Me_ Posted August 14, 2015 Share Posted August 14, 2015 There's been a lot of discussion over the years about the lack of a T1D in the Canucks' organization. Some say a team doesn't need one as defense should be by committee. Others will point to empirical evidence that, for the last few decades, Stanley Cup teams have either had at least one established T1D, or has had one emerge out of the fires of playoff hockey, molded into one of the Greats. The Canucks' defense has been seemingly locked up for years and had become very difficult to maneuver between NTCs and an ageing core. Finally someone has pulled the trigger on Bieksa. Benning traded Bieksa to Anaheim for a 2nd round pick in 2016, later part of the package that brought Brendan Sutter to Canada. All of a sudden, the defense is opening up. Only two NTCs remain on the Canucks with one soon to leave. BENNING'S CURRENT DEFENSE DEPTH 13 August, 2015 UFA - 2016 RFA - 2016 EDLER (5.000 X 4 - NTC) - TANEV (4.450 X 5) HAMHUIS (4.500 X 1 - NTC) - SBISA (3.600 X 3) BARTKOWSKI (1.750 X 1) - WEBER (1.500 X 1) CORRADO (0.700 X 1) EDLER - Might have been asked to waive his NTC in the past at least once by Gillis and once by Benning. If he was not asked directly and personally, the media sure did. The answer has always been a categorical no; end fo story. With the right partner, Edler is a force. With the wrong partner, sometimes he looks lost. Edler refuses to move so he's playing for the Canucks for the next four years for better or for worse.TANEV - At 3.500 MIL for the next five years, Tanev might just be the league-wide bargain T4D. Such a player as Tanev is always coveted by any team. He delivers a great game almost every night. The nights he doesn't, Edler looks really bad. As far as we've seen, Tanev makes his partner better whoever that partner is. That is a rare skill in any walk of life. That kind of man is a keeper in any organization.SBISA - Has been good enough to land a three year contract which, despite many cries against the amount of money involved, is warranted. Sbisa has three years to develop his game with the Canucks. The emotion he brings to the game is needed to win things like the odd Cup. Unfortunately for him last year, he was one of the main guys counted on to "bring it every night" in the toughness department. The dude is only 25 years old. Personally, I cannot wait to see what kind of player he will be at 28 years old. Fortunately for him and the rest of the Canucks, the organization went shopping for some serious grit in trading for Prust and signing Bartkowski. Thanks to those two, along with Dorsett and maybe even Kenins, Sbisa's game will most likely be easier on his body as others will contribute in physically exhausting the oposition. That bodes well for Sbisa who I think will have a very big year.BARTKOWSKI - He is kind of like Sbisa and having two Sbisa's on the ice should keep the opposition honest. Players like Brown from L.A. better watch out for those borderline illegal high speed collisions Bartkowski can dish out. That kind of reall hockey is back in Vancouver and I'm liking it. Bartkowski is on a 1yr deal both for his and the organization's sake. He's on a one year interview on a team in transition. He fits, he's in. He doesn't fit, he's out.WEBER - Fills his role and isn't expensive. Like Bartkowski, Weber is also on a one year deal that sees him go to Free Agency next year. Weber is a great utility player and has a shot no one has on this current Canucks team. Therefore, he has a job. Weber does register at 5'11" but sometimes plays like he's 5'9". He probably has a job until a better offensive player comes along. One year in a transitional organization. Nothing to dislike there.CORRADO - Corrado wasn't ready to make the bigs last year. However, the Calder Cup run where Benning was in attendance changed all that. Corrado will be playing for the Vancouver Canucks, again, on opening night barring any changes. He's a young kid with a big heart. Corrado can and will most likely hold a spot on the team.HAMHUIS - Already deemed expendable even before the 2015-2016 campaign has started, Hamhuis brings a sound defense to any team lined up for a Cup. He will most likely be traded at or before the 2016 trade deadline to a team needing that extra defensive defenseman for a deep run. What Vancouver has is a good crop of very young, not-yet-ready defensemen who might make it in the next three years. Until then, there is a blatant void between the Canucks regulars and the Canucks hopefuls. CANUCKS DEFENSE IN 2016-2017 EDLER (5.000 X 3 - NTC) - TANEV (4.450 X 4) ___________ (0.000 X 0) - SBISA (3.600 X 2) CORRADO (0.000 X 0 RFA) - __________ (0.000 X 0) ______________ (0.000 X 0) I don't expect Peter Andersson (24) and Jeremy Blain (23) to lock up a job at the NHL level for the upcoming season and perhaps maybe never. However, the Canucks defense depth looks to have two big Russians coming into their own in the next two years.Andrey Pedan (22) - Drafted by the Islanders 63rd overall in 2011. Benning went and got a big kid at 6'4", who has as much probability of success as Corrado. He might have become available with the Islanders' suddenly stacked defense when they acquired both Leddy and Boychuck. As of today, Pedan looks next in line after Corrado on the depth chart.Nikita Tryamkin (20) - A BIG. BIG Russian. At 6'7", Tryamkin also looks like he has as much chance of making the NHL as Corrado but maybe in a couple of years. Chosen 66th overall in 2014 and still only 20 years old, he still has a ways to go. With the right guidance, a Chara, Myers type isn't out of the question, thanks to his height, weight and apparent nastiness in his play. Outside of Corrado, Pedan and Tryamkin, it would be nice to say this or that prospect will be a T4D or better in the near future, but that future is still too undetermined to even speculate who makes it and when. Luckily, the Benning team is there to insure every player's possibility of making it is available. That list currently includes Ben Hutton (22), Evan McEneny (21), Ashton Sautner (21), Mike Williamson (21), Jordan Subban (20), Mackenze Stewart (20), Anton Cederholm (20), Carl Neill (19), Tate Olson (18) and Guillaume Brisebois (18). Canucks prospects, like Detroit's, might have a greater chance of reaching and even surpass their potential because young men with a dream are taken care off right from the get go. Green, Cloutier, Linden, Desjardins, Benning, Smyl and a few other caring people are all figure heads the young players of this organization are exposed to more often than at any time in the history of this franchise. They are guided, have custom designed, clear goals to reach, have follow throughs and are regularly assessed. Benning being the pro scout he is, will most likely be looking to get draft picks for the 2016 draft and he has the pieces to get those picks. The market does determine the price for assets but do think that a deadline deal involving Hamhuis can certainly be worth a 1st and a top prospect and so could a Vrbata deal. Both players could be seen as top available talent at the deadline and Benning could collect another two late 1st rounders to go with another two top prospects. CANUCKS PICKS IN 2016 1st - 2016 2nd - 2016 2nd - 2016 (to ANA) 3rd - 2016 (to NYI, to BUF, to PIT, to VAN) 4th - 2016 5th - 2016 (to MTL) 6th - 2016 7th - 2016 7th - 2016 (from CAR) As tragic as it may seem at first, Benning is only one 5th rounder from walking onto the 2016 draft floor with a full deck of cards. Young defensemen who can play don't come cheap in the NHL and that's if they come along at all in trades. A 25-26 year old Sbisa-type defenseman costs a lot let alone a T1D. But sometimes, they do become available, as we've seen with Hamilton going to Calgary. That trade doesn't happen if there is no restructuring at the top of the Boston Bruins organization. Cap space restraints, a new management team, a new coach will happen in the NHL and some players either cannot get with the new program or don't even have a chance of getting with the program, and become available. For the right price. That T1D is an elusive piece to get, especially if historically, a franchise hasn't had one. Lucky for the Canucks, Benning watched Chara work his art for years before becoming the General manager of the Vancouver Canucks. Benning keeps tabs on top defense in the league as he does on goaltenders and offense. In 2016-2017 there will be a lot of space to work with both in terms of cap space and roster spots. Until then, Benning is keeping it as fluid as he can despite restrictions with NTCs. Those one year contracts will pay off in time. They are allowing rookies time to refine their game while not getting hopelessly forgotten behind a cluster of unmovable contracts. Seabrook and others might be available next summer. If the Canucks can get their hands on a T1D already playing in the league or having the opportunity to acquire an almost sure T1D, they should pull the trigger. For now and maybe the next year or two, expect a few one year contracts. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.