Looking back on the stanchion-blessed Canucks team from 2011, it's amazing how quickly they rose and fell. 3 years before, they fired Dave Nonis and hired Mike Gillis as GM. Gillis brought in the empty shell that used to be Mats Sundin (bringing in an aging superstar captain worked so well with Mark Messier), named their goalie captain, worked with Alain Vigneault to change the league by exploiting matchups (even to the point of pumping up a players trade value by giving him easy zone starts), and watched his team consistently get eliminated by the Blackhawks in the playoffs. Then in 2010-11 almost every single thing fell into place for them until games 6 and 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
That team was obnoxious. They had infuriating players like Maxim Lapierre and Raffi Torres and Alexandre Burrows and a good chunk of the current Ducks roster, and everyone played above their head simultaneously. They dove and played dirty and laughed, and Vigneault smirked from the bench, and they won. You can trace back every single thing people currently hate about the Canucks and their fans to that single year. Getting the rest of the hockey world to hope for a Boston Bruins Cup win is no mean feat.
They couldn't replicate that magic the next year, with injuries adding up, and a first round Kings loss. Then the lockout happened. The Sharks swept them. And they fired their most successful coach and replaced him with John Tortorella. Even in a locker room filled with assholes, the players apparently couldn't stand Torts. They traded both of the goalies that won the Jennings trophy in 2010 and almost won them a Cup. Gillis was eventually fired, along with Tortorella.
Jim Benning is now their GM, and he must want to one-up Doug Wilson's moves after the reverse sweep. He's slowly getting rid of all his valuable assets and devaluing the ones he still has through inaction and weird moves. Why do they still have Radim Vrbata? Why were they not sellers at the trade deadline? Why did he trade for Brandon Sutter then sign him to a 5 year deal?
I've given Doug Wilson a lot of deserved shit for his dumb moves. And I've been frustrated by his lack of action on fixing flaws in the team. But when I look at the Canucks, holy shit, it doesn't look as bad as DOING SOMETHING no matter the costs.
Sharks @ Canucks
7:00 PM Pacific
Prediction: Daniel Sedin keeps his helmet as far away from Joe Thornton as he possibly can. Jim Benning announces that every single thing in his pockets is available for the right price, but strangely nobody offers him anything.