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Brunchtime Links: Long Time Coming Edition

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Another dull loss to another poor team puts the Canucks further behind the playoff eight-ball. But, it promises to make the trade deadline, draft, and July 1 interesting.

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Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

With apologies to a pair of Vancouver sports radio hosts, Tell Me I'm Wrong -- the tendency among some in the media to blame Willie Desjardins and Jim Benning for this season obscures a key point. This rock bottom has been coming for years. Dave Nonis' and Mike Gillis' lack of draft success means the team is still relying on Brian Burke draft picks to drive the bus. I'm not surprised at their struggles. Frankly, I'm surprised it's taken them this long to bottom out.

The 2011 Vancouver Canucks were a once in a generation great team. But even generationally great teams need healthy roster churn for sustainable growth. It didn't happen.

I understand the reflex to blame Benning among charter members of TeamGilly, like Tony Gallagher. They need to take the focus off their guy's failings and they are still upset he was fired. But the Canucks are not struggling because they signed Ryan Miller to a $6 million contract or because they are playing Luca Sbisa as a regular. They're struggling because for years scouting was poor, drafting was abysmal, and now there is a gaping hole between the Sedin's generation and the kids drafted the last two or three years. This problem has been years in the making, and it's going to take a few years to correct. Patience, not short-term myopia or the demand for heads to roll now!, is needed.

Help is coming:

Trade, and other, chatter from around the league.

TSN.ca top 10 trade bait list puts Dan Hamhuis at number eight. In last night's Provies, Jason Botchford said while he'd still trade Hamhuis, the Canucks best shot to keep him at a hometown discount would be to extend him, rather than ask him to waive his NTC. Washington Capitals have been mentioned as a fit for Hamhuis, as have the Boston Bruins. Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune says the Penguins defense is great at everything but playing defense. Still, he doesn't think they should be in the market for a rental. Instead they should use Derrick Pouliot on D.

Mike Yeo says he's been a little too patient, and now it's time for changes in Minnesota. He probably didn't mean losing Jonas Brodin to a broken foot for three to six weeks. Chuck Fletcher says Yeo's job is safe.

James Mirtle believes Calgary Flames want a second-round pick for Jiri Hudler.

Los Angeles could be in the mix for Keith Yandle. Since Arizona retained salary when they traded him to the Rangers, the Kings could fit him under the cap, and Yandle is a favorite of Dean Lombardi.

The Nashville Predators are still looking for the right fit on left wing with Ryan Johansen and James Neal. They may try to sign Jimmy Vesey, or they may be forced to look outside the organization.

The San Jose Sharks might finally pull the trigger on a Patrick Marleau trade at the deadline, and seem to be in the market for help on defense.

The Boston Bruins could get creative with Loui Eriksson, says Fluto Shinzawa, sending the UFA to a team facing cap trouble next year in exchange for a defenseman with term remaining on his contract.

James Mirtle says the deadline means Toronto Maple Leafs will have to settle on James Reimer or Jonathan Bernier as the starter going forward (see, Canucks fans, it can always be worse).

Bruce Garrioch sees Kevin Cheveldayoff as the most active GM this deadline. In addition to Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien, he might have to move RFA Jacob Trouba, as extension talks have gone exactly nowhere.

Finally, Larry Brooks has an interesting read on the pending appeal of Dennis Wideman's suspension. What did the Calgary Flames know and when did they know it, he asks? While the league can fairly easily shift blame onto the Flames for not following the concussion protocol by letting Dennis Wideman refuse treatment, the league is still in trouble if the penalties for not following the protocol are lax. Brooks proposes a $1 million fine and forfeiture of a first round draft pick for a team's first offense, with escalating penalties for future protocol violations.

Enjoy the Super Bowl, everyone. To get you prepared, here is the Taiwanese animators preview.