Welcome Matt: Canucks president Rutherford holding firm on "zip it" pledge

Apr 18 2023, 9:58 pm

sekeres and price

The Vancouver Canucks are back in the shield business.

Trevor Linden, Jim Benning, Trent Carroll, Travis Green, Bo Horvat — it’s a long list of people who have been used to communicate on behalf of ownership and/or the business side of the operation.

Now it’s happening with hockey operations.

President of hockey operations Jim Rutherford is holding firm to his “zip it” pledge and skipped yesterday’s season-ending press conference. GM Patrik Allvin and head coach Rick Tocchet were left to speak for hockey ops.

Tocchet is preaching accountability and upper management was appalled by the lack of it under ex-coach Bruce Boudreau. Now Rutherford joins chairman Francesco Aquilini and Canucks president of business operations Michael Doyle as being unavailable — and some would say unaccountable — to Canucks fans at-large.

One notes the irony. Or the hypocrisy.

Allvin even joked at the press conference that “maybe Jim should be here” after a question about the longstanding search for a practice facility.

Our fried Farhan Lalji specifically asked Rutherford if he could attend, but was rebuffed. Lalji reporting that Rutherford has even cut off some of hockey’s insiders.

So, then, does he still want to work in a Canadian market? Or is all of this — an expectant/impatient fan base and a high-maintenance ownership group — getting a bit much for the 74-year-old? And if Allvin is now making all the decisions, then is a president of hockey operation role still necessary?

Because we all understand the one-voice model where one person is charged with communicating on behalf of the club. It’s just usually the person making the decisions. The guy with the “buck stops here” sign on his desk.

It’s not usually an underling. When it is, that’s called a shield.

Matthew SekeresMatthew Sekeres

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