JamesB

Strategy vs. Tactics

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Canuck Strategy and Tactics  

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  1. 1. The Canuck moves at the Deadline are being interpreted as a decision to shift toward a full rebuild strategy

    • Better late than never. The full rebuild should have started when Benning came on board almost three years ago.
      25
    • Shifting to a full rebuild now is the right strategic choice at the right time.
      25
    • What strategic choice? Burrows and Hansen (expansion draft) would have been gone in the offseason anyway. The rebuild was the only option left.
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    • Benning saved his job in the short run, which is bad. Benning will never build a Cup contender.
      0
    • Other
      7
  2. 2. Based on Benning's tactical decisions (trades, picks, UFAs, cap management, etc.) so far I think that

    • Benning is an excellent tactical decision-maker, among the best in the NHL -- will build a Cup contender.
      4
    • Benning is a good NHL GM, clearly above average -- has a good shot at building a Cup contender
      51
    • Benning is about average for an NHL GM -- expect a long run of mediocre performance
      10
    • Benning is clearly below average. Will not rebuild successfully. The sooner he goes, the better.
      3
    • Other
      3


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The hosts on TSN 1040 and a lot of other people are saying that the Canucks are finally opting for a full rebuild strategy. One quote was that "last night (Tuesday, Feb. 28) was "the turning point".

 

I am in the camp that has been arguing for a full rebuild since Day 1 of the Benning regime (along with many others on CDC, although not a majority). And I am not giving Benning a lot of credit for finally being forced into the right strategy. After all, Burrows would have been gone in the off-season anyway and the Canucks probably would have lost Hansen in the expansion draft (as they could not protect Hansen, Granlund and Baertschi). The "make the playoffs while retooling" and "develop young players in a winning environment" strategies never made sense to me.

 

So my personal opinion is that the Canucks were finally forced into the right strategy, but almost three years too late.

 

But strategy is only half the battle. The other half is tactics -- the actual decisions you make. Trying to acquire more prospects and draft picks is a strategy. The actual players you draft or acquire are the tactical decisions. The most important decisions are what you do with high draft picks, and that does not fill me with confidence. Virtanen was a swing and a miss. If he becomes any kind of useful NHL player that would be a positive surprise at this stage. Juolevi remains a good prospect, but the Canucks could have taken Tkachuk, who is already a good top 6 forward in his draft+1 year (41 pts. +12) with more points this year than any Canuck (and a better plus/minus). He is pretty much a guaranteed first liner.

 

There have been some nice surprises among the Benning draft picks, particularly Boeser, Gaudette, and Tryamkin. And picking up Stecher was a gift. But the trades have been mediocre at best as, in my view, the Canucks overpaid for Gudbranson and Sutter. The Granlund trade worked out well, although Granny needs to improve his defensive play, and Baertschi for a second was a good trade (but Vey for a second wasn't, and the Pedan and Dorsett trades for third round picks have not yielded much.)  And the UFAs have been so-so at best. Miller was okay but was overpaid, Vrbata did not work out well, although his first season was good, and Eriksson is a trainwreck and won't go away for a long time. And don't forget Bartkowski, much as we might like to.

 

In the latest deals (Godolfin and Dahlen) Benning has opted for high skill scoring forwards whose games may or may not transition to the NHL. Both are risky, but I agree both seem like  good pickups.

 

I guess Benning will keep his job for at least one more year, but I will be looking for the following things next season.

 

1. Benning needs a good draft. The Canucks will have another high pick and a high second round pick. We need to see some of his picks make some noise in the WJC this year and I hope that Juolevi has a big year at the WJC this time round.

2. By next year a lot of Benning picks and acquisitions will be (or should be) in Utica. The Utica team needs to look a lot better than it has this year and we need to see at least one or two exciting prospects in Utica.

3. We need a breakthrough year on the big team for some of the acquisitions. Guddy, Stecher and Tryamkin all need to shift from "high potential" to "high performance". (I will settle for two out of three.) And we need something very good from at least a couple of young scoring forwards acquired by Benning -- maybe Baertschi, maybe Boeser, maybe Godolfin.

4. The cap will be an issue. Most importantly, the Canucks need to sign Horvat long term without giving away the farm. Gudbranson and Tryamkin also need to be resigned. 

 

If these thing happen, I will be pro-Benning. If not, I will be hoping for a change of GM. 

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2 minutes ago, Baggins said:

He's been rebuilding all along. Don't know why so many have trouble understanding that.

He's been turning over the older players, but not really rebuilding.  I think that's JB's 'retool' philosophy.  Now, he stated he's not trading away any more picks, and will rebuild.

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2 minutes ago, Baggins said:

He's been rebuilding all along. Don't know why so many have trouble understanding that.

Thx for being you.. I don't have the patience to spoon feed these type of people anymore.. It's been discussed to nausea.  I'm sure somebody has the patience to explain it.. And for that will earn my pluses ;) 

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7 minutes ago, Baggins said:

He's been rebuilding all along. Don't know why so many have trouble understanding that.

Same here.  Trying to get younger while compete for the playoffs has been the goal all along.

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5 minutes ago, Alflives said:

He's been turning over the older players, but not really rebuilding.  I think that's JB's 'retool' philosophy.  Now, he stated he's not trading away any more picks, and will rebuild.

 

Also, how are you feeling Alf?  I think you were a little unsure of how JB would handle the TDL

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Just now, SILLY GOOSE said:

 

Also, how are you feeling Alf?  I think you were a little unsure of how JB would handle the TDL

I hardly slept last night I was so excited about JB moving out the old, and getting a couple young guys in return.  Now, it's the coming draft lotto for the next piece of excitement.

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39 minutes ago, JamesB said:

 

3. We need a breakthrough year on the big team for some of the acquisitions. Guddy, Stecher and Tryamkin all need to shift from "high potential" to "high performance". (I will settle for two out of three.) And we need something very good from at least a couple of young scoring forwards acquired by Benning -- maybe Baertschi, maybe Boeser, maybe Godolfin.

 

The success of any team pretty much comes down to this.  

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9 minutes ago, Baggins said:

He's added youth...that's called rebuilding. He's kept veterans to help the young guys along rather than just dumping them in the deep end like Edmonton for a decade.

 

Had he done what you tankheads wanted and traded all our vets for picks right at the start, the vast majority of those picks would still be 2+ years away from playing in the NHL. We had no prospect pool to speak of at the time either. So who would replace all of those vets gone at once? It would mean at least four years of a team loaded from front to back with the Skille's and Bartkowski's of the world. A team so painful to watch nobody would bother.

 

He's done it the right way. Move veterans out and acquire young nhl ready prospects to fill the gap of that empty prospect pool the first year for some immediate youth. Then continue to move out vets and add youth. He's built from the back out so when the back end is coming into it's own the young forwards, who tend to develop faster, will be in line with them. Benning is smarter than the smartest fan. And there's a lot of dumb ones here.

 

This team hasn't been retooling. This is year 3 and there's now only 4 players left from the cup run and one of them is only 27. Starting with no prospect pool three years ago, barring acquiring all top 10 picks in both of his first two drafts, there was no possible way to rebuild this team quickly. There's no instant gratification in a rebuild. Particularly when you are starting with virtually nothing.

 

We have some promising youth on the team and a growing prospect pool now. He's done a lot in a short time as far as I'm concerned.

Why did JB use the term 'retool'?  Rebuild (to me) means moving out the aging core group for picks and young prospects.  Retool (to me) means keeping the old core, and managing around them.  This was clearly a retool.

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49 minutes ago, Baggins said:

He's been rebuilding all along. Don't know why so many have trouble understanding that.

Keep doing what you do man, not going to ruin the good vibes to argue with you today.

 

I'm pretty pleased by this trade deadline and the fundamental shift this will potentially represent for next year. It's given me.....what's the word. Hope?! 


Fans will buy hope. the nucks can sell hope. the reaction to this deadline should speak volumes to that.

 

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11 minutes ago, Alflives said:

Why did JB use the term 'retool'?  Rebuild (to me) means moving out the aging core group for picks and young prospects.  Retool (to me) means keeping the old core, and managing around them.  This was clearly a retool.

Find me a quote where Benning said we're retooling when he took over.

 

Um, traded Kesler, Garrison, Bieksa, Lack, for younger guys and picks. Tried to trade Vrbata and Hamhuis but they used their ntc's. Now Hansen and Burrows for prospects. Did you read the part of my post about what a problem it would have caused to do it all at once?

 

The Sedins will retire here. They've earned the right. Don't bother going there.

Edited by Baggins
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1 hour ago, Baggins said:

He's been rebuilding all along. Don't know why so many have trouble understanding that.

This. Just because it hasn't been a full tank rebuild (call it a re-tool instead or whatever semantics make you happy) like some people are calling for doesn't mean it isn't still a rebuild.

 

And moving two players today doesn't do anything different compared to what's been happening already. We tried to move two pending UFAs last year. We moved other core players previous to that.

 

The only thing that's been different is we aren't necessarily looking to swap draft picks for prospects that are closer to the NHL anymore. Benning's done what he wanted to mostly on that front, and has shifted his focus to finding more through the draft while the new era Canucks build in the NHL.

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1 minute ago, elvis15 said:

This. Just because it hasn't been a full tank rebuild (call it a re-tool instead or whatever semantics make you happy) like some people are calling for doesn't mean it isn't still a rebuild.

 

And moving two players today doesn't do anything different compared to what's been happening already. We tried to move two pending UFAs last year. We moved other core players previous to that.

 

The only thing that's been different is we aren't necessarily looking to swap draft picks for prospects that are closer to the NHL anymore. Benning's done what he wanted to mostly on that front, and has shifted his focus to finding more through the draft while the new era Canucks build in the NHL.

What makes me laugh is with all the vets already moved out one way or another, it's just moving Hansen and Burrows now that means we're now rebuilding. Seriously, that just cracks me up.

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2 minutes ago, Baggins said:

What makes me laugh is with all the vets already moved out one way or another, it's just moving Hansen and Burrows now that means we're now rebuilding. Seriously, that just cracks me up.

Clearly he had to hit that "trading-players-everyone-loves" threshold for it to sink in!

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Obviously with hindsight we know he should have done this immediately with McDavid, Eichel, Matthews and Laine all on the brink of being drafted. We probably would have got one. We didn't, for reasons we all know, and here we are. He didn't have a choice this time around but rebuild as you can't retool a 34+ core. I bet he feels pretty dumb for getting Eriksson but hey, if he has a good year next year we will unload him at the TDL.

 

Here's to looking ahead, with an adequate but not surreal GM leading the Canucks.

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1 hour ago, Baggins said:

He's been rebuilding all along. Don't know why so many have trouble understanding that.

I don't think that this deadline has just been 'retool' business as usual..I believe a definite corner has been turned...I believe that the last 3 years,JB has been making decisions based on the parameters of 'rebuilding,while trying to make the playoffs'..which have been set by the owners and President.

 

Hopefully,JB has the 'green light' to acquire the talent and overhaul the team...His good moves at the deadline have most likely bought him another season at least.

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1 hour ago, Baggins said:

Find me a quote where Benning said we're retooling when he took over.

 

Um, traded Kesler, Garrison, Bieksa, Lack, for younger guys and picks. Tried to trade Vrbata and Hamhuis but they used their ntc's. Now Hansen and Burrows for prospects. Did you read the part of my post about what a problem it would have caused to do it all at once?

 

The Sedins will retire here. They've earned the right. Don't bother going there.

Twins, Edler, Tanev, Burr, and Hansen all (until this TDL) are left over from the old core group - led by the twins.  Kesler was part of the old core, who demanded a trade.  JB was (until this TDL) retooling around the old core.  Now he is rebuilding.

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28 minutes ago, Honky Cat said:

I don't think that this deadline has just been 'retool' business as usual..I believe a definite corner has been turned...I believe that the last 3 years,JB has been making decisions based on the parameters of 'rebuilding,while trying to make the playoffs'..which have been set by the owners and President.

 

Hopefully,JB has the 'green light' to acquire the talent and overhaul the team...His good moves at the deadline have most likely bought him another season at least.

Judging by posts like this nobody gets what goes into managing a team.. he turned over the roster in under three years. If that's not rebuilding I don't know what is.  And what do you expect the guy to say!?!?  We are not competing ever year!?!? Any good Gm will say they are going to compete.  Ugh this fan base is intolerable 

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