Vancouver Canucks Trade Analysis: Benning Knows Trading

Jan 10, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson (44) skates against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at Rexall Place. Florida Panthers won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 10, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson (44) skates against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at Rexall Place. Florida Panthers won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Bottom Line

This was a “Benning deal” that saw the Canucks pursue one “foundational” piece and sacrificing what seems too handsome a sum for the return. But at the end of the day, there was sound reasoning to each and every sacrifice the Canucks made to make this deal happen.

The draft pick lost its luster in that it was not longer the only source of acquiring a young quality defenseman. Gudbranson himself checks that box.

Jared McCann was never meant for Vancouver and the depth down the middle. At this point, if you aren’t a capable fourth-line player and not a franchise centerman, you are considered a surplus member of the Canucks organization.

More from The Canuck Way

McCann is young and his market value hadn’t disappeared yet. Now was the time to deal him, before he saw time in the AHL this coming season. That would have spelled “regression” and McCann’s trade value would have plummeted.

Gudbranson is worth more than just himself and certainly worth more than what the numbers say. His size and physicality will make other teams respect the Canucks while his Tryamkin-like play would set Hutton up very nicely for success.

And of course, the power and the intangibles of leadership are there in the 24-year-old. Young top-four materials are so rare these days, and Gudbranson may have been a bargain for the Canucks from Florida’s perspective.

Finally, Jim Benning knew what he was doing. He knew the guy he was sacrificing for, he knew how tough a division the Pacific was going to grow into. If he knew the fate of the compensatory 34th-overall pick, that would also have added a reason to trade the 33rd-overall pick.

And at the end of the day, Benning was taking advantage of a Panthers club that had a lot of re-signing to do, including a new contract for Vincent Trocheck.

Next: DECISION TIME: If it's not Dubois, it's a TRADE DOWN

These kind of trades that involve growing assets and unused draft picks are hard to judge. But by examining all facets in light of the Dougie Hamilton trade and all the other factors that were involved, I will be quite content to stay put and watch what else the never-weary Trader Jim has up his sleeve.

Vancouver may have finally found the replacement for Kevin Bieksa.

And remember: Vancouver isn’t the only city that can hate its GM.