You know it’s an odd day when sports columnist Tony Gallagher of the Province (newspaper based out of Vancouver) is saluting general manager Jim Benning of the Vancouver Canucks for a trade that sent Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening, and a second rounder to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Brandon Sutter…and a third round pick.
Don’t believe me? Enjoy, Vancouverites and fellow Canuck fans:
I have had a few days to settle down after this trade. It shocked me at first. If it was honestly just Nick Bonino for Brandon Sutter straight up, I may have taken the time to take a more in depth look at things. Instead, in typical Vancouver fashion, I was a bit upset at the trade.
Adam Clendening did not seem that bad at all of a prospect to me. He has a ways to go in terms of skating but when he was called up to play for the Canucks, he did his job. He had flashes of decency. This is my honest opinion. I was bummed when I heard he was gone. The Canucks back end does not look great outside of Tanev, Edler, and Sbisa (if he actually plays consistently well for an entire season which is doubtful). Hamhuis is most likely gone by the end of next year which is why I refused to mention him. Seriously, who do we have outside of those three then after the season ends? Bartkowski may turn out to be alright. Yannick Weber sucked in the playoffs. Hence my disappointment in losing Clendening.
Nick Bonino meanwhile started off hot and looked promising but then went cold. In the postseason he was cold. We simply can’t have a guy like that in Vancouver playing on the second line. If he was a third liner, okay. Which is why the trade is great on the Pittsburgh side of things.
Enter in Brandon Sutter. I have done research on this kid, “flat Stanley” as they call him in Pittsburgh:
The first thing people have said about flat Stanley is:
He’s a great penalty killer. One of the best in the league.
That was probably the only thing Nick Bonino was good at when he was cold and the Canucks have great penalty killing as is. It was near the top of the league last year.
We need goals, offense, and speed that Bonino failed to provide when he went cold. Sutter looks like he does bring the speed.
Twenty goals last year on the third line in Pittsburgh is also a positive sign. Flat Stanley is entering the prime of his career at age 27 or so next year. I hope he can become maybe a 50 point or so guy that can play a great two way game.
He’s also said to be a good leader and that’s one of Benning’s main focuses right now for the Canucks hockey team.
I really don’t know about this move as of now as well as the talks about Benning extending Flat Stanley to 4 years at close to 18 or so million (4.4 million a year).
Jim Benning scares the hell out of me. I still contend that his trade of plug Zack Kassian and a fifth round pick to Brandon Prust was a good move. It’s just he didn’t have to add in the fifth round pick. No one in the league wanted Kassian which is why he had to do it.
The Eddie Lack trade looks like his most ill-advised as of yet. But he is gambling on Jakob Markstrom being a better goalie than Lack. I support him one hundred percent there. I am a believer in Markstrom if he keeps excelling under goalkeeping coach of the Canucks, Melanson.
Jim Benning is either ahead of the curve, or he’s the worst general manager in the league like everyone is claiming.
Hey, I don’t think he deserves that honour yet. What worst general manager took the sixth worst team in the league and turned them into a playoff team in a year? I’ll reserve my judgement.
Tim Murray of the Buffalo Sabres is the worst general manager in the league after his move for Ryan O’ Reilly and whining on television about missing on the first overall pick in the NHL draft.