This is the summer for Jim Benning. The make or break summer….the summer that will determine if he will ever have another GM again. Ok, maybe not since the NHL head offices seem to hate new blood. The Canucks are at a crossroads and have lots of choices to make as to how fast this rebuild can advance. Before we go any farther, we should all admit that there are no 100% right moves when it comes to being a GM since the coach and players might just suck on their own accord. The other thing we should acknowledge is that the Canucks will not win the Cup next year. If your plan is to go all in next year, I want some of what your drinking.
So in attempt to get the Canucks moving in a better direction I submit the following ideas to GMJB:
1. Let Eddie go.
Alex Edler is one of the last remnants of 2011. He has really never been the #1 defenseman we all hope for. He has had years where he has been the anchor of this team, in a good and bad way. Did you know that Edler has been in Vancouver for 12 years and has only been had votes for the Norris Trophy in 2011-12? Two years later he had a -39 +/-. Eddie was arguably the best d-man last year and that’s a scary thought. Having Eddie on the blueline has been an obstacle to re-vamping the Canucks D as they always expect him to play better than he actually is. This rebuild can’t develop if the old guard is kept around.
2. Trade them all…for nothing if you have to.
I know financially it’s not possible or advisable to try and ditch Loui, Schaller, Beagle and Tanev, but man it would feel good. I do wonder what sort of player we would get in return. Like if Loui went to Edmonton for Lucic…..that seems like a nightmare. The argument to keeping players like this is that they can’t get any worse. Of course that means that their chance of improvement is minimal and therefore the Canucks miss the playoffs again next year. Just think that the three forwards I mentioned above could possibly all be 4th line guys next year. That line is worth over $10 million in cap space. Tanev will never get the return we want. You won’t get Liljergen from the Leafs for him.
3. Go talk to Tampa Bay about a trade.
Tampa Bay has a salary cap issue when it comes to signing Brayden Point and others. They also have two forwards in Yanni Gourde and Tyler Johnson that earn just over $5 million/yr, they are both just over 27 and can play multiple forward positions. They are definitely a step up over 50% of our forwards. Hutton…or by a miracle Tanev, goes the other way…plus Goldy. Just Spitballin’
4. GMJB needs to piss other teams
There are quite a few RFA’s who can score. Go offer sheet one. If for no other reason than to show the Canuck fans you are serious about creating a winning team faster.
5. If available at #10 I would suggest Trevor Zegras. The one phrase I liked the most in the scouting report was, “He has the ability to get under the skin of his opponents.” That is something this team needs more of. Antoine Roussell and Beagle were the only one with some fight in them after the whistle. Drafting defense sounds nice, but if we’re not getting Byrum, that pick can wait until the second round.