WDYTF: Fans support a rebuild and your New Year’s Resolutions for the Canucks

Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
1 year ago
Welcome back to WDYTF, the only hockey column on the internet to go 51-1-0 in 2022. Editor’s note: It’s also the only hockey column on the internet that the editor occasionally forgets to post on Thursdays!
Speaking of great runs, it’s hard to say that the Vancouver Canucks have also been on one this year.
Sure, there was plenty of good to come out of 2022 for the home team. Andrei Kuzmenko arrived, Quinn Hughes broke franchise records, and JT Miller nearly notched 100 points. Bubble Demko returned (and then went away again), Luke Schenn broke NHL records, and Elias Pettersson ascended into true superstardom.
But, yeah, aside from the individual measures, 2022 was not a fantastic calendar year for the Canucks, and they assumedly have many regrets.
And what always comes at the tail-end of a year full of regrets? Why, New Year’s Resolutions, of course!
You all know how this game is played, so we won’t demean you with the instructions. We’ll just mention that, this week, we’re asking:

What would be your collective New Year’s Resolution for the Vancouver Canucks, if you were allowed to set one?

Let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

Would you, as a fan of the Vancouver Canucks, support a proper rebuild?

You answered below!
I guess everyone has their version of what a proper rebuild is, but I am on-board with anything that involves getting rid of every single player on this team, no exceptions.
A River Called Curt:
Under no condition will Vancouver fans accept a rebuild! The entire concept of intentionally throwing away a few seasons would be anathema to demanding Canucks fans, who are used to hockey excellence on a nightly basis and deep playoff runs every season for the last decade.
Adam Smith:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
After nine years now spinning their wheels in attempt to become a consistent playoff contender and spectacularly failing, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror and admit that this “retooling” mentality isn’t going to work.
At this point, which ardent fan wouldn’t support a rebuild full blown rebuild? At least the organization would stop floundering and have a clear direction. Sure, there’ll be a couple more years of pain, but after the last nine years, we’re numb to sub-par performances.
I’ve been calling for a rebuild since 2014, so yes, I would support one. I was constantly baffled by Benning’s strange moves, like the signing of Loui Eriksson and other overly-long, overly-expensive contracts for underachieving veterans who did nothing but eat up cap space. And I wasn’t even a fan of the JT Miller signing, which I thought was premature and that they should have continued building through the draft for at least a couple more years. Based on at least the comments on this site and others like The Athletic, I don’t think I’m alone. Vancouver hockey fans are pretty savvy and they know what it takes to build a good hockey team. They want it done properly.
I think the Canucks have a window now where the fans will support a rebuild.
Last year on this site, there was a lot of commentary about how bad Green and Benning were, and if we could just get rid of them and have an extended run under a good coach like Boudreau…Well, we’ve had that and the results are clear.
There can’t be any fan left who thinks that a coaching/management change or tweaking is going to get the team to where it needs to be. The majority, I believe, will accept a rebuild, as evidenced by the comments on these pages.
If the Canucks announce a rebuild, I’ll go out and buy a ticket or jersey in a show of support.
I think the majority of Canucks fans would welcome a rebuild for the team, as long as it’s executed correctly. The keys to making this happen are communication, consistency, and sticking to a plan.
One of the best examples of good communication from an organization that I’ve seen in recent years was the letter that was penned to Rangers fans in February of 2018 from Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton. In it, they explained the choices that preceded their letter (moving out roster players for assets to help them in the future), before laying out their next steps as an organization, which included “adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character.”
They spoke about the pain that would come along with these moves, stating that “may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about and respect.” They made it clear that their plan was “guided by [their] singular commitment: ensuring [they] are building the foundation for our next Stanley Cup contender.”
At the same time, they didn’t burn the whole team to the ground, making sure that they kept the right veterans that understand what it means to play the right way (Chris Kreider), invested in young players that would hit their prime when their window opened (Mika Zibanejad), and signed a player in Artemi Panarin that could entertain fans and keep Madison Square Gardens exciting as their prospects developed.
The fanbase here in Vancouver would love to see that level of consistency and planning from ownership and management. If they were willing to execute a similar plan, they could rebuild this team properly, set it up for success going forward, and keep a very small group of the existing roster that will entertain us in the meanwhile. This is how you rebuild a team in a way that Canucks fans will embrace and get behind. If something isn’t done soon, they won’t have much choice in the matter, anyway.
Rusty Bee:
Canucks fans will be first in line for a proper rebuild, and last in line to pay for all the years it will take to do it.
defenceman factory:
Yes, I would support a proper rebuild. I think most fans were very frustrated through the Linden/Benning years, with every move that tried to short cut the process.
The fanbase will not agree on what a “proper rebuild” looks like. I would not support a full teardown, with several years of last place finishes. The approach usually doesn’t work as teams run out of money and can’t afford enough of a supporting cast to ever win anything. The other extreme doesn’t work either, where there are moves each season geared to making the playoffs.
A proper rebuild requires a plan. A team does have to accept some poor years and must draft and develop effectively. You have to trade out veterans for a few extra picks. Relying on just drafting will usually fail. You need to use extra picks to acquire critical assets and to move up in the draft to get the right players. You can’t just blabber on about “best player available.” You have to maintain cap space to sign or trade for star players when opportunities arise.
The plan has to be to build a team not just draft a bunch of talented players. You have to secure strong goaltending, top pairing D-men, and a couple top-six centres. No team wins without these critical components and you use whatever means necessary to acquire these core pieces. You obviously need good pro and amateur scouting.
FV Fan:
All long-term fans would support a rebuild as long as there is a plan and a patient owner. Newer fans, who have not had to endure this truly lengthy mediocre team except for a few Cup runs, I suspect would not support.
The Aquilinis need to show a lot more respect to their fans, versus just talking about it then doing the exact opposite. The games they play trying to squeeze out ticket sales need to stop. Period!
Be transparent and clear. Real fans want a Cup and a build to a consistent powerhouse team, not just to sneak into the playoffs once in a while and hope for lights out goaltending! That is not a plan.
I would support a renovation or a rejuvenation rather than a retool or a rebuild.
Would the fanbase support a rebuild? Would we return to the years of empty buildings and threats of moving? I mean could it be any worse than more than a decade of spinning our wheels? Wasting draft picks and not developing young players? I think at the end of the day, the only thing that the fanbase wants to see is some semblance of competence, and I’m not really sure that we’ve had any indication of that yet. Yes, so much is detritus from the Benning regime — but not trading Miller gives me real pause. For the most part, their pro scouting seems to have improved (Stillman is a bust, but Bear, Mikheyev, Lazar, Kuzmenko, Aman, Joshua, and Studnicka give me some hope). But this group has had a year and haven’t really made any kind of serious change to the direction. I’m open to a rebuild — but can this group actually carry it out?
Yes, the fans would support a rebuild as long as we don’t have to watch a team full of overpaid veterans mailing it in night after night. Just give us a team of marginal players with sandpaper on short-term contracts who are playing as if their career depends on every game, while the prospect pool develops.
I would fully support a rebuild.
I’m tired of mediocrity.
I’m tired of the team always at the salary cap but still losing.
I’m tired of the Canucks trading away draft picks while trying to bandage the team.
I’m tired of seeing our former draft picks turn into cheap awesome players for other teams.
I’m tired of the team paying players that don’t play but take up cap space.
I’m tired of the team never drafting defensemen in the first two rounds. (Only Olli Juolevi, Quinn Hughes, and Jett Woo have been drafted in the first two rounds since 2010)
Burn it down, start fresh, and build it right.
Trade as many bloated contracts as possible.
Fill the team with cheap UFAs that can be traded at the deadline.
Acquiring draft picks and prospects should be a priority.
Get the salary cap completely under control.
Draft defensemen. I know that you are supposed to draft the best player available, but the fact is you can’t get cheap young defencemen unless you draft them. There are always UFA forwards available. So corner the market on defencemen like Nashville does every year.
The reality is that the Canucks can probably win just as many games using cast-off UFA players as they can with bloated contracts like Ryan Miller’s and OEL.
Stop chasing white whales on bloated contracts.
Just look how exciting New Jersey is as a team. They did a proper rebuild and are reaping the rewards. They look to be a great team for many years.
Snowy Rain:
It’s been over 50 years already for Vancouver, as an NHL team.
I don’t know of any, personally, but it stands to reason that there were people who became fans of this team in 1970, who were already in their 30s (and older).
Many of those fans — who spent a majority of their lives following the team — have passed away now, without seeing them win a thing.
The answer then, is yes. It’s been more than half a CENTURY… what’s five more years?
As a fan since day one, I would support a proper rebuild.
Rebuild or I’m done. I will no longer support this team until it is run properly. This organization is one of the most dysfunctional in all of pro sports, not just the NHL.
Year after year, they plan to try to “make the playoffs,” with no plan to ever try and win the Cup. If you don’t want to win the Cup or even attempt to try, then FA needs to sell the team. It’s clear he’s the problem, he routinely hires terrible management and lets them destroy the team and continues down the same path year after year.
I support a proper rebuild. It’s truly painful to watch this incoherent mess night in and night out. Trevor was right.
Rebuild, rebuild , rebuild. Crosses fingers it works like Beetlejuice.

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