One chapter ends for the Vancouver Canucks and another one begins.
And make no mistake, this one is just as unlikely to be a boring one.
New head coach Rick Tocchet will undoubtedly bring a different signature to the Canucks. We’ve seen that already via his practice drills. He’ll undoubtedly try to facilitate some change to the team, as per the bidding of the people that hired him. Defensive structure, accountability, etc, etc.
The consequences of those changes need to be controlled though. Tocchet can’t be allowed to fall in love with the play of anyone not named Elias Pettersson or Quinn Hughes.
Coaches don’t ultimately have final say over player personnel, but as a longtime ally of Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin, Tocchet’s opinion will carry some weight. So the sooner the Canucks can carry out some business and take away some of the new tools that are available to him, the less likely he is to muddy the water with opinions that run counter to most.
The last thing the Canucks need is the new guy raving about how he “needs” Conor Garland or Tyler Myers to have success in the future.
Combine that with the third-easiest schedule the rest of the way, according to many models, and you can’t afford the luxury of getting fat and happy on the lesser lights of the league.
The one-week break is only three games away, and it’s unlikely that any coach will be making grand proclamations about a player after a single practice and a trio of games. So there are close to 14 days to do the work that needs to be done there. And then when those days are over, it’s right into the teeth of trade deadline prep with only a month to go.
Why wait if you’re the Canucks?
This is a team that has always attracted noise and distraction and made things more difficult than needed. So, if you’re the management team, after all it’s been through the past two months, don’t you want to control the narrative and get ahead of something finally?
That means acting now. That means getting on the phone with 31 other general managers and answering every phone call you receive.
Oh, and avoiding the ones with call display reading “Frank A.”