Sports Hockey

Welcome to Tanking 2.0

By Guts McTavish, 24 hours Vancouver

Canucks GM Jim Benning.

Canucks GM Jim Benning. FILE PHOTO, 24 HOURS

Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning told the media this week, "Our goal is to make the playoffs."

Same goal he started the season with, so any talk of tanking can be tossed out the window. 

It's a lot like politics. Sometimes you say things just to satisfy your base. The rest of the time you need to be progressive, with one eye on the future. 

People still vote with their wallet in the entertainment industry. So I get the whole push for the playoffs thing. 

Unfortunately in the NHL, you can't have it both ways.

Or can you?

I'm a believer that there is no such thing as tanking for a draft pick, especially in today's game. Even if a GM decided to give it a shot, you'd need to have a lot of balls, as in lottery balls. Connor McDavid would be in a Sabres jersey if it wasn't for that machine.

Benning also hinted that he would reassess the team's playoff goal by seeing where they were in the standings closer to the trade deadline in a few weeks. 

Once the playoff dream begins to fade, I expect Benning to move the likes of Radim Vrbata and Dan Hamhuis while teams with cup ambitions are still willing to pay the draft pick price.

Welcome to Tanking 2.0.

If the rip cord officially gets pulled on the season, that's when we'll see Benning go to work. At the top of his list, gathering speedy youth and picks. Replacing the veteran vacancies with his unproven kids. This should ensure a steady plummet down the standings, improving his chances at a better first rounder.

With a lineup littered with kids, at least he'll get some answers in games that no longer matter. 

Follow the kilt @gutsmctavish24