Hold on a second and take a glance backwards … which Vancouver Canucks General Manager would you say had a better summer, Jim Benning of 2021 or Patrik Allvin of 2022? Let’s take a gander and we’ll work from the goal line out.
It’s not the end of summer, Simmer …
True. So let’s just look at June and July and we’ll leave the rest of the time leading up to Vancouver Canucks training camp for later analysis.
First of all, goaltenders. Last year at this time it was for sure going to be Thatcher Demko and recent signee Jaroslav Halak. Few complaints. Again, no one expected the club’s crappy start, no one expected Halak to get no goal support, and the team fell into perpetual desperation during a failed second half run.
So, Halak or Spencer Martin, his apparent heir apparent? Well, Martin at this point looks pretty rosy, with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. But in a vacuum, experience plus flashes of greatness = Halak, nine games of NHL experience = Martin. Don’t lie to me kids, you’re taking Halak for a season.
Plus, Allvin inherited Martin, a 2021 Benning trade acquisition.
This isn’t fair Simmer, Allvin’s only been here basically half-a-season …
Also true. The Martin thing is a perfect example. So we really just need to look at the individual manoeuvres. We have the benefit of results for Benning’s efforts, while Allvin’s have mostly been on a minor league level.
The two biggees for the Swede thus far, landing coveted Russian forward Andrey Kuzmenko in June and re-signing popular winger Brock Boeser to a new three-year deal on July 1st.
(By the way, it seems me and everyone else spelled it Andrei until the player’s agent Dan Milstein kept spelling it Andrey during those pivotal times, so I’m going with that until further notice.)
Will Linus Karlsson be a stud forward? Or any of the other Swedes that their countryman Allvin has signed or drafted? Simply no way of knowing.
It’s Benning’s freaking salary cap that’s holding back the new guy …
Wow, correct again. We can blame Allvin’s ‘hands tied’ situation to some of Benning’s existing deals. Tyler Myers, Oliver Ekman-Larsson?
The question is Vancouver Canucks fans, how did you feel last August after the Ekman-Larsson/Conor Garland deal, the Jason Dickinson acquisition, the Luke Schenn, the Tucker Poolman, the Travis Hamonic? Pretty good?
One out of those latter three ain’t bad. Ok, it’s bad.
So we move on. We’ll bust out the crystal ball again in mid-October when we’re ready to drop the puck and all the moves have been made. Then we get to predict who wins and loses. Some will be right, some will be wrong, and some will claim they were right either way. The joy of prognostication.
In the meantime, this is life from one hockey executive to the next. It takes a full contract cycle before a general manager is really standing on his own.
Now get back to the beach.