With the sole intent of expressing my opinion and to raise enough eyebrows to thwart nasty responses; I have decided to write a blog about the Canucks as a whole. The organization, the fans, the forwards, the D, the coaches and oh yeah, the goalie..(s). I will break it up into a two-part series.
To be honest, for the better part of the last few years the Canucks have been a great team to follow as a fan. Couple shorter than expected playoff pushes and a game 7 appearance prefaced by the best year they have ever put together. We haven’t been basement dwellers, we have been playoff contenders and that is what every fan wants, minus the golden egg of course. But at least give us a chance to play for it every year.
There is no doubt the Canucks organization run by Aquilini clan is here to win. They have put in place a GM that has brought new ideas to how a pro hockey team is run and has created an internal environment that has seemed to trend among all players in the league as a place they would like to play. And that’s good right? Maybe…
Sleep coach, trainers, chefs and the list goes on. You can do everything right internally to create a happy place, but if you don’t win the cup the city will riot. Yeah sorry to bring that up, but it is now part of the Canucks legacy as viewed around the world. What makes it worse is that before the riots last year the world of hockey seemed to have a hate on for the team. Why? Because some in the media reported so and the snow ball gained momentum. What if they had won that game 7? Less riots and more cheering in the streets, something similar to how the city responded to Canada winning the Gold at the Olympics and how that camaraderie was viewed as being something special for a city in Canada. The players would talk about what a great place to play and the media would have no choice but to follow, changing the view of Vancouver forever perhaps. But we digress.
Now the fans question Gillis with his off season moves with desperation, the city needs to win a cup and we need to win now. Why now? To erase the memories and show what the true fans of a diehard Canadian hockey market are like. Oh yeah and as the hockey bible reads, bring the cup back to Canada, where it belongs. The Holy Grail has been in hiding (or to help promote the game in the US), but eventually it will need to be returned home. At least if you ask most Canadian fans….
But is that even the case anymore? I know as a kid it sure seemed liked it was, but I am not so sure anymore. If you read posts, blogs, reports this past year you got a feeling that the Canadian psyche has changed. People didn’t care where the cup landed as long as it wasn’t Vancouver, regardless of the drought Canadian teams have been experiencing bringing home the cup. I think we can thank the crap media for that one.
Has the organization done enough this year to push for the cup? Well don’t read any blogs or media reports today as you would definitely think otherwise. Although I am not sure what else Gillis could have done in the off season (minus mortgaging the future) where we could have one more good run but screw the team for years to come. Think Detroit and the franchise they have put together for the better part of forever to read into this more. We finally have depth in the minors and depth on the team with a few assets to trade if need be. I don’t think we are in a bad position, but what will be critical this year is what assets are added come trade deadline while the Canucks are in the playoff hunt.
That is a great lead into the fans that I mentioned earlier. I get the feeling the fans are having a negative effect on the team. Let’s boo Lou, let’s fire AV and by this time next year Gillis will be on the block. The simple fact is that 99.9999% of fans will never run a NHL team or ever get close for that matter. Same with the media dorks that profess to be experts on the game, but put them on the ice or in a competitive game of any sort for that matter and they would have no idea what to do. Never mind that the same percentage of fans probably don’t even run large company or make difficult decisions on a daily basis that has millions to tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars in consequences. Nevertheless the fans still control the team more than anyone could imagine.
The pressure and the power fans have are never forgotten from the ownership since they pay the bills on a nightly basis. But how do you boo a goalie that took us to and arguably lost us a chance at a cup in well over a decade. How do you ask for a coach’s head that has lead the team to playoff after playoff appearance.
I am not sure why, but it is happening and what is the outcome of this? What is the outcome of the riots?
It has all yet to be seen or realized I think. But will players still want to be part of this team that has a brutal travel schedule, become the most hated team with fans that boo their players ask for a winning coach to be fired and in some cases trade away top scorers in the NHL along with some supporting cast? This is where I have trouble with it all. The media needs stories to survive when there isn’t any news worthy stuff to talk about they look for whatever they can leech onto. Vancouver as the most hated team was started by media and fed on by fans around North America. As much as I think the fans have helped to make the team great through supporting sellout crowds buying memorabilia etc, they are going to be the same fans that cripple the team.
Think of how players around the league view the team and how that has an impact on attracting players like Hamhuis who simply waited to sign in Vancouver; this may be a thing of the past. We may have to start buying players like Buffalo just did, hope they win soon or that cap situation may be a fun one to deal with. Think Calgary. Have you read any of the news lately? Heard Lou take on the fans and acknowledge he knows they want more from him? That he knows that he wants more from himself? We are heard loud and clear, so clear in fact Kes ran to Lou’s defense. Fans need to show support, show respect and show dissatisfaction the right way. Showing dissatisfaction from a riot is not the right way and a whole bunch of other strong opinions may just upset enough players that they no longer want to stay here. Let’s not piss off Kes enough that he wants out too. Is it we have the most hated team or the most hated fans? I think it is the latter really. Thanks for that btw.
Up next, the forwards, the D, the coaches and oh yeah, the goalie..(s).