It’s been a little over five years since Vancouver lost the seventh game of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final to the Boston Bruins.
The Canucks line up now is almost entirely different. Few, if any, would say it is better though. The club’s window of opportunity looks to have well and truly closed.
What is concerning about this is that the organisation’s response to this seems vague, as if they are simply continuing along the same road until the Sedin twins retire. A problem for tomorrow. As long as the playoff money keeps rolling in then why worry.
That hardly seems like the most inspiring sales pitch.
Home of two of the NHL’s powerhouse franchises, Pacific Division clubs also boast some of the finest prospects in the league and is bracing itself for the media tsunami Connor McDavid’ arrival is set to bring.
Whilst it may mean there are only two clubs with a serious chance of winning the Stanley Cup this season, the potential on display is tremendous and the Division may be about to get seriously interesting.
Realignment was not kind to the Vancouver Canucks, removing them from the relative comfort of the old North West Division and thrusting them in to the ultra competitive Pacific.
The end result was that the 2011 Finalists missed the post season for the first time in five years, costing Head Coach John Tortorella and GM Mike Gillis their jobs.
With new drivers at the wheel, can Vancouver’s ageing stars rally for one last Cup run?
Vancouver avoided another long winded goaltending controversy this week, waiving Jacob Markstrom and in doing so clearing the way to send him to the AHL.
The 24-year old was drafted 31st overall by Florida in 2008, with the Panthers pegging him as their future #1. Despite numerous opportunities to take the reigns, the young Swede was never able to convert a promising AHL career in to anything substantial in the NHL, and he was traded to Vancouver last season as part of the deal that took Roberto Luongo back to the Sunshine State.
With Ryan Miller joining the Canucks this summer, the organisation had three netminders competing for two spots. Miller starts the season as #1, and Eddie Lack impressed last season despite the circus that went on around him. As a result, there was little room for Markstrom heading in to the new campaign.
Given his difficulties over the past few seasons, and the clubs goaltending situation, sending Markstrom down is the right choice for everyone.
It’s no secret John Tortorella is under a little pressure in Vancouver right now.
The former Tampa Bay and New York Coach seems to be many people’s favourite to be the next coach to get the axe, as the Canuck’s have stumbled through the season, lurching from one crisis to the next.
Chris James and I talked about ‘Torts’ future on this weeks podcast; and again the question came up – if he was fired, who would replace Tortorella?
Lets assume for a moment Vancouver do make a coaching change this summer; given how things have gone in Winnipeg, should the Canucks be looking at Paul Maurice?
Chris James, Producer of The Steve Dangle Podcast and proud Vancouverite, joins me to discuss the Canucks disastrous season – including the injury troubles the club has run in to, Roberto Luongo’s trade to Florida and John Tortorella and Mike Gillis future with the franchise.
Chris and I also talked about:
- Similarities between Luongo’s ‘situation’ and Martin St Louis’s in Tampa (in which we referenced Elliott Friedman’s latest 30 Thoughts piece for CBC)
- Maple Leafs playing it smart at the trade deadline
- Toronto’s success this season (including Phil Kessel’s superb year) and their future
- The number of stars we’ve seen injured over the past 12 months
- Sidney Crosby is just the best
- So is Carey Price
- Marc Andre Fleury’s future in Pittsburgh
- How we can all be a little bit alarmist at times…
- And giving praise where it is due, dammit!
Thanks to Chris for joining me today. You can follow him on Twitter @ProdChrisJames.
As always; any questions, comments or thoughts on the NHL, the British game or anything else hockey related can be fired across to me on Twitter, @RobMcGregor35, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also ‘like’ One Puck Short on Facebook
Sportsnet 590 The Fan reporter, and Marek vs Wyshynski producer, Matt Brown joins me on this weeks podcast as we look ahead to the Olympics, as several teams are forced to change their rosters before the tournament starts in earnest next week.
Also in this episode:
- Kris Letang’s stroke
- How it affects the Penguins season
- Toronto’s roller coaster campaign
- Vancouver’s recent slump
- What the Blues need to challenge for the Cup
It also becomes apparent just how many teams Edmonton’s Sam Gagner has been linked with!
You can listen now on Spreaker
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Thanks to Matt for joining me. You can follow him on Twitter @mbrownSN590.