Hear me out: this is the worst Canucks season ever.
I know, I know. We’ve had this discussion before. Recently even.
And there are many contenders in the last decade, from the appalling performance in the Canadian division a couple years back, to the unwatchable 82-game slogs of Willie D and his plumbers.
But when you combine everything that happened with the Canucks this season, have they ever been more embarrassing?
The season began with the owner’s children accusing him of abuse, and the NHL shrugging it off as a “contentious” divorce.
Soon thereafter, Rachel Doerrie was fired and filed a human rights complaint against GM Patrik Allvin and AGM Émilie Castonguay.
There may well be a medical malpractice matter to sort with Tanner Pearson and a looming NHLPA grievance if he’s not back to playing shape by September.
Then there was the Bruce Boudreau firing, which was panned continent-wide and exposed a basic lack of decency from ownership and the front office.
Rogers Arena — where you might find mice while watching a glitchy video board from your broken seat — also had its travails.
It was renovated over the summer but wasn’t ready come preseason, where president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford was bemoaning preparedness after an 0-5-2 start.
- You might also like:
- Ex-Canucks captain Bo Horvat headed to playoffs with Islanders
It was the second straight year where the Canucks were desperately out of the playoff hunt by the season’s second month. They lost games when fans wanted them to win and won games when fans wanted them to lose, to chase North Van prodigy Connor Bedard.
They traded their captain and were the only club to fire their coach in-season. They didn’t clear cap space, which they have been talking about for two seasons, and were one of two non-playoff teams (Ottawa) to trade a 2023 first-round pick at the deadline.
There were some nice individual performances from Elias Pettersson, Andrei Kuzmenko, and Quinn Hughes, but not nearly enough to deodorize the stink from the previous six months. And, of course, beloved broadcaster John Garrett won’t be back, with whispers swirling that he was pushed out.
All in all, another disaster from the local NHL team which continues to rank among the worst franchises in the league, and in North American pro sport.