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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

The Offseason Odds Of Various Canucks Hitting The Trade Market

As it always is when the offseason rolls around, the talk has turned to the two big summer events on the yearly hockey calendar—the NHL Entry Draft and the annual Free Agent Frenzy of July 1. While both of these events will likely have an impact on the roster of the Vancouver Canucks going forward—for better or for worse—there’s one other aspect of player management that doesn’t get as much play in the offseason—the Trade Market.

This special offseason edition of the Trade Market, we’re assessing the likelihood of various members of the organization being shopped around at some point in the summer of 2019. GM Jim Benning obviously has his work cut out for him in order to turn this squad into a playoff contender, but the ever-cruel draft lottery and the perilous waters of free agency might not offer as much help as one might hope.

The Canucks’ roster needs upgrades, and one of the ways they can achieve that is through trade. However, one has to give to get when exchanging assets and—given the organization’s reluctance to part with picks and prospects at this stage—that means that at least some current Canucks will be packing up and moving on shortly. Below, we’ll try to gauge who is most likely to be traded.

Likely To Move

Ryan Spooner

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Remaining Contract
2018/19 27 42 3 6 9 One year at $4 mil

Spooner finished his Canuck season with just four points in 11 games—far from astonishing numbers. However, he also maintained a spot in the lineup for the last five games of the year while more promising players—like Nikolay Goldobin—sat in the pressbox.

This suggests that the Canucks were showcasing Spooner for a potential trade in the offseason. While Spooner likely didn’t impress anyone with the one assist he notched across those five games, he still has enough of a pedigree that a team could be feasibly interested in him—if the Canucks are willing to retain him to the maximum amount. Any return would be worth it for a player who clearly doesn’t fit in Vancouver.

 

Markus Granlund

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Remaining Contract
2018/19 25 77 12 10 22 RFA w/ $1.475 mil qualifying offer

The Canucks could cut ties with Granlund by simply not qualifying his contract and allowing him to reach unrestricted free agency—but if they feel there’s a market for him, they should take a different route. By qualifying Granlund and then trading him as an unsigned RFA, the Canucks would avoid giving away a useful role player for nothing.

Granlund is still versatile enough to hold down a roster spot somewhere in the NHL, but the Canucks need to start clearing space for incoming young forwards—and large contracts like those belonging to Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel aren’t going anywhere. Granlund could be a casualty of roster space this offseason.

 

Brandon Sutter

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Remaining Contract
2018/19 30 26 4 2 6 Two years at $4.375 mil

Sutter has been high on the list of players that the fans want moved for a couple of seasons now—but this might be the first offseason in which he’s a legitimate contender to be traded. Sutter’s role in the lineup was firmly usurped by Adam Gaudette during 2018/19—though Sutter’s multitude of injuries certainly didn’t help matters.

As unproductive, injury-prone, and old as Sutter is now, Vancouver probably can’t count on much of a market for him. However, by retaining on his remaining two years of salary they could recoup some sort of pick-based return for him—without messing up the future salary structure of the team past 2021.

 

Could Move

Ben Hutton

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Contract
2018/19 25 69 5 15 20 RFA w/ $2.8 mil qualifying offer

Hutton had a great bounceback campaign in 2018/19, and thus there are two camps to choose from in regard to his future with the organization. There are those who believe that this is as good as it gets for Hutton, and that he should be moved while his value is high. Others believe that this season was indicative of Hutton’s arrival as a legitimate top-four option, and that the team should hold on to him for the time being.

Hutton may find himself the victim of a roster crunch if Alex Edler re-signs—with Quinn Hughes, Olli Juolevi, Josh Teves, Guillaume Brisebois, and Ashton Sautner all breathing down his neck on the left-side. It’s entirely feasible that Hutton isn’t traded during the offseason, but is moved in the opening stages of 2019/20—after one or more of the younger LHDs beat him out in training camp.

 

Nikolay Goldobin

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Remaining Contract
2018/19 23 63 7 20 27 RFA w/ $874K qualifying offer

There are those who believe that Goldobin’s time with the Canucks has already reached its end—but they don’t include Goldobin himself or his agent, Igor Larionov. Goldobin had a dreadful end to the season and found himself benched from March 24 onward—but that isn’t necessarily a sign that the organization is ready to part ways with him.

If Jim Benning was truly planning on shopping Goldobin around during the offseason, one would have expected him to demand that Travis Green showcase the player a bit more as the games became meaningless. Instead, Goldobin sat in the pressbox while Ryan Spooner took regular shifts—which suggests that the team plans on having Goldobin work on his game moving forward, with an eye on him returning to the lineup in 2019/20. Moving him now would be poor asset management.

 

Chris Tanev

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Remaining Contract
2018/19 29 55 2 10 12 One year at $4.45 mil

Tanev has been on the trading block for centuries it seems, but his time with the Vancouver organization is likely to reach its end in 2019/20. That being said, his departure is more likely to come at the 2020 Trade Deadline than it is during the offseason.

As it stands, a healthy Tanev represents the best possible defense partner for Quinn Hughes next season—his improbable chemistry with Luke Schenn aside. After a poor season that was even more injury-riddled than usual, Tanev’s value is at an all-time low—so the smart play is to hope he rebounds alongside Hughes and then deal him at the deadline to a contender.

 

Longshots To Move

Sven Baertschi

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Remaining Contract
2018/19 26 26 9 5 14 Two years at $3.37 mil

The Canucks have a surplus of middle-six wingers, and Baertschi might be the best of them. Unfortunately, he’s also the biggest question mark due to his troubling history of head injuries. As such, it’s difficult to assess his future with the organization.

When he’s in the lineup, Baertschi scores at the low-end of top-line production—and so the Canucks are probably perfectly happy to hold on to him. However, if another team blows Jim Benning out of the water with an offer for Baertschi, there are ample replacements available. The Canucks will only move him if someone makes it worth their while.

 

Tanner Pearson

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Remaining Contract
2018/19 26 80 18 9 27 Two years at $3.75 mil

When Pearson was first acquired in exchange for Erik Gudbranson he was seen as little more than a cap dump—one of the few players on a contract as onerous as Gudbranson’s that was available for trade. To say that Pearson—who has scored near a 40-goal pace as a Canuck—has been a revelation since then is an understatement. Jim Benning probably isn’t all that eager to move on from his latest coup.

However, there is something to the notion of “selling high” with Pearson. Anyone expecting him to maintain his current pace will almost certainly be disappointed, and it’s important to remember that his inconsistency was once such an issue that he was literally traded for Erik Gudbranson. There’s a lot of potential for Pearson’s production to come crashing down to earth in 2019/20—and if the Canucks do decide to move a middle-six winger in the summer, Pearson might recoup the greatest return.

 

Josh Leivo

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Remaining Contract
2018/19 25 76 14 10 24 RFA w/ $971K qualifying offer

Leivo seemed to secure a semi-permanent spot in the lineup after being acquired by the Maple Leafs—but life in the NHL for a middle-six winger is always tentative. Leivo went ice-cold in the stretch-run, but he showed more than enough skill throughout the season for another team to give him a shot on their roster, should the Canucks be inclined to move him.

The Canucks will have to qualify Leivo’s contract to retain his rights, but they’d be foolish not to. At best, Leivo remains a middle-six option for the Canucks with some established chemistry with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser. At worst, he gets pushed out of the lineup by others and traded—but that wouldn’t happen until mid-season at the earliest.

 

Tim Schaller

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Remaining Contract
2018/19 28 47 3 7 10 One year at $1.9 mil

The Canucks would probably love to move Schaller this offseason—and Schaller himself might be eager to leave after a year in which he spent much of his time in the pressbox. Unfortunately, with one year remaining on his $1.9 million salary, there’s unlikely much of a market for the embattled winger.

Schaller’s play did level out a bit at the tail-end of the season, but he still finished with just ten points—so expecting another team to pick him up without significant salary retention is probably a bridge too far at this point.

 

Loui Eriksson

  Age Games Goals Assists Points Remaining Contract
2018/19 33 81 11 18 29 Three years at $6 mil

If the Canucks can find a taker for Eriksson, they should first pinch themselves to ensure they’re not dreaming—and then phone the league office immediately to push the transaction through. Back in the real world, however, we’re left with Eriksson’s three remaining years at $6 million salary—easily one of the least movable contracts in the league.

As it stands, the Canucks don’t have a hope in hell of trading Eriksson without maximum retention or significant assets attached—and likely both. The safer and more likely play is to hang onto Eriksson for the time being and see if the new CBA mercifully includes a compliance buyout or two.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    I think Canucks should consider trading Jake Virtannen too. I think he is getting into “he is what he is” territory. I don’t see too much more upside from him.

      • Goon

        Maybe he’ll score 25 at 25, and be a completely useless anchor by 29, like Lucic.

        The overwhelming majority of players don’t follow the career paths of Lucic or of Bertuzzi. They’re memorable outliers. Betting on Virtanen to be the next Bertuzzi is not really a good bet.

        That doesn’t mean the Canucks should definitely move him. Virtanen is a useful player. He’s fun, he can chip in some offense, he holds the puck well and tilts the ice in the right direction. You want players like that… unless someone else is betting on him becoming the next Bertuzzi and is willing to overpay for him.

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Can’t argue with that logic. Anytime another team is willing to overpay for a guy, trade him. Like Tanev. Except that was 2 years ago, and they didn’t trade him.

        • B_Rad77

          Don Taylor compared Virtanen to a Josh Anderson. Same size and skill set and 2 years older than Virtanen. Anderson is having a career year at 24. Its too early to give up on Virtanen. There is still time to develop. I agree, We should hang onto Virtanen

        • I think goals alone is a poor way to evaluate Virtanen. I think a better way is to judge how he can influence a game by hitting. If we are comparing him to Bertuzzi, Virtanen has hit statistics that are already 50% better than Bertuzzi in his prime. We need Virtanen to score but accepting sub-20 goal seasons can be acceptable if he can be an agitator that can throw momentum-changing hits on a nightly basis.

        • TD

          The difference between Lucic and Virtanen is the skating. Virtanen can flat out fly, which is where the NHL is going. It’s why Lucic became so ineffective. That said, Virtanen has a long way to go to match Lucic’s best years.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    The Tanev situation exemplifies the bad side of Bennings asset management “strategy”. Could have had a 1st round pick from Toronto 2 years ago, now he’s a worn out bag of bones worth maybe a 3rd or 4th. Schaller and Spooner need to go on waivers and hope some team bites. The return for either in a trade would be negligible.

      • TonyBeets

        Yeah, ok. I am currently enjoying watching top quality playoff hockey. My team the Vanciuver Canucks are not a part of it. This makes four years straight, the worst non-playoff run in team history. Discuss.

          • Goon

            Most players start to see their play decline in their late-20s and early-30s. This is a well documented fact. Giordano is a freak of nature and an exception to the norm.

            No one claimed Tanev was injury-prone due to his age. The claim is that Tanev is declining due to a combination of age and injuries.

          • LTFan

            Bud – You are right, it is the shot blocking that is causing the many injuries – especially to Tanev. Somehow he has to be less agressive with the shot blocking and hopefully less serious injuries.

        • Cageyvet

          Yes he has, but if you trade him after a decent run of health (fingers crossed) he should get more than a 3rd or 4th. He’s an established player who has consistently played in the top 4. 3rd and 4th rounders are medium to long-shots to even make the league. There’s no way I’m trading Tanev, who plays our weakest depth position, for a 3rd round pick.

    • Goon

      Schaller’s cap hit can mostly be buried in the minors, but the team would still be on the hook for $3 million for Spooner against the cap. You might not get much for trading Spooner while retaining salary, but at least you’d get some cap relief.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    My problem is that Benning holds on to assets to the point that they lose all value. He could have traded Tanev a few years back and got at least a first rounder, but now Tanev has no trade value. Same with Gubrandson, instead of trading him earlier and getting a good return, he doubled down and signed him for another three years. That Benning managed to get Pearson, who actually produced points, is simply a lucky miracle. I’ll be really pissed if he signs Edler and gives him a no trade clause. Edler does not want to play anywhere else, so he isn’t going to threaten to leave if he doesn’t get a no trade clause. I hope Benning has the sense to make sure Edler is a tradable asset on a 2-3 year contract.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Said it before, and I’ll say it again here. Edlers bounce back year coincidentally aligned with his contract expiring.
      Nothing motivates an NHL player like becoming a UFA. Benning needs to very careful with this deal, cause if we get the Edler of the 2 previous seasons, it will cost him his job.

    • My problem is that Benning holds on to assets to the point that they lose all value.

      In classic economics, there are two types of value: use and exchange. If we use this paradigm, yes, Benning hasn’t capitalized on exchange value. But how about use value? If we traded Tanev, we would have brought in an inferior defender. In that respect, the team loses use value in the short term for sure in exchange for “potential” use value in the long term in the form of prospects and draft picks. Benning chose to retain use value to maintain the current roster, especially since RHD is the weakest position in the pipeline.

      To use a hyperbolic counter-example, if Pettersson wins the Calder, we should trade him for draft picks and prospects. He only cost us a #5 pick so if we get another #5 draft pick plus anything else (e.g. 7th rounder), technically we’re ahead, yes? No, because it doesn’t consider the (use) value that Pettersson brings us now as an emerging superstar. His use value on the roster far outweighs what anyone could give to us.

      I would also add that drafting a RHD replacement using a 1st rounder for Tanev would be terrible because then you are drafting by position rather than best-player-available philosophy. This is position is antithetical to the whole argument for trading Tanev because then the TeamTradeTanev would potentially lose value on the draft pick if a RHD is not the BPA at that draft spot.

      • Beer Can Boyd

        Uh, whatever. All I know is that the Canucks had a defenseman on a rebuilding team, who’s play was clearly showing signs of decline, and a contending team was offering a first round pick for him. Now its 2 years later, the same defensemans play has clearly slipped another few notches, and his only real value now is as a teaching aid for Quinn Hughes. Which Schenn did last year for $850 K. Benning should have pulled the trigger.

      • Goon

        Not sure how you can defend “use value” here when the Canucks have been one of the worst teams in the league over the past four seasons. They’re clearly not getting very much value out of 40-50 games of Chris Tanev.

        The argument many of us were making to trade Chris Tanev two years ago was that the Canucks were going to be bad for the next couple of seasons with or without Tanev, and by the time they were going to be good again, Tanev would be over 30 and, with his history of injuries, would likely not be a significant contributor.

        That’s exactly what’s happened. Tanev has been regularly injured, has seen his on-ice results fall off dramatically, no longer holds the trade value *or* value to the Canucks he once did, and what did the Canucks get by holding on to him? Four points in the standings in years where they finished between 23rd and 28th in the league anyway? Who cares!

        Your comparison with Pettersson isn’t a valid one because the goal is for the team to be competitive while Pettersson is in his prime. Any reasonable person could see, two years ago, that that wasn’t going to happen with Tanev, and it didn’t.

          • Cageyvet

            I understand Tanev’s value to our team as much as anyone, but I was more than willing to trade him 2 years ago if a 1st rounder was on the table.

            Sure, the D would have taken a hit, but we play half the games without him anyway. Also, at that time the forward group included Chaput, Megna, etc. In other words, how much crappier could the present have gotten back then? There wasn’t much further to fall we were so bad, and another future building block would have been welcome.

            Nobody is wrong to say that his value has declined, so we won’t be selling high. With an improving team and a still-thin defense, he’s probably even more valuable to keep, as the return won’t be good enough to replace him long-term. I’d say hindsight is 20-20, except many of the posters here, including me, were OK to trade him back then for the right return, so this is not revisionist history.

          • I’d say hindsight is 20-20, except many of the posters here, including me, were OK to trade him back then for the right return, so this is not revisionist history.

            Perhaps you could consider trading him for a 1st rounder but the “Trade Tanev” team treat this mythical 1st round draft pick offer like it is a fact. Right now, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that Tanev would have garnered a 1st round pick.

  • Fred-65

    Good article in as much as it concentrates the mind of where we are and how far we are away with this roster
    Something similar over on the competing web site which points out the progress over the last 4 years with a compilation of the teams league success:-

    2015-16: 31-38-13, .378%
    2016-17: 30-43-9, .365%
    2017-18: 31-40-11, .378%
    2018-19: 35-36-11, .426%

    Remarkable consistent of below average, a little bump this year with the arrival of Pettersson but that’s about it! This surely tells us that change is a must not an option. There is deadwood here and we can’t be too inward looking with attachment to the current roster. The question is how do we do that. Many of the options laid out are not realistic frankly because I have doubts any one wants the players we want to move. They have all shown they struggle in one way of another and likely paid more than they’re worth (the result of being on the West Coast and a poor team combination ? ) Falling in the draft IMO is a big issue for Vcr they can’t keep giving energy to other clubs. Travel is yet another issue that needs more attention and frankly, I don’t like our chances with the Rocket Scientists we employ. All in all, it seems to point to the need for a major change up in the club. If it doesn’t come this year then next is a foregone conclusion IMHO

  • Killer Marmot

    The Canucks would probably love to move Schaller this offseason—and Schaller himself might be eager to leave after a year in which he spent much of his time in the pressbox.

    If his play doesn’t improve, the Canucks are probably happy keeping Schaller in the press box or on the farm. Schaller’s overpaid, but that’s the owners’ problem. Benning may like the idea of having an experienced call-up without having to be concerned that Schaller will get claimed on waivers.

  • Bud Poile

    With but ten weeks remaining until the 2019 draft and Vancouver holding that draft it is conceivable that mgmt. will attempt to move players for picks and/or trades before that date.
    Spooner and a LHD are superfluous but trading low on Sutter,Tanev,Schaller or Baertschi seems counterproductive.
    This piece was well thought out and presented nicely.

    • Goon

      This management group has entered a draft with surplus picks a grand total of one time (2017, eight picks total, with two second round picks). They had seven picks in 2014 (two firsts, no fourth) and 2015 (no second, two fifths) and six in 2016 (no second, no fourth, two sevenths) and 2018 (no fourth).

      Expecting this management group to enter a draft with a surplus of picks is foolish.

  • North Van Halen

    Sven’s going nowhere, I doubt you get 50 cents on the dollar until he plays 40 games without any setbacks and a healthy Baer is miles better than any current option. Goldie is likely back too, he’s on the Hutton program where his value to the team if he commits this off season far exceeds his current value.
    The rest are all expendable but fall into 3 categories: intriguing but expendable (Hutton, Pearson & Leivo), expendable but devalued due to injury (Sutter & Tanev) & completely expendable (Granlund, Spooner, Schaller & Ericksson).
    I think Hutton’s days may be numbered here, he’s definitely a capable NHL dman so the return would have to be decent. Pearson & Leivo both look like solid middle 6 forwards moving forward so they would also require something of value be offered or there’s no need to move them.
    Sutter & Tanev’s injuries have clearly devalued them. Although moving on from them seems inevitable at this point, deciding whether to get what you can for them now, or seeing if a healthy couple of months to start the season gives their value a boost is a tough call. If I was a betting man (and I am) I would guess Sutter moves at the draft and Tanev at the deadline but I can see a scenario where Sutter starts the season and is traded once he proves his health.
    The rest are all expendable but that doesn’t mean you need to get rid of them just to get rid of them. The reason to jettison guys like Spooner, Schaller & Granlund is if A) you are in salary cap trouble B) they are attitude problems or c) you get an offer worth moving them
    The Canuck should have more than enough cap space, if no one wants to offer you anything for Granlund/Spooner/Schaller they can all play in the minors if there are better internal options. Letting Gralund walk makes no sense, he’s just too useful as cheap depth. Ericksson wouldn’t move until his roster bonus is paid July 1 and he only has $9mil in real money left. I actually think he’ll get moved after next July 1 when he has only $4mil and 2 years left cuz the structure of his deal makes him easier to move with time.

  • Locust

    “while more promising players—like Nikolay Goldobin—sat in the pressbox.” – Promising…? Hardly. Cant reward lazy, soft play.
    The ONLY way Goldy ever suits up for the Canucks again is if he does a Hutton and comes back in top shape with a completely different attitude. Skill is nothing without commitment and heart.

  • Hockey Bunker

    Maybe they can package up two or three to get one it two back. Targeting teams which fail in the playoffs, which is 15 out of 16 who want to win now and package together at they need. After playoffs teams often look to strengthen the defensive side of the game and jettison an offensive player who disappointed. That’s the opportunity to package Sutter and Tanev for a top 6 forward.

  • Killer Marmot

    Granlund is still versatile enough to hold down a roster spot somewhere in the NHL, but the Canucks need to start clearing space for incoming young forwards

    Like who? I don’t see any forwards in the minor who are screaming to be brought up. A few “maybes” like MacEwen, but he’s marginal enough that the Canucks would likely prefer to use him as a call-up player, and make permanent room for him only after he shows he belongs in the NHL.

    Benning seems like a cautious manager, not the type to count his chickens before they hatch. I think he’ll keep Granlund until he absolutely needs that roster position.

    • Dirk22

      No one is more adamant about clinging to (below) mediocrity than Killer Marmot. If the team’s going to get better there needs to be changes, no? Surely you’re not running out all of: Sutter, Granlund, Beagle, Leivo, Eriksson, Schaller again next year as the make-up of your bottom 6?!

        • Dirk22

          Forever – since he’s an RFA you don’t need to trade him. You could simply let him walk and the team will be fine.

          Who replaces him? Tough to say but there’s options:
          – target another RFA with an offer sheet
          – sign a better free agent – lots of forwards out there
          – make a trade by taking on a salary dump along with a more productive player
          – call up someone like MacEwen – you sent a list of all these good NHL prospects the other day – can none of them play?

          There’s millions of dollars being put into making these decisions. Surely they can come up with something better than what the bottom-6 has been for the last 5 seasons.

          • Dirk22

            Forever – you know what? I ran through every single possible trade scenario, free agent signing, offer sheet etc. and couldn’t find any way to improve the Canucks bottom six. I’ll for sure stop complaining as I now know it’s an impossible task.

          • Dirk22: Again, you’re being evasive. You’re saying that *anything* is better than the status quo without really committing to a tangible alternative. By listing so many options (without specifics), you are implying that *anything* is feasible without constraints and is *automatically* a better option. That’s still not constructive, that’s just impotent complaining.

            Let’s break down some of your options:

            – Offer Sheet: Who do you offer sheet? Are you overpaying? How does this damage your relationship with other GM’s and can you expect retaliation to drive up your salary? Moreover, offer sheets cost high draft picks that TeamTank covets so much and has criticized Benning for giving away. I would never do an offer sheet – it costs too much in terms of draft picks and social capital with other GM’s.

            – Better UFA: Who? You realize that you’re going to overpay on a UFA because of the way how restricted free agency happens. Moreover, UFA status kicks in a 7 seasons or age 27 so that means you sign a guy that’s outside of TeamTank’s core age framework. Unless you overpay, you’re only going to attract “bargain bin” players (exactly the type of player that TeamTank would sign) and how exactly does that make the team better? See the contradiction in TeamTank’s UFA strategy? Building your team through UFA is a terrible idea unless you can lock down a *franchise* player like Erik Karlsson without screwing up your future. (In the case of Karlsson, he solves a massive problem in the RHD prospect pipeline and is worth the money. If Woo was ready to step up next year, I wouldn’t pursue Karlsson.) I support Benning’s development of a strong prospect pipeline that will make UFA signings mostly redundant.

            – Salary Dump: A lot of salary dumps were done before the Vegas expansion draft. Salary dumps also don’t get you as much as you think. I think the Teravainen/Bickell trade was a great move by Carolina but it still cost them a 2nd and 3rd round pick. Chakya *paid* Detroit for Datsyuk with a 2nd round pick and few draft spots in 2016. Bolland/Crouse also cost a 2nd and 3rd and Crouse was suspect prospect even before the draft. So who do you target and what does it cost? I don’t see any real opportunities.

            – Call-up: Granlund needs to defend his roster spot every training camp. That will happen. But you don’t gift that spot. I’ve said many times before that *once* Benning’s draft picks are ready to take a roster spot, he can finally trade any stop-gap players (like Granlund) for draft picks. But *only* when those prospects are ready to step up. In my mind, Granlund has been pushed to the 4th line by Boeser, Leivo, Virtanen, Baertschi, Pearson and Roussel but he’s still worth keeping because Granlund can do anything (not well but his utility cannot be understated).

          • Dirk22

            Negative personal remark! Give me a break – because I said he supports mediocrity? He does! He consistently defends the players on this team as if they couldn’t be replaced by better ones. You’re doing the same thing here making it seem as though replacing these players is harder than harnessing power from fusion – it’s insanity.

            Here’s one of Killer Marmot’s posts from 2 days ago. This seems a bit more like a personal remark doesn’t it?

            Killer Marmot: “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Printing excerpts — not even the full comments — from a discussion from another site? What do you expect to achieve from that? I rarely call others names, you are an ass of the first order.”

            https://canucksarmy.com/2019/04/10/ashton-sautner-played-17-nhl-games-this-season-what-did-it-take-for-him-to-get-to-that-point/#comments

            But I’ll play your game since and give you a hypothetical roster of forwards for next year – it’s 3 additions…lots of tough contracts to delete but here goes:

            1st line – Baertchi- Pettersson – Boeser
            2nd line – Lee (FA) – Horvat – Kapanen (offer him $4 – Leafs will have trouble matching – it’s a second rounder)
            3rd line – Pearson – Hayes (FA) – Virtanen
            4th line – Roussel – Gaudette – Leivo

            extras – Beagle, Goldobin, Motte

            Find ways to offload – Eriksson, Sutter, Spooner, Schaller
            Don’t resign – Granlund

          • Killer Marmot

            It’s rarely a good idea to not re-sign an NHL-quality restricted free agent. Better to sign him and then trade him, or trade him before July 1. An NHL club has rights on a restricted free agent that other teams do not, and that has value that shouldn’t be wasted.

          • Ragnarok Ouroboros

            Offer sheet won’t happen. There is basically a gentlemen’s agreement between the GMs to not use Offer sheets. If you see an offer sheet it’s because one GM is trying to screw over another GM, and that sort of behavior does not go over well with the other GM’s.

          • Dirk22

            a) I don’t know? They’re bad deals so it would be really challenging. I think what you’re trying to say is that Benning has put them in a contract crunch whereby he’s created unmoveable players that are preventing the team from getting better? That sound right? I was told many times on here that these veteran deals he handed out wouldn’t matter.

            b) soon I’m going to send out a full memo outlining what team Tank is because you still are off the mark. The Canucks will have had four successive top-10 picks after this draft. Although the balls haven’t fallen the Canucks way that’s pretty good work – if you had asked team Tank back in 2016 what they would say to 4 straight I think they would be happy. Team Tank does actually want the Canucks to be good though – this is a time when people are going to actually start supplementing these high picks with good players. As long as Granlund, Motte, Eriksson, Sutter and Beagle are in the bottom 6 together you will see Team Tank endure because they know that bottoming out is the best thing for the franchise.

            Is right now the ideal time to be pursuing free agents? Not exactly – ideally they could probably use another year bottoming out – ideally they would have stockpiled picks over the last 4 drafts and had a wave of players ready to occupy some roles. A slow play may be the absolute best option and if that were/is the case I would be back on TeamTank hoping for another pick. All of that being said, you know Benning is going to be spending money this summer – it’s inevitable. Last year he gave 4 year deals to 2 30+ year olds. As long as he’s giving out money let’s get some players that are actually going to support the young core. As far as $ goes, those guys will cost a lot, no doubt, but that group of forwards would be legitimately good.

            c) this is not even worth replying to – if the Canucks were to get a player like Kapanen through these means then I think they will survive not being able to trade for a ‘‘Leivo”.

            Alright you’re up – let’s se your ideal forward line-up going into next year.

          • No one is more adamant about clinging to (below) mediocrity than Killer Marmot. If the team’s going to get better there needs to be changes, no? Surely you’re not running out all of: Sutter, Granlund, Beagle, Leivo, Eriksson, Schaller again next year as the make-up of your bottom 6?!

            You’ve [Killer Marmot] consistently defended the likes of Sutter, Beagle, Motte, Schaller and Granlund whenever anyone has criticized how management has crafted together this collection of bottom six players. If you continue to run out this sort of bottom six, you’re going to end up with the same results…

            I [Dirk22] ran through every single possible trade scenario, free agent signing, offer sheet etc. and couldn’t find any way to improve the Canucks bottom six. I’ll for sure stop complaining as I now know it’s an impossible task.

            Dirk22: See, another example of you being evasive. You criticize Killer Marmot and have the gall to make a negative personal remark (ad hominem fallacy) and when pressed again for something constructive, you reply yet again with sarcastic hyperbole rather than something tangible. Well done, representing TeamTank and its values. It really would be great if you stopped complaining until you can replace it with something meaningful and stop insulting other commenters.

          • Dirk22: Well, there you go. That wasn’t so hard? To give a concrete response instead of vague, condescending response? So based on your response, I have the following questions? You can choose to ignore them but by doing so, it only shows that you can’t defend your ideas.

            a) How exactly do you “offload” Sutter, Eriksson, Spooner, and Schaller? Spooner already passed waivers without a claim. Eriksson is still has a NTC this offseason. Sutter has been so injured much, his value is diminished. Schaller was overpaid by Benning. Not to say that none of these players can’t be moved but your response of “just offload them!” is again, TeamTank-vague. Burying and buying out these players won’t create the cap space needed for your next three moves.

            b) Hayes earned $5.2M and Lee earned $5M this year. As UFA’s, you can expect them to get paid more than their RFA salaries. What exactly are you expecting to pay for each? And how can you justify overpaying a 26 year old and a 28 year old for a team in rebuild? Because I clearly understand that “what you mean when you say tank” means signing only bargain bin players unless there is a player who can be a significant piece of the future. Perfect example of TeamTank contradiction: You slam Benning for trying to ice a competitive team and then immediately do exactly what Benning was doing but in a worst way – overpaying for UFA’s who are even older than the players Benning was trying to acquire during the retool who will only make the team better, not to tank.

            c) I suppose we can only agree to disagree about offer sheets but by offer sheeting Kapanen, you essentially screw over Dubas. Any future trades like the Carcone-Leivo trade are essentially dead now that you’ve burned that bridge and now you have a bad reputation with the other anti-offer sheet GM’s. Response?

          • DogBreath

            Tip of the hat to you Dirk, I don’t think the line-up you’ve suggested is too much of a stretch. Though I suspect the $$ laid out to sign the UFA’s and get Kapanen will have longer term salary implications even with the dumping of some of the current contracts.

          • Dirk22: Here is a line-up I’ve sketched out:

            Baertschi-Petersson-Boeser
            Pearson-Horvat-Sutter
            Roussel-Gaudette-Virtanen
            Motte-Beagle-Leivo

            Spares: Granlund, Eriksson, MacEwen

            Out: Spooner, Schaller, Goldobin

            1 – In my mind, Baertschi is a Top 6 LW now. I’m assuming he recovers adequately from the concussion and does not get injured again. However, when he does, one of the LW shifts up (Roussel or Leivo) and Granlund gets inserted in the bottom 6.

            2 – Pearson and Horvat have chemistry like Baertschi-Horvat. I’d try adding Sutter as the RW as a physical, north-side shooter that can take a load off Horvat on face-offs.

            3 – Roussel-Gaudette-Virtanen attempt to add grinding secondary scoring. The idea is that Roussel rubs off on Gaudette and Virtanen who are physical players.

            4 – Unless MacEwen can knock off Beagle, this is the “what’s left” line. Unfortunately, Leivo hasn’t proven that he’s Top 6 but he is a Top 9 forward. Adding that kind of skill to a 4th line is good, I’d roll all four lines more evenly.

            Spares: Granlund is my utility guy, I cycle him through with bottom 6 guys like Leivo, Virtanen or Motte. Eriksson hasn’t earned a spot on the roster but is too expensive to bury outright – I’d cycle him in and out of the roster to keep him playing and see if I could swing a trade with retained salary. MacEwen is my longshot to make the team out of training camp.

            Out: Spooner, Schaller, Goldobin. I think Spooner and Schaller are waiver wire fodder to be buried in Utica unless they earn a spot out of a training camp. Goldobin has some trade value as a reclamation project – if Pouliot can get a 4th, Goldobin should be worth around that or more if you’re a Goldobin cheerleader.

            I like the addition of Leivo and Pearson last year. Gaudette needs more ice-time than 11 minutes TOI. Removing Goldobin and Eriksson is addition by subtraction. Having Baertschi being healthy for more than 26 games adds a scoring winger that Benning needs. I think the roster should be given another year to gel without deadweight in the line-up.

            I don’t believe in using UFA to build a team because they’re rarely worth the money, the only exception I would make is Erik Karlsson and that’s only partially because we have a gaping hole in RHD in the prospect pool. Panarin would only be here for the money and would slack off before the ink drys on his contract so I would never pursue him.

        • Dirk22

          KM. The problem isn’t Granlund in a vacuum. The problem is that there are 6-7 players that all fit that same mould (‘steady defensive forwards’) and there needs to be some changes if this team is ever going to get better. You’ve consistently defended the likes of Sutter, Beagle, Motte, Schaller and Granlund whenever anyone has criticized how management has crafted together this collection of bottom six players. If you continue to run out this sort of bottom six, you’re going to end up with the same results.

          So if you really want to keep Granlund – who is it you would change? Anybody?

          • Killer Marmot

            Is it your strategy to trade away all the bottom six players in hopes of getting better players in return? That’s occasionally possible but it’s not a strategy I would depend on. The other managers are not idiots.

            Here are some ways to improve the team:

            – Drafting and development.
            – UFA signings.
            – Exchanging redundant players for players that are needed.

            As an example, trading Del Zotto for Schenn was an exchange of a left-shooting defenseman that they could no longer use for a right-shooting defenseman that they could. The Canucks were better for it.

            It may be that Granlund is one day redundant. The Canucks will have better options. I don’t think he is now.

          • Dirk22

            I don’t think you could trade a lot of those bottom-6 players which should tell us a lot about their value – as you said the other GM’s aren’t stupid. I’m not here to come up with the ‘how’ – the executives making millions can do that part. We are talking about the ‘what.’ It’s very simple. Do you think this bottom-6 for the Canucks is a good one? In my opinion it’s not, therefore I’m for a pretty major rehaul that at minimum would replace half of those players we’ve mentioned. Without worrying about logistics, what would you want to see done with the bottom-6?

          • DeL

            You could make a fairly good fourth line out of Motte Beagle and Granlund; sound defensively and could surprise with some offence. They also have the makings of a q

          • Killer Marmot

            Dirk22: I think the bottom six are a little below average for the league.

            They should be improved if the Canucks want to contend. But saying “we need something better so we should dump the lot” is not good enough. You have to explain how you’re going to improve the bottom six. You’d better have a plan.

      • Killer Marmot

        1. No personal remarks.

        2. In 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, the Canucks had to scramble to find replacement players when injuries struck in mid-season. It was not a pretty sight. Benning likely wants to avoid a recurrence by ensuring he has good depth going into the season.

        3. Who would you prefer as a regular healthy scratch, a veteran or a prospect?

        4. Who would you trade Schaller to at $1.8 million a year?

        • Killer Marmot

          Sorry, points 3 and 4 were referring to Schaller, not Granlund. I’m getting confused in my dotage.

          New 3. Granlund is a versatile two-way player, which makes the coach’s job a lot easier.

          New 4. Stars are important but so are depth players. The Edmonton Oilers serve as an important lesson for managers who disagree.

      • DogBreath

        I’m pretty sure KM is as interested in you in better days for this team. The insults do you no favours.

        Im interested to hear your practical view on who goes, and more importantly, what the replacement looks like. Saying fire and trade everyone is so easy, but saying HOw and who’ll you’ll replace them with is the hard part. Who comprises your bottom 6?

        • Dirk22

          I wonder if Buffalo forums or Arizona forums or Edmonton forums have these same discussions?

          “Hey I don’t think this bottom six is good and they should look to replace them”

          “Don’t be impractical! How on Earth would you do that? Who in the league is better!?”

    • Nuck16

      Yup…Granland, who scores 10-15 goals a year, kills penalties, 2nd unit PP, used in the shootout…and somehow everybody thinks he’s a terrible option at $1.4 mil.

  • Foximus

    I liked his pick up of Pearson and Leivo. I don’t usually support Benning trades as he has a pretty shaky history but these minor moves were alright. That being said I think Granlund and Baertschi will be sticking around. Tanev will get moved but not this off season – he’ll be a trade deadline. I hope they can find a taker for Sutter or any of the other names. Haven’t heard much about Lind or his development – it would nice if he can take the next step.

    • Ragnarok Ouroboros

      Kole Lind has been a disappointment in Utica so far. I had high hopes for him. Hopefully he can turn it around with strong off season training and a new year in Utica.

    • Burnabybob

      I remember scratching my head when Benning took Lind at the 2017 draft, not because I thought he was a bad player, but because the Canucks need help on defense and they’d taken Pettersson in the first round. I was hoping they would take Nicolas Hague, who is a big, offensive defensman. At this point, Hague definitely looks like the better prospect. He had 30 points in the AHL last year, compared to Lind’s 14. Hopefully Lind turns it around, but it doesn’t look great for him.

  • Marvin101

    these guys might not be actively shopped but i’m sure every other GM knows benning will listen to all reasonable offers. he might even have a buy one get one free sale.

  • Kootenaydude

    Good article Stephan. If the Canucks are going to improve we definitely have to move some of our forwards. We can’t expect to improve with the same lineup. We tried that with our D crew and the result was terrible.

    • Bud Poile

      Hughes Michigan decision was made July 28th and Juolevi was shut down a week before Christmas.
      They initially expected Hughes and Juolevi to be integrated into the lineup allowing two LHD’s to be jettisoned/traded.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Agree and disagree with several points made on today’s forum. Zac Mac IS probably the only forward on the farm with any chance of cracking next year’s lineup. Markus Granlund IS a reliable, unflashy middle of the pack player I don’t see going anywhere. I see little or no future for Spooner or Sutter and they’ll let Pouliot walk. Goldobin is the eternal enigma in this group. He’s still very young, supremely skilled but his inconsistency and lack of a feasible 200 foot game leaves Benning with a very tough decision as to what to do with him. Prepare for some surprises this off season.

  • wojohowitz

    Benning has done an excellent job of bringing in a half dozen young players with bright futures but up to now he has failed at the easy part of his job – that is filling out his bottom six forwards with the right mix of role players. That would be tough, grinding, physical players. That`s why he signed Schaller but it`s just unfortunate that Green doesn`t like his game while Green does like Granlund for his effort and his versatility. Who was the first players acquired by Gillis when he took over? Johnson and Hordichuk to anchor his fourth line. Who was one of the first players Lamoriello signed for the Islanders; Komorov to anchor his fourth line. These are the type of forwards Benning needs.

    I`ve said before; Green can have Granlund or Motte but not both. Green can have Beagle or Sutter but not both.

    Excellent hockey yesterday. I might say five games and five upsets.

  • bushdog

    sure is easy for a few to sidetrack the whole thread. please adjust your whatever to condense silly squabbles like that. i want to see reasonable discussion, not that drivel

  • TD

    The only reason I would trade Granlund is that he has some value. He scored 12 goals palying mainly on the fourth line. That’s great production at that level. Many of the commenters are correct that we have too may 4th line players and some have to go. Unless they get good value for him, Granlund would be one of the 4th liners I would keep.

    • Braindead Benning

      I fully appreciate your comments and the article but simply put, the only thing that needs to go is the management…

      Let the record and speak for itself… Unless you wanna keep going on and on about MG. BB. DN and perhaps. We can dig even farther with the best of the best Bud Poile.. 😂

  • Ronning4ever

    My continual reminder that Sutter and Eriksson are ranked 3rd and 9th LEAGUE WIDE when it comes to PK GA/60 (min 70 minutes). In terms of raw goals against they rank #1 and #7.

    While I get that they aren’t very good players in many respects, in terms of Penalty Killing they are tops in the league…if you’re not taking this into consideration you’re not understanding their trade value.

    • canuckfan

      Canucks have a good penalty kill so keep Eriksson and Sutter and play on the fourth line an penalty kills with Beagle. Granlund is a valuable player because he can play any where he won’t shine but won’t kill you either. Keep Sven, Pearson, and Lievo all wingers who can play up and down the lineup. The you have Brock, Petey, Bo, and Gaudette as well as Jake if they can sig another couploe wingers who can come in and push the play and get 20 plus goals I think they will improve. Already the defense looked better with Schenn and Hughes so if they could get another right side defense that would give them more depth.
      Trouble with the free agents you are going against other teams where some have a tax advantage so we have to pay higher salary just to balance that out and I think that is why Eriksson gets paid the 6 million in other cities they may have offered 4 but with the taxes Canucks had to give more overall. We don’t need to throw the balance off on the team with Petey, Brock, and Hughes needing to be signed in the next few years. I don’t think they should go make big moves this summer they need the draft to build the team not an auction.

      • Ronning4ever

        I honestly don’t think the Nux are in tight here. If they sign just one RHD, they can still keep everyone on their roster and just send down Gaudette and one other player (Schaller, Spooner, Granlund, Motte, Biega, etc) via waivers and they’ll be fine. Roussel is likely out until November with injury.

        They’ll only have to think trade out or take a bigger risk if they sign a winger.

  • Kanuckhotep

    It’s hard not to get somewhat frustrated with Shotgun Jake at times given his potential and an actual impressive tool box of skills. By no means do you give up on Virtanen, quite the contrary. The difference between contending teams and the rest of the pack where the Canucks sit is reliable and proven secondary scoring. If Jake can really step up next year in supporting offence for Bo, Brock and Petey this will help the VC get to the next level. He can be a very important and pivotal guy but 25 to 30 goals from Shotgun can make a crucial difference IMHO.