Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet whose rights never expire.
There’s plenty to talk about in Canuck-land this week, but we’re zeroing in on one particular item of news that you might have missed in all the hubbub surrounding the team’s return-to-play.
Todd joins us tomorrow at 10:15am.
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The brand-new and much-needed Donnie and Dhali show broke word that GM Jim Benning and Co. are in the midst of negotiations to bring the exiled Nikita Tryamkin back into the fold. But it might not be so simple as just sending the 6’8” Russian behemoth an invitation to training camp, as he and his agent are supposedly asking for a commitment somewhere in the $1.5 to $2 million range.
For a team that has just two roster defencemen signed beyond this year, reinforcements are clearly going to be necessary.
But is Tryamkin the solution? Do you want him to come back to a market he once complained reeked of cannabis? And, if so, are you willing to pay him what he’s asking to seal the deal?
Inquiring minds want to know! This week, we’re asking you:
Do you want Nikita Tryamkin to return next season, and under what conditions?
Provide your own personal review of how Jim Benning and the Canucks performed on Trade Deadline day 2021.
Your reviews are below!
Nice one, the next chapter in the Benning debate. See if we can get >250 comments, per the Gaudette debate.
Using the baseball analogy, he delivered a few singles. By creating Benny and the Jets, he freed up playing time for OJ and perhaps Bowey to determine whether they’re NHL players and part of the future. That makes sense. The sixth round draft pick will likely be inconsequential.
By offloading Gaudette, they moved someone who won’t play in the top-six, lacked the defensive acumen to be effective in the bottom-six, couldn’t cut it in the playoffs, and apparently was looking for a move. Benning’s timing and return are debatable depending on whether you think Gaudette had worn out his welcome. Signs are this was the case. I know nothing about Highmore other than his name suits Vancouver well. We’ll see if he can play hockey and fits an organizational need.
RHD Bowie for a swap of draft picks in a year that’s a complete crapshoot. Worth a shot.
Given the past few weeks and that Benning was amongst the most active GMs, a lot of meh. Nothing to get overly upset / excited about.
I don’t believe this season was an appropriate moment to move Gaudette, from a strictly hockey perspective.
Much ado about nothing.
Benning has never had a “good” trade deadline. Perhaps his only move which has stood up was the Vanek for Motte trade. He received much criticism for that one. The one he got the most kudos for was trading out Hansen and Burrows, but the returns on those trades kinda fizzled out.
This deadline wasn’t Benning’s worst and nothing very consequential happened. Even if Gaudette does go on to be an NHL player somewhere else, it wasn’t going to happen here. Bowey, Highmore, and a 6th round pick are assets, but unlikely to make much of an impact. Most fans will agree in hoping this is Benning’s last trade deadline with the Canucks.
As the team was ravaged by COVID, I don’t think the expectations were high for Benning. Forget about meeting expectations. Re-signing Pearson to a player-friendly contract cratered the floor of expectations given the prices some of these UFA wingers fetched.
This year’s deadline was pretty inconsequential, to be honest. I was surprised to actual see us make trades at all considering the COVID situation and Benning’s comments just a couple days earlier. The most entertaining part for me was the debate about the Gaudette trade the day after. I’ll give props for the passion a lot of people have for this team, but to spend so much energy debating a replacement level player trade was absolutely absurd. The guy was definitely liked by the fanbase and I was cheering for him to find his game as well, but never did I hold any expectation that he would turn into a legit top-six, and I think it reflects on how much passion our fans have for this team that we make average/ordinary NHLers into these Blossoming Stars. Anyone remember Brandon Reid, Tyler Bouck, Brendan Gaunce, or Jordan Schroeder?
How out of touch is Benning? He thought the timing of the Pearson signing four days before the TDL would be praised by all and off-set his weak performance on the Monday. Little did he realize that signing a 28-year-old `good in the room` to a 3×3 was a very low priority to the fanbase, and even the opposite of roster moves he should have made re: dumping veterans who are close to retirement because no other team will be offering them contracts like; Beagle (1 goal), Roussel (1 goal) and Eriksson (0 goals). Will Pearson be showing improved play over the next three years or will he be joining the semi-retired?
Basically need to judge this year’s TDL in terms of, “did Benning aquire enough healthy bodies to finish the season?” That’s it.
Not sure we could have expected a lot of activity given the circumstances. The debate will continue over the Gaudette trade until at some point someone tweets more about why they were dealt.
Benning has been shuffling around parts for the past year now with seemingly little direction or plan. At least, not one I can see that is long term.
I guess he is hoping junk-for-junk produces a miracle one of these times because of the change of scenery.
The trade itself doesn’t hurt the Canucks, except taking salary back.
But I sure would like to see him make moves with an eye to a few years down the road once in a while.
Toffoli could have been that, but then we didn’t bother to re-sign him.
Not trading Pearson was a huge fail, as was signing him at this point in the season. The main need up front is a third center, not a middle-six winger, plus Lind and Podz will be on the team next year.
Benn trade was good. Hopefully attempts to trade all other UFAs were made but I doubt it because this team has zero direction.
Bowey trade was again another huge waste of draft capital especially because it means Benning wants to protect Myers in the expansion draft. Another overpaid and too much term signing which has now been doubled down on.
Gaudette trade was once again awful and could have been made at the draft for a pick or RHD prospect. Or been used with several assets to bring in a proper top-four RHD.
All in all, a typical Canucks disaster as “team no plan” continues on the path to fighting for a playoff spot for the next decade and never being able to take the next step to contender status.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
The trade deadline was a typical Benning endeavour: he made some moves around the margins, sold low on a marginal NHLer, and brought in a reclamation project (the Benning special). Of greatest consequence was the fact that he took his biggest chip in Pearson off the table a few days prior to the deadline. Flipping him for assets could have earned Benning a passing grade, irrespective of his other moves, as it would have demonstrated some semblance of a coherent vision and an understanding of the team’s financial position. Instead, we have a 3X3 connected to a diminishing asset.
On another note, it would be interesting to understand if there was any action on Sutter at all. Given the team’s Covid-ravaged state, its position in the standings and the fact that Sutter was playing some of his best hockey in a Canucks jersey, I was disappointed to see him stay. Even a late round pick would have been a nice return, given the depressed market. Anticipating some of the counterarguments against selling low and setting a precedent around having firm pricing – I would understand and wholeheartedly agree if a GM was in year 1-3. However, JB has been at this for years now. What does he have to lose at this point?
Further, I wonder if fellow GMs around the league hold the same viewpoint with respect to negotiating with JB as agents seem to hold. It appears that during almost every contract negotiation, players of all talent levels achieve everything they want.