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Firing or Trade Feels Imminent in Vancouver as Team Publicly Frustrated

Vancouver Canucks players seem to be throwing their hands in the air and the GM has avoided everyone. What’s coming next could be worth watching.

If you listen to many of the members of this current Vancouver Canucks’ roster, it’s easy to see they’re frustrated. Captain Bo Horvat talked about how the team’s performance so far this season has been unacceptable and gave some reasons as to why that may be. J.T. Miller said when everyone buys into what the coaching staff and management are saying they are tough to play against, but he isn’t sure everyone is. There are more reactions like this from other players and the feeling is that something is coming, whether that be a trade or a firing to shake things up.

Related: Serious Uncertainty Surrounds Oilers Left-Side Defense… Trade Coming?

The struggle isn’t new. The Canucks have not been good for most of this 2021-22 NHL season and the result has been team meetings, ownership having a chat with the management team, and a lot of questions from players, agents, and other teams as to what the Canucks might choose to do.

Recent reports have linked the Minnesota Wild to the Canucks, specifically when it comes to interest in Miller. There’s also been chatter that perhaps Brock Boeser could be moved. He personally doesn’t think he will be and his agent said when asked, “I do not believe Brock will be traded but he knows it could happen. It is a part of the business. Brock does have faith in the Canucks team and his teammates to get through this.”

The faith in this team is quickly fading and it appears to be fading internally as well. It’s a bad sign when the players themselves appear not to be united. It’s really bad when they seem to just throw their hands in the air and say they have no idea what else to do. There needs to be change and perhaps the team is finally starting to realize that.

Jim Benning Vancouver Canucks GM
Jim Benning Vancouver Canucks GM

As Thomas Drance of The Athletic writes, “There’s no riding this out. Winning in the NHL isn’t a passive activity. It requires a plan, years of smart, efficient maneuvering to assemble an embarrassment of talent and a lot of luck too. This wait-and-see game is actually a bigger red flag than the results.” As Steve Dangle of Sportsnet writes, “Last night’s postgame stuff from the Canucks has big “Someone’s getting canned tomorrow” vibes.”

What Names Could Be Moved?

Outside of an obvious change to the GM or coaching positions, there are a few players who have been listed as potential options in a trade. Among them are, Miller and Boeser, plus pending UFAs Jaroslav Halak and Tyler Motte. There is also Travis Hamonic, Jason Dickinson, and Tanner Pearson who have term on their deals and could be of interest to other teams.

Right now, GM Jim Benning is avoiding the media and reportedly not returning calls from agents or other teams. This can only suggest he’s trying to clear his head, formulate a plan and then get ready to execute whatever he comes up with as a solution.

The question about whether or not he’s the right person to be formulating or executing a plan is another matter entirely.

Next: Three Takeaway from Maple Leafs’ 6-2 Win Over the Kings

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