The 10 most-read stories of the Vancouver Canucks’ 2022-23 season
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
6 months ago
2022-23 was an up-and-down season for the Vancouver Canucks, with more downs than ups.
Fans got to see Elias Pettersson enter superstardom and put together a 102-point season, but they also got to see the drawn-out public firing of once-beloved head coach Bruce Boudreau. Perhaps worst of all, they saw their team win games down the stretch of the season and sewer their draft lottery odds only to miss the playoffs yet again.
But what were the stories that dominated the headlines? That’s what we’re here to answer today. Folks, here are our 10 most-read stories during the Vancouver Canucks’ 2022-23 season.
10. Canucks debut new lines at practice in Newark, Tocchet announces alternate captains
Speaking of the new coach, this article and this practice in Newark were Canucks fans’ first chance to see how newly hired Rick Tocchet would roll his lines without Bo Horvat, who was traded during the All-Star break. Here’s what those lines looked like:
After this practice, Tocchet also confirmed that Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes would be joining the Canucks’ leadership group.
9. Minor news: Tyler Motte traded back to Rangers, Canucks sign Bednard to PTO
Maybe it was the obscurity of Tyler Motte getting traded back to the Rangers, or maybe it was the hope that the Canucks had somehow found a loophole that allowed them to sign Connor Bedard — not Ryan Bednard the 25-year-old goalie — to a pro tryout contract.
Whatever it was, this was the 9th-most-read story of the season here at CanucksArmy.
8. ‘He’d be captain on most teams’: Flames coach Darryl Sutter has high praise for Canucks defenceman Luke Schenn
Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter only coached Luke Schenn for half a season in Los Angeles, but the veteran blue liner certainly made a lasting impression on Sutter.
“They’ve got at least five guys, at random, on pace for what, 35-to-50 goals? That’s…I don’t know if I like that…and then I guess, what else? Luke,” said Sutter when asked what about the Canucks he likes. “I like Luke Schenn a lot. I coached him in LA. He’s a top guy. He’d be captain on most teams. I like that.”
By this point, it was all but a guarantee that the Canucks were going to be parting ways with Bo Horvat, so when another team’s head coach tabbed Schenn as captain material, people were clearly intrigued.
7. Report: Travis Green’s $2.7 million contract ‘a factor’ in Canucks’ decision on Boudreau
This report from Rick Dhaliwal came in the wake of Jim Rutherford’s November hit on Sportsnet 650 where he criticized his team’s structure and made it extremely clear that Bruce Boudreau was not management’s ideal choice to be the team’s head coach.
“So, what I was told this morning was Rutherford is obviously pissed and he’s mad, but he will not make a knee-jerk reaction,” Dhaliwal said. “He’s going to think things through before a major change is made… It’s an awkward situation, but the owner hired the coach first. We all know that. It’s not as simple as firing the coach. Do you get a new coach and become a great non-playoff team? Do you suck it up and go for a top-five overall pick?”
“Travis Green getting $2.7 million by the Canucks this year is a factor. Boudreau’s getting over $2 million,” Dhaliwal said. “The owner’s gotta have a big say if you’re gonna flip the coach, the owner’s gotta approve it. Nobody likes to pay employees not to work for them. Right now, I do not get the feeling that there’s a coaching change imminent.”
Dhaliwal turned out to be right, as the Canucks didn’t let Boudreau go until almost the end of January.
6. Report: Multiple teams have called Canucks about a potential J.T. Miller trade
No surprise here, as the Miller trade talk was heating up as the March trade deadline approached. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported here that multiple teams had called the Canucks about a potential JT Miller trade. We know now that the team that emerged as the “frontrunner” was the Pittsburgh Penguins, but that they were unwilling to match the Canucks’ asking price of two first round picks and a prospect.
The Penguins and Canucks reportedly talked plenty on deadline day, but with either side unwilling to budge, the deal didn’t materialize and Pittsburgh instead acquired Mikael Granlund. Granlund put up one goal and four assists through 21 games with the Penguins, contributing to why the club missed the playoffs and why ownership fired both president Brian Burke and general manager Ron Hextall.
5. Report: Bo Horvat rejects Canucks’ most recent contract offer, team will now take best trade offer
Another bang on Dhaliwal report. This one from December 12, 2022. Just a month later, the Canucks found that best trade offer, flipping their captain for Aatu Räty, Anthony Beauvillier, and a first round pick, which they later flipped ahead of the deadline for Filip Hronek.
4. Regardless of how Filip Hronek performs, this trade looks like shoddy asset management by the Canucks
Speaking of the Hronek trade…
Stephan Roget didn’t hold back his feelings toward the Canucks trading futures to acquire 25-year-old Filip Hronek from the Detroit Red Wings. On the bright side, most of the argument here was the danger of sending an unprotected first round pick away, but it looks like the Islanders will be giving the Red Wings that pick. The Canucks certainly avoided the worst-case scenario when it comes to this string of trades.
3. The Stanchies: The worst Canucks game of the season leaves Rick Tocchet speechless
Wyatt brought the heat all season long with the Stanchies, and this was one of the most-read editions of the season. It truly was the worst Canucks game of the season, so if you don’t want to relive it, scroll ahead.
For the rest of you, allow us to refresh your memory.
The final score in this game was 6-1 in favour of the Seattle Kraken. It was just Tocchet’s second game behind the Canucks’ bench, and he was speechless. He did manage to call his team soft, however.
Here’s how Wyatt closed out that night’s Stanchies.
“And yeah. That was the game. If you felt depressed reading this, I don’t blame you. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way writing before. I just had nothing fun or amusing to dive into. Nothing mattered in the game. It was all very bad. And I don’t know when it gets better.
The team is just not very good right now. Which hey, maybe you lean into Connor Bedard and all that, but part of you is worried that the team will fight and scream against the dying of the light and try to fix this team up enough to go on a late-season run to ruin even that.”
For those that don’t know already, the Canucks did just that and finished the season with the lowest possible odds of winning the draft lottery.
This is an example of one of the “downs” we talked about in the intro. But now it’s time for an up!
2. Vancouver Canucks goaltender Collin Delia breaks his silence on Fartgate
It was the alleged fart heard around the world, and we were proudly the first publication to get to the bottom of it. In fact, it was me that put in the work to get to the bottom of this story. Let me tell you how I did it. But first, let’s refresh your memory.
Headlines circulated worldwide claiming that colour commentator John Garrett let one rip live on air as the clip caught on like wildfire. Garrett denied any wrongdoing of any kind in the moment, and the fact that the sound was picked up by both the home and away broadcasts likely should have absolved Garrett completely. But some still weren’t convinced.
And so a week later — Ian Clark’s goalies do not speak in the morning of game days — I walked into the Canucks’ locker room and the usual suspects were requested for media availabilities. On the white board in the dressing room, Canucks PR had written “40, 43” under “media”. Below that, “60 (Quads)” was written on the board as well. As my colleagues gathered around Quinn Hughes followed by Elias Pettersson, I walked over to Collin Delia and Spencer Martin, who sit next to each other.
I asked the goaltending tandem if they had seen the clip, which by now was a week old. Martin immediately started laughing, but Delia was the goalie manning the crease at the time, so he was the one I really needed to talk to. “Yeah, it was me, I farted,” Delia joked before coming clean for real.
“It was my skate. The one-piece skate,” Delia said.
“It’s the one piece skate!” Martin said with a laugh. “We actually talked about it before that game. Him and Demmer [Thatcher Demko] have the fart stop sometimes.”
Delia and Demko both use a one-piece goalie skate, a newer piece of equipment created by goaltending equipment brand TRUE. Unlike traditional two-piece skates that feature a boot with a blade holder attached at the bottom, Delia’s one-piece skate is essentially all connected. The boot is wrapped in carbon and goes right into the blade holder.
Another mystery solved. All in a day’s work. This is the kind of investigative journalism you just won’t get anywhere else.
1. ‘It’s real cliquey in that dressing room’: The Canucks are making league-wide news for all the wrong reasons
It’s no surprise that the Canucks’ historically bad start to the season had them making national headlines.
In an October edition of Daily Faceoff Live, former player and current Chicago Blackhawks TV analyst Colby Cohen spoke about the Canucks’ dysfunctional locker room at the start of the year.
“I’ve heard there’s a lot of friction in that dressing room between some of the star players and then the rest of the team,” said Cohen. “It’s real cliquey in that dressing room. The way that they’re promoting players, particularly on their social media channels, and just everything that I hear coming out of that dressing room, it seems really dysfunctional at the moment.”
Now, we’re not accusing anyone of anything, but people were quick to wonder how a Chicago TV analyst would have any idea what it’s like in the Canucks’ locker room. The Canucks did trade Jason Dickinson to the Blackhawks just weeks prior, but surely those two things are unrelated. It remains a mystery!
Were you surprised to see any stories from this season not featured? Let us know in the comments section below!
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