There was a time in Vancouver where hockey used to be fun.
Or, so they say...
That seems like a distant memory or possible mirage when you watch the Canucks nowadays. Over the weekend, they found new and creative ways to lose to both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Boston Bruins. Fun!
Jim Benning’s disastrous tenure had me thinking about a post we worked on last year when our writers all made arguments for the best decade in Canucks history.
For a while, I figured it’d be hard not to go with the 2010s. The decade started with the Canucks icing one of the most dominant teams of the salary cap era.
But when you look at how things in Vancouver have fallen apart, it’s hard not to smile (with pain).
I’m more unsure now of the “best decade” in this franchise’s sad history than I’ve ever been. Perhaps the 1960s, when the Canucks were a dreamy thought and not a real, live organization who existed only to crush the hopes and dreams of anyone with a passing interest in the team?
Anyways, there’s a barrage of storylines amidst this brutal stretch of hockey.
- God bless Jimmi, for he recapped another Canucks loss, and lived to tell the tale. [Nucks Misconduct]
- God, give Westy a pat on the back, for he was criticizing Travis Green before anybody else on the interweb. [Nucks Misconduct]
- Towards the end of last week, CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reported that the bulk of the Canucks trade calls have been focused on Bo Horvat. [Sportsnet, Pro Hockey Rumours]
- However, it doesn’t really seem like Jim Benning has the authority to do anything right now, as reports suggest that Canucks ownership are ready for change. [The Province]
Unfortunately for Canucks fans, that change might not be happening anytime soon. The article from Postmedia suggests that the Canucks are waiting for the “right person.”
Well, they better not wait too long, with multiple clubs looking to hire a GM.
- But hey, what about Kevin Bieksa for GM?
Was it just me or did Ron Maclean just nominate Kevin Bieksa for #Canucks GM!? Wow!!— Sue the Realist (@shec61) November 28, 2021
Luongo for AGM? Burrows for head coach?
- It’s been reported that the Canucks did get permission to speak with Claude Julien, and that they’ve considered Scott Walker as well. [Daily Hive]
Friedman reports there is no timeline for the #Canucks to make a decision on their head coach, they considered Julien but decided against it, they also considered Scott Walker, but decided against that as well. No long-term decision will be made until they have the right person.— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) November 28, 2021
- Jason Dickinson talks about the mistakes that are costing the Canucks [The Province]
- The Abbotsford Canucks had 12 days in between games after they had home contests canceled last week due to flooding in the Fraser Valley. On the ice, things haven’t been going well for the Baby Canucks. They lost twice over the weekend (including a heartbreaker last night), and they’re now tied for last in the league with 11 points. [Abby Canucks]
- In case you need a break from the sadness, the Sedin twins, Stan Smyl and Fin appeared in a Ryan Reynolds tribute video. [NHL]
Around the NHL
- Back to the GM carousel. The Montreal Canadiens fired GM Marc Bergevin, along with AGM Trevor Timmons and Senior VP of Hockey Operations, Paul Wilson. [TSN]
Marc Bergevin lost his job before Jim Benning did. Think about that.— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) November 28, 2021
Yeah, kinda hard not to think about that...
The optics don’t look good for the Canucks. Bergevin’s team just made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, and he’s out of a job just six months later. Meanwhile, the Canucks under Benning have floundered for almost a decade, yet he still clings to his job.
Aside from more bad optics for the Canucks, firing Bergevin makes a lot of sense for Montreal. Bergevin had a history of spotty drafting, but the fact that he drafted a sex offender in the first round who previously withdrew from the draft was absolutely asinine.
He could have been fired after that and no one would have complained.
Marc Bergevin may not have won a Cup as GM of the Habs, but did the team show progress under him? Well, no. But did the team's long-term outlook improve under his guidance? Also no. But did he at least conduct himself with the highest standards of integrity? Actually no he didn't— Acting the Fulemin (@ATFulemin) November 28, 2021
Well, I mean, Jimbo did draft some good players, and then...uh...well the point is he drafted some good players— Acting the Fulemin (@ATFulemin) November 29, 2021
Coming in to “execute the vision for the franchise is former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton, who will take over the VP of Hockey Operations role. Gorton will begin the search for a GM.
- Of course, because it’s Montreal, the GM must speak French. Here are 15 potential French-speaking candidates. [Postmedia]
- Interestingly enough, it seemed like assistant GM Scott Mellanby was being groomed to take over, but he resigned from the assistant GM role over the weekend. [NHL]
A report from The Athletic’s Michael Russo suggests that Mellanby was originally told he would take over as GM, but owner Geoff Molson changed his mind.
- While the infamous biter Brad Marchand ran roughshod over the Canucks last night, another NHLer, Brendan Lemieux will receive an in-person hearing for allegedly biting Brady Tkachuk. [CBC Sports]
- Finally, Evander Kane was waived by the San Jose Sharks yesterday, the way things are going in Vancouver, expect the beleaguered winger to join the Canucks (I’m joking, hopefully...) [NHL]