Vancouver Canucks’ 3 New 12 months’s Resolutions for 2022

Since Bruce Boudreau took the reins from Travis Inexperienced on Dec. 5, the Vancouver Canucks are a glowing 8-0-1. With a 2-1 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings as their solely blemish, they’re able to make a run to the playoffs. After one more win, this time to the Seattle Kraken on Jan. 1, they’re additionally undefeated in 2022 albeit three days into the 12 months.

The final month of 2021 noticed a number of adjustments as Boudreau took over behind the bench and Jim Rutherford took the reins within the entrance workplace because the crew’s new president of hockey operations. Inexperienced, Nolan Baumgartner, Jim Benning, John Weisbrod, Chris Gear and Jonathan Wall had been additionally relieved of their duties as a brand new tradition started in earnest.

Associated: Canucks Trending within the Proper Course Heading Into 2022

I’m positive 2022 may also see its share of adjustments because the entrance workplace takes form. Derek Clancey, who beforehand labored with Rutherford in Pittsburgh, was the primary of these adjustments as he was named assistant common supervisor (AGM) on Dec. 15. As COVID-19 continues to ravage the globe, it’s unclear when extra hirings will occur.

In any case, it’s the beginning of a brand new 12 months as soon as once more, and which means resolutions are so as. Let’s check out a couple of for the Canucks as they begin 2022 with a brand new management group on the helm.

New Basic Supervisor Sooner Reasonably Than Later

As I discussed within the opening of this text, the Canucks are nonetheless and not using a common supervisor (GM) after Benning was fired at the start of December. Since being employed as president of hockey ops on Dec. 9, Rutherford has taken the mantle of interim GM and is at the moment on the hunt for a everlasting GM. Names like Patrik Allvin, Jason Botterill, Chris MacFarland, Mike Gillis, and Hayley Wickenheiser have all been bandied about in current weeks because the search has progressed.

Rutherford reiterated what he stated in his opening press convention in a current interview on Sportsnet 650. He desires folks within the entrance workplace which might be numerous and never afraid to talk their minds.

“What I’m searching for, is having those that come up by the hockey system in numerous methods, and can most likely have totally different viewpoints on sure issues. It’s essential to have your hockey operations as one cohesive group, however you need totally different opinions, and also you need them to debate. You need them to take a place on one thing that’s totally different from any individual else.” – Jim Rutherford

So, it’s actually no shock that girls like Wickenheiser and Jennifer Botterill are being mentioned as potential candidates for GM or AGM. After many years of the “previous boys” membership, Rutherford is trying to break the mould and craft a various group that can ultimately lead this crew to its first Stanley Cup. Hopefully, that course of is accomplished sooner slightly than later. Ideally, this new management group is in place means earlier than the commerce deadline in order that they will make the suitable choice for the way forward for this franchise.

Maintain Onto First Spherical Picks & Attempt To Purchase Extra

That brings me to the Canucks subsequent decision, holding onto their first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 and hopefully buying extra. They haven’t had one since they drafted Vasily Podkolzin in 2019 and are actually treading water in relation to high expertise of their prospect pipeline. As a lot as we love Danila Klimovich and Aidan McDonough, they aren’t blue-chip abilities destined for top-line roles within the NHL.

Vancouver Canucks Vasily Podkolzin, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Juho Lammikko celebrate
Vancouver Canucks Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Juho Lammikko rejoice Vasily Podkolzin’s first NHL objective (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Which means, the Canucks need to make a choice within the first spherical in each 2022 AND 2023. These subsequent two drafts are going to be chock filled with elite expertise within the opening rounds they usually must be a part of these festivities. Thankfully, Rutherford is saying all the suitable issues in relation to that a part of the buying and selling sport.

“…with the trades that we make going ahead, if we make trades, it’d be for draft picks, it’ll be for youthful gamers, so we are able to deliver this crew collectively hopefully inside a 12 months or two, to be that constant playoff crew.”

If that’s Rutherford’s objective, then Canucks followers ought to don’t have anything to fret about. Although, as everyone knows, phrases are simply that, phrases. We received’t know for positive till that first commerce is made to search out out if these phrases in the end rework into motion.

The very best factor that would come from 2022 is a return to type for Elias Pettersson. The person that was the Canucks’ star attraction in 2018 has grow to be something however thus far in 2021-22. He has appeared higher for the reason that teaching change, however he nonetheless doesn’t seem like the participant that terrorized the opposition in 2018-19 and 2019-20 when he put up 55 targets and 132 factors in 139 video games. Dare I stated it, however he seems to be extra like Loui Eriksson. That may be just a little harsh, however till he begins exhibiting everybody extra of the participant that we noticed in his rookie season, that comparability may rear its ugly head extra usually.

Canucks want this Elias Pettersson in 2022

Pettersson definitely has the ability and hockey IQ to bust out of this hunch, so followers shouldn’t surrender on him simply but. He’s taking part in with two expert gamers in Podkolzin and Conor Garland, and it’s solely a matter of time earlier than that line busts out offensively and places up Sedin or West Coast Categorical-like numbers. All he has to do is be assured in his skills and begin taking pictures the puck every time the chance presents itself. The targets and factors will are available in time if he does that extra constantly. He’s simply too good of a participant to let this offensive drought proceed for much longer.

Might the Canucks Repeat What the 2018-19 Blues Did?

If the Canucks proceed to play the identical aggressive, in-your-face hockey that has grow to be their id during the last 9 video games, they are going to make the playoffs and be a tricky out for any crew dealing with them. With Thatcher Demko’s Vezina Trophy numbers over the previous month and Quinn Hughes‘ Norris Trophy-like season thus far, they may very well be the 2021-22 model of the 2018-2019 St. Louis Blues. They rode a scorching goaltender and a brand new coach’s system on a meteoric rise from the basement all the way in which to the Stanley Cup Last the place they knocked off the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup. This crew has a number of the identical vibes as they’ve pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and are actually contending for the playoffs. Only one month in the past, that appeared like an unattainable feat.

St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup
Can the Canucks repeat the Blues’ feat of climbing up from the basement to the summit of the Stanley Cup? (Photograph by Dave Sandford/NHLI through Getty Photographs)

The Canucks have the roster to be a playoff crew, and with the suitable strategic strikes from Rutherford and their yet-to-be-named GM, they may grow to be a Stanley Cup contender as nicely. What as soon as was a crew coated in darkish clouds has grow to be one seeped in hope and anticipation. Let’s hope it continues for the remainder of 2022 and past.