8 Years. We’re in the 8th season of the Benning era. A talented talent scout made Canucks GM by the Aquilinis when the fans demanded Gillis be fired. Gillis had GM’d the Nucks to the (jobbed) 2011 SCF and 2 President’s Trophies, but after getting swept in the 2012 first round, panic was building in the building - for 2 years.
Since JB was signed as GM (later as President - as Franny fired Linden), the Nucks have seen 1 first round playoff run - technically not a run - and the Bubble Miracle that almost made it to the Western Final.
For 7 seasons, JB has made trades (not many great ones), signed and paid and paid and overpaid for free agents and drafted well - and sometimes terrible. And still Nucks lost.
It’s maybe a little late to perform a check on JB’s qualifications for the job. But let’s spend a few minutes on it - which could be more than Franny did 2014.
Watch the full depresser - if you can. Beggsy already covered the ‘media availability’ minutes in six fine takeaway points.
But before that... let’s take a moment about to discuss JB’s ability to be the top executive of a billionaire dollar sports franchise.
I wouldn’t suggest listening to it, since all the things he suggests sports franchise don’t do, have been done for years by Franny, JB and the management group.
The one ringing thing that reverberated and regurgitated in my twisted little mind after years of JB’s explanations was Forde’s statement about the vital ability of a sports franchise’s leader.
“The people who do this job successfully year-after-year…their ability to communicate up and down a vertical is non-negotiable.” — Mike Forde
It’s not how good the GM’s eye-tester is, nor how analytical his fancy mind stats are. It’s how well he can deliver the franchise’s message - that everyone in the organization can understand - and maybe even embrace.
BTW: The fans are part of the organization - the unpaid, nay, the part of the org that pays the millions execs and players get to keep - regardless of performance. Just ask CoTU.
It’s 7 years of, like, you knowing and still I don’t know. JB enters the fog of words and is lost. For words.
Ok, listen to the presser and see if you can decipher some meaningful strategy from the big picture guy.
The key to this presser is... Franny wasn’t available, so JB is
taking feeling bad:
“Of course, I feel responsible; I’m the leader of this group,” — JB
He feels responsible. Great. He’s not saying he IS responsible. That’s a different thing for the accountability guru.
So... there must be a plan to pull the team out of this inconceivably horrible PKocalyptic slump, right?
“We’re going to have to regain our confidence as a group and as a team. We’re going to have to do a better job, obviously, on the PK. And I believe some of our players need to regain their confidence to play to their potential. And if we can figure those things out — you know, it’s going to be hard, it’s not going to be easy — but I think if we can figure those things out, we’re going to have to string a group of wins together now to get back in it. We’re going to keep working hard to find solutions to our problems. We still want to be a playoff team.”
That’s TWO big ifs in one statement. Maybe he’s just being honest - winning at the NHL level is hard. But, a great leader, makes positive statements.
Such as: “We’re going to turn over every puck until this team succeeds - well... not every puck - just the winning strategy pucks. No we’re not turning those over... we’re, like, keeping those, you know.“
After 7 years, conditional iffy statements are no longer valid in NucksNation.
“We’re trying to find solutions to our problems. Travis and his staff are working hard. This is wearing on them like it’s wearing on all of us.” — JB
Trying or working hard. Or trying to word hard. Whatever.
Of course we too want the Nucks to be a playoff team this season. We also want the world to be net-zero by 2030. Then we could enjoy the next Nucking playoff run (in 2030) without fires, flood and Nucking management pestilence.
Our fan patience with this organization has just about expired. That’s not true. It expired years ago. Most league GMs and head coaches only get 3-4 years of losing. Nucks are working hard on 8.
In the past, Franny was often criticized for making knee-jerk reactions. He’s slayed that dragon.
The key message that JB communicated to me is that he is just as defeated as his players. Players that JB put on the roster. Players/Coaches and their abysmal PK. And only slightly less abysmal PP.
Maybe Kent is right - the Nucks and their fans are cursed. We enjoy a Cup run every 17 years or so and that should be enough.
And it could be. If this organization could ice a competitive team that plays like a team year after year. Is that asking so much?
They’re working hard down on the tough side of the tracks to get this hockey train back on the rails. Good Luck!