Vancouver Canucks: Fans Have Zero Trust in Management

Apr 25, 2015; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Vancouver Canucks players reacts to the goal by Calgary Flames left wing Jiri Hudler (not pictured) during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2015; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Vancouver Canucks players reacts to the goal by Calgary Flames left wing Jiri Hudler (not pictured) during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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According to a survey by The Hockey News’ Dominik Luszczyszyn, the Vancouver Canucks rank last in the league in front office confidence.

When the Vancouver Canucks traded prospect Jared McCann and draft picks for Erik Gudbranson, a lot of Canucks fans went mad — including myself. That reaction was definitely not a first in Vancouver, but I also didn’t think it was anything special. After all, Florida Panthers fans were mad about losing Gudbranson for an unproven prospect. Fans’ immediate reactions about moves their team’s management makes usually tend to be negative, right?

Wrong.

As it turns out, the Vancouver Canucks are quite special in that way. I am not the only one who questions a lot of the moves Vancouver makes. And other teams’ fans don’t necessarily feel the same about their team’s management.

In fact, other fan bases seem to be really confident with their front office, and Canucks fans are the only ones who really hate everything their GM does.

At least those are the results from a survey created by The Hockey News’ Dominik Luszczyszyn

"It wasn’t even close. Dead last in five of six categories and second last in the other. The Jim Benning era has been the highest form of entertainment for every fanbase outside of Vancouver and an occasional gift giving event for some teams. The team is lost, with zero direction. They’re one of the league’s worst teams and somehow find themselves close to the salary cap. They’ve made a habit of losing every trade they’ve made recently. They’ve signed questionable deals meant to make them competitive when it’s clear to just about everyone else they’re anything but. There is simply no reason to be confident in what the Vancouver Canucks are doing right now."

He’s got a point.

A four-year, $10.6 million deal for Derek Dorsett, three years and $10.8 million for Luca Sbisa, three years and $18 million for Ryan Miller. Trading one of the top prospects for a bottom-six center and another top prospect plus draft picks for an NHL defenseman. A six-year, $36 million contract for a 30-year-old forward that might take the team closer to the playoffs.

The Canucks are turning their roster into something quite likely too good to finish in the bottom five of the league, but not enough to make the playoffs. Worse yet, they give up young, valuable assets for immediate help, instead of preparing for the future.

More from The Canuck Way

Simply said, there is no clear philosophy anywhere to be seen. What they are currently doing, a ‘rebuild on the fly’ might actually lead to a playoff appearance this season — but what then? As soon as the Sedin twins retire or decline, Vancouver will be without their two top players and they neither have a potential No. 1 center nor a potential elite winger.

Things might get better for a year or two. But two or three years from now, things could look even worse than they are looking today.

To give you an idea how little trust fans actually have in Jim Benning and friends: even the Edmonton Oilers ranked higher in the survey. Well, obviously, when the Canucks are last.

Here are the remaining Pacific Division ranks:

Arizona Coyotes — 7th
San Jose Sharks — 8th
Calgary Flames — 15th
Anaheim Ducks — 19th
Los Angeles Kings — 20th
Edmonton Oilers — 27th

The Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames are the two clubs that are currently in a rebuild, and they both rank in the top half of the survey. I am sure the Oilers would have ranked higher 10 years ago, though, so we obviously have to wait and see how things develop in Arizona and Calgary.

Next: Jim Benning Knows Trading

Fact is, fans have little trust in the Vancouver Canucks — and it doesn’t surprise me one bit. A sample size of 200 fans from around the league isn’t much, but the results are exactly what I expected.

Oh, and sorry if the headline was misleading. Fans obviously have 2.91 trust in management, not zero…