WDYTT: Who is on your list of Vancouver Canucks untouchables?

Photo credit:© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
2 years ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet officially endorsed by the estate of MC Hammer.
Speaking of things that you can’t touch, that’s precisely what we’re discussing here today. The 2022 Trade Deadline is just weeks away, the Canucks have a brand-new front office in place, and the stove is as hot as it’s ever been in Vancouver.
We’ve heard rumours about just about everyone on the roster, with the operative bit being the “just about.” There are, of course, at least a handful of players that Patrik Allvin and Co. won’t even consider moving. We call them the Untouchables. But everyone’s personal list varies slightly.
Today, we’re asking for yours, by asking:

Who is on your list of Canucks untouchables?

(As in the players you would not consider trading at all.)

Let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

How confident are you in the Canucks’ newly-assembled front office moving forward?

You answered below!
There’s no question in my mind that in terms of professionalism, experience, diversity of opinion, etc., there should be every confidence in this group. BUT, Benning’s shortcomings aside, you have to admit he drafted some really good players, and until this group shows they can match or surpass that drafting talent, the jury in that area should be out. They should also endure the same scrutiny as the last group until they prove otherwise. My hope is that player development and fiscal management improve, but it’s way too early to judge.
Beer Can Boyd:
(Winner of the ‘not this week, Boyd’ award)
WAAAAAY too early for this question. Do I have to give you all of your material??!! LOL.
Try this one. “Which Canuck player is most likely to be traded by the deadline?” Or, “Who will be the Canucks backup goalie next season?” Or even something historical, like “Who is the greatest Canucks coach of all time?”
(Might steal that backup goalie one, actually.)
Ragnarok Ouroboros:
The only thing the front office has done is hire Bruce Boudreau. Other than that, the front office has done nothing other than hire more front office. Bruce Boudreau has been a good hire and a breath of fresh air. I think that under Benning, management was too sparse, so I do like that there are more varied voices in management.
Rutherford has instilled confidence in me with his calm, collected, and steady presence, but we will have to see what happens at the trade deadline. I wonder if we are closer or farther away from a Stanley Cup run under Rutherford. I almost get the sense that we are entering a mini-rebuild, which I can’t say I’m happy about.
If the team and the salary cap can be better managed, I’ll be happy in the long run. I could never understand how Benning was able to spend to the cap each year, but not produce a team that could even make the playoffs.
I like the front office team that Rutherford has assembled, and he’s saying the right things: that the team needs to get younger and hold onto its draft picks. Beyond that, it’s too early to tell. I’ll have more to say in the summer, after the trade deadline, the draft, and free agent season.
Brian Togri:
To this point, they haven’t really made any significant moves, however, the qualifications of the new hires are impeccable. I agree with Rutherford’s assessment on the needs of this organization as a whole and what he has so far shared on his plan for long-term success. Communication, competency, and a big picture perspective…what a breath of fresh air!! My confidence is very high in this group!!
Chris the Curmudgeon:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
While it is far too early to tell, there is one very promising aspect to what the new front office has done so far: expand. The irksome trait that emerged from the JB front office was the ostensible tendency to consolidate and suppress alternative points of view. Between the early power struggle between Benning and previous POHO Trevor Linden, to the dismissal of Judd Brackett, to the elevation of Benning yes-man John Weisbrod, it was very clear that the previous regime did not tolerate dissent, and the results of that were predictable. Between the fresh perspectives provided by these hires, and the well-advised retention of well-respected icons like Smyl and the Sedins, it seems clear that the new group intends to put the “trust” back in brain trust. As a fan, that attitude was sorely missing and is very much welcome.
Defenceman Factory:
Cautious optimism is a more accurate descriptor than confidence about my feelings toward the Canucks’ management team. The hires all seem like intelligent, knowledgeable people, and I like the diversity of backgrounds. Rutherford has demonstrated he can build a championship roster and I fully expect he and Boudreau to stay on the same page. Hopefully Allvin can learn enough during Rutherford’s tenure here to follow through after Jim leaves.
Far too early to comment on this. Examine, however, Stevie Y for a moment. Took over a real bad club last year and now are in the .500 range with a couple of good young prospects being considered for ROTY. The new front office looks pragmatic and balanced but, like what has happened in DET, it’ll slowly take time to turn things around.
On a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 represents nuclear annihilation a la Mike Milbury, and 10 represents metaphysical certitude as per Sam Pollock, my current confidence level in the Rutherford regime is 6.75.
El Kabong:
Confidence is riding high with the new front office. They have a clear vision, plan of action, and the skills to pull it off.
All the new management hires including Rutherford have talked about the same goal: building a perennial Cup contender. The goal of the previous regime of just making the playoffs and hoping for the best has been buried. So they have the right mission statement.
They have properly assessed that this group of players is not capable of meeting the goal and some of the veterans may be more valuable to other teams than they would be for the Canucks. So they have correctly analyzed the strategic situation.
They haven’t executed on their plan yet, but based on their respective track records, I am confident that we will be in a better position two years from now than we are today.
If Aquaman had painted a smiley face on a trash can and promoted it to GM, I’d have given it two thumbs up and a vote of confidence on doing a better job than the previous GM et al.
The new management team at least checks the right boxes, but as others have noted, they haven’t done anything yet to really evaluate.
So, like others, I’d give Aquaman credit for cleaning house, though it could have come much sooner than it did. Things might get real exciting real soon and then we may want to circle back to this topic.
coconuts grow:
I’m glad that we’re done, for time being, of having the top spot in both the Hockey Ops and the Coaching staff being in their roles for the first time. Gillis, Linden, Willie, Benning, Green. . . We now have a HoF in the President role and a proven coach with his own playoff success ceiling to break through in Boudreau. It’s not a tear it down rebuild now; it’s smart, accomplished people in the right roles with some valuable assets that can be used to mold the roster and culture into what they believe is a championship caliber team. All for it, hopefully confident.
Very high right now. We have a successful and experienced person at the head and he has installed a large group of qualified people to replace a small group that did not appear to collaborate beyond the top two. I agree with everything they have said at this point as well. Not every move they make will work out, but they appear to have accurately assessed the team and farm system, and have good vision of building a team that will be a contender for an extended time.
Managing a hockey organization entails more than just an owner, a GM, and a coach. Under the previous regime, it appeared as if there were too few decision-makers and not enough checks and balances. Most importantly, there didn’t seem to be any longer term vision. The decisions were often short-sighted and reactionary (playoffs this year or clearing salary to block an offer sheet).
The differences between the last year’s group and the current management couldn’t be more stark. Under Rutherford, there’s an articulated process underway. For example, he stated that he wanted to expand and diversify the management team, then put the process in action, and delivered as he said he would. He’s also stated that he would wait until the end of January to assess the players before any action was taken, and has followed through on that. However, until the re-shaping of the team on the ice takes place (which is the most important part of his job), the jury is still out. Will he be able to deliver on his objectives of gaining cap space and building a faster team? We’ll see, but at least I understand what he is trying to do. Delivering on these problems will be much more challenging.
Bo Ho:
10 out of 10, a system mostly run by Rutherford should make a good team in a bit!
I am Ted:
I have guarded optimism in the new front office. JR is savvy and will be patient but looking at his trade history reveals some really bad moves. He now has a GM that seems to have a high hockey acumen and other supporting staff. They have all hinted at the issues many of us felt were there and Benning ignored. JR et al commented how they don’t have many high-end assets, have cap issues, and aren’t a contending team. It’s great they recognize this and it sounds like they are going to be sellers and re-tool. This hasn’t happened yet. If it does happen then we’ll have to review the actual deals made.
So, the jury is still out but based on the front office comments, I have some optimism here. They seem to have a grasp on what the Canucks actually are over what the delusional Jim Benning thought they were. Yes, that’s right, they are what we thought they were!
Hockey Bunker:
High expectations based on Rutherford’s history.
I’m going to reserve early marking until I see the team they ice next fall.
I look at it like a five-year university degree…this is the first semester.
Look at the Oilers, brought in a top coach and manager, and they are failing.
Forever 1915:
“Cautiously optimistic” since they have a GM that should continue to improve our drafting capacity (our professional scouting needs a lot more work) plus the additional perspective of data analytics. That being said, it’s one thing to know the rules of 5D chess, it’s another thing to get checkmates on a consistent basis.
Analytics whiz kids like Dubas and Chayka haven’t delivered on the analytics revolution. Dubas won the draft lottery to get Matthews and got a homer with Tavares, but put himself into cap hell. He has 76.6% of his cap committed to only 8 players for 2023-2024, and you thought Benning couldn’t manage the cap? He has $19 million to find 15 more roster players. As for Chayka, he’s left Arizona in a mess and also managed to lose a 1st and 2nd round draft pick as a farewell gift for violating combine testing rules. Let’s not forget the only championship team that Rutherford actually built and not inherited (i.e. Carolina 2006) took him 12 years to build (1994 to 2006).
Rutherford has played the Vancouver media like a fiddle. Was it four press conferences in his first ten days? Does he have everyone speculating on his next move? After eight years of mumbles, it`s a relief.
So far so good. Proof is in the pudding, as they say.

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