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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I’m Tired of the Whiny Vancouver Canuck Fans

Ramblings, Sports

Let me pay a homage to the most stupid Canuck fan comments this offseason after the season came to an unfortunate end in April in a playoff series against division rival Calgary Flames.

Credit to HFBoards.com for the idiocy.

A topic on the worst GM-coach duos of all time yielded this response from a Canucks fan:

benning – desjardins is going to look pretty all-time awful in two years, if it doesn’t already.i mean, did you guys see desjardins undermine his team against calgary last spring like he was trying to lose?

Do I need to say more? Yes, this was copy and pasted. It makes me shake my head we have fans of this nature supporting the Vancouver Canucks.

A topic on how Benning forced the Canucks into “premature rebuilding” (which is a fair enough claim, but it gave this Notra “dumbass” like response):
As of last year, the Canucks were Cup contenders. Their playoff run sucked but at least they did make the playoffs. Now they definitely will be out of contention and it’s all because of Benning, IMO.
Now the Canucks were cup contenders before the evil Jim Benning came in. I’ve seen it all now. No sir, they finished sixth last in the league under Tortorella and Gillis’ direction. Nice try at spinning things, though.
On the same topic listed right above, another Gillis defender posted this gem:
That is how we know Benning botched it and is worse, much much much worse than Gillis (thus far of course. Perhaps we’re all wrong or he figures things out). Gillis had the team poised to begin the turn around in the summer of 2014. Any new GM would have loved walking into that situation. Well any new GM that could talk about things other than meat and potatoes, scrums, culture, and high end intangibles.
Ah yes, the team was freaking great coming off sixth last and trending downwards. Where do “fans” come up with this stuff?
Gillis only looked bad because of the owners influence.If Gillis had his way we would have started the rebuild in 2013. The Luongo/Schneider debacle is way overblown.
When did Gillis become Mother Theresa? I heard fans yelling “fire Gillis” at the end of 2013-2014 season. They were right. It was time for him to go. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, Gillis lover.
Kevin Bieksa clearly lost faith in this team and new management. Just a year ago he said he’d go down with to ship.
Now Kevin Bieksa is apparently against the cause. He hates the Canucks just like these fans hate Jim Benning. He has agreed with the “smart ones”. When did opinion become fact like this? Maybe he agreed to be traded because it was the right thing to do? He was the worst defenseman last year on ice, and it wasn’t even close. No amount of advanced statistics could say otherwise.
I’m sad he’s gone but I’m glad he’s out of this mickey mouse organization. I always thought the criticism of Bieksa was unfair. Yes he had holes in his game and struggled after that sliced tendon injury but that guy was the most warrior heart and soul player I’ve ever seen on the Canucks. The guy bleed Canucks blue and was one of the very few homegrown players to develop into a top NHL player in my time watching the Canucks (since about ’01) which is both sad and beautiful. I hope the Ducks win next year not only for Bieksa but because that is such an unbelievably well managed team. Their scouting, cap management and blend of youth and experience is reminiscent of the Red Wings. They’re going to be an elite team for years with how that team has been built.

It’s clear he wants to be on a winner and doesn’t think much of this management group.

Guess what this “loyal fan” has as a username? “FacepalmBenning”.
It doesn’t get better than that.
What’s the conclusion in all of this?
Canucks fans, as a person living in Vancouver who has once been a season ticket holder, annoy me and make me sick. Most pessimistic group and media I have ever seen. Every year they whine for someone to get fired or axed and every season with no cup is a failure.
No one predicted this team to finish as well as they did last year. Fans were generally happy about that until the Calgary series. Then it becomes a game of how Desjardins and Benning all of the sudden suck at their jobs.
I’m so tired of it. We deserve a team on par with the late 2000s era Edmonton Oilers. Seeing as how a fifth place finish in the west is absolutely awful and grounds for the general manager being fired. Along with his offseason moves that HAVE YET TO PLAY A SINGLE GAME IN A CANUCKS UNIFORM.
These posters should have their Canuck fan titles stripped. It’s annoying and embarrassing.

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.

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.

Bold Predictions for the 2014-2015 NHL Season

Sports

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The NHL season starts around the beginning of October and since the free agent frenzy has pretty much ended I have a few bold predictions for next season that go against “the norm”. In other words, predictions that are bold and go against the public. Here are a few I have:

1. The Vancouver Canucks make the playoffs.

Albeit I’m very biased towards them, I am willing to bet this happens. Everywhere I go people are counting them out saying how they are a tenth seed, etc. I have followed this off season. I followed last season. They sucked ass last season and a large portion of it was due to the goons known as John Tortorella and Mike Gillis. There is no way this team should have been playing a defensive dump and chase style. It doesn’t fit the team. Coach Tortorella is a goof who will never land a job in the NHL again (a not so bold prediction or opinion there either). Jim Benning has made some shrewd moves that I think will pay off. The jury is still out on his draft picks Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann. But signing Ryan Miller for a few years, good move. The pay is a bit steep but that’s the price you must pay for a decent goaltender. Miller looked bad in St. Louis especially in the postseason but that’s his only dark moment of his career so far. I’m willing to see if he has more to offer. Dealing Ryan Kesler was the best move they made. Nick Bonino is a great kid and plays the game hard. Outside of all these moves Jim Benning made in terms of player personnel, the biggest and the one I think will pay off was not made just by him but also president Trevor Linden: hiring Willie Desjardins. The guy has won at every level besides the NHL. He made the Texas Stars in the AHL a great team. He made the Dallas Stars have serious depth alone due to the way he coached the young kids on the Texas Stars. He also won multiple times in the WHL before. I have not heard a single bad word about him. Just great things. Look for him to turn the Vancouver Canucks around, be a well liked coach by the players, and have them become a winning franchise. No, I don’t think they will be Stanley Cup contenders or fighting for the presidents trophy. I also don’t think they will win the Pacific Division, that’s crazy. They will make the playoffs as a sixth-eighth seed. I am putting my mouth on the line here.

2. Pekka Rinne gets exposed as an over rated goaltender

I’m sorry Preds fans. I always hear people talk about him as if he is a top goaltender in the league, top three, etc. I’ve never seen it. He was a huge body in front of the net behind Ryan Suter and Shea Weber all those years. That’s why he looked really good. Take out coach Barry Trotz and his boring ass defensive system and replace him with offensive minded Peter Laviolette, look at people to start doubting Pekka Rinne as among the league’s best in net. This is a little bold and the term “over rated” seems to imply I think he sucks. I think he will still be good, just not in the top three as people typically have him in in their lists of best goaltenders in the NHL.

3. The Boston Bruins don’t repeat as regular season powerhouses this year

The Bruins have been a very successful franchise for years now in the NHL but I think they won’t repeat as president trophy champions or as a top team in the regular season. Just a weird feeling I have. Chara is getting old, he has been slowing down season after season. It is only a matter of time before he retires or fades away. He is a huge driving force behind the team. Without him, I don’t know. They got rid of top scorer Jarome Iginla and replaced him with…well…nothing really? I think this team should have kept him for another year, he fit well in the system. I say they are still a playoff team but finish no higher than third in the eastern conference. And then come playoff time, Tukkaa Rask gets exposed as a choker once again. The Flyers and Canadiens completely lit this guy up when his team had both series in a stranglehold. Definitely not worth the money they are paying him. Roberto Luongo got hated on as a Canuck, why is this guy excused?

4. The Montreal Canadiens don’t go on a huge playoff run again

Not sure if this is bold. I don’t think they have the same success as they did last year. Carey Price is a monster in net no doubt and they still look like a playoff team, but I think they got by last year in the playoffs playing a really gritty style that many teams typically don’t repeat. They had guys such as Dale Weise scoring clutch goals or Daniel Briere (who they got rid of). Leader Josh Gorges was dealt to the leagues worst Buffalo Sabres for scraps. I don’t see this team going as far in the playoffs as they did last year. I rooted them on, it was a great run, but let’s be realistic here.

5. The Anaheim Ducks do not make it far in the playoffs

Of course they make the season with Boudreau being head coach. That’s his bread and butter. I have no shame in admitting they may be a fifth to first rank team in the western conference. But come playoff time, they will lose, again, like Boudreau coach teams do. No way am I betting on this team to win the cup. I also would like to make the bold prediction that Ducks fans become disappointed with Ryan Kesler’s production and wish for Nick Bonino back. Seriously. He has not been good at all since Vancouver’s cup run and I am glad to get Sbisa and Bonino for him. Not joking or trolling. Gibson is young and a question mark. He’s said to be a phenom but this will be his first full year. I don’t know about giving him such a heavy task. Andersen is also a question mark as a 1B/backup goaltender. Look for the Ducks to be golfing by the semi finals and their fans complaining about Boudreau and Kesler.

6. The Kings, Blackhawks, or Penguins become Stanley Cup champions (again)

Okay, this is not very bold at all. This is with the norm. I think the Kings or Blackhawks are easily in line to take home another cup along with maybe the Penguins in the east. Mike Johnston as newly hired head coach of the Penguins should take them into the playoffs. The last time the Pens hired a head coach they destroyed the rest of the league. They were something like 18-3 before going into the playoffs with Bylsma. Mike Johnston may have the same success or it may backfire. The Kings and Blackhawks are still the premium teams of the west. The Blues, Sharks, and Ducks are all teams capable of doing well in the regular season but then shitting the bed in the playoffs. I don’t see either team passing the torch in the west this season unless they have injuries to key players.

GM Jim Benning Has Done a “Good” Job

Sports

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The keyword is in the quotes, good.

Not great, not bad, good.

Every time I read hockey forums people are quick to bash general manager Jim Benning of the Vancouver Canucks for his moves. Such as how he gave away 2nd/3rd pairing Jason Garrison for scraps. And not to forget he essentially got rid of Ryan Kesler for Nick Bonino and Derek Dorsett.

First off, Kesler for Bonino in a few years will look like a solid trade. When I watched the Anaheim Ducks play over the last year Bonino was a solid second/third liner who played a hard game and racked up more points than Ryan Kesler did. Kesler has been hurt and horrible ever since the cup run in 2011.

Hearing how Kesler wanted to leave Vancouver for a cup and handcuffed them into only accepting a trade to either Anaheim or Chicago speaks volumes. The fact Benning got a decent return for him is incredible. He was a waste of money. Good riddance to him. He won’t win a cup in Anaheim either with Bruce Boudreau as the man in charge. That guy is the worst playoff coach in the league next to Dan Bylsma and Alain Vigneault. They should be called the three stooges come playoff time.

After ranting about Kesler, Benning made a solid hire for his vacant coaching position. Willie Desjardins has a solid track record and has won everywhere outside of the NHL. He also plays a high tempo game, unlike coach Tortorella. He also wants to be here and did not accept an offer from Pittsburgh, again, unlike Tortorella who lived in freaking Point Roberts, Washington and as a result constantly canceled practices.

Then we have the Ryan Miller pickup for 6 million a year and Radim Vrbata for five. Those are a bit steep, but decent acquisitions. Eddie Lack is not ready to be the man in charge. In a few years he may be. Ryan Miller only failed in St. Louis and apparently the goalie coach was horrible while he was there (he got fired after the season ended).

Radim Vrbata has a decent track record on the Coyotes and the contract length is not long at all. If he sucks after his first year, well, there’s only a year left. And if he turns out good after his first year, the contract is a success.

And I really liked the Canucks selection at 6th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft of Jake Virtanen from Abbotsford. Just a good BC boy who looks tough as nails, is big, and can skate. If he pans out we will have a very solid tandem in the future with him and Horvat. Two good Canadian kids who aren’t afraid to throw their bodies around. A change from Mike Gillis drafting 5 foot tall figure skaters.

I’m excited about this season as a loyal Canucks fan and think these moves have been solid. The key was to getting rid of John Tortorella (one of the worst coaches I’ve ever seen in the NHL, not just his Canucks season but also his time on the Rangers) and Ryan “never will win a ring” Kesler. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks are neck and neck with Anaheim next season. Yeah I wouldn’t put my hopes up with the Canucks competing against the tough LA Kings but don’t be surprised if Anaheim looks silly picking up Kesler and getting rid of Bonino. Again, Kesler has not looked good for years.

Exhale Canucks fans.