Welcome back to WWYDW, the only hockey column on the internet to figure out what the “it” in “Bruce, there it is!” refers to. (It’s hope).
Speaking of hope, there’s plenty of it to go around in Vancouver these days. The Benning Era has come to an end, and Jim Rutherford’s in control of hockey ops now, giving insightful interviews on the daily to re-establish trust in the Canucks organization.
On the ice, coach Bruce Boudreau has turned things right around, starting off his Vancouver tenure with a 5-0 run that has some fans dreaming of the playoffs once again.
Are you one of those fans?
Either way, you’ve got a defensible position. The smart money is still on the Canucks missing the 2022 playoffs. They’re four points back of the final wildcard slot in the West as of this writing, with at least four teams ahead of them, several of whom hold games in hand. With more than a third of the regular season already gone, it’ll be an uphill climb to the postseason.
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With that being said, Boudreau has the Canucks playing like a team that can make an uphill climb. The New Canucks show no signs of slowing down, and the teams still ahead of them in the standings aren’t that good.
What looked impossible a couple weeks ago now looks tantalizingly conceivable.
So, what do you think? Or, more importantly, what do you believe?
This week, we’re asking:

Do you still hold out hope for the Canucks to make the 2022 playoffs?

Record your answer in the comment section below.

How are you feeling right now?

Your vibe checks are below!
J-Canuck:
This actually seems like the right course of action. Boudreau has brought offense and fun to the room and Walker has brought some special teams flair. Walker is a future coach in this league and loves Vancouver. This could be the short- and long-term answer at coach.
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Now bringing in Jim Rutherford as President is a great step to finding the right GM!
I have looked forward to and enjoyed the last two games. Been awhile.
fv fan:
The Canucks have done a decent job of buying themselves time to get it right.
Boudreau is a credible coach, with the personality to match. Players respect what he says. Stan Smyl, I believe, can adequately hold the fort until a boss is found, even if that is just before the next draft.
I am hopeful we get a President out of this that pushes Aquilini away from the day-to-day. That is the key to all this, long-term.
They need to take their time now to get this last part right, or this is all for naught.
EDIT: Rutherford just hired lol. Tells me that he had input on Boudreau, but hadn’t signed yet. Old, but three years to teach the young guys how to be a great President.
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A River Named Curt:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
I’m realistic that the Canucks will not be a playoff team without some significant modifications to the defence. Nevertheless, Boudreau will have them playing a more aggressive and entertaining brand of hockey and we no longer have to deal with the pervasive, existential dread that Benning would always make the worst possible long-term choice for the franchise when faced with any decision related to personnel, salary cap, or asset management. So, yeah I’m feeling considerably more chipper!
LiborPolasek:
My feelings towards the Canucks: I still see them as FA’s toy that he has chosen to share with us, ‘cause the whole mess was mostly on him for assembling the past leadership group. But, in his written statement during his presser, he did say and send the right message about his role as owner — steward of the Vancouver Canucks. I am glad, he took responsibility for making the changes before a desperate trade occurred.
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One minor complaint about the presser is the reading of the statements from both individuals, ‘cause it sounded like they wrote the statements, but good chance it was proofread by the PR dept. Anyways, it seems they were nervous; I still applaud him for taking the initiative; and hopefully, this disastrous start will add an important lesson to him and others in the organization, about the importance of hiring and empowering the right leaders.
At this point, who he hires as GM and PoHO will say a lot about his future role and the direction of the team — wait and see until those positions are filled.
TheRealRusty:
How am I feeling right now? A mix of human emotions. Sad from a human POV for those have been fired, but they were all way over their heads and had it coming. Depression that ownership took so long to realize their follies and we are eight years behind schedule. Anger that our players have had no good leadership and are wasting their best years. Hopeful that Coach B will right the ship short-term, knowing that in doing so our draft standings will drop (but the alternative is full-on mutiny). Acceptance that it is hard to be a Canuck fan, and that nothing will change until ownership hires the best and butts out of hockey decisions.
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Then, finally, relief when I hear that ownership hired JimR.
Beer Can Boyd:
How am I feeling right now? Depressed and disgusted by the world’s ever faster rush towards embracing the tenets of totalitarianism, and of full government control over every aspect of our daily lives. But I’m old, so I won’t be around to see the worst of what is inevitably coming.
Oh, you meant “How am I feeling about the Canucks right now?”. Best I’ve felt in 8+ years, is the answer.
Burnabybob:
Until Pettersson gets on track, I will feel uneasy about this team.
wojohowitz:
It`s like night and day. BB (Before Benning) and AB (After Benning). I would think even Francesco realizes he should have made these moves a couple of years ago. The burden lifted off of employees, players, and fans is almost visible.
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Kanuckhotep:
How I am feeling right now? If it’s just about the Canucks, going from fan chants of “Fire Benning,” to “Bruce, there it is,” makes watching this fun again. Other issues like lame-brained internet conspiracies and politicians who can’t do their jobs we’ll leave for another day. Two certainties in life for me are Fender Strats and watching these guys, and I’ll enjoy it even more if they continue to play well for Bruce Boudreau.
Kunlun Red Star:
I was feeling real good about Boudreau and two straight wins. Now I wake up and find they’ve hired Jim {one trade a week} Rutherford as POHO. Without a GM in place, will he start making roster moves? In Pittsburgh, he was in win-now mode, much like Benning. There were some dubious signings such as Jack Johnson for five years at $31 million, and overpayments such as Brandon Tanev. He also moved 1st round picks, like in the Jason Zucker trade. My feeling now is somewhat queasy, such as when I landed in Dawson City in a 65-year-old DC3 with a 21-year-old pilot.
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neal:
I like Boudreau as he has brought about positive change. Just not sure if Rutherford is the right choice, his trades and cap management have been questionable in the past. Two Stanley Cup wins with a loaded Pittsburgh team got him recognition.
Any moves Rutherford makes should be closely scrutinized.
canuckfan:
I am hoping that Rutherford will not be hiring a GM, and that he has only been signed short-term to be able to train the Sedins and Johnson to be able to run and build an NHL hockey club and prospect pool in Abbotsford. After all, Rutherford is getting on the older side, as is Boudreau.
Not sure if certain players need to feel nervous about being moved. Rutherford and Boudreau will work close together on what’s going on in and around the team. They will determine if it was coaching that held certain players back, or their attitude. If there is or was a player that was bringing the team down, no matter who it is, they will soon be traded.
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The team will go on a run, which will make players that much more valuable. Will they make the playoffs? We will soon see, but if they do, all the players will have some value.
Lots of unsigned draft picks/prospects from the last couple drafts that will need to have decisions on whether or not the organization will invest in their future or cut them loose. So many players were signed on one-year contracts for Abbotsford and the Canucks. Will the prospects take their place?
The top of the Canucks lineup is looking pretty good, now to get some support/role players to fill out the roster. Will Lockwood or other Abbotsford players should be brought up. Rutherford would have a good idea on other team’s farm clubs. The trades just may be the lower-paid support players they will need in the next few years to keep the salary cap in line. Keep the draft picks, please.
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Atlas:
For the most part, the way I’m ‘feeling’ hasn’t changed all that much. Apathy had definitely set in for myself, personally, and how I go about my daily life is still the same.
My work, family, and people close to me, are the only true barometer in regards to how I feel every day.
Professional athletes, actors, or musicians don’t let my personal life affect THEIRS!
Defenceman Factory:
I’m ecstatic to have the Canucks out from under Green’s coaching strategies. They didn’t work and the extensive list of players who regressed under him is very long.
Rutherford will do a good job evaluating the work of the various functions; video, medical, capology, scouting, etc. I am very concerned, however, he is a choice to make changes from a short-term perspective. At 72, is developing a long-term and sustainable strategy a priority? Canucks management have been sacrificing their future with veteran UFA contracts and trading out draft picks. Rutherford may just be an upgrade on Benning to keep making short-sighted decisions.
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I haven’t read a comment here in favour of further compromising the prospect pool for immediate improvement. If that is what Rutherford is expected to do by ownership, the honeymoon with fans may not last long.

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