After a terrible 8-15-2 start and being fifth last in the entire league, the Vancouver Canucks decided to make some massive changes to their front office. The Canucks have decided to part ways with general manager Jim Benning, assistant general manager John Weisbrod, coach Travis Green and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner.
To replace them they hired Bruce Boudreau as their new head coach, Scott Walker as an assistant coach, and Chris Gear as the interim general manager.
The Benning era in Canucks history has been rather disappointing. In his seven years as general manager, Benning has only taken to the Canucks to the playoffs twice, and only once past the first round. Benning’s tenure as general manager included many questionable trades and signings which in the end hurt the Canucks roster.
Worst trades, signings, draft picks made by Jim Benning
Drafting Jake Virtanen over William Nylander, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Kevin Fiala (2014)
Drafting Jared McCann over David Pastrnak (2014)
Drafting Olli Juolevi over Matthew Tkachuk (2016)
Jared McCann, a 2nd Round Pick and a 4th Round Pick for Erik Gudbransson and a 5th Round Pick (2016)
Tim Schaller, Tyler Madden, a 2nd Round Pick, and a conditional 4th Round pick for Tyler Toffoli (2019)
Loui Eriksson: 6 years x $6 million (2016)
Tyler Myers: 5 years x $6 million (2019)
Benning isn’t the only person to blame for the Vancouver Canucks struggles. The leaders on the benches, Travis Green and Nolan Baumgartner. In Green’s 5 seasons as head coach, he has the Canucks to a poor 133-147-34 record while making the postseason only once. Just like Green, Baumgartner in his fifth year as Canucks coach, primarily focusing on the penalty kill. In Baumgartner’s time as an assistant coach, the Canucks have been a middle-of-the-road team at penalty kill. But this year, the Canucks have a 64.4% penalty kill, which is the worst in NHL history.
The big hire the Canucks organization made was bringing in veteran head coach, Boudreau. Boudreau coached the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, and Minnesota Wild over the course of his career, with a record of 567-302-115. Scott Walker, who served as the player development consultant for the Vancouver Canucks, has been promoted to become Boudreau’s assistant. While Chris Gear will become the Canucks interim general manager until they formally name one. Hopefully, for the Vancouver Canucks organization, these drastic changes could help them back on track to playoff contention.