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The Jim Benning Five-Year Rewind: A Trio Of Pick/Player Swaps

On the last episode of The Jim Benning Five-Year Rewind, we took a good look at Benning’s first major move as GM of the Vancouver Canucks—trading Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks. In our final assessment, we found the deal to be not that bad with all things considered—but far from a home run.

This time around, we’re here to examine a trio of trades that Benning made in the 24 hours following the Kesler deal, just a little over five years ago. Each of these acquisitions involved picks being exchanged for players, and we’ll discuss them in chronological order—though it’s tough not to think of them as one big multi-team transaction.

On the same day that the paperwork was filed on the Kesler deal, the Canucks made the following move:

To Tampa Bay:

Jason Garrison

Jeff Costello

2015 7th Round Draft Pick (Jack Sadek, MIN)

 

To Vancouver:

2014 2nd Round Draft Pick (Roland McKeown, LAK)

 

First and foremost, we can remove Costello and the 7th round pick from any serious consideration. Costello was merely included in the deal as a contract slot, and he would go on to play just two games at the AHL level and 28 more at the ECHL level in 2014/15 before retiring. The 7th, meanwhile, was flipped to the Minnesota Wild—who used it on a player who just cracked the ECHL for two games last season.

The main pieces, then, are Garrison and the 2nd round pick—and that’s what we’ll be examining below.

Jason Garrison Since Leaving Vancouver

From NHL.com

Though there was some chagrin at the time about how unceremoniously Garrison was dumped by his hometown team, in hindsight it appears to have been a timely decision. With Garrison entering the third year of a seven-year contract that paid him an average of $4.6 million—and coming off a season in which he tied his career high with 33 points—he may have seemed like a player the Canucks were committed to long term, but new GM Jim Benning obviously felt differently.

He was probably right to do so.

Garrison had a good 2014/15 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but his play fell off a cliff thereafter. In his two seasons with the Canucks, Garrison put up a total of 49 points in 128 games—whereas he’s put up just 52 in his 237 games after.

Tampa Bay chose to expose Garrison to the Expansion Draft in 2017, and the Vegas Golden Knights ended up selecting him—but they plunked him into the AHL for much of the 2017/18 season. He managed to make it back for 17 games with the Edmonton Oilers in 2018/19, but has since decided to continue his career in Europe.

On the whole, it looks like trading Garrison was a case of addition by subtraction—within a season of leaving Vancouver, his contract had become an anchor.

If Jim Benning was prescient enough to see Garrison as a defenseman leaving his prime and about to deteriorate, he deserves credit for wisely moving on. If he was just looking to cut cap by dealing Garrison, it can still be considered at the very least a case of good timing.

Of course, the Canucks didn’t walk away from the transaction empty-handed, either.

Roland McKeown As A Prospect

*From HockeyDB

The 2nd round pick acquired from Tampa Bay in exchange for Jason Garrison didn’t stay with the Canucks long—more on that in a moment—and it was eventually used by the Los Angeles Kings to draft Roland McKeown, who now plies his trade for the Carolina Hurricanes organization.

As a 2nd rounder, McKeown may seem like a bit of a disappointment—especially considering that Brandon Montour went just a few spots later. However, in taking a look at the 2014 2nd round in its entirety, the fact that McKeown remains a legitimate prospect at age 23 actually qualifies him as an above-average selection.

It remains to be seen whether or not McKeown will ever crack the NHL full-time—but for the time being, he remains an asset with value.

Conclusion

Getting rid of a contract that was about to become onerous is a win all on its own, and the fact that Benning was able to recoup a valuable asset from the deal qualifies this trade as an outright victory.

What Benning did with that asset, however, is another story—one that we’ll get to in a few paragraphs.

 

Later that same day, the Canucks completed another deal:

To New York Rangers:

2014 3rd Round Draft Pick (Keegan Iverson, NYR)

 

To Vancouver:

Derek Dorsett

 

Derek Dorsett As A Canuck

From NHL.com

Coming off perhaps the worst season of his NHL career in 2013/14, the Dorsett acquisition was met with some skepticism among the Canucks’ faithful. However, he began to win fans over almost immediately.

In 2014/15, Dorsett put up career numbers with 25 points—and he injected a level of tenacity and pugnaciousness into the Vancouver lineup that was sorely lacking. He wasn’t quite as productive the following season, which made his brand new contract all the more controversial, but he was just as pugilistic; unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse after that.

A severe neck injury ended Dorsett’s 2016/17 season just 14 games in—and although he would return for 20 more games in 2018/19, the injury would ultimately result in the end of his career. That Dorsett’s presence in the lineup was so missed during his lengthy absences is a testament to his impact on the roster across parts of four seasons with the Canucks—as is the fact that the Canucks didn’t replace that presence until signing Antoine Roussel in 2018.

In the end, Dorsett’s career was over before it could be determined whether he would return fair value for all four years of his $10.6 million deal. It’s safe to say, however, that he produced at a reasonable rate given his salary for the portions of his contract he was healthy for, and his presence on LTIR certainly didn’t hurt the team thereafter.

Keegan Iverson As A Prospect

From HockeyDB

Even for a 3rd round pick, Iverson is looking like a bust. At the age of 23, he appears to be done with professional hockey—last lacing them up for the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL in 2017/18.

That being said, the rest of the 2014 3rd round draft class is far from impressive—and so its unlikely that the Canucks would have ended up with a much better prospect even if they kept the pick and made the selection themselves.

Aside from Brayden Point, who went six spots ahead of Iverson, the bottom-half of the 2014 3rd round is filled with no-names—and that’s a pretty clear indication of how much value the asset held when it was flipped for Dorsett. At best the Canucks might have ended up with a Nathan Walker or a Ville Husso—but the odds weren’t in favour of this particular pick yielding a useful asset.

Conclusion

On the surface, a Dorsett-for-Iverson swap is an absolute win for Jim Benning and the Canucks. Even taking into consideration the pure value of the 3rd round pick—and ignoring how poorly this particular selection turned out—it’s hard not to like the trade.

Dorsett added a lot to the Canucks lineup over four seasons, and he was still playing an important role when his career reached its sudden conclusion. Again, the benefit of five years of hindsight qualifies this acquisition as another victory.

 

The following day, however, Benning finished off his trio of trades with easily the worst transaction of the set:

To Los Angeles:

2014 2nd Round Draft Pick (Roland McKeown, LAK)

 

To Vancouver:

Linden Vey

 

Linden Vey As A Canuck

From NHL.com

We’ve included Vey’s entire NHL statline above, for illustrative purposes. Namely, the numbers indicate that Vey only really received a big league opportunity during his two seasons with the Canucks—and that probably indicates that he was never really all that deserving of an NHL roster spot.

Everyone who watched the Canucks from 2014 to 2016 knows that coach Willie Desjardins had his favourites, and that Vey was undoubtedly his most favourite. Vey’s stats don’t look all that awful with the Canucks, but that’s almost certainly a result of the inordinate offensive opportunities he received from his coach—opportunities that really should have gone to some more talented and defensively-responsible teammates.

Vey proved to be a frustrating player for the fanbase, and his presence on the team was ultimately more of a negative than a positive.

More On Roland McKeown

Since we’ve already taken a look at McKeown as a prospect, we’ll briefly touch on his future as an NHL player.

As it stands, McKeown is stuck behind an extremely stacked Carolina defense corps—particularly on the right side, where McKeown plays best. Unless trades are made, he currently needs to beat Brett Pesce, Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk, and Trevor van Riemsdyk out for a spot.

In other words, it’s entirely like that McKeown never holds down a full-time NHL job—and if he does, it will probably be with a different organization.

Conclusion

It’s tempting to call this trade a wash since McKeown remains a questionable prospect, but that’s not accurate. Vey proved to be a negative asset, and McKeown retains leaguewide value to this day—and so this trade is an unmitigated loss.

 

Final Thoughts

In essence, the Linden Vey trade wipes out any positives that came from cutting Jason Garrison loose at the right time by trading the very draft pick he returned for a negative asset. The positive benefits that Derek Dorsett delivered—particularly when it came to team culture—are the only things preventing this trio of trades from being an outright wash.

On the whole, we’ll have to call this an unsteady—but not disastrous—start to Jim Benning’s tenure with the team.

  • Fair critique. These trades stick out because they were made before Benning solidified his reputation league wide as a pushover in trade negotiations.

  • Yes, Vey sucks. His last year in junior was 113 points. He was a PPG player in 3 years in AHL, and the Nucks got him for a sonf because LA was stacked. Come to Van, and his Dad tries to kill his mom and jailed for conspiracy. I’m sure that wasn’t a distraction at all. Isn’t Vey the type of player you take a gamble on with that pedigree in junior and AHL? And I’m sorry, I’m thinking the Kings could have used him in a playoff run and maybe he plays well enough, they don’t blow their was on Kovaluchuk and Gaborik.

    • Vey was a reasonable gamble. But there are at least two ways to evaluate past trades:

      1. Did they make sense at the time?
      2. Did they work out?

      Roget appears to be using the second criterion, which is fair enough. The proof is in the pudding.

      • Even looking from a “Did they work out?” lens, this series of trades was still a win for the Canucks. Yes Vey was not the player they hoped to get, but who did they actually have that was better? They definitely did not get a good long term asset with the second round pick, but they got rid of the Garrison contract before he became a high priced anchor that costs a pick to get rid of. Getting rid of a bad contract is always a win.

  • Maybe you need to spoon feed me this stuff but…Vey played 116 NHL games for the Canucks (lacklustre as they may have been) McKeown not only hasn’t played a game yet, he may never. As well, his value at present would be what? A 5th? A 6th? More likely he clears waivers without a claim this fall?
    How is that an unmitigated loss?! If McKeown plays a couple of seasons or is traded for actual value then the loss is unmitigated. As of right now this trade is still a wash

      • I thought it was a really interesting analysis of trades. Though a very small sample size, it is a good example of the value trade-off of exchanging more certain assets (such as Vey) for unknown draft picks. Though there were higher hopes for Vey, I also don’t see how that trade would not be seen favourably in hindsight. McKeown has had virtually no NHL impact. In baseball analogy, these are solid ‘singles’ for Benning.

        • Just because LA messed up their pick or couldn’t develop him doesn’t make the trade for Vey a good one. It actually exposed a pretty big flaw in their player evaluation system by showing that that were willing to prioritize past loyalty over other more important player attributes.

    • I’ll accept the premise that McKeown has very little value today. Let’s say he’s worth a 6th as AHL depth with a tiny possibility of more. If you’re an NHL GM and someone offers you Vey for a 6th, do you do it? How about a 7th? A bag of pucks?

      Neither is valuable, and at the time I can see why Vey might have been worth a gamble, but today I think McKeown is worth more the Vey as an asset.

      • That literally depends on if he clears waivers this fall. It’s unlikely he sticks with the Canes when the team is fully healthy. If Mckeown is waived or traded for anything below a 4th round pick, then getting a player that played over 100 NHL games was worth the cost. IF McKeown becomes an NHL regular without being waived or is traded for an early round pick, then this will be an ‘unmitigated loss’. Otherwise it’s a wash.

        • There’s also the possibility that the Canucks would have used the 2nd not to draft McKeown, but to acquire a more talented player than Vey. For example, the Kings ended up trading it to Carolina for Andrej Sekera.

          As well, don’t hang not making the NHL as of yet too heavily on McKeown’s head. He is trying to crack perhaps the deepest defense corps in the league outside of Nashville. He’d have made the Canucks long ago.

  • GMJB has been fairly successful with these types of deals. Trading a pick with X% of even playing in the NHL for a player like Vey that has produced at a point per game in the AHL and is stuck in a system is smart.
    5 years ago the Twins were the focus of the team and flipping a 2nd/3rd round pick that would take years to develop if at all was not the agenda. Immediate or near term help was the need.
    Now that the core is young, there will be a time table to develop picks in the system. In 4 yrs, guys like Miller, Ferland, Pearson, maybe Jake will be gone and the. Amici’s system must develop replacements on a cheaper contract.

    I always say, you have to look at GMJBs decisions pre and post Sedins

  • Fair article and reasonable observations.

    Linden Vey and Emerson Etem both played on the Medicine Hat Tigers in 2009-10, the last season Willie was the head coach there. Hard not to suspect Benning got some bad advice about a player he would not have been familiar with.

  • When analyzing these trades from a Canucks perspective, using the payers drafted by the other team (ie. McKeown) serves no purpose. Yes that’s the player drafted in that spot but it’s surely not the player the Canucks would have taken.

    It’s like looking at the Keith Ballard trade and sloughing off the 1st rounder given up because Q Howden never amounted to much. Not the way to analyze trades where draft picks are given up – particularly when multiple draft picks from the same draft are given up.

    • I wouldn’t say it serves no purpose, but it is certainly an imperfect comparison. It’s simply the choice an organization made at that slot at that time and is the easiest way to compare the transaction. The Canucks could have selected a higher value pick at that point, or someone with no NHL value. Of the 2014 second round picks, 4 have played more than 100 NHL games and 25 have played fewer than 100 games, so odds are the Canucks would have selected someone who wold go on to play fewer NHL games than Vey.

      • Bang on DogBreath! Its not perfect but if people want to argue then based on percentage the pick likely would have been worse if you want it viewed that way.

    • Agree completely Dirk. The measurement should be the value of an average second round pick – not the player picked – in Vey’s case. Same on Ballard’s trade. The value of a mid to late 1st round pick.

      • I think everyone understands the imperfection of comparing a known player to player eventually chosen with a traded draft pick. However that chosen player as well as the player the pick was traded for are both being evaluated with the hindsight of what actually happened. Vey was over a point a game player in the AHL the year he was acquired. It was reasonable to have higher expectations of him than he eventually demonstrated just as it is reasonable to assume a different pick at the draft might have turned out better.

        The point is when evaluating historic trades you can’t use hindsight to evaluate one half of the trade and not the other.

        That said the Vey trade was not a good trade and someone should have realized what LA already had. Vey was an undersized perimeter player destined for Europe.

        • I’m not going to go back to the articles from the time to confirm, but I believe there were articles stating Vey was driving force on a very good AHL line with Pearson and Toffoli. He’s one of many players that often inexplicably can’t raise his game to the next level. It was a good gamble that didn’t work out.

      • I wasn’t being critical of your approach as I think you appropriately used hindsight to consider both sides of the trade. It would be misleading to compare the probability of a draft pick working out with the hindsight of what the player traded for actually did after the trade.

        • Which is why the only logical way to present this argument is to use draft pick value. Not a perfect solution, but the best one we’ve got at this point.
          And if that is done, then the question becomes; Was Linden Vey worth giving up what was a pick with around a 10% chance of ever becoming a top 6/4 player and around an 80% chance of being a 4th line or worse player?
          A 50th overall pick has a roughly 30 to 35% chance of playing 100 NHL games. Vey played 138.

          At worst that trade was a scratch. I would argue the canucks came out slightly ahead as Vey gave the team more than a pick in that range usually does.
          That’s not saying much though.

          • The only reason Vey made to 138 games is because he was Desjardin’s guy. He doesn’t make half as far on any other roster.

          • Sure, you’re probably right. But every player is some coaches “guy”. It’s not the only example of that kind of thing.
            And that still doesn’t change the fact that a 50th overall pick is almost worthless in terms of any real value. 35% odds are really really bad. The value of Vey is a text book example of being equal to those crappy draft pick odds. It’s a wash.

  • There’s one aspect missing from the analysis.

    Players like Vey slide through waivers all the time. Given that the Canucks were at the bottom of the league, without much realistic hope of rising up in the standings, would Benning have been smarter to target players on waivers. He would get to look at the players for free and still have the draft picks available.

  • I’m not criticizing the exercise of analyzing these trades but the net effect of them is basically zero. The trades have had absolutely nothing to do with the Canucks record, prospect pool, or salary cap. It’s really unfortunate that Dorsett went down.

    Anyways, I enjoy these types of break downs but these moves are a series of very fringe transactions that didn’t work out either way. Totally irrelevant to all parties involved in the big picture

    • I don’t know if I agree that the effect is zero. For example, Garrison still being on the books might have precluded the team from making other moves, or maybe they do trade Garrison but keep the 2nd and end up with a valuable asset.

      I agree that as of right now, they’re basically a wash…but I think it’s important to also look at how they might have also ended up having a positive impact if they went differently.

      Either way, glad you liked the article, and I admit there’s a reason I lumped all three of these into one. The next 5-year Rewind is going to look at the Miller and Vrbata contracts, so there’s a bit more meat on those bones.

  • If the team wasn’t in cap hell, McKeown might make a good depth signing for the Canucks on the right side if Carolina exposes him to waivers.

    • The team isn’t in cap hell, and a McKeown acquisition would be possible even if they were.

      McKeown makes close to league minimum and would replace someone else on the roster, so he wouldn’t add to the cap at all. Still, he’s not one I would target currently.

  • Overall, these trades showed some creativity from Benning. In retrospect, the strategy of trying to compete while rebuilding (or retooling or whatever they called it) may have been ill conceived, he traded a veteran for a pick + cap space, he used Tampa’s pick to gamble on Vey and traded a 3rd round pick for Dorsett. Vey for a 2nd was not far off from market price. So he got younger, more cap space and kept his picks.

    Ideally, he could have done this at the draft where he could have traded an aging veteran for picks and used them to acquire Miller. He would have been applauded for this (rightly so).

  • The trades need to be put in the context of JBs mandate which was compete now. So the team was willing to trade picks for players who were further along in their development and appeared to have upside. The owners were not prepared to wait on prospects, and the team had a farm system as barren as the prairies in the dirty 30s.
    So he took Vey and got a couple of years out of him. Gave up nothing of value. Got Dorsett which was a clear win, only cut short by injury which could not be foreseen. Benning followed that path for about 3 seasons, trading drafts or prospects for more developed players in the hopes they could play now or soon. The alternative was a really horrible team which would have been disrespectful to the Sedins. In fact other GMs would have let the team tank to the bottom, in the hopes Daniel and Henrik would ask to be traded. That would have garnered some high picks and better prospects, but Canucks didn’t do that.
    Got to give them credit on a human level for respecting the twins, but as a business decision it set back the rebuild.

    • I absolutely agree on the notion of respecting the twins and competing during that time period.

      I guess what I’m saying is that with some better pro scouting/less trust in Desjardins’ assessment they could have found someone a lot more useful than Linden Vey to help their playoff aspirations.

      • Vey’s Points Per Game in the WHL 1.07, in the AHL 0.82. This was not a schmuck. He didn’t work in Vancouver or Calgary, but he still has produced in the KHL at 0.90 points per game. I think too much was thrown at him by Willie and it destroyed his NHL career.

        • Rediiis those are excellent stats to show Vey has been successful. So it could be poor coaching or just a bad coach-player mix. Or as you said, too many things to think about which stiffled his ability.

          • Canucks fans were hoping for another Kesler and his head was not in the game. He should have been sent down early. Fans got on him due to his ice time and lack of production. Sad story, but it happens all of the time. Puljujarvi is in the current as we speak. Same river raft with a waterfall ahead. Some kids have a hard time with criticism from fans and media.

  • these were minor trades with jimbo hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. the gubranson trade was a killer. sending a 1st rounder to tampa could be major trade if miller excels or a total disaster if tampa ends up with a top 5 pick which is very possible if markstrom falters.

  • I like this series a lot but as others have said I think you’re applying a double standard here — hindsight allows you to see that the Iverson swap was worth it because he was a bust (even if Dorsett was injury plagued and had to retire) while the McKeown pick is still valuable because he remains a viable prospect and Vey was not valuable because he couldn’t hack it in the NHL. Either you review these trades in terms of outcomes or in terms of potential, not both. I think if you’re doing these retrospectives you can’t keep thinking about the abstract value of a 2nd rounder, nor can you talk about who they might have picked with that second rounder (after all if we’re doing that we could go back and say that the Kings should’ve picked Ekholm or Vatanen or Hoffman or Kruger or Lee or any of the other players who were picked after Vey the year he was drafted). I think it’s actual outcomes that we should look at — the Vey trade in retrospect wasn’t nearly the disaster we sometimes make it out to be; people wring their hands over the 2nd but McKeown didn’t even benefit the Kings who got SIXTEEN GAMES for McKeown (and a first rounder in Julien Gauthier). To evaluate these trades properly I think you need to look at them directly, not as fruit of the tree. Vey for McKeown was a fair deal and if anything I’d say the Canucks came out ahead as they got a full season out of him and fairly decent production if you consider what kind of pressure the poor guy must have been under with his personal life. Garrison for the 2nd was an excellent deal because it was not only a salary dump but on a seemingly immovable (and long-term) contract to boot.

    These trades and contracts haven’t been the problem under JB. The other ones I know you’re getting to…

    • The Canucks didn’t trade McKeown for Vey. They traded the 50th overall pick for Vey.

      They didn’t trade Iverson for Dorsett. They traded the 85th pick for Dorsett.

      It’s ridiculous to assign players to these deals as there would be such a slim chance those players would have been taken. I’m not even looking to criticize the trades – just think it’s a futile exercise.

      • Fair enough. From your prior posts, you’re a strong advocate of trading assets for picks (we all want more picks). In terms of evaluating the Vey and Dorsett trades, what metric do you use to evaluate the return the Canucks received on their gambles?

        • Dogbreath – this is how I look at it. If you take these trades in a vacuum they are fine. It is true that there is not an extraordinarily high chance of a second rounder becoming an impact player and Vey had some potential. The issue is that at this point in Canucks history there was an overwhelming glut of prospects. So when you factor in that they traded a second and third this year in 2014, another second the year after in 2015 and the year after that in 2016 there is a cumulative effect. Instead of stockpiling picks management was trading them. When you make one second round pick in three drafts as opposed to 5 or 6 which a rebuilding team should be doing, there are going to be ramifications lin term. Take the defence. Now we wonder where all the defensive prospects are? Who’s ready to step in from Utica? Well no one really so let’s resign Edler instead of trading him. Let’s sign Myers to a 5 year deal. Let’s not trade Tanev because there’s no one coming to replace him. Let’s draft Juolevi instead of Tkachuk, not because he’s better but because there’s a big void in defensive prospects.

          So essentially I look at it from a more holistic view as opposed to breaking them down on an individual level. Are/we’re the Canucks better off by acquiring Vey and Dorsett for picks – did they provide much if any value for the Canucks? Are there assets still around from them?

          • Ahhh, c’mon. Not buying that. We all look at the big and macro picture and analyze both. You’re a regular voice on the macro, so will assume you’re giving the question a pass.

            True, we all want more prospects, less gaps in the pipeline. Their earlier strategy of trading seconds for Baertchi, Granlund etc was a calculated gamble to fill an age cohort. The approach was defensible – the results were lukewarm. None of the transactions created foundational players, only 2nd, 3rd and 4th liners. Personally, I was fine with the gamble, considering the draft picks have a 25% chance of playing in the NHL.

            To your question on Vey, I believe he was exposed on waivers, and I’m sure you know that Dorsett was forced to retire prematurely due to injury.

          • Trades cannot be analyzed without considering the context. For obvious reasons the Jets trading a 1st for Kevin Hayes at last years trade deadline is a lot different than the Canucks doing that. It’s impossible to analyze trades in a vacuum without considering everything else going on. As I said, the Vey trade wasn’t that bad if you just look at it by itself. Vey had some potential and may have emerged into a useful piece. However, in the context of where the Canucks were as an organization and what their biggest needs were, trading away any draft picks has only hurt them here in 2019.

            As for the value of draft picks. The Canucks right now could trade their 2020 2nd round pick for say….Ty Rattie. If you just use percentages it’s more likely plays more games than the second rounder given up. That’s not the to evaluate the trade though. The reason is that a player of Rattie’s caliber could be acquired in other ways and most likely doesn’t have the ability to make your team any better compared to what you have – and if he does make them better, to what end? The second round pick, however, has the potential to turn into something much more meaningful – it’s that potential which gives it more value than Rattie despite probably having lower odds of playing as many games (or whatever metric you’re using).

          • Good answer Dirk …. I don’t disagree with your points … its all a freakin crap-shoot.

      • But you’re evaluating the outcome not the potential. Of course it was the 50th and the 85th – but if you’re evaluating what actually happened, you’re not basing that on the trading of the #189 in 2006 for #85 in 2014 or #96 in 2009 for #50 in 2014. It’s five years later and you’re trying to assess what the real value of those trades were. If it were only ever about the moment in time you’d always trade a young power forward and a first round pick for a 24-year-old center with 3 x 100 point seasons under his belt. But in hindsight you obviously don’t make the Neely-Wesley for Pederson swap.

  • Don’t know if it’s been said … but what about timing and team lifecycle matters?

    At that point in time Vancouver needed players with potential of that age. They got one … he was special … maybe ‘real’ special … Coach’s pick much?
    McKeown still hasn’t played.
    The Canuck’s needed new blood then not now.

    Either way it was a trade/gamble, aren’t they all?
    It seems there wasn’t much gained … or lost in this one.
    Except in ways it was what the Canucks needed, wanted and got.
    Promising (maybe even planned – do ya think?) with little payoff.
    Where’s the fire? Or is the sky falling?

  • Most trades seem to make sense at the time they are made but whether they have lasting, positive impact is a different matter. Vey and Mr. Garrison offered hope to fans but didn’t pan out. I look at last year’s opening night roster plus their scratches and Roussel on IRL and 7 of those guys are no longer with the organization. What I’m saying is it made sense at the time to take gambles on Gudbranson, Del Zotto, Nilsson, et al but it didn’t happen for various reasons. But Pearson, Miller, Ferland, Benn and Myers are significant upgrades compared to even a year ago IMO. These acquisitions should be interesting to analyze in the future like the context of this article presents talking of Benning’s early tenure.

    • I agree with you, although there were red flags (at least for some) about Gudbranson in particular. You could argue that most of the Canucks worst trades didn’t necessarily have those — Sutter had a number of solid seasons (and wasn’t injury prone) prior to arriving here and Eriksson had long been heralded as an underrated performer. The fringe players — Burmistrov, Pouliot, MDZ, Nilsson, Etem, etc — all showed exactly why they weren’t worth their draft positions or salaries.