It’s time for another edition of the Nucks Misconduct Roundtable. We get our writers together and ask them a number of questions about the state of this team we’ve been cursed to follow. Sometimes they play it straight, sometimes it’s Westy and Jimmi, but you’ll always get the unvarnished opinions on the Canucks here.
1- Let’s start off with the basics: On first impressions, how did the Canucks fare in the trade that sent Bo Horvat to the Islanders for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a protected 1st round pick?
Westy - I just wanted the band-aid to be pulled off. Executing a trade like this brings GMPA level with GMJB and his Miller trade. The value of the return is a wild guess by anyone...especially Jimmi. The Canucks will be worse off in several areas without Bo, but change had to occur and at least the team got a 1st round pick out of it. I wonder how much Bo will get in his next contract...if it’s below $8 million, I might chuckle a bit.
Editor’s Note: Westy’s chuckle could be heard across five time zones.
jimmi - We all knew it was going to happen. Last summer when they signed Mr. Miller. That it took so long to fire our Captain - the last living link to the Sedin era is a bit surprising. Or not. Took JR almost a year to fire Bruce, so this was a more efficient firing.
The hiring, if I was to take a wild guess, which I never do... but if I did, would say it’s worse than hoped - there was Dylan Larkin talks with the Wings. Expect Bo Villier will be gone by the TDL. Raty... who already has a great nickname - if he can play up (down) to it will be interesting to watch develop in Abby - while we watch the Nucks struggle for another season or so.
Conclusion: Great Trade! Nucks never win another faceoff all season - PK never gets above 50% - PP never gets above 15%. All stats lead to Bedard. I wish.
Kent - At first glance? It’s leaning towards underwhelming. I mean, Raty has some potential, and could turn out to be a steal if he continues on the path he appears to be on at the moment. And the draft pick, if it slides to next year, could potentially be good if the Isles plans don’t pan out and they sink in the standings. It’s Beauvillier that I find myself wondering about. Everything we’ve seen about him has screaming red flags concerning a) the cratering of his once promising offensive skills and b) his atrocious defensive abilities, and for a team that is historically bad defensively, this seems less than optimal.
Markus - My initial reaction was “not amazing, but very fair”, and I think that reaction has held up pretty well. Beauvillier is a perfectly competent NHLer (who they can maybe flip for more assets), Ratu seems like a good prospect, and another pick is such a breath of fresh air. I’m just glad they didn’t go all in to re-sign him, which is what I thought they’d try for.
Beggsy - Right now, it looks okay. The trade will really be judged by Raty’s development, and whatever transpires with the Islanders first-round pick.
2- It’s being reported that Bo was not shopped to other teams, only the Islanders. How are you feeling about that?
Westy - I saw other reports that he had several teams make offers. Hard to know which is true. I have no problem with him going to a division far away from the Canucks. Even if some offers were slightly better from Western Conference teams, it would be better for him to go there is free agency than hand him over now.
jimmi - It’s also been reported there were serious talks with Detroit. Laughable talks with Boourns and Canes. It’s also been reported on the internet, reports are not to be trusted.
Kent - Again, with defensive issues being so glaring with this team, that they chose to kick that can down the road even further, and didn’t explore other offers that might have enabled them to get some defensive help for the coming years seems like a mistake.
Markus - That’s very strange, and honestly, I don't think I really believe it. That just seems so improbable. It’s not like the Isles have uniquely good assets. Maybe it’s true, but if it is, that’s such a bizarre line of thinking to me.
Beggsy - If true, it’s incredibly foolish. He was the Canucks only noteworthy asset who could be traded. They needed to hit a home run, when it looks (right now) like they hit a double.
3- Is this something that the new regime owns wholly, or is this a carryover from the Benning era?
Westy - Teams don’t live in a bubble or outside of time. Every move Benning made is going to affect what this team can do now. But the Miller contract is on GMPA. That definitely set the tone for what was going to happen this year. I feel that management not only wanted their own coach, but their own captain as well.
jimmi - Not only did they want their own coach and captain, they wanted insta-respect for being from the most prestigious hockey team in the east. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
Kent - I know it’s hard for Benning Bros to comprehend, but his dismissal does not absolve him of the issues that the team is currently facing. The damage of years of inaction, missteps and bad contracts will take a long time to heal. Now, the current management has done themselves zero favours, re: the Miller contract, but even with a reasonable bridge deal instead, they’d still be in a situation where they’d be forced to sell because of the limited cap space they’ve been left with. As far as whether they wanted their own captain, that’s all speculation, and until we hear someone say as much (though with this team, I am sure it’s coming at some point), I don’t put too much stock in that. There was definitely a chemistry issue, and we’ll see with this trade and any subsequent moves, if that solves that issue, I suppose.
Markus - Hmm. This is a good question. I guess I think it’s half and half. The last regime and their dumbass moves limited cap space so much that they couldn’t re-sign him even if they wanted to, but JR and Co. are the ones who prioritized Miller, and I think you can argue that was a shoddy decision. So I guess Benning laid the groundwork, and the current group didn’t do anything to change course. I am grateful that Benning wasn’t overseeing this, though. If he was, I suspect we’d have somehow gotten Bo at 8x8 or have him walk for nothing.
Beggsy - I had some hope that things were about to change, then GMPA dropped the “we just acquired three first-round picks for Bo” quote, and then that faint glimmer of hope disappeared.
4- How concerned are you about reports that Thatcher Demko is looking for a way off this sinking ship?
Westy - Demko was a top 15 goalie last year and bubble Demko was great. Unfortunately, Demko has had a lot of injuries in his short career with Vancouver. I would not be too disappointed if he gets traded. Rutherford had a system in Pitt where the defense was stronger than the goalies they had. Chicago had the same ideology as well. Oh...and Colorado last year. The defense has to improve and Demko’s $5 million a year would help that.
jimmi - I’m not concerned. If it’s being reported on the internet. If they trade Demmers while on extended vacay with the faeries, expect a healthy return from whatever team was stupid enough to make that trade without including the Goalie Whisperer.
Kent- Normally, I wouldn’t put much faith into this stuff, but with his family openly liking tweets about trade speculation, and one where his Dad railed against new laws being passed concerning foreign home ownership (that wouldn’t apply to a professional athlete but was solely designed to address the issue of questionable housing sales in places like BC and Ontario), it raises some red flags for me. The Canucks seem to be in a ‘What have you done for me lately?’ mindset (“Gee, I wonder where they get that from?” he said, glaring at the owner of the franchise), and with Demko’s struggles, they could very well be making plans to pull the plug on Demko as part of the core. I just don’t know if this is the right move. They have nothing in the system in terms of a replacement, so they’d need a comparable swap back, for less than Demko’s reasonable cap hit.
Markus - Eh, not very, just because I don’t see how that makes any sense for the club, and some have also reported that that’s not really true. I don't see how trading a young-ish goalie with a great track record and a really solid cap hit makes sense. If it does happen, they better be getting an incredible package, I'll say that much.
Beggsy - Concerned isn’t the right word, but I’m certainly curious.
I don’t think it makes sense to trade Demko unless the return is huge (multiple first-round picks, legit RHD prospect). That probably doesn’t happen, but perhaps things are expedited if he truly wants out of town.
5- Who’s next on the ‘We’re not blowing things up as we blow things up’ phase of the Canucks?
Westy - Whoever is next, I hope they take Myers with them. Eat salary for this year...even part of next, but get rid of Myers. Hoping someone takes OEL is a pipedream. I think Boeser will be the next gone and I have a feeling it will be back to his home state. Schenn to TB might have better odds though.
jimmi - Schenn will be traded as a rental to some team that has a ticket to that stupid dance in June. Gnarland and Bess would seem the obvious choices - but maybe not until summer.
Post season - once Myer’s summer cottage balloon bonus payment is made by the Nucks, Myers
could will be traded. Westy will be happy to include a free rum running tutorial if that’s what it takes.
OEL is the buyout target this summer - will eat cap space for the next 50 years and a scrap of Frankie’s dinner and a movie fund. However, by summer Frankie will only be paying for one coach. Or two.
Like so many Nucking seasons in recent times, summer is where the action is.
Kent - Schenn, Boeser, Demko and Kyle Burroughs all seem like they’ll be moving on. The dream is to have one of OEL and Myers moved, but it seems so unlikely. I wouldn’t be upset about Garland moving on, but I feel like his appeal is limited. What they need to do, what they can do, and what they will do are all wildly different beasts. The pain we feel isn’t just going to be from who gets traded away, but also from who should be and isn’t.
Markus - I do suspect Schenn is gone, but 1. Much to the chagrin of NM readers, Schenn is not a core piece and 2. He could very well come back in the off-season. I do think it’s time for Brock to go, as well. Maybe Garland, but I think they’re gonna let the new coaching staff try and revive him a bit. He may be an off-season move.
Beggsy - Wow, Kent, that prediction on who gets moved might be the most optimistic thing you’ve ever said about this team!
Unfortunately, no one has massive trade value on the Canucks, aside from Petey, Hughes and Demko. The first two ain’t going anywhere, but if Demko gets traded, all this talk about “retooling” is over.