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[Your call] What went wrong with the Canucks?


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Over the past few days everyone seems to be asking the same question in the Lower mainland. What went wrong with the Canucks?

In my opinion the troubles started in June last year at the draft when a deal was not completed which would have sent Roberto Luongo to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ever since then, the Canucks have been playing what I like to call "bridesmaid syndrome". This is where they got close but couldnt make the move. One of the biggest things the Canucks wanted was a young puck moving dman. Logically they targeted Justin Schultz. They lost him to the Oilers. The Canucks then went hard after Shea Weber as they didn't see there D as adequate. They did not sign him to an offer sheet rather Philly did. The only move the Canucks successfully made in July was signing Jason Garrison to a 6 yr deal. The numbers were fair but the length was not. I see this deal biting the Canucks in the rear end whenever they decide to rebuild.

The Canucks then went on to target Shane Doan who they also ended up losing. In the mean time, Luongo had still not been dealt. Due to the lockout things became in a standstill. Once it was over the Canucks tried to deal Luongo yet again. Hoiwever, they failed once more.

So prior to the first game of the season the Canucks had a defensive core they thought was not good enough (if it was they wouldnt have targeted Weber or Schultz), an offence which lacked a David Booth and Ryan Kesler while still not being strong enough (why would they go after Doan otherwise) and a goaltending controversy. The team going in was not exactly a great mix ready to make some big moves.

Luckily for the Canucks they were able to keep there head above the water in some miraculous fashion. Through two Kesler and Booth injuries they were still decent. However, major issues came to the forefront which will became two of the small last things which cost AV his job. First was the misuse of Zack Kassian. He started off with the twins but then went on the 2nd/3rd/4th lines respectively. When given a chance Kassian showed he could play. However, he was never given a chance. The second was the under utilization of Jordan Schroeder. Originally the Canucks went with Ebbet over Schreoder. When that failed AV called up Schreoder and shoved him on the third line while a guy who wasnt center (Burrows) was playing center on the second line. Not exactly the healthiest way to grow young players. Additionally, the goaltender controversy continued. Luongo was not dealt and it seemed that both goalies always played similarly When 1 was good so was the other. When 1 was bad so was the other.

So now lets go to the trade deadline which highlights the problems the Canucks faced. First they decided to get Derek Roy for a HIGH price in a 2nd rnd pick and Kevin Connauton while very well knowing Roy would not sign for less than 6.5 mill per in the off season. Oh did I also mention there were issues between teammates and Roy in Dallas. Not exactly the best third line center to choose IMO. Lawrence Gilman then went on TEAM 1040 stating the Canucks were all in. They tried to get Ryane Clowe but lost to the Rangers (bridesmaid syndrome yet again). They then failed at getting David Clarkson, Marcel Goc and Ruslan Fedetenko who were ALL GUYS Gillis targeted.

So going into the post season push we had a team that management clearly did not think was good enough to win the Cup. Why try so many drastic moves if that wasn't the case? We had a coach who was mismanaging his team, specifically young players and a goaltending controversy.

I would elaborate on the final 10 games and the playoffs but truthfully whats the point. We all saw what happened and it was damn painful.

The point I am trying to make is that what went wrong with the Canucks stems more from management than the players and I believe it is time Gillis and AV paid the price. I feel this convo will be heated and I will provide more basis for Gillis/AV being fired but I do believe they are responsible for the failings this season.

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This year was a mockery due to a combination of mistakes both in management and coaching

Not addressing the need for a faceoff ace during the offseason. The team more or less knew going into the season that Manny wasn't going to play more than 10 games and yet they sat on their hands and did nothing, they did NOTHING to rectify the situation.

As a result, defensive zone faceoffs were taken by committee and rather unspectacularly I might add.

The change in the system to have the forwards play deeper also killed the offense. The Sedins need a transition game to be really effective and the team didn't have it at all this year.

Not playing Keith Ballard. Yes, he is prone to have some lapses, but he is also a proven top 4 defensemen who can skate and bring some creativity. He brings a lot of what the team lost when Erhoff left, the coach just refused to let him take that role. The fact that he was a healthy scratch for most of the season is beyond me and it all comes down to AV playing favorites. If Edler was held to the same standard of play that Ballard was, he'd be a career AHLer.

Finally, failing to utilize the players in their best position for success was killer. Why Garrison was not on the first PP unit is beyond me. Why Daniel played the point is again, beyond me. Andrew Ebbett centering the fourth line? And the list goes on.

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Most of the top 9 not big and strong enough and got boxed out consistently.

Booth injured.

Kassian not a top 6 yet.

Our D not big and strong enough, and did not play with the mobility and make crisp breakout passes they had in the past.

Lappy couldn't shut down, couldn't win faceoffs, couldn't score or make plays, and didn't even agitate.

AV didn't adjust to other team's defense, couldn't get his forwards to get into scoring position.

AV chose Schneider over Luongo in games 3 and 4.

Nobody except Kesler could win faceoffs.

Kesler played at uber beast mode for one game, and burned himself out.

Refs were bitches, especially that Sutherland bitch.

Daniel hit a couple of posts, 3 I think.

One more thing while I'm listening to players locker clean out interviews. They are still reminiscing the 2011 cup run...

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the moves that were made after the cup run... we needed a tweak and we let people walk and shippped people out. and our supporting cast around our core got worse... a weak division since then has some what disguised this team as an elite team when really the team as a whole has been sliding ever since scf.. and havent really been a cup contender since. gillis did a good job finding support players for our core when they hit their prime and thast what led to the cup run... since then hes shown he doesnt really know what this team needs and is incapable of getting the players we need and makes the few good moves he made as a fluke as hes made more bad moves than good.

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5 years of using essentially the same guys to go all the way. Came close but never made it.

Time to make some significant adjustments. This sweepage gives Gillis the leverage he needs to do whatever he wants. But whether or not his moves will lead to success any time soon... Remains to be seen.

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16+ million in cap not playing (23% of your cap not in use)

Luongo 5.3

Ballard 4.2

Booth 4.25

Malhotra 2.5

for 16 million you can buy and entire first line. (notice these are all MG players?)

So MG, final answer.

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There is so much talk about how the Canucks need better forwards but they are ignoring what got them to the Stanley Cup - Defencemen.

The defensive end has deteriorated significantly with the loss of Errorhoff and Salo. Bieska is an above average defenceman and the wear and tear from extra icetime has caused Hamhuis's abilities to decline. If they keep plugging holes in their defence with mediocre players, it will affect their forwards ability to perform. The media calls Edler a tradeable asset, but if they trade him they will further weaken their defensive core. The media is dead wrong.

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I think its not just one reason why the Canucks are where they are now.

1. It all started with the Boston series and the way that went down. The playoffs are a huge mental burden on the players and unfortunately the calls during those series were not even close to fair which has a direct effect on our core. - this is probably the biggest burden for our core

2. MG seems to consistently make the wrong trades and changes which are contradictory - not signing a few right-hand d-man, and not signing a proper 2nd and 3rd line centers for way too long knowing the Kes situation - MG needs to get it done and bring the right players... cant have Ballard and his cap space sitting in the press-box when the team is clearly missing players(this is now happening two years in a row)

3. AV is a great coach but his song is no longer listened to. The AV doghouse doesn't work and the guy is extremely stubborn

4. Reffing has been way below sub-par before Shanahan took the bull over. I know a lot of the fans don't want to pay attention to this little fact, but it is a negative fact which mentally players have to deal with regardless. - NHL is a bush league

5. The goal-tending situation was a huge distraction and we could have used that cap space some other spot

6. Mismanagement and shuffle of players by AV, guy can't adapt on the fly to different changes and techniques other then shuffle lines in desperation - changing goalies mid playoff to spark the team is a desperation strategy and a pure example of player mismanagement (not to mention Cory and his groin yet he was still played)

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Too many complacent players on albatross contracts. Soft and uninspired core along with a coach who's message seems to have been lost somewhere in the last 2 years.

You can also blame injuries and officiating...but meh, i'm tired of that. This year i'm looking at the team.

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