Canucks fans are hoping for the team’s new management staff will make the best decisions so the franchise will one day be legitimate contenders for the Stanley Cup
GM Patrik Allvin discusses the Canucks’ off-season plans
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
The Vancouver Canucks are playing their last remaining games to end the 2021-2022 season. It has been a season that started with pessimism as the team played poorly, resulting in the dismissals of coach Travis Green and general manager, Jim Benning in December 2021. Bruce Boudreau has since guided the team in the right direction, but it may not be enough to make the playoffs.
At the time of writing, the Canucks’ record is 33-28-10 with 76 points—fifth in the Pacific Division and seven points short of a Wild Card playoff spot. Even though the Canucks’ season has been disappointing, it has not been a complete calamity. Star forward, Elias Pettersson, struggled in the early part of the season—receiving criticism from fans and the media, but he has played better as Canucks fans hope that he continues his improvement. Defenceman, Quinn Hughes, is a rising star on the Vancouver blue line—with incredible speed and offensive instincts when handling the puck. JT Miller has proven to be a top-line player that can make an impact with his leadership and ability to deliver offence. And Thatcher Demko has had an outstanding season, proving to be a number one starting NHL goalie.
The Canucks played the Vegas Golden Knights at Rogers Arena on April 3, losing 3-2 in overtime. Vancouver played the Golden Knights again, this time in Las Vegas on April 6. Vancouver was impressive in a decisive 5-1 victory with Elias Pettersson having a four-point game (two goals and two assists) while Thatcher Demko was solid, stopping 33 shots. Canucks coach, Bruce Boudreau, said his team was prepared to play. “For the time of year and what we needed, it was a pretty good all-around game,” he said as reported by Sportsnet. “The goalie had to be great, but the players in front of him were really good, too. When they play 60 minutes, they’re a tough team to beat because we’re usually pretty good when we’re playing with the lead.” Notably, the win by Vancouver was their first regulation victory over the Golden Knights since entering the NHL in 2017.
Vancouver will have numerous decisions to make in the off-season. One of those decisions is the status of coach, Bruce Boudreau. Since taking over coaching duties in December 2021, Boudreau has coached 46 games with a record of 25-13-8—and a .630 points percentage—as reported by the official NHL Records website on April 7. Though Boudreau signed a two-year deal with the Canucks, Sportsnet hockey insider, Elliotte Friedman, elaborated further on Boudreau’s contract during an appearance on the “32 Thoughts” segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “He’s on a one-year contract and there’s an option for next year,” he said. “Nobody will tell me exactly what it is but I think that I’ve kind of pieced it together, and that is that the Canucks have an option to keep him or not, but if they don’t, there’s a payment that has to go to Boudreau and also, Boudreau has an option not to return and if that was to happen, I don’t think he gets a payout but it would put him on the open market at the end of the year.”
Canucks general manager, Patrik Allvin, spoke with The Province on April 3. He discussed his plans after the season is over. Allvin also emphasized that an organizational philosophy he wants to incorporate regarding assessing players is patience. “It’s not a sprint to get to the NHL,” he said. “My biggest thing would be to tell my staff that you’re not going to find a perfect player, except for maybe one or two in the draft that are exceptional. We as an organization need to work with the players. We need to help them to maximize their chances and we need the scouts to see something in them. If it is their hockey sense, their skill level, their character or speed, we need to see something there. And we need to work with every single one. It’s on us.”
Several Vancouver players will be needing new contracts including Brock Boeser. As well, Bo Horvat and JT Miller are heading into the final years of their deals. “We have some good players here in place,” Allvin said. “I think every single player down there in the room have something to prove. We don’t have the superstar. We’re not a contending team right now. So every single player has something to prove to us. And that’s going to be the mindset moving forward.”
Lastly, for Canucks fans, they are hoping for the team’s new management staff will make the best decisions so the franchise will one day be legitimate contenders for the Stanley Cup. And instead of being runners-up in three cup final appearances in 1982, 1994 and 2011—fans are hoping that the Vancouver Canucks, this time, will finally be champions.
Other NHL news
Former New York Islanders sniper and four-time Stanley Cup champion, Mike Bossy, is battling lung cancer. Bossy came out publicly with the diagnosis in October 2021. On April 4, 2022, the Spittin’ Chiclets hockey podcast program posted on Twitter that Bossy had passed away. However, this was not true. Spittin’ Chiclets later posted an apology via social media, claiming the news was “based on false information.” Louis Jean, host for TVA Sports, posted on Twitter, “Contrary to speculation, Mike Bossy’s family tells @tvasports he is resting peacefully at home as he continues his battle with cancer. He thanks everyone for their support and asks for all to respect his privacy.” In a CBC article about Bossy, it was reported that he played 10 seasons in the NHL—all with the New York Islanders (1977 to 1987). He won four Stanley Cups as part of the Islanders’ dynasty (1980 to 1983). In 752 regular-season games, Bossy recorded 1,126 points (573 goals and 553 assists).
In addition, the “Boss” won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1978 (rookie of the year) and the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs in 1982. As well, he won three Lady Byng Memorial Trophies (most gentlemanly player) in 1983, 1984 and 1986. Bossy retired at the end of the 1986-1987 NHL season, due to a back injury. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991. Remarkably, Bossy is the only player in NHL history to score 50 or more goals in nine consecutive seasons (1977 to 1986). And Bossy holds the record for the highest goals-per-game average, during the regular season, at .762.
Canucks’ schedule this week
Tuesday, April 12 vs. Vegas Golden Knights (7 pm)
Thursday, April 14 vs. Arizona Coyotes (7 pm)
Monday, April 18 vs. Dallas Stars (7:30 pm)
Tuesday, April 19 vs. Ottawa Senators (7 pm)