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Dissension -- The Vancouver Canucks


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Well, I wrote this out of boredom, mostly, after the disappointment settled in and the emotions settled down. It’s a long read, but whatever.

The gist of it is an attempt to identify why exactly the product on ice is the way it is – a losing culture.

Personally, I feel that the product on the ice directly reflects the problems that line the entire Canucks organization. There are problems top to bottom right now, and now is the time to correct it.

I won’t yet attempt to make too many suggestions on how to correct the organization at this point, because it is still very early. However, I will make it clear that I believe this losing culture will continue to exist until the players are shown that this kind of crap is no longer acceptable.

Dissension – The Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks have exhibited a lack of motivation, a lack of chemistry, and a lack of togetherness. This has been displayed on and off the ice over the course of the season, for this is not just limited to the players of the Vancouver Canucks, but coaching staff and the management as well.

There have been a large number of incidents that indicate how “dissension” is the underlying tone that encompasses the Vancouver Canucks organization, and the proof lies in the pudding that is the last two showings in the playoffs.

The question now isn’t whether or not this dissension exists; it has long been proven, since the misuse of Ballard, the mistreatment of Hodgson, or the mishandling of the Malhotra and Luongo situations. It has clearly become evident that there is a lack of communication between the coach and his players, the coach and his General Manager, and even Mike Gillis with Francesco Aquillini. Furthermore, there even appears to be a miscommunication between GM Mike Gillis and his assistant, Lawrence Gilman, which became evident on trade deadline.

At the end of the day, this dissension inevitably spells out failure on the ice; but where is this dissension coming from? Why is it that the players of the Canucks don’t care to show up to play?

Is it because the players themselves have differences in the locker room?

Is it because the coach clearly plays favorites?

Do the players simply not care for the coach at this point?

Do the players recognize the miscommunications throughout the organization?

Do the players have no faith in the GM?

Are the players here too comfortable?

Does the goalie situation play into the locker room issues?

Does the treatment of Manny Malhotra put a dark cloud over the heads of the players in the locker room?

Is it more than one of these things?

Let’s get one thing straight: the roster on paper is good. The on-ice product, however, does not translate this. Now, after two years of bad hockey, changes need to be made and some of our players’ trade values have significantly decreased because of the on-ice product that is a direct result of the organization’s dissension.

So what needs to happen now? Is shaking up the line-up good enough? Does the roster really matter when players are being mishandled so badly by the coach? Does it matter if the GM shows no urgency or loyalty? How motivating is it when you know that if a coach is mistreating you as a player, your GM will not step in and put an end to it?

Overall, the organization’s current structure is too far-gone to repair itself. The Vancouver Canucks need to be blown up from the inside out. The entire culture that encompasses the organization and inherently trickles into the locker room needs to change so that the core players that remain a part of the Vancouver Canucks moving into next season recognize that things have changed, and so too does their on-ice product need to change.

Prior any of this change in management and the coaching staff happens, it would be extremely out of place to make changes the team’s roster. There is not going to be a large change in the roster this year because of the salary cap decrease, which means there needs to be an alternative defining factor that shakes up this locker room beyond what any roster changes could accomplish.

Both Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault, including his assistant coaches, have brought undoubted success to the Vancouver Canucks over the years. However, as the organization slowly unravels after a disheartening loss in the Stanley Cup Finals, it has become clear as day that the shelf life of these individuals’ presence in the Canucks organization has expired, as they have showed no urgency to extinguish the rising dissension and losing culture that exists within the Vancouver Canucks locker room.

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I don't think there is dissension on the team. After I listened to Mike Gillis' conference call he has to go. He is in way over his head. He did not want to personally take the blame for anything. He sat on his hands for 2 years after the Canucks got beat up by the Bruins,Kings and finally by the Sharks. Now he says he finally gets it. The team needs to get bigger. Hellllooooo Mike where have you been?

He said the landscape has changed. Where have you been Mike?? He says the team has to be evaluated!! Where have you been Mike when you sat on your hands not trading Luongo not trading for gritty players. He did in fact the opposite he traded away gritty players or let them go as in the case of Torres. It was ironic that Torres got the overtime goal.

The best thing Canucks fans can do is vote by their feet not go to games till they change the management from top down. Atleast Brian Burke could make a decision and turned the team around when he was here.

So long Mike Gillis don't let the door hit you on the way out!!!!

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Well, I wrote this out of boredom, mostly, after the disappointment settled in and the emotions settled down. It’s a long read, but whatever.

The gist of it is an attempt to identify why exactly the product on ice is the way it is – a losing culture.

Personally, I feel that the product on the ice directly reflects the problems that line the entire Canucks organization. There are problems top to bottom right now, and now is the time to correct it.

I won’t yet attempt to make too many suggestions on how to correct the organization at this point, because it is still very early. However, I will make it clear that I believe this losing culture will continue to exist until the players are shown that this kind of crap is no longer acceptable.

Dissension – The Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks have exhibited a lack of motivation, a lack of chemistry, and a lack of togetherness. This has been displayed on and off the ice over the course of the season, for this is not just limited to the players of the Vancouver Canucks, but coaching staff and the management as well.

There have been a large number of incidents that indicate how “dissension” is the underlying tone that encompasses the Vancouver Canucks organization, and the proof lies in the pudding that is the last two showings in the playoffs.

The question now isn’t whether or not this dissension exists; it has long been proven, since the misuse of Ballard, the mistreatment of Hodgson, or the mishandling of the Malhotra and Luongo situations. It has clearly become evident that there is a lack of communication between the coach and his players, the coach and his General Manager, and even Mike Gillis with Francesco Aquillini. Furthermore, there even appears to be a miscommunication between GM Mike Gillis and his assistant, Lawrence Gilman, which became evident on trade deadline.

At the end of the day, this dissension inevitably spells out failure on the ice; but where is this dissension coming from? Why is it that the players of the Canucks don’t care to show up to play?

Is it because the players themselves have differences in the locker room?

Is it because the coach clearly plays favorites?

Do the players simply not care for the coach at this point?

Do the players recognize the miscommunications throughout the organization?

Do the players have no faith in the GM?

Are the players here too comfortable?

Does the goalie situation play into the locker room issues?

Does the treatment of Manny Malhotra put a dark cloud over the heads of the players in the locker room?

Is it more than one of these things?

Let’s get one thing straight: the roster on paper is good. The on-ice product, however, does not translate this. Now, after two years of bad hockey, changes need to be made and some of our players’ trade values have significantly decreased because of the on-ice product that is a direct result of the organization’s dissension.

So what needs to happen now? Is shaking up the line-up good enough? Does the roster really matter when players are being mishandled so badly by the coach? Does it matter if the GM shows no urgency or loyalty? How motivating is it when you know that if a coach is mistreating you as a player, your GM will not step in and put an end to it?

Overall, the organization’s current structure is too far-gone to repair itself. The Vancouver Canucks need to be blown up from the inside out. The entire culture that encompasses the organization and inherently trickles into the locker room needs to change so that the core players that remain a part of the Vancouver Canucks moving into next season recognize that things have changed, and so too does their on-ice product need to change.

Prior any of this change in management and the coaching staff happens, it would be extremely out of place to make changes the team’s roster. There is not going to be a large change in the roster this year because of the salary cap decrease, which means there needs to be an alternative defining factor that shakes up this locker room beyond what any roster changes could accomplish.

Both Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault, including his assistant coaches, have brought undoubted success to the Vancouver Canucks over the years. However, as the organization slowly unravels after a disheartening loss in the Stanley Cup Finals, it has become clear as day that the shelf life of these individuals’ presence in the Canucks organization has expired, as they have showed no urgency to extinguish the rising dissension and losing culture that exists within the Vancouver Canucks locker room.

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It has clearly become evident that there is a lack of communication between the coach and his players, the coach and his General Manager, and even Mike Gillis with Francesco Aquillini. Furthermore, there even appears to be a miscommunication between GM Mike Gillis and his assistant, Lawrence Gilman, which became evident on trade deadline.

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"so what do you think, then? That the on-ice product was simply a result of injuries and bad reffing? "

Nope for the most part the rules were called differently to how they were called the previous season....not by the officials but by the league. We went into the season with a roster which was not conducive to winning and with due regard that was not MG or AV's fault. He thought it was either a blip rather than long term. There was a moratorium on trades during the lockout and then they had less then half a season to correct the situation. The first 10+ games were "what the hecks is going here" the last 30+ games was lets try and find a dance partner.

Terrible management by the NHL....left a lot of fans ticked off

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"so what do you think, then? That the on-ice product was simply a result of injuries and bad reffing? "

Nope for the most part the rules were called differently to how they were called the previous season....not by the officials but by the league. We went into the season with a roster which was not conducive to winning and with due regard that was not MG or AV's fault. He thought it was either a blip rather than long term. There was a moratorium on trades during the lockout and then they had less then half a season to correct the situation. The first 10+ games were "what the hecks is going here" the last 30+ games was lets try and find a dance partner.

Terrible management by the NHL....left a lot of fans ticked off

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I don't agree that it's a losing culture. The proof is the constant playoff appearances, various division titles and a pair of presidents trophies.

It's really a simple matter of this team not being a playoff team. One huge reason for that is an inability to bring a strategy/product that is effective in a series scenario.

Sure, they can win any given game against any given team, but in series play, there has been one instance of advancing beyond round 1, and even that was very lucky (beauty ot Burr goal).

To say there is a culture of losing is to not admit that your disappointment is still clouding your perspective.

The sky is not falling. It's just time for a real coach and time to replace any and all fringe/bubble players with better ones. Simple as that.

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Status quo much? You think the Canucks should continue to move in the same direction as they have been in the last two years, just because of one showing at the finals? Because that direction since those finals is nothing but downhill...

Seriously, I don't understand how you can sit there and continue about your way, thinking to yourself that there is nothing wrong. This kind of thing happens. Teams need a shake up once in a while. In the last two years, the Canucks management have become too comfortable as a result of a showing in the finals. Since then, they've brushed all their issues under the carpet.

That carpet is mighty lumpy, now. The only way to fix it is to pick it up, take it outside to the back porch, beat and shake it relentlessly, and lay it back down.

You and your ilk would rather just continue to walk over your dirty, lumpy rug and wonder why you're nose is always running.

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This.

We have been built to maximize regular season success over the past few years. The extent to which we play match-ups through the course of the season (the most specialized zone starts in the league) pumps up the numbers and those numbers simply don't translate to the postseason where teams can hone in on their own match-ups over a seven game series. On top of that, we have played a very high-risk style (very little support for Dmen in their own zone - this changed a little bit this year as the team started to drop a forward back more often but the adjustment may have caused more problems than it solved). To me it seems that in the playoffs teams prepare for and limit our breakout, causing that risk to rear its head far more often than the rewarding odd man rushes that are supposed to accompany it.

The biggest thing that stands out to me when I watch the Canucks is how formulaic they have become. They repeat the same plays until they stop working instead of constantly trying new things from a simple base. I think what it comes down to is that the system is overly complicated:

I saw a lot of miscommunication between the forwards and D this year, and it continued in the playoffs - there was a loose puck on the half-boards in our Dzone after a good defensive play. Burrows turned to break out of the zone while Edler dropped back for a second expecting Burrows to come and collect the puck. I actually forget how this play ended up but I found such a basic miscommunication to be startling for playoff hockey. This year we started to bring forwards back at times to support the D and I think this was an instance of two very smart players getting lost in the adjustments that had been made to the system.

The drop pass has been demonized by many people, but I haven't seen much regarding the initial setup for the power-play upon entering the zone. They almost always enter the zone, and drop a pass off to the corner at the blue-line. A lot of the time, teams struggle to adjust to the change in passing angles. The Sharks however, had clearly identified this pass as a weakness as they continually had their top forward jump the player at the blueline corner. At times we saw Roy use this predictability to create dangling room on the entry but it was all too rare for the rest of the team.

The Canucks have become over-reliant on the system and that's why I think a coaching change would almost instantly revitalize this team. That is the greatest "shake-up" they can get - something that will put every player on the ice in new positions, doing new things. I am less concerned with who the coach is than the system he implements. We don't have the players to emulate the dump and check style of the Kings or other teams like that. I would like to see something more akin to Detroit - a puck possession style with close support that allows them to play at different speeds while having the freedom to aggressively capitalize on openings (the Canucks current stretch-pass style only seems effective when at full throttle).

For those clamoring for a rebuild/retool with trading core players (Edler, Burrows, etc.) for youth... This team has a lot of talent. It would be foolish to waste it going backwards. We are potentially going to see guys like Gaunce, Schroeder, and Jensen with the Canucks next year and there is still plenty of time to accumulate more talented youth. Moving these guys for draft picks and prospects - the only way to get commensurate value for them - does nothing for us that patience wouldn't.

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"Overall, the organization’s current structure is too far-gone to repair itself. The Vancouver Canucks need to be blown up from the inside out."

I'm with Baggins on this one.

This team's had some psychological hurdles to overcome as well as injuries that have made it hard to really get things going.

The last couple of years they've been in the mix, but really stood little chance with the way the games played out. I'd hate to give up on them now that they've got the experience of having endured that and have been learning how to adjust and adapt. Gillis hinted at that - that they will. Minor tweaks, maybe, but nothing substantial needs doing in my mind.

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