Crabcakes Posted January 1, 2016 Share Posted January 1, 2016 Is Jim Benning following Dale Tallon’s Florida template for the Canucks rebuild? You might scoff at this but if you look closely, the similarities are striking. Tallon built the Hawks, now he's building the Panthers. He’s not building the teams in exactly the same way. He has clearly learned something in the process. The first thing Tallon did in Chicago when he started after the lockout year in 2005 was to sign a goaltender (Khabibulin), a defender (Acoin) and a forward (Lapointe). In 2006 he drafted Toews 3rd OA and 2007 he drafted Kane 1st OA but most of the team building came from free agency and trades. If the Chicago core is Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook and Crawford, then only 2 of 5 were drafted by Tallon. At this point he was more of a deal maker. Sharp, Versteeg, Havlat, Campbell, Ladd, Niemi, Byfuglien, Niemi, and Hossa all came from signings or trades. In Florida, Tallon put his stamp on the team at his first trade deadline when he shed McCabe, Stillman, Dvorak and everybody's favorite, Chris Higgins. That summer, he added Campbell, Kopecky, Versteeg, Fleischmann and Jovo. Since then, he has been building more methodically through the draft. There were 3 first found picks in 2010: Gudbranson D (3), Bjugstad C (19), and Howden LW (25). In 2011: Huberdeau C (3), 2012: Matheson D (23), 2013 Barkov C (2), 2014: Ekblad D (1) and 2015: Crouse LW (11). It’s too early to tell if any of the later round picks will pan out. Add to this veterans, Luongo, Mitchell, Bolland, Thornton, Savard and Jagr. So he understands that he needs a good veteran leadership group and is maintaining it while his good young players develop. Before Tallon arrived, in 2009-10 the Panthers finished with 72 points. After his first year (and a new coach Dineen), they finished with 94 points and made the playoffs. After that they fell to the bottom of the division for 2 years running before showing improvement last season with 91 points, good for 10th in the east and this season, they are presently leading the Atlantic division. Now we are seeing a team being built in very much the same way as Benning is rebuilding the Canucks. Benning started with an initial splash by trading Kesler and Garrison and bringing in Miller, Vrbata and Bonino (who turned into Sutter). He is settling in to drafting well: 2014: Virtanen RW (6), McCann C (24), 2015: Boeser RW (23) to augment 2013: Horvat C (9) and Shinkaruk LW (24). He has also added various othere veterans Prust, Cracknell, Dorsett, Vey, Baertschi, Sbisa, Bartkowski. The parallels are clear. Tallon started in 2010 and is now starting to see the fruits of his labour 5 years along. Benning started in 2014. This tells me not to expect anything dramatic with the Canucks in the near future. I expect Benning to patiently stay the course with drafting and developing and also maintaining a veteran leadership presence. A few additions and subtractions are probable but nothing radical. The question of whether this actually works appears to be yes if we can go by Florida's success. We can expect 2 down years, this being the first, followed by steady improvement after that. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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