The four biggest takeaways from Patrik Allvin and Rick Tocchet’s end of season press conference
By Noah Strang7 months ago
General manager Patrik Allvin and head coach Rick Tocchet met with the media today for their end-of-season press conference. This comes just a few days after the players had their exit interviews. This was Allvin’s first full season with the Vancouver Canucks and he hired Tocchet to replace Bruce Boudreau in late January.
While the season didn’t go the way that anyone inside the organization hoped, there were some causes for optimism. The Canucks had a strong finish to the season, climbing up the standings. It was very reminiscent of the late season run the team had in the year prior, one that they couldn’t translate to the beginning of the 2022-23 NHL season.
In some notable news, Jim Rutherford was not present at today’s press conference. Instead, it was just Allvin and Tocchet answering questions for just under an hour. Here are four of the biggest takeaways from what was said today.
Allvin talks about the team’s place in the standings
There’s no doubt that Allvin was disappointed with the team’s finish in his first full season as general manager. He made that clear right off the bat in this press conference, but he also talked about how the Canucks did not finish that far out of a playoff spot.
“Again, I think we are probably just five or six games from being a playoff team right now point wise,” Allvin said. “That being said, it’s a process how you do things. Yeah, you can go out and win games and come into the playoffs, but we all know if you don’t do the right things every day, that’s not going to be sustainable.”
It was refreshing to see Allvin stress process and sustainability instead of a “get in and see what happens” strategy that the Canucks have seemingly tried to employ in the past.
Canucks do not intend to use any buyouts this offseason
One of the big decisions that the Canucks face heading into this offseason is what to do with Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The veteran defenceman’s play has fallen off a cliff and he carries one of the largest salaries on the team. NCAA free agents and other cheap acquisitions looked better in the lineup than Ekman-Larsson has in a long time.
One of the tools that the Canucks have at their disposal would be a buyout of Ekman-Larsson’s contract. However, Allvin said that the intention is not to use a buyout at this point in time.
“My intention is not to use buyouts,” he said. “I get the support from Jim and ownership to put a competitive team in place here but my mission is that if you do buyouts now, that might affect you down the road. I think that this group is touching the surface of becoming a good team so I don’t want to use buyouts if we don’t have to, if it’s going to affect us in a few years when this group is hopefully taking off.”
Tocchet stresses the role of the leadership group in making next season a success
All eyes will be on the Canucks at the start of next season as they try to have a better first half. Lots of the questions on Monday morning directed at Tocchet asked him about what needs to happen for that to occur. One thing he did say was that the offseason preparation would need to be better for that to happen and that there was a certain trio of Canucks that were going to be leading the efforts.
“It’s our job to make sure that we have things in place for them to train but J.T. Miller, Hughesy [Quinn Hughes], and Petey [Elias Pettersson] have talked about spearheading that which excites me,” Tocchet mentioned. “Wherever I’ve gone, even as a player, the teams that come early and train together usually are successful so I give them a lot of credit because they’re spearheading it.”
Pettersson and Hughes especially have been stepping up off the ice since Tocchet arrived in Vancouver and this seems like yet another example of the leaders that the two players are becoming.
Third line centre is a position of concern for this offseason
The third line centre role is one that both Tocchet and Allvin would like to get filled this offseason. While there are some potential options inside the organisation such as Nils Aman or Sheldon Dries, one of the tasks on the to-do list for this summer is to get a solid option in that role, no matter if that means promoting someone from within or acquiring another player.
“Do we have that [a third line centre] internally or do we need to go outside to find that?” said Allvin when discussing the issue.
“That’s the one thing, my relationship with Patrik, we both know that third line centre is a pivotal role,” Tocchet continued. “Whether it’s a couple guys we have, can they fill that role? Or do we have to go get it. I’d like a guy to take some faceoffs other than Petey [Pettersson] or Millsy [Miller], that’s a priority for us.”
Some potential third line centres the team could target were discussed in this article posted recently.
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