June 22, 2019

Pucks On The 'Net: Jim Benning Retraction

Oh Jimbo.

Yesterday I praised Jim Benning for nice moves involving Alexander Edler and Vasili Podkolzin.

Today, well, much of Canucks fandom is mad at Benning again.

Every hockey fan in the world knows you don't give up your first round pick when picking up another team's salary dump. 

Someone forgot to tell Jim.

Benning traded a conditional first rounder, meaning it is in the deep 2020 draft if the Canucks make the playoffs next year and in 2021 if they don't, along with a third rounder in 2019 and minor league goalie Marek Mazanek to Tampa Bay for J.T. Miller.

Now Miller is an excellent add, checking many boxes for the Canucks. They could use 2 or 3 more J.T. Millers. But they paid a steep price to get him, and kind of look silly in doing so.

While Canucks fans are up in arms today, they will come to like Miller once he takes to the ice. He is really solid in pretty much every aspect of the game. He's only 26 and has a reasonable salary cap number.

And if he can help the Canucks back to the playoffs, he will help Benning keep his job. He needs to acquire at least a couple of defensemen if that's going to happen, but Benning thinking the playoffs are within is reach is not delusional. The Canucks had strong goaltending from Jacob Markstrom, a budding superstar in Elias Pettersson and hopefully another rookie difference maker in Quinn Hughes. And the Pacific Division looked horrendous last season, so there is a shot. 

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