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A Tale of Two Bennings

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2 minutes ago, JamesB said:

My take is a bit different and, as I have not often seen it mentioned, I thought I would describe it here. Specifically, I think Benning has learned on the job and has been much better in the last couple of years than in his first three. That should not be a shock. Learning by doing is one of the most fundamental aspects of most human activities. Benning was a rookie when he first became GM and it should not be a surprise that he had to learn on the job.



Disagree on this point.


You learn on the job as AGM. Then when you take over, you already know all the ins and outs. Granted his mentor was clearly suspect but you don't fall backwards into a Cup.


I do agree that learning by doing is a fundamental aspect of human activity but in this case, I think doesn't 100% apply. There are a few things you will learn on your own but by and large you gotta have a really good idea if you were an AGM first.


To my eyes, I saw a team in disarray and he tried to plug the holes of a sinking ship. Sure there were more misses than hits in the early going but that's par for the course in this business.

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Under the MG era, the team didn't seem to have many channels/lines of comm in the trade biz. So JB quickly deals with Ducks, Chi, LA, Cal, TO(basically lots of nasty rivals) & others. Kinda let the League know our shop was again open to all customers. Deals it seemed aimed at benefiting all parties, not merely trying to pick unsuspecting pockets(although Dubas may beg to differ!)


Maybe he did TWO re-thingys simultaneously? Retooled the team, which appeared valiant/honorable(like Monty Python's infamous Black Knight:^). There was no scorched earth, dredge the bottom, praying for Lotto-love. Accepting relatively high picks, as a decent compensation, for playing with full effort. Aware there's no depth for(inevitable) injuries on a smaller, older cast. This is where stealth might enter the conversation. You stay at the roulette table, but only bet small & bide time.


Meanwhile the prospects were a scorched earth rebuild? Apparently wanted to punt almost all of MG's youth/projects, even to Utica's detriment, for a season or two. For the second aspect here to jive, you absolutely HAVE to draft some gems, or 5 yrs on you're back to square one.(see Burke's tenure in TO if curious how that looks).

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12 minutes ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

Under the MG era, the team didn't seem to have many channels/lines of comm in the trade biz.

Supposedly that's because he burned a lot of bridges as a player agent before he became GM.


I don't blame Mike Gillis for having to deal with that BS during his tenure, but I do think he mishandled the coaching (keeping AV too long) and goaltending (letting Luongo languish) situations for which he deserved to be canned.

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He wanted to try and keep them competitive during the challenging transition from the Sedins era to Bo and the new core. I think he did that, if it weren't for those late season injuries every year. He re-stocked the prospect pool with promising players and good depth. He's drafted some excellent players, and has surrounded them with character, gritty guys. I think more people are thinking the Canucks could have a playoff team this year. 


When Benning came in, it was 3 years after the SCF run, Luongo and Schneider were both gone, and Kesler was wanting out. Bo Horvat was the only shining light as a prospect. I believe he also had to hire a new coaching staff. That was a difficult situation to come into. Burrows and Bieksa would leave, the Sedins would retire. He had Bo Horvat to build a team around, and what a team it looks like today. Full prospect pool, depth, league leading stars, after only 5 1/2 years. 

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2 minutes ago, Alflives said:

Maybe we’re just a good team, and we will continue to (mostly) play well and make a top three seed in our division?  

Maybe we do but there is sure a lot of crazy talk around here about this team. We are growing and that’s awesome. Games are fun. But I also remember a post I made a couple years ago when the season was about this old and we started great saying how happy I was for Benning because of all the heat he had taken.  Then things fell apart. 

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I totally agree. 


I think things could have gone really sideways considering how bad MG was at drafting and that our players were on the older side. MG basically left Benning very little to work with, (with the exception of Horvat and Markstrom).


Benning has done a really good job drafting in the last three years and trading for good young players. He totally deserves a lot of the credit for picks such as Petey, Hughes, Demko and Boeser. Also some good news is that ownership is really buying into what Benning is doing and not pressuring him to "WIN NOW" like at the start of Benning's tenure. This is why I think he had to sign Ryan Miller and Radim Vrbata at the start. You can read the letter ownership sent out to season ticket holders and evidently see that ownership and Benning are on the same page which is always good to see. 


If things continue like they are right now, we might start selling out games again and many fans will jump back on bandwagon. In BC, 80% of the fans are bandwagon fans so that's a big deal. 

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