WDYTT: Are the Vancouver Canucks in any danger of losing you as a fan?

Photo credit:© Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
2 years ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet to work exclusively on an interim basis.
Speaking of interim bases, there may just be a few of those occurring in the near future of the Vancouver Canucks. Nearly every position of any significance within the organization is currently being held by someone who could lose their job by the time the 2022 offseason hits, if not sooner, and a mass cleaning of house is all but expected at this point.
But if there’s one section of the franchise that ownership expects to stick around, it’s you. No, not you specifically, but “you” as in the loyal Canucks fanbase.
But can we really call you that anymore?
The 2021/22 season has been more disappointing than most, and that’s really saying something in this market. There has been plenty of talk of being “done with the Canucks” and even some whispers of hopping on the Seattle Kraken bandwagon.
But does anyone really mean that?
Well, let’s find out.
This week, we’re asking:

Are the Vancouver Canucks in any danger of losing you as a fan?

Last week, we asked:

What do you think the Vancouver Canucks should do next?


What do you think the Vancouver Canucks WILL do next?

Your wouldas and shouldas are listed below!
The Canucks ownership SHOULD stop meddling with hockey ops decision and hire an experienced POHO to guide the organization out of the wilderness. The Canucks ownership WILL do the complete opposite, shuffle deck chairs on the Titanic, and try for short-term fixes like they have been doing over the past eight years.
Burn it down and start from scratch.
Hire a Pres of Hockey Ops and replace Benning, Weisbrod, Green ASAP.
Listen to trade offers on everyone except Pettersson, Hughes, Demko, Hogs, Pods, Rathbone, Lockwood, Klimovich.
Every trade must include at least one draft pick coming to Van.
Sign McDonough ASAP on conclusion of his season.
Waive or demote all the duds and play the kids instead.
Then, wait patiently!!
Somewhere south of Blaine:
Trade Hughes and Petey for max value, hire a president of hockey operations, then tear it down to the studs and start fresh. We’re done for this year and won’t be contending for much beyond first overall, anyway.
Keep the heart and soul guys; about a line there, plus Demko. (Nice work, kid – you’re the only reason I can still watch!✊)
Quite honestly, it used to be I looked at sports pages first every day, now it’s like read Reuters or PBS or BBC and then get around to the sports (hockey) later . Hockey seems irrelevant now. One thing for sure: if there is a rebuild, that’ll be it for me. I’m too old for that and there’s no guarantee it’s going to work.
Beer Can Boyd:
Obviously, the answer to the first question is to fire Benning, Green, and King immediately. Not even negotiable at this point. It should happen today.
The answer to the second question is: the Aquilinis will stay the course with their guy Benning, because they are too cheap to pay two guys to do one job.
Remember the great bloodletting of 2015, when they got rid of Henning, Gilman, Eric Crawford, and even the Olympic team worthy trainer, Mike Burnstein in a four-day period? That was vindictive, unwarranted, and disastrous. This would be warranted, and could not possibly make the team worse than they are right now. We are seriously in LaForge/Keenan/Sabres territory at this point.
Juolevi may have been the player lying physically spent on the ice, but right now star players appear to be doing mental snow angels in the sense that they’re emotionally gassed and checking out. And, wasn’t JT Miller one of the leaders standing over OJ yelling “get up?” This is precisely why you don’t trade him, regardless of the riches he might fetch: we need leadership voices like that to remind other players — people who in fact are making more money than he is — to suck it up and figure it out. So, what do to: you don’t trade JT. That’s a bandaid move that comes with a high and immeasurable cost. You start top down: hire a President, who then selects a GM, who then selects a coach. There is no fast way to success, and until ownership avoids the temptation of reactive decisions, we remain destined to lurch from one GMJB hail mary transaction to the next. And when a locker room environment is toxic (if that’s indeed the case), there may end up being some surprise departures later, once new management decides who really should be on the Canucks organizational bus. Building a culture takes time, and it’s not done by moving player who represents the right cultural influence for picks and prospects.
Hockey Bunker:
Too late for this season so they need to assess whether doing nothing will cause longer term damage to the team by getting players accustomed to accepting losing.
I thing they will fire the coach and promote Shaw to ride out the year.
Behind the scenes they will be planning for a major house cleaning from GM on down.
People look at it as the easy thing to do, but fire Travis.
With the start of the season a continuation of last season, the coach lost the team a while ago. The players that were brought in have played well, it’s the holdovers that are doing nothing. They need a new voice and direction.
I am Ted:
Green and Benning have to go. It’s not too often a coach and GM last that long when the team has done so poorly during their tenure. Just awful. They’ve been given tons of opportunity to right the mess.
The new GM needs to be in immediately and one of the assistant coaches can take over on an interim basis. The GM needs to deal Miller ASAP. He has a bargain contract and is doing well. Term, performance, size — very desirable player. Canucks are done this season and need to re-tool yet again, so keeping Miller is pointless and he is 30 at the end of the deal. Canucks need to get some key pieces with this move.
Next, deal Boeser. He did well last season and can probably return to form on a team that isn’t a hot mess. Again, get some key pieces for the re-tool.
I’d also see what Hamonic, Motte, and Schenn could get. I would also kick the tires on a Horvat deal if it brings back an amazing return.
Target players around 20, high upside — we’re not going to compete now or soon so no need to bring in vets or anyone in their mid-20s.
I think I’m in the minority now that doesn’t think a full tear-down rebuild is what we need. I would start with a new voice behind the bench, as that did wonders for an underachieving St Louis team a few years ago. (No, I’m not saying we are gonna win the Cup this year, but this is proof a new voice can get an underachieving team righted.) I would also not let Benning make any moves without approval first, hold him on a tight leash. If we are in the same boat come Trade Deadline then, yes, we consider moving some vets, but not all. Young NHLers really do need vets around to show them professionalism and what it takes to stay in the league. My trade block would be Pearson and Myers (tough to get a winning deal) to get some cap space.
I don’t think this team is as far away from competing as it seems this year, I think most of our struggles come from our coaching/systems. The line blender in preseason and not keeping one of those lines together in the regular season, The line blender in the regular season preventing chemistry from building, and the fact that with quite a few skill players, we still play dump-and-chase hockey. With no forecheck. I strongly think a new voice behind the bench addresses a lot of this.
What will they do? Probably goof it all up.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Post-Quinn is a bad model; it’s tempting to “Mike Keenan” it all and burn it down, but that didn’t really lead to a whole lot other than a big mess; it took Burke and Nonis to really begin to build it back up and that was a lot longer. Instead, the post-WCE is a better model; Nonis was a good transition/placeholder before Gillis. I’d like to see them bring in an elder-statesman interim for GM and have Shaw as an interim coach before turning to someone like Boudreau in the offseason. But who in their right mind steps into this, especially at the upper management role, given the absolute disaster that the Aquilinis are?
I honestly have zero idea how to fix this mess since the rot is literally everywhere. There is no part of this that looks like it’s just waiting to turn the corner. A coach who can’t do much beyond a line-blender that allows no one to get used to one another, and plays favorites to boot. Assistant coaches who can’t teach systems to attack, defend, kill penalties, or score on the PP. A GM who cannot for the life of him properly or consistently assess pro talent or manage a salary cap. An ownership group that is cowardly, impatient, and meddling.
How do you save the players from sinking even farther into the morass? What does it mean for the development for any of the young players for us to be not just out of it before December 1, but to not even seem to care? If we sell off all of our underachieving vets, what does that even mean for our underachieving young players?
I have no idea how to extricate our team from this mess but there is zero question that the architects of this who can pay — Benning and Green — SHOULD pay because otherwise what possible lesson could the players themselves take other than there is no accountability for anything they do? I though I saw the worst of the Canucks in the mid-‘80s or late ‘90s, but this honestly is the least hope I think I’ve ever had.
What they should do now is what they should have done two seasons ago: get a new coach. I honestly don’t know why Green has been kept around. Why had he been lauded by media and fans so highly until now? I was disappointed when they re-signed him. The Canucks have been a tragedy with him at the bench for years.
Why do so many think the playoff bubble year was a step forward? The team was not going to make the playoffs if the season hadn’t been cut short.
I certainly didn’t expect playoffs for the team this year. But this….this is a real lark. It’s ALL on coaching at this point. The on-ice system doesn’t work; clearly. Hasn’t for years.
But what will they do? Probably stick to the same ol’ plan “just need a couple of more years.”
Kinda like the sign at the pub that says “free beer tomorrow.” It gets you in the door.
A River Named Curt:
Should do: Announce a sale of the team. The new owner will thank Jim Benning for his many, many years of service and replace him on an interim basis with a seasoned GM. Jim Rutherford comes to mind. The interim GM’s mandate will be to do no harm. Then new ownership will begin a search for a full time President of Hockey Operations, with the experience and gravitas to tell ownership to go to Hell if they ever attempt to meddle. Give the new POHO a hefty five-year contract, full authority to hire and fire the front office at his discretion, and a mandate to win the Stanley Cup during the term of his contract.
Will do: As little as possible, based on extreme short-term thinking. I fully expect a trade of our first round pick in the upcoming draft and maybe in 2023 for a couple of over-paid, washed up veterans in the vein of Chiasson.
Predictably, they will make a desperate trade to buy themselves time ‘til the end of the season, to make any major decisions. Hope, they try the roster — first — with a different staff before any more roster tweaking.
If I am the owner, I would use the current state of the team to see which one in the current leadership group (including the staff), will earn their termination or extension. Secondly, seeking out a voice outside of the organization: another owner or an executive that has a track record of winning in the NHL.
As for JB, I hope he takes a step back — and finds a way to fire his newly extended coach — before doing anymore roster tweaking, because Green & friends have truly earned there termination.
The constant turnover in the roster, with Greens’ tendency to have favorites, has created a locker room that is divided, with an attitude of apathy; and it has gotten so bad that it is showing on the ice. Also, the constant line blending does not help with chemistry, unless your names are Bo and Pearson. Green is clueless on what to do next.
Is Ted Lasso available? He did wonders with AFC Richmond.
Should do:
Hire a new GM and Head Coach.
Will do:
Hire a new GM and Head Coach.
Let’s face it guys and gals, this season is already in the dumpster and NONE of the personnel in charge will be back next year…

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