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Five things the Canucks could do

May 8, 2013, 5:16 PM EDT

Alain Vigneault Getty Images

1. Get rid of Alain Vigneault

The easiest change general manager Mike Gillis could make. All he’d have to do is pull the trigger. “You’re fired.” Anyone could do that. Of course, it also means Gillis would have to find a competent replacement, and that’s less easy. Does he go with an experienced candidate like Lindy Ruff? Does he look within the organization? Or, is there a young, innovative mind out there — maybe an assistant in the NHL, or a head coach in the AHL — that can give the Canucks the fresh voice so many believe they need? Someone like Adam Oates. Because if the Capitals’ offense can be brought back to life, maybe the Canucks’ can, too.

2. Trade Cory Schneider and keep Roberto Luongo

There’s no question Schneider would garner the bigger return. He’s seven years younger (27 versus 34), has a far less risky contract, and his numbers were better than Luongo’s during the regular season. But is this even an option with all that’s happened (see: the Great Canucks Goaltending Soap Opera)? Does Luongo want out so badly at this point that not trading him would create an even bigger problem? Or, does he just want to start somewhere — anywhere— in the NHL? Whatever happens, one of Schneider or Luongo has to be gone by training camp. There’s no question there.

3. Trade Alex Edler

The 27-year-old defenseman only recently signed a 6-year, $30 million extension. But as any regular Vancouver observer can tell you, there are games when Edler looks like a future Norris Trophy candidate, and games when he…doesn’t. Moving him isn’t something the Canucks will want to do, but if he could be dealt to, say, Philadelphia for, say, Sean Couturier, wouldn’t they at least have to consider it? Vancouver would still have three solid veteran d-men in Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, and Jason Garrison, plus youngsters Chris Tanev and Frank Corrado. If they buy out Keith Ballard, there would be more room to add blue-line depth in free agency or via trade.

4. Sign David Clarkson

The 29-year-old Devils’ winger is an unrestricted free agent whose toughness and goal-scoring ability could make for a welcome addition. We can probably assume speedy-but-slight winger Mason Raymond and undersized center Derek Roy have played their last games in Vancouver uniforms — both are pending unrestricted free agents. There’s also the potential to buy out David Booth, though the fact he’s injured may affect that. There will be lots of competition for Clarkson, if he doesn’t re-sign in New Jersey. So even if they do decide to make a pitch, the Canucks could hardly count on landing him.

5. Take a deep breath

What if Jannik Hansen hadn’t missed the open net in Game 2? What if the referees hadn’t whistled Bieksa and Daniel Sedin for penalties in Game 4? The Canucks were swept by San Jose, yes. They deserved to lose, absolutely. But it was a lack of discipline combined with uncharacteristically poor penalty killing that really killed them. Do you blow up a team that still managed to win its division without Ryan Kesler for more than half the season and without Booth for all but 12 games?

Gillis, by the way, will meet with the Vancouver media on Thursday at noon local time.

  1. colby7 - May 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Gillis is going to one of two things in his meeting.. Resign or start spewing BS.

  2. r4n6er - May 8, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    6. Fire Gillis. His acquisitions are less than stellar for a GM that says that he is in “go for it mode.” He gets Garrison, which is good but it is because he doesn’t extend Salo because he doesn’t want to commit to 2 years, and isn’t able to re-sign Ernhoff. He trades Hodgson (all the details still unknown) just when we need a third line center to fill in for Kesler as he recovers. He claims that Malhotra is now too injured to play just when we get some healthy players back and need the cap space. He re-signed Raymond. Finally, he is unable to lure any players aside from Roy at the trade deadline even when he has a proven #1 goalie as bait..

    • bcisleman - May 8, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      Actually firing Gillis should be #1 followed quickly by #2 on this list. The outcome in the Luongo mess was quite predictable and is alone cause for firing MG. Nucks never were going to get a big return for RL w/ his contract. Reaffirming Luongo as #1 and trading Schneider for an impact player should have been an obvious move. I’d let the new GM make his own decisions about a coach and other signings and trades.

    • 19to77 - May 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      Ehrhoff was a painful loss. Guy’s a great possession defenseman and the cap hit he agreed to in Buffalo is lower than those of five of the Canucks’ current defensemen – including Keith Ballard’s. Oh, and he’s better than most of them, too. If anything they should have jettisoned Edler and kept Ehrhoff in his place. But that would require a wiser GM than Gillis.

      So yeah, count me in the “fire him” camp.

      • kmad - May 8, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        Ehrhoff wanted a ten year term. Gillis was smart not to sign him to that.

    • ikillchicken - May 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM

      Nice article Jason. There’s a lot of nonsense being said right now and it’s nice to see a list with just actual possibilities. Obviously Gillis isn’t gonna be fired. He’s made a couple ugly misses (Ballard. Burtal trade) but he’s made some absolutely stellar pickups too and a lot of his other “bad” moves are really either way overblown or not really on him (See: Booth). And in terms of roster moves, there isn’t actually a lot we can do. Trading Edler is really the one possible major move we could make. But otherwise, pretty much all our major players have NTCs. Some people are talking about “blowing it up” but that’s really not an option.

  3. jernster21 - May 8, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    I wouldn’t want to be Vigneault and have to compete with the likes of Joe Sacco for the next head coaching gig.


    I’m actually surprised Ruff hasn’t be snagged by anyone – Mr. Greg Sherman better be doing some work on that.

    • imleftcoast - May 8, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      Dallas Eakins makes a lot more sense than Lindy Ruff.

  4. ibieiniid - May 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    What the city of Vancouver could do:
    2. Not.
    Your choice Vancouver, your choice.

  5. sanjosecupcrazy - May 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    PANIC! PANIC EVERYWHERE! Start burning the town, Canuckleheads!

    And who did it to you? SAN JOSE.

    We’re going to look forward to bending you over on a frequent basis once you’re in our division next year.

    On to round 2!

    • jernster21 - May 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      The Sharks have done absolutely nothing in the playoffs, ever….except choke. Beat it nerd.

      • chicagobtech - May 8, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        Given the gold standard for “doing it” in the playoffs is winning Lord Stanley’s Cup…neither have the Canucks.

      • jernster21 - May 8, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        Not saying they have but they have been to the finals…more than the Sharks can say, and I don’t have a pony in this race on either side.

      • sanjosecupcrazy - May 8, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        Wow, douchebag, a little bitter. Come on loser, don’t get all pissy because we’re moving on after pissing all over those cheap, overrated crybabies up there. Go hump a moose or find another use for maple syrup, you reject.

      • esracerx46 - May 8, 2013 at 10:04 PM

        ( Homer voice). Mmmm….maple syrup…

    • atwatercrushesokoye - May 8, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      Before you brag too much you should recognize that the Sharks are on the edge of the abyss as well, this is likely their last chance with the core they have, Marleau and Thornton are both free agents after next season and the Sharks farm system is ranked very low (22nd in the league) the Sharks “bending over” the Canucks could be in a battle to not finish last in very short order.

      I’m no Canucks fan (in fact I detest them) but they made it to game 7 of a Stanley Cup final, the Sharks have annually been a playoff disappointment, making it to the second round hasn’t changed anything yet.

    • elvispocomo - May 8, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      Come back and talk to Canucks fans when your team can get more than 10 playoff wins in a given year. The Canucks have still accomplished more than the Sharks and one playoff series doesn’t change that.

  6. 19to77 - May 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Buy out Booth and Ballard, let Raymond go, I’d actually resign Roy if possible to do so at say, $3.5m. He’s a useful playmaker.

    I’ve been in the “trade Edler” camp for a while, he’s one of the very few Canucks who would fetch a nice return and isn’t a necessary core player. Trade Schneider instead of Luongo, he’ll go for a much better deal and their numbers are frankly almost the damn same. Targets in both deals should be physical, responsible two-way forwards that would fit in with Kesler, Burrows, Higgins, etc. Go for something of a St. Louis Blues look, since they’ve got a number of similar guys already and wouldn’t need to blow up the roster to do it.

    I know it’s a pipe dream, but try to convince Larry Robinson to leave San Jose for a head coaching job?

  7. hockeyflow33 - May 8, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    A team full of clowns? Sure, but they’re still a highly skilled team and I can’t imagine they really need a serious overhaul. Trade one of the goalies and you’ll be all set.

    • polegojim - May 8, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      NOT… then they would have been ‘SET” years ago.

  8. acepylut - May 8, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    It’s your coach. No one fears the Canucks because their coach does not put out a “don’t eff with me” vibe. He whines and cries after losses. You need a man that sucks it up, good calls and bad, and focuses his team on the next game – not a bad call in the previous game.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      oh! seems like coaches whining is a common theme in the NHL. this has to stop.

    • chicagobtech - May 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

      “No one fears the Canucks because their coach does not put out a ‘don’t eff with me’ vibe.”

      Amen to that. Coach Q has a very intense look about him, like he’s about to rip your soul from your body. And that’s just his eyes. Don’t get me started about his ‘stach.

  9. colby7 - May 8, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Everyone put aside team biases for a second…

    Coach Trade Vigneault for Blysma.

    Pens get a hard-nosed defence first former NHLer who limits offense for defence.

    Canucks get a brainiac who runs crazy plays like an NFL coach and lets his offensive stars fly.

    Obviously this would never happen…

  10. sharksman - May 8, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    As a Sharks fan all I can say is look at the difference this year (not that sj has accomplished anything yet) to last year. Nothing has really changed for the Sharks until we traded away 3 players 2 of which were very well liked and respected. When that happened they all of a sudden looked faster and started to play better. So maybe all they need is a kick in the pants by letting a couple of guys go then maybe everyone else will step up when they start thinking I will be next. It cant be easy for a player to be traded especially for someone that has been with a team for a long time. One day Vancouver the next day ? Phoenix ? Columbus ? Canucks have been really good for a long time so maybe some trades will bring some new life to the team. Cant always blame the Sedins for everything, they need help too. Trade away a goalie and get some new blood but you would never get enough value for the sedins to make it worth trading them. As always there is a cure and its called winning and getting a bounce or 2 (what about the goal that hit the post and rolled back out) that might have made things different. Good luck Canucks ! not all of you are jerks and Not all Sharks fans are either.

    • imleftcoast - May 8, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      This pretty good advice. I think having two goalies and two guys who don’t play totaling $14m is a problem. Way too much drama to focus on getting it done.

  11. pone27 - May 8, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Lol Canucks fans, so silly…

    The easy excuse is always fire the coach. AV is one of the best coaches in the league.

    The team was flooded with drama (Luongo) and a huge injury (Kesler.) Those are two very large components to the Canucks demise in every aspect this season.

    1. Trade Luongo. His contract is because YOU fans love LUUUUU. If the canucks didn’t sign him, Gillis would have been ran out of Vancouver. Don’t make him your scapegoat, own up fans. Schneider is yoir goalie to keep, you already gave Bobby the hatchet. Take what you can, realize he didn’t win you guys a cup, move on.

    2.Let Mason Raymond go. Way too one dimensional for his speed set. He had one solid season. Bring in a more versatile gritty guy to play with Kesler.

    3. Buy out Ballard. His contract is bloated, and gives plenty of room to revamp the D. The guy to move is Bieska if yoir going to trade someone.

  12. thehighcountrybear - May 8, 2013 at 10:46 PM


    Don’t sell moose humping and maple syrup short…oddly enough, they go well together?

    The trick is finding an agreeable moose…

    Insofar as dissing on a beaten opponent, learn some manners. With diving, that sort of negative energy invariably sucks the life out of Cup dreams by energizing the next group of fans and team you’ll be barking at.

    When teams dive, some teams like LA or Ducks will give your team full value for the effort; real injuries can start to pile up faster than bogus penalty minutes…

    Play the game, you’ll find out soon enough!

  13. hawkeedawg - May 9, 2013 at 12:57 AM


    They took the crown from the Canucks during this series.

    Canucks fan here. Just want to say that no matter how bad the officiating was, we were not going to win the series.

    But, the Sharks have taken over the crown as the “Biggest Divers and Fakers” in the NHL now.

    Couture, Wingels, Thornton, Desjardins and Galiardi are the NHL’s new KINGS of the DIVERS and WHINERS!!! Congrats

    26 Power plays to 10 in one series, 8-2 in one game, dive for tying goal, dive for winning goal. You will not get past the second series as these refs will not be officiating the next round.

    Here is your proof

    Good Luck in the next round, the streak of the last 5 teams to beat Canucks go on to win the Cup is over.

  14. jacketsfan7 - May 9, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    7. Buy out Keith Ballard

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