It’s another game day in which the Vancouver Canucks didn’t hold a morning skate, which means it’s another edition of us thinking out loud on a game day.
What more can you say about the Vancouver Canucks?
They’re a club with no clear plan in place, and have been for the past eight years.
This organization never committed to a full rebuild, and have already seemingly been passed by other teams in their division who saw the value in rebuilding properly and are now filled with young prospects and plenty of draft picks.
The Anaheim Ducks sit at first in the Pacific Division, and the Los Angeles Kings aren’t all that far behind.
These are two clubs who, going into the season, most felt like wouldn’t be much of a threat, on account of their best prospects not being NHL ready yet.
And while it remains true that the two clubs both have some promising prospects on the way still, it should certainly be troubling Canucks fans to see that these two teams sit ahead of the Canucks in the Pacific Division standings.
But you know who it should be troubling far more?
And yet, here we sit, roughly six hours before a game against the Colorado Avalanche, and all signs point toward the club not making any changes for the foreseeable future.
That is, of course, depending on how this homestand goes and how the crowd reacts.
The fact that the Canucks’ process in year eight of this management regime hinges on game-by-game results — even after everything fans have been subjected to since 2014 — is simply asinine.
Although, it’s certainly on-brand for an organization that gleefully admitted that they live day-to-day
when the same questions and concerns that are being asked right now were raised to the GM last January.
That alone is part of the problem — it’s not like this hasn’t happened before.
Just last year there were similar calls for ownership to take some sort of action.
And now, with their club in the exact same position in terms of points in the standings as they were at this time last year, it appears as though this organization still isn’t ready to make the changes that even national media are now calling for.
Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic wrote a column this morning titled: “It’s time for the Canucks to break up with Jim Benning”.
For almost eight years now, Jim Benning has, time and time again, shown Vancouver, the organization and its fan base, exactly who he is: a man truly unfit to run a successful NHL
It’s time to move on. It’s time to break up.
Honestly, it’s been time. For a while now. That’s something that many outside Vancouver could see for the majority of Benning’s tenure and each year it seems like a growing contingent in Vancouver sees it too. It’s extremely difficult not to. But when you’re so close to it with a heavy emotional investment it’s understandable to turn a blind eye toward it. It’s the hope that kills you and if there’s one thing the Canucks’ front office is good at it, it’s selling hope.
Almost every season under Benning has ended in disappointment and every following offseason has brought about aggressive changes to make sure that’s not the case next year.Then the cycle continues and it’s hard to fathom why it’s even been allowed to continue for so long.
Eight seasons and counting where he’s been given chance after chance. This time it’ll be different. This time things will change.
This certainly isn’t to suggest that head coach Travis Green and his staff deserve none of the blame, and the same goes for the Canucks’ top players, who haven’t looked like themselves to start the season.
Here’s how the blame should realistically be spread among the parties involved.
After flushing the prospect pool, trading multiple draft picks and going all-in, this is what the end result is. A club that, at best, is a middle of the pack team on paper that most analytics models projected to miss the playoffs in the first place. That comes down to roster construction, and that’s obviously on Benning.
But this middle of the pack team is playing like a bottom-feeder once again. That’s on Green and the players.
Change is necessary in some capacity, and there’s not much more that can be said about this team right now.
But instead of change, the organization is preaching patience to this fan base yet again.
In year eight.
Quite frankly, the organization shouldn’t be given the benefit of the doubt by fans any longer.
Fans have been patient, and look where it’s gotten them.
Puck drop is at 6 PM from Rogers Arena tonight.