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gameburn

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  1. I think you are right. I think it's now the single biggest reason it's harder for a Canadian team to win the cup... Look at Tampa Bay: not an enormous fan base, but it has a tax friendly situation. Montreal not in the same class for attracting/keeping players. I guess Canadian teams have to try and improve without using the UFA option, at least not very much anyway. I think we'd be wise to lobby to get rid of the salary cap altogether. You look at other sports and can see what the salary cap does. And then look at sports that don't have a cap -- e.g., the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich can spend more money than most other teams in that league because their region is one of the richest in Germany. By law, the fans own 51% of the team (it may be going up to 60%, not sure of the dates on this) which means they work like mad to keep the shareholders happy. They are able to move good players in and out surprisingly efficiently. And they pay their players really well. In contrast, just this week our Canucks had to give up a first round pick because LE, Beagle and Roussel didn't have the skill we needed. Benning's desperation, for sure, but this was made possible by the cap rules. I think there should be a way to use our large fan bases/popular interest to change the situation. Otherwise southern U.S. teams are going to be pretty hard to beat. It's ridiculous. Toronto and Montreal would join us in this, as would the Alberta teams I imagine. So would New York's teams, Boston, probably Minnesota too. Don't know about Detroit and the rest. Bigger stadiums for Canadian teams would be wise too, as would a more concerted approach to marketing the players.
  2. I think this off-season is about admitting some mistakes and moving on. Learning. Beagle, Roussel, LE, Virtanen, Holtby -- even Schmidt and Edler to some extent -- not in the future, probably all mistakes, tbh, at least for last year. Moving on. For a lot of us who saw most of the UFA signings as risky and Benning's asset management as his major weakness, this kind of says it all. To all the advocates of role players like Beagle, grit guys like Roussel, name brand goalies on off years, older D with "experience" (Edler) and overall love of the UFA system, this is a hint that the world has changed or was never quite as some saw it. Amazing to think that Benning is still in charge, as this year's decisions would all have been made by a new management group lol. Maybe he's learning, never too late.
  3. Sounds great. I'm going to go look up your research. Thanks for your work.
  4. Lind needs Horvat's power-skating coach, the guy who got him up to NHL speed, otherwise he is terrific.
  5. Do you really think fans will put up with them re-signing Edler? He has been as bad this year as he was 3 years ago, in some games, much worse. And not getting any younger either which means the flaws in his game are sure to get increasingly worse. Footspeed, fatalism about his ability to get to pucks, bad pinching (with no footspeed to get back into the play) and PENALTIES. He has always been prone to inconsistency, but this year's play suggests that he is really past it now.
  6. And he has had a pretty good year for avoiding injuries, which is significant in his case. I think he's worth as much as 2.5. As long as we buy out Beagle, there is room and money for him. Which reminds me: are we restricted to just one buy out a year? Eriksson is death, but the Beagle and Roussel deals are pretty bad too.
  7. I agree with your analysis, but the conclusion is worrying. It's almost as if we accept a net decline in talent/potential offensive ability so that we can "fit a player" around our big stars. I.e., a net decline in team talent. Does a team really need a bunch of Tyler Motte types? I had a feeling at the time that McCann was seen as expendable in the same way: not going to be top scoring center and not good enough defensively. But 40 points a year out of a third line center (Gaudette's best 5 years, maybe?) is a lot better than a return player who gets half those points but plays a high energy game and looks good killing penalties. A Gaudette type who can score 40 points would fill in better up and down the line up when your EP and Horvat types are injured too.
  8. I think Benning has a specific plan for every position on the team -- which sounds great -- but when a player doesn't fit in the hole he has set up for him, he gets rid of him, it almost doesn't matter to him what he gets back, the big thing is to dump the player who doesn't fit the hole. This guy he is getting back doesn't appear to be as good a player as Gaudette, so we have a net loss in team talent, but Benning is okay with this BECAUSE the new guy will fill an entirely different (less critical) role. Mathematically, this looks bad; hockey is different, but still.... Remember a couple of years back when we had a huge number of "almost NHL-ready" players who came to camp? Was supposed to create competition, bring out the best in players. Problem is: doesn't increase the talent level one bit.
  9. Teams do better, on average, when they trade picks or players for players/prospects who are already in the NHL. (Naslund and Bertuzzi come to mind here.) This is NOT about experience, but about being NHL players, actually in the league. Vey and Baertschi were not in the NHL when we traded picks for them, although they had lots of experience at other levels. Although a bit harsh on my part to call these guys "rejects" they were rejected from the starting lineups of both the organizations they came from. Probably not even at the level of Goldobin in total NHL games played when we traded picks for them. Benning or his staff are pretty damned good at drafting. I believe that if they'd kept those picks (4 picks and McCann for Vey, Baertschi and Gudbranson) and the team would be better off now. A player who cannot make the team for which he has been a prospect for 2 years is, if not a reject, then some version of longshot or mediocrity. Teams have powerful incentives to get 19 and 20 year-olds in their lineups (look at us with Virtanen and McCann) -- Entry level contracts are gold, as we all know. If a team has a guy who cannot make that group by age 21, you have to ask why. Re: hindsight. In some ways, and at the end of a manager's tenure, hindsight is a big part of what we have to work with. It is valuable. In hindsight, signing guys who are around the age of 30 for long contracts (more than 2 or 3 years) is very risky. In a very large percentage of cases, it doesn't work out. Players hit their primes earlier now, often at 23 or 24. Between injury and the new emphasis on speed, a player's shelf life is getting shorter -- at least his prime is earlier, let's say. You mention an alternate world where Eriksson had scored much more and for a greater number of years, i.e., lived up to his contract. We don't live in that world. We have no indication that Eriksson would have produced elsewhere (he hasn't done much internationally in the last 5 years) or even at the level he did in his last year in Boston, which was as we all know a freakishly good year for him. I appreciate your willingness to look back at the way things were at the time a decision was made so we don't forget the rationale. The team needed another top-6 winger, for sure. And Eriksson probably checked a lot of boxes. What he didn't check was the "longevity" box. If they had picked up Eriksson 2 years earlier, then the length of contract would have made sense. Still risky, but more understandable. Your idea of bargain basement is generous: Beagle a bargain? Holtby, money well spent? These guys were never meant to be anything more than mentor/support guys. As such they should have been paid the appropriate money. We are getting our clocks cleaned every second night by teams that did not pay big money for these kinds of players, certainly not 4th liners who score less than 20 points a year. The Holtby decision in particular smells of the same short-term planning we have seen too much of with Benning (or perhaps the owner?) -- no one needs a backup goalie who is paid more than 4 million a year. And if Holtby was plan "B" if Demko didn't work out, then this means the team has spent 5 years developing a goalie they don't trust to be their starter -- and that considered his performance in last year's playoffs not enough. Again: that money should have been used to keep Toffoli or at the very least Stecher. To me, Benning looks tired and out of ideas. If he is here very far into the summer I'll be shocked. You accuse me of inconsistency and of hindsight cheats.
  10. My comparison was only about noting the problem of contracts/pre-existing baggage. You're right, we can't be Vegas, but we can take note of how their team is put together and learn from it. I think our goaltending is better than theirs, and we have 1 maybe 2 players who are better than anyone they have (Pettersson and maybe Hughes) -- and yet when push came to shove in the playoffs we couldn't beat them. Not having Eriksson's contract -- or Luongo's clawback (not Benning's fault, I know) -- gives them 9 million more to build depth with. Beagle and Sutter are overpaid, Roussel was not a good use of cap space it turns out. Another 2 million to add to the 9? That's 15% of a team's cap space more or less wasted. Every team wastes some cap space, and some don't even get near to filling the space up. But we seem to be hurt a bit more than most I can think of, and the pain from it is pretty obvious: no flexibility to keep a Toffoli, which made him in the end a very expensive rental. It also meant obviously not being able to even consider keeping Tanev, who was a genuine Canuck his whole career, every bit as much of the team's core as Edler, who we also should never have re-signed for so much. By signing Edler we weren't in a position to get someone else either younger or better. The less that a team wastes assets (Hamhuis, Markstrom, Tanev, Stecher, etc.,) and the more that it can avoid walking dead contracts (Baertschi and Eriksson) the better it should do, assuming drafting and development is okay.
  11. March was good and was good without Pettersson. The problem is numbers of NHL-ready players and the teams we're playing. Beagle and Roussel have not been difference makers this year. Both have more penalties than points. Sutter has been better than the other two put together, that's why so many on the forum are keen on trading him. The problem this team has is the albatross contracts -- including the Luongo recapture. If Beagle, Eriksson, and Roussel (and maybe Sutter) had not been signed, we might not have done as well in the last playoff run, but we'd be better set up right now and next year. Consider Vegas: no first round pick the first year, no high pick since. But still better than us and most of the division they play in. The trick? Depth, speed; in part because they started with no LE or Beagle contracts. Younger overall because of the same. A team without bad accumulated contracts they can't get rid of has flexibility, in particular the ability to respond to the market/draft etc. Seattle will be better than us too, probably, assuming the rules remain the same as they were for Vegas.
  12. A good piece of contrarian logic. I do like the way you bring up the way rebuilds seem to take longer and feel a lot less certain. Let's look at things from a slightly different angle: has our "new" GM of X number of years ago learned enough to keep him for another year, or should he be fired at the end of the year or even sooner? This is where your comment on "growing pains" comes in. Pros: (1) Has learned not to trade away 2nd and 3rd round picks for other teams' reject prospects (Linden Vey was the worst, but there were many.) (2) Has learned not to sign 30-plus year-olds to long-term deals (rejected Markstrom and Tanev for these reasons, unlike Eriksson, Beagle.) (3) related to (2): now signs 30-year olds to short-term deals (Hamonic, and to a degree Schmidt here. Edler for 2 years, too, and Holtby for 2.) (4) Has learned to trade better: e.g., dumping Gudbranson in favour of Tanner Pearson. Although it looks on the surface like we are lacking D, in fact, Gudbranson didn't work out here. (We'll leave aside the trade that brought G. here.) Cons: (1) still trades away draft picks/prospects for players that other teams seem to get off of us for free in the off-season. (J.T. Miller, Schmidt, and of course Toffoli for Madden AND a second round pick, lol.) (2) still seems to value "experience" and a player's past achievements on a winning team above the real value of a player -- e.g., Holtby, and to some extent J.T. Miller, Toffoli, Pearson, and of course Beagle. Not the money ball type of evaluator. (3) "the growing pains" were made worse by the Eriksson deal HE SIGNED. And worse again by signing Sutter, Roussel and in particular Beagle. All we need is for Myers to begin aging prematurely and we really have a catastrophe. Intangibles: (a) he's actually been unlucky in the draft: no number 1 pick in spite of finishing bottom of the league a couple of times. New Jersey got those lol. Another piece of bad luck: (b) the Luongo re-capture debacle. This was Gillis's work, not Benning's. That 3 million would have kept us Tanev or Toffoli. On balance, he's learned a lot, but has not corrected the tendency to over-value older players like Beagle, Eriksson and Edler. This is a fatal flaw in an era where players now peak at 23 to 27 years of age. His other tendency of trading away picks for short-term fixes is not nearly as problematic, because the likes of J.T. Miller and even Toffoli really do make a difference.
  13. A sign that Benning is kind of fading/losing it is that he appears not to have made any early efforts to do a couple of the low-hanging fruit contracts: Stecher and Toffoli in particular. He says things like, "we're taking it day by day," and "we'll get into the contracts when the season is over, one thing at a time." Delegate this work if you have to, but you have to get this done and the best way imo is to start early and stick with it. It sometimes helps other players to see a guy they want to continue playing with get treated well, including signing him during the season and well before the contract he is on is going to run out. (When Alphonso Davies started to show he was the real deal at Munich the management ripped up his old contract and offered him a new one at twice the money! If Munich had been a Canadian hockey team they'd have never made a new deal, and would have found a way to try and low ball him when that initial contract was finally up. Bayern has it right: this is how you keep players and attract new ones.) Management doesn't have that much to do, really, early in the season, prior to TDL and the draft. May as well use it for getting the team in place for the next year and maybe even the year after that. The signing of Holtby is the kicker though: might really have been the worst since Eriksson: 2 years worth of mid-range money for a back up. When you're already short cap space? And Holtby was only available because of his age and generally poor recent play. Ryan Miller he wasn't. (And Miller wasn't a back up, either.) Demko on the other hand showed he could play in the last playoff run. Holtby for one year would have been almost as bad. The pattern continues: Canucks aren't managing the Boeser situation very well either: bridge deals and it would appear no effort to make it really clear to him that he is as important to the team as Hughes, Horvat and Pettersson. It all comes down to earlier poor decisions: overpaying/overextending older players who are thought to have some magic ability to mentor. Or who just seem to have a magic tenure/nmc aura. (I'm thinking of Edler here.) Beagle, Eriksson, Sutter, Roussel: all albatross contracts. We keep Edler but find a way to lose Tanev, who actually was mentoring a budding star. Find a way to avoid getting rid of Eriksson and thus end up losing a Toffoli (and Leivo) and soon enough Pearson. And I don't think it helps the surviving core of players to see this kind of incompetence: very bad for morale I'm guessing. Probably a factor in the atrocious start to this season. The reason that Draisaitl and McDavid never asked to be traded is that I suspect they were promised better management in the future; hope in other words. If I were the owner of the Canucks I would consider talking to the key four players here about that kind of hope. (Well, five core players now, counting Demko.)
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