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  1. [Rumour] Add the Kings to teams interested in Dan Hamhuis.

    In lieu of a 2016 first round pick, I'd take the Kings' 2017 1st, and a stronger package of secondary assets (like a better player/prospect than we might get with a 2016 1st). Next year might not be considered a strong draft class but I think the first round is slightly underrated right now and 2017 might be a good year to stockpile high picks and look to move up at the draft.
  2. OK, so I'll admit my first reaction was pretty much just seeing red. Buyers? Really JB? With this team? This season? I was fuming too much to even post about it. But after some time spent playing with my kids and not thinking about hockey, I kinda get where Benning is coming from. Winning environment. The kids are pretty much carrying the team right now. Horvat, Baertschi, and Hutton have been among our best players. Virtanen has been playing well and looks to be building confidence. Etem has been bringing energy. McCann has looked better lately. And even Vey is looking like an NHLer. But what happens to this team if their GM says we're packing it in for the season and looking to sell assets? Do the kids keep pushing? Will they continue to develop as well under those conditions? Our GM needs to at least maintain the appearance that we're still gunning for the playoffs. At least publicly. It's good for morale and that should help the kids play better right now. But hopefully it is mostly for appearances and Benning still has a plan to sell off the expiring contracts that won't be getting extended. If he wants to trade them for young roster players or partly "cooked" prospects, instead of pure "futures" like picks, that's fine, I suppose. I'd still prefer a pile of draft picks but I'm not opposed to "adding" young players to the roster who can help right now (and into the future). Just don't trade youth for "win now" veterans. And don't buy any rentals. But if there's a hockey trade out there that can make us better, go for it. And if we can somehow turn Vrbata/Higgins/Prust/Weber into young roster additions that will improve the team, go for it. Keep Hamhuis if he can be re-signed reasonably. But only if the plan is to extend him. Letting him walk away for nothing is not an option. If that's what JB is doing, I'm fine with him saying we're still looking at the playoffs and might make additions at the deadline. We'll see what happens. But for now I'll put my rage away and return the pitchfork to the garden shed. At least until March 1st.
  3. [Injury] Sutter with broken jaw, Edler broken fibula. UPDATED TIMELINES

    Very true. We've seen flashes of what he might be for this team but he just hasn't had a real sustained stretch of games where he can settle in and showcase what he brings to the lineup. It's a real shame. Hopefully he'll have better luck next season and stay healthy. The worrier side of me is reminded of David Booth, who showed such promise during his first stint with the team but was inevitably done in by a series of unfortunate injuries, and was just never the same. Of course, Sutter's injuries are of a very different nature, but still are the type that can have lingering effects both physically and mentally.  Still, I think Sutter will be a solid player for us and might even live up to the "foundational player" label Benning put on him. But first he needs to get healthy and stay healthy. 
  4. I've been to the future.... (caution: SPOILER ALERT)

    Sounds like a future where Beth Bartkowski gets her player agent certification and forms her own agency.  The newly minted "Living the Dream" Sports Management Group negotiates contracts for all Canucks players. Players forego market level salaries in exchange for contracts that include a "sushi anonymous" clause and the club's guarantee of providing unlimited "stand-ins" for family and social events.
  5. Brendan Gaunce Talk

    For a good laugh, people who actually understand how Gaunce plays the game should have a read through recent pages of the HF Boards Comets thread: Start near the bottom of the page I linked above (see comments by "clintoncomets" user and the discussion that follows over 2-3 pages). Basically you have a bunch of fans (even some Utica STHs) who call Gaunce names and say that he's just lazy and a terrible player. All this is happening on a game night when he scores twice for Utica, including the OT winner. And it just goes on and on. Mostly the usual complaints about how "Gaunce doesn't do anything out there" and "why doesn't he hit more" and "he doesn't look interested" basically ignorant fans wondering why isn't he skating around and chasing the puck like an idiot. All this while the kid is playing a solid, smart, positional game and ends up being in "the right place at the right time" (I made a long post on this aspect of Gaunce's play a while back) and basically winning the game for his team. Pages like the ones linked are the reason why I always take game reports and fan comments with a huge grain of salt, firstly as a matter of course, but especially so when it comes to Gaunce. Some people just don't "get" how he plays the game. This has never been so evident as in that HFBoards thread, where people who claim to watch Gaunce regularly have the audacity to suggest he's "not even a good ECHL level player" (even though he's basically the Comets 2nd best scorer this year while also being a very solid two-way player for that team). Just shocking stuff. Well, not really, given some of the things I've read over the years (unfortunately). Some people just overvalue "energy" players who try to hit everything and usually get more boards than body on their checks. They like to see guys with great motors but little hockey sense who keep chasing the puck because they can't read where it's going. Or guys who have a forecheck setting that is stuck in the "on" switch and will chase pucks down low even when opponents have clean possession and an easy breakout path (usually resulting in an odd man rush the other way). Those types of fans will never "get" how Gaunce plays the game. And as much as I respect and appreciate most Utica fans (many of whom are extremely smart and informed hockey people), there just seems to be a fair number of "those types" watching Comets games this year and they have been very vocal in their disdain for Gaunce's play.
  6. How could the Canucks improve goal scoring?

    +1 This certainly isn't the only issue, but I think it's probably the biggest problem with this team's offense and the area where we'd see the best "bang for buck" from an upgrade. Adding a puck-rushing defenseman who can both join and lead the attack, and who can be active in the offensive zone, would make our overall five man offensive unit so much harder to defend. This, in turn, would take pressure off our forwards and open up more time and space for them to work scoring plays. Also, simply upgrading the top-4 would likely reap rewards at both ends of the ice (even if a good puck-rushing D can't be acquired). Right now, Edler's offensive potential is somewhat wasted by pairing him with Tanev and using those two as our primary shutdown unit. Pairing Tanev with another good defender, and using them against the opposition's best players, would free up Edler to match against second tier opponents. With the right partner beside him, Edler could certainly provide more offensive punch if put in a less demanding role defensively. Systems could also be adjusted with a stronger overall defensive core. Right now, Willie is forced to work around a weak back end. But with better overall options on D, the coaches would be able to employ similar strategies to what we saw when we had one of the more active and productive defenses in the league. Unfortunately, right now we just don't have the personnel but hopefully JB is working on addressing the issue.
  7. (Rant) Vrbata For Sale: 1 Draft Pick O.B.O

    Obviously this would never happen as a trade. But if Benning can manage to sign Lucic this summer as a free agent, it definitely would make for a strong net result, even if Vrbata's trade return is underwhelming. Like if, say by next season, the net change for that roster slot is OUT: Vrbata  IN: Lucic (UFA) + 2nd round pick (trade return for Vrbata)  then Benning will have been successful. Especially if he can also secure modest returns for Higgins and Prust. And replacing Higgins and Prust with young players on ELCs (say maybe Gaunce and Shinkaruk/Rödin) would make for a net cap reduction, even if Benning has to overpay to sign Lucic.
  8. (Discussion) Justin Schultz

    Schultz is pending RFA (IIRC) and given his salary, I'd have little interest in picking up his rights. His next contract needs to be lower than the max cut arbitration award before he'd make financial sense IMO. So wait until the Oilers don't qualify him and he hits UFA. Then if he's one of those guys that doesn't get much interest and is contract-less after the summer and facing down the possibility of a PTO and training camp tryouts, maybe sign him on the cheap as a reclamation project. I don't think he's straight garbage but he needs a salary re-set and he needs to be somewhat "rebuilt" as a player. But history has shown us that former Oiler goalies and defenseman shouldn't be fully judged by what they accomplished during their time with that sorry franchise. Several have gone on prove they were much better than what they showed during their time with that team. Schultz may well be able to develop into a pretty slick offensive defenseman with at least passable skills away from the puck. That type of player, if used correctly, could have real value for this team (especially with a RH shot). But I wouldn't trade for him. It just becomes too difficult to get his salary down where it needs to be if you show his agent that you were willing to pay assets for him "as is." Schultz needs to be "beat up" a little by free agency (like not qualified and then languishing on the market for a while after he turns UFA). Under those circumstances, he becomes worthy of taking a flyer on (but not before IMO).
  9. canucks lineup on thursday

    Not really an option for a guy they hope to trade within the next month. A healthy scratch would just give other GMs an excuse to offer a lesser return. Sadly, even a horrible game on the ice is better than a game spent in the press box, in terms the effect on Vrbata's trade value.  If anything, they should consider feeding Vrbata a steady diet of soft minutes and prime matchups. Or just plug him in with the twins for a couple weeks. Anything to boost his numbers in the run up to the trade deadline. GMs know what type of player Vrbata is and they have a general idea of the range the are willing to spend on him. But his usage and results this month will determine whether he brings a return closer to the upper or lower limits of that range.
  10. Canucks next trade deal should be for Yanic Perreault

    OP does make a good point. There's no salary cap on the coaching staff. Personally I think there should be specialized coaching available in a number of areas. They should definitely have a full time skating coach. And a faceoff coach would also be a good addition.  I recognize that we already have a sizeable staff with a head coach, three assistants, skills coach, video, trainers, etc. But I think adding some true specialists would only help a young team during a rebuild. Plus there are several players on this team who are known to be hard workers and who would likely jump at the chance to work with top coaches on improving specific aspects of their game. It's not too long ago that a few of the guys were quoted as saying that they weren't getting enough practice and coaching on off days. Maybe that was more to do with the Torts regime than anything else (I honestly can't recall when it was). But nonetheless, we've seen players in the past hire coaches on their own dime to address needs. This shouldn't really ever be necessary. I'd like to see the Canucks have the staff necessay to address every player need (in terms of performance) and enough coaches available that guys can get one-on-one attention whenever they feel they need help (or whenever the team feels a guy needs special attention to some aspect of his game). Why not spend whatever it takes to make this team better? It's only the Aquilinis' money after all.  
  11. Capitals interested in Hamhuis?

    Yeah, just a big no to trading Hansen. He's too important to this team and he's likely going to be a crucial transitional piece during the rebuild. Right now he's the best winger for the twins. Bar none. It's too early to consider letting that go. Not while the twins are still here and essentially carrying this team. Especially with Vrbata headed out the door and Burrows questionable as to whether or not he'll ever get back to being anywhere close to as effective as he once was. And frankly none of the kids has (yet) shown an aptitude for playing with the Sedins. They deserve (and will get) the chance. But even if one of the youngsters appears to click with the twins, you still need to keep Hansen for insurance. Also, Hansen has already proven his mentorship value with Horvat. The organization loves to pump Dorsett's tires in this area (as he's their acquisition) but I'd argue that Hansen had a bigger hand in Bo's on-ice development last year. Hansen is also a proven "spark plug" type who can ignite a slumping line and who can play anywhere from the first to the fourth. He's arguably this group's hardest worker and has the most "no quit" attitude of anyone on the team (as evident by how he plays over the entire 60 minutes, win or lose). He also has one of the best "motors" on the team and remains the Canucks' fastest skater. Hansen's just worth more to this team than he'd ever fetch in a trade. He's pretty much become an untouchable asset for Vancouver IMO.
  12. Dane Fox Talk

    That's maybe overstating things. If I remember correctly, Central Scouting had him in the 40s or 50s among North American skaters. But for his off-ice issues, he probably would've been an early 3rd round pick in 2012. But still was a pretty good prospect and that release of his remains a very impressive weapon. Good grit and intangibles too. His skating was big concern early on but he seems to have overcome those issues (now considered one of the fastest K-wings). It might be true though that he still carries something of a stigma and hasn't been given as many chances as his drafted peers have.
  13. Mike Zalewski Talk

    Maybe we see Z called back up after the trade deadline when some slots hopefully open up. I think he can be a solid NHL regular as a 4th liner. I'd gladly swap Prust out for Zalewski right now.  Of course, Z doesn't have the same fighting experience but given a chance, I'm sure he could replace Prust's hugging and tweeting contributions. And based on what we've seen lately, he might also provide something of an upgrade over Prust in areas that are actually related to playing the game of hockey.
  14. [Video] Benning: We won't draft by position, taking best player.

    If we actually got that #2 overall, Benning should pull a blockbuster trade to also get #3 overall. Draft Puljujärvi and Laine 2-3 and pull off the biggest draft day move this town's seen since Burke drafted the Sedins. And then we'll have a new set of Finnish "twins" for our future first line and two cornerstones to build around for the next contending team in Vancouver. One can dream.
  15. Anton Rödin Talk

    Just read the report that the Canucks are likely signing Rödin: (and posted earlier in Canucks talk). Great news if Botchford's "Provies" prove correct.