Sports teams and fans often overhype prospects, and they overvalue assets. This is especially prevalent on the Vancouver Canucks.
One would usually go the way of trades to improve their team quickly, however as the offseason drags on, that possibility is looking tougher and tougher for the Vancouver Canucks.
It’s not only Canucks fans who do this, of course. Every team has fans who are guilty of it. This happens on two sides of an equation, one with up-and-coming prospects, and the other being the unwanted players.
In the Canucks context, remember the hype around Elias Petterson, Brock Boeser or Quintin Hughes prior to their debuts? Fortunately, all of these players lived up to their hype by lighting the league on fire upon their arrival. However, there is also the case of Adam Gaudette. Another player — like Hughes and Boeser — had tremendous success in college.
The 2018 Hobey Baker award winner failed to establish himself as an NHL regular when he joined the team in late season. In his full rookie year, it seemed like he fully belonged in the NHL yet.
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Unlike the other college players, Gaudette hasn’t lived up to the hype right yet, and he’s become the latest example of Canucks fans overhyping their prospects.
I have nothing against Gaudette, and I do believe that he will become a solid NHL player in the future. However, the hype coming in was undeserved and likely hindered his chances to be successful from the get go.
While the prospects are one end of the equation, they are not the problem the Canucks are facing in the immediacy.
The most pressing problem challenging the Vancouver is the fact that other than prospects, they have no one to trade. Yes, there are a few trade rumours milling around. But would a Milan Lucic for Loui Eriksson swap really change the team? No, no it wouldn’t. Stop kidding yourself. Eriksson is not a productive hockey player anymore, neither is Lucic.
At the NHL scouting combine in Buffalo last week, general manager Jim Benning talked to TSN and emphasized the need to rebuild the blue line. That’s only one of his many difficult tasks this offseason. He hasn’t talked much about shopping any of his own players, though.
Benning isn’t going to receive significant pieces for a Jake Virtanen or Chris Tanev. Of course, the No. 10 pick certainly has some value if Benning wants to shop it. It would not be best interest of the hockey club to start trading away elite young talents, but at this stage it seems that all they could do.
Earlier we spoke about Gaudette, could Gaudette be a trade piece if Benning feels the need to shake things up more than ever? Would he make this move, and possibly others on the draft day stage? Vancouver Canucks fans will have to wait and see what happens, but in any case, the team needs change. How that change comes is the big question.