JPat: Allvin sets proper tone for important Canucks off-season in year end address to media

Jeff Paterson
29 days ago
This article is a presentation of HelpStartsHere.gov.bc.ca
Good for Patrik Allvin. It would have been easy for the General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks to open his year-end remarks to the media on Thursday by highlighting all the progress the organization made over the past eight months. From personal accomplishments to All Star representation to a division title and year end awards, the Canucks took significant strides on so many levels over the course of the past National Hockey League season.
But Allvin, who was named a finalist for NHL GM of the Year earlier in the day, knows he was hired to win a championship and at the end of a month of fun and some incredible new memories for the fanbase, the cold hard fact of the matter is that Canucks are on the sidelines while four other teams compete for Stanley Cup.
Ultimately, the Canucks recorded seven postseason wins when 16 is the number required to be the last team standing.
“I’m not happy sitting here today, definitely not satisfied,” Allvin said defiantly in the media room at Rogers Arena. “We lost our last game and it was only in Round Two.”
Now, to be fair, Allvin was quick to point out the progress made and the rekindling of the relationship between the franchise and its tortured fan base. He acknowledged the significant work the coaching staff had done to bring the players together to produce a product that resulted in 50 wins and 109 points and a win over Nashville in the opening round of the playoffs.
Deep down, Allvin knows the Canucks went much further this season than most in the hockey world gave them any chance to. He knows that there is a base of extremely talented players in place and the club’s competitive window is wide open. 
But he’s also the guy in charge of the operation and it’s his job to set the tone for an important off-season and the start of next season. And he did a masterful job of that at the microphone.
“We’re not satisfied at all,” he emphasized. “You don’t know how many chances you’re going to have to play in Game 7 and my message to the players is that this is something you’re going to bear with you the whole summer. We lost our last game and it was only in Round Two and it’s just going to get harder.”
Allvin acknowledged the significant challenges that lie ahead this off-season trying to keep the component parts of the team together. But he also made it clear that it’s not about running things back with the same group and giving it another chance to prove what it learned from the seven game loss to Edmonton. Allvin knows the playoff shortcomings prove the Canucks have to find ways to get better.
He lamented the fiscal constraints the hockey club faced at the trade deadline and conceded that in a perfect world, he would have done more to address scoring woes on the wings. 
When asked, Allvin said a top six scorer and improved overall team speed were at the top of his off-season wish list.
And in keeping with his theme of the day, Allvin drove home the fact that the Canucks may have snuck up on some teams en route to their 109-point finish, but that won’t be the case next season starting on opening night. And he thinks there is still plenty of room for improvement in the club’s practice habits.
“Game One next year is going to be hard,” Allvin said of trying to back up what the Canucks did this past season. “The first half is about building up for the second half. And I think that’s where I saw some inexperience from our players that they weren’t ready to play meaningful games in February, March and April. We’ve got to be better there.”
Whether it’s getting star players to level up again, having other roster players take meaningful steps forward, promoting players from Abbotsford and spending wisely in free agency, Allvin believes the Canucks will find a path forward. 
They have to. Slow playing things after the team’s first true playoff appearance in nine years isn’t an option. With two years remaining on Thatcher Demko’s contract and three season remaining on Quinn Hughes’ sweetheart deal, the time is now for the Canucks to take their best shot. 
And Allvin knows it.
Make no mistake, the Canucks did a lot of good this season. As Rick Tocchet said after Game 7 against the Oilers, the players had put respect back on the logo and re-ignited the passion of the paying customers.
But if anyone in the organization is satisfied, Allvin made it abundantly clear on Thursday afternoon that they better think again. The GM knows the stated goal is not to play 13 games of playoff hockey but twice that many or however many it takes to outlast all other contenders. And while what we all witnessed over the past month was enjoyable, winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup is what really matters. 
For Patrick Allvin, it’s the only thing that matters.

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