Newly minted Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin sat down with Thomas Drance for an interview on Sportsnet 650 Tuesday afternoon.
Allvin spoke about a number of topics — namely how his time in Pittsburgh prepared him for this role — along with how his regime will follow a calculated decision-making process that relies heavily on collaboration, which echoes what we’ve heard already from president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford.
Here’s what Allvin had to say.
“I would go back to creating a culture and environment so we can empower people,” said Allvin when asked about what led to the Penguins’ success and how he can try to replicate it in Vancouver. “Obviously the standards and expectations were high on the ice but I think the standard and expectations of the hockey ops people was even higher. There was no ego on the staff there and we all wanted to be better every day. When you win you know that everybody wants to beat you. So how are you gonna get better?”
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“I was talking to the staff here and I said after you win a cup, it’s a big relief. But immediately the next day you want to be better, and I think that’s something we talked about — how can we gain that competitive advantage? What can we do different?”
Allvin also talked more about the thought process behind the idea of having a collaborative decision-making process and leaning on the people in place to do their jobs effectively.
“It’s easy to go in and watch a couple of games and have an opinion [on a player]. That doesn’t mean that’s the right opinion about the player, so that’s why I need to challenge my staff. Every decision that’s going to be made here, it’s based again on the process leading up to the decision. We want to hold our scouts and staff members accountable.”
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“The first thing with Jim [Rutherford] is that I’ve been impressed with how open-minded he is,” added Alvin. “He wants to strive for success, he’s never satisfied, and I think that’s contagious for every single one of us working underneath. He really trusts and empowers staff, and he doesn’t just want people who agree with him, and neither do I. There are going to be some big discussions and arguments, and at the end of the day, we’re going to do what’s best for the Vancouver Canucks now and in the future.”
Allvin added that he wants the Canucks to be set for long-term success, rather than just try to be competitive for a short window of time.
The new GM understands that what’s gone on in Abbotsford/Utica hasn’t yielded much NHL talent and that to be successful — that’s likely going to have to change.
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“I want to obviously watch Abbotsford, I think there are a lot of good people in place here,” said Allvin. “Again, I think we need to just put an identity for the Vancouver Canucks and put a structure in place and get it to work. I think there’s a lot of work behind every successful team in the league, and that’s where, I’m looking forward to just spending more time with Ryan Johnson. I think he’s done a tremendous job and I want to help him with the resources but also making sure we have a plan and structure for each player.”
“I think you’ve got to remember that each player has a different path to the NHL, and it’s not a sprint for the younger players to get to the NHL, it’s a marathon. We don’t want them to be playing 50 games and you’re done. We want them to have success long-term here in Vancouver and sometimes that means you’re going to spend an extra year in Abbotsford before you’re ready.”
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Finally, on the topic of the trade deadline, Allvin stressed that the Canucks aren’t in any sort of rush to do anything in the weeks leading up to the March 21st deadline.
“From my perspective, I still want to evaluate what we have here,” said Allvin. “I don’t think there’s a rush for us to do anything here. We’re still five weeks away from the trade deadline and I want to take the opportunity to watch this team closely and get to know the players better. Obviously, Jim has been here for a bit over two months now so he has a better feel for the players here.”