I would have preferred for the Vancouver Canucks to start a full tear-down rebuild in 2013 after witnessing the Calgary Flames stick far too long with their franchise icons Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff. This mistake put their club’s fortunes on a downward slide for many seasons. However, I knew deep down that Vancouver’s team would be doomed to repeat Rodeo City’s mistake and futilely try and squeeze one more Stanley Cup run out of our Twin future Hall of Famers.
As much sense as it would have made for the Canucks to cash in their elite duo, you just don’t do that to players whose jerseys you plan to hang from the rafters one day. They did everything in their power to try and bring a Stanley Cup to the franchise, fans and city and in return it was right to give them the respect of letting them play out their careers for the team and city they loved.
So when Mike Gillis hired John Tortorella either willingly or unwillingly, I gave it a thumbs up. At worst, I expected Torts to at least be entertaining after a boring, stale lock-out shortened season and early playoff exit in Alain Vigneault’s swan song as coach. At best, I thought he might be able to squeeze out one last kick at the silver tin prize from the aging roster.
What I didn’t expect was that he’d choose to live in Washington State and only commute to Vancouver to coach games. I didn’t expect he’d barely engage with key players like Alex Burrows, and when he did engage it would be to poke them in the shoulder like he did to Jannik Hansen on live television. In the end, he turned out to be more embarrassing than entertaining. It turned out to be a bad take.
Some fans criticize current general manager Jim Benning for saying he could turn the Tortorella-damaged team around quickly. But to be fair to him, Benning did do that by hiring a hot-commodity coach in Willie Desjardins and making some moves that helped the team move back into the playoffs in his first year at the helm.
By the 2016 off season though it was clear that the Canucks were unlikely to win a Cup without new and young talented recruits but the Sedins wanted to play out their contracts and ownership wanted to try and make the playoffs while the Sedins still played. So in that context, I was in favour of signing Loui Eriksson to play with the Sedins. The three of them had exhibited good chemistry together in the past playing for team Sweden on the same line. Eriksson was coming off of a 30 goal, 63 point season and he appeared to still have lots of great hockey left in him to play. Sure the contract would likely become a problem in year 4 or 5 but I was certain he’d reach 40 goals once or twice playing with the Sedins in the first 3 seasons of the contract. It turned out to be a bad take. I actually preferred the Canucks to sign Milan Lucic over Loui Eriksson but thought perhaps they could sign both. Ouch. A really bad double take.
Okay, I have come clean with every bad Canucks take that I’ve ever had. No need for you to search my tweets for more. No really, stop it!
It is time for me to share the three worst Canucks’ Twitter-verse takes I could find after reading every single Canucks’ related tweet ever written. Okay so I lie a bit. When I found three really bad ones I stopped looking because essentially I am lazy.
Here we go:
1. The 2018-19 Opening Night Roster
Tweets with extreme opinions rarely have a good shelf-life. Denying that ’s exist can also get you in trouble. Were the Canucks’ good last season? Maybe not. But they were nowhere near “the worst Canucks’ team ever assembled”. The 49th version of the blue-and-green in fact is arguably in the top 20 best editions ever put together. Their 35-36-11 record yielding them 81 points eclipsed the tallies of 26 previous renditions of the club. If you eliminate a further three editions of the team due to NHL lockouts, which led to one non-edition and two partial editions, you are left with 45 full seasons. When you subtract the 26 inferior versions you are left with the 19th best team in franchise history, your 2018-19 Vancouver Canucks.
They also ended up finishing 17 points ahead of the Ottawa Senators, the worst team that season, and only nine points behind the Colorado Avalanche for a Wild Card playoff spot.
2. The J.T. Miller Trade
It’s been 24 hours and I’m still laughing at how bad the JT Miller trade is— JACKSON: (@failsonmcdonald) June 23, 2019
It’s rarely a good idea to make an instant assessment of a sports transaction. Who’s laughing now? 2011 1st round, 15th overall pick J.T. Miller is having a breakthrough point-per-game season and is on pace for 38 goals and 82 points. He is a team leader and setting an excellent example for the young inexperienced studs on the Canucks’ roster. He plays all three forward positions. He can move up and down the line-up. He makes everyone he plays with better. He is a face-off guru. And if he helps the Canucks’ make the playoffs at least once in the next two seasons, the first round pick the Canucks will give up for him will be somewhere between 16th and 31st or 32nd overall, a later pick than Miller himself.
3. The lecture for the Canucks on rebuilding from Leafland...
LISTEN @mirtle: Key to Leafs rebuild was picking a time to compete, and making all decisions based on that— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) March 6, 2019
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When you are a Toronto Maple Leafs’ talking head and you want to lecture Vancouver on how to build a Stanley Cup Champion, your team should at least accomplish something first...like maybe win at least one playoff round before your window closes. Maybe your team should also not sign a neanderthal coach to an eight-year $50 million contract and fire him a little over four seasons into the contract. Better yet, take out your calculator before you ink four forwards to tie up almost 50% of your team’s Salary Cap allotment. Thankfully, Vancouver rejected the Sham-aplan.
So I will finish this with a good take. The Vancouver Canucks will win their first Stanley Cup before the ‘model’ Maple Leafs ever win their initial one where they are required to out-duel more than five opponents. I really hope this one doesn’t eventually turn into a bad take.