This is a reproduction of a guest post appearing today on Pass it to Bulis. I've put it on Battle of California as well in case anyone wants to swear at me in the comments.
Boned by realignment
A strong case can be made that no team in the NHL lost more in the realignment than the Vancouver Canucks.
Sure, some teams might have to deal with an increase in travel, or a loss of a traditional division opponent, or maybe even some tough new competition, but the Canucks lost the worst-in-the-west Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild, who barely made the playoffs despite playing in the pathetic Northwest division.
And what do the Canucks gain in place of those two loser teams? The Anaheim Ducks, who finished third overall in the NHL last season, the San Jose Sharks, who swept the Canucks out of the playoffs in the first round last season, and the Los Angeles Kings, who knocked them out in five games the season before that.
Man, the Canucks are so boned it isn't even funny.
Oh wait...wait, I was just thinking about it the wrong way. It turns out it IS funny.
In fact, it's hilarious!
A dismal past
Despite playing in the worst division in the West, the Canucks entered last year's playoffs with the worst shot differential among all the Western playoff teams. On the superstar front, the Sedins continued their steady decline in points per game from their peak in 09-10.
That's something of a trend for the Canucks, actually. The vast majority of the decent players on the team are on the wrong sides of their career peaks and are aging like somebody stabbed their Dorian Gray paintings. Injuries are a reality that all teams have to deal with, but they can be especially troublesome for a team like the Canucks with so many important players closer to the grave than they are to their rookie seasons.
"BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR YOUNG TALENT?!" Canucks fans are probably screaming at the computer while contemplating a leap out of their windows. Well don't worry, I'm getting to that.
The Vancouver Canucks have the fourth-worst prospect pool in the league. The only halfway-decent forward the team has under the age of 25 is Zack Kassian, who was recently revealed to be a bit of a psychopathic thug, so good luck with that. Also, I'm not sure if YOU remember the stats from the Canucks - Sharks playoff series this past post-season, but since I haven't stopped looking at those stats since the series ended (except for during my brief refractory periods) I'll be happy to refresh your memory:
Zack Kassian in the 2012-2013 NHL Playoffs:
Games played: 4
Good stuff, huh? Clearly he's ready to lead the team into a bright future.
At least their brilliant GM got rid of that punk Corey Schneider though, right? Obviously HE was the problem.
A dismal future
Things are only going to get worse for the Canucks from here, folks.
Now that they've officially joined the California is the Best Division, the Canucks are in for a world of hurt. With so many more games per year against the quality teams of California, Vancouver will be lucky to even make the playoffs. And, honestly, that might be for the best. This team has been propped up for several seasons now by too many easy regular season points from lousy division opponents, and this has allowed them to ignore the glaring issues with their roster long past the point when they should have started making changes.
Now, with California pounding their faces into the mud over and over and over again, maybe the Canucks will finally have to face reality.
Welcome to California
Finally, in my capacity representing the glorious Golden State, I would be remiss if I didn't take this time to offer the Canucks a cordial welcome to California's division.
Why the city of Vancouver is worse than...
So many movies and TV shows film in Vancouver that it has given itself the pathetic nickname "Hollywood North." Production companies love to film in Vancouver because it's cheap and unremarkable. It's a city where things are FILMED but never ever SET. Vancouver's most marketable trait is its ability to resemble other places. The city's most distinguishing characteristic is a total lack of character.
San Jose was named after Saint Joseph, who, I'm told, was kind of a big deal.
Vancouver was named after a big fat failure of an explorer whose most notable accomplishment was being beaten up in the street by a political opponent.
Advantage: San Jose.
How many Disneylands does Vancouver have again? Is it less than 1?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Enjoy California on those long road trips, Canucks players! I know it might be tempting to ditch your lousy team while in California and go start a new life in the best place in the world, but please don't. We already have Dave Foley. We don't need any more Canadians.
The Canucks are totally and absolutely doomed this season, as well as for the foreseeable future.
But at least they can be happy that they aren't the Flames, right?