The dust has settled after Jim Benning's most recent trade last Thursday. Next year, we'll find Erik Gudbranson wearing a blue and green sweater and Jared McCann soaking up the Florida sun with ex-Canuck captain Roberto Luongo. However, while we see lots of speculation over the players involved in this deal, more and more fans are talking about one thing, draft picks.
As I'm sure you already know, Jim Benning packaged Vancouver's 2nd and 4th round picks with Jared McCann to bring in Erik Gudbranson and the New York Islanders 5th round pick (acquired in last year's draft); all for the upcoming NHL Draft in Buffalo on June 24th-25th, 2016. In a time where management speaks of patience and rebuilding, fans are getting frustrated over the high number of picks and prospects being exchanged for older players and later picks.
And these feelings are valid, no one likes to see the player they're penciling into our future top lines get shipped out for an older, unfamiliar player. On top of that, seeing a high second round pick that could bring in a potential gem is just salt on the wound. But let's take a deep breath, put on some ambient whale sounds and try to figure out what on earth is going on with our team.
It might not seem like it, but Jim Benning has a vision for this team. While still seeing this process as rebuilding and calling on young players to fill a role in the NHL, Benning clearly wants to develop them in a positive, winning environment. To do this, he's willing to sacrifice some of the young players he has less faith in and draft picks (clearly) to add players in their mid-twenties that have size, character and "intangibles".
Does he want to trade these pieces? Probably not. Will he move them to get the player he thinks will help create the team he envisions? At this point it's safe to say, absolutely.
Like it or not, Jim Benning is an old school hockey kind of guy. He's also the General Manager of the team and he's going to run it the way an old school hockey kind of guy is going to run it. At the end of the day, this guy is going with his gut and right now his gut says the player he wants is worth more than the idea of a prospect in less than a month.
Are these moves going to make the team successful? The truth is no one actually knows, but I can't wait for next season to find out.
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