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A realistic analysis of Jim Benning's tenure so far

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3 minutes ago, 13231 said:

I've been following this forum since 2008 and it's always great to read different perspectives about this team that we all love. Although I've hardly posted over the years, I feel compelled to now because I think we have a team that is unlike any other we've had before; at least within the time frame that I've been following the Canucks (the 02-03 season, the glorious WCE days). 

 

The person at the crux of moulding this roster is the ever polarizing Jim Benning. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that his run as GM, from what he inherited to what he is building up, has been unprecedented. The following is my personal perspective on what his run has been like, and why we must be a little more patient and let him see his vision through. 

 

The end of the Gillis era was one of the most frustrating times for me as a fan. The team had no clear direction, random trades were made on a whim, the embarrassing goalie "controversy" & how that was handled, on top of the fact that we all knew the Sedins had a few more good years in them that were being completely wasted had all of us pretty exhausted. When Benning came in as GM in 2014, it was clear through interviews with him & Linden that the team was still aiming to compete, and moves made in the subsequent couple of years were a clear indication of that objective. Good or bad, it's pretty accurate to ascertain that ownership believed that the team could still be competitive, and moved steadily in that direction. I see every move made in this era as an attempt at a long shot playoff run, whether it's the Loui signing, the various trades, and all else. But things just did not work out, and finally during the 2017-2018 it became clear that we were undergoing a full fledged rebuild. This is where my assessment of Benning's tenure truly starts. 

 

If you guys recall, the 2017-2018 season started off quite strong until injuries decimated us. But Boes & Bo had solid seasons and there was this guy named Pettersson that was tearing it up and breaking records in the SHL. I remember feeling optimistic having 3 legitimate young players on the come up, right as the Sedins played their final season. When was the last time we had something like that? Keep in mind this was just about three years ago, which is not that long of a time span at all. We have witnessed a team that lost its two faces of franchise, was going through misguided hopes of playoff runs, and a guaranteed basement dweller go into its deepest run since 2011 and legitimately in talks of being a long term contender within the span of three years. 


I think a lot of fans would benefit to broaden their perspective on what is going on here. Everything seems to be evaluated on such black & white terms, whereas we have a team in hand that is so ahead of schedule and the envy of many fan bases around the league (whether they want to admit it or not). I look at Detroit, Colorado, Carolina, Toronto, Arizona, Buffalo, Minnesota, Edmonton, even Calgary & Montreal, and how long it took some of them to become competitive. I can't help but feel that some of us really take our situation for granted.

 

On a few critiques that Benning gets, especially pertaining to this off season: There is no way I would be comfortable in having Marky & Tanev to those contracts long term. The only guy we lost that would make sense to still have is Tofolli, but you can't overlook the flat cap & the shady Lou recapture situation that blind sided us. Regardless, I have immense faith in Hog & it wouldn't surprise me if he ends the season with more points than Tofolli. His overall 200 foot game has so much potential as well. On the topic of the bottom six contracts, I agree they might be a bit overpaid, but look at where we were when we signed those guys, that veteran presence was essential. And there is no way we make a playoff run last summer without the likes of Sutter & Beagle. That's another aspect you cannot look at in black and white terms because the value of these guys is what teams like Edmonton, Buffalo, Arizona, and currently Ottawa have all lacked. It is entirely unreasonable to believe that this season or last would be seasons we'd be competing for the cup; the time frame when these contracts hold their greatest weight on the cap overall. When it's said & done, especially with majority of those contracts coming off the books as soon as this off season, I think our team long term in context of creating a team culture and helping our young players develop, has been better off with those guys being around than without them.

 

I want to close by again underscoring the fact that we are in an unprecedented situation. The WCE era and the Sedin era are the two most prolific times our team has had in the past 20 years. But both eras had a 3-4 year window, as those players peaked a bit later in their careers. With the team we have now, we have already gone further than the WCE ever did, and this is a team that has truly only been assembled and taken direction in the last 3 years. The window here to be legitimate contenders seems to be open for several years to come. Our core is young, and they are coming into their own in a positive and competitive team culture & environment, that many other rebuilding teams lacked. And the man at the helm of this has had his ups & downs but he's done something in the last three years that majority of teams around the league would take in a heart beat. So let's keep our perspective focused on the long term, understand the gray areas that challenged our team, and ultimately enjoy this era. I will openly admit I was wrong if management takes a blatant wrong turn, but with the hand that was dealt turning into what we have now, I am greatly looking forward ahead to being a Canucks fan. 

 

Cheers & take care guys

 

 

Good read. 

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I mean he’s 6 years in, he may as well get a chance to see his plan through. 
 

Players peak younger than the 28-32 though. They don’t have to win the cup in the next two years but they need to show they can compete in a 7 game series with the heavyweights.

 

What Calgary did post 2015 is unacceptable. I’m sure he’ll get this off-season, and expectations will be and should be sky high for the coming season.

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5 minutes ago, Convincing John said:

I’ve been silently lurking these boards a long time as well and I’m just so tired of people either blindly defending Benning or blindly hating him. Mind you, the ones who blindly hate Benning end up getting banned. Why can’t we criticize him and love him at the same time? 
 

He is a human who makes human mistakes. He has built a great young core but at the same time he has done horrible damage to this team with his UFA frenzies. Everyone talks about how all these bottom 6 guys are going to be off the books and then it’s cap space galore. We always get excited about cap space when we have expiring veteran contracts. Miller, Sedins, etc. Then UFA day starts and Jim pulls out his pen and it’s gone. When he stops this detrimental UFA addiction every time he has 75 cents in cap space, I’ll call him a legendary GM. Until then, he is just good. 
 

Overall, he is a B-, he’d be an A+ if someone knocked him out and threw him in a closet every July 1st. 

I agree, the next wave of free agency signings will be a big part of his legacy. For the first time he'll be in a position to assemble a true contender, as opposed to looking for role players to shelter and mentor the youngins. 

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3 minutes ago, Alain Vigneault said:

He's probably at D+/C- if we're being honest.  I'm not sure you can give points for drafting in the top 5/top 10...aren't you expected to do well in that range?  Evidently, even that's been a tough job because the team dropped the ball on Juolevi & Virtanen and it remains to be seen with Podkolzin.

 

He's passing but only just.  There's probably much better guys out there, especially after 7 years.

meh thats a bit of a stretch as both of them are still young and have potential

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3 minutes ago, Alain Vigneault said:

He's probably at D+/C- if we're being honest.  I'm not sure you can give points for drafting in the top 5/top 10...aren't you expected to do well in that range?  Evidently, even that's been a tough job because the team dropped the ball on Juolevi & Virtanen and it remains to be seen with Podkolzin.

 

He's passing but only just.  There's probably much better guys out there, especially after 7 years.

I see where you're coming from, that's a genuine way to look at things. But I truly can't analyse his moves until we get to the 2017-2018 season because of the various circumstances preceding that timeline. And in this span, he's shown his shrewdness with things like the JT Miller trade, Schmidt for a 3rd, reasonable contracts with Boes & Bo, as well as his strong draft record. Keep in mind how many teams miss with even top 10 picks, it's more common than it might seem. 

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1 minute ago, 13231 said:

I agree, the next wave of free agency signings will be a big part of his legacy. For the first time he'll be in a position to assemble a true contender, as opposed to looking for role players to shelter and mentor the youngins. 

UFA’s aren’t what they were 5 years ago. This game has changed so dramatically in the last decade. By the time you become a UFA, you’re on your way down. Signing a 28 year old to a 6 year contract is kinda out of style. It’s hard to find a big UFA contract that has had value all the way till the end. If you need to shelter young players, sign your Joe Thornton and Cory Perry deals. Don’t be locking down Jay fricken Beagle. Jay fricken Beagle equivalents are available at any point in time during the season and the next few decades via trade for a super late pick or a cheap and short UFA contract. Cap space should be used as a weapon to make dumber GMs pay for their sins. Take away RFA’s they can’t fit but you can. 

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15 minutes ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

Whoa..that was vintage stuff. Particularly liked them last 2 paragraphs. Lots of HF/twitter hater-types deserve your full post tattooed on their upper-torso!

 

Hey man, you gotta' post more!

Appreciate it! Will try to for sure man. And completely agree about the HF/Twitter audience lol 

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2 minutes ago, Convincing John said:

UFA’s aren’t what they were 5 years ago. This game has changed so dramatically in the last decade. By the time you become a UFA, you’re on your way down. Signing a 28 year old to a 6 year contract is kinda out of style. It’s hard to find a big UFA contract that has had value all the way till the end. If you need to shelter young players, sign your Joe Thornton and Cory Perry deals. Don’t be locking down Jay fricken Beagle. Jay fricken Beagle equivalents are available at any point in time during the season and the next few decades via trade for a super late pick or a cheap and short UFA contract. Cap space should be used as a weapon to make dumber GMs pay for their sins. Take away RFA’s they can’t fit but you can. 

It's ironic you reference Thornton....when his Leafs just signed a 30 yr old Brodie to a 4yr/$20 million deal (will expire at the same time as your "on your way down" 28 year old....  Make no mistake - if Dubas had more allowance money, he'd have spent it.  The reason he doesn't....

 

I'm shocked someone signed Pietrangelo - he should have retired.

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, 13231 said:

I have to disagree with you, you cannot compare Joe Thornton & Corey Perry at this point in their careers to a guy like Beagle. He was a key part of the 2018 Caps championship team & a monster last year for us in the playoffs. Thornton & Perry are not playing shut down minutes, killing penalties and matching up against the opponent's best players. Our young forwards go out there, play & develop their game without having to worry about stuff that guys like Beagle take care of, tough minutes that often go unnoticed 

What did he sign like a 9 year contract? Who cares about how big he was in a 2nd round exit. His contract and all the others in the bottom 6 prevent us from exploiting another team in cap trouble. Think about this, he has spent the same amount of money as Tampa has the last 6 years. Haha. I don’t love ANY of his UFA signings. 

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3 minutes ago, oldnews said:

It's ironic you reference Thornton....when his Leafs just signed a 30 yr old Brodie to a 4yr/$20 million deal (will expire at the same time as your "on your way down" 28 year old....  Make no mistake - if Dubas had more allowance money, he'd have spent it.  The reason he doesn't....

 

I'm shocked someone signed Pietrangelo - he should have retired.

 

 

 

 

Pietrangelo will be a negative value down the road. Vegas is ready to win now, if they think he can put them over the top then ok, but that’s not even close to a comparable situation to us. We just emerged from multiple lottery seasons and they are a Stanley Cup favourite. 
 

I wasn’t specifically saying Joe. I was saying if you need mentors, go short term. 

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38 minutes ago, Convincing John said:

I’ve been silently lurking these boards a long time as well and I’m just so tired of people either blindly defending Benning or blindly hating him. Mind you, the ones who blindly hate Benning end up getting banned. Why can’t we criticize him and love him at the same time? 
 

He is a human who makes human mistakes. He has built a great young core but at the same time he has done horrible damage to this team with his UFA frenzies. Everyone talks about how all these bottom 6 guys are going to be off the books and then it’s cap space galore. We always get excited about cap space when we have expiring veteran contracts. Miller, Sedins, etc. Then UFA day starts and Jim pulls out his pen and it’s gone. When he stops this detrimental UFA addiction every time he has 75 cents in cap space, I’ll call him a legendary GM. Until then, he is just good. 
 

Overall, he is a B-, he’d be an A+ if someone knocked him out and threw him in a closet every July 1st. 

It's a fair argument, & an interesting pt. In truth, I'd been leaning towards this outlook for a coupla' yrs. But then one must reason, how could they have anticipated so many prize youth, hitting the ground sprinting? When you pilfer LOTTO tix from the back pockets of lucky, dopey winners, perhaps you might date the prom queen sooner than anyone expected?

 

Every GM has their sins, flaws & learning curve. A 6 yr drafting run like JB has orchestrated, goes a mightyyy long way to atonement.

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8 minutes ago, Convincing John said:

What did he sign like a 9 year contract? Who cares about how big he was in a 2nd round exit. His contract and all the others in the bottom 6 prevent us from exploiting another team in cap trouble. Think about this, he has spent the same amount of money as Tampa has the last 6 years. Haha. I don’t love ANY of his UFA signings. 

I'm unsure how you're comparing us to Tampa. Many teams spend to the cap or close to it under various circumstances, but only 5 teams have won the cup in the past 6 off seasons. Also, much of Tampa's core was drafted over 9 years ago- Stamkos 08, Hedman 09, Kucherov 2011, Palat 2011, etc. Take your own example of the TBL, it takes time to build a cup winning team, even with top end talent like they have. 

 

Edit: You cannot understate the experience that even a second round exit provided to our young players. Using your own example of the TBL again, look how many unsuccessful playoffs runs they had to endure before they finally won it all.  

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Forgot to mention a point
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1 minute ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

It's a fair argument, & an interesting pt. In truth, I'd been leaning towards this outlook for a coupla' yrs. But then one must reason, how could they have anticipated so many prize youth, hitting the ground sprinting? When you pilfer LOTTO tix from the back pockets of lucky, dopey winners, perhaps you might date the prom queen sooner than anyone expected?

 

Every GM has their sins, flaws & learning curve. A 6 yr drafting run like JB has orchestrated, goes a mightyyy long way to atonement.

I love my kids but they piss me off too. The same applies to Benning. I can like him and want to slap his face at the same time, can’t I? 

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4 minutes ago, 13231 said:

I'm unsure how you're comparing us to Tampa. Many teams spend to the cap or close to it under various circumstances, but only 5 teams have won the cup in the past 6 off seasons. Also, much of Tampa's core was drafted over 9 years ago- Stamkos 08, Hedman 09, Kucherov 2011, Palat 2011, etc. Take your own example of the TBL, it takes time to build a cup winning team, even with top end talent like they have. 

Did Tampa spend to the cap when they drafted their core? 

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2 minutes ago, Convincing John said:

Pietrangelo will be a negative value down the road. Vegas is ready to win now, if they think he can put them over the top then ok, but that’s not even close to a comparable situation to us. We just emerged from multiple lottery seasons and they are a Stanley Cup favourite. 
 

I wasn’t specifically saying Joe. I was saying if you need mentors, go short term. 

so stories and "style" are situational.

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