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Photo Credit: Jay LaPrete/AP

First Look: Michael Ferland Deal Helps Canucks, But Causes Cap Crunch

The Canucks made a significant addition to their middle-six on Wednesday morning, inking winger Micheal Ferland to a 4-year deal at $3.5 million AAV.

CanucksArmy and the analytics community at large have taken their fare share of criticism in this market for being too negative, but ultimately, we just work with what the Canucks give us. In this case, there’s a lot to like about the player they’ve acquired, even if the circumstances surrounding the contract are less than ideal, so let’s start by focusing on the positives.

Over the past three seasons, Ferland has been an effective winger for the Flames and Hurricanes, playing a physical game and adding some scoring bunch to the middle of their lineups. He’s also a massive pest who isn’t afraid to mix things u , as any Canucks fan who watched the team’s 2015 playoff against the Flames can attest to. The Canucks have been criticized for their lack of pushback in recent years, so Ferland seems like a natural fit stylistically.

 

In addition, the numbers mostly back up what we see from Ferland on the ice: he’s an above-average shooter with a decent two-way impact who can help a team’s power play, provided he isn’t overly relied upon. He’s finished in the red by relative Corsi and expected goals over the past three seasons, but he’s also played for some very strong teams. He’s not a play-driver by any means, but he can play in all situations without being a liability at either end of the ice, and is a vast improvement over most of the wingers who spent time in the Canucks bottom-six last season.

What’s perhaps most interesting about the signing is that it signals the Canucks are serious about taking the next step and becoming a playoff team next season. I’m not sure they’ll get there, but I’ll give them some credit here for doing their best to be competitive while Pettersson and Hughes are still on their ELCs. Teams are often too conservative when it comes to getting the most out of the cost-savings of having an elite player on an entry-level deal and while I can’t endorse most of the moves they’ve made over the past half-decade or so, I can at least respect that they seem to finally be ditching the half-measures they’ve undertaken over course of their so-called rebuild in favour of embracing a clear direction.

I was skeptical that simply adding J.T. Miller to their forward group would be enough to tangibly improve this team’s offensive fortunes, and I think the fact that the front office recognized that they needed to make significant changes to their forward group if they had any intention of qualifying for the playoffs is worthy of praise. The Canucks’ bottom-six has been atrocious for most of the past five years, and adding Ferland will go a long way towards fixing that, at least for the first two years of his contract. I’m still not convinced enough will go right for the Canucks to take the next step and finally look like a playoff team next season, but they have far more options in their middle-six now and have at least begun to address their lack of secondary scoring.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that while 27 is by no means ancient and it’s entirely possible Ferland remains a useful player up until the expiration of his contract, his physicality and history of concussion issues make him a prime candidate for early decline. In the long term, the Canucks have enough contracts coming off the books that they may have the flexibility to work around the last year or two of his deal if things go south, but there’s a certain amount of risk that comes with committing this kind of term to a physical, bottom-six player.

Ironically, it’s the short-term implications of this deal that are most concerning. They still need to sign Brock Boeser and have just over $5 million dollars in cap space to do so. Even the most conservative estimates would suggest that’s not going to be enough room, and assuming he signs for anywhere near EvolvingWild’s projected annual salary of $6.8 million, the Canucks are going to be in a position where they’ll be forced to shed money if they want to have Boeser in the lineup on opening night.

The prospect of the Canucks being in a position where they’re forced to make a deal is going to be enough to put a lot of Canucks fans on edge. The team hasn’t exactly been known for their ability to find themselves on the right side of negotiations even at the best of times, and they’ve now forced themselves into dealing from a position of weakness in any potential trade talks.

In a vacuum, the addition of Micheal Ferland makes the team better and tougher to play against; but as is always the case with this front office, considering the totality of the moves the Canucks have made this off-season should be enough to give some fans pause. Adding Ferland to the Canucks forward group is a win, but if bringing him in means they have to jettison a player like Jake Virtanen or Nikolay Goldobin (who has also yet to sign) to be cap-compliant in time for opening night, that’s going to dampen the positive effect of having him in the lineup.

If the Canucks can actually manage to unload the salaries of Loui Eriksson and/or Brandon Sutter without having to deal any of their support pieces, this contract will look like a tidy piece of work, but I’m skeptical that they’re capable of pulling it off. The Toronto Maple Leafs had to give up a first round pick just to get rid of the final year of Patrick Marleau’s contract, so I can only imagine what the going price will be for the Canucks to rid themselves of three years of Loui Eriksson.

There’s no doubt that Micheal Ferland is a massive upgrade over some of the players that made appearances in the Canucks’ middle-six last season, but until we see how the Canucks’ cap situation plays out, it’s impossible to say if the addition is actually going to improve the Canucks fortunes next season.

  • TheRealPB

    Jackson, I don’t know why you continue to write that the Canucks have $5 million in cap space. That is with 24 contracts (with Boeser and Goldobin yet to be resigned). Assuming both of those get done and at Evolving Wild’s numbers, it’s $7 million for Boeser and $1.8 million for Goldobin. I think both are high; Boeser is probably $6.5 million or so and Goldobin closer to $1.5 million. Still, that’s $8 million for the two of them. We have $5 million left in cap space and 3 contracts to be moved to get to 23 once they’re signed. Most likely that means Biega ($0.825 million), Schaller ($1.1 saved by sending him down) and one more — even if it’s burying Eriksson that’s another $1.1 million. So we’d have enough just in three moves to meet the cap even before Roussel goes on the IR.

    Now that said, none of this is remotely ideal. We would be an absolute max cap team. If you told me we were going for it and threw $15 million at Panarin or Duchene or someone like that, it still wouldn’t have been a great idea but it would make WAY more sense than throwing $15 million at 2 middle six winners and a top four (at best) D-man. We are already spending $15 million on a fourth line of Beagle, Sutter and Eriksson.

    If you’d asked me at the beginning of the off-season what Benning’s priorities should be it would have been 1) resign Boeser, 2) strengthen the defense, 3) fix the development system in Utica and beyond, and 4) improve secondary scoring. Getting “heavier” really wasn’t part of it at all. It seems like Benning’s offseason priority was 1) save my job, 2) spend to the cap, 3) make it look like I’m trying. Also looking like he was trying last season: Peter “Let me sign Koskinen on the way out” Chiarelli.

      • Tellmore

        Yeah, NHL roster is 23, and Brock’s contract makes the roster 22 plus him. To quote the cap without subtracting at least 1.4, which is the league minimum is utterly false. And no one on the Canucks makes league minimum, so Jackson is either ignorant (best case) or misrepresenting the facts (likely)

  • Tellmore

    You need to stop quoting this 5.6 million number. It demonstrates a blatant ignorance of how the cap and the cba work.

    Cap friendly has us at 24 roster players with 5.06 million free.

    23 is a legal roster. Do you understand that?

    So without Boeser, our legal roster actually has 6.135 million free if we bury Schaller (the cba allows minimum [700,000] plus 375,000 to be buried, or 1.075).

    AND someone else gets bumped when Brock is signed. The cheapest Canuck is Biega, at 825k.

    That’s a minimum of 6.96 to sign Brock.

    And a maximum of 7.21.

    If you think Brock is getting more than that, and based on Meir’s, Karlsson’s and Pasternak’s contracts, I think you’re out to lunch.

    There is no cap crunch. You just can’t do math.

    • Gino's 3rd Cousin

      It seems like Jackson is just trolling us by repeating that figure without the additional info. It serves him well to do so. It’s gets us riled up and it provides fuel for the Anti-Canuck Canuck fans.

    • DJ_44

      The Canucks have many options to get cap compliant at season start. They can have an full $3M above the cap signed if they want to dip into LTIR til Rousell returns. They can waive and send down (or paper down) Schaller and Eriksson..gives them $2.1M … or they can paper sown a signed Boeser as well as Demko …gives them the same. They don’t even have to waive anyone since the could choose to paper down Boeser, Demko, and Pettersson and get the max $3M and be cap compliant.

      Tell us again how this hamstrings the canucks when they negotiate with Boeser.

      • j2daff

        yep they could sign Boeser for 8-8.5M and still be cap compliant to start the year. A bigger worry is the end of the season and when the bonuses kick in. IR relief cannot prevent the bonus cap hit. If you include Gaudette and Joulevi even though they are starting in the AHL most likely the bonus hit could be almost 6M but even at a minimum of half of that it will be a problem if they don’t move out $$$ via trade.

        • DJ_44

          Either prior to the start of the season or through the season since the LTIR is only a couple months of relief, and they will need some bonus money (specifically for Pettersson and Hughes … which is $3.5M max).

          • DJ_44

            ….hit send early.
            …. so they will definitely have to move money out. The sooner the better, but it gives the Canucks a larger window to make trades. As teams get injuries, teams will look for options. It also does not restrict the Canucks negotiations with Boeser ….. as has often been mentioned by CA authors and commenters.

          • j2daff

            yes they will have time but unless they are moving our players they want to keep it’s going to take luck to get value back and not in a vacuum lose the trade.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    Canucks have certainly improved the defence, (Schenn, Pouliot, and Hutton out) adding Hughes, Benn, and Meyers.
    Also improved their secondary scoring by adding Miller and Ferland, Granlund will be missed (great on PK),
    Spooner bought out, and most likely Schaller (to Utica). While still developing young players in Virtanen, Gaudette, Motte, and Goldobin. If the Nucks are able to move out or IR a veteran forward, not only will improve cap space but also make room for a few younger players. Injuries always happen, it’s nice to have young players and depth too.
    I like all the moves the Nucks have made this off season with the exception of trading away the 1st round pick. The Ferland signing was decent value, time will tell if it pans out?

  • Defenceman Factory

    So to recap the article; This a good signing but because Benning always sucks this probably does too.

    With a much improved puck moving defence Miller and Ferland round out a top 6 likely to score 150 goals this year. I would have preferred Benning get there differently but the Canucks do have a pretty good roster for next year. I’ll wait and see how and if Benning can move off some salary before concluding there is any real cap crisis.

    • Bud Poile

      Gone:
      Hutton,Gudbranson,Pouliot and MDZ.
      In:
      Myers,Benn,Hughes and Fantenberg.
      The D is far more skilled offensively while Benn adds that Bieksa toughness.
      Both units of the PP should be a blast this year.
      If Markstrom has found his game for real and now with two legitimate top-2 forward lines there is a decent roster here.

  • Puck Viking

    Ferland deal was great. Finally a good move.

    Too bad we didnt sign Nyquist who wanted to play here or even Dzingle..
    instead of trading for Miller and loosing a 1st and a 3rd.

    There was zero rush to make that stupid Miller trade and now look much cheaper players are to sign.. only team in a rush was Tampa and they still killed us in the deal.

    • canuckfan

      Nyquist would have cost term and likely more money than Miller. Miller is a bigger player that can hit Niquist not so much and everyone would have crapped on Benning for term. Miller can be moved whereas Niquist would have asked for a no trade.
      Benning has done well this off season he said there will be a lot of changes and certainly so far a few moves already.

    • Cageyvet

      I don’t know if Nyquist wanted to sign here or not, but he’s the only one out there comparable to JT Miller in age, points production and cap hit. Everyone else has never bumped the 50 pt mark, you really don’t see these guys hit the market often. Although I said comparable in age, Nyquist is still your typical free agent of any quality, he’s 29, 3 years older than Miller. If the Canucks signed him, half the posts would be about how his best years are behind him. Miller cost more because he brings more, plain and simple. I hated adding the 3rd, though, a freaking 1st should have been enough. That’s Aquilini’s fault, Benning can’t help but be running scared and be just a little nervous when making this deal.

  • Hockey Bunker

    Let’s see, Benning said he was going to overhaul the defense, add two top six forwards and get bigger and everyone scoffed. And then he went out and did it.
    Now he says he will deal with surplus players and contracts. I’m inclined to believe him.
    As for Ferland not being a play driver, he is a PILE-DRIVER. Canucks have gotten immeasurably better in the physical department and that will free up the playmakers to make plays without fear of the cheap shot . And if that costs the team Goldobin, no one can honestly say they care. And if I’m Petey I go to Benning and say thank you. Rather have Ferland watching my back than Goldy.
    And no way Boeser I getting more than 6 million. That’s the Canucks internal limit. Term is the only issue.

    • Cageyvet

      I have had, and still do to a certain degree, high hopes for Goldy. However, this is professional hockey, you have to take a job away from one of the planet’s best, nobody said it would be easy.

      You nailed it, even though I’d like to keep Goldy around and see what he’s capable of, the additions of Miller and Ferland make me much less nervous to let him get picked up on waivers.

      At some point your team needs to actually get better, not just draw up the plans, and JB is doing the smart thing. Unlike Dave Nonis, if he goes down, it’s guns blazing with a team he’s hand-picked, by and large. You can’t ask for more as a GM, the owner let him spend the cash, now let’s see if he’s got the right mix of players. At least he’s got the courage of his convictions to ignore the media and do his thing to improve the team.

  • Killer Marmot

    The prospect of the Canucks being in a position where they’re forced to make a deal is going to be enough to put a lot of Canucks fans on edge.

    By my reckoning, if the Canucks sign Boeser for more than $6 million then they’ll exceed their cap ceiling.

    There’s one strategy that might work, however. Roussel is included in the cap hit that even though he’s injured. They don’t want to send him down because he could well get claimed.

    Could they, however, send him down on a conditioning loan, which avoids waivers? That would reduce their cap hit by $1 million on the opening day of the season. It would only last 14 days, but that might be enough for the club to collect cap relief from both Roussel and other injured players to be under the cap ceiling when he returns.

    The Collective Bargaining Agreement is no easy read, so it’s not clear that would work, or lower the cap hit enough.

    • KGR

      I don’t care if they put Hughes in the minors for one day. I believe one must be compliant with the cap for the opening day of the season and can recall anyone after that point. Anyone who is waiver exempt can be used. Roussel’s LTIR will be declared immediately and the Canucks will still be compliant without any moves. Schaller and someone else will likely be waived to reduce the number of players. Perhaps Louie should be waived to see if someone will pick up the contract. A big cap hit; but the money still owing is reasonable.

      • Bud Poile

        Barry sounded like he was doing everything he could to find Louie a new home:
        “Met a few times with Jim and Travis.
        Looking for a solution as a Canuck or elsewhere.
        When it comes to trades like this you cooperate and look around the league.
        We’re going to try to find a solution now.
        Best solution is to find a place in the league for him.
        He’ll be a very good player for $3m over the next three years.” J.P. Barry
        Sportsnet this morning and they are my notes so I’m paraphrasing.

  • Meanwhile, in “model rebuild” Toronto, the Leafs have $3.77M in cap space on a 23 man roster. Even though Horton’s $5.3M can go on LTIR to make $9M (an amount that Marner is unlikely to accept given that he outscored both Matthews and Tavares, who made $11M+), the Leafs still need to clear $6M to be cap compliant for the start of the season. This means that Dubas needs to dump Nylander or a combination of players (e.g. Johnsson and Kapanen) or wait until the season starts to sign Marner.

    Hmmmm, given the prolonged Nylander contract negotiations and the Marleau 1st round draft pick sweetener, it sounds like the Leafs haven’t “exactly been known for their ability to find themselves on the right side of negotiations even at the best of times, and they’ve now forced themselves into dealing from a position of weakness in any potential trade talks.”

    • speering major

      Yet somehow they got Barrie and Kerfoot for Kadri…

      OMG Dubas is an absolute genius!!!!!…. Or perhaps there is a market for players and you get market value. The whole blood in the water analogy only works if you are the only buyer in the market. If a team wants any of the Canucks expendable forwards, they will take them. They aren’t going to just extort first round picks out of Benning because some talking heads have hot takes about blood in the water

      • Barrie is a pending UFA that they can’t afford next year and Kerfoot has averaged 17 goals per season and will earn $3.5M. Meanwhile, Kadri as a 2C scored 32 goals in the two seasons before Tavares and was locked in at $4.5M for 3 years. So for an extra $1M, the Leafs gave up an additional 17 goals or twice what Kerfoot has averaged. And they gave up a good prospect in Rosen and upgraded a Colorado 6th round pick to a 3rd round pick.

        • speering major

          Kerfoot is 24. By that age Kadri had also averaged a about 17 goals. Career high of 20. Kadri has two 32 goal seasons and other than that his career high is 20. He is 28 years old coming off off a 16 goal season.

          Even if you give give Kadri the most optimistic projection, the leafs didn’t “give up 17 goals”. Barrie scored 14. Kerfoot and Kadri are on opposite sides of their prime. I’m not saying Kadri isn’t a good player, I’m saying he’s a good player and therefore the Avs gave up a lot to get him even though the Leafs have cap issues. That’s what teams do, they pay for assets. The whole “blood in the water” narratives are usually irrelevant. Leafs had “blood in the water” and they got a 24 year old quality center and a 14 goal scoring D in return for a 28 year old Kadri. If there’s any market for the Canucks assets, teams will take them. The Ferland signing isn’t going to create some sort of liquidation sale because “blood in the water”

          • Not sure what “blood in the water” is referring to but I’ll say that Kadri got 30+ goals twice despite only 16 mins TOI and 60%(!) D-zone starts. Kerfoot averaged 17 goals with 14 mins TOI but 55% O-zone starts. Kadri managed to play like a top 2C with hard defensive deployment whereas Kerfoot got sheltered in the middle-6. Sure, the Leafs got Barrie but only for one year and only because they had 50% retained salary. He’s one and done, no way the Leafs can afford Barrie at the rumored $8M.

          • DJ_44

            While I do not think the leafs approach to rebuilding is comparable to Vancouver’s situation as often touted (now NYR is in fashion), there is no denying that Dubas has done some good work this year.

            I am not as high on Barrie as most (he is a magnified, right shot version of Jake Gardiner … moves the puck offensive, not good at all in his zone), the Kadri trade was excellent for Toronto, especially with the 50% retained.

            Kerfoot is a solid 3C and going to be better. He was playing a bit high up in the lineup, but sit him behind Tavares and Matthews — like Kadri — and he will be good.

    • j2daff

      the rebuild to consider “model” is the NYR. TO did a lot of things wrong and have hanstrung themselves to a point but they are in compete now mode and an actual cup contender so that is completely exceptionable. When you adjust their roster total to 23 and consider there are guys they could send to the minors for a day to start the year until Hortons IR kicks in so they actually have more room than you make it sound like. The real problem is Marner probably holds out for a min. 11M while they will probably only be able to free up 10-10.5M unless they only carry 22 players.

      • To me, the greatest vulnerability is a low-ball offer sheet to Marner 1 week before the start of the season. Let’s say Bergevin offers $10.5M for 1 year to Marner, with an understanding that they make it up the difference on the next contract. Offer sheet compensation is a two 1st, a 2nd, and a 3rd. No brainer, Toronto matches. However, that puts Dubas $6.7M over the cap and has only 1 week to clear space.

        Now Dubas can’t wait until the season starts to sign Marner, the offer sheet’s 7 day response period takes away Horton’s LTIR flexibility. You can’t just stash one or two high salaries in the minors temporarily because those players are waiver-required. Half of the team is league minimum players, he need to temporarily stash 9 of them @ 800k each in the minors (if waivers-exempt) to get under the cap. And worse, all of the GM’s know he’s in a bind and has no leverage in trade discussions. Dubas needs to clear space and get Marner signed asap.

        • By the way, my post above assumes that you need to be cap compliant (including expected LTIR) for opening day. You’re compliant and then you can put the injured player on LTIR and get cap relief without penalties (i.e. circumvention). I’m not a cap expert so please correct me if my understanding of opening day cap calculations are wrong.

  • speering major

    I get that people who are paid to have hot takes have to come up with hot takes but all this cap crunch panic seems ridiculous. Boeser will be signed when they agree to a contract. Period. This Ferland signing is totally separate

    If you have to speculate on talk radio or write articles, then speculate is what you’ll do. Perhaps speculate on what Benning plans to do or has in the works? Why would you start with the assumption that an entire executive group signed Ferland with no plan in place nevermind no plan A, B, and C in place? Why would you assume they would sign Ferland and then go in to a desperate panic? Of course that’s possible but why would that be your first assumption?

    I’m sure Benning has tested the waters with his assets. Also, Eriksson is paid his bonus next week. Suggesting it is like the Marleau situation is just lazy. The team taking Marleau had to pay his bonus (iirc 4 million?). If the Canucks pay Erikssons bonus then a team without cap concerns could take him with retained salary at the expense of $1.5 million. That’s for a player that puts up points at a 30 point pace while in a situation that wasn’t working at all for him. He also kills penalties. The list of teams that expect to not have cap concerns over the next 3 years is short but paying a 30 point and penalty killing player 1.5 million isn’t a bad deal at all. That team either exists or they don’t. The first round pick isn’t going to matter. Teams with no cap space won’t consider him, teams with cap space will see the value or not.

    I expect either Sutter, Baertschi, or Eriksson to be moved in the next few weeks. I think this JV being shipped to clear space is another hot take that makes no sense

    • Cageyvet

      Don’t move JV. Baertschi if you must, but only if you really have to, he’s like Tanev, if he stays healthy he just keeps gaining value. Eriksson of course, please dump him, and Sutter as well. Schaller is only costing 825k if you waive him, which I absolutely would, but the first 2 can clear a big chunk even if you retain salary, and will not be noticeable by their absence in a negative way.

  • Rodeobill

    This team is going to be fun to watch no matter where they land in the standings. JV, Ferland, Miller, Levio, Pearson, Roussell. We have a lot of big, fast, skilled forwards. With Myers and Benn on the back, and Marky in net the team looks a lot less ‘dimunitive’. I like where this team is headed, and am excited to see us on the upswing. We can change the tone and style of how we play now. We played with a lot of heart last season, now we can play with some hurt. I don’t think LE will get moved, and am dubious to think we can find a situation good enough to think he should, but that is ok. He still could find his game, or at least contribute in a positive way. If you don’t look at the $, he is still a useful NHL player, and I think the media sometimes irresponsibly runs away with a story sometimes making it into something it is not. Unfortunately, something said off the cuff, then blown up into a huge crisis, sometimes becomes self fulfilling if repeated over and over. I think if we just lay off Loui, he might chill and figure it out better than he has. THEN, if he starts playing his game again (he did well on SWE this year) we can recoup value. Also so much talk about Boeser, how we are going to alienate him by not leaving enough cap room, blah blah blah. We just need to relax and stop stressing, lots of time left, the rooster starts on IR anyway too, have a beer and go outside. Play some cornhole or something.

  • rediiis

    July 11th means squat. Benning has a few months to work around a few issues. With the logjam at forwards, players like Lind, MacEwan, Palmu, Jasek et. al. are all in play. It would be nice to relieve Loui of his obligation to check/hit. I really doubt he gets moved without a roster player going with him. I sure hope it isn’t a 1st or 2d.

    • Cageyvet

      I’m always trying to figure out how to dump Loui without too much pain, here’s another one for comment on its feasibility:

      How about Loui and Goldy to a team for basically nothing, take a minor leaguer back, whatever, and retain 1.5 million of cap hit. If it’s a budget team, they re-sign Goldy for probably 1 million or 1.25, and pay a lot less salary than the combined 5.5 – 5.75 cap hit.

      Loui does have value and Goldy’s stats aren’t terrible, with some youth and upside. It’s hard to find a team that’s bad enough to see this as a win, but with a budget owner, maybe? I’m open to suggestions, anyone can tell JB to get this done, but what are you prepared to offer to make it happen? (Everyone in general, not just you.)

      • DogBreath

        I agree, and may explain the perceived glut of middle 6 wingers. It might be Goldy, could be JV (unfortunately) who gets packaged to unload salary (Erickson or Sutter). They might need to throw in a mid-late pick, but I don’t see Baertschi being packaged because teams will be wary of his concussion history. It’ll be interesting to see if anything unfolds after Erickson’s bonus is paid.

  • Dahlenfan

    Why the hell are you on this site jackson? Very little positive ever comes out of your fingers. You almost sounded positive. Then bashed this signing. I thought j burke was harsh but I respected what he had to say. It just sucks that someone else couldn’t answer the mail bag because I like the idea of it. Just get tired of reading your anti benning bs all the time. I’m not a benning fan but I’m not gonna bash him every time I get a chance. What happened to talking about an article without putting your slant on it all? I’m sure you dont care what I have to say. But if you do, maybe think about it.

      • Cageyvet

        Those guys kill it, I wish I had the time to do some of the deep dives they bring to the table. It used to be a hallmark of this site in the columns, now we find it in the comments section. Kudos to them.

        • CanucksRealist

          It would actually be great if you did pen some community/forum posts… then we wouldn’t even have to click on it in the first place to suffer your skewed, dull, hypocritical spreadsheet driven War and Peace novel hor$esh(i)t on every thread lol. So yeah, give er!

          • Gino's 3rd Cousin

            CanucksRealist/PQW you are obsessed with every post and comment on this site. We all know you wouldn’t stay away. That would be a gift for all of us.

    • CanucksRealist

      I miss JD… he kept bottomfeeder whiners like you well in their placeat the bottom of the foodchain. We need more JD’s here, it’s exhausting keeping you losers to heel.

  • Gino's 3rd Cousin

    I am currently happy with the Ferland signing and the trade for Miller. I admit that I am not up to speed on the analytic side of the game. I prefer a fast and physical game driven by players willing to do anything they can to win. Having size is good, but is also comes down to heart and will. One of the frustrating parts in watching the team over the last 5-6 years is the lack of compete in some of the veterans and youngsters. I feel like all of the new additions this summer bring that fire to their game. Maybe less so with Myers, but I will wait to make a judgment on his game until the season unfolds. This is the most intrigued and dare I say excited I am to watch this team play heading into the season since 2010. I was also stoked on the Podkolzin pick. He has the qualities I like to see in the game. I am not a Benning apologist or a hater. I am a fan of this team and I want them to win. I feel sorry for some of the so called fans of this team and their negative outlooks. I’m sure it spills into their day-to-day lives as well. Make sure to get outside and enjoy life with your loved ones. It’s going to be a long and beautiful Summer.

    • canuckfan

      Well said I to am a fan and was quite thrilled last year with how good the Canucks turned out, yea they missed the play offs but at least didn’t end up the train wreck everyone including myself were thinking at the beginning of the season.
      Podkolzin will come in at a great time just as Roussel is ending his contract so he can learn from him for that year.
      There will be a lot of tinkering through the exhibition games likely again and if that goes the same as last year there will be a lot of people on this site having a fit pulling their hair out. Likely their negative attitude is carried on through their lives and they just need to go out and enjoy the summer.

      • CanucksRealist

        What, ‘enjoy the summer’ like you and many who are here all day, EVERY day duriing said summer… with another three months until the season starts… Whateva on that ya f’ken hypocrite/s.

    • LiborPolasek

      Well said: that most of us in this site commenting had been fans for a long time. I do somewhat still, enjoy going to this site to get my Canucks’ news but the hindsight complaining with no solution are starting to get very tiresome…

  • RIP

    This site is turning into a tire fire. Not even getting the $’s correct on the cap. turning a positive into a negative. Oilers would give their left arm for our Ferland contract right now. What a joke these “writers” are.

  • J-Canuck

    The Sky is falling because the “short term implications” are 3 months away!

    I always wonder what it’s like to be in the know about CA articles. Not negative enough?
    Like the evening news, “ A little later, we will tell you how your mattress may kill you” casual laughs…. Cut to commercial.

    GMJB has shored up a lot of the leaks in the Canucks boat. Will they win the Cup, NO, BUT
    Ferland and Miller are signed for 4 yrs, just enough time for the last 2 draft picks to become NHL ready! Nils/V.P
    That’s planning.
    Still a good article

    • DogBreath

      Negativity creates emotion. Emotion creates engagement. Engagement creates clicks. Clicks stimulate advertising revenue. It’s a formula that works, unfortunately.

      • Locust

        Ya, I have often thought about not commenting because I know I am being used if I do.
        Canucks Army is the toilet brush of Nation sites. No joke, take a look for yourself.
        I and a few others called for major changes and Mr Wonderful left to spew his douche elsewhere. It was promising at first but Biech has failed too. This isnt high school. There are consequences for actions.
        Time for some to man up or get out of Dodge.

        • CanucksRealist

          You are being used *AND* abused Lowlife… do keep posting so CA staffers and the likes of Freud, Dirk and myself can keep beating you like a rented mule carrying a bunch of broken records around…

          The narrative FIVE YEARS AGO guys…
          Locust
          4 years ago
          TRASH IT! 12
          CHEERS 2
          “12 troll comments out of 23 total – so far. This site has
          become a total joke.”

          The narrative FIVE YEARS LATER guys…
          “Canucks Army is the toilet brush of Nation sites.” – Locust

          Hahhaha – FIVE YEARS!!!!!! what a complete loser this whining wimp of a keyboard coward is. Keep dancing for us Lowlife.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Now that the Canucks have great young core of Bo, Brock, Petey and QH it made sense for Benning to acquire these established veterans in experienced support to these franchise players at this time. Maybe/ hopefully all these trades and signings will work out despite if you agree with all of them or not. This would not have feasible IMHO to do when the Sedins were at the end of their legendary careers but the VC have a new leadership group and a damned promising one. It’s only July but this may be the best lineup they’ve had in a very long time. Playoffs, please!!!

    • DogBreath

      I would have preferred one more year of stock-piling assets before going the route they’ve chosen. However, it appears Benning’s contract status (ie, Aquilini’s marching orders) are driving this change. That said, Gino’s 3rd cousin said it well. His forward acquisitions point to prioritizing grit and skill, which are keys in the playoffs. It will be an interesting year IF (and I mean if) they can gel, have some injury luck and get into the playoffs. If so, they have many of the right ingredients to have some success in the playoffs (which are a crapshoot). If it backfires, Benning is out the door and someone else comes into dismantle and create their own vision (see Edmonton, Arizona, TO, Buffalo etc). Lets hope it works ….

  • CanucksRealist

    It has to be noted that this GM has learned NOTHING from the Eriksson debacle and is *still* handing out NM/NT clauses like candy without even securing astute discount deals like his illustious predecessors Gillis and Gilman did.

    With no first round pick added to this ongoing mess i’m afraid any prospective new GM is already being thrown under the bus. It’s clear that the Aquilini mafia mandate is playoffs or gone for Benning and co, so this coming season ranks as the biggest boom or bust in franchise history.

    Unfortunately it’s the long suffering fanbase who will suffer the most, because let’s face it, none of us are getting any younger after FIFTY years of cup-less futility. Sad sad times.

  • brokensticks

    Jackson, I stopped reading your dribble because your “anti-Benning” bias makes you unbelievable. A good writer takes a balanced approach to his subject. A writer who constantly criticizes loses credibility. You are the unofficial chairman of Team Misery – try, for once, to write one positive, complimentary article.

  • harpdog

    Well I read this reply area and not one of you mentioned the IR. Rousell is going to start the season on IR so his cap will not count. Three others are question marks to start the season(Tanev, Sutter and Baertschi) with the possiblity of one of the 4 players going on retirement IR. It is too early to tell what will happen at the start of Training Camp. Why all the fuss. Benning now should have enough experience to to juggle this even though I think he started his D remake 3 years to late. When camp starts it is hard to say who is going to get waived too. Relax, enjoy you next 2 months of Summer and get some sun.

  • Freud

    The apologists and cheerleaders are debating how Benning can squeak under the cap with a team that will be hard pressed to finish 16th? And with it’s best forward and d-man still on ELCs?

    Shouldn’t the question for debate be, how did such a bad team get in such a cap situation in the first place? Why are the boobs who created the mess still supported by the ignorant and dim?

      • CanucksRealist

        You said that last pre-season troll, and the one before that, and the one… get lost creep and learn some manners and humility. Your rudeness, snark and condescending here is being duly noted.

        • Bud Poile

          And in spite of your lovely act being banned you’re still here pumping Jackson’s tires while being a miserable P.O.S.. This coming season we all get to laugh at that silly act of yours and it’s going to be fun,fun,fun.

          • CanucksRealist

            Wake up trolling POS – with Biech gone, esteemed Associate Editor Jackson is first in line to take over and that means you will FINALLY be out the door here, along with scum like Locust… and it’s going to be fun,fun,fun.

            “Bud has generally served to make the comment section an unwelcoming place not just for the authors but also for a lot of the commenters as well. ” – Jackson McDonald

            Tick tock, u sad little turd

          • Cageyvet

            At which point PQW will reinvent himself again as Iheartthecanucks or something equally inane and pretend he called it all along, and fanboy everyone.

            He also doesn’t realize that getting called out by Jackson means little to most of us, as Jackson is apparently a fan of this kind of commentary and has abandoned the ideals of this site in favour of clicks, at any cost.

            Keep on posting, but I wouldn’t waste my time responding to this idiot. He does that enough, nobody has more make-believe friends than him, as he frantically shuffles accounts to support himself from another name. What a miserable, pathetic existence, I gave up arguing with him a while back, now I pledge to mental disease causes and hope somebody helps him.

      • canucksfan

        there are only eight playoff spots available in the west. Can’t see the canucks magically jumping into one over San Jose, St Louis, Cowtown, dallas, nashville, colorado and vegas as locks with one of arizona, winterpeg, chicago and deadmonton knocking on the door. non-apologists will have plenty of ammo. not happening with this roster.

  • Gino's 3rd Cousin

    Ryan Biech has joined the Darkside of the Canucks Analytics team. Congrats! Hoping his replacement puts some writers with more balanced views into higher roles. Balanced doesn’t mean being boring or non-controversial either, there are ways to strike a chord without being so predictable.

  • DeL

    A lot of posts (as always) ranting on JB. Hardly any ever comment on Aquilini our resident hockey guru who is one of the most meddling owners in the league. Benning does not work in a vacuum and while far from perfect has to work in the constraints that are in place. Canucks have one of the smallest front offices in the league and couldn’t find anyone to fill the vacant president position, although I’m sure FA thinks he can do the job. This is what happens when a rich daddy buys his wayward son a bauble just to keep him out of his hair

  • Captain Video

    The Ferland signing in isolation is fine.

    It’s a fair question, however, whether a GM should spend $15 million, a first round pick and place his team in Cap Hell to pick up complementary middle six wingers like Ferland and Miller and a 2nd/3rd pairing defender like Myers. If you’re going to chew up the team’s cap, shouldn’t you do it on impact players?

    Benning’s previous Grand strategy of spending $15 million and picks on marginal fourth liners like Eriksson, Sutter and Beagle to “insulate” younger players didn’t exactly work out. So, I’m not sure how Benning has earned the benefit of the doubt this time around.

    • DogBreath

      Whether it worked out last year is up for debate. The team was low on talent and rarely were out-competed. Thats as much as they could hope for. The young guys thrived in part because they were insulated.

      Going forward, Benning’s model seems unique in that his 2019 trades and signings appear to be about continuing to insulate the emerging core with physical forwards who can also provide offence.

      He’ll earn the benefit of the doubt if this team makes the playoffs this year and is able to win some rounds in the coming years. If they don’t have success, I suspect he’ll be unemployed.