The next chapter
The Next Chapter was how the Canucks were marketing their next core. Bo Horvat, Jake Virtanen, Brock Boeser and the 2016 draft class were supposed to lead the way. Jim Benning even described what the canucks needed to do to build a winning team:
"To develop our next core, we are accelerating the development of our young players by surrounding them with the best NHL leadership, character and talent. There are no shortcuts. No one says this will be easy. What it will be, is what you’ve come to expect from Canucks hockey at its best: Exciting. Energetic. Emotional. You’ll see the future of the team emerging in front of you, every night."
Let’s break this passage down. Benning says “we are accelerating development,” but then says “There are no shortcuts.” This a contradiction. You can’t take a quick path to development without taking shortcuts. Benning can’t have it both ways since it is impossible.
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Moving Gustav Forsling for Adam Clendening and Hunter Shinkaruk for Markus Granlund. Considering these four trades, Jim Benning has a success rate of 50%, which isn’t bad. The argument could be made that it would be better to keep the second round picks, but that’s a discussion for another day.
We have to wait and see how the Derrick Pouliot trade turns out in the future. “Accelerating development” must have meant forcing Jared McCann and Jake Virtanen into the Canucks lineup when neither were truly ready in the 2015-16 season.
The last part of the statement I want to touch on is the promise of hockey that will be “Exciting. Energetic. Emotional.” Canucks fans have seen none of those things in the last three years. Instead, we see preferential treatment towards veterans that continues into this season. The younger players need to prove a whole lot more while some veterans on the team get a lot of leeway for lazy and uninspired play.