Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning sent Twitter into a frenzy yesterday after an interview on TSN 1040.
Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning probably caused a little bit of road rage with his TSN 1040 interview yesterday.
In typical Jim Benning fashion, the interview was chalked full of “real goods”, “uhs”, “well the thing is” and then a couple of eyebrow-raising, Twitter frenzy-inducing, what-the-heck-is-he-thinking moments.
It all stemmed from comments like the following, when asked about being sellers at the deadline:
And then going on to say:
So the Canucks still aren’t shopping pending free agents? And now they’re buying? What?
Cue angry outbursts? Yeah, me too. I may or may not have yelled a profanity or two at my unsuspecting steering wheel.
My poor, verbally abused Honda.
The funny thing though? There are actually seven games left until the NHL Trade Deadline. Good to see you’re on top of things, Benning.
After a little thinking, and maybe a little refresher in anger management, I realized that Benning is pretty much full of crap.
But you can listen to the full interview here.
Why only being a buyer just isn’t possible.
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Assuming the Canucks were buyers, they would then be over the cap limit and over the roster limit. Meaning, someone’s gotta go. If they buy two players, then two have to go. And those two someones have to be expensive someones if anyone they’re buying carries any sort of semi-expensive cap hit.
Not to mention it’ll be after the trade deadline when this becomes a problem, so anyone that’s cut can’t just be traded. They’ll have to be exposed to waivers to be taken off the roster.
Seems like a big risk just to pick up some rentals. Especially when you consider the only guy presently an expendable fixture on the roster would be Adam Cracknell.
Unless, of course, they’re also sellers. Which leads me to my next point.
Adding doesn’t have to mean buying.
Hockey trades happen all the time. At last year’s deadline, the Canucks surrendered a second-round pick and aquired Sven Baertschi from the Calgary Flames. This year, they could look to do something similar but instead, make it more of a player for player swap.
The Canucks have guys that just aren’t really fitting into the mould of the new team. Enter Alex Burrows, Radim Vrbata, Adam Cracknell, and the three already in Utica. Some of them are part of that pending UFA group, but all of them, except maybe Weber, have at least some value for a Stanley Cup hopeful and more importantly, a bunch of playoff experience.
If the other team has a guy in a similar situation that’s just not a part of the future look of the team, it’s totally possible there’s a swap to be had.
Or, there’s the speculation rumours abuzz like Dan Hamhuis and a pick or prospect for Valeri Nichuskin from the Dallas Stars. There’s a million rumours out there and I won’t list them all. My point is, adding can also mean subtracting at the same time.
When you consider roster size limitations, waiver exposure, and salary cap issues, it’s just not possible for the Canucks to be buyers and not, to some degree, sellers as well.
Here’s what I think.
The trusty old Trader Jim will be exactly that, Trader Jim. Not Buyer Jim, not Seller Jim, just Trader Jim.
Unless Vancouver goes on an epic losing streak and finds itself in Edmonton Oilers territory….
A guy focused on the future of the team isn’t giving up prospects for rentals. A guy who claims to love the draft isn’t giving up picks for rentals either. Would he give up a package of players and picks for a young guy we can hold onto? Absolutely.
And I expect that’s exactly what he’ll aim to do.
What do you think Jim Benning’s deadline strategy will be? Let us know in the comments!