‘I’d rather call it a retool’: Jim Rutherford says Canucks would prefer younger NHL players in trades over draft picks

Photo credit:Canucks.com
David Quadrelli
1 year ago
On Monday, Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford fielded questions from the media for nearly an hour.
As such, there’s a lot to get into from today.
We’re going to start with what many fans likely want to hear the answer to, and that’s when CanucksArmy’s very own Chris Faber asked Rutherford about the team rebuilding.
Here’s what Faber asked after Rutherford said his roster needed “major surgery” instead of the “minor surgery” he thought it needed when he first arrived in Vancouver:
“Jim, I think coming into the season, the expectations were for this team to get to the playoffs. That’s what we kind of heard up to this point we heard about building, and building, and building. Has that plan changed quite a bit? Is this team still building or looking towards a rebuild when you talk about these major surgeries?”
Here’s Rutherford’s answer to the question in full.
“We’re not looking towards a rebuild. I’d rather call it a retool,” Rutherford said. “My preference is when we make these deals it’s not necessarily for draft picks that may come in and help the team four years from now, five years from now. I’d prefer to get younger NHL players that maybe didn’t work out in their entry-level contract and, you know, bring them in and give them a second chance. We’ll still try to acquire some draft picks. But we have to go about this in a way that that it’s not a long-term rebuild, and I think we can do that. The possibilities are out there. Now you get some of these players that have been two years in the league and haven’t met their expectations. You know, they may not turn out either — there’s a risk of that. But it’s no different than the draft picks that you take that you find out three years from now that they didn’t develop properly. So that’s kind of the direction we’d like to go. So it’ll be a mix of draft picks and hopefully younger NHL guys that have NHL experience.”
The majority of the players that the Canucks have targeted — Ethan Bear, and even Andrei Kuzmenko and Ilya Mikheyev come to mind — since Rutherford joined the organization have all fit this description, and for the most part, have all been good additions to the team.
Rutherford added that he feels the Canucks’ core doesn’t need changing, that instead, it’s the “other players on the team” that need to be changed.
Rutherford said lots today and was in no hurry to escape the media availability. We’ll have a full recap of Rutherford’s press conference dropping shortly.

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