Do Jim and John run the show next season or will Frankie land a POHO?
— Trevor Crawley (@tcrawls) April 21, 2019
All signs seem to be pointing to the Canucks hiring a President of Hockey Operations for the 2019-20 season. The rumour that they’ve approached a couple of candidates and were rebuffed has been going around for months now and I tend to believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The Canucks front office is one of the smallest in the league, and the fans are starting to feel restless after four straight years of losing, so it makes sense that hey’d be looking to add to their executive group. It’s not as if Francesco Aquilini can’t afford it, either.
The real question will be if there is mutual interest between the Canucks and any of the possible candidates for the presidency. Based on the rumours that they approached Dean Lombardi multiple times and were potentially interested in Ken Holland if he were to step down in Detroit, I’m under the impression they’re looking for someone with name recognition. Guys like Lombardi and Holland don’t become available very often, so I won’t be surprised if Aquilini exercises patience in finding a replacement for Trevor Linden. I’m certain it’s coming, though.
Which RFAs and UFAs do you see staying with the organization next year?
— Brewji (@Brewji) April 22, 2019
Of the laundry list of RFAs on the #canucks roster, who will not receive a qualifying offer?
— Daniel D (@DanielDAmour) April 22, 2019
Oddly enough, the Canucks don’t have many UFAs on the roster. Edler will likely return, assuming both sides can agree on a deal. Schenn will probably be back, too. Tom Pyatt, who never played as much as a single game for the Canucks and was immediately signed to the Comets after being acquired, will obviously be gone.
The only RFA on the Canucks’ roster I can see being allowed to walk for nothing is Derrick Pouliot. but It’s possible they may also part ways with Markus Granlund, but I’d expect them to look at the trade market first. Reid Boucher and Brendan Gaunce have formed the core of reasonably effective forward group for the Comets and won’t cost the team much of anything, so I suspect they’ll return. They’ll also make calls about Ben Hutton and Nikolay Goldobin. If there’s no market for Goldobin, he’ll get a qualifying offer, and Hutton will too if they don’t like the offers they’re getting on the trade market.
I’d expect everyone else will at least receive a qualifying offer. Obviously, Boeser will get a significant raise.
Who on the Canucks (or in the NHL at all) is most likely to appreciate Sorry To Bother You
— Reply Guy (the french pronunciation) (@bookofloob) April 21, 2019
Since Sorry To Bother You is primarily a story about class and the class interests of NHL players are not aligned with the views the movie espouses, you can pretty much exclude about 99% of the league from appreciating the movie. When you consider that the experiences of the film’s central character are in many instances unique to African-Americans, that makes the list of possible candidates even smaller.
When I think about Sorry To Bother You, the scene I always think of is the one where Cassius is asked by Steve Lift to rap for him and his new ultra-rich friends, despite Cash’s protests that he’s never rapped before in his life. Eventually, the situation devolves into Cash essentially shouting the n-word to the rapturous applause of his bourgeois all-white audience. It’s clear that what writer-director Boots Riley is trying to get across is that even at the top of the economic ladder, people of colour will not find peace or comfort in a system that was built on their exploitation.
I would think that this element of the film might hit home for some of the NHL’s black players. Based on previous statements and actions, I would say J.T Brown is the most likely player to see and appreciate the movie. Since Ryan Miller appears to both know what the word “neoliberalism” means and think it’s bad, I’ll say he comes in a close second.
Loui Eriksson… what happens to this guy? Do they try trade him or LTIR?
— Trevor Whitehead (@TrevorWhitehead) April 21, 2019
By all accounts, Eriksson is healthy and willing to play out the remainder of his contract here, so that rules out LTIR. While the Maple Leafs have made it seem like you can just stick any player you don’t want to deal with anymore on the injury reserve, the player does actually need to have a health issue. Eriksson played 81 games last season, and was a healthy scratch for the one game he missed. Even if his play hasn’t indicated it, he’s fit as a fiddle.
Trading him, on the other hand? That’s a viable option. While I’m generally skeptical of anyone who hand-waves cap concerns under the assumption that cap floor teams like Arizona will fix their problems, I do think Eriksson could be attractive to budget teams. Most of the actual money on Eriksson’s deal will be paid after July 1st, and he’s still a somewhat effective player in a vacuum.
Isn’t it just the best feeling that most of the Canucks rivals have been extinguished?
— Ryan Hank (@always90four) April 21, 2019
I’ll be honest, I don’t really get this line of thinking. Poking fun at a team that didn’t do well in the playoffs when your team couldn’t even qualify is basically the same as an AHL player making fun of an everyday NHLer for not being particularly good – at the end of the day, they made it and you didn’t. You’re the loser in that scenario no matter which way you slice it. It just comes across as sour grapes.
Is Colin Miller appealing as a RD trade target? Ie – Is he an upgrade on Tanev?
— ‘life moves fast’ – Jason Botchford (@MJVanCity) April 22, 2019
Yes and yes, assuming the price is right. I’m agnostic on whether or not Miller is a bonafide top-four defender on a cup-winning team, but he’s young and certainly more capable of holding things down than most of the Canucks’ defense, so he’d be a worthy trade target. I hate to say it, but I’m not convinced Chris Tanev is anything more than a replacement-level defenseman at this point in his career, and even if he is, he’s only healthy for 75% of the season, and that’s if he’s lucky.
Does the 10th overall pick, dipietro and next years first get us a top 2 pick?
— jackson (@JacksonCanucks) April 21, 2019
If the Canucks want to trade up to the first overall in this or any other year in the near future’s draft, that conversation starts at minimum with this year’s pick and Bo Horvat, assuming they won’t give up Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, or Quinn Hughes.
You just aren’t going to get that kind of pick by trading away secondary or tertiary pieces. It hasn’t happened before and won’t any time soon.
What would you rather use a bunch of 1st on, moving up to #1 or doing an offer sheet on Marner/Point/Trouba?
— Matt Baer (@baerzerk84) April 22, 2019
If I have to pick one, I would go with moving up to #1 to pick Jack Hughes; but my preference would be not to trade any first round picks.
Do you think the Canucks need to make the playoffs for next season to be considered a success?
— JoeTX (@JoeTX_) April 22, 2019
I do. We’re about to enter Jim Benning’s sixth season as general manager, and if the Canucks fail to make the postseason, it will be his fifth straight season without a playoff berth. There just isn’t an executive in the league who’s capable of spinning five straight years of losing as a success. At some point, you have to actually turn the ship around, especially when the selling point at the time you were hired was that you could do so in a hurry.
I think five years is plenty of time to take a team from the basement to the playoffs. Jim Benning inherited a difficult situation, of that there is no question; but that’s always the case when GMs get fired. I don’t think there was anything about the Canucks’ outlook that made the team so uniquely different to turn around as to render 5 years an unreasonable timeline to become a playoff team again.
The core of the 2011 team is now completely gone, save for Alex Edler, whose contract expires this summer. The Canucks now have a group of players that includes a likely Calder Trophy winner, a 2018 runner-up, and another player who is likely to be a candidate next season. The West is also uniquely vulnerable at the moment. If the Canucks can’t be one of the top 8 teams, then that will and should be viewed as a failure.