Ramblings: Changes in Vancouver; Vigneault out in Philadelphia; Updates on Barkov and Bishop – December 7

Michael Clifford

2021-12-07

The big news out of the NHL on Sunday night was the cleaning house in Vancouver. It is pretty funny that a GM that has been there for over seven years and a coach for over four got fired in the middle of the night on a Sunday, but the NHL has always been great at unintentional comedy. Not that someone losing their job is funny, but the league and its teams generally handle these things in the worst way possible, Vancouver here being no exception.

Regardless, there is a lot of fallout from this. I want to start with Ian Gooding's take on the firing of Travis Green. Ian is a long-time (or long-suffering, depending on your view) Canucks fan. He has a really good take on Boudreau here, namely that it's probably a good hire but it won't make a difference for this season; the team is last in their division and nine points out of a playoff spot. They are as good as cooked as far as playoffs go, but that doesn't mean there can't be a turnaround offensively. As fantasy owners, that's really all we care about.

I do like the Boudreau hire here, personally. This team has, seemingly, under-performed their ability for a couple years now, and the team doesn't seem to be getting anywhere close to the maximum from guys like Pearson and Pettersson. Boudreau is a coach who can step in and right the ship within a month or so. This team won't undergo a Calgary-like turnaround, but they'll be better.

Of course, I maintain that at least a few players from this team haven't completely recovered from their brutal bouts with COVID last spring. That is complete conjecture, and I don't like speculating on the health of players, but I also don't see any beat writers (from any team) asking questions regarding long-COVID issues so there is nothing we can do but speculate on the health of the players.

To that end, I have some hope here for the Canucks for the rest of this season. If we operate under the assumption these players are healthy – I'm not, but just for this exercise – there is a lot of talent here for Boudreau to work with. Hopefully it starts with Tyler Myers not earning the most ice time of anyone on their blue line over any meaningful timeframe.

Long-term, I'm a little less hopeful. We have to wait and see what the general manager search yields, but these things always start at the top. If the owner doesn't hire the right general manager, then it doesn't matter who the coach is; just ask literally any Edmonton Oilers fan you know. It is a situation where having a President of Hockey Operations can help, but that just pushes the decision one rung up the ladder; if you hire the wrong PHO, they'll hire the wrong GM, and so on the dominoes fall. Organizations need to be s