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Wake With Elias: How long will it take Patrik Allvin to clean up Jim Benning’s mess?

And is the answer before or after Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s deal expires?

Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin speaks before their NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at Rogers Arena March 20, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Patrik Allvin might still be in his honeymoon stage with the Canucks, but at least he doesn’t sugarcoat things.

The Canucks GM didn’t mince words in a recent interview in The Province when asked about the team currently.

“We don’t have the superstar,” Allvin said. “We’re not a contending team right now. So every single player has something to prove to us. And that’s going to be the mindset moving forward.”

Any thoughts on how Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and JT Miller feel about the superstar comment?

In all seriousness, Allvin’s comments are completely fair. The Canucks aren’t a contending team. Hell, they’re not even good enough to contend for a Wild Card spot with more than three weeks left in the season.

And, when you come from a team that rostered Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the bar for “superstar” should be high.

Most Canucks fans believed that Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes could get to that level, based on what they did prior to the 2020-21 campaign. While they still could reach superstar status, the more likely scenario is that the Canucks are going to have to build a deeply-talented team, rather than one that relies on the likes of a couple superstars to take them to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Of course, that highlights one of the shit stains on Benning’s work with the Canucks.

The trade for Conor Garland and Oliver Ekman-Larsson meant the Canucks were all in this season. It was laughable at the time and it’s depressing at the present, considering that the lack of depth on this team is one of the primary reasons why they won’t even make the playoffs.

It means that Allvin’s job is going to be extremely tough. How does he go about improving this mediocre, capped-out team?

Can he carve out flexibility by getting rid of cap liabilities such as Tyler Myers, Tucker Poolman and Jason Dickinson? Can this team push for a Stanley Cup with the current core, or does an integral piece have to be moved during the offseason?

After the Canucks playoff run in 2020, the decisions during that offseason and the next were integral to the team’s future. And, Benning completely botched the job.

Now it’s up to Allvin, Jim Rutherford, Emilie Castonguay and Cammi Granato to change the downtrodden course of this franchise, It’s a tall task but hey, the Canucks can’t be a sadsack franchise forever, right?

Canucks News

  • Hard to argue that Benning’s final offseason wasn’t his worst yet. [Canucks Army]

Actually, come to think of it, maybe that’s recency bias...there’s a lot of bad to choose from.

  • If the Canucks are going to take steps in the right direction, they absolutely need to carve out cap flexibility. It won’t be easy, but here are four guys they need to move on from this offseason. [Daily Hive]
  • The Canucks overtime woes have played a part in their undoing. They’re 1-6 in OT in their last seven attempts and 3-7 on the season.

The Dallas Stars on the other hand are 10-1 in the extra frame. [Sportsnet]

  • You have to feel for Tucker Poolman and his battle with migraines. For all of us who know someone who struggles with them, it’s easy to sympathize with Tucker. [The Province]
  • What does Linus Karlsson’s breakout SHL season mean for his future? [Vancouver is Awesome]
  • Hey, Vancouver might be out of the playoffs, but at least there’s the Abbotsford Canucks. They clinched a postseason berth earlier this week after sweeping their mini-series with the Laval Rocket on home ice. [Abbotsford News]

Of course, it was Jack Rathbone who scored the game-winning goal on Sunday. He’s now up to an unbelievable 33 points in 30 games this season.

Other NHL News

  • Our thoughts are with Mike Bossy and his family as he continues to battle cancer. [CBC]
  • Sportlogiq just released their weekly NHL Power Rankings. [TSN]
  • Here are the Top 10 overpaid defencemen in the NHL this season. Think any Canucks made the list? [The Hockey Writers]
  • Speaking of #1 on that aforementioned list, PK Subban got 27 minutes in penalties for jumping NY Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom, who caught Jack Hughes with an awkward hit. [Yahoo Sports]
  • Finally, Carey Price is back at practice and “looking like himself” although there’s no word on whether he will return this season or not. [Eyes on the Prize]