WDYTT: Your halfway mark Vancouver Canucks MVP
Photo credit:© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
10 months ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet without vowels.
Speaking of vowels, you’ll find almost all of them in the phrase “halfway point of the Vancouver Canucks 2021/22 regular season,” which just so happens to be where we find ourselves this week. Assuming that all the games currently scheduled actually occur and are not postponed, which isn’t the safest assumption to make these days, the Canucks will hit Game #41 on Sunday against the St. Louis Blues.
But we’re going to ask you to cheat a little bit and pick out your halfway MVPs early.
It’s been a long, strange season already, and one that has been filled with a handful of marvelous individual performances, no matter how well the team itself has been performing at any given time.
By our count, you’ve got at least eight genuine candidates to choose from, and maybe more than that if you’re feeling particularly creative. Instead of listing them, however, we’re going to let you go into this fresh-minded.
So, off the top of your head, we’re asking:
Who is your halfway-point MVP for the Vancouver Canucks in 2021/22?
Let us know in the comment section.
If you could undo one Jim Benning move over his tenure with the Canucks, which would it be?
Your responses are below!
Probably drafting Olli Juolevi. I would have taken Sergachev instead. Benning had the right idea in picking a defenseman to complement the group of young forwards, but Juolevi turned out to be the wrong player. The 2016 draft was almost a complete bust in a year when they had just finished second worst overall, and it delayed the whole rebuild project.
I’m still not sold on the OEL trade, either. If his play declines significantly, his contract will become an albatross. I think they should have waited this year out and let all the bad contracts come off the books. If they tanked this year, they would have had a great shot at adding a franchise center or defenseman.
Re-signing Travis Green instead of bringing in Bruce Boudreau in the summer.
On the other hand, maybe that was actually a good thing, because it caused the Canucks to do a complete rethink.
Lots to choose from, but I would undo hiring John Weisbrod. The combination of Benning and Weisbrod led to a small management team with some disastrous decisions.
It set the wheels in motion, in what became a habitual problem of Benning spending millions of dollars on aging, unproductive, veteran, good-in-the-room, does-the-little-things players.
The one Benning move that I would want to undo is Benning signing with the Canucks. If that hadn’t happened, just imagine where the team would be.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
I would undo 2016.Thats the year Benning drafted Juolevi over Matthew Tkachuk or Sergachev. It was also the year he signed Loui Eriksson to a six-year $36 million contract. Those moves defined the Benning era and have been detrimental to the Canucks ever since.
When he signed his contract in 2014 to be GM of the Canucks. Pretty much sums it up.
Too many negatives to list over the last eight years.
I have to choose only one? It’s hard to decide between Benning signing Eriksson, signing Ferland, letting Toffoli walk away for nothing, trading Dahlen for nothing, drafting Juolevi, or drafting Jake Virtannen.
I was thinking of choosing the Ferland signing, but no one really thinks about him because he only played 10 games for the Canucks and he is on LTIR.
I will choose the Toffoli debacle; the Canucks gave up promising assets for Toffoli, he performed super well and he really wanted to re-sign in Vancouver cheap, but Benning had just re-signed Jake Virtannen and was pursuing OEL and he ended up letting Toffoli walk away for nothing. Benning didn’t even call his agent. This event really soured me on Benning.
It’s easy, saying “yes” to a job offer from the Canucks.
A River Named Curt:
So many, many club knee-capping mistakes to choose from. It’s like a mismanagement buffet.
In the end, I’d have to say the biggest blooper was face-planting with the No. 5 pick in the 2016 draft. Selecting a defender over Tkachuk due to a positional need was the first mistake. Selecting Juolevi over Sergachev, McAvoy, or Chychrun was the second.
If Benning makes the right pick in 2016 this is a very different franchise.
Tanev’s front teeth:
Just imagine if we would have been able to nab a top-four defenseman in the 2016 draft. Really sucks that Juolevi didn’t pan out. It was clear JB had his sights set on a D-man, but missing out on one of Sergachev McAvoy, or Chychrun really hurt.
It also shows how much a strong WJC performance can influence a player’s draft ranking. Sergachev and Chychrun were not at the tournament. McAvoy had 0 pts in 6 games, while Juolevi had 9 pts in 7 games.
It also helped Juolevi that Finland, the tournament champions, were absolutely loaded with Puljujarvi, Roope Hintz, Mikko Rantanen, Sebastian Aho, Kasperi Kapanen, and Patrik Laine.
Puljujarvi, Aho and Laine finished 1,2,3 in tournament scoring.
I’m not going to redo a draft pick because every experienced manager has laid numerous eggs there. Figuring out how a 17-year-old is going to play when he’s 25 is brutally difficult, but Benning was better than most. Besides, redoing a draft years after the fact is childishly easy.
So I’m going to choose the most obvious, signing Eriksson to a six-year $36 million contract.
I understand the rationale behind it. The “tre kronor” line was supposed to work magic, three of the best Swedish forwards in the league all connected by some sort of Vulcan mind meld. But signing a player who was just shy of 31 years to a six-year contract was insane, especially one who was never a strong skater in a league that was getting faster by the minute. Not only was Eriksson mediocre right out of the box, but it put pressure on the cap space, and cost the Canucks dearly to dump the contract, including a first round pick. The repercussions will last for years.
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