Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag: Centre Depth, Nikita Tryamkin’s Return, and Lots of Trade Talk

Ideally I would like to see them add another centre who could provide some scoring punch in the bottom-six. Gaudette could be that guy one day, but I don’t think he’s there yet. Sam Gagner probably deserves to be on the roster over some of their other options, but he looks more comfortable on the wing. I don’t think a team can have long-term success with two centres on the roster who don’t provide any offense, so I would look to replace Sutter with someone a bit more playmaking ability and have Jay Beagle absorb most of his duties.

I think anyone would be available for the right price, but I honestly don’t have any clue what that would be. Carolina has been one of the more confusing NHL teams this season and I feel unqualified to specualte as to what exactly is going on or what they would be looking for. They need goal-scoring, but so do the Canucks, and they aren’t moving any of their core players. Sven Baertschi might be attractive to them, but I doubt he’d be able to net any of their big-name defenders as a return on his own.

There would be a market for both players, but if you want to make room for Gaudette I don’t think moving out a winger makes sense. Gaudette has the potential to bring a lot of value to the team, but if he’s going to do it he has to learn to play down the middle at the NHL level. They also get a lot of the same things Sutter brings to the table from Jay Beagle, which makes him expendable. I’m not against moving on from either player, but Sutter would be my first choice.

The Canucks shouldn’t trade for anyone on an expiring contract, regardless of who they are.

I think Sutter could net the poor man’s version of the haul you’d expect from a big name player. He won’t get you a first and an A-prospect, but he might get you a second and a B-prospect from the right team. He’s got name recognition and playoff teams are always looking to shore up their penalty killing.

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I doubt it. I think the right team would be interested, but with him toiling away in the minors and another year on his deal after the season ends, I don’t think any team would realistically make an offer that would make it worth the salary they’d have to retain. Gagner could eventually get moved, but I think it’s more likely they wait until the summer at the earliest.

To be honest, I can’t see him returning regardless of what happens with Nikolay Goldobin. He’s had a rather underwhelming season in the KHL and by all accounts just didn’t seem that invested in the team or the city of Vancouver and was happy to return home at the end of his season. It’s justifiable, given he has no ties to North America whatsoever and struggled to get ice-time when he was with the Canucks. More importantly, they just don’t have room for him unless a trade is made. The Canucks don’t seem to have any desire to move on from Chris Tanev at this stage, they’re committed to Erik Gudbranson until 2021, and Troy Stecher is basically the only young right-handed defenseman in their system with a clear future in the NHL. Until something changes the possibility of a Tryamking return looks like a fantasy.

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Call me Vincenzo Natali, because I gotta go with “cube”.

Yes. By just about any meaningful metric (including something as simple as even-strength goal-differential) Erik Gudbranson is one of, if not the, worst defender in the game since arriving in Vancouver. It’s really that simple. Luke Schenn provides the same attributes at a lower cost and has a better (albeit still underwhelming) statistical profile.

While I don’t think the Canucks have played like a playoff-calibre team this season, having a player like Elias Pettersson in the lineup makes it difficult to put a ceiling on what they can do. High-end talents like him have been able drag bad teams to the playoffs in the past, so it’s within the realm of possibility that the team could be headed for its first playoff berth since 2015. That having been said, there’s a real danger that comes with dropping an elite talent onto a bad roster, too. A full season of Connor McDavid and a lights-out season from Cam Talbot were enough to get a mediocre Edmonton Oilers into the playoffs in 2016-17, but it hasn’t exactly worked out in their favour. Fast forward just two seasons into the future and a trigger-happy Peter Chiarelli has basically dismantled that team due to a series of decisions that arose from the belief that the team was closer to contention than it actually was. Even if we set aside all the practical arguments, I’m still not on board with the team making the playoffs if only because the  thought that an Oilers-like situation could arise in Vancouver scares me. The last time they were remotely competitive, the front office had a year-and-a-half long run of poor trades and acquisitions that are still holding the team back now. I think there’s a case to be made that the risk of making the playoffs this season outweighs the risk of missing the playoffs even if you ignore the possible trades the team could potentially be missing out on.

As far as whether or not they can afford it? I don’t think they have to trade both players by any stretch, but they have to trade someone, not only to stock up on assets that can help them when they’re finally rounding the corner, but to make room on the roster for the prospects in the system that are knocking on the door. I think that conversation has to start with Alex Edler because of his age and the return he could command. If he really can’t be convinced to waive his NTC, then you have to look at the market for Tanev.

Players don’t stay young forever, and I can’t see the Canucks becoming a contender by throwing money around in free agency or scraping by with what’s in the system now. The only way this team can have a chance at a Stanley Cup someday is to add a couple of high-end young players into the mix that can develop and hit their peak around the same time that Pettersson, Hughes, and Boeser are reaching their prime. That can’t happen if the front office just sits on their hands and makes the picks they’re allotted every year. They’ll need to add a few picks or prospects, and that can’t happen if they don’t move a big piece. If the goal is to eventually win a Stanley Cup, trading one of Edler or Tanev will go a long way, and missing out on one quick first round-exit early on in the team’s development is a small price to pay.

  • Bud Poile

    Boeser,Pettersson and Hughes aren’t challenging for a Stanley Cup any time soon so trading both of the Canucks best D right now seems short sighted,at best.
    There has to be implementation of a succession plan,not just draft party dreams.

    • You’re right, Boeser, Pettersson and Hughes aren’t challenging for a Stanley Cup any time soon. So why hold on to aging players who either won’t be here, or won’t be effective, when this team is in a position to compete?

      • TD

        I’m always torn on this topic. Losing is not good for any player’s development, and in that way, Edler and Tanev are helping all the young players get better and provide a stable environment. But they lack talent and could use the return. Trading Edler and resigning him in the summer has to be the best case scenario.

        • Dirk22

          Horvat started out playing on the worst team (cumulatively) for three years and seemed to develop very well. It’s a story and nothing more than that. They need more young talent and should be doing everything they can to get a good return for at least one of Edler, Tanev as well as at least one of Sutter/Guddy. If they want veterans to insulate the young guys on the backend, sign someone in the summer. Realistically , I’ll be surprised if they trade anyone significant (as Benning probably sees a playoff berth as job security) but that will be another misstep.

          • TD

            One of the broadcasters recently stressed the importance of mentoring to a young player and went over a list of top D men from the past 25 or so years and who they were partnered with and learned from.

            I think there is probably value to learning from someone. I can’t say that’s what caused all the issues in Edmonton, but they let all the kids learn on their own the results have been disastrous. Hughes (and Juolevi) are both left d like Edler, so he could be traded and Tanev kept to mentor. Edler may refuse the trade as he holds the no movement clause and has said he does not want to go.

          • Dirk22

            Again, TD, you’re listening to the story being told and not actually looking at what’s happened. The Oilers have always had veterans on their team. Go back through all of the teams during this 10 year plus period of ineptitude. Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth, Eric Belanger, Ryan Whitney, Andrew Ference, Darcy Hordichuk, Ales Hemsky, Nick Shultz, Ryan Jones etc.
            Currently they have veteran d on their team: Russel, Sekera and their best defencemen are among their youngest: Nurse and Klefbom.

            The Oilers narrative is spun and simplified to ‘the youth were too immature’ because people want to try to pin it on something. Truth is the Oilers have been bad because they have been poorly managed – simple as that – their GM’s have managed their assets terribly and they haven’t been able to bring in good players to supplement their stars via the draft, trades or free agency. The Oilers defence when Hall, Eberle etc were really young consisted of: Whitney, Vandermeer, Gilbert, Foster, Peckham, Smid, Petry , Strudwick etc.. Lots of veterans in that group. They weren’t losing then because there was a lack of mentors. They lost because they were just really bad. There’s a difference. Hall’s Hart tropy would also be evidence that he developed just fine.

            I’m not saying that young players can’t learn from veterans because obviously that can occur and can be really important – I just think it depends on the situation – who the young guys are and who the veterans are. Does Elias Pettersson need Jay Beagle to show him how to be a professional? I highly doubt that. From all accounts its Pettersson who has shown guys like Horvat and Boeser how to improve their game.

          • TD

            Dirk, I agree their management has been horrible. The Oilers were supposed to be a good team when Eberle, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins joined the team. If you remember, Justin Schultz was the hot NCAA free agent that the Canucks and everyone wanted. The Canucks wouldn’t guarantee him the ice time he wanted and he went to the Oilers who were supposed to be the up and coming team that also said he would play. They may have had some older vets playing limited minutes in the bottom 6, but that team was all about the kids who were all playing together. Schultz was given the keys to the castle and after some promising rookie stats, his bottom fell out.

            I remember what happened and it was a combination of both. The dressing room was fractured with a split between the bottom 6 vets and the top 6 kids. The vets were all traded.

            I agree that the Oilers management and coaching was piss poor, but that also led the kids being given free reign. Schultz was considered a huge bust, and then he went to a winning veteran environment in Pittsburg and turned his career around.

          • TD

            Dirk, I also completely agree that Pettersson’s game is mature and he provides the example instead of needing it. Pettersson does not need Beagle to teach him how to play, but have you seen the Canucks’ record with and without Beagle? I think some of that has to be luck, but there is a steadying influence from vets. They also tend to be the penalty killers that keep the team in games. Pettersson probably has a mature enough game to kill penalties, but most kids don’t. And who wants to waste Pettersson’s ice time killing penalties and risk injuries out blocking shots?

          • Dirk22

            Maybe the dressing room was fractured because the vets were terrible.

            All I’m saying with the emphasis should be on getting ‘good’ players – not necessarily ‘veteran’ players just because they’re veterans….although they could be. The Oilers had plenty of vets is my point. They were just bad so the young guys took the blame for not carrying them. Give them some better players to play with, young or old, and I’m sure we wouldn’t be hearing all about how the ‘entitled youth’ in Edmonton.

          • DogBreath

            Agree with most of this thread. ference recently spoke of the challenge of captaining the Oilers whereby he was a depth defenceman trying to lead highly talented youth. Excessive partying, lack of commitment etc from the young guys. It didn’t work because the kids didn’t respect the vets who were expected to lead while playing low minutes.

            The Canucks may be fortunate that petey, Horvat and Boeser are very mature so need less guidance from the vets. However, Virtanen and maybe others are different and need more vet leadership.

            Getting the team leadership chemistry right is a huge part of successfully moving a franchise forward. It shouldn’t be left to the young guys to figure out.

          • TheRealPB

            Dirk, I agree with much of what you’ve written in this thread — the emphasis should be on good players, not just veterans per se. In that vein I think you’re under-selling how important it is to have certain kinds of veterans — ones who are both successful on the ice and are good pros off the ice. It’s a bit of an odd thing to suggest that Horvat and Boeser got better because of Pettersson and to ignore the fact that they started here with the Sedins. Or Dorsett – not my favorite player but one whom Horvat has repeatedly praised for his development, much as the Sedins singled out Trent Klatt, Trevor Linden, Markus Naslund and Mattias Ohlund from their first years. I’d keep Tanev and Edler because without them the defense is not an NHL calibre one and it’s hard to see development of the team as a whole without at least semi-competent d. I think they give you 2-3 more years of that and then ease into the background as Hughes and hopefully Juolevi or Woo start to step in. I think whatever return you’d get on a trade is negligible compared to that and I also think they are a different case than Hansen and Burrows who were clearly and easily replaceable.

        • LACANUCK

          Seems to me the Edler thing is a non starter since he has a NTC. Tanev is an interesting situation since he probably won’t get a first round pick, so is it better to have a steady right shot Dman to possibly pair with Hughes? It’s a tough decision that will get second guessed no matter what happens. If the pick is a second rounder, then the statistics say there is a low percentage the pick will even play in the NHL. Tough choice

    • Confused Canuck

      I’m confused. You said the team was rebuilt and ready to compete in record time, now it’s not ‘anytime soon’ and a successuon plan is needed. Could you clarify and explain the mixed messages?

      Totally contradictory and confusing to say the leat…

  • Puck Viking

    no point in keeping any of the above mentioned players. load up on picks this year sign a couple stop gaps. adding another 5 picks in the top 3 rounds plus a couple prospects would do wonders for the future of this team.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      I agree that would be fantastic. Any indications from the past 4 years that our current GM actually has the ability/competence/disposition to acquire draft picks?

  • Hockey Bunker

    And just when things couldn’t get worse in Edmonton they overpay for a goalie who isn’t very good. Lesson is stability is more important than another pick or two so I’d keep the top 4 D and really try to deal Gudbranson or Schenn or Pouliot or two out of three and Goldy.
    Build on the foundation and don’t put players in positions they aren’t ready for. Or you end up like the Oilers who are in a constant state of desperation despite endless high picks.

    • Nuck16

      here’s a comment from OilerNation (sorry, posted this below also before I saw your comment):
      “Can anyone even attempt to argue that Chiarelli isn’t some type of crazy plant hell-bent on ushering in a new decade of despair at this point??”

    • Nuck16

      Chia has an atrocious record of trading young franchise/core players for duds. Seguin, Hall (oh sorry I forgot, he was worried there could be a power struggle with McDink), Eberle… plus with all the bizarre panic moves he’s made lately, how does he have a job? I guess the president and GM would believe that’s admitting failure and instead keep hoping for miracles.

        • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

          So does Bergevin, but then again, so does getting shot in the face with a ball of one’s own feces.

          Aside from the comparison argument, does anyone really believe from any of the 4 years of evidence so far that Benning will/can actually make trades for draft picks that are even seen as “meh” or neutral let alone positive/good for the organization moving forward?

          • Killer Marmot

            “Making trades for draft picks” is a limited way to view a manager’s job. Benning has preferred to make trades for young prospects such as Dahlen, Goldobin, Motte, and Leipsic. Some worked, some haven’t.

            I don’t mind a manager who prefers prospects over draft picks, particularly if it gives them a better or less risky deal.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    More cramping on Sutter for no apparent reason. How many teams really have 3 scoring centers? I listened to an interview with Ron Maclean about a month ago and one of his observations really stuck with me. He pointed out that in today’s NHL most good teams have 2 good scoring lines and 3rd and 4th lines who dont give the goals back and are good penalty killers. We need a good 2nd line to really push play. Look at the Oilers junk on their bottom lines and see the results

    • truthseeker

      which is why we shouldn’t follow that model. Just because other teams don’t have 3 scoring centers/lines doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to. The reason top heavy teams are so inconsistent is they end up having to pay way to much of their cap to their “superstars” and then they are forced to cobble together 3rd and 4th lines who as you said “don’t give the goals back”. The Oilers are such an example. The Leafs have the potential to become that. Sure it works well for some teams like the Pens and Hawks, but even they can’t string together more than a couple of years straight. They’re up and down. It took nearly 2 decades for a team to back to back cup win.

      I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have all 4 lines have a “Bo Horvat” leading them, than have a McDavid, RNH, and then nothing.

      What we need is Benning to be strong on contracts and not “top heavy” this team. He’s in the perfect position to do this right now. Then build 3 quality lines that can score. Of course the top 2 should be better but a 3rd line that you can roll that can push the play against other team’s weak lines and dominate them. You can save your best defensive forwards for the 4th line, but even there I would try to get guys who can also contribute.

      The key to beating the “superstar” teams is depth. Massive amounts of depth. So any time they’re on the bench your team can feast. My opinion anyway.

      • DeL

        I agree, the model you’re describing is Detroit a few years back. Canucks are in the position to do just that with a few additions. I think Gaudette has the potential to be that third line centre you can build a line around as you’re suggesting. Some trades would have to be made and some of the players in Utica would have to work out but it’s conceivable.

    • Dan the Fan

      If you look at only centres who have played 10 more games, Sutter is 159th in the NHL is PPG with 0.25. An average 3rd line centre, (High 70s) ranked purely by PPG, puts up about 0.5ppg. Just looking at some former Canucks in bottom 6 roles, Nick Bonino has 0.52ppg, Brad Richardson has 0.40ppg, and Jared McCann has 0.39ppg, Nic Dowd is 0.34ppg. Sutter this season is a black hole offensively. While the third line isn’t expected to score much, other team’s third lines are scoring far more. In fact, a couple teams have ex-Canucks who score more on their 4th lines.

      The way I see it, there’s two ways to do things. Some teams have two scoring lines, a 3rd line shutdown line, and a 4th line made up of low-end players at or near the NHL minimum salary. The 4th line is protected and doesn’t play much. Top-loaded teams have no choice but to do this given cap considerations.

      The other way is to have balance.. 3 scoring lines, (the 3rd doesn’t need to be all that great), and a good 4th line that can match up against other team’s top lines.

      There’s not many teams that have two shutdown lines, with both bottom 6 centers making 4m+ per year while providing sub 4th-line offense.

      This isn’t a knock against Sutter. He is good defensively. I just think that the team doesn’t need two centers who can’t score but are good – even great – defensively. And at least Sutter has some trade value. Almost any team could have had Beagle if they’d have matched the Canucks offer, so there’s probably not any teams out there that would be willing to give up assets now for the same contract they opted not to offer in the summer. We’re stuck with Beagle’s contract, so it makes the most sense to trade Sutter.

    • tyhee

      Using Ron MacLean as an authority is no way to give credence to an argument.

      The point you were responding to was “I don’t think a team can have long-term success with two centres on the roster who don’t provide any offense.” So I looked at how Vancouver’s 3rd line center does at scoring and compared it with the 3rd line center for every team in the league that has 58 or more pts through last night’s games, using that as an objective, if arbitrary, measure of your point about “good teams.”

      Team 3rd line center pts/60 min

      Vancouver Brandon Sutter 0.85 (Jay Beagle 1.16)
      Tampa Bay Anthony Cirelli 1.59
      Toronto Nazem Kadri 2.10
      Boston Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson 1.64
      Montreal Jesperi Kotkaniemi 1.97
      New York Islanders Valtteri Filppula 1.85 (Casey Cizikas 2.21)
      Columbus Alexander Wennberg 1.53
      Washington Lars Eller 1.56
      Pittsburgh Matt Cullen 1.69 (Derrick Brassard 1.44)
      Winnipeg Andrew Copp 1.41
      Nashville Colton Sissons * 1.80
      Calgary Mark Jankowski 1.97
      San Jose Joe Thornton 2.22 **
      Vegas Cody Eakin 2.18 ***

      * For Nashville, Ryan Johansen and Kyle Turris are currently out of the lineup. Both are listed as centers, but Turris often plays RW. I’ve used Johansen, Bonino and Sissons as the top 3 centers. If Turris is considered a center, then Bonino at 1.89 pts/60 would be Predators 3rd line center.

      ** In the case of San Jose, Thornton Couture has pts/60 of 2.78 and Hertl has a pts/60 of 2.88 and both have considerably more playing time than Thornton.

      *** In the case of the Vegas Golden Knights, Karlsson and Stastny get the most playing time per game but Karlsson is actually 3rd in center scoring per 60 minutes at 1.95. In playing time Eakin is pretty clearly the 3rd liner.

      Pretty clearly every good team in the league has 3rd line scoring well above that of the Canucks. Some of that can be considered due to Vancouver’s coach using players in well-defined roles, but I’d suggest Patrick isn’t out of line in thinking that for a team to be a winning team it needs a 3rd line center with more offensive punch than the Canucks have.

      • Killer Marmot

        The Canucks are weird in that the bottom two centers are among the lowest-scoring players among the forwards, exceeded by wingers like Boeser, Goldobin, Virtanen, Eriksson, Roussel, Granlund, Leivo, and Baertschi. It seems that the bottom two forwards are valued more for their faceoff and defensive abilities than their offense.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    “Sam Gagner probably deserves to be on the roster over some of their other options”. No he doesn’t. The fact you would even say that devalues any other opinion you might have. Gagner is no longer an NHL player. If he was, some team would have acquired him by now. The best he could hope for at this point, would be as a placeholder on a team looking to get to the cap floor.

    • Dan the Fan

      Teams don’t want him because of his salary. He’s better than many players making under a million, but nobody wants to pay three million dollars a year for a player that’s worth under one million. Since the Canucks have him, they may has well use him, especially when Petterson was hurt and Goldobin was getting benched. His CF% last year was 47.1, which isn’t that great, but a lot better than several others on the roster.

      Even the Canucks seemed to think that he’d get claimed on waivers if they played him past 30 days or 10 games. When they sent him down they said that they picked him because he was the only one they could send without waiving.

    • Killer Marmot

      Green’s mantra seems to be “no defense, no play.” That leaves players like Gagner and (for the last few games) Goldobin on the outside looking in.

  • Nuck16

    Off topic, but here’s a comment from OilerNation to lighten your day:
    “Can anyone even attempt to argue that Chiarelli isn’t some type of crazy plant hell-bent on ushering in a new decade of despair at this point??”

    • Puck Viking

      I actually wondered myself if some random person was paying him to make these moves over the last few years. Im just thankful him signing Lucic left us with LE. Oilers fans just waiting on a compliance buyout with the seattle expansion or with the new CBA so they can buy him out and pretend that never happened.

  • TD

    I don’t understand the desire to trade Baertschi. He’s been good since his return and the Canucks really lack good wingers to stock two scoring line, especially on left wing.

    • Puck Viking

      Mac, Dahlen and Jasek on the farm. If someone offers you a late first like Nash did to get hartman last tdl that pick could then be used on a dman.

      You have to make moves to eventually get better or youll end up being the oilers and wasting prime years of your top players. The sven trade shouldnt have been made in the first place and instead we would have Rasmus Andersson.

      • TD

        Lets hope Mac, Dahlen and Jasek work out, but lets be realistic. All the “experts” see Mac as a bottom six winger. The same experts put a similar ceiling on Jasek. Dahlen and Jasek are both scoring around .5 PPG in the AHL so far this year. Lets hope the develop quickly into top 6 NHL players quickly, but none of them may ever reach that ceiling. The Canucks currently sit 19th in team scoring with 2.88 GPG. Developing a third line of scoring would be very beneficial.

        If all the prospects turn into NHL players ready to replace Baertschi than I am all in favour of trading him, but they aren’t there yet and may never get there.

        • timmay

          … and we all know how much of a talent “expert” TD is…

          “Pettersson may need time to adjust to the smaller ice. I would rather he develop properly in utica than getting rushed into the lineup.” TD

          “Bo isn’t ready to be a number 1 centre.” TD

          TD ——— The Dunce? Total Douche? Talent Destroyer?….nexttttttttt

  • Ken Priestlay Fan

    I agree that Tryamkin is not the answer to this teams problems on D and that he probably doesn’t have the desire to come back to Vancouver, but he can’t be having that bad a season in the KHL as he’s just played in their All Star game…

  • Kanuckhotep

    With 12 games to go until the TDL and 32 over all (and hopefully more) I can’t help but think that the Canucks line up is pretty much set for the duration of this season. Despite some fans misgivings at times about Goldy, Guddy, Pouliot and maybe Schaller I’d say they’re here for the rest of this year anyways. If Benning does deal in the next 4-5 weeks I only see cap dump and/or an accrued later pick of some sort where not much is given up. Don’t look for a major shake up transaction because it just won’t happen IMO.

  • Burnabybob

    “If the goal is to eventually win a Stanley Cup, trading one of Edler or Tanev will go a long way, and missing out on one quick first round-exit early on in the team’s development is a small price to pay.”

    That’s pretty much exactly what I think. As nice as it would be for the Canucks to make the playoffs, I’m still far more interested in them getting a ticket in the Hughes/Kakko/Cozens lottery, and getting some extra picks and prospects for their aging players than I am in seeing them get creamed in the first round of the playoffs. Playoff runs (especially by middling teams) by the Canucks are short lived. Players like those listed above could benefit the team over the next decade. And as many have said before, by the time the Canucks are ready to contend, Edler and Tanev will either be no longer playing hockey, or will be depth players at best. Time to make some trades.

    • DJ_44

      As nice as it would be for the Canucks to make the playoffs, I’m still far more interested in them getting a ticket in the Hughes/Kakko/Cozens lottery, and getting some extra picks and prospects for their aging players than I am in seeing them get creamed in the first round of the playoffs.

      A ticket in the lottery. Team that will be in lottery have zero interest in Edler or Tanev. They are going to a top 10 team looking for the difference maker.

      Writers here, including Jackson, considered this team on of the worst constructed teams in Canucks history (let that one sink in). They were not, and are not. The are a team learning how to win, and an organization that appears to have shown incredible discipline by allowing the stable of excellent prospects to develop in environments where they can learn and succeed. They are not a bottom 5 or even bottom10 team. They are a bubble team, and will only get better.

      Winnipeg and Toronto, often pointed to as ideal rebuilds, went through similar trajectories. Should Toronto not have made the playoffs two years ago (beat by Washington) or last year (beat by Boston) ….. both first round exits?

      Winnipeg got clobbered by the Ducks in 4… and missed the playoffs after that. Teams have to learn how to win. You do not get all the pieces and then say …. okay now we win…. it does not happen like that. Build the culture, work hard, draft and develop well.

      • Toronto sold off absolutely everything that wasn’t bolted down in 2015 and 2016 and acquired numerous picks, some of which were used to acquire very good prospects.

        The Canucks might be where Toronto was in 2016 when they finished last and drafted Matthews, but already had Marner, Nylander, Kadri, and Reilly in the system. They’re certainly not where the Leafs were in 2017 or 2018, even if they manage to squeak into the playoffs.

        • DJ_44

          Goon; I respect this opinion, no two team have direct correlation. Matthews, Marner, (Nylander). Pettersson, Boeser, Hughes. Horvat. Demko. Virtanen, Juolevi.

          Toronto is sorely missing pieces to be a contender, and they are an Andersson injury away from desperate. Did they go to early? No. They went when the team started winning games with the talent they had. They are much closer to the Leafs of 2017 (and better balanced with prospects in the system) than you give them credit for.

          • The Leafs of 2017 had far more depth up and down the lineup, and more high-end talent, than the Canucks have this year.

            Going into 2017 the Leafs had 1st overall Matthews, 4th overall Marner, 5th overall Reilly, 8th overall Nylander, along with Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, Connor Brown, Zack Hyman, James Van Reimsdyk, Tyler Bozak, and Freddy Anderson.

            So that’s an elite 1st line centre (Matthews), a solid 2nd line centre (Kadri), an elite winger (Marner), two very good wingers (Nylander and Van Reimsdyk), an elite defenceman (Reilly) a very good defenceman (Gardiner), and a number of solid complementary middle-six wingers and centres in Bozak, Hyman, and Brown. The only guys approaching 30 on that list are Bozak and Van Reimsdyk. All the rest are either guys in their early or mid 20s.

            The Canucks have an elite centre (Pettersson), a very good centre (Horvat), a very good winger (Boeser), and otherwise have young complementary players (Goldobin, Hutton, Stetcher, Virtanen, etc) or they have aging former high-end guys who are still useful but shouldn’t be doing a lot of heavy lifting anymore (Edler, Tanev, Eriksson, Sutter, etc).

            The Leafs have one glaring hole in their lineup – their right side on defence is awful. But in every other position – goaltending, centre depth, winger depth, left hand defence – they were miles ahead in 2017 than the Canucks are now.

          • You can look at the Canucks and say *maybe* Juolevi and Hughes will be as good as Reilly and Gardiner. *Maybe* Demko will be as good as Anderson, but we don’t know. *Maybe* Dahlen and Lind become impact wingers. *Maybe* Woo becomes a 2nd-pairing defenceman. It’s possible Boeser ends up as good as Marner, but he hasn’t been yet.

            You have to assume that all of the Canucks better prospects hit their ceilings in order to say they’re close to where the Leafs were at at the end of their rebuild. That’s just not realistic. Sure, some of these guys will probably be great, but some of them will never make it.

          • Bud Poile

            The Leafs rebuilt from 2008 through 2016-nine years- and were the laughing stock of the league for ten years.
            Benning has rebuilt the Canucks in essentially four drafts without a first overall generational talent and the deepest pockets in the league.

      • timmay

        But seriously ANDY, what credibility or hockey nouce do you convey in your novels when you have laughably told us that MDZ, Pedan, Tryamkin, Boucher, Larsen, Leipsic and Holm too name a few are pefectly fine for the club, while Edler and Hutton should be traded?…

        “Let’s hope for a Edler and Hutton trade, and we will be good for next season on D.” DJ_44

        “… and Holm, who I like way more than Hutton will be a solid bottom pair guy with ability and upside.” DJ_44

        farcical and embarrassing ANDY… are you a clown, a troll or just a short-busser with zero CLUE to match your ZERO credibility… the facts don’t lie DJ……………….. waiting??

          • timmay

            Typically weak, cowardly reply andy… could you tell us WHY you keep backing and bigging up players that NEVER make the grade and end up getting shipped out, it’s hilarious and humiliating… look…

            “Pedan and Tryamkin bring a new truculence to the Canucks backend that has been missing for sometime.” DJ_44

            “I have been luke warm on Baertschi from the beginning. I far would prefer Boucher on Horvat’s wing.” DJ_44

            and this doozy

            “I cannot understand why Larsen is not in the line up. He is their best D-man at making a first pass. His defensive weaknesses are not worse than Hutton. Pair him with Tryamkin.” DJ_44

            OMFG… Someone sign this clown up to assist Chia!!! Too funny :-p

            Now, over to you andy.. DJ… DJJJJ???? *crickets*

          • DJ_44

            While it’s amusing to constantly dummy PQW….. it too gets boring.

            If these are the most damning quotes I have in 4 years of commenting (although I doubt I used the word “truculence”); I’m good with that.

        • crofton

          Spews like PQW, quotes like PQW, insults like PQW, insists no one knows better than PQW…is there any doubt to anyone but the editors of the site who this is? And oh yeah…what is a hockey nouce?

          • Green Bastard

            Reeks like PQW (vinegar & water breath). I think “hockey nouce” is where trolls like timmay, PQW, Miss Burr, EP40 etc etc etc proclaim that Casey No Pull Up and Cody Glass should have been selected way before slope shouldered EP, but then realize that that is just more moronic idiocy and rather than saying, “I’m a troll and know schiznet”, so I’ll just run away with my tail between my legs again, and make a new trolly boi name. Maybe that’s what “hockey nouce” is, and he’s just too stoopid to realize it’s not a good thing


    I don’t think that GMJB is in anyway going to be Oiler GM jr.

    He has said that he wants to develop the young nucleus. He has cap room right now and there aren’t many rumors of. Canucks doing much. Oilers have the best player in hockey and not much else. Canucks have 2 high end centers, a world class sniper, soon a dynamic puck moving adman and a #1 goalie in waiting. That’s not a bad start. The key with Bo Brock and EP are that they all work on deficiencies and take challenges head on. Bo with his skating EP with Faceoffs and Defensive responsibilities. As long as health is there, this team could squeak into the playoffs, which would be fun, but no one will sell the farm to make a run.

  • Fred-65

    Frankly what I see from JB is his plan, it’s not what others would like maybe

    I think he believes in Edler, Tanev, Sutter. He sees them as a veteran group ( include Beagle and Roussell ) to keep the boat from rocking. The have a professional and calming effect on the youngster. It may not show in stats that folks get hung up on but there is a great benefit to their presence on the team. The ability for Edler and Tanev (plus Sutter/Beagle) can shut down other teams first line so effectively does not go unnoticed by GM’s and Coaches. Wins are manufactured on these sort of performances. Teams mates love it because it take a lot of pressure off their youngsters, opponent notice begrudgingly. Regretfully fan pass it off as the norm ….. it isn’t. Sure the team has a couple more years before success will be noticed and expected but in the meantime enjoy the building blocks these players are adding to the team.

    • Fred-65

      And by the way regarding Gudbranson, why does he warrant a different approach/status than that meted out in the case of Goldobin. Does this tell us that Green et al have not given up on the player and still intent on developing and by the same process mean they’ve given up and expect no further development from Gudbranson. What ever the case it’s a contradiction. I’m confident the rest of the roster see the constant errors made by EG with little or infrequent balancing brawn. Frankly as far as defensemen, based strictly on skill Biega offers more

      • jaybird43

        Fred-65, I think the difference is that the defence is weaker than the offense. Thus, Green is “stuck” with Guddy to an extent and no one questions Guddys effort. With Goldy, it’s different: his effort IS in question, and Green has got other options there if Goldy’s not producing AND not back-checking. He’s sending the message – there’s no comparable message to send Guddy; he is what he is.

  • Stephe Kay

    “I can’t see the Canucks becoming a contender by throwing money around in free agency or scraping by with what’s in the system now”

    Let’s be real, man, free agency is the key for this next off season, and the Canucks could very well be cup favourites in 2021.

    The best thing the Canucks can do right now is win games to prove themselves worthy of the bevy of talented free agents coming available this July.

    Elias Pettersson changes everything. He’s set the hockey world on fire, and you can rest assured Vancouver is now a prime destination for FAs. Add a super-natural-city extraordinaire, an aging owner who wants a Cup to secure his spot in heaven, and you have FA candyland.

    Make no mistake, free agency will be a huge deal for Benning come July 1, and the Canucks will soon have its elite core in place.

    That said, the cap-friendly window for a cup in Vancouver ends when Pettersson signs his contract extension to start 2021-22, considering Brock Boeser will have already signed for big bucks two years before.

    The Canucks have a unique opportunity to load up on FA talent from 2019-2021.

    The list of free agents for the approaching off season currently includes Erik Karlsson, Artemi Panarin, Mark Stone, Jeff Skinner, Matt Duchene, Gustav Nyquist, Micheal Ferland, Jakob Silfverberg, Anders Lee, and even old man Joe Pavelski, who still plays at a very high level and should have a top-6 game through to 2021.

    When the Canucks have Pettersson, Boeser, and Quinn Hughes at the top of their lineup; Bo Horvat leading the second wave; the current trend of outstanding goaltending proving an annual event; plus a key free agent or two – then the club could have seven elite pieces by the end of 2020, enough to win cups.

    https:// canucksfanstephe.wordpress .com/2019/01/22/canucks-must-win-now/
    copy / paste / remove spaces to read more from me on this and other Canucks topics

    • Holly Wood

      Just read 3 of your articles Stephe, all Canuck content, well written, really like your work. I hope you continue to contribute on this site as well. You kicked it up a notch. Just one thing to be aware of. Some commenters will dwell on one particular sentence in an attempt to critique your work