The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

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Ronning's Ghost
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Ronning's Ghost »

Honest to the Hockey Gawds, my plan was to shut up about this and let you just enjoy a nice payoff run, but some of you had to blow your genius horn, and at least this one last time, I will answer.

ESQ wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:26 pm
Was it a perfect rebuild? Nope.

But it was fast, relative to where they started - bad, old, slow, and almost no prospects in the pipeline after a solid decade of poor drafting.
Carl Yagro wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:40 pm Amen, ESQ.

Other GMs are now looking at the JB model as to how to rebuild quickly. It's true. Not making this up.

Disbelievers can choke down your crow with your whine.

Genius 8-)
Yes, it was a fast rebuild -- faster than I expected. But not as fast as 88% of respondents on this, the most pro-Benning site anywhere in hockey, set as the threshold for "genius" speed:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10898

But I don't think that's really the point, anyway. What is the best measurement of the quality of rebuild? Briefest time possible in the wilderness before a return to competitiveness? Some of you seem to think so, along with Benning's boss. For me, though, it is the quality of the team that finally emerges from the rebuild. How's that looking? These playoffs painted everything about the Benning rebuild in stark relief, both the good and the bad. Many others here will be happy to highlight the good. Allow me to review some of the deficiencies:

What was the biggest advantage Vegas had over the Canucks? Arguably, depth. You know what would have improved the Canucks' depth? Sound asset management. Good cap management to bring in better free agents wouldn't have hurt, either. What were Benning's critics concerned about early?

Two-thirds of the top defenders by TOI are past their best before date. Yes, there are defencemen in the pipeline, but so far, none look to be as good as peak Edler and Tanev. Time will tell. Yeah, maybe Tryampkin comes back and is awesome. Maybe.

(moved from the game day thread)
Nuckertuzzi wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:52 pm For 40+ years I've been begging, pleading for just one regime to build a team properly and that's systematically through the draft. Only to see management group after management group continually blow it with horse shit drafting that amounted to precious little other than when the Sedins and Kesler were drafted not that far apart or Bure & Linden. But those successes were way too few and far between. This past 5 years is exactly what I've been waiting for. While it hasn't been perfect, collecting a core with 4-6 key pieces all at the same age group has never really happened here before. It appears to be happening now, finally, so I could give a shit about a $6 blunder that should go away when this core matures.
Ya know, me too. But while you see a team build systematically through the draft, I see one that traded potential for future success for a better season now. Yes, it was a fast rebuild, but it was goosed by trading a draft pick -- I would argue prematurely -- for a player now. By now there is no question that Miller made the 2020 Canucks better than they otherwise would have been, and of course his contribution was greater than any player not yet drafted could have been. Will he still be an important contributor by the time the new core is at its peak? That remains an open question.

And speaking of draft picks, it is widely accepted here that drafting is Benning's greatest skill. Certainly, he has made some great picks, but consider this: so far, Benning has 4 top-ten draft picks old enough to contribute. Two of them have been awesome; two of them would have to be considered disappointments at their draft positions. 50%. Is that any good? Honestly, I don't follow any other teams' drafting that closely, but as an obvious comparison, Gillis had 2 (barely; both were 10th overall). One has been very good; one was a bust. 50%. And we all know Gillis wasn't very good at drafting. (Since Hodgson turned out to have a disqualifying medical issue, I'm not even sure that one should count.)

You can hold your heads high and say "the Canucks didn't tank". Maybe not on purpose, but they did suck, and were rewarded with high draft picks, and some of those have really shone. But there really wasn't enough of a supporting cast behind them. I don't see that as a hallmark of genius management.

I don't know if it will mollify any of the "Benning is a genius" faction, but I would certainly concede that Benning is a solid hockey man doing a good job under the serious handicap of what certainly seems to be a highly interventionist, impatient and short-sighted ownership group. Sort of a von Manstein figure (without implying that either he or the Little Eagles are Nazis -- just the same relative command and talent structure).

After the third Stanley Cup in the Dynasty Chef keeps promising me, we can talk genius.
(Torrey won 4; Pollock won 9)
Right now, though, he remains tied with Milford, Neale, Gillis, and the rest at zero.
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Cherry Picker »

I can’t believe people would still question the Miller trade. It’s a win now and going forward.
Right now if they traded Miller they could get back a first round pick, a very good prospect, and a good NHL player at minimum.
If all you are worried about are assets (like draft picks), the trade was great asset management, a clear win.
In hindsight, any GM in the league would be a complete idiot not to make that trade.
Of course, the Canucks won’t trade Miller away because he is too hard to replace. However, the value of the assets trading him away could bring back going forward would be an important contributor by the time the new core is at its peak, if he, himself is no longer with the team.
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by The Brown Wizard »

The Miller trade worked out very, very well for Benning.

Top line winger, faceoff savant, top scorer on the team...
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Tciso »

The Brown Wizard wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:38 am The Miller trade worked out very, very well for Benning.

Top line winger, faceoff savant, top scorer on the team...
The 1st round pick is even cheap when you look at what some teams have given for way less. A first, a roster player and a prospect has been a pretty typical haul for Miller level talent on good contracts. Miller's contributions also bumped that 1st round pick from a top 10 lottery pick to the #20 pick. (oops, I forgot about the 3rd rounder, and Marek MaSparePart - still a cheap trade.)
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Chef Boi RD »

Tciso wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:02 am
The Brown Wizard wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:38 am The Miller trade worked out very, very well for Benning.

Top line winger, faceoff savant, top scorer on the team...
The 1st round pick is even cheap when you look at what some teams have given for way less.
A lottery pick (Dobson) and 2 2nd round picks for Hamonic comes to mind. Barzal and Beauvillier for Griffin Reinhart come to mind. My suggestion to the Albertan teams, don’t make trades with the Islanders
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by ESQ »

Ronning's Ghost wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:38 am Honest to the Hockey Gawds, my plan was to shut up about this and let you just enjoy a nice payoff run, but some of you had to blow your genius horn, and at least this one last time, I will answer.
Solid post.

With respect to that poll, I will say my opinion on "genius" speed of a rebuild has shifted.

After watching every full-tank rebuild since Tampa with Stamkos (12 years ago!) fail to surpass the Canucks' postseason performance, my opinion has changed.

Benning accomplished in 5 years what Colorado has in ten, all with zero draft lotto luck.

No team that has picked first overall since 2008 has made it past the second round. I think that's a large enough body of evidence to suggest causation. If Colorado is the best of the "full-tank" franchises, they have had 4 top-4 picks in 11 years, compared to 0 for Benning.

Meanwhile, tankers like the Leaves, Oilers, and Sabres don't look very close to taking that Next Step. The Avs should be close but just haven't - and are sitting on a pile of draft picks and cap space.
Ronning's Ghost wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:38 am What was the biggest advantage Vegas had over the Canucks? Arguably, depth. You know what would have improved the Canucks' depth? Sound asset management. Good cap management to bring in better free agents wouldn't have hurt, either. What were Benning's critics concerned about early?
Fair opinion, however I would say what got the Canucks past the Wild and the Blues? Their depth.

Their current depth hasn't put them in the Elite/favorite category that Vegas is in, but Vegas isn't wrapping up a rebuild and has the most advantageous expansion draft of all time.

Also, I will respectfully disagree if you are suggesting a couple 2nd and 3rd round picks from earlier in the rebuild would have had any impact in this series through "improved depth".

Of course there will be no way to know for sure, other than letting the results speak for themselves.

Ya know, me too. But while you see a team build systematically through the draft, I see one that traded potential for future success for a better season now. Yes, it was a fast rebuild, but it was goosed by trading a draft pick -- I would argue prematurely -- for a player now. By now there is no question that Miller made the 2020 Canucks better than they otherwise would have been, and of course his contribution was greater than any player not yet drafted could have been. Will he still be an important contributor by the time the new core is at its peak? That remains an open question.
Let's just say you're right, and this year's 1rp is a future star. If he started playing next year, and was a PPG player like Miller, he'd probably hit most of his performance bonuses and have a cap hit around $2.5-3 mil.

That's only $2.25 mil less than Miller.

And Miller's on this amazing contract until he's 29. Because Miller is ONLY 26 - that's something that constantly shocks me, but he is extremely young still and probably in his prime, at an excellent value.

If this hypothetical 2020 1rp out performed Miller over the next three years, he would command $8 mil+ after his ELC. Could he fit under the cap?

I think the odds of a 2020 1rp outperforming Miller over the ELC years are minimal, not mentioning the off-ice contributions you get from Miller vs an 18 year old.

By the way, Miller can be flipped for a high 1rp at any time in the next 3 years, he'd certainly get more than a 20th oa and a 3rd.
Right now, though, he remains tied with Milford, Neale, Gillis, and the rest at zero.
He's also tied with Sakic, the Oilers' five GMs during their rebuild, and well ahead of the Sabres, Senators, and the Shanaplan.
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Chef Boi RD »

The key for young players to develop properly is eventually they need the playoff experience to take that next step, to have that experience to understand what it takes to win. You can’t just waste away in lottery drafting like Buffalo has or Edmonton has. The Miller trade can’t be judged on assets alone. No Miller? I honestly think no Miller trade and we endured another shitty season of loser hockey and more added shitty losing way habits learned from our young players. Yay another 1st round pick we won’t know if he’s actually good for another 3 years

Miller is only 26. You’re getting a lot more hockey out of this guy not to mention when he becomes a UFA at 29 he will guarantee get you a top asset in return. We may not be able to afford Miller’s UFA retirement contract but we have Podkolzin coming who by all accounts is another version of JT Miller
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by ESQ »

Tciso wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:02 am
The Brown Wizard wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:38 am The Miller trade worked out very, very well for Benning.

Top line winger, faceoff savant, top scorer on the team...
The 1st round pick is even cheap when you look at what some teams have given for way less. A first, a roster player and a prospect has been a pretty typical haul for Miller level talent on good contracts. Miller's contributions also bumped that 1st round pick from a top 10 lottery pick to the #20 pick. (oops, I forgot about the 3rd rounder, and Marek MaSparePart - still a cheap trade.)
Compare the Miller trade to the Hall trade. Had Benning made that move, a 1st+ for one year of Hall and no hope of even re-signing him, it would be a different assessment. But being paid a lesser price for a more valuable player with four years of excellent cost-control.

Shero has been one of the worst GMs with first-round picks, it'll be interesting to see how he does with 3 1rps. The rebuild seems stalled, maybe this will give it a bump in 2-4 years.
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by ESQ »

Chef Boi RD wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:09 am Miller is only 26. You’re getting a lot more hockey out of this guy not to mention when he becomes a UFA at 29 he will guarantee get you a top asset in return. We may not be able to afford Miller’s UFA retirement contract but we have Podkolzin coming who by all accounts is another version of JT Miller
And how old will Podkolzin be when Miller is a UFA?

*checks abacus*
Oh yes, 24, in the last year of his ELC. Same age Miller was when we acquired him.

Almost looks like a pipeline of prospects, do you think that was intentional?
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Doyle Hargraves »

One non move and one crappy trade by two different GMs and the Canucks could have a pretty elite defence.

Eye Bags drafting Shea Theodore instead of Hunter Shinkaruk. Theodore was right under our noses in the Fraser Valley.

Ignitowski trading a second round pick for Sven Baertschi. Imagine if Benning liked Rasmus Andersson in that spot and picked him.

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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Doyle Hargraves »

ESQ wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:20 am
Chef Boi RD wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:09 am Miller is only 26. You’re getting a lot more hockey out of this guy not to mention when he becomes a UFA at 29 he will guarantee get you a top asset in return. We may not be able to afford Miller’s UFA retirement contract but we have Podkolzin coming who by all accounts is another version of JT Miller
And how old will Podkolzin be when Miller is a UFA?

*checks abacus*
Oh yes, 24, in the last year of his ELC. Same age Miller was when we acquired him.

Almost looks like a pipeline of prospects, do you think that was intentional?
Podkolzin will be 22 when Miller goes UFA. Miller was 26 when we acquired him not 24. He’s 27 now.
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Chef Boi RD »

Doyle Hargraves wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:25 am
ESQ wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:20 am
Chef Boi RD wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:09 am Miller is only 26. You’re getting a lot more hockey out of this guy not to mention when he becomes a UFA at 29 he will guarantee get you a top asset in return. We may not be able to afford Miller’s UFA retirement contract but we have Podkolzin coming who by all accounts is another version of JT Miller
And how old will Podkolzin be when Miller is a UFA?

*checks abacus*
Oh yes, 24, in the last year of his ELC. Same age Miller was when we acquired him.

Almost looks like a pipeline of prospects, do you think that was intentional?
Podkolzin will be 22 when Miller goes UFA. Miller was 26 when we acquired him not 24. He’s 27 now.
JT Miller has 3 years left on his contract. He will have just turned 30 in March when those 3 years is up so um yeah I guess he passed 29 by 3 months. YUGE!

We will be getting Podkolzin for the final 2 years of Miller’s contract. Really can’t wait until we have Pod and Miller playing together for 2 years but who knows, if we don’t trade Miller for a great asset we can resign him. There isn’t any reason why he can’t play another excellent 4-5 years of hockey after just turning 30?
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Richardstroker69 »

Chef Boi RD wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:58 am
Doyle Hargraves wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:25 am
ESQ wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:20 am
Chef Boi RD wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:09 am Miller is only 26. You’re getting a lot more hockey out of this guy not to mention when he becomes a UFA at 29 he will guarantee get you a top asset in return. We may not be able to afford Miller’s UFA retirement contract but we have Podkolzin coming who by all accounts is another version of JT Miller
And how old will Podkolzin be when Miller is a UFA?

*checks abacus*
Oh yes, 24, in the last year of his ELC. Same age Miller was when we acquired him.

Almost looks like a pipeline of prospects, do you think that was intentional?
Podkolzin will be 22 when Miller goes UFA. Miller was 26 when we acquired him not 24. He’s 27 now.
JT Miller has 3 years left on his contract. He will have just turned 30 in March when those 3 years is up so um yeah I guess he passed 29 by 3 months. YUGE!

We will be getting Podkolzin for the final 2 years of Miller’s contract. Really can’t wait until we have Pod and Miller playing together for 2 years but who knows, if we don’t trade Miller for a great asset we can resign him. There isn’t any reason why he can’t play another excellent 4-5 years of hockey after just turning 30?
Miller is the type of guy that should age fairly well, super high hockey iq that doesn’t rely on speed but motor and strength.
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Ronning's Ghost »

Doyle Hargraves wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:24 am One non move and one crappy trade by two different GMs and the Canucks could have a pretty elite defence.

Eye Bags drafting Shea Theodore instead of Hunter Shinkaruk. Theodore was right under our noses in the Fraser Valley.

Ignitowski trading a second round pick for Sven Baertschi. Imagine if Benning liked Rasmus Andersson in that spot and picked him.

Hughes Tanev
Theodore Andersson
Edler Myers
The 'Canuck draft history If Only' thread would be a very long and sad one.

Staying only with Benning drafts (since it's his thread), the Canucks have a much better defence if Benning likes Sergachev or McAvoy better than Juolevi, and/or Sanheim or DeAngelo better than Virtanen. (I admit that latter pick would have required gigantic cojones.)

But few of the replies to my post mentioned the defence, so I guess most posters here aren't worried about it. I don't follow the development of the prospects; maybe Woo is on track to be a real beauty. We'll see.
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Re: The Great Jim Benning Debate! (And personal insult thread)

Post by Ronning's Ghost »

Tciso wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:02 am Miller's contributions also bumped that 1st round pick from a top 10 lottery pick to the #20 pick. (oops, I forgot about the 3rd rounder, and Marek MaSparePart - still a cheap trade.)
That was actually part of the point. Because Miller made the team better, the Canucks' 2020 draft pick isn't as good. So while Miller made the 2020 Canucks better, at this point it looks to me like he is making the 2024 Canucks (close to peak years of the new core) worse.

And that's why I'm still questioning the Miller Trade. Not that it wasn't good value, but that the timing was wrong.
Cherry Picker wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:55 am I can’t believe people would still question the Miller trade. It’s a win now and going forward.
Right now if they traded Miller they could get back a first round pick, a very good prospect, and a good NHL player at minimum.
If all you are worried about are assets (like draft picks), the trade was great asset management, a clear win.
In hindsight, any GM in the league would be a complete idiot not to make that trade.
Of course, the Canucks won’t trade Miller away because he is too hard to replace. However, the value of the assets trading him away could bring back going forward would be an important contributor by the time the new core is at its peak, if he, himself is no longer with the team.
If Benning actually pulled a pump 'n' dump on Miller, he'd take a step closer to genius in my books. But as you say, he likely won't, so we can talk about it if it happens.

I suspect Benning was told that the Canucks really shouldn't suck for the 50th anniversary season, and he had to do what he could about it. It was a fun playoff run, and I'm sure we all enjoyed it. Reflect on this and see if it gives you comfort if the Canucks fall short in 2024.
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