After three seasons of avoiding the “r” word, Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden finally confessed to the media that the team is “rebuilding”.
The long wait is over for the Vancouver Canucks fans. No, I’m not talking about a Stanley Cup championship (unfortunately). I’m talking about this team’s willingness to finally get the inevitable-yet-delayed rebuild going, once and for all.
During Wednesday’s conference where Travis Green was formally introduced as the Canucks’ new head coach, team president Trevor Linden told the Vancouver Sun‘s Iain MacIntyre that the rebuild is happening:
Linden’s refusal to use the “r” word was well documented for quite some time. Daniel Wagner from Pass it to Bulis brought this up three weeks ago:
They avoided the word “rebuild.” When the word came up, Trevor dismissed the idea, saying, “Call it what you want.'” Later on TSN 1040 when Don Taylor specifically asked, “Would it kill you to say rebuild?” Trevor still managed to talk around the word without saying it.
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Well, there you have it. The Canucks front office has finally confessed to fans that they are rebuilding. This is something that many fans have been clamoring for since John Tortorella was fired three years ago.
The rebuild on the fly direction hasn’t worked by any means. Though the Canucks have indeed brought in younger players to perform bigger roles like Bo Horvat and Troy Stecher, this team is handcuffed with Loui Eriksson‘s big contract — and it may be too late to unload Daniel and Henrik Sedin at this point.
It just doesn’t work in today’s NHL. You either do a full-scale rebuild where you unload all veteran contracts to clear cap space, and you play the kids so they can quickly develop at the professional level. Otherwise, you go all-in, try to win now and bring in as many proven veterans as possible to compete.
The Canucks’ decisions to unload Alexandre Burrows for prospect Jonathan Dahlen, and Jannik Hansen for youngster Nikolay Goldobin, signaled this franchise’s willingness to restart entirely. This came after general manager Jim Benning constantly promised he wouldn’t ask his veterans to waive their no-trade clauses.
I’m also fairly confident that Benning won’t be signing for veterans over the age of 30 in free agency after being ridiculed by the aforementioned Eriksson signing. They can’t afford another bad contract on their hands.
So, if president Trevor Linden said it — and if general manager Jim Benning acted on it at the trade deadline — then it’s true. The Vancouver Canucks are rebuilding, and the fans wishes are finally being granted.