The Vancouver Canucks last President was former captain Trevor Linden. After Linden left the team prior to this season, the team was without a President and remains that way now. Should the team hire a new President?
I remember last July, walking into work before I began writing about the Vancouver Canucks, and saying to my coworker who is also a big Canucks fan, “Did you hear the news?” With a look of disappointment, he nodded and said, “I don’t know what to do man, we’re a ship without a captain.”
A ship without a captain. That’s how many Canucks fans felt after the team announced that they had “amicably” parted ways with team President and former player Trevor Linden. I won’t get into all the rumours of backstabbing and betrayal surrounding the departure, but let’s just say, a lot of the reports surrounding Linden’s departure leaned toward it being a less than amicable one.
The Canucks played this season without a President, and with “Lindenning” no longer being together, the team of “Jim and John” — General Manager Jim Benning and Assistant General Manager John Weisbrod — were put fully in charge.
Ever since the departure of Linden, there has been much talk of if the Canucks were on the hunt for a new President, and who that person could be. There were some who thought it would be Ken Holland, who was just recently replaced by Steve Yzerman as the GM of the Detroit Red Wings.
The names that were constantly popping up the most on my Twitter feed were Dean Lombardi and Ken Holland. Yesterday, Canucks’ owner Francesco Aquilini posted this on Twitter.
That kind of puts a huge stake in the Lombardi rumours then, doesn’t it? People are now speculating whether or not Aquilini is being truthful in this tweet. But this article isn’t about whether or not Aquilini is telling the truth here. This article seeks to answer if the Canucks should be looking to hire a President. Whether that be Lombardi, Holland, Ron Francis, or someone we haven’t even considered yet, will be up to the ownership group.
I say it’s not the most pressing issue facing the Canucks, but why would they not want to add another great hockey mind like Ken Holland into their management group?
There’s obviously the risk of the GM and the President or others within the organization disagreeing with each other — in fact, many people reported that the reason Linden left was that he didn’t agree with the team wanting to speed up the rebuild. Again, I don’t want to get into all those rumours too much, but I’m just saying, having a President definitely creates the potential for disagreement within an organization.
But the advantage of having a smart hockey mind that Benning and the rest of management can consult before making a big decision outweighs any cons. The President can be a very important piece and can make some decisions that turn out being some of the best ever made on behalf of your organization.
For example, Linden is credited as the one who pushed hard to bring back goaltending coach Ian Clark to the Canucks, and we know how well that worked out for Jacob Markstrom. Clark is a hero in the eyes of many Canucks fans after the stellar season Markstrom put together last season. If it weren’t for Linden, Clark may never have returned to the Canucks.
So why wouldn’t the Canucks want to at least speak with a guy like Ken Holland if he chooses to hit the open market again? It’s not even a knock on Benning (as many of you know, I’m a fan of his and most of the things he’s done) more than it is a seemingly obvious decision to bring on a smart hockey mind like Holland to help advise the Canucks management group.