Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Is Elias Pettersson the right Poster Boy for Vancouver Canucks?

 Last night was hard. As much as I know this is a learning curve year, It would still be super awesome to send McDavid golfing.

You never want to anticipate a long run way of success. Better to be in the present and worry about the future when the time comes. As we all know Championship windows end sooner than it seems. There is always going to be the next exciting up and coming team. 

However, the Vancouver Canucks seem to have awaken from a bleak and dark nine year stretch and the fan base seems alive and well. 

Winning the Cup is the ultimate prize but the amount of luck it takes is immense that it is important to have reasonable expectations. Just so we don't bang our heads on the wall too hard and call our team overachievers. 

At, 25, Elias Pettersson is the Canucks long term first line centre. It's interesting to note that the Canucks last first line centre was Hendrik Sedin and when he was Pettersson's age the entire NHL was lockout in 2005 and the twins were hardly generational players at the time. 

If the EP 40 is able to match what the Canucks did in the eight years after the lockout, the Canucks should have a future that looks like this: 

 

2025  Miss   playoffs 
2026  2nd Round 
2027  Miss playoffs 
2028   2nd Round 
2029  2nd Round 
2030   SCF loss
2031  1st round 
2032  1st round 
2033 Miss playoffs 
2034  1st round 
2035 
Miss playoffs   

    In the next decade, if the Canucks made the playoffs 7 out of 10 times, is that something that you would sign up for or are you willing to think the Canucks are poised for something better. 


Curious to what people would do.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

I started a Podcast!

 Yesterday I started talking about sports on Youtue. I'm hoping to do more of this in the future. You can view the link here. 

Huge day of sports today. Will be on the air around 9:30 tomorrow leading up to the Mets opening day against the Brewers. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Huskies Make Splash and hire Danny Sprinkle From Utah State

 The Washington Huskies made a big splash yesterday hiring Danny Sprinkle to be their new Head Coach for Men's Basketball. The program had gotten underwhelming under Hopkins and it was definitely time for a change in leadership. 

When Lorenzo Romar was fired in 2017, they finished 9-22. They had a good recruiting class coming in which  made it hard to move on. When a Power five school goes looking for a head coach, it is often exciting to go out and get the next up and coming head coach, usually a coach that is having success at smaller schools. 

I'm not sure if Mike Hopkins was Washington's first pick in 2017 but I instantly thought it was a weak hire. 

Some of the problem is that coaches are not moving up as much. Randy Bennett and Mark few seem comfortable at St. Mary's and Gonzaga respectively and there are other examples out there. 


The fact that they couldn't lure an up and coming coach and gave him this long is why Washington is behind. 

In 2016, Stanford fired Johnny Dawkins two years removed from a Sweet 16 appearance. In 2021 Texas fired Shaka Smart after making the NCAA Tournament and losing in the first round. 

But Washington has a habit of being too frugal and waiting for the last possible moment. Will Sprinkle be a good hire, I think it has a chance too. The big question will be if it's sustainable and if there is success, will he want to stay. 

You could make a case that this is the best hire of the Washington Huskies basketball history. Andy Russo came from LA Tech, Lyn Nance came from St. Mary's, Bob Bender from Illinois State, Lorenzo Romar came from St. Louis and Mike Hopkins the outlier was the assistant  coach for Syracuse at the time of hire. 

The track record indicates that generally Washington has been able to snag Tier 2/3 Mid Major coaches from a league in the middle of the pack. Romar is the one exception because Romar played for Washington back in the day. Utah State is in the Mountain West and is a Top eight league. 

The fact that Washington is in the Big 10 probably helped this process. He needs to change the culture of Washington and see if he can get the players to buy in. I think he can get Washington to the Sweet 16 within four years and will be interesting if bigger schools come knocking on the door after. 

For Sprinkle, if he wins 20 games consistently he will likely be able to stay at Washington for a long time.       

Monday, March 25, 2024

The Gap between the Have's and Have Not's is Growing

 March Madness is down to 16 teams. I feel like we have never seen so many blowouts during the first four days. The upsets that we saw on Thursday and Friday will still there but I believe that has more to do with teams being poorly seeded.

 The gap between the strong conferences and the weaker ones is growing. Sadly. Any good team gets gobbled up by a bigger conference. At this rate, the ACC, Big 12, Big 10 and SEC will have 20 teams each by 2030. 

Here is the breakdown by conference of teams remaining. 

ACC: 4

Big East: 3

Big Ten: 2

Big 12: 2

SEC: 2

Mountain West: 1

Pac-12: 1

WCC: 1

The Pac 12 is gone next year. But hopefully not forever. There are eight conferences represented. How much longer until we only see four conferences represented. The Mid majors change conferences as well but don't always find the same success. George Mason and Davidson haven't had a great deal of success in the A-10. 

The only thing that might save the Tier 2 conferences in basketball are that most of the realignment moves are football based. This is what is keeping A-10 and WCC teams trapped. If your school isn't playing Div I FBS football the best options are the Big East. They seem to snag teams from the MVC or A-10. 

The thing that can keep the Mid Majors going are if successful teams come up from Div II can be fun teams like Grand Canyon and James Madison. 

But there is only so much Pie to go around. Not every team can be in a major conference. I've read stuff that by 2040 there will only be two conferences. The Big 10 and SEC. 

It's scary, if this was 2006 than we would have had the MVC and C-USA represented as well. It's sad when conferences lose strong teams and can't replace them. The Big West had a a #1 seed represented in 1990 in UNLV. The Big West will likely never have a team #1 seed ever again.  

 

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Past Horrible Trades Created the Canucks Quiet Day

I was expecting the Canucks to make a move at the trade deadline. It didn't have to be a blockbuster trade but the team isn't perfect. There are 4-6 players that would be getting more playing time on other teams, there are a few blooming prospects in Abbotsford that Vancouver for understandable reasons don't want to give up on. 

I would call the Canucks a hybrid of All-in with the understanding that the Canucks only have to win a Cup in the next nine years. I think they wanted to pull the trigger on a couple of moves but they lacked what other teams wanted. 

There are a few reasons why the Canucks are in this conundrum. In 2019, Jim Benning had to get aggressive in 2019 to try and save his job. He traded for J.T. Miller and he was already down a 2020 1st round pick. 


J.T Miller
June 22, 2019
Marek Mazanec
2019 3rd round pick
2020 conditional 1st round pick

 So Vancouver has no 1st round pick in 2020 and in 2021 Benning again makes a blockbuster trade to get Connor Garland. (Who I thought had requested to be traded) On the day of the 2021 draft the Canucks trade their 1st round pick and others. 


Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Conor Garland
July 23, 2021
Antoine Roussel
Jay Beagle
Loui Eriksson
2021 1st round pick
2022 2nd round pick
2023 7th round pick

At the time, I thought this was a bipolar trade. If you make the playoffs in 2022 its a great trade but if you miss the 2022 playoffs this trade comes back to hunt you. Connor Garland isn't making the Canucks better right now. The three picks they lost that day could have been traded yesterday. 

The next thing that happens is that Canucks trade more picks to get out of cap problems again. 

Riley Stillman
October 7, 2022
Jason Dickinson
2024 2nd round pick

The 2024 2nd is another asset that I wish was moved today and not two years ago. To add to the other trades that they made earlier this year the Canucks were traded out without wanting to give up their untouchables. 

At this point, I wish we could have signed Kessel as last resort but the fact that it didn't happen leads me couldn't pass the conditioning test or something. I doubt they ran out of time. 

If it were me, I would try to trade Miller for a draft pick. Even if it's a 5th rounder. The reasoning is I would rather have Lindholm because he is younger and might be able to do less term. I don't think that would happen but something to consider because the Canucks farm system isn't going to just jump to #1 at this time next year. The three untouchables aren't going to magically be easy to give up next year. 

My expectations for the Petterson contract is 6 playoff appearances, 4 second round, 2 Conference Finals and 1 Stanley Cup win. 

With a 9 year window, I expect management to get busy replenishing the prospects. It will take a outside the box approach as the Canucks only have three picks in 2024, 6 in 2025 and 5 in 2026. 

If they make the playoffs in all three years than that's fine but if they don't, how can Vancouver reverse the trend and ask these prices that buyers were overpaying for this year to add more under 24 players.  

The other thought is that management wants to see how the players play in the playoffs before doing anything to crazy. 

The disappointments today go back to Bennings failures that made today impossible for new management.    

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Where Do the Canucks Stand in 2024

 The Canucks have already shown signs that they are serious cup contenders this year when they acquired Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames. They have traded most of their high end assets except for the untouchables' and are smart not to give away their first round pick next year. 

The Canucks are in a inciting place. Edmonton, Toronto, New Jersey are underachieving. Chicago is two years away from being two years away and Las Vegas is having a typical Stanley Cup Champion hangover type season. All these signs point to this could be Vancouver's year.

The way I see it, the teams that I mentioned above will likely who Vancouver will have to go through to win a Cup in the next 2-4 years. The math says to go all in this year. 

In Jim Rutherford's tenure of working as a GM, he has had two different types of teams he has taken over. In Carolina, it was a team that recently relocated to a new city and had some wiggle room with how he wanted to construct the team. 

In Pittsburgh, he inherited an All-Star team that desperate to become a dynasty. In both instances he was successful however, the paths were completely different.   

In Carolina, the team only made the playoffs five times in 17 years and only went through one medium sized rebuild.

With the Penguins, they made the playoffs every year and winning the Cup twice. The Vancouver job seems to be somewhere in the middle. He took over a team with a decent amount of talent in a Cup starved city where the passionate fans are just asking for one cup before they die. 

He stood pat for the first year on the job. The team in 2022 recovered well under Bruce There it is until it all fell apart in the fall of 2022. He slowly started to put his handprint on the team until the last six months where he has gotten impulsive. 

Being Impulsive, is not always a bad thing. A lot of the moves he has made have worked out. They had to givee up some draft capital to get out of cap problems but for now he has pressed the right buttons. 

There is two ways I think I could see this team going. For one, they re-sign Petterson and have him long term with the expectation that as long as you have Petterson, Hughes, Demko, Miller, and your three stud prospects for the next 10 years that you expect to be a playoff team. The goal is to have the chips fall where they may in the playoffs but the hope is Demko can steal you one Cup in the next 10 years. 

Option two: 

Petterson refuses to sign and you go all in this year. Providing the right opportunity to give yourself a juggernaut team to take down Edmonton in the second round and hopefully the Cup. In this situation you would have to unload on Petterson getting a huge return to get younger. This would require signing Lindholm in hoping you can still put a respectable team on the ice. 

If they can't then I would unload on Hughes before his contract is up to get even more assets and make a major play on Connor Bedard when the time comes. 

Rutherford I think has the skills to navigate both cases efficiently. Failed rebuild attempts generally end up working in the teams favor. Look at Edmonton's and Colorado's failed rebuilds have resulted in generational rosters. I would look for Ottawa and Buffalo's failed rebuilds to catapult both fanbases into great rosters the next 3-5 years. 

Canucks are in a good position. As long as they don't let both Lindholm and Petterson walk for nothing.   

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Holiday 2023

 I sit here in the last few days of 2023 content with where my life is. My calculations have me working seven days a week for the next year and then I'll make the plunge into a new career path and give myself one more year with my current pattern. 

The leader in the clubhouse seems to be a Community Inclusion Degree or Elementary Education. I don't believe I will pass my practicum so I need to be creative of how my life looks moving forward. I plan on being in Europe from late January to mid April 2025 and after that, I'm going to settle down Calgary by late April. 

This will give me the chance to be unemployed and start my life from scratch while keeping the important things in my life. 

So many jobs that I would be good at that I don't get hired for because I don't have a car or have a disability. Then, I had to find a second job isn't enough to scrape by during the months I don't get disability. 

I just need a few things to fall my way. I have weathered a huge storm of fear over the last two years and now I can confidently feel that I'm on my way to becoming a badass. 

Christmas was good this year, I was able to get OOTP 24. A baseball game that plays out a Major League baseball season through probabilities and dice. I started a 2023 Mets season and the goal is to be better than the real life Mets. I have already made one trade which was David Peterson to the Reds for Johnathon India. 

My offense still seems like its missing something so we will see how things go. Injuries are pilling up as well with Kodai Senga out for the year already. I'm 5-4 right now which was the same record after nine games last year so can't say I'm doing any better or worse yet.