Vancouver Canucks: Dressing Room Drama?

Nov 7, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins watches play from the bench during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins watches play from the bench during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Vancouver Canucks played the Toronto Maple Leafs, a whole bunch of drama came to light.

It was not a pretty night for the Vancouver Canucks. Both as a team and as an organization. Their disaster on ice was surprisingly not as bad as the disaster off of it. After everything that came to light, everything said by the media, and comments from teammates, both current and former, one has to think that Canucks brass will be looking to do some damage control.

Let’s recap.

Frankie Corrado

As reported by Jason Botchford, Alec Brownscombe, and a slew of other writers, Frankie Corrado feels like he was wronged by Vancouver. After hearing the whole story, I have to say I agree.

Frankie Corrado suffered a separated shoulder and a broken hand in the Utica Comets run to the the Calder Cup final last season. He played through both injuries, only missing five games total to ice his hand after it was broken and then he was back on the roster helping the team.

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Because of these injuries, he spent his offseason rehabbing and as such wasn’t at 100 percent come preseason. As we all know, after a lacklustre performance Corrado was placed on waivers to accomodate the emergence of Ben Hutton.

I can see why he feels wronged. It also makes sense now why Toronto had him as a healthy scratch for so long after acquiring him.

It’s been long rumoured that Corrado was a bit of a whiner in the dressing room and not very liked. The Canucks pretty clearly had him marked as a target for a lot of the game which would lead me to think that’s probably true.

Even still, if a guy sacrifices all that in the post season for his organization just to have himself shown no appreciation for it and cut from the team, what kind of message does that send to the other guys?

Points to ponder…. but I’m not done yet.

Willie Desjardins

This one was embarrassing. Even for me as a fan. Most of what was said about Head Coach Willie Desjardins by the announcers was said on air, on TV, broadcast to the whole country for Hockey Night In Canada.

They made little comments like “Toronto ices the puck so the Sedins will come out to take the offensive zone faceoff. Or… you would think they would. But it’s Linden Vey.” or less subtle comments like “Coach Willie has been making some pretty questionable decisions for most of the night.”

But, there was also what was said during the commercial breaks that people watching the online streams got to hear.

Read: Play-By-Play Announcers Talk Canucks “Off-Air”

And that’s where it got a little extra ugly.

First there was this. Where they talk about Linden Vey getting almost as much time as the Sedins. Bo Horvat leading the team in ice time, With a couple quotes like “that’s where Willie would drive me nuts as a star”. And “look who’s out there after the TV timeout… Linden Vey.”

And then there was this a little later in the game. More groaning about Linden Vey after the TV timeout. And a nice little, obviously annoyed quote of “Willie drives me out of my mind” and “why not double shift the Sedins.” Check that one out too.

It’s pretty bad when TV announcers are calling out your coaching. Plenty of fans have debated over Willie but when the media starts doing it too? That can’t be good for Willie and the autonomy he appears to have in how the team is deployed. Especially when the fans wind up with a performance like that one vs Toronto.

I would think that the media calling your coach incompetent can’t be good for the locker room either.

But there’s more.

The media is calling out the Aquilini family too

They weren’t done with only criticizing the coach. They were also speculating that Canucks GM Jim Benning wants to tear down and rebuild but the owners, the Aquilini family, won’t let him.

This is another thing that’s been speculated on by fans. Clearly the media is beginning to feel the same way too.

Kind of makes you wonder if there’s any truth to it. And if there is, does the media bringing it up put pressure on the owners to let Benning do what he wants?

Definitely another thing that the players in the locker room have to be aware of. Especially the ones who are aware that their time in Vancouver is probably drawing to a close. Which leads me to my last point.

Does Alex Burrows want out?

Out of nowhere during the Toronto game, it came to light from Elliotte Friedman that Burrows said if he was asked to waive his NTC, he would.

This comment was later corrected and Friedman then said that Burrows denies saying that and wanted to note that was the case.

Friedman is not the type of person to just make stuff up though. Either Burrows was asked about waiving his NTC if asked and was misunderstood in his response…

Or Burrows did say that he would and then wanted to rescind that comment after, possibly after management came down with a “what the heck are you doing Alex?”

I’d be more inclined to believe it was the latter. Doesn’t make sense that they would report something like that out of nowhere.

What now?

That’s a lot of stuff to go down in a single game. And it all went down in a 5-2 blowout loss to the worst team in the league to boot. Maybe it will all just be swept under the rug and hopefully forgotten. If not though, I would imagine some sort of changes will be made just to save face.

Add on that Horvat is now injured as well and this trade deadline is really starting to shape up to be a soap opera.

Next: Why there is more to the Season than just the Playoffs

What’s your opinion on all this? Let us know in the comments!