounds just fine. We’re not looking for the next Phil Housley here, just an upgrade on what there is now.

          • Maybe read the article you’re commenting on before slinging mud:

            “Since coming to the Canucks, he has the worst on-ice goal-differential in the league. That’s a sample of over 120 games, and over that period he’s been outscored by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio. We’re not talking about the fancy stuff here. This isn’t zone exits or shot attempts or WAR, it’s what hockey is supposed to be about, and what all the fancystats naysayers would tell you Gudbranson is supposed to prevent: goals. In terms of how he performs in relation to creating and preventing the one thing that unavoidably always leads to wins and losses, he’s been literally the worst defender in the game since donning a Canucks uniform.”

          • truthseeker

            How about his numbers just for this season?

            I agree overall he’s looked very bad, but by the eye test to me this season he has seemed to have been playing much better.

            Is he the worst goal differential in the league this season?

          • truthseeker

            I appreciate the love and the hate with the thumbs up and down but I would actually like to know the answer to this question. It’s not a sarcastic post. I hate finding hockey sats and I can’t seem to find a source to answer this one.

        • DogBreath

          But don’t you think they would have if any of the candidates listed were an upgrade over the existing D we have? I don’t see anyone in Utica who is an upgrade over even Biega. Its an indictment of the empty cupboard left behind by GMMG and our inability to draft and develop the D prospects. Hopefully this changes shortly.

          • Killer Marmot

            You don’t really know if you don’t bring them up. Sometimes a player makes a surprizingly successful transition to the NHL and sometimes not.

            I don’t mind Biega. He’s a fine seventh defenseman. I’m more interested in whether McEneny would be better than Poulliot or Del Zotto on the left side.

          • Dirk22

            Despite his shoddy draft record 2 out of the top 3 defencemen (Tanev and Hutton) on the current roster are Gillis acquisitions. The other (Edler) is a holdover.

            Anyone drafted in 2013 or earlier that were still in the AHL wouldn’t be worth a sniff so your comment, on top of being the sort used by the Benning apologists, is just plain dumb.

          • DogBreath

            Maybe I should have capitalized the word AND …. Its an indictment of the empty cupboard left behind by GMMG AND our inability to draft and develop the D prospects. If there were prospects in the pipeline, they’d be two or three year pros.

          • Dirk22

            You are saying the lack of d prospects in Utica can be partly artibuted to Gillis. I am saying that anyone drafted by Gillis almost 6 years ago and beyond would already be in the NHL if they were any good. There’s not many 2011,12 or 13 prospects ready to break into the NHL at this point. I guess there is McEneny who was a Gillis pick-up but it’s foolish to blame Utica’s lack of NHL potential on Gillis at this point. If you want to lay partial blame to the current state of the Canucks d you have a good argument, although as I pointed out earlier, 2 of the top-4 current d men are Gillis’ guys.

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        Certainly telling isn’t it….and that’s not even factoring in that in 4yrs of drafting, the team has accumulated a grant total of -1 draft picks compared to league allotment (7 per team per draft). Rebuild eh?

    • Fred-65

      In the distance is the very real threat of a Salary Cap crunch coming when we have to sign Boeser, Pettersson, Demko, Hughes et al and we’re going to need to fill out the roster with cheaper options. The third and fourth lines and the # 5 & 6 D. need to be those cheaper options. So it incumbent on JB to see if any of the young D in particular can fill those roles. Or we’ll see yet another flurry of FA’s signing in the summer at salary cap swallowing anchors

      • Sandpaper

        Ya, let’s start panicking about the cap now, when 1 of these guys hasn’t made an impact in pro hockey yet, another has 1 game in the nhl, 1 has 2 years remaining on his ELC.
        You do realize that several contracts will have expired by then, don’t you?

    • tyhee

      OJ is out for the season, Chatfield is out month to month, Sautner is out indefinitely, Blujus is out and McEneny’s skating hasn’t come back after his knee surgery and has to be a worry for his future which had been looking bright until that injury last season. The Comets’ defence is gutted, with only Brisebois left as someone you can logically even think about calling up.

      Brisebois hasn’t shown much offence even at the AHL level (8 pts in 36 games this season, similar to his production last season) and I think the Canucks are right to let him keep developing in the A at this stage.

      With everyone healthy, someone would have to go on waivers to bring Brisebois up (assuming you keep Stecher in Vancouver.) Unless you’re bringing up a guy who’s knocking the door down by starring in the A, it isn’t worth it.

  • Kootenaydude

    Gotta love these people that think just because the draft is in Vancouver. We should trade everyone for draft picks. The draft isn’t a popularity contest. The team should stick to its game plan and not be swayed by in knowledgeable fans. In our game against Toronto. We had 1 “ pick” from 3 years ago playing. Boeser. We had 1 “pick” from 4 years ago. Virtanen. I don’t think any of our other “picks” from the last 4 years even play on the team. So to trade Juolevi. Who seems to be very close to NHL ready and has very low value right now. For some “ picks” because the draft is in Vancouver makes no sense whatsoever. On another note Sutter, MDZ, Gudbranson, Granlund, Schaller, Gagner or Pouliot for some “ picks” makes sense. These guys are very easily replaced.

    • Sedin33

      Bad teams trade their prospects before they have had a chance to determine what they will be. It is nonsense to trade Juolevi right now. He played well last year and showed much promise in Utica this year.

      Good teams trade their players when they have the most market value. Edler may be the most coveted UFA defenceman on the market.

      If Edler is re-signed by Benning before the end of the season, Benning should be fired!

      Any re-signing in Vancouver should be contingent on Edler waiving his NTC. If he doesn’t waive, we should let him walk.

      • Canuck4Life20

        If Edler isn’t willing to waive his no trade I would offer him a two-year deal at $5-6 mill. If he wants any more years than that, then let him walk.

          • Canuck4Life20

            Cheaper maybe, but better? Not sure about that. There is plenty of cap space for the next two seasons so I don’t think cheapness should be the main criteria.

          • Canucks have no depth and little talent on the back end. They can’t afford to lose Edler unless they’re going to make a major splash in free agency. Given Benning’s record with free agency signings and trades for defencemen, they’re a lot safer just re-signing Edler.

          • Kanucked

            Goon, I normally agree with you, but your comment is confusing. Your assumption that Edler is better than the options presumes that he will play at good level and stay healthy or that the other options would be worse. Hughes and Juolevi should out perform Edler over a 3 year period.

            Second, you contradict yourself with the statement re Benning’s track record with free agency. That same Benning would be signing a free agent to be in Edler. Are you agruing that Benning is better at re-signing UFAs to be than actual UFAs? I think his track record with Gudbrandson disproves that.

            This isn’t meant as a snide remark. I would actually like to understand your viewpoint.

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        Couldnt agree more! But unfortunately, I just dont see that happening. It would be great if it did dont get me wrong, but I’ll take a wait and see approach.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Because this team isn’t exactly TB, WASH or WINN with set line ups there is a lot of work for Benning to do obviously. Look for TDL action, not so much to add players per se, but to clear out contracts to make way for future players intended to help the Canucks contend in the future. May I suggest a decent D FA signing because they can’t go with the majority of this blue line corps next year. Be careful though on money and term when you do sign someone, JB, or we’ll run into a Chiarelli or Dubas situation with mammoth contracts for teams who’ve never done anything.

        • Bud Poile

          The only one on this list that is even doubtful is Brassard.
          Add in Tryamkin and Forsling and Benning has drafted 10 NHL d-men in five years.
          Yes,they may not all become first or second pairings but there is depth there.
          Ten should make the show,five picks on D that Benning drafted will not.
          The point is,and as F1915 points out ,Benning has taken flyers on many d-men through the draft,alone,never mind free agency,etc..
          His draft record on D looks spectacular.All that is needed is patience and that is in short supply.

          • petey 40

            Hahaha – always great to know NONE of these slugs except Hughes will make the grade when this pathetic troll has already told us…

            “Juolevi, Gaudette,Brisebois,Rodin,McEneny and Subban will all push for jobs this season and Green has the mandate to integrate them” – Dud Poile 2017

            “Excellent player selection from the Benning team. Welcome to Vancouver,Olli !!!” – Dud Poile

            “Juolevi would definitely strengthen the back end over Hutton.
            He is the weak link defensively.” – Dud Poile

            “Hutton/Gudbranson *feels* like an amazing pairing” . – Dud Poile

            Off you go troll and LEAVE LIKE JACKSON TOLD YOU TOO, tail between legs, concussed, confused and utterly humiliated AGAIN

          • Killer Marmot

            There’s a tendency to get excited and optimistic about prospects, particularly those who have yet to enter the pro leagues. But what looks amazing in the juniors or college doesn’t always carry over to the next level.

      • Hughes, Juolevi and maybe Woo should make it as NHL regulars based on pedigree but beyond that, you’re being pretty generous, Bud. Based on Benning’s past draft record, he hasn’t been terribly successful drafting a defenceman with a late pick (Neill, Candella, Olson, Stewart are all confirmed busts) and the jury is still out on a few other late picks (Gunnarsson, Tryamkin, Forsling). Benning doesn’t have a single drafted defender on the roster but I hope that changes over the next 2-3 years.

        • petey 40

          Juolevi is an injury nightmare BUST. But what can we expect from the same fool who raved about PEDAN and told us…

          “I’d send a message by making Bachman our backup even though he hasn’t played a minute of preseason.” – Forever 1915

          YOU know-nothing losers are a complete joke aren’t you. Seriously.

          • petey 40

            Here are mine…

            Juolevi – top five bust and still on the operating table 6 years later.

            Woo – his many injuries lead to fragility concerns, limited offensive upside at the NHL level. Tweener.

            Rathbone – undersized nobody, who cares.

            Nexttttttt

  • bushdog

    what’s with tryampkin? he left vancouver as a whiny little twirp and it didn’t change when he got home. no results, sat out, minutes way down…
    can we still blame it on a girlfriend? i don’t think so. unless he’s as stupid as a rock and i’ve read that he is.
    tell the truth as a rumor or something. what happened between draft day and the end of year 1 and is
    still happening?

  • TheRealPB

    The lack of depth in adequate d-talent is on Gillis only insofar as we don’t have a ton of them on the roster now but as others have pointed out five years out the prospect pool is owned by Benning. The lack of pro scouting shows up in not only Gudbranson (who has at least looked better this year) but in the failures of Bartkowski, Holmes and others. Striking out on some of the lower picks (Neill, Olson, Stewart) to even be minor league depth is not helpful. And while you could argue each of them were good (albeit losing) bets individually, today I think you’d rather have Rasmus Anderson, Gustav Forsling and Roland McKeown than Baertschi and the ghosts of Clendenning and Vey. But you could also argue that Benning papered over the lack of defense drafts by making astute college FA signings in Stetcher, Sautner, McEneny and Chatfield, all of whom would probably be worth at least a 3rd in a redraft. The younger d prospects in the system from the last three drafts are too early in the process to really evaluate.

    The bigger problem right now seems to be an injury epidemic that seems to plague the whole franchise. Every team goes through injury issues, but I have never seen a Canucks team (nor its minor league affiliate) so crippled by injuries as through Benning’s tenure. It makes you wonder what is happening and if it’s more than bad luck. There’s such a range of injuries — concussions, shot-blocks, knee and groin issues — is there something more? Sutter, for all his warts, played basically all of seven seasons since he made the show and then since he’s been here it’s 3 out of 4 seasons with significant time missed. Gudbranson’s had injuries before but has played far less here. Tanev, Edler, Baertschi, Beagle, and so many of the young guys. Utica keeps getting ravaged both by call-ups for Canucks injuries and injuries of their own, resorting once again to the ECHL and PTOs. Vancouver has been in the top 3 of teams that have lost man-games to injury for the past five years, while other teams have been all over the place. Maybe it’s time to take a good hard look at whatever it is the Canucks are not doing right when it comes to injuries under Benning.

    • canuckfan

      Every team has injuries maybe not as bad as what has hit the Canucks the last few years. But what makes the injuries stick out more is lack of depth. This is something the team is addressing but it takes time once we have depth at all the positions injuries won’t affect the team as bad.

      • EP fan

        This injury excuse/obsession has already been done-to-death, disproven and dismissed by the fact that Pittsburgh is number two in man games lost since 2009/10… have two cups in that time and have made the palyoffs every season.

        The current top five for this season is as follows… Vancouver aren’t on it.

        ANA 248
        PHI 203
        ARI 202
        DAL 193
        OTT 184

        • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

          While it may be fact that the Canucks are not in the top 5 at the moment this year for man games lost, it does not by any means indicate that value of those injuries to their individual teams. There’s no indication that the players accumulating all the games missed on the Ducks or others are not a melting pot of no namers. At the same time, it could be argued that the man games lost here in Van have been to players that have very integral to their team and not so easily replaceable by callups and younger players.

          I think this harkons back to the debate over the depth of the organizational as a whole. (Im not looking to start/rehash a whole GMMG vs GMJB debate).

          • Ser Jaime Lannister

            The depth is on its way…the days of calling up Gaunce/Archibald/Boucher or other scrubs is over! Soon well be seeing Gaudette/MacEwen/Dahlen/Juolevi/Chatfield/Brisbois

    • Just a minor point – McEneny was actually a Gillis signing.

      Also I’ll argue again that you can’t pin the lack of defensive depth on the team on Gillis – three of the four best defensemen on the team are all Gillis holdovers, five years out from his firing. The fact that that’s *still* the case five years out shows what a shockingly inadequate job this regime has done of rebuilding the back end.

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        I love how this is still such a hotly debated topic….even after we all sat around all summer (2018) while EVERY hockey analyst/radio/writer around all agreed that “this team simply cannot bring back this same d corps” and what did they do? They brought back the exact same group of misfits that have been bottom of the league for 3 straight years of futility defensively speaking (and offensively I suppose also).

        Can’t help but notice Benning not pumping Guillaume Brisebois’ tires lately…..

        • Ser Jaime Lannister

          They have 3 LHD on expiring contracts with Hughes and Juolevi who will crack the team soon. Why on earth would we go out and overpay UFA term and dollar to come to the canucks? And the price to acquire top4 D men is ridiculously expensive!

          Best option was to sit back and hope some guys improve (Hutton/Guddy) knowing you have guys in the pipeline waiting.

          Im upset we didnt get to see Brisebois play a game…i cant stand seeing Pouliot and MDZ ffs!!!!

        • Bud Poile

          Brisebois was called up to the Canucks with the Bulldog late in October.
          Although he did not play,he is the defensive LHD prospect that is next in line for the NHL.

      • TheRealPB

        Sorry, you’re right about McEneny.

        No, I agree it’s not all on Gillis (especially since the two best defenders are Gillis holdovers) but he didn’t leave much else beyond that. It IS on Benning that in five years he hasn’t been able to replace what was once an area of immense strength for the team. Our last (and perhaps the best) Canucks d-corps of Bieksa, Edler, Salo, Ehrhoff and Hamhuis was built through lucky trades and fortunate draft picks, with the only first rounder in that whole group being Hamhuis. For a guy who was a defenseman himself, Benning hasn’t shown much of a pro eye for d, much better record with drafting or even trading for forwards.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    McDavid, Crosby, Matthews, MacKinnon……North American flagrant bias much? How about Nikita Kucherov or or the most underappreciated player in the entire league for 2.5yrs now in Mikko Rantanen.

    Btw, I LOVE how blunt and truthful you were in talking about Guddy. Refreshing to hear, but will undoubtedly upset and annoy all the Mrs. Bennings out there that love to pump their husbands tires night in and night out every single time people factually rip his decision making to shreds.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    Very good comments regarding the logjam on the farm. Especially in light of Petrus Palmus comments that emerged this morning concerning the ‘lack of communication’ (where have we heard that before??? Hmmm…) he recieved while being healthy scratched more than half his time there. I dont blame him whatsoever for bolting an environment that couldn’t and can’t figure out how to best balance fielding the best team possible on a nightly basis to get the points OR development of the prospects/kids, or somewhere in between.

    In light of the fact the Canucks own the Comets, one would naturally make the assumption that development was the most important thing, but the reality is simply that its somewhere in the middle. Looking forward to that future piece on this ongoing situation. (I discussed it with several others about 3-4 weeks ago when Palmu first fled with some other commenters and 650 talked about it this morning as well). Very good topic.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Yet Zac McEwens dad was also on the radio today claiming his son tells him the situation in Utica is the exact opposite of what Palmu claims. Palmu sounded a bit like a spoiled brat today, he’s 21, and sometimes a hockey player at that age,(unless you are EP or Boeser) has to suck it up and take it. Or else catch the first plane home.

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        Well, to be fair to Palmu, he wasn’t speaking in general terms or about other players’ respective situations (see Gadjovich being benched predominantly, Lind playing 4th line mins virtually all year). He only spoke about his own experience and how nobody within the org kept him in the loop on his role during the season.

        It would be so nice to see more transparency across the board about what the goals are for the farm and which goals are more important than others.