1st off, this is a long post, so if you don't wanna read it, don't. move on... or I guess you could comment about how long it is like a jerk.
The Canucks have always been a fun team to watch. However, there is an old saying that goes "any Canucks fan, is an angry Canucks fan". Mostly because we seem to be going along fine, or good, sometimes even great, then the wheels fall off and we end up in the ditch. For this modern day team, which more or less has been together for about 6 years, the same things put us in the ditch, and we never see it coming. With a 1st round exit, and a lot of people are trying to figure out where to aim their rage/confusion. I've come to realize the biggest problems are ironically also some their strengths.
- Gillis - 1st off, this is his only time ever being a GM. so, he's amazing. That's all there is to it. What he has done for the team and fans (ring of honor, statue, state of the art everything for both players and fans to enjoy) It makes us look back to the better memories of the past and builds a very soild foundation for the future. Signing players like Sundin, even for a short time, has proven to be most valuable when looking at the Sedin/Kesler play since then. Lu was made our captain because at the time we had no true Canucks who were leaders, now, we really really do. We had time to grow them without giving away assets.
But trades are not the strong part of his game. Grabner trade blew up, not because he was successful on another team, but because we refuse to use the player we went after in the trade. The crazy part is, in the playoffs Ballard was one of our better players - I hope he keeps it up and the trade does work out. But so many bad things have been said and written, the best we can hope for is to break even.
The Coho trade was a fail. We sent 2 players, got 2 back, got rid of 1 of those, and the other will be AHL, to start next season. That's not the bad part. The bad part, is we sold out today for a possibility at tomorrow. How Gillis got told what to do by some kid (LA had the same type of thing happen with their back up goalie jonathan bernier who told the GM to trade him, and was not traded because it wasn't the right move for the team - he probably will go before the new season once CBA and Goalie market cleared up) We gave up 3rd line offence (about 33pts) and decent face off %, for no offence... Cody got about 8pts in buffalo over last 2 months, which isn't great... but what did our guys get?
We then trade for pahlsson to be our 3rd line "shut down guy", knowing little offense will come from him, and AV uses kesler for the shut down role come playoffs, even after he said to the press it backfired. I'm not sure if it matters if Kassian works out here, or Cody works out there. After the trade, our team was much worse. lowest scoring team from deadline to seasons end. Contender to not. No answer for offense when D Sedin went down. (hard not to think that if Cody stayed, he would have got ice time to make up for Sedin being out, and kesler would be your shut down anyway, it could have worked itself out) Either way, this is all just my viewpoint. I will say this though, the two biggest games for us this year, maybe even in the NHL, were BOS vs VAN and Van vs DET (when the streak was snapped) both games, we don't win without Coho.
I just hope, that when a trade is worked out for sending our elite goalie out the window, Gillis talks with AV about what players he would choose to play, because a return bench warmer is almost the same thing we have without the trade.
- Pres trophy and Home Ice advantage... means nothing. They didn't have a parade for LA because they got 8th and barely made the playoffs... Our parade for getting 2 pres. trophies is... pending?
- AV is the best coach, probably in the NHL, during the regular season. How he develops his players (who he likes) and handles the media is top notch. But, what about the players he doesn't like? The million(s) they get paid hurt the cap. Sitting in the press box collecting dust won't help our team now, or the players trade value for the future. However, like I said, he gets the job done.
But come playoffs, something happens. The other team gets beat in the reg season by our system, or not, then they go off to some other city. In a series, they adjust, adapt, and ask "how can we beat this?". For us, when the system works, we get really pretty goals and seem unstoppable, when the other team starts to figure it out, our message is "stick to the process" and, maybe it will work out. That's why a team like Nashville, who we usually beat in the reg season, looks amazing against us as the series drags on. How Corey Crawford can come back 3-0 on us, and have the poor follow up season he had... What's worse, is AV has placed (or allowed) those failures to fall on Lu and that is extremely poor leadership. my message to AV, as he will be here for 2 more years, read the ART OF WAR. memorize it. If you are going to be our general, then by god man, lead us!
- Fans - You're sending mixed messaged. You hate how Gillis signed Lu to a massive year deal and just won't shut up about it, but are mad that he didn't do the same for Weber? Get your lives together.
Right now, our history isn't winning a cup, it's burning down the city every time we don't. Yeah, there were just a few people who started it, and yeah the city could have done a better job of preparing, but once it started a number of "real fans" joined in too. Since then, you've gotten more classy, by running the goalie that got you there out of town. We used to be the fans that had green guys and screamed out O Canada, now, we are bigger pests then Burrows. You boo your goalie? Cheer when he is replaced? The worst teams in NHL don't have that happen. If you don't like what he's done, or him as a person, or how is name is cooler then yours, that's fine. But acting like spoiled brats is a sure fire way to make sure no super stars sign here. They'd have to travel more then any other team, live under a microscope and get hated on worse then dan cloutier when he let in that center shot. Do any of you remember those days? and you boo lu? Look at all the other sports teams around us - Seattle M's suck and if not for Griffey's existence, would have become another team long ago. Grizzlies left, Sonics left, no one cares about the Canadian baseball team (out side of some of the people that live here) whitecaps are getting bigger but still not there and it's soccer so, North American recognition is asking a lot... lions are CFL, so, outside of Canada... what I'm getting at here is, we're lucky we even have a team, be grateful that the team matters around the league, and lastly, HAVE FUN! (and don't burn stuff) because it's not our job, it's our passion. If we make it not a fun, happy place to be, the stars won't come, or stay, or play well. We all remember the dark days (Mark Messier in, Bure out) let's not start that again. Just sing O Canada and find your "Happy Place"
- Lu - He gave us the best 6 years we've ever had, has done more for the Canucks name then Bure, Linden and WCE put together (as far as making us an elite team), has stacked our trophy case with actual trophies, gave us a gold medal on home ice, like actual home ice, taking over when brodeur couldn't do it (massive event for all of Canada, no other Canuck was even considered for a position on that team. Kesler was kinda like Darth Vader, we couldn't allow him to win) Was our Captain when no other was capable... and we treat him like this?
Our recent failures have fallen on him and him alone it seems. Game 7 vs BOS we lost 4-0 on home ice. And vs LA this year, the only players who showed up were Cory and Lu. 90% of our team is from the Burke/Nonis area. We traded Coho for futures.... and goalies can't score goals, so those examples show it doesn't matter who is in net for us we are kind of set up to fail. Even with a brick wall in net, no goals for= a loss. And yeah, keep giving LA 5-3's, that will help the situation. If it really boils down to having to trade him to another team, that's fine, it's a business. But, this has been handled really badly. Mismanaged I guess is the term, by everyone from Lu, to the fans, to Gillis, to AV and the media. Even the team - if they truly play harder for one goalie over the other, then, you have a crap team with no heart.
- Why we lose in the playoffs. I still think bringing Manny back for the finals without having practiced/skated for months cost us a roster spot in a tight series, maybe even cost us the whole thing. But, let's stick with actual facts - If you look at the recent years, most of the cup winners have been teams that have knocked off the Canucks. Last Three years in a row actually, and I find this to be unsettling. Mostly because our team has stayed 90% the same, so, you're saying two things 1) we are good enough to win, but, we lost so we'll try harder next year maybe 2) we really have no idea how to "get better" and if it ain't broke don't fix it.... since it's been 40+ years and we haven't won a cup, i'm gonna say it's never been working. PHI, BOS, NY, CHI, CAL, EDM, DAL... all have histories of winning in the past (yes the original 6 teams should have cups) but even The ducks have a winning history, and we do not. No one can say the Canucks are Champions, so why after 6+ are we keeping the systems that never worked before? We have won things, and flexed our muscles in the reg season, and maybe that clouds the players minds come spring. Also, I'm not sure if it's because our team play is more like a EUR style then a NA style, but we don't have drive to win, no, desperation. Not like CHI had every year, or BOS. Raymond gets his back broken on a hit (dirty?) and there is no response, at all. You can't be that passive and win.
- Bottom line summery - Gillis and the fans both want to win, but in different ways and that's what's causing the tiff in Canuck land. Gillis is searching for that allusive Dynasty, of core players that win, and come with a great personality, not only so they get a long as a team, but so they act as leaders/role models to the community. However, the search is a long one, and filled with trial and error. He is searching for El Dorado, when all we want is a penthouse with a view, something downtown.
Another way to say that is, the fans just want to win the cup. Now. 30 years ago. If we had a guy like Pat Kane, who is young, rich and acts like it, Gillis would hate it. But, the kid's got a cup and was a big part in getting it. Basically, under Gillis and AV it's a mixture of being patient and sticking to the process. Those that don't like that idea, are going to mad for a while. Or, if you are a player, you won't be playing.
1. I really don't like your attitude
2. Even though I was born in 1998, I KNOW Bure, and Linden combined made the Canucks a better team with leadership, their quality of play, and helped the team rise and become superior.
3. I just watched a starting pitcher get booed in his own stadium about 5 minutes ago on TV, these things happen! (Red Sox vs Blue Jays)