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The Defense of JB and co

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I haven't liked any coaches since AV left.

No excuse for the LE signing. I hated that from day 1.

Jim had little to work with when he took over. It should have been a complete tear down from his start instead of dragging things out, but we don't know if that was his fault or ownership.

My position on JB is that he's average    

A little better luck on our draft positioning would have been nice as well.

Not sure why people have to rank JB as either good or bad.  He's in the middle 

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https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/canucks-hockey/nhl-gms-who-last-7-years-are-typically-a-lot-more-successful-than-jim-benning-3897497?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 

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Generally speaking, there isn’t much job security among general managers in the NHL. Half of the GMs in the league have only been in their current positions for three years.

It’s understandable. Sports is a results-oriented business — if you’re not winning, you’re in trouble. There are only 32 NHL GM jobs available and there must be more than 32 people in the world capable of doing the job, so if an owner doesn’t like the results one GM is getting, he can fire that GM and have dozens of people lining up to replace him. 

Some GMs, however, last longer than others. That’s the case for Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning, who is the second-longest tenured GM in team history behind only Pat Quinn. Benning has been on the job for seven years and, despite the displeasure voiced by some of the fanbase, is entering his eighth year. 

It seems unusual that a GM whose team has missed the playoffs in five of the last six seasons would get a vote of confidence from ownership and stay on the job, but is it all that unusual? To answer that question, I figured I would actually look up all the GMs in the past two decades whose tenure lasted at least seven years to see how well their teams performed and whether Benning’s situation is abnormal.

While Benning’s situation isn’t entirely unique, it’s also way worse than I expected.

The two GMs to whom you least want to be compared

Over the past 20 years, there have been 37 GMs in the NHL with tenures lasting seven or more years. As you might expect, there have been some incredibly successful GMs in that time. 11 of those 37 GMs won the Stanley Cup, while 22 of them at least reached the Stanley Cup Final.

It’s very rare for a GM to last that long with a sub-.500 record in the regular season as Benning has. In fact, just two GMs with 7+ years on the job have worse records than Benning.

Those two GMs? Mike Milbury and Doug MacLean.

 

Those are not the type of names you want to be associated with when it comes to NHL GMs. Milbury and Maclean are widely considered to be two of the worst GMs in NHL history.

 

 

MacLean is the only GM on this list who never made the playoffs. He infamously selected Gilbert Brule over Anze Kopitar at the 2005 draft, saying, “How do we go with the Slovenian ahead of the Canadian?” That was one of many draft blunders for MacLean, among many other missed opportunities and bad deals. He was even their head coach for a year while still trying to be the GM and President. 

Where other expansion teams were able to find success a lot faster, MacLean was unable to do so.

Milbury, on the other hand, was an utter disaster as a GM and it’s baffling that he lasted eleven years in Long Island. 

Milbury traded away Roberto Luongo, Todd Bertuzzi, Olli Jokinen, Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Chris Osgood, Eric Brewer, and Bryan McCabe. When he already had Luongo, Milbury drafted Rick DiPietro first overall in 2000 ahead of the likes of Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik, prompting the Luongo trade.

He traded the second-overall pick in 2001, who turned out to be Jason Spezza, along with Chara to the Senators for Alexei Yashin, then signed him to a monster 10-year deal that eventually had to be bought out.

All told, Milbury got the Islanders to the playoffs just three times in 11 years and never got past the first round.

Benning can’t possibly be as bad a GM as Milbury and MacLean, but it’s certainly stunning to see those two names emerge just below Benning’s on this list. At the very least, Benning’s drafting has been better than MacLean’s and he hasn’t traded away as many future stars as Milbury. Hopefully the Canucks can improve their record next season and Benning can climb a little higher on the list.

There’s still, however, the record of making the playoffs to consider.

Missing the playoffs in 5 of 7 years

The Canucks made the playoffs in Benning’s first season as GM, bouncing back after the Tortorella-coached season. They then missed the playoffs for four-straight seasons before sneaking into the playoffs in 2020 and going on a run to the second round on the backs of goaltenders Jacob Markstrom and Thatcher Demko.

Missing the playoffs in so many years wouldn't have stung so badly if Benning and the Canucks had committed to a rebuild in those years. Instead, they kept pushing for the playoffs and failing.

It should come as no surprise that GMs who stay on the job for 7+ years tend to make the playoffs more often than they miss the playoffs. Aside from Milbury and MacLean, however, there are a few other GMs with a similar record of making the playoffs in this group as Benning. 

One is Doug Wisebrough, who was the first GM of the expansion Minnesota Wild and got them to the Conference Final in only their third season, so that earned him some extra rope.

Don Maloney and Jim Rutherford, GMs of two teams relocated to southern markets, likewise got a lot of leeway because they were working with smaller budgets. Maloney even won a GM of the Year Award in 2010, as his peers recognized him for getting the Coyotes back to the playoffs with a plethora of savvy moves.

Rutherford, meanwhile, missed the playoffs a lot with the Carolina Hurricanes, but he also got them to two Stanley Cup Finals, winning the whole shebang in 2006. Those wildly successful seasons were outweighed by far too many seasons out of the playoffs, but getting to the Cup Finals on a budget tends to keep you in good graces.

Garth Snow and Kevin Lowe likewise missed the playoffs more than they made them. Lowe, at least, got the Edmonton Oilers to a Stanley Cup Final, losing to Rutherford’s Hurricanes. 

Snow, meanwhile, was better than Milbury with the Islanders but exacerbated one of Milbury’s biggest mistakes by signing Rick DiPietro to a mammoth 15-year contract that is widely considered to be one of the worst contracts in NHL history.

DiPietro was bought out in 2013 as a compliance buy out, meaning he wouldn’t take any money off the Islanders’ salary cap, but they’ll still be paying DiPietro $1.5 million per year until 2029. 

Consistent regular season success

Obviously, it would be far preferable to be at the top of a list like this. What stands out is that the GMs with the most regular season success also had the most playoff success. The top-ten GMs here all got to the Stanley Cup Final, with all but three winning the Cup.

Of course, every GM’s situation is different. Some of the GMs took over teams that were already very good, like Brian MacLellan and Ray Shero, while others took over at the start of a rebuild. But, for the most part, they didn’t keep their jobs long if they didn’t win games and make the playoffs.

Can Benning set the Canucks up for that kind of consistent regular season success that gives them as many chances as possible to win the Stanley Cup?

 

Edited by awalk
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/3/2021 at 1:18 AM, Comeback_Kings said:

JB is going to retool all over again, this time with a young core.

....talking about tools...................you should have made mention of TG's mediocre handling of some of the players.  That is also part of the equation why we've had a number of players regress on this team and also why we;ve had so many poor finishes in the last several years.

Edited by RU SERIOUS
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I think he's done a brilliant job and mended every single need of this team as it's come along. Yes, some of the players have been average but whether that's JB's fault or our scouting of players is hard to say. In JB's defence, at the time Eriksson was a prime 30 goal scoring big tough forward who had produced on two different teams, and exactly what we needed. Gudbranson was a big strong top-4 defenceman and exactly what we lacked at the time.

 

To be fair everyone else, especially his drafting, has been pretty spot on. He's certainly done more good than harm.

 

This coming off season is monumental for him and the franchise, and he has a LOT of work to do (IMO the most of any team apart from Seattle) as he has lots of UFAs and holes in our lineup to sign alongside getting our young stars under a decent contract, all through an Expansion draft and flat Covid cap.

 

There was news that he was one of the busiest GMs on the phones prior to the roster freeze and looks to have lots of plans in the works after the ED and this alone tells me that he's working hard to improve this team. Whether it's him and his staff or other GMs out there or the state of the flat cap at the moment, he's trying his best for sure, no one can deny that, and he's pulled off some very savvy moves lately.

 

I have full faith in JB, not so much in Green or his coaching staff and ultimately that's the GMs decision so my only flaw of JB. If we aren't in a playoff spot by the 1/4 to 1/3 mark of the season and have a relatively more decent team, the coach has to be looked at. JBs downfall may be his loyalty to his coach in the end but I hope they prove me wrong.

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On 7/21/2021 at 2:50 AM, DownUndaCanuck said:

I think he's done a brilliant job and mended every single need of this team as it's come along. Yes, some of the players have been average but whether that's JB's fault or our scouting of players is hard to say. In JB's defence, at the time Eriksson was a prime 30 goal scoring big tough forward who had produced on two different teams, and exactly what we needed. Gudbranson was a big strong top-4 defenceman and exactly what we lacked at the time.

lmao

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13 minutes ago, kanucks25 said:

lmao

Great insight in this thread by you. /sarcasm

I think most, if not all people, know about your blatant bias toward Gillis, and how he cannot be criticized for anything at all. You've made tons of excuses for the drafting and development failures, shifting it to his staff, rather than the GM itself. Meanwhile, I've seen you (more than once) target Benning for his own failures, notably Virtanen.

 

I think the purpose of these threads is a discussion, one that you are obviously not capable of having because you reject evidence that doesn't match up with what you think about the situation. Gillis did a lot of good things, but drafting/development was not one of them, which you've repeatedly tried to downplay that weakness. And it is the theme in this thread that Gillis' ineptitude in that field was why this team is still in a hole. No goaltending prospects whatsoever under Gillis. Laughable. No defensive prospects from the ground up. (Tanev doesn't count in this regard - he was a pro scout find). Hutton is obviously a depth defenceman, and not a replacement for Edler from 2004. LOL.

 

And no forward prospects aside from Hodgson and Horvat, both of which were high picks. :lol:

 

Drafting has never been consistently good until Benning. If you'd actually look at the freaking charts, you'll see that Nonis had complete misses, and so did Burke, but at least their players did contribute to the roster, more or less. Under Gillis (2008 to 2013), the players were largely absent.

 

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00008756.html

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Dazzle said:

Great insight in this thread by you. /sarcasm

I think most, if not all people, know about your blatant bias toward Gillis, and how he cannot be criticized for anything at all. You've made tons of excuses for the drafting and development failures, shifting it to his staff, rather than the GM itself. Meanwhile, I've seen you (more than once) target Benning for his own failures, notably Virtanen.

 

I think the purpose of these threads is a discussion, one that you are obviously not capable of having because you reject evidence that doesn't match up with what you think about the situation. Gillis did a lot of good things, but drafting/development was not one of them, which you've repeatedly tried to downplay that weakness. And it is the theme in this thread that Gillis' ineptitude in that field was why this team is still in a hole. No goaltending prospects whatsoever under Gillis. Laughable. No defensive prospects from the ground up. (Tanev doesn't count in this regard - he was a pro scout find). Hutton is obviously a depth defenceman, and not a replacement for Edler from 2004. LOL.

 

And no forward prospects aside from Hodgson and Horvat, both of which were high picks. :lol:

 

Drafting has never been good until Benning. If you'd actually look at the freaking charts, you'll see that Nonis had complete misses, and so did Burke, but at least their players did contribute to the roster, more or less. Under Gillis (2008 to 2013), the players were largely absent.

 

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00008756.html

 

 

 

Damn you took a lot out of a 4 letter initialism.

 

Keep fighting the good fight my man.

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On 7/22/2021 at 10:09 AM, Dazzle said:

Great insight in this thread by you. /sarcasm

I think most, if not all people, know about your blatant bias toward Gillis, and how he cannot be criticized for anything at all. You've made tons of excuses for the drafting and development failures, shifting it to his staff, rather than the GM itself. Meanwhile, I've seen you (more than once) target Benning for his own failures, notably Virtanen.

 

I think the purpose of these threads is a discussion, one that you are obviously not capable of having because you reject evidence that doesn't match up with what you think about the situation. Gillis did a lot of good things, but drafting/development was not one of them, which you've repeatedly tried to downplay that weakness. And it is the theme in this thread that Gillis' ineptitude in that field was why this team is still in a hole. No goaltending prospects whatsoever under Gillis. Laughable. No defensive prospects from the ground up. (Tanev doesn't count in this regard - he was a pro scout find). Hutton is obviously a depth defenceman, and not a replacement for Edler from 2004. LOL.

 

And no forward prospects aside from Hodgson and Horvat, both of which were high picks. :lol:

 

Drafting has never been consistently good until Benning. If you'd actually look at the freaking charts, you'll see that Nonis had complete misses, and so did Burke, but at least their players did contribute to the roster, more or less. Under Gillis (2008 to 2013), the players were largely absent.

 

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00008756.html

to be fair Gillis traded away picks so he could get support for a stanley cup run, and made it to the final game 7.. His team won back to back presidents trohpies as arguably the best Canucks team ever. Still.

 

and frankly we should have won. Gillis in real numbers was our best GM. and Maybe Burke since he got us the Sedins.

On 7/22/2021 at 10:09 AM, Dazzle said:

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, vannuck59 said:

Gillis why does anyone defend or bring him up? long time ago. Meanwhile JB is building but he needs at least 2 stay at home D that can play. 

Because Gillis did more in less time, a lot more. The team was it's best ever under Gillis while JB has had 7 years and more and more we're looking like Edmonton.

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6 hours ago, Kurgom said:

Because Gillis did more in less time, a lot more. The team was it's best ever under Gillis while JB has had 7 years and more and more we're looking like Edmonton.

Gillis.... yeah that was a great time, and he built a great team... Had a lot more to start with though, and used all we had in the cupboard as well to build it...

This is the reason we have  been looking like Oilers....

So as good as Gillis team was, the bill had to be paid, and just about has been now.

 

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On 7/20/2021 at 11:06 AM, RU SERIOUS said:

....talking about tools...................you should have made mention of TG's mediocre handling of some of the players.  That is also part of the equation why we've had a number of players regress on this team and also why we;ve had so many poor finishes in the last several years.

Yup with all the new pieces - how Green makes this roster win together is the wildcard....

Edited by ShawnAntoski
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