Big Time

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  1. Considering the lack of top end talent on this team and in the system, drafting a player like Virtanen was extremely disappointing. Yes, it's early, and yes he will still develop. But as it stands right now he looks like a 30 point player. I expected WAY more out of a top six pick. It's not just about the points put up, but also the way he plays. I don't see any real potential for this guy to be a top three player, and barely see him being a top six. Truthfully, I saw far more offensive potential out of McCann than I do out of Virts. Time will tell, but I have long felt that while Benning is decent at finding talent in later rounds of drafts, his record with first rounder picks, which should be the easiest picks to make, are troubling.
  2. Is WD a good NHL coach? Not really. Does it matter? Not really. WD was always the coach that was going to get the Canucks through the rebuild hump, keep the seat warm, and then be sacrificed when the team is ready to take the next step. Ultimately, it doesn't matter who coaches this team as it really isn't going to make a difference to the on ice results. What they needed after the Torterella tire fire season was a guy who was going to calm things down and get back to basics. WD has done that job. He is exactly what he appears to be: an avg coach with a below avg team. He also is, from what I understand, the lowest paid coach in the league. Let's not forget that tidbit either. If things really go south this year, the team will fire him and move on. But take a look at Toronto's coach and tell me how big a difference that has made for them. For once I actually agree with the direction of the Canucks with regards to their coaching. Why spend on a big name coach when your team isn't in a position to take advantage? Might as well just keep him around, and if they succeed, great, and if they don't, well then he managed to rise to the level of his own incompetence.
  3. I honestly think you're on to something here. I've been a fan of the team since the 80's. Many of the younger fans have grown up only know the Canucks as having been successful for the most part over the last 15 years. But as a long time fan and observer of the NHL, I can easily see how poor management can set teams back for years. From what I can tell, this team isn't even close to turning the corner on becoming a playoff team. All of the moves they are making remind me of the Flames during the 2000's. They went to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004 and for years thought they were just a few pieces away. So they mortgaged their future every year, betting on older veterans and trading away draft picks. All they got out of it was being a team that wasn't good enough to make the playoffs, but not bad enough to get the best draft picks. This is absolutely the worst position to be in as a franchise. Does this sound familiar to anyone looking at the current Canucks? They trade away young players with upside for players that are further developed but have lower ceilings (Granlund, Clandening instead of Shinkaruk and Forsling). They overpay for lesser talent (Dorsett, Sbisa, the trade for Sutter), and invest in aging veterans who's best years are behind them (Miller) or while still useful, may actually hurt the team in the long run (Ericsson). It took two generational superstars in the Sedins to truly turn this team around. I see nothing in the pipeline that suggest that this team can aspire to be anything more than mediocre and that's even if Boeser and Juolevi turn into solid NHL players. Having a GM like Benning who for every decent move makes two terrible ones is utterly disastrous for this franchise. I can't understand the logic that says "Well he's good at drafting", as if that overlooks how terrible an asset manager he is. Every year he's traded away good picks for lesser players. This isn't a business where it pays to learn on the job. This team truly needs a proper rebuild. Unfortunately, that won't begin until Benning is gone.
  4. Will never understand the Pro-Benning group. I can barely justify even a single one of his decisions. Everything about him reeks of incompetence and poor decision making. I honestly believe he will go down as the worst GM in Canucks history. People talk about how a lot of his moves were for stop-gap players. This is true, but I think people are overlooking the fact that Benning himself is a stop-gap GM, who hired a stop-gap coach. Just like Willie D is just there to keep the seat warm for the next guy, Benning isn't the guy that will lead this team to the promise land. His job is to build the cupboards up a bit so that when the Canucks have a chance to actually complete, they can get a real GM.
  5. 2/10. He has lost virtually every trade he has made, and has failed to understand basic NHL economics by overpaying for lower end talent (Dorsett, Sbisa, Sutter), or failing to monetize assets that he ended up losing for nothing (Vrbata, Hamhuis). It cannot be overstated how big a failure this year's trade deadline was, and this is solely the responsibility of the GM. With Hamhuis signing in Dallas, you could effectively say the Canucks traded Hamhuis to Dallas but sent all the proceeds to Calgary! His signing of Miller cost us Eddie Lack and the team still finished third last overall. I read here someone here said would you rather have Eddie Lack and 10 million in cap space, or Miller/Sbisa and no cap space? Because JB chose the latter. He has consistently traded players who have goal scoring talent (Shinkaruk, McCann) and replaced them with players who can't (Granlund, Gudbrandson although that's not his role). For a scout, he seems to give up on young talent and draft picks a lot sooner than you would think. I've heard many people offer that JB's scouting abilities offset his incredibly inept fumbling of asset management. To this, I say nonsense. While it's still early, I'm not nearly as high on Virtanen as others seem to be here. If his ceiling is to be the next Hansen, that represents a huge failure for drafting sixth overall, especially when there were better players still on the board. Benning is decent at finding value in later rounds (Demko, Tryamkin, Brisebois perhaps) but his tendency to prefer meat and potatoes players, or players who are good in scrums, reminds me so much of the darkest era in Canucks history during the Kennan years. Who needs talent when you've got face washers, right? At some point there needs to be some goal scoring talent. I think the general concern is that Benning does not appear to be very bright, as evidenced by his most recent tampering fine, or really any time he gives an interview. As such, he seems to routinely be taken advantage of by other GM's in trades. Overall, I think JB is one more bad year away from being considered the worst GM in Canucks history. He won a lucky cup in 2011 with a far less talented team than the Canucks, but if you take a look at the current state of the Bruins, it provides a picture of what Benning's management brings to a team. It ain't pretty.
  6. This was utterly predictable. You CANNOT comment about players who are under contract with another team unless the team has given you permission. That's why GM's are supposed to say things like "If a player LIKE Stamkos were available, of course we'd be interested". The Kings gave Lucic permission to speak to other teams but no way did TB or Montreal. All of this just adds further fuel to the belief that Benning is at best incompentent, and at worst, a moron. As for the outcome, expect a nice fine. This falls well below the threshold of actual tampering which would result in a loss of draft picks, but is once again a bad look on the competence of a management team that has looked very bad over the past year.
  7. Personally I was quite disappointed by what I saw in him this year, and also by stories I've heard about him off the ice. He looks very far from what I would have expected someone drafted sixth overall should look. For next year, I hope he shows a greater willingness to work hard, and hopefully some offensive flash. He's got a long way to go before he proves he belongs in the NHL.
  8. Personally, I think Benning so far has absolutely proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is utterly incompetent when it comes to asset management. He seems to only have a basic grasp of the CBA and player management and his blunders in this area have been nothing short of embarrassing. If the league was holding his hand last week to guide him through the process, then I actually think this is a good thing. It shows that he's at least willing to ask for help when he needs it. To be fair, the rules are quite byzantine to begin with so asking for help from the NHL is not out of line at all. I have not seen any single moves that make me believe Benning is capable of doing anything other than lateral moves or worse, regressive moves that cost the Canucks assets, cap space, or opportunity. This is absolutely crippling during a rebuild. Ask Calgary how incompetent management helped them the last decade. The fact that some members of that Calgary mgmt team are now part of Vancouver is alarming to say the least. Even the draft record is questionable. So much has been made about Benning's drafting but how is his reputation really earned? Who has he really drafted that has been the diamond in the rough? Do people think Benning is great at the draft because he spends a lot of time scouting? It's way too early to tell but so far his picks seem conservative in the same way as his trades. He has no love for analytics and he very much reminds of those guys in Moneyball that talk about players having "a beautiful swing" rather than relying on things that can actually be measured. The concern with Benning comes down to how much more evidence do you need to see that this guy is extremely average at his job. He's basically a 4th liner of a GM. Sure, maybe for a few games he can play like a third liner but really, he is who we think he is. And to save this franchise, they are going to need a first liner of a GM. Benning is just not that man and no amount of time is going to turn that around. Canucks would be wise to cut their already considerable losses.
  9. Ask him if he now considers himself the worst GM in Canucks history or if Keenan still holds that title. If he says anything other than himself, start laughing.
  10. School's in session. JB already assigned to detention.
  11. This is actually worse than I could have possibly imagined. I can't even... All those people out there defending Benning. Unbelievable. This guy is the worst GM in the history of our team. Bar none. FIRE HIM TO THE DEPTHS OF HELL
  12. Why can't the Canucks have both? They could trade Hamhuis at the deadline then sign him back as a UFA. As long as the term and cap is reasonable, this could be a massive win for everyone. Phoenix did that with Vermette last year and Vermette go a Stanley Cup ring out of it.
  13. Personally, when I heard they got Prust last summer my only thought was that they got him to add temporary grit and then they would move him for a pick at the deadline. It was basically a way to get rid of Kassian, fill a roster spot with a veteran who is good in the room, and then monetize him at the trade deadline. If they can get any kind of draft pick that is a fifth rounder or higher, then they will have recouped their losses. As for Hamhuis and Vrbata, if Benning DOESN'T move them at the deadline it will be nothing short of unforgivable. I have to hope, given his comments in the media yesterday, that Benning is just saying the right things to the media but if he actually believes he should hold on to them, or even tries to sign Vrbata to an extension, he should be fired immediately. I have to hope he isn't as dumb as that but given some of his other signings, it's pretty hard to tell. This deadline, more than any other, gives the Canucks a chance to kick start their rebuild and get a decent return on Prust, Vrbata and Hamhuis. Let's hope Benning is smart enough to recognize that.
  14. He will be claimed by the Leafs. I have no doubt about this. They just can't quit collecting former Canucks.
  15. Jeff Paterson never asked a question he didn't answer himself. He was one of the most annoying and obnoxious radio hosts on TSN1040. Said nothing of substance, made the most obvious observations, and his style and delivery were brutal. I'm actually quite happy he's gone as whenever I would never listen to the post-game when he was doing it, and would always turn the radio off when I would hear him on the weekends. Good riddance.