The Vancouver Canucks head into the offseason and amongst the fans there is some hope.
President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford and General Manager Patrik Allvin have both said that they want to improve the team into a contender. It will be a very interesting offseason indeed.
The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has concluded with two epic game sevens that both went into overtime.
The Canucks hope to be back in the playoffs next season. But it shouldn’t be about just making the playoffs. It should be about building a team that can win the Stanley Cup but it is going to take some time for the Canucks It’s been 52 years since the Canucks became an NHL franchise and they along with their expansion cousins Buffalo Sabres are the longest a team has gone without winning the Stanley Cup since coming into the league.
This year, that hasn’t been the case. As Lachlan Irvine of Canucks Army pointed out, the Canucks would have been in the same position as the Nashville Predators if they made the playoffs. They got swept by the Colorado Avalanche after a regular season where Jusse Saros was among the best goaltenders in the NHL.
I feel like the bar has been lowered in this market for the last few years. Making the playoffs is nice but you haven’t accomplished anything. 15 other teams are competing and it is a long and grueling process.
In fact, the bar has been so low in recent years, that a minor move from Benning that wasn’t bad was praised. There were also times when fans online praised the Canucks for small things such as a good shift in the offensive zone or killing off a penalty.
Well, you can’t be disappointed if the bar is so low right? That is true. But the city of Vancouver is starving for a championship. Yes, the BC Lions have won the Grey Cup six times, the Vancouver Giants have won the Memorial Cup in 2007 and the Vancouver Whitecaps won the Soccer Bowl in 1979 (Which drew a crowd of 100,000 people for the parade) but none of those trophies are as big as the Stanley Cup.
It’s hard not to envy teams like the Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames right now. They have built good teams and look like Stanley Cup favourites. Those teams have set the bar super high and anything less than the Cup is seen as failure.
The Canucks need that to happen.
It’s kind of sad that the bar has been low for so long and it needs to be raised again. The goal should always be the Stanley Cup not just making the playoffs.
It’s not fun to miss the playoffs but getting bounced out of the first round isn’t fun either. This team needs to be built for long runs for many years to come.
With Rutherford and Allvin in their first offseason with the Canucks, it will be up to them to try raise the bar with the moves they will make. If they raise it really high, we will have celebrations on Scott Road and 72nd for many years to come and hopefully one day, a parade down Georgia Street celebrating the first Stanley Cup in Franchise history.
We apologize for the lack of articles over the past week. We have been busy. Some of us are busy with work, while others are out of town, dealing with other circumstances or simply taking a break. I was busy covering the recent Whitecaps home games for the Area 51 Sports Network among other things. But myself, Zaahid Lalani and the other contributors will get back on the grind soon and provide as much content as we can throughout the offseason.