Calgary Flames Fan Tries to Troll Jim Benning, Fails in the Process

Ramblings, Sports

Basically in the above link, some attention whore on Twitter with the username “fake_steinberg” tried to act funny and troll general manager Jim Benning of the Vancouver Canucks. Apparently he is a Calgary Flames fan.

Little does he know that Jim Benning had a great offseason and the whiny, annoying Canucks fans on HFboards.com do not reflect the Canucks fanbase.

Canucks losses this offseason:

-Kevin Bieksa
-Eddie Lack
-Zack Kassian
-Shawn Matthias
-Brad Richardson
-Nick Bonino
-Adam Clendening

The only guys on that list I miss are Clendening (who has yet to put in a full NHL season), Brad Richardson (who was injured for half the year), and Eddie Lack (who has yet to play a full NHL season as a starting goalie).

Who is going to replace these guys:

-Brandon Sutter aka Flat Stanley
-Jakob Markstrom (made a mockery of the AHL last season and has more potential than Eddie Lack has ever had)
-Brandon Prust (one of the best fourth liners in the league, great locker room guy)
-Matt Bartkowski (can’t get any worse than Bieksa and may do well in Willie Desjardins system)
-Sven Baertschi (question mark if this guy puts it together or not)

Basically, a lot of ifs. But I’m confident in the moves.

Who did the Calgary Flames get?

An over rated defenseman who was hated in Boston named Dougie Hamilton and a third liner in Michael Frolik.

Wow, teams are sure shaking in their boots in the pacific division. Especially after you overachieved last year. Bob Hartley also sure has a long shelf life everywhere he’s been (not really).

So I’m sure Jim Benning thanks you for the flowers. The only funnier joke would be an Oilers fan doing the same. That would almost be as funny as the fan of the franchise who overachieved last year and will finish below the Canucks (once again, like the last ten years, that is funny).

I did chuckle at a response that said how Benning sent bigger flowers back and a third round pick. That was witty and accurate.

So long story short?

Fans of teams who haven’t done anything should mind their own damn business.

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Who’s Over Rated and Under Rated in the NHL (2015-2016)

Ramblings, Sports

I had to make this post.

Reading online postings, news articles, and the “pundits” opinions, I had to compile a list of who is over rated and under rated in the NHL and explain why. So you may ask, who qualifies? Well, players, teams, general managers, and coaches all do. Prepare to be enraged or smile.

Under Rated

I’ll start off with the positives. Who I believe is under rated in the National Hockey League.

The Vancouver Canucks

Reading online forums and opinions from fans, you would think the Vancouver Canucks will be a lottery team next year. The opposite is true, actually.

The year before fans said they would be a lottery team. What has changed? They have gotten rid of the misfits in their organization. Kevin Bieksa (I love him) with all due respect was terrible last year, Zack Kassian sucked, Eddie Lack was not a starter, and Nick Bonino was too inconsistent. Who is coming in for those guys?

Good guy Brandon Prust, good guy Brandon Sutter, top AHL goalie and prospect Jakob Markstrom, and lots of fast young guys.

No, this team will not suck. They will be decent and finish once again in the playoffs. The only logical reason you could say they miss is solely due to the fact you may believe a lot of their division rivals got better. Yes, the Oilers have gotten better and if they keep making the right moves, they will be a playoff team eventually. The Kings and Sharks are the true question mark.

The Minnesota Wild

A good core? Check. A well run organization? Check.

Fans think this team may also miss the playoffs after the Canucks. The furthest thing from the truth. They are a lock.

And they have a nice young core on the backend that includes names such as Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin.

The only question is if Devan Dubnyk holds up. I feel behind that defense he has a chance to.

Coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning

I heard comments from people saying Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning of the coach sucks.

What?

I would gladly let him coach my Canucks if Willie Desjardins was let go tomorrow. He is a damn good coach.

You take him off the Lightning and tell me how many coaches would get that team into the finals like they did last year. Seriously impressive, and he’s won everywhere he’s gone.

There is no way he sucks as a coach. I’d put him in my top five list of coaches.

Big Jake Virtanen

I have heard from many he is a bust or would be lucky to get in the top twenty this year in the NHL draft.

Wrong. He is the most NHL ready prospect I have seen from the 2014 draft that has yet to play a game.

He ragdolled guys in the AHL. Just because his point totals don’t make you raise your eyes doesn’t mean he is a bust.

He will play in this league and he will be good. Just watch. He will be like Cam Neely. He will be a goal scorer who can hit. He won’t be an elite playmaker but he can play.

Over Rated

Now here comes the boos. Prepare to be annoyed if you are a fan of any of these teams, players, or personnel.

The Buffalo Sabres (Tim Murray, their prospect pool, and shitty moves)

An easy choice quite frankly. And the top choice.

You would think reading forums that the Sabres were going to contend for the stanley cup or win multiple cups within five years.

Wrong.

The move for Ryan O’ Reilly was fucking stupid. Eight million for a guy who gets sixty points and does what else? At the expense of one of their youngest defensemen as well as top prospect Grigorenko?

The owner himself Mr. Terry Pegula said the last two seasons have been the most successful in Sabres history. What!?

And their starting goalie who they gave up a first round pick for Robin Lehner. Wow.

Watching Tim Murray whine about missing the first overall pick was great TV. Jack Eichel must be happy as hell to play for the next Edmonton Oilers organization.

This team is going to be a trainwreck, just watch.

Ted Nolan will be laughing his ass off when they do. He sure should have been fired (in a sarcastic tone I say that).

Tanking is never rewarded in the league, Tim. We should rename him and Terry Pegula to tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

The poor fans think they have a chance at the playoffs next year. Laugh my ass off.

The Winnipeg Jets (And their stupid prospect pool)

You would think reading comments from fans of the NHL that the Jets, just like the Sabres, will be champions in five years due to “the depth of their prospect pool”.

That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

One glance at their prospect pool will show you how that is a bold lie. There is not one player from their “prospect pool” I could say that “I want that guy on my team”.

Little Nik Ehlers who the Canucks passed on for a reason will be walloped when he reaches the big leagues. After that they have a slew of AHL players and fourth line players.

Congrats guys, you are well on your way to a few eighth seeds and first round exits for the next five years.

I love the fans of this team and I’m also a fan of the team, but seriously, a prospect pool full of depth doesn’t make a team a contender for the next ten years.

The Calgary Flames Offseason Moves (and somwhat…their potential)

I didn’t want to throw gasoline on the Flames and say their whole organization is over rated. I just find the moves they made this offseason…over rated.

Dougie Hamilton, Frolik from the Jets. Okay. Frolik will be an elite third liner. But claiming Dougie Hamilton is the answer to pushing them over the top could not be further from the truth.

Bruins fans hated this guy. He was a turnover machine last year. He is what this topic is about. He’s not a future Norris winner. He is average. A second pairing defenseman at best.

I also think Gaudreau and Monahan will not repeat the success they had last year. But that’s just me. Sam Bennett is coming in, though?

I can’t act bitter about this team since they owned my Canucks in the playoffs this last season. But there is something about them I can’t put my finger on. I really do see them as another Colorado. A lot of young talent that peaked one year and regressed the next. No way do they get as many come from behind wins as they did this last year.

How the San Antonio Spurs Won the NBA Offseason

Sports

Ladies and gentleman. I present to you the most well run organization in pro sports.

San Antonio is no big market. Yet since Gregg Popovich has taken over, the Spurs just win championships or contend every year. They never go under.

The fans thought after they demolished the Miami Heat in 2014 that their time was coming to an end. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker were all getting old.

Kawhi Leonard is one of the few bright spots. I’d say he’s the most valuable player on the team now and reminds me of a young Scottie Pippen. He can defend and he can win games.

But one guy can not win it all for a team. The Los Angeles Clippers who took them out in seven games this year in the quarter finals were just flat out better as a squad.

So what did the Spurs do?

They won the offseason and became an even bigger contender next year.

David West took a one million a year contract in an attempt to win it all. He will be behind top five NBA player of all time Tim Duncan holding it down.

But who else did they get?

Lamarcus Aldridge. This guy just single handily changed the Spurs franchise around and will have them as big time contenders for years with Kawhi Leonard.

Wow. Not only is he damn good, is there a better big man player besides Anthony Davis hat can light it up outside the paint like Aldridge can?

He will fit Popovich’s system so well it’s not even funny. He can pass, he can shoot. He can even play inside and dominate.

He also came to San Antonio to just win.

Oklahoma City is a wild card and always a contender if Kevin Durant is healthy. Billy Donovan is a wild card as new head coach of the Thunder as well. I’m not quite sure I’d place money on them winning it all. Especially when they didn’t make the playoffs this year even with Durant on the sidelines.

Then you have Golden State who play the same style of game San Antonio does. I like to think the Spurs have heir number though in the games I’ve seen both teams play each other in. The Spurs would aim to shut the back court of Curry and Thompson down which leads Golden State ineffective. They could absolutely do it. I simply don’t see Golden State repeating again for those reasons. They will be a good team however.

And then there’s queen Lebron James and the rat pack in Cleveland. Whoever wins in the west will have a field day with that team. Like stated before, watching James lose in the NBA finals is a great past time for many. He simply won’t do it this year.

I’d like to throw in the Pelicans as a wild card. Anthony Davis may become the best player in the league soon.

So with these teams considered, I think the Spurs have a great shot at winning it all. Duncan thereafter will ride into the sunset with his six rings that put many players to shame and also the media who has never appreciated him. Yet they appreciate the losing culture on every Lebron James team.

To each his own.

My Thoughts on the Canucks Offseason

Ramblings

So the Canucks have made quite a lot of significant moves this offseason.

I have followed along, analyzed, and thought about a lot of these moves. I unfortunately also had to listen to the fans who in typical Vancouver attitude bitched, whined, and trashed every move.

Let’s recap what happened:

-The Canucks get eliminated by the Calgary Flames in six games in the NHL quarter finals

Let me start off by saying the Canucks had a successful season all things aside. No one in Vancouver or on the NHL pundit side picked as high of a finish as fifth in the western conference WITH 101 points. They finished the year before with around 80 points and picked sixth overall. I don’t care what anyone says or how they did it, that is a success.

I thought they had a chance to make it to the second round since the Calgary Flames, no offense, were the worst squad to get into the postseason. At least in the western conference. What happens? Well, six games later, the Canucks lost. I won’t really get into the first four games where they went down three games to one. But they looked like they were getting their act together thereafter. Of course until the second period of game six where they forgot what defense was.

How do you go up 3-0 to losing 7-4? That can’t be on coaching. Willie can only do so much if his squad decides to stop playing defense or playing at all. No wonder Benning made huge decisions on the squad after this sham of a performance. There is completely no excuse, I don’t care where you are playing, to lose in that matter. You also can’t blame it on Ryan Miller. If you put a sad sack of losers who refuse to play defense in front of any goalie, and that goalie is coming off a good game plus an injury-esque season, the blame is not on him. The blame is on the leaders of the team and the defense.

-The 2015 NHL draft happens

So after the embarrassing game six and an early start to golfing season once again for the Canucks, the management team made no moves until after this draft occurred (or at least started).

The draft was by all means not that bad. Brock Boeser will be a future NHL player and looks like he has good character in the videos I’ve seen. Lots of people were saying this was a solid, shrewd pick. Craig Button who is an analyst on TSN was high on him. Who could we have drafted over him that was available and better at the 23rd spot? Pretty much no one. He is young and still playing in the US high school hockey league. But in four years, this may be a great pick.

Guillaume Brisebois with the third round pick we got in the Eddie Lack trade (I will talk about this next), looks like a good pick. Too bad he’s in a rough spot with the fans. They will ask for his head whenever he doesn’t perform well because “we got rid of Lack for him”. Typical Vancouver fans once again.

Dmitri Zhukenov was said to be a decent pick in the fourth round as well. Adam Gaudette from Boston College in the fifth round is a player many scouts are said to be high on.

Basically, we will have to wait four years to see how this draft went. But all the positive signs are there. I am a believer in Jim Benning’s ability to draft and develop. The 2014 NHL draft he had the year before was the best draft the Canucks have had in a while.

-Eddie Lack traded to Carolina Hurricanes for a third and seventh round pick

I knew this was going to happen. We were not getting rid of Ryan Miller since he is experienced and will handle the load next year unless he goes down to injury once again.

Therefore it’s a choice between Eddie Lack and Jakob Markstrom.

Let’s be logical here, Canucks fans.

Markstrom was once said to be the number one goalie prospect during his days in Florida. He had an MVP caliber season in Utica the last season in the AHL.

Eddie Lack has never had that potential. He was good in the AHL, no doubt, but not the clear cut best goalie like Markstrom was for Utica last year. And he’s never been talked up to possibly become on the better goalies in the league.

It was a tough decision but what had to be done.

The return? I’m not a fan. Brisebois who we draft in the third round is the wildcard. And Jim Benning is high on him. He has great character and became captain on a QMJHL team at a very young age.

I do believe Benning when he says Carolina will use Eddie Lack as a backup. Cam Ward has never lost the starting job while there. Lack will be a 1B to Ward’s 1A. Lack as a 1B behind Ryan Miller this year was alright. Not outstanding like the fans claim. He didn’t win games like Ryan Miller did. I don’t care about the stats or numbers quite frankly. Miller is ahead of him regardless.

So those are my thoughts on that. Good luck in Carolina, Eddie.

-Zack “unmotivated” Kassian and a fifth round pick to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Brandon Prust

Let me start off by saying that this is a fantastic trade.

I don’t give a shit what people say.

Good riddance to you, Zack Kassian. You have to be delusional as an NHL fan if you think this guy will ever be an all star in the league.

Let me count the amount of coaches who have put this kid in their doghouse. I’ve lost count, quite honestly.

If you don’t give it your all in this league, you will have a path like him and fellow good friend Rene Bourque had. A career of being put in the doghouse of coaches and thrown onto the waiver wire.

You think Michelle Therrien will be all buddy-buddy with this guy and turn him into an all star? You belong in a mental institution. Willie Desjardins is one of the nicer coaches in the league to his players. He’s hard and intense, but if you think Therrien is a nicer guy on younger players, you have another thing coming. The guy demoted Alex Galchenyuk to the third and fourth lines on the Canadiens and Galchenyuk has ten fold more skill than Zack freaking Kassian.

Just mentioning Kassian’s name makes me angry. Whenever I read about Canucks fans discussing him on forums and talking up his potential, I don’t get what they are seeing.

Brandon Prust, welcome to the team buddy. I love the way this guy plays. No doubt he will give it his all here. The only problem is he may affect big Ron Kenins playing time. I am a Kenins fan as well. Hopefully these two challenge themselves and play well this year.

The way this trade happened? A waiver wire loser and a fifth round pick for great guy Brandon Prust.

Ignore the fans here, Prust. The true fans are happy Kassian is gone and you will be holding the fort on the fourth line with Dorsett.

-Kevin Bieksa traded to the Anaheim Ducks for a second round pick

An excellent trade for Jim Benning, almost a fleece.

The fact we got a somewhat high pick for the worst defenseman on the Canucks all season long is a great trade.

He also accepted the trade since the foolish Anaheim Ducks general manager will extend him. This guy was pure poison in the postseason for the Canucks. Worst player on the squad by a country mile.

He was to Sbisa like that bad kid in high school that you hung out with was to yourself. Your parents hated that bad kid and thought he was a bad influence. Bieksa was the same to Sbisa. He was so bad that Sbisa in turn was bad when they were paired together.

People forget that during the time Bieksa and Hamhuis both went down, Sbisa and Clendening actually played well. They did and I’m not lying. We won games during that injury riddled stretch.

Bieksa returned and the pairing with Sbisa was probably the worst I’ve seen since someone like Eric Weinrich played for the Canucks. The Flames must have scored every time in the series when those two were on the ice.

Let’s not slander Bieksa much though. He was an awesome leader, teammate, and citizen to the city of Vancouver during his time here. A great individual and a great player when we were an elite team in 2011.

I wish him well on the Ducks.

-The management team from the Gillis regime gets canned along with head trainer Mike Burnstein

Okay, this is the one move that took me off guard and was strange. But it sort of makes sense, all things aside.

This is essentially Benning and Linden declaring themselves as the new sherriff’s in charge and wanting to build the organization from the top down.

Gilman was a great assistant general manager but it was clear he had no role on the team anymore. Benning did not go to him before negotiating the Sbisa and Dorsett contracts. That is clear. I doubt Gilman would be advising him to pay that much to both. He’d also maybe want a classic Gillis no trade clause added in.

Lorne Henning was a strange move. He managed the AHL team apparently and they had a great season. I think Benning is taking it over more now as shown by the moves and prospect deals last year.

Eric Crawford I could see why he was let go. The drafting has been shit for years. But if he goes, Ronald Delorme should have gone too. Delorme and Benning did after all used to be team mates on the shitty Canucks squad in the late 1980s. So maybe that friendship still lingers. Crawford did have to go regardless. The scouting needs to be changed immensly. Gillis could not draft worth a damn during his time here. Neither could Dave Nonis.

Mike Burnstein was an odd move. I have no clue why he was let go. Could we speculate and say that maybe he handled the Brad Richardson and Zack Kassian injury situations poorly? Who knows.

Best of luck to them on their future endeavours, I guess.

-Matt Bartkowski free agent signing

A great signing. Love it.

If you hate this move, kiss my ass, Canucks fans. Really. This guy will be solid on the bottom pairing and fit in Willie’s high speed system like a glove fits a hand.

Welcome to Vancouver, Matt.

So there you have it, those are my thoughts. A successful offseason. Jimmy Benning will keep the good times rolling here and will give his middle finger to all the pundits who complain, riot, or whine about every little move.

The next time you complain, think logically Canucks fans. You deserve a team on par with the mid 2000 Edmonton Oilers if you are going to have that attitude.

Watching the 2015 Canucks summer summit video on Youtube where season ticket holders attended and asked the brass questions left me ashamed. The East Indian kid with male titties was among the worst. He should be banned from Rogers arena or following anything Canucks related.

Recapping the Year

Ramblings, Sports

Having free time never felt so good.

I have been away for a while, busy with other things. I apologize to my readers.

Therefore what was there to recap while I was away? Quite a bit.

Let me start off by saying that the UFC yesterday was awesome. Truly one of the best UFC events I have seen in a long time which says a lot.

Love him or hate him, Conor McGregor is on his way to being a big marketing draw for sir Dana White and the UFC. People who are on both sides of the spectrum will tune in to watch him fight. Although Mendes was a challenge and took the fight on short notice, McGregor won in less than three rounds. Could have, should have, would have for the McGregor haters indeed.

Gunnar Nelson, Thomas Almeida, and Jeremy Stephens. All brilliant performances. Let’s not forget Robbie Lawler who once again beat up British Columbian native Rory MacDonald. Lawler showed the heart of a champion. He is no fraud like people thought. It was a great first title defense from “ruthless” Robbie Lawler.

So while this UFC was awesome and it has been consistent at times, I take to you the next big event that happened this year in sports. The Floyd Mayweather .vs. Manny Pacquiao fight.

I knew Mayweather would win by decision, but the fight sucked. Don’t even get me started. The only people that lost that one are the people who paid 80-90 bucks for the pay per view to watch that fight.

The Seattle Seahawks .vs. New England Patriots super bowl, painful. The Patriots are admittedly my least favourite team in the league while I am a Seahawks fan. But hey, the Seahawks didn’t really deserve to win against the Green Bay Packers a few weeks earlier in the NFC championship game. They got lucky. But then again, neither did the cheating Patriots against the Baltimore Ravens after Bill Belichea…I mean Belichick pulled off another trick in the beg with his inelligible receiver on the field. Another ring for the scum sucking Patriots means another loss for the league. That last play in the super bowl will haunt Russell Wilson forever. But he has another shot next year with big Jimmy Graham in the end zone this time with Lynch in the backfield.

The NHL stanley cup finals. The Blackhawks are brilliant. What can I say. My hats off to them. Let’s not forget the Tampa Bay Lightning who have an awesome future ahead of themselves. If they don’t win a stanley cup in the next three years with the core they currently have, I will be shocked. They just ran into the best team in the league unfortunately in the finals. Toews, Kane, Keith. Those three just know how to win.

The Cavaliers losing and the Warriors winning it all in the NBA finals. Classic. Makes up for the Patriots winning the super bowl with deflated Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. There’s no better American tradition then watching “king” (I put that in quotes since he clearly isn’t one) James lose big time at the biggest stage.

He didn’t have any help, wah. Cry me a river. Also, take notes ESPN. It’s about how the Warriors won and not how Lebron lost again. I don’t care how many points he put up, when you take three quarters of your teams shots in every game, you should have over 30 points a game. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan all laugh at you. I’m glad Curry won a ring, what a competitor he is and MVP season he had to go with his championship win.

Let’s also give a toast to Dustin Johnson’s US open choke. That made me feel bad for him and I am not the biggest fan of his. I’d buy him a beer if I ever saw him. That was hard to watch. Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll had to have grinned at that final hole choke job.

And Serena Williams is murdering every female tennis player. Could she be the first to win all majors in a year since Steffi Graf did it in the late 80s? I think so, without a doubt. No one is stopping her.

Great year indeed for sports, all things considered.

Thoughts On Ryan Kesler Leaving Vancouver

Sports

ksler

So “the trade” happened not to long ago where Ryan Kesler was sent packing from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa essentially. Probably the biggest trade so far this off season in the NHL.

I posted a few weeks back how new general manager of the Vancouver Canucks Jim Benning was not doing a bad job. I still echo those same sentiments.

Kesler was crucial during the Canucks 2011 cup run. Do not get me wrong. Without him who knows how that Nashville Predators semi finals series would have gone.

But since then he has not done anything of note in Vancouver except get injured and seemingly complain behind closed doors. Yeah he said to the media how he wanted to stay here. I never bought it. He wanted out for sure.

I don’t hold any grudges if the man wanted out. Just handcuffing Jim Benning into only accepting a trade to two possible teams (one of them being a team he was rivals with for many years the Chicago Blackhawks) was a bit annoying. Props to Benning for getting a solid return under those circumstances.

Ever since the cup run Kesler has lacked playmaking ability and looked bad on the ice. I’m not upset one bit that he is gone.

Let’s not forget there are all these crazy, outlandish rumours about his personal life and how he is a pig or jerk of a man.

The Vancouver Sun quoted him as saying in his exit interview with Vancouver Media:

I hate losing and that season was painful, to be honest. The fact (the Canucks) are in a rebuild and are looking to get younger and are years away from being a contender, I think it was just time for me to move on and, you know, win and hopefully take home a championship.

— Ryan Kesler

Then they followed up by saying “there is plenty of time to practice your booing”.

Son, I ain’t even mad. I wouldn’t boo him. I don’t hate him. If he wanted out after the franchise was going downhill so be it. At least we got plenty of young prospects to look forward to and shift the ship in a different direction. His quote absolutely does make sense.

I still think Anaheim will regret this trade when he turns out to not be the slam dunk 2nd line centre they thought he would be. Nick Bonino will be great in a Canucks uniform, in fact he scored more points than Kesler did last year.

Let’s say Anaheim does well in the regular season (which is not uncommon for a Boudreau squad). Once again, they will lose in the postseason (which is also not uncommon for a Boudreau squad).