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WDYTT: Black Aces In The Playoff Lineup

Welcome back to another edition of WWYDW…or not. We’re actually going to be switching up the schedule moving forward, with some of these “audience response” columns moving to Thursday, which means that the old title no longer applies.

So, instead, how about we welcome you back to another edition of What Do You Think Thursday?

We think it has a nice ring to it.

This week, we’re back on topic discussing the lineup of the Vancouver Canucks, but we’re going to the outer limits — to the fringes of the roster, and beyond!

A couple of days ago, the Canucks announced their set of ten “black aces” that would be joining the team for their play-in series against the Minnesota Wild, and in any series the Canucks happen to make it to past that.

The list comprised of forwards Justin Bailey, Reid Boucher, Tyler Graovac, Kole Lind, and Sven Baertschi, defencemen Guillaume Brisebois, Jalen Chatfield, Olli Juolevi, Brogan Rafferty, and Ashton Sautner, and goaltender Mike DiPietro.

As far as extras go, it’s a fairly formidable group — and, given the organization’s usual magnetism for injuries, it wouldn’t be out of the question at all for one or more of them to see some actual playing time this postseason.

But it’s a long list, and we need to prioritize it, so that’s what we’re asking of you this week:

Of the Canucks’ ten black aces, who do you most want to see in the lineup this postseason? Who would be at the top of your list to insert into the roster when injuries strike?

Last week, we asked:

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What would you do to replenish the Canucks’ front office? Who would you hire? Feel free to consider members of other NHL front offices, former players, or even someone really outside the box!

Your responses are below!


In addition to the listed recent departures, you can add the departed CEO and the departed COO, and don’t forget the numerous scouts that were given the boot. We now have a managerial team that’s all about “yes men” rather than what they bring to the table. Loyalty before intelligence is my takeaway. During this regime’s time in office, we have endured the last five years of failure.

You can’t keep dreaming of the future, “just wait, it’s going to get better, yaddah yaddah yaddah.” Believe it or not, many fans and businesses keep laying out large sums of money and all they get in return is “just wait.” Heck, some businesses can’t give away their corporate tickets. If you’re attending a game you can see the empty seats and yet they always show a near-capacity crowd —  the difference is the tickets that businesses can’t give away


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Guys, the solution is simple for those not blinded by six long years of lies, false dawns, and total BS — you rid the franchise of this six year DISASTER Benning and all his laughable “yes men,” and replace them with these proven winners as follows…

Mike Gillis – Team President (most successful former GM in franchise history, forward thinker, contract genius, PROVEN winner)

Status: AVAILABLE, but Seattle interested.

Dean Lombardi – General Manager (two-time Cup winner, has the likes of Selanne, Marleau, Doughty, Stuart, Penner, and Jeff Carter on his trade/draft resume, and is currently doing a stellar job in the Philly front office with AV as coach)

Status: AVAILABLE for GM job.

Gerard Gallant – Head Coach (ass-kicker, players love him, excellent systems, and took Vegas to the SC Final in year one)

Status: AVAILABLE, but in demand

Judd Brackett – Head of Scouting (reinstated)

Status: AVAILABLE, but in demand

All the above are NHL-proven with SC playoff pedigrees, HELLO!!!

With a decent young core in place (through Benning’s failures), let these guys take over the mess, make the right moves, and watch those perennial playoff appearances and legit CUP RUNS begin again. YOU remember those… don’t you?!


(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)

I would hire the president that is competent and experienced and then let him do his job. I think the operations of a Canadian NHL team might be too complex for a first-time executive. However, I would definitely be hands-off and let him do the hiring.

Some of the names I might consider are; Dean Lombardi, Paul Holmgren, Ron Hextall, and Tim Murray. There are probably some I cannot think of, but that’s the gist of it.


I`d suggest Tom Renney, mentioned in the article “Throwback Thursday,” for president, considering he has spent the last six years as CEO of Hockey Canada. To pry him loose will take a lucrative contract and complete autonomy. Let him build a management team.


I’m available to help.

Myself and a few other diehard, long-suffering Canuck fan friends have been plotting on how to fix the Canucks for decades.

Really, a shadow government of sorts, except with no authority or direct contact with Canucks brass — other than regular posts on CanucksArmy and CDC.

Message to GMJB: “It’s me, Jabs. Respond to this post with contract details and financial terms, please. I look forward to sitting next to you, or a hockey stick length apart, at the draft table.”

(Author’s note: I’ll put in a good word!)

Bud Poile:

Actually,Chris Gear and Jonathan Wall both perform cap duties.Gear has been performing these duties since Gilman was dispatched.

There are now 24 scouts employed by the Canucks,if you include Weisbrod and Benning.

This is the largest scouting department the Canucks have ever seen and without argument the most successful.

There is the goaltending department with Ian Clark and Curtis Sanford producing quality goaltending and prospects as a result.

Player development led by Stan Smyl, with Ryan Johnson and now Chris Higgins, both hired under Benning, providing positive results.

Manny Malholtra, another Canucks alumni and star faceoff performer, has been hired as a coach.

Bright lights like CA‘s Ryan Biech and numbers man Jonathan Wall are also Benning hires.

If you have any sense of rationality, you accept these men are quality individuals that independently excel at their professions and collectively make the org stronger and successful, both now and into the future.

Instead of asking fans who they would hire, an in-depth look at the massive hiring that has already been performed is far more relevant.


I would fire Benning and Weisbrod, and have Aquilini attend a party with members of the local sports media in attendance. Have one of the media members drop the name of a player agent, do one interview with that agent. Do not interview others. Hire the player agent as the next President and General Manager.

For those who may be wondering, this is alleged to have happened…

Late entry …. imagine past and future:

President: Mike Gillis

GM & Director of Amateur Scouting: Jim Benning

AGM (Cap Management): Laurence Gilman

Discuss amongst yourselves … 🙂


Who in their right mind would want to accept a job in such a dysfunctional organization? Hard to see any experienced candidates volunteering for the shortlist…


With what went down with Linden being pretty widely known, I doubt any serious candidate would consider the President role with the Canucks organization.

speering major:

I would patiently wait for the rebuild phase to transition to the team becoming a legit playoff team. Once Eriksson, Sutter, Beagle, and Roussel roll off the books, you have a solid young core with some solid prospects to fill those gaps.

After the expansion draft next year, I would look to bring in a high-quality president. Be patient for the right fit. I’ll do my best not to get blown up with hate for criticizing Linden, but IMO he was more of a figurehead than I would look for.

Find someone with experience supporting a core, managing, contracts etc. Let JB focus more on the scouting and development side of things and less on the rest. Guys like Stan Bowman or Jim Rutherford might not be sticking around for/through a rebuild for example. If Bowman hasn’t learned from his vet contract mistakes, maybe someone more astute in that department. But, hopefully, you get the idea

If people are worried about JB micromanaging the scouting department and neglecting other areas, this should fix that. His draft record in Van has been great. Good teams are drafting in a position to find guys like Boeser and McCann. With the cap, you need to find guys like Gaudette, Demko, Rathbone, Stecher, or even ZM. Let JB focus more on that and get another voice in the room when he tries to sign Myers or Beagle to term.