It’s time for the Vancouver Canucks to pay their coaches

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
2 years ago
Enough is enough.
To have this continue to drag on this long is simply asinine.
It’s time for the Vancouver Canucks to pay their coaches, and not just Travis Green.
Last year, against all odds, the Canucks took the Vegas Golden Knights to game seven of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a series the Canucks had no business being in.
Obviously, the biggest factor in that series was the play of Thatcher Demko, but the Canucks — despite being a worse team than Vegas on paper — managed to keep the majority of shot attempts to the perimeter, and bought into what Travis Green and his staff were selling.
So what changed between the bubble and this season?
You already know the answer(s) to that question, but for those that don’t, it sure as hell wasn’t Travis Green’s defensive systems.
Widely respected around the league, the Canucks’ bench boss will likely have multiple suitors if he hits the open market this offseason, and many feel as though the Canucks would be wise to do everything in their power to avoid that from happening.
He’s coached this team through a painful rebuild and showed what can happen once he’s given the opportunity to lead this young group in the playoffs.
You’ve heard it all before. Travis Green is this team’s coach and it’s a risky decision to let him walk.
But he’s not the only well-regarded member of the Canucks’ coaching staff without a contract next season.
With all due respect to Green, the Canucks’ current roster composition suggests that goaltending coach Ian Clark may be equally or more important than getting Green re-signed.
His contract expires on the same day as Green’s, and it looks more and more likely with each passing day that he’ll move on shortly after that day arrives.
He’s been linked to the Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, and a number of other teams around the league who would love to add the man who many consider the best goaltending coach in the world.
“Our intention is to bring the whole coaching staff back,” said Jim Benning in an April radio appearance. “Once we get a footprint for what next year looks like, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that we bring Ian back, along with everybody else on our coaching staff. I’m on record, I think Ian is excellent at what he does, he’s done a good job with our goalies, and especially Thatcher, they have a good relationship, and we want to bring Ian back for sure.”
This is a money problem through and through. It’s a case of an organization that saw sizeable losses through the pandemic not want to pay their coaches what they’re worth in hopes of saving money until fans are back in the building and revenue starts to build up once again.
The only issue with that thinking is that there may not be as many fans in the building as ownership hopes if the on-ice product looks similar to what fans were subjected to this year.
The Canucks aren’t going to be able to overhaul their bottom six or bolster their defence corps much further this offseason. The club will almost certainly need Demko to be firing on all cylinders all season long if they have any hopes of competing next year.
There’s a very real chance that allowing Green or Clark to walk is going to hurt the team in the immediate future — and for an organization that is hoping this season was just a fluke, that’s a risky gamble.

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