At the Breaking Point With Canucks GM Jim Benning


Today the Canucks announced they have traded Adam Clendening, Nick Bonino, AND a second rounder to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Brandon Sutter and a third round pick.

How does this trade make any sense? What the hell? Did Bonino not want to be here?

The Kesler trade does look like a disaster now considering he was that guy who came the other way.

I do not know much about Brandon Sutter, but looking at his stats, he doesn’t look much better or maybe even slightly better than Bonino.

Throw in Clendening who is a decent prospect and played well when called up here as well as the second round pick when we have the possibility of finishing low?

Canucks fans, this guy may be reaching the Mactavish point. I don’t get this move at all and will say it time and time again.

If Brandon Sutter becomes a godsend on the third or second line while Bonino and Clendening do nothing, okay. But the chances of those scenarios all happening are extremely low.

What an odd move and I’m starting to lose faith in Benning.


2015 NHL Draft: Why Ivan Provorov Will Have the Best Career After Connor McDavid


The 2015 NHL draft commenced a few weeks ago. Many picks were made, some of them obvious, some of them shrewd, and some of them garnered a “what the fuck are you doing reaction” *cough* Don Sweeney from Boston Bruins *cough*.

A lot of the first round picks were obvious. Some of them were odd.

Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel were the easy top two picks. After that, with the third overall pick, it was a gaunlet between young, skilled players to choose from such as Dylan Strome, Noah Hanifin, Mitch Marner, Pavel Zacha, and more. Noah Hanifin I would say was the favourite to go third overall followed by Dylan Strome. The Arizona Coyotes probably think they have their franchise defenseman already in Oliver Ekman-Larsson and that Hanifin was not needed. The Carolina Hurricanes gladly took him.

I am here to tell you that the Phiadelphia Flyers in ten years from now will have made the best selection in this draft after the Oilers obvious first overall selection of Connor McDavid. It is obvious McDavid will be a star in this league. If he goes the way Nail Yakupov did to start off his career I believe the Oilers are truly cursed. McDavid will be in the Art Ross running for years to come. He will be a Calder trophy candidate next year.

Ivan Provorov will be the same in years but for defenseman; he will be talked about as a Norris trophy candidate. This is a guy who oozes hockey IQ that you simply can’t teach. In 60 games last year on the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL, he posted 61 points in 60 games with a plus 36 rating at 18 years old. The Wheat Kings were a top team in the WHL largely due to his presence rocking the first defensive pairing. Not only do his junior stats and film tape stand out, he is also put into the best position to succeed.

You see, the Philadelphia Flyers are a big market team that always want to be in the mix of things. There are few organizations I recall that have consistently iced a playoff team as they have in the last twenty years. Ron Hextall is doing good things as new general manager and he hired the right new head coach in Hakstol after a distastrous few seasons. They will no doubt be in the playoff hunt in another year or two like they have been for many years before. Meanwhile what were the teams actually drafted ahead of the Flyers?

Edmonton Oilers
Buffalo Sabres
Arizona Coyotes
Toronto Maple Leafs
Carolina Hurricanes
New Jersey Devils

With the exception of the Devils, wait for it, wait… These organizations are all perennial failures and you can’t say otherwise until they do change things around. The Oilers are a tire fire and have been for years up until this year. They finally made the right personnel decisions by hiring Todd McLellan as head coach and Chiarelli as general manager.

The Sabres are on their way to becoming what the Oilers are. They intentionally tanked the last NHL season and didn’t even try denying it. Tim Murray is a moron and a half when you hear him talk to media. If that’s your general manager I feel pity for you. And the Ryan O’ Reilly contract where they got rid of some of their young core? Why Nikita Zadorov?

The Ariona Coyotes, yeah, a no brainer. They can’t spend to the cap and have to rely on drafting. With the exception of their 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 seasons, they haven’t have much luck and are trending downwards. Mike Smith hasn’t been the same since his hot 2012 season and more. A positive young core. We also must question if Dylan Strome is really a franchise changer or not. Strome, Max Domi, Larsson, and Anthony Duclair. A decent young core. But you have to wonder if Dave Tippett is the right coach to be coaching up young kids or not. You get where I’m going with this before I bash the Leafs and the Hurricanes.

A lot of these picks ahead of Provorov will also go back into their junior leagues next year. I can’t see many of them garnering roster spots besides Eichel and McDavid (obviously). Provorov should see playing time next year. I can’t count six defensemen on that team off the top of my head. They are so weak in that area that a top ten pick would suffice. I am all in on this kid.

Small, skilled forwards are a dime a dozen. Look at how Tyler Johnson went undrafted. A number one puck moving defenseman with a feel for the game is not something that comes along often. Provorov is the best defenseman taking in the last two drafts: after Aaron Ekblad of course.

My Thoughts on the Canucks Offseason


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.