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Likely The First Big Knock On Jim Benning So Far

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

On June 27, 2014 the Canucks' new General Manager Jim Benning traded Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and the 24th overall pick in the draft (which they used to select Jared McCann.) I don't know where McCann's future lies except that he's looking to be a promising forward. Bonino, beyond his recent bad goal-less and point-less streak is not a concern to me either. His overall skills are clearly apparent, which leads me to Luca Sbisa.

Oh Luca. A personal visual perspective? High risk player. A ballsy player. He looks like he has so much composure. Maybe too much composure with not-enough smart plays to match. A turnover machine. A physical presence that is not afraid to lay the big hit, which is generally lacking with this team. Another turnover? Another bad clearing attempt which is the f***ing same thing as a turnover?! Oh god no! Get off the ice Sbisa!

From Attila S, a regular here at NM:


my first reaction is that this guy is hopeless. I don’t know why do we even bother.

Then I force myself to believe that he can still learn. He has great athletic skills, but he is a big-time gambler. He gambles so much, that it’s ridiculous.
My instinct tells me that he won’t get better, and we should trade him.

From Neil B in response:

Butting in on this

My impression of Sbisa is that he’s Juice, miscast as Hamhuis.

There was another commenter that said that he was nervous every time Sbisa was on the ice. I could not agree more with any of these points. Especially with the "nervous every time Sbisa is on the ice" part. I think that a lot of times Kevin Bieksa can be put in the same mold because in most cases they are the same player, except Juice is more of a team leader and a fighter and has high seniority.  But I'm not pounding on Bieksa right now, even though he would deserve it. I am pounding Sbisa. I've just labelled Sbisa as a fail. So let's see...

Wait! Benning has high hopes for Luca:

Right there!

"....and Sbisa...he skates, he's physical, he... he can make the first pass and you know, in 3-year's time I see him being a top 4 guy for us."


In 3-year's time Luca will be 27. Isn't that a little old for a defenceman's progress? But hey, let's take a look at Sbisa's stats:

-he has played 34 of 39 games this season so far. Wee! He's durable!

-He has 2 goals and 4 points those games, ranking him the lowest points totaled for a Canucks defenceman.

-That -8 is the worst of any Canucks player. Some perspective: Several Canucks players have a worse +/- at home than Sbisa does. However, Sbisa is the team-worst -6 on the road. It's because he does not put enough sugar in his Corn Flakes in the mornings. I put an ass-load of sugar in my Corn Flakes and by god I am a f***ing animal!

-Sbisa and Chris Tanev are the least penalized defencemen on the team. That's because they aren't Swedish. I kid. Or, do I?

-Sbisa's 18:09 ice time per game ranks him 5th on the team for defencemen. Without even looking I am sure that that stat means he does not face the opposing team's top players. Wait for it.

-He hits! I love hits! God bless this man! ......................

Derek Dorsett leads the team with 86 hits. Kevin Bieksa and Sbisa are tied for second on the team with 63 hits. Hits are not everything though.

-Blocked shots: Sbisa ranks 4th on the team with 59. Tanev is a beast in this category.

-I labeled Sbisa as a turnover machine. Here are's statistics for Canucks' giveaways:

1. Bieksa: 43

2. Edler: 33

3. Tanev: 26

4. Bonino/Sbisa-Weber: 18. Oh bullshit! Sbisa has had more than that? Who the hell is on your payroll FFS??

-Sbisa has only 6 takeaways for the season? No wonder why I question's payroll. Oh wait...Sbisa sucks. Carry on, Carry on with your bullshit ways.

-Advanced stats? Look, I have explored Behind The Net's advanced statistics categories in regards to Luca Sbisa. He ranks below average in all of those geeky stats. I do have an advanced stats category to bring to your attention: On-ice save percentage. Alex Burrows has the worst on-ice save percentage rating when on the ice. So...Sbisa's PDO is the worst on the team for he's due for a resurgence, right?  No he is not. Thank you advanced statistics. He cannot get any worse from here? He can only get better???!! Thank you very much.

-What's he making again? $2.9 million a season?! Well that f***s things up in a hurry doesn't it? So the Ducks saw a potential in Sbisa and gave him that paycheck and we now see the same potential? For that price tag? FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

The Canucks recently recalled Frank Corrado from the Utica Comets and sent matured defenceman Bobby Sanguinnetti (sp) back down. Remember Frankie? You trust him more than Sbisa don't you? If you DON'T......a plague upon your household and what the hell do you know anyways? Corrado is less-physical but a far-more reliable defenceman than Sbisa is. Will he draw into the Canucks' lineup soon? I have no idea.

In times like these, where we are doing quite well, yet there are several quite-apparent blemishes (like defence!) you have to wish for the best. And trust me, kids: don't blame the players solely for any failures. Take a good look and see that this Canucks team's management preached an up-tempo style of hockey. Many smarty-pants folks fore-saw a failure on defenence with this new attitude.

-I do invite you to somehow tell me how Sbisa should be in the Canucks' lineup over Corrado. Really. Enlighten me.

But let's indulge further on the Sbisa love on Twitter (aka: he easiest way to embed fans' hatred or anger towards a player:

Geez. Let me quote a Ducks fan's opinion of Sbisa when we acquired him:

But Sbisa is awful. So so awful. "Thank you very much fans and let’s go for the next game together!" — Lubomir Visnovsky by Steven Hida on Jun 27, 2014 | 11:19 AM

OK so!

Nah. I'm done. Sbisa is the new Bieksa. In a defence corps that is:




Weber, Corado....

Get the hell out of there, Sbisa. I'll take a Weber and Corrado over you any day.

What say you?