Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning just can’t get loved.
Dear Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning, I would like to ask you a question. As a writer who covers each and every move you, your coaches, and your players make, I would like to sincerely ask you a question in the midst of all this trade deadline talk. Without much further ado, here you go, a Canucklehead Lament, in a form of an open letter to Jim Benning, who just seems to find new ways to not get loved by the Vancouver fans.
Dear Jim Benning,
Why do fans not like you? You are doing your best to make this team competitive now and for the future, are you bringing in sure-NHL players by sacrificing undersized potential. I didn’t mind the Markus Grandlund – Hunter Shinkaruk trade, you know. Grandlund looked like a Benning’s player in his Canuck debut on Thursday, racking up a plus-three and being instrumental on two goals!
And your scouting. What a job you do with your scouts. You comb through the KHL ranks, work with your coaches Willie Desjardins and Glen Gulutzen, and trade for Philip Larsen, a former fifth-round pick. You don’t even give up a pick — you gave up a conditional fifth-round pick.
You also snagged Anton Rodin, who was a lost Canuck after your predecessor Mike Gillis wrote him off and let him go to the Swiss-A league. I really appreciate the amount of scouting you have done, I really do. It will surely pay off one day.
On the more NHL side of things, you pushed Chicago hard. That is not easy, to push Stan Bowman. The Dan Hamhuis situation is a precarious one, and you have handled it well so far. No bad blood from anyone involved, and now you have a youth-filled Dallas Stars team who is looking to pay a good sum to pick up a rental service from the veteran 33-year-old.
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You even made us proud with the announcement on the “Garage Sale Seven”. A pat on your back for not forgetting about Ronalds Kenins, a player that most — if not all– had forgotten about. Thursday’s win was a huge win for you, right? You must be proud of how Emerson Etem, Linden Vey, Matt Bartkowski, Derek Dorsett, Jake Virtanen, and Jared McCann have all turned out for you. Good job, thank you for your hard work and success.
But why are you still hated by the fans?
Short answer? Vancouver. Sorry, we are special. I was surprised that you even chose to come to the West Coast after we threw a riot when the Canucks got embarrassed by your Boston Bruins. You’ve got no one to thank but yourself for getting thrown into (quite literally) a hockey mad market. Well, there is a longer answer to it…
Who cares about bottom-six players at the Trade Deadline? You made the right moves at the wrong time, Jimmy. Who cares about a Markus Granlund when you have a Radim Vrbata and a Dan Hamhuis to trade? Philip Larsen? Who are you kidding here? Vancouver knows nothing about a Larsen, alright? When I first heard the news that you traded a fifth-round pick for a Larsen, I spilled coffee onto my report thinking that you fetched us Adam Larrson. Good times, now that I think of it.
Just get Ville Pokka and something from Chicago for Hamhuis and you will be the saviour of Van City. You tried to do too much. A bidding war between Chicago and Dallas? You kidding me? Those guys are tough guys to dance to, you know. Guess who got Andrew Ladd, guess who got Patrick Sharp, guess who got Jason Spezza, guess who got Tyler Seguin. Those guys are the big bad brothers of the NHL GM world. Don’t mess with them too much.
Honestly. If now can’t sell Hamhuis to the Dallas Stars, you are toast. You put in your best effort and went out of your way, and you still get trashed for missing out on an opportunity with Chicago. That’s how we roll in the West Coast. Sorry, not sorry.
Now we are expecting Valeri Nichuskin. All this trouble — it better be worth it, Benning. And now that the Florida Panthers have acquired Jiri Hudler and Teddy Prucell, good luck with Vrbata. We sincerely mean that.
We are waiting.