‘It’s a country club’: NHL insiders believe Rutherford doesn’t love the Canucks’ locker room
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Gould9 months ago
Sportsnet hockey broadcaster Nick Kypreos shared some of his thoughts on the state of the Vancouver Canucks with Bob McCown and John Shannon on Thursday’s edition of The Bob McCown Podcast.
Kypreos, who also played parts of eight NHL seasons with the Washington Capitals, Hartford Whalers, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs, expressed his confidence that Canucks president Jim Rutherford will do what he can to make significant changes to the team this summer.
Rutherford, 73, joined the Canucks’ front office on December 9, 2021, only four days after team owner Francesco Aquilini fired general manager Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green.
“He’s gonna make a splash, here,” Kypreos said. “He doesn’t like the room, guys. Thinks it’s a country club in there. He’s gonna change it up. What does that mean to Miller, what does that mean to Bo Horvat? Brock Boeser, he’s not gonna pay. So there’s gonna be a different look, within six months, with this team.”
Both team captain Bo Horvat and leading scorer J.T. Miller are set to become unrestricted free agents in 2023, while four-time 20-goal scorer Brock Boeser is a pending RFA.
Shannon, a former Sportsnet analyst who now co-hosts McCown’s show, expressed similar sentiments on the Canucks. The full episode with Kypreos, Shannon, and McCown can be found here.
“He knows it’s broken. Jim has gone in there with a plan, he’s taking his time with the plan,” Shannon said. “The two key dates for him are what he can do on the draft floor, on [July 7], with a couple of his star players, and then what he wants to do in free agency.
“There’s gonna be a core, there, of Pettersson and Hughes and Demko, and I’m not sure who else. And Horvat,” Shannon added.
The Canucks finished the 2021–22 regular season with a 40–30–12 record, good for fifth place in the Pacific Division. After a slow start to the year, Vancouver ultimately missed the playoffs by only five points.
Despite missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, the Canucks have made only one top-80 selection in the last two drafts. The Canucks currently possess all but one of their 2022 NHL Draft picks, including the No. 15 selection in the first round; they traded their 2022 second-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes last summer as part of the Oliver Ekman-Larsson deal.
Rutherford, a former NHL goaltender, has previously served as an executive with the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes franchise and the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning three Stanley Cups (2006, 2016, 2017) during his managerial career.
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