what are some scenarios where significantly overpaying for a marquee free agent might be worth the risk
— upper-middle class with blue collar affect guy (@funnierhandle) April 8, 2019
I would normally advise teams to shy away from signing free agents to expensive long-term deals, with two major exceptions. The first is if the player is an elite talent. Elite players rarely make it to market, and if you have the opportunity to get one without giving up anything but cap space you have to take it. The second exception would be if the player is young enough that you’re still paying for some of this best years.
Among this years crop of free agents, that means the big fish is Artemi Panarin. He’s a special talent, basically a lock to play on your first line, and a max contract will take him to the age of just 33. Unless he forgets how to play hockey or decides to stop giving a shit, there are very few downsides to giving him whatever kind of money he’s asking for. Jeff Skinner falls into this category as well, although he’s a bit riskier because he’s been less consistent offensively over the course of his career.
You could make a similar case for Matt Duchene, who’s still young at 27, and Erik Karlsson, who’s 28 but is the also probably the best defenseman of his generation. Whether or not those players make sense for the Canucks, whose best days are still probably two or three years away, when both players will be nearing or over 30, is debatable, but the talent level means you have to think about it.
Crazy theory: if there’s a big push to trade up for #1 overall, and the team has known there would be for a while, could it explain why they didn’t name Bo captain, since he’d likely be in the deal?
— Jyrki21 (@Jyrki21) April 8, 2019
I think that maybe you’re giving the front office a bit too much credit. That would be some 3D chess-manoeuvring from executives that struggle to play checkers at times. Having said that, it would make sense. Using Horvat as the centrepiece of a trade to get Jack Hughes is the most logical assumption if you think that trading for that pick is possible. I suppose it’s not out of the question that it may have something to do with the delay in making Horvat the captain.
What should we hope for in terms of an extension for Edler?.WAV
— moosekayak (@Moosekayak) April 8, 2019
I think you have to hope that he’s willing to either take a massive pay cut to get a third year or that he’s willing to take a high AAV to keep it down to two years. I’d be very surprised if he accepts a deal worth less than 4 million AAV, but maybe you can convince him to do two years at 5. He has all the leverage now. Anyone hoping for him to sign a sweetheart deal should be prepared to be disappointed.
What do you make of Aquilini's letter? As much as this is just a guess, my initial read on it is that he only wanted to see a rebuild after the Sedins left, and is committed it to doing it patiently, if not correctly.
— fire Benning and hire me (@RyanNorthPole) April 8, 2019
My read on the letter is what it’s been for the past few years when these letters go out, which is that fundamentally, he’s a real estate guy, but he thinks he can be a hockey guy, but isn’t really knowledgeable enough to pull it off. He speaks mostly in platitudes and repeats talking points that have been out in the media for months before those letters go out. I’m sure they’re mostly dictated by a publicist or a PR rep and he just signs off on them.
As far as the second part of the question goes, I don’t know if that’s the case and don’t particularly care. If the goal during the first few years of the Benning regime was to remain competitive while building for the future, they screwed it up the moment they took Jake Virtanen, who’s taken 5 years to develop into a 15-goal player, over Nikolaj Ehlers, a virtual plug-and-play winger who’s had three back-to-back 20+ goal seasons. I’m not going to relitigate the past five years, but the problem wasn’t just their goal, it was that they executed it poorly, too. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t know if that means they should get a Mulligan on four of the last five seasons.
assume the team's success next year directly correlates with how well benning and his team-building strategy is received/analyzed among fans and the media – how would you perceive a winning season and a cup run? anguish? something better?
— ryan (@verviticus) April 8, 2019
If the Canucks go on a sustainable run into the second round or better next season I will be as happy as anyone else. I want the team to do well and that desire overrides my admitted distaste for the teambuilding strategy the front office has utilized over the past 5 seasons. If, however, they go on a PDO bender and make a run deep into the playoffs while boasting terrible underlying numbers like the 2015 Calgary Flames or the 2017 Ottawa Senators, it will probably be more difficult to enjoy. Those teams both imploded. We all know what’s happened in Ottawa and even the powerhouse Flames had to undergo somewhat of a mini-rebuild before they could be what they are now. A deep run with their current roster and underlying numbers would probably set them back two years.
Where do you see Teves, Rafferty and Kielly next year? All in Utica?
— Steve Conelley (@steveconelley) April 7, 2019
Yes. I’d be very surprised if any of those players make the opening roster. Rafferty might get a couple of games if his season in Utica goes well and the team is hit with injuries, but that’s about it.
Our odds to get the 1st overall are slim. If the Avs win the lottery, and they come to the Canucks to reunite the Hughes brothers, do you trade him for the 15th and Cale Makar? Do they need to add more?
— Bruno Pereira (@madaherios) April 8, 2019
If any team has to add to that deal it’s the Canucks. I’m not entirely sure who comes out on top in a Makar-Hughes trade, but it’s probably the Canucks. If they offer you another first in addition to Makar you do it in a heartbeat.
Now that Quinn is here, who is the Canucks best prospect? Madden?
— Marcus (@marvmol) April 8, 2019
It’s probably still Olli Juolevi based on pedigree alone, but Jett Woo and Tyler Madden both have good cases. With Hughes now in the NHL, the prospect pool isn’t looking so hot.
Where should be the biggest focus on the off season. Who would be your target for # 9-12 ?
— Danno (@8danno4) April 7, 2019
I think the biggest focus should be on the defense. If Travis Green shuffles enough deck chairs in the middle six, he can probably squeeze a couple extra wins out of this team. That’s not really the case on defense. With Hughes now in the picture, they have three defenders who can confidently say belong in an NHL top-six, with the caveat that Edler could start a steep decline any day now. Ben Hutton flashes promise but is inconsistent and inching closer and closer to “he is what he is” territory, Chris Tanev is basically dying, and the Canucks number 6/7 slot is a revolving door of underachievers and also-rans. Without much coming down the pipeline, it needs to be significantly overhauled in the near future.
I’m leaning towards Matthew Boldy in that range but obviously it depends on who slides down the rankings.
What’s your bracket lookin like? I got a Flames vs Lightening rematch with Tampa taking it again
— JonO (@NuckMyLife88) April 7, 2019
Here it is, in all it’s glory:
The final results shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, but you can’t get there without a few surprises along the way, so I did my best to make a couple of educated guesses about where upsets might occur. The Carolina Hurricanes bumping off the defending champs in 7 games is the most obvious surprise, but I think there’s a case to be made it could happen. The Hurricanes are the NHL’s second-best team by shot metrics and have the potential to be a real nuisance in a 7-game series, especially against a Capitals team whose underlying numbers suggest they’re far from invincible. The West was more difficult for me. There are a lot of really great teams, so most of the series came down to goaltending. The San Jose Sharks might be the best team in the league but their goaltending has a good chance to be their undoing almost immediately. A lot of pundits have the Flames going to the final, but they have questions in net, too, so I have the Golden Knights ousting them in round 2. In the end, I picked the team with the best combination of talent, depth, and goaltending to come out of the West, which for me is still the Jets.
And obviously, I have the Lightning winning the Cup because they have the best roster. That doesn’t always matter but it would be foolish to bet against them.
Which teams' union reps (including alts) have the best WAR? https://t.co/i5YFUoQNwX
— Commie Dearest (@tech_outsider) April 9, 2019
It’s probably Calgary. Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund are both great players and every other team doesn’t really have that kind of talent distribution between the Rep and the Alternate Rep. Minnesota gives them a run for their money because the rep is a goalie (Devan Dubnyk), and they tend to have a higher impact on WAR due to the fact that they play full games. Their alternate rep is Ryan Suter, though, and WAR models tend to view him, rightly or wrongly, as just okay, so the Flames edge out the Wild.
If canucks have the second overall pick (Kakko), would u trade 2nd OA + 2019 second rounder + others to get 1st OA? What does it take to move from 2nd to 1st, also from 3rd to 1st…actually no, we’re never getting a top three pick, who we kidding 🤦♂️
— jwu (@honeyribss) April 8, 2019
I wouldn’t move the second overall pick to trade up and get Jack Hughes unless the deal was particularly favourable for the Canucks. If all it takes is an extra pick or two or a roster player that isn’t going to factor into the team’s future, then fine. Otherwise I’ll happily take Kakko as a consolation prize. Hughes is the better prospect, but not by so much that adding assets in addition to Kakko to get him would be worth it.
as a followup, if this held true and you could unilaterally pick their final record, what would you choose as the best result
— ryan (@verviticus) April 8, 2019
I think I would pick them finishing at the lowest possible place in the standings without one of the core four players taking a major step back or suffering a serious injury. They’re still very far away from being an elite team, and the quicker the ownership and front office realizes that the better off the team will be. I would say the best place for them to finish would be 31st, but realistically that can’t happen if Pettersson, Boeser, Horvat, and Hughes all play at the level they’re capable of, so I’ll say the best place for them to finish would be 25th, just below where they finished this year. That would force Francesco Aquilini to acknowledge that they need more talent on defense and in the middle-six without requiring a major step back from any of the core building block players.