Kukla's Korner Hockey
Two live streams from the Canucks today, first, starting at 2:15pm ET, season ticket holders are doing a Q & A with Trevor Linden and Jim Benning.
Then, the press conference introducing Jim Benning as the new GM of the Vancouver Canucks is scheduled to start at 3:00pm ET.
Watch them below...
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
“I would say he was careful with his words,” Benning’s younger brother, Brian, said Wednesday from home in Edmonton. “I was a little more talkative. But it’s time to step out and lead, right? He’ll have no problems doing that.
“Go back the last three years and he has had numerous interviews (to be a general manager). He was going to wait until the time was right. I played in the U.S. and live in Edmonton now, and I recognize the significance of hockey in Canada. I’m glad he’s going to a great hockey town. I think it’s a great opportunity. The thing we’re most proud of is he has put the time in. He knows the draft, knows the importance of it. He knows everybody.”
Canuck president of hockey operations Trevor Linden said when he started six weeks ago that a paramount trait of his general manager would be a proven ability to evaluate players and identify talent. No wonder Benning’s name was mentioned from the beginning as the top candidate in Vancouver.
He is a scouting rink rat, a guy so addicted to assessing and projecting players that even in management Benning continued to attend many junior and college games.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Here are the Bruin ingredients, with some fun chipped in.
You need a freaky, huge, gifted and intelligent monster of a defenceman like Zdeno Chara, who intimidates most attackers and downright terrifies almost all Euro forwards. Stanley and Livingstone may have to be hired as scouts to find that guy.
Then you need a mobile, surly yet gifted monster like Milan Lucic who will combine with Chara and the likes of Shawn Thornton (who can be found anywhere) to give your team that personality of the bully. It empowers every player on your team to play tougher. Guys like Lucic are extremely difficult to find, but we suppose it’s possible.
Then it would help if you are able to get your owner elected chairman of the Board of Governors and perhaps even get him on the committee which determines the compensation of the commissioner.
Then it might, repeat might, be helpful if you can have a player on your team whose father is way up the ladder in the decision-making process of the league. And then you need to recognize as a team that the officials can only call so many penalties against one team on most nights, and given the way you play you’re going to need outstanding goaltending and an excellent penalty kill.
Then you are going to play tough, take those first two, maybe even three calls, but then once that happens, you’ll be able to walk around punching people in the face or sticking them any time you feel like it and nothing will be called, at least until you get a couple of power-play chances of your own.
That’s how the Bruins are perceived out here, at least. Can you pull that off, Trev?
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register at the Los Angeles Register,
The Ducks need a second-line center who wins faceoffs, kills penalties, makes a difference on the power play, and plays in an anti-social manner.
Ryan Kesler won 52.6 percent of his faceoffs last year, scored nine of his 25 goals on the power play, played 21:48 per game as a center, and continued to win enemies throughout the NHL.
The Ducks have two first-round choices in the upcoming draft, at No. 10 and No. 24, and got 11 playoff goals from rookies or players under 23 years old.
The Vancouver Canucks missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and their farm system is ranked 27th in the 30-team NHL by the website Hockey’s Future, for whatever that’s worth.
If there was a HockeyMingle.com website, this would be a 100 percent match.
In fact, the Ducks reportedly offered both first-round picks and two young players to Vancouver for Kesler, at the trade deadline.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Canucks,
For the Canucks to retool this thing and compete in the Pac Division, they need to trade one of their defencemen and also Ryan Kesler.
The organization needs skill and has a pretty significant void right about now with NHL ready prospects.
A Kesler trade at the draft was expected to get the ball rolling. But they just never got an offer they believed was good enough.
Kesler gave the Canucks a list of six teams he’d accept a trade to but the Canucks only found fits with two, Pittsburgh and Anaheim.
The Ducks had the better offer, but the Canucks always wanted Anaheim to pay a premium for trading in the division.
Anaheim had the pick it got from Ottawa on the table, which is No. 10 overall.
Now, if they also had been offering Devante Smith-Pelly, and one other young player, either Emerson Etem or Kyle Palmieri, is that a deal the Canucks would regret not taking?
read on for some Jim Benning talk as the Canucks new GM and some coaching talk too...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
There is not even an ounce of pleasure, gratification or satisfaction derived in this space from chronicling Tortorella’s professional demise. Our very public confrontations were the tip of an iceberg. So much more was unseen. I will share this: At the start of the 2012-13 season when I had a medical issue, Tortorella was kind, caring and compassionate. That holds more meaning than being professionally disrespected.
Something has gone terribly wrong with Tortorella as an NHL head coach. Being fired twice within 11 months should disabuse him of the notion that someone else was to blame. This is a man now clearly at a crossroads who requires time and counsel to get back on track as well as get back to the league.
I believe there is a place for him following a sabbatical, and I believe there will be an owner who reaches out to him, and I don’t think it would be out of the question for the as-yet-unknown Brooklyn owner to be that person, though that fellow might want to check first with John Tavares.
more plust other hockey topics...
Trevor Linden, President of the Vancouver Canucks meets with the media at a 4:00pm ET scheduled conference.
added 4:27pm, Press conference is over, to check out what Linden said, read Matthew Sekeres' recent Twitter timeline.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Yes, the Canucks should have seen this coming in September. But they were blinded by the other things they thought they saw in Tortorella. The iron hand. The unrelenting intensity. There was a belief the Canucks had grown soft and comfortable under Alain Vigneault and, under Torts’ watch, the easy ride would be over. And it was.
So was the winning.
Again, in retrospect, it was a gross insult to players like the Sedins, Luongo, Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, etc., etc., that they needed a drill sergeant to get the best out of them. Those players were committed professionals. They were responsible for the most successful run in Canucks history. And suddenly they were being told they didn’t care enough and we’re bringing in someone who’ll make you care.
It’s little wonder no one in senior management was taking responsibility for Tortorella’s hiring.
Again, if there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s a simple one. There are no shortcuts in hockey. There are no instant fixes. You succeed by hiring good people to make intelligent, well-informed decisions. You build a team both on and off the ice which reflect the game’s time-honoured values. In Trevor Linden, the Canucks have a man who has a chance to create that organization. But, after this season, it will take time. A lot of time.
In the end, Tortorella should have been a one-night stand for the Canucks; one moment of impulsiveness which should have been forgotten as quickly as the thought entered their mind. Instead, it turned into a bad marriage that will leave a lingering scar on this team. The Canucks might get better. You just wonder if they’ll ever be the same.
Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden announced today that Head Coach John Tortorella and Assistant Coach Mike Sullivan have been relieved of their coaching duties.
“Today we are making an important change in the direction of our team,” said Linden. “On behalf of the entire organization, we extend our thanks to John, Mike and their families for their commitment to the Canucks and wish them the very best.”
“We have a lot of important work to accomplish this off-season as we build our management and coaching staff, improve our roster and connect with our fans,” added Linden. “Our General Manager search is well underway and we will begin assessing head coaching candidates immediately.”
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
We asked Linden about some of the other balls he’s juggling this off-season.
On Ryan Kesler, the 25-goal scorer who reportedly wants a trade out of town: “I have a lot of respect for Ryan, as I do all the players. It was a good, healthy conversation,” Linden said of his exit interview with him. “There’s many decisions that will unfold here in the next several months, and for me it’s important that I strategically assess every decision. They all have significant ripple effects throughout the organization. That’s an important decision, and it will play out as we move along here.”
On his goal to implement his vision for a specific brand of hockey this summer: “You have to be sound fundamentally in all areas. Being a team that makes the proper decisions—when to hold the puck, when to put the puck in areas that make it effective to forecheck. It’s about tailoring your game to the personality you have.”
On the possibility of adding Canucks Ring of Honour inductee Pat Quinn to the Canucks’ front office: “Pat’s someone who’s been a real mentor to me, someone who’s been important to my development as a person and as a player. That’s certainly a possibility.”
On the most eye-opening aspect of the new job: “I was surprised actually how many people I did know in the business: Doug Wilson, Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman, Cam Neely. Many managers reaching out to me and touching base.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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