Vancouver Canucks: 3 Things That Should Be on Benning’s Wish List


The Vancouver Canucks are struggling in the weakest division of the NHL. Hopefully, GM Jim Benning wished for the right things this Christmas.

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Christmas is a time full of love, joy, and happiness. Did I forget something? Oh right, the presents! The Vancouver Canucks could need some help in their quest to win a… what is it they want? A playoff berth or a lottery pick? Whatever it is, they might need some help from Santa.

Canucks GM Jim Benning made some curious moves. He signed players to terrible contracts and he made questionable trades. All that can help him now is a series of miracles — or, at least, a few fortunate events.

Here are three things Benning hopefully had on his wish list.

1. Ryan Miller’s Skill

The Canucks need help in net. Both Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom are having rather bad seasons, but especially Miller is a disappointment. A starter with an annual salary of $6 million, his save percentage is at .909 after 28 games, along with a 10-11-6 record. Not enough.

Related: Evaluating Ryan Miller

Now, Miller is not going anywhere — he has a no-trade clause and is too expensive to trade anyway. Even if he wasn’t, where would he go and where would the Canucks get a different goalie from? Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider and Eddie Lack are names of the past. It is Miller time in Vancouver, and the club needs to get through this. Miller is a great guy, too, so why wish he wasn’t there?

So, instead of a new goalie, wouldn’t it be great to have the Ryan Miller we knew three or four years ago? That guy who can carry his team like Carey Price does it in Montreal? Yes, that would be great. Let’s hope Benning had that on his wish list.

2. An Injury Repellent

Ryan Miller, Dan Hamhuis, Chris Tanev, Brandon Sutter, Henrik Sedin, Chris Higgins, Jake Virtanen. The list goes on and on. Blaming a lack of success on injuries is something nobody likes to do — but look at where the Canucks could be with fewer injuries.

Sedin — Sedin — Hansen
Higgins — McCann — Sutter
Burrows — Horvat — Vrbata
Prust — Cracknell — Dorsett

Edler — Tanev
Hamhuis — Weber
Hutton — Bartkowski

The Canucks’ lineup could look similar to the one above, if the club had zero injuries. Is that a lineup that would be a favourite to win the Stanley Cup? Of course not. But it would be one that would be able to be second in the Pacific Division without any struggle.

Sutter might not be the great top-six centre of the future, but he sure as hell would help the team’s scoring behind the Sedins. The club is in bad shape, but it would be much better off with fewer injuries. Benning must have had that on his list.

3. The Philosopher’s Stone

If you are unfamiliar with the Philosopher’s Stone, I am extremely disappointed in you. Still, I will explain.

The Philosopher’s Stone is an object in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It can turn anything it touches into gold, and can be used to produce the Elixir of Life, a potion that can make you immortal. But what has that to do with hockey, let alone the Vancouver Canucks?

Next: Canucks are Well-Prepared for Post-Sedin Era

Turning stuff into gold is pretty cool, but this is rather about the Elixir of Life. We could really need some for Henrik and Daniel Sedin. At 35 years old, Daniel is still scoring at a point-per-game pace while his brother Henrik is two points away from a point per game. They have been and still are the Canucks’ life insurance. What are we all going to do when the duo is gone? What is Vancouver without its Swedish twins?

The Sedins will regress one day. It might not happen today, it might not happen next week, it might not even happen next season. But it will happen eventually. Unless Santa knew how to make one of them stones. That would be great.