Friday Rewind: Sorry for Being Super Late and No Longer Actually Friday Trade Deadline Edition

The Best

Gudbranson Traded to Pittsburgh

After the horn sounded to signal that the NHL trade deadline had officially come and gone, Canucks fans were left to pick up the pieces and contemplate the complete lack of activity from the team.

It was all so damn predictable, they thought. Watching other teams acquire draft picks and new players while Vancouver fans jealously wrung their hands. Vegas got Mark Stone? Damn. Winnipeg made six deals to bring in reinforcements? Wow. Columbus went all in and pushed every chip they had right to the middle of the table? Yikes. With all of that going on, how could you not feel a little left out? The team didn’t have a ton available to sell off, you reasoned. Alex Edler was their only real piece to play, and he understandably ended all discussions of trade talk he was involved in. Nothing wrong with that. You just can’t get a lot these days for an injured Brandon Sutter, I suppose? Management not shooting themselves in the foot with bad deals is win all by itself, right?

Of course, this self-reflection didn’t last very long, as most longtime fans know that deals can still be announced well after the bell rings. As long as a deal is submitted to NHL central registry via phone, e-mail and yes, even facsimile by 11:59:59 PST, it’s good to go. And that’s why Canucks fans who stuck around to watch the aftermath of deadline day found themselves treated to an unexpected surprise:

Boom. Mic drop.

Bob drop?

I mentioned in last week’s Friday Rewind that Canucks management had come to understand with hindsight that trading for Erik Gudbranson was a mistake. At the time, ownership was pressuring management hard to turn things around quickly and get the team back into the playoffs. The word “rebuild” was still taboo to say around Rogers Arena. Jim Benning was not interested in acquiring futures that he’d have to wait 4-5 years to see results from.

He wanted something now.

So, management began to target promising players who were young enough to form part of a new core for the Vancouver Canucks going into the future, but old enough that they were far enough along in their development that they could step in and contribute almost immediately.

This strategy gave us players like Sven “there are three zones in hockey and he only plays in one of them” Baertschi, Brandon “foundational player” Sutter, and Loui “little things” Eriksson.

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On May 25, 2016, it also gave us Erik “unreasonably attractive” Gudbranson and a 5th round pick in exchange for Jared McCann and 2nd and 4th round draft picks in 2016.

The problem with the deal was that the Florida Panthers knew exactly what they were doing when they sold Vancouver on Gudbranson. They knew what they had in their player. They knew what he could and couldn’t do. They knew what direction the NHL was trending toward, style of play wise. And they knew that they were likely going to have to pay him something in the range of $5 million a year when the time came for him to be re-upped. They traded him to avoid being stuck in a situation like that.

It was a mistake for Canucks management to not see that, and I really struggle with trying to decide how much credit Benning gets for a move like this.

On one hand, all by itself, it’s a good trade. Most fans were just glad to be rid of him. Anything on top of that would just be icing on the cake. Tanner Pearson is a decent piece, however, and they didn’t end up retaining any salary. They even saved a bit of cash with the deal. He’s had a pretty rough year, but hopefully we’re looking at an anomaly and not a preview of where he’s trending. Either way, a good deal.

On the other hand, how much credit can you give a guy for basically just fixing a problem he created himself in the first place? Like I said, all of the signs were there. It was a bad trade at the time, and the strategy/motivation behind the move was impatient and short-sighted.

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And think of the other pressing problems the Canucks have to deal with at the moment. How are they going to get Loui Eriksson’s contract off the books? What about Brandon Sutter? Tanner Pearson and Ryan Spooner are currently the 3rd and 4th highest paid forwards on the team and are both under contract beyond this season. So is Tim Schaller. Roussel has played unbelievably well so far this year, but he’ll be 30 next year and has three more seasons left on his deal. So does Beagle, and he’s already 33.

The point that I’m making here is that there are an awful lot of players on the Canucks who are either currently a problem contract-wise, or likely to be one soon. That’s not to say that none of these players contribute, but they do represent issues management will have to deal with at some point in the same way that Gudbranson was eventually dealt with.

Let’s assume that Benning pulls off similar deals to move Eriksson and Sutter. Again, how much credit do you give someone for fixing a problem they created themselves? Do these moves make the team any better, or help it to progress towards being a championship contender? Or are we just wasting time erasing moves that shouldn’t have been made in the first place?

Trading Erik Gudbranson was the right move to make. He never should have been acquired in the first place, he never should have been given that extension, and it never should have taken three years for management to finally fix their mistake. But the bottom line is that they did it. They finally did the right thing. And despite the questions I have about why this was so necessary or how we ever got here in the first place, Jim Benning deserves credit for swallowing his pride and finally doing the right thing.

Edler Refuses to Waive, Returns from Injury

As mentioned before, Alex Edler was the only real asset Canucks management had to move before the deadline. An unrestricted free agent, and clearly the best defenceman “available”, Edler could have potentially provided a nice return for Vancouver.

Unfortunately, he ultimately decided against waiving his NTC when asked by Jim Benning to do so.

So, that’s that. What was predicted by almost everyone in Vancouver from basically the dawn of time came to pass. Here we are on the other side with Alex Edler still in the blue and green. The Vancouver Canucks’ longest tenured player, it was always going to be up to Edler how his future would unfold. Fans shouldn’t hold his decision against him. It was his right to deny a trade and, in the aftermath of him having done exactly that, all that fans should care about going forward is the contract management decides to give him.

Goldy Trending in the Right Direction

Don’t look now, but Nikolay Goldobin is playing with some juice these days:

It’s not really news to say that Goldobin has been… inconsistent this season. He’s had an awful lot of “great first step” games where he’s played like the player his potential indicates he should be. Unfortunately, those great first steps forward were inevitably followed by a series of groan-inducing steps backward.

He hasn’t really been able to flip that script until now.

He doesn’t necessarily have the points to show it yet, but Goldobin’s last three games have all been unusually strong efforts. He’s moving his feet, staying involved with the play, and doing the forechecking that Travis Green has been so persistently asking for all season long. He’s shown both speed and creativity with the puck, while not being afraid to take it straight to the net either.

When you look at their roster, the obvious reality of the Canucks is that they have too many wingers. Quantity, but not quality. This offseason, it’s also obvious that management desperately wants to add a legitimate top-six winger to play with Bo Horvat in free agency. Mark Stone may be spoken for, but Artemi Panarin has expressed a willingness to consider Vancouver. They’ll also have a chance at a few other players, such as Gustav Nyquist.

Whether that sounds like a good idea to you or not, the point is that whoever they add is going to leave one less roster spot available for the cadre of wingers already in the organization. A handful of them could find themselves on the outside looking in this off-season, and Goldobin may very well find himself on the wrong side of that conversation when it happens.

This is a key storyline to follow for the remaining seventeen games Vancouver has left to play this year. If, and I stress that this remains a huge “if”, he can turn this current three game stretch into a longer, more sustained effort? A development like that would be a critical win for the organization.

Goldobin finishing the season strong helps to make management’s case for keeping him around much easier. Personally, I think he’s a great fit with Pettersson and Boeser. He doesn’t necessarily drive the line, but he doesn’t have to. All he has to do is hold his own as a complimentary player, and right now there isn’t really another player on the team who fits the bill better.

He just needs to keep the juice flowing.

Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon

During the game against the Ducks on Tuesday night, the annual Canucks for Kids Telethon took place at Rogers Arena. Along with Dice & Ice, the telethon is one of the organization’s signature fundraising events of the year.

From Canucks.com:

The Canucks for Kids Fund dedicates resources to assist charities which support children’s health and wellness, foster the development of grassroots hockey, and facilitate and encourage education in British Columbia.

Thanks to the generosity of our fans, donors, players, employees and sponsor partners, the Canucks for Kids Fund (CFKF) has granted $59.3 million to charities in British Columbia over the last 30 years.

The Canucks for Kids Fund raises awareness and funds through several charitable initiatives including: Canucks for Kids Fund 50/50, Canucks for Kids Fund Dice & Ice Benefit, Canucks for Kids Fund Superskills powered by Rogers and the Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon. The Canucks for Kids Fund also raises funds through partnerships with Special Olympics BC’s Sports Celebrities Festival and the Vancouver Sun’s Raise a Reader Day.

Our core beneficiaries, Canucks Autism Network (CAN), Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation are providing vital resources and life-saving care to families all across this province.

Needless to say, this is a great event that sees money go to a wide variety of amazing causes, helping to support families throughout Greater Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia.

But, of course, no mention of this incredible event would be complete without giving a shout out to the clear highlight of the night:

Ah, the shame. The embarrassment. The internet never forgets, ladies!

Pearson to Wear 70 Instead of 14

So, on the heels of the Gudbranson trade, it was reported that the player coming back the other way, Tanner Pearson, would wear jersey number 14 in Vancouver. This produced an amusing bit of grumbling that only a Canucks fan could truly appreciate:

First of all, I think this is kind of adorable.

I’ve alway been a big Alex Burrows fan, and he of course played a significant role on the good Canucks teams of 2009 to 2013. I just had no idea that people would react this strongly to something like this. It’s so rare for twitter to produce things that are this overwhelmingly positive, and it’s a beautiful thing to see the city unexpectedly express a little bit of love for a former player like that. It’s something that really needs to be recognized and appreciated when it happens, and luckily that was exactly what did happen:

Alex Burrows is not a player who has his number retired. It likely never will be, and it probably shouldn’t be. But the Ring of Honour seems like a pretty good spot for number 14 to land, and it looks like the fans would agree. Good on the Canucks for paying attention to the conversation as it happened among the fans, and good on Tanner Pearson for respecting their feelings and making the change. He didn’t have to, but he certainly earned himself some brownie points with the fans before making his debut.

The Worst

No Such Thing as a Gud Break Up

I’ve been pretty consistent and transparent regarding my feelings toward Erik Gudbranson. I doubt there are many people out there who were more critical of him than I admit I was. The trade was bad. The player was worse. And doubling down on what they knew was a mistake by giving him an extension was one of the lowest points of this management’s tenure of the club in my opinion. I have no doubts that addition by subtraction absolutely applies in this scenario; the Canucks are statistically much likelier to win hockey games now that Gudbranson is not here hurting the team’s performance.

All of that being said, and it will not surprise me to learn that there are more than a few people who disagree with me here, it is also my opinion that the response to his departure was a little bit of a bad look for Canucks fans:

Ok, I will admit that I think the TimBit thing is kind of funny.

And I understand very well why Gudbranson elicited this kind of reaction from the fanbase. He was not good here. The Canucks were outscored by an almost 2:1 ratio when Gudbranson was in the line up, according to Harman Dayal.

I admit for the hundredth time that I counted myself among those pleasantly surprised to see him get traded.

Somehow, though, there were moments where it felt like it was crossing a line and going too far. Like piling on and kicking a guy when he was already down. Even significant media personalities in Vancouver went too far at times. In a series of now deleted tweets, Jason Botchford went so far as to call Gudbranson “pathetic” in response to a local Penguins beat reporter who was just trying to find a few positives in the newest Penguin’s game:

He also excitedly listed the various low-lights of Gudbranson’s Canucks career in the Athletties to celebrate.

I understand that this is the social media age we’re talking about. I understand that you would have to be naive to not expect the various cesspools of the internet to join in on the fun of dumping on a guy who “deserved” it, just because everyone else was doing it too. But is it truly necessary to take that much joy out of the failure of an otherwise nice guy who, by all accounts, was loved by his teammates? Who was called an all-around great guy by pretty much anyone who knew him personally? Did he really deserve that? Was it worth the clicks it generated?

There exists a fine line between fair criticism and what is essentially just mean-spirited bullying.

We forget far too often that this is not some video game without consequences. These are real people we’re dumping on. Human beings who can’t go on the internet without seeing endless waves of toxic garbage directed at them. Some people deal with that sort of thing just fine, but not all of them do.

Sure, every single one of them signed up to be in the NHL. Not a single one of them likely regrets that decision. The expectation is that players understand that they are public figures open to criticism, booing, and whatever else fans want to throw at them (not literally, of course).

But that in and of itself is not a blank cheque that gives us the freedom to ignore the basic humanity involved in what is essentially a children’s game being played by grown men for millions of dollars.

What about the recent visit the Maple Leafs made to Nassau Coliseum, you might ask? How is that not the same thing, but worse?

John Tavares received the “welcome” of a lifetime that night. Fans threw fake snakes and jerseys at him. They booed him mercilessly, and there were endless chants of “it’s your bedtime” and “where’s your jammies?” It was vicious. It was cathartic. And I admit that it was hilarious. There was an incredible energy in the building, and it helped to make better what was already a fascinating storyline. But the entirety of that event happened within the confines of a game, and was in response to a fairly legitimate grievance.

Tavares wasn’t the victim in that situation. He’s doing just fine. It’s Islanders fans who were the victims.

In Gudbranson’s case, we’re talking about a guy who was more or less run out of town for being “the worst defenceman in the NHL.” We’re talking about a guy who, despite his results, did his best every single day, and did it with a positive attitude. He held no ill will towards Vancouver or the hockey fans who live here. He never did anything where he knowingly hurt the team by failing to do something he was capable of doing.

John Tavares dumped the Islanders and their fans. He deserved what he got. Erik Gudbranson, for all of his many, many flaws, was dumped by the Canucks and their fans. Tavares was almost in on the joke. Gudbranson wasn’t even close.

And it wasn’t even enough once he was gone. What’s been thrown around and said about him has mostly all happened since he left. It’s one thing to complain about a bad player you want off your team. It’s another to get what you want and still continue to beat a dead horse.

You can’t ask Islanders fans to consider what Tavares must feel like under the circumstances he dealt with in Uniondale. He’s signed to an absolute monster of a contract, plays for the team he loved as a child, and is considered somewhat of a returning hero by the fans in Toronto. He’s a star. He has a future.

Ask yourself what Gudbranson must feel like. Booed out of town, the best way to describe him is as a player who the league has unexpectedly passed by. If he can’t turn things around in Pittsburgh, his future is seriously in doubt. It’s been said that there will always be a GM in the NHL who wants what Gudbranson can offer. If I were him, I don’t know how comforting those words would be to me right now.

I’ll say one final time that criticizing Gudbranson’s play is not in question here. Neither is criticizing anything management chose to do with him from the moment he was acquired to the moment he was dealt away. What I am talking about specifically is how we choose to treat someone once they are literally no longer a problem for us anymore.

There comes a point where a guy has to have suffered enough, and paid enough of a price for his own limitations. For all of the negativity that I personally am responsible for sending his way, let me say here and now that I consider that price paid in full.

Hughes on the First Plane to Vancouver

On Friday, Jim Benning made a rather alarming statement about prospect Quinn Hughes as he met with the media ahead of the trade deadline.

“He has to make the decision on whether or not he wants to turn pro,” Benning said in regards to Hughes. “And as soon as he does, if he wants to turn pro, he will be on the next plane out here.”

Keep in mind the fact that all of this hinges on how well the Michigan Wolverines actually do the rest of their season. That being said, the reason this was alarming for me to hear is a simple one: expansion.

If Hughes plays nine or fewer games this season for the Canucks, he’s officially exempt from being selected by Seattle in the next expansion draft in 2021. If he plays more than that, he will need to be protected. It’s that straightforward.

If the Wolverines are eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Big 10 playoffs, Hughes could be available to make his NHL debut by March 13th. At that point, he could potentially play in thirteen games before the season ends.

That’s four more games than he should be allowed to appear in, but it doesn’t sound like Canucks management is particularly concerned about the possible consequences of having him play those four games. Perhaps there’s a plan in place for him to be scratched for a handful of games if he arrives too early. We don’t know.

When asked recently if he was worried about potentially exposing a player needlessly in expansion on TSN 1040’s Halford & Brough, Benning replied by saying:

“No. I’m not worried about that. I don’t think that we have a worry on defence with protection problems in that expansion draft. We want to get him going and see where he’s at and that will give him experience going into next year too.”

It’s worth paying attention to, though. The Vancouver Canucks do not have the kind of depth on their blue line that affords them the freedom to lose a player to expansion. Not in exchange for four measly, meaningless games played in a season where the playoffs are no longer a realistic possibility. Remember, teams can only protect seven forwards and three defencemen, or any eight skaters. If Alex Edler’s new contract includes some kind of NMC protection, he’ll have to be protected as well.

Should Canucks management allow a good player to be lost via expansion when they easily could have otherwise prevented it, that will reek of blatant short-sightedness and mismanagement. Four games is not even close to worth the kind of value automatic draft exemption offers the Canucks.

Hopefully their confidence means that there’s a plan in place.

Dahlen Traded to San Jose

As the second deal of the day for Vancouver, Jonathan Dahlen was shipped over to San Jose in exchange for forward Linus Karlsson. While initially jubilant at the idea that Erik Gudbranson was finally off the Canucks’ roster, it’s fair to say that any excitement was stuttered by the news that management had traded away one of it’s supposed best prospects; a player they intended to play a significant role with the team in the future. The fact that a trade request was part of the reason for the move only added confusion to the situation:

I tend to agree with MacIntyre here. The Canucks obviously lost this trade. Regardless of the issues surrounding Dahlen’s supposed dissatisfaction with his situation in the Canucks organization, it was the Sharks who ended up with the best player in the deal.

It’s hard to know how to feel about this situation. On one hand, there should be very little time or patience paid to a player who complains about lack of opportunities while still being so young and unproven. On the other, it’s concerning in the wake of the Anton Rodin and Petrus Palmu situations that the team’s minor league affiliate seems to be struggling to develop players of consequence for the big club. Players who were previously thought highly of such as Kole Lind and Jonah Gadjovich have also struggled. It’s possible that there is some kind of issue down in Utica, but until we know more we will continue to have more questions than answers.

As far as Dahlen himself goes? Hopefully he will have luck with the Sharks. The Canucks had better hope beyond hope that he doesn’t have too much good luck, however. If he turns into an impact player in NHL, this entire situation is going to blow up in management’s face, and Benning will have some uncomfortable questions to answer about why Dahlen wasn’t given more of an opportunity in Vancouver, and what exactly is happening in Utica.

Season Sweep in Arizona

When the Canucks look back on their season at the end of the year and wonder why they aren’t in the playoffs, despite having the advantage of playing in one of the weakest Western Conference’s in recent memory, they’re probably going to start with the points they let get away playing the Coyotes this year. Thursday night’s game in Glendale ended the season series 4-0 for Arizona, despite Vancouver forcing overtime in two of those contests.

Playoffs… Off?

As of publication, the Minnesota Wild are currently holding on to the last wild card spot in the Pacific Division with 70 points. Your Vancouver Canucks have played the same number of games and have 63 points. Yikes. If there was a week this season where we could make a final call on making the playoffs or not before actually being mathematically eliminated, this has to be that week. It’s not gonna happen this year folks. We had a good run. Time to start reading up on the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

Oh, and I’ll just leave this here for your guys.

The Highlights

Ice in the Veins

Markstrom Leaving His Mark

Nice One for the New  Guy

Rooster’s Wrister

On Point in Practice

The Forecast

Sunday, March 3rd

Vancouver follows up a disappointing night against the Coyotes with another date in the desert a few days later. The Vegas Golden Knights will host a matinée match-up at T-Mobile Arena, with puck-drop scheduled for 1:00pm PST. Vegas is currently 4-5-1 in their last 10 games, but are heating up and riding a 3 game winning streak.

Wednesday, March 6th

The Toronto Maple Leafs are such a great team, yet there is the constant spectre looming above them that they choke in big games. The recent game against the Islanders is a perfect example of why a lot of fans are worried about what might happen if that same kind of play gets trotted out on to the ice should the Leafs meet the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. If it does, they don’t have a chance. But if it doesn’t?

This is still a team with the fourth best record in the league, third most wins, the second highest scoring offence, and the third best goal differential at +47. The Leafs are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, so when the puck drops at 6pm PST down at Rogers Arena, you can bet the Canucks will have their hands more than full.

Thursday, March 7th

On the other end of the spectrum, the Canucks play their final game in Edmonton this season at 6pm PST. The Oilers are 4-4-2 with a -30 goal differential. Not exactly the class of the league, but this is the time of year when you’re going to start hearing “they’re playing for pride” around teams in positions like this. Oh, and with their last win? They officially moved one spot ahead of Vancouver in the standings. Yikes.

The Last Word

This was an eventful week for the blue and green. The trade deadline saw two players leave who were both once seen as part of the future in Vancouver, and the last desperate gasp of whatever hope the Canucks had of making the playoffs disappeared with bad luck in Denver and poor play in Glendale.

What do you think the five best and five worst things to happen to the Canucks this past week were? How are your lists different from mine? What are you excited about for the upcoming week in Canucks Land? Which game are you looking forward to the most? Do you think there’s still a chance the team makes the playoffs, or are you ready to start plugging away at the NHL draft lottery simulator?

This series is for you guys first and foremost – if any of you have any ideas for things you’d like to see included in future editions of the Friday Rewind, please let me know in the comments, get at me on Twitter @KyleChaters, or use the hashtag #FridayRewind.

Constructive criticism and helpful suggestions will be appreciated! Everything else will be mercilessly ignored!

Have a great week, Canucks fans!

  • I am Ted

    It really blows that Edler wouldn’t waive. Canucks need more than just draft picks and players via the draft. Benning needed to add some young players and Edler could’ve brought in some good ones – especially when you look at what other players were going for. Mike Gillis just keeps on screwing over the Canucks, doesn’t he. Benning better watch out when it comes to giving out NTCs and NMCs – they seem to bite us in the arse more often than not.

    • Yeah he screwed the Canucks so hard when he signed the guy who has been the team’s most consistent defeseman for years to a five-year contract for below market value. What a disaster.

    • IF

      Dont put it all on Gillis or Benning. Ownership calls the shots and allowed Gillis to take shortcuts. Same owners refused to allow a proper rebuild and pushed for playoffs revenue instead over the first three years of Bennings mandate. Dont forget that Linden too was micromanaging decisions to retool on the fly.

  • Bud Poile

    Goldobin’s two-way game fostered Dahlen’s dismissal.
    Agree with the piling on Guddy childish fanatic act. Guddy’s playing 20:30 TOI and is 1-0-1 as a Penguin.
    Lind and Gadj have both surged in their roles since the Christmas break,as was explained by Ben Birnell,the Comet’s reporter that covers Utica for the Observer-Dispatch.

  • North Van Halen

    Saying the Canucks lost the Dahlen trade is ridiculous. It’s as ridiculous as those that whined about the Shinkaruk trade (my guess is Kyle was leader of that pack with his positive disposition). Vancouver, their scouts and management teams, both in Vancouver and Utica, have had most of a season to get a first hand read on Dahlen. I bet if they saw something special they would have held a little tighter. I mean, they shoulda taken Wise instead of Madden, right? These guys are terrible at amateur talent evaluation, while this author has watched hours of Karlsson and Dahlen so he knows better.
    Someone asked Pronman in his chat if Vancouver gave up on Dahlen too early, his quote “No. He’s nothing special.”
    Again, more conjecture passed as truth, weak.

  • North Van Halen

    Oh and none of the contracts you complain about will impede us from signing anyone moving forward and can’t we wait until Benning actually give Hughes game 10 and Edler the 3 year NMC contract before we whine about it like it’s fait accompli. No GM has been blamed for [email protected] he has done quite like Benning (and as is pointed out as often a possible above there’s more than enough real stuff to debate).

      • DogBreath

        …”it’s concerning in the wake of the Anton Rodin and Petrus Palmu situations”. Its not like the Canucks misplayed these two. Rodin didn’t crack the NHL and is playing in Europe. If we’re honest about Palmu, he’s a 7th round draft pick with many people ahead of him with a higher likely of making it. That said, we’ll watch Lind and Gadjovich’ development, though both have some serious deficiencies in their game they’ll need to overcome to make it.

  • Holly Wood

    Meanwhile Gudbranson was +3 in 20 minutes played last night vs Montreal. Never underestimate how the negativity the fan base and the media can effect individual players in this marketplace. I will always remember an assistant coach of a junior team who was an assistant editor of a newspaper telling me “ don’t get into a pi$$ing contest with a guy that buys ink by the barrel “ I am happy for Gudbranson that his family does not have to read or hear the $hit from this media market any longer.

    • liqueur des fenetres

      Gudbranson’s play appears to fit a “fresh start” narrative. Hopefully he can continue along this new path and not regress to what we saw, consistently, in Vancouver.

    • The “negativity” about Gudbranson is simply the truth. Gudbranson was terrible regardless of which set of measures you use: analytics or observation. If Gudbranson is doing better, that’s great for him but it doesn’t undo the fact that he made this team a lot worse while he was on the ice.

      Also note that Gudbranson is playing on a team that’s loaded with veteran superstars so you can’t really compare his statistics here vs. Pittsburgh.

      Moreover, if you watch the highlights from the Pittsburgh vs. Montreal game, you’ll see that Gudbranson had *nothing to do* with any of the Pittsburgh goals. Technically, he was on the ice but did not contribute to any of the scoring action.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    What’s with all the Benning hate on here?????

    Judging by all the thumbs down to posts that criticize the teams GM, one would think that quite a good section of the fanbase is totally fine with a GM who does the absolute bare minimum year in and year out and for whatever reason (bare minimum effort I suspect) just can’t seem to grasp the concept of draft picks equaling more chances of players that ‘hit’.

    Have a heart CA. Why beat a dead horse?

    Just be an optimistic millenial fan and roll with the terrible GM’ing and see where it takes you (psst, the answer is bottom 5 in almost every single quantifiable category).

    Thank you Jim Benning.

    • North Van Halen

      Let me lay it out for you and perhaps this fiction writer we have writing a blog.

      Benning has many faults and I haonestlt think he has no more til the d of next year here. Tere’s lots to debate on Benning, lack of desire to trade for draft picks, Guddy, Sutter,etc etc. We get it and we acknowledge his weaknesses, I even agree in many cases.
      What I will call out every time is writing fiction and call it fact. Unless Mr Chatters has a time machine,he has no idea who won the Dahlen trade, yet is first line is ‘The Canucks obviously lost this trade.’ The Canucks obviously did no such thing. This is straigh up bulls*#t. Straight up.
      He also whines about the contracts when most are front loaded making them easy to move at the end sn none will get in the way of signing our free agents or adding to the mix. He writes about the impending doom of the expansion draft like we’ve already given away Hutton and signed to Edler to 3 year full NMC. Finally his bs about Rodin, the same one Anaheim signed, cut and sent back to Europe like had Vancouver played it better he would be a meaningful piece right now. More straight up bs.
      This is the complaint of so many of us in the Smylosphere. Debate the moves he made, sure. Debate the tam he’s put together, the trades, he’s made, the picks he’s made.
      So much is fake, inferred, projected or straight lies it’s like reading Hannity. Stick to truth, we can debate, make up stuff and well Botchford’s band of idiots will love you but the rest of it will call buls*#t.

      • liqueur des fenetres

        Are you suggesting that Vancouver won the Dahlen trade? Or that it’s a wash even though one’s performance has exceeded the other’s over a fair list of comparables?

        • North Van Halen

          I’m saying we don’t know. How can you know? Has either played a single game in the NHL? We won’t know for about 3 – 5 years. Until then, you can’t form anything but an uninformed opinion unless you’ve watched both players play at least 5 times recently and have experience on what to judge. Then you can give a somewhat informed opinion which would still be a guess.
          Again, Cory Pronman, a guy who makes his living watching prospects, said Dahlen is nothing special. The Canucks have watched him up close and personal for the better part of a season and decided he wasn’t special. How do you, Kyle or anyone else know different? And to state as fact you know the outcome is the ultimate statement in arrogance and bs.

          • liqueur des fenetres

            By your logic why wait 3-5 years, and not a full 10-12 year career? There’s plenty of evidence right now that affirms that one player is more accomplished than the other even given the difference in age. Furthermore, that more accomplished player is alleged to have wanted out of the organization, thus typically weakening his trade value.

            This is a blog that provides entertainment and opinion for the purposes of discussion. I could care less about the particular trade, but based on the available evidence the author isn’t wrong to draw the conclusion he did. You know that Benning’s boss isn’t going to be waiting 3-5 years to pass judgement on moves he’s making today.

          • North Van Halen

            No there’s not. In 3-5 years we will know if both these guys have made the NHL. Right now, they are just prospects which develop differently. There’s more than a few scouts that think Dahlen isn’t a quality prospect, are you taking those opinions or just the negative ones?
            Last draft the Canucks were scorched for choosing Madden over Wise because Wise had those same better stats you speak of in this deal yet right now not one person on the planet would trade Madden for Wise.

            You can specualte, as in I think the Canucks lost this trade and will regret it then we can debate. To say the Canucks clearly lost this trade is something only an arrogant fool would say. That’s literally as dumb as saying Bernie Sanders will without a doubt win the 2020 election because he’s polling highest right now, you could be right but you’re just as likely to be wrong because none of know the future.

  • Mike Bossy

    Two things: I’ll readily admit that Gudbranson was a disappointment especially based on what we gave up for him in the original trade. Also, I’ve always defended the Canucks twitter/nation by claiming that outrageous tweets and comments don’t define us as there are always jerks and a-holes in every fan base.
    However, this Guddy bashing that I’ve witnessed for the last couple years have been insufferable. I truly hope that, away from the negative vibes here, he plays great in Pittsburgh and wins a Stanley Cup. #gudguy

  • Defenceman Factory

    I hope someone a CA could provide a couple clarifications around Hughes and potential Edler contract.

    If Hughes signs a contract this March how many games does he need to play before his contract can’t slide? I believe it is just one because he turns 20 in 2019. I can see a huge enticement to get Hughes out here now if it burns a year of his ELC. If it does just require one game to burn a year there is no valid reason to play him 10 games. If burning a year takes 10 games I can see Hughes and his agent pushing hard to get those games and burn the year.

    The article states that if a new Edler contract includes any type of trade protection he will have to be protected in the expansion draft. Is that statement correct? I believe it is only a full No Movement Clause, in effect at the time of the expansion draft, would require Edler to be protected. I don’t believe a No Trade Cause must be protected and certainly limited no trade clauses do not.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    “Personally, I think he’s a great fit with Pettersson and Boeser. ” You and everyone else with working eyesight. But apparently not our coach. Boeser moved to a line with Gaudette and Pearson today. Arrgghhh.
    Also, Botchford is a douche of a human being, and anything he writes or says should be taken for what it is. Immature nonsense. Dude actually believes that he is some kind of celebrity.

    • Defenceman Factory

      I don’t like or understand the constant line blending but I’m willing to consider the coaching staff may be looking at different things with an eye to next year. Seems pretty clear they are not all in on trying to make the playoffs.

      You get a cheers for your views on Botchford

  • Kanuckhotep

    To give you an idea of how tight this league is if the Canucks had won just one game every month so far this season they’d be solidly in a play off position right now. Who says there are mean- nothing games in this league. It’s become an 82 game playoff for everyone now and the Canucks may have to look at next year for the success everyone wants them to have.

  • DogBreath

    Nice summary. I’ll look forward to reading this weekly. I’m not a fan of how Vancouver fans (esp the media) treat underperforming players (ie, Gudbranson, Sbiza etc). I get the frustration if I felt players were mailing it in. Haven’t seen too much of that recently.

  • IF

    Not to worry Kyle. Why would you want to be the only writer on this site to meet an advertised deadline. Gosh. Thats so old school thinking. Just go with the flow man. Apologies to Comets Corry.