Vancouver Canucks fired Dave Nonis today. It was a deserved firing and much of the trouble was obvious before the season. Here’s what I wrote October 3 while picking them to pick 4th in the Northwest:
They have some extreme strengths (the piss cutter Sedins, Bernie Parent) and some major weaknesses (who IS going to play on their secondary lines/pairings? I think Dunc Wilson is the backup goalie). They also have a big problem in that (unlike Colorado and Minnesota) the guys who emerged for Vancouver last year out of the blue aren’t young or about to step into the stratosphere (Pyatt, Bieska examples). They might miss the playoffs, but it won’t be because they’re a bad team. Need to improve depth before they make a SC run.
Bieksa played half a season, Pyatt ran in place and they were a bad team due to a large number of injuries and what ended up being two 4th lines. A key element in roster structure in the new world order of the NHL under this CBA is to find inexpensive options for the non-skill lines and 5-6D pairing. The Canucks invited the Beatles to headline the show, ran Menudo out there as an opening act and everyone left the building before Ringo could hit the stage.
The Canucks gave 875 minutes to Byron Ritchie and received 3 goals; 667 minutes to Trevor Linden and received 7 goals; 595 minutes to Brad Isbister in exchange for 6 goals; 402 minutes to Jeff Cowan and got 0 goals; 239 minutes to Jason Jaffray and got 2 goals. 178 minutes to Rick Rypien for 1 goal, 120 minutes to Mike Brown for 1 goal.
That’s 3,000 NHL minutes for 20 goals.
Ethan Moreau scored 5 times in the same amount of time Jeff Cowan got 0. Zack Stortini got 3 goals in 539 minutes, which is about the number of minutes it took Jaffray, Rypien and Brown to score 4. Fernando Pisani played 925 minutes and scored 13 goals, which made him far more productive than Byron Ritchie. Curtis Glencross played 700 minutes and got 15 goals for his troubles.
Not all of those Canuck forwards are bad, Brad Isbister looks to have had a decent season. The problem is that Vancouver had the Sedins, Naslund, Kesler and a couple of others in front of a lot of blah. It’s like having a dynamite leadoff man, a good punch-and-Judy man in the 2slot, a fine major league hitter batting third and a quality cleanup hitter.
Followed by 5 pitchers. And for that Dave Nonis lost his job today.