Stick in Link: Coaching candidates, Kesler rumours, and draft analysis

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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  • Brad Ziemer puts together a to-do list for Jim Benning as the Canucks’ new GM. I’m not sure that “Buy every Canucks beat writer a new Ferrari” is an essential task. [Vancouver Sun]
  • With Barry Trotz off the market, Willie Desjardins, the head coach of the AHL’s Texas Stars, may be the top candidate to step behind the bench in Vancouver. During the 2011-12 season with the Dallas Stars, Desjardins was an assistant coach behind Glen Gulutzan, who was notably not fired when Trevor Linden let John Tortorella and Mike Sullivan go. [The Province]
  • It seems possible and even likely that Ryan Kesler still wants out of Vancouver, probably to a legitimate top-tier Cup contender while he’s still ostensibly in his prime. Benning seems pretty keen on keeping him around. [The Score]
  • If Kesler does get traded, there may not be a better trade partner than the Anaheim Ducks, who have a significant need for someone like Kesler and have assets to burn. [Edmonton Journal]
  • Anaheim makes sense as a trade partner, but what about Columbus or Tampa Bay? Jared Featherstone makes the case. [The Hockey Writers]
  • Both Canucks Army and yours truly have been pretty critical about the Canucks’ drafting during Ron Delorme’s tenure as Director of Amateur Scouting, but Mack Irwin suggests it hasn’t been as disastrous as we’ve made it seem. He points out the role of luck in developing prospects and prizes process over results. Definitely worth reading. [Pond Hockey Thoughts]
  • Speaking of, Rhys takes a different tack to the Canucks’ scouting and drafting issues by comparing their results to the other 29 teams in the league. It’s worth noting that Jim Benning comes out looking very good in this analysis. [Canucks Army]
  • The gang over at Nucks Misconduct cut open the corpse of Roberto Luongo for another player autopsy. [Nucks Misconduct]
  • Jim Benning isn’t exactly a livewire in his interviews, so it’s a good thing Dimitri Filipovic transcribed the highlights of his most recent interview with TSN Drive so you don’t have to listen to the whole thing. [Canucks Army]
  • Harman Dayal takes a look at what the Boston model is really built around: shrewd trades and depth. [VanCity Buzz]
  • Jordan Subban apparently drove Hunter Shinkaruk around Toronto on Tuesday to get stitches. I have no idea what that’s all about.

 

  • Meanwhile, Anton Cederholm will be driving himself around as he looks to celebrate his new contract with the Canucks by buying a new car. In the comments on Instagram, he says, “Haha not mine…yet,” so he apparently hasn’t spent his $65,000 signing bonus just yet.

  • Who will be joining Shinkaruk, Subban, and Cederholm in the Canucks’ prospect pool? We’ll be going over some of the options for the Canucks’ 1st round pick in the near future, but one name that has come up repeatedly is Jake Virtanen, who underwent shoulder surgery recently, though it was minor and shouldn’t affect his draft stock. According to Linden, he’s definitely on their radar. [The White Towel]
  • These highlights from a 1993 game between the Kings and Canucks don’t end well for Vancouver, but they’re still fun to watch. Dave Babych! Sergio Momesso! Kirk McLean! [The Royal Half]
  • Finally, you had to know this was coming: Clayton Imoo and Marie Hui collaborating for an ode to Jim Benning, a parody of “Let It Be” entitled “Jimmy B”. As per usual, it’s pretty dang good.

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13 comments

  1. Chris the Curmudgeon
    May 28, 2014

    I love how you media types like to take a story and pump it up and never let it die even as the relevant facts change. Apart from a few largely ambiguous tweets and comments uttered in moments of frustration a few months back, has there ever really been any evidence that Ryan Kesler is so desperate to leave that such a trade will be the first and top priority for the new management team? Keep in mind that being amenable to a trade to a contender, and being uninterested in staying, are two decidedly different things. Word at the trade deadline was that Kesler had offered only a very short list of destinations he would be willing to waive his NTC for. Somehow, you and everyone else in the Vancouver media has failed to notice that those are not the actions of someone desperate to leave at any cost. Much of the scuttlebutt at the deadline seems to have been engineered by the Penguins’ (former) management, who were notorious skinflints at the deadline and who were likely trying to bring the price down a little bit. And yet, nary a comment about how the perceptions of the Kesler situation have been shaped by outside actors for their own motives.

    It kind of reminds me of the Luongo vs Schneider situation. I remember commenting at length on this page about how, despite what every single media outlet was reporting, there was a strong likelihood that Schneider, not Luongo, would be traded because of the contract situation and likely return of assets. As it turned out, I was right, the constant media yarn was dead wrong (at least until the Tortorella gongshow came along) and everyone in the world except me was shocked that the storyline turned out to be completely backwards because of an incomplete consideration of the facts at hand.

    I don’t deny that there may be a benefit to trading Kesler. He would bring a wealth of young assets at a time when they are needed, and it’s clear that he will waive his no trade under the right conditions. However, I would also not be the least bit surprised to see him stay. His relationship with the team is not irreparably broken, anyone he might have cause to have a gripe with (Gillis, Torts) has been sent packing, and he most certainly will have faith in himself and his teammates, many of them long time colleagues such as Burrows, the Sedins etc, to improve on career worst years and give the team a fighting chance again next year under competent coaching and management. Maybe let’s all keep that in mind going forward before we start making wild, speculative predictions about the team’s summer plans.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      May 28, 2014

      Pardon me while I LOL at “you media types”.

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      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        May 28, 2014

        OK I’ll rephrase. How about: people who write about the Vancouver Canucks for other people to read are all saying the exact same thing about Ryan Kesler.

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        • Harrison Mooney
          May 29, 2014

          Gotcha. Well, to that I’ll say this: Kesler asked out. Period.

          And then somehow that GOT out. Which puts him in a tough position. If he acknowledges the trade request, then it makes it harder for the Canucks to move him, and if they don’t, then he’s playing for a team he’s publicly admitted he doesn’t want to play for, and the fans will hate that. Plus if he changes his mind, which he may now that everything here is different, then he looks like a flake for saying he wanted out then saying he wants back in.

          There is no benefit to him telling the truth here.

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          • Chris the Curmudgeon
            May 29, 2014

            OK, perhaps you can provide us with a source. You know, anyone who actually heard him say it and who your readers would actually believe (ie: no little birds). And once again, keep in mind that saying “I would be willing to be waive my NTC to go to a top contender” is different from the Denis Lemieux style “Trade me right **** now”.

            Can’t do it, right? Look, I don’t deny that it’s possible that Ryan Kesler or his agent approached Gillis with some kind of grievance about the direction of the team, the coaching, etc, and it’s feasible that he may have asked out at the time. Sure, that’s entirely possible and would not surprise me. But, the way it’s written about is that said hypothetical conversation set in motion an unstoppable series of events that will automatically lead to either a Kesler trade or a messy, public divorce, which is a whole different ballgame than “a Kesler trade is possible”. Then, if he’s ultimately kept, it’s like you never saw it coming, it’s the shock of the century because you had totally convinced yourself that there was no possible way that the black-and-white narrative you’d been selling for months was actually mostly composed of various shades of grey. I know grey doesn’t sell newspapers or get page hits for blogs, but it’s actually how a lot of things in the world work.

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    • John in Marpole
      May 28, 2014

      As to Kesler and the claim that he “wants out”, it completely ignores his forthright statement that he wanted no such thing. It is notable that the on-going media coverage of his socalled desire to leave Vancouver never, ever includes mention of his flat-out denial of a desire to move.

      I was one of the folks who never thought that Gillis would screw the pooch so throughly that Schneider was the one to go, but that is exactly what happened. I personally don’t think that was the plan, but it happened because Gillis had a need to try and save face and Cory was the only moveable goaltender.

      My surprise was muted a bit by the nagging expectation that if the situation could be completely messed up by Gillis it would be. And it was.

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      • GeezMoney
        May 28, 2014

        I wonder if it is a media-initiated storyline? Not that anyone here created it,but the narrative doesn’t seem to progress. As you mentioned, Kesler told reporters he never asked to be moved. But hockey writers can’t seem to let go of the notion he wants out. I’m not saying they are lying, but it’s not like all trade rumours are truth. Is this too ingriguing a storyline to cut bait?

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        • Pukeko
          May 29, 2014

          Come on guys… first rule of Vancouver media. Don’t let fact, reason, or good sense get in the way of a story. Especially in the off season.

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  2. Chris the Curmudgeon
    May 28, 2014

    I want to point out that some of the recent analysis of Canucks drafting tends to ignore the context a little bit. I don’t really want to defend Ron Delorme’s history, but there are a few factors that aren’t being adequately addressed. For one thing, over the Delorme era being analyzed from 2000-2012, the team has only had two top 10 draft choices (both #10), and one of their picks (Bourdon) died tragically in a motorcycle accident before his career really got going. The “games played” metric seems a little shallow when you consider that it will make Penguins scouting look a whole lot better for having 1068 combined games out of Crosby and Malkin on the record, when the Canucks never came close to selecting that high. In fact, after Grabner at 14 and Umberger at 16, they didn’t get any other picks in the 10-20 range either.

    It also seems a little weak to me to ignore some of the specific circumstances of when the picks were made. The 2000 draft was dismal for Vancouver, but it was a lousy draft year all around, whereas 2002 was a better year but the Canucks didn’t select in the first round. 2007 was a disaster, but mostly for a couple of picks (White and Ellington), as the Canucks were largely selecting in the crapshoot later rounds. From the first lockout to 2010 (2011 and after too soon to judge), the Canucks have made 34 selections, in other words 8 fewer than they would have in the absence of trades. 23 of those, ie 67%, were 4th round or worse. The skewed distribution of the picks Delorme actually got to work with was therefore largely due to the team’s success and the decisions of management.

    So certainly, the Canucks drafting has been subpar, but it’s important to remember that just as not all players are created equal, neither are all drafts.

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    • iain
      May 28, 2014

      leading to the time-honoured realisation that the best way to vacuum up star players is to suck for a long time #LAmodel #Blackhawksmodel #Penguinsmodel

      facetious, i know, and i don’t ignore the role of smart/lucky trades/acquisitions by Dean Lombardi, Dale Tallon and Stan Bowman there. (Sorry, Ray, you don’t measure up to those guys). but you can’t deny that being really awful does get you the top quality talent.

      which only makes Edmonton’s management failures even more egregious.

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      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        May 28, 2014

        #RedWingsModel was always the exception, rather than the rule, in that the Wings were able to win while still plucking exceptional talent from the late rounds. However, that’s really more thanks to the ability of their European scouts to find gems that no one else really knew, rather than a superior nose for amateur North American talent as is seemingly being compared here. Looking at the Wings in the earlier rounds, their history really doesn’t stand out: sure they’ve had some decent years, but the last truly elite position player (in my estimation of elite) that they got in the 1st or 2nd rounds was Kronwall in 2000, and before that you have to go back to 1990 where they got Keith Primeau 3rd overall (before their recent run of success). Now that the playing field has leveled a little bit more there, and you’re not seeing as many 6th round Datsyuks, 7th round Zetterbergs, or 10th round (!) Holmstroms, you’re also seeing a seeming decline in the Wings’ dominance.

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  3. Lemming
    May 28, 2014

    While I’m one of the few actually hoping Kesler is traded for a good return, I’m skeptical it will happen, because no one will pay what he’s worth.

    There’s only interest in him because teams think they can get a great piece cheap. They can go screw themselves, Kesler is more valuable sticking around two years than going to another team for middling returns. If they want him, they have to pony up the dough.

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  4. Brent
    May 29, 2014

    I have mixed feeling about a Kesler trade. Obviously I love having him as a Canuck. But he should get us some nice pieces. And you know based on the way he plays, he is going to get injuried again. So if he is going to go, do it now while he is healthy. But I will be sad when it happens.

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