Hi…look at me….just take a step back from the ledge. Baby steps …nice and calm.
We were warned ahead of time. I know, it still stings.
I know I’ve been silent for over a week, (some wish for more) but I was in Vancouver! First time in 5 years. I was there before and during the draft and when Lack was traded. And after being there during this stressful time I have some observations I would like to share.
1. We, including myself, here at Nucks Misconduct are not "normal" fans. We care too much. We research and analyze our team and others to make our opinions about what is best for the Nucks. And while it is amazing how different the views are on this site, at least most of us can back up our reasoning for our view. Now the normal fan in Vancouver seems ready to jump ship at this point. "Lack was traded….fuck the Canucks. He saved our franchise and is way…way better than Miller." "Eddie was a great guy, they should have kept him."
2. They wasn’t a lot of draft talk around town or trade talk amongst the normal folks. They was actually a lot of excitement about Women’s World Cup Football. People were out enjoying 30+ degree weather. I was out tubing at Stave Lake and playing baseball with other old men while enjoying beer. Thinking about hockey was easy to forget for the average fan. Average fans show up in October.
3. Bieksa is loved. I think this statement is still true even though he is now a Duck. That sucks just typing that. I wish Bieksa a cup….but not enough that I want him to win and have Kesler win as well. Fuck Kesler. A lot of average fans won’t get the reasoning behind trading Bieksa for just one draft pick. But getting rid of any salary is good at this point for the Nucks.
4. I heard a "fan" say that she’s done with the Nucks because they don’t win enough. I had to shake my head a few times and asked her if she watched the Nucks during the 80’s. And of course she hadn’t. The fanbase is filled with a generation that saw the Canucks go from an average team in the 90’s to contender and is now disgruntled by the slide back down to mediocrity. I still remember the 80’s teams and what shit looked like. Perspective.
The terms "retool" and "rebuild" have been the catchphrases for MSM since Torts came in and the discussion of which the team was doing has always been up for a long-winded debate. I think the one issue that stops everyone from saying "rebuild" is the fact the Sedins are still around, but trading Kesler and now Bieksa sure makes it look like the Nucks are more than re-tooling. I admit that last preseason I was not a fan of dumping veterans and going for the full rebuild. I wanted the core to win. But shit happens.
I don’t live in the delusional fan’s world we dump all the veterans and go with the youngins. I look at the business and management side of the game and understand that the Sedins are in Van until they retire because they love the city. They love the city so much that will miss out on winning a cup in favor of staying loyal to an organization and city. The fans loyalty towards the Sedins is the only thing that has faded.
I am going to toot my own horn right now and point out that I called Lack’s trade when Miller was signed. If Lack was the goalie of the future, why sign an established goalie for 3 years/$18 million? Trading Lack was logical. Lack wouldn’t be the starter this year and therefore how would his value go up for the trade deadline? He wasn’t the goalie of the future. His age and stats when he did start are working against him.
I love Bieksa…………………but, (you knew it was coming) his play this year was shit. And if it hadn’t been for Sbisa, more people would have been holding the door for Kev to leave. While his attitude was still as gruff as ever, he never skated with the puck up the ice and had trouble getting back on defense when got too deep. Having Sbisa as a partner only showed that Kevin couldn’t cover Luca’s mistakes.
I’ve read the articles and naysayers about this year’s version of the Nucks. I’m sure this is just the start of the doom and gloom tsunami, but I don’t care. I’m excited. I really am. I have no clue what to expect from this team who has no choice but to get some new blood in there. I know there are going to be some gong show games this year, but I also think there will be some gems and maybe a winning streak or two that gives us hope of the playoffs again. I hate to say this….but I have optimism. The changing of the guard and long term strategy of Linden/Benning makes the long term fan groan in disgust but it makes me giddy thinking of a Canucks team 5-7 years from now. I am a long term thinker and I am more than a fan, I am a fanatic.
And what’s the difference you ask? I have been watching the Canucks since 1980. I have hats and shirts, read everything I can and even write about the Canucks. That should elevate me to fanatic status. I will admit that the one strike against me was that I have never owned a Canucks jersey. But that changed the day Lack was traded. Not only did I get a uniform for myself, but I got one for my 5 year old daughter (July 1st birthday!!).