« Everyone is frustrated, » Canucks president says after 0-5-2 start

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You can’t fire a coach who’s one win away from reaching 600. But Bruce Boudreau might want to hurry up and hit the mark already.

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The way things are going for the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, he may not have many more chances.

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Something has to give when you start the season 0-5-2. And unfortunately for Boudreau, who took over from Travis Green last December after an equally lousy 8-15-2 start, the easiest thing might be to box the coach.

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“There have been several difficult years in Vancouver. Everyone is frustrated,” Canucks president Jim Rutherford said in a phone interview Tuesday. « Certainly when you have a record like ours, sometimes you find yourself in a position that you don’t want to be in. »

That doesn’t mean Rutherford will scapegoat Boudreau for everything that has gone wrong so far this season.

After all, we all knew the Canucks weren’t going to fight for a Stanley Cup this year. But after Boudreau went 32-15-10 last year — a 106-point pace — the hope was that they would compete for a playoff spot. At the very least, they should be competitive. Not setting records for blown multi-base leads or getting blown by the Buffalo Sabers. Or play so badly that fans threw jerseys and booed the team off the ice in the home opener.

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Can you blame them?

It’s the worst start in franchise history. The Canucks are the only NHL team without a win. And that’s in a league where Arizona, Chicago and others are trying to sign top prospect Connor Bedard.

« I don’t want to say I’m not surprised at what happened here, » Rutherford said. « I’m surprised we haven’t won a game at this stage, but I’m not totally surprised at what’s happening. »

Rutherford isn’t surprised, because he saw it coming. Injuries to defenders Quinn Hughes and Riley Stillman are among them. But as the season approached, something was wrong with this team. It’s not something Rutherford can put his finger on. But when you’ve been in management as long as he has, you know it.

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You can feel it. Feel it.

It dates back to pre-season when the team only won two out of seven games. And it went downhill from there.

« If you finish your camp and you don’t really think (about the record), then your camp probably went well, » Rutherford said. « But when camp is over and you start thinking about different things, like how camp went from a team perspective, then you’re in trouble. I can definitely say that our camp was not as good as we would have liked. And now it’s postponed to the regular season.

To be honest, it goes back even further. Let’s go back to when Rutherford was hired last December, four days after Boudreau arrived.


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Rutherford then knew what he was walking into. It wasn’t like Ken Holland was taking over the Oilers. The Canucks weren’t one or two players away from vying for a championship. It was a rebuild. Or a retool. Or the kind of situation no team wants to find themselves in in the salary cap era — not good enough to compete for a cut, but not bad enough to land a lottery draft pick either.

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« We’re a team that missed the playoffs for a long time, so we’re rebuilding it on the fly, which is what we’re trying to do, » Rutherford said. « Add a player here, add a player there, and try to add players who won’t be with us for just a year, but hopefully will still be here once everything comes together in a year or so. of them. »

Last summer, Rutherford signed winger Ilya Mikheyev to a four-year contract capped at $4.75 million (an increase from the $1.645 million he earned in Toronto) and convinced JT Miller to re-sign for eight more years on a team. -a high amount of 8 million dollars. He would have liked to do more. But with Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Tyler Myers devouring over $13 million in caps, his hands were tied.

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Still, Rutherford believes the team he has built is better than what it has shown so far.

« When we’re healthy, we have enough players to compete for a playoff spot, » Rutherford said. “We don’t have to give up that hope at this point. It would be premature.

Indeed, we are only two weeks away from the season. Usually, teams like to wait until Thanksgiving in the United States before doing an assessment. But if you think Rutherford is waiting to make changes – whether behind the bench or via trade – think again.

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He’s seen enough.

« I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what’s going on here, » Rutherford said. “But in today’s world of sport, certainly hockey, that never gets resolved as quickly as the fans would like. We would like to fix it today, but it is not possible.

« It takes time. And there are going to be setbacks and bumps in the road. But we will get there at some point. Maybe not as soon as everyone would like.



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