Vancouver Canucks: Will short-term pain = long-term gain?
Something of an afterthought, the Vancouver Canucks are widely regarded as one of the worst teams in the NHL. For the time being, this appears to be a fair assessment: in 2017-18, the club finished seventh in the Pacific Division and 26th in the league — a season that will primarily be remembered for the memorable exit of Daniel and Henrik Sedin from hockey and Brock Boeser’s ability to take headlines by storm.
To the dismay of the club’s fans, 2018-19 looks to be more of the same — albeit under the premise that the tide of momentum is increasingly swaying in the team’s favor. Loui Eriksson and Jay Beagle’s contracts aside, the campaign is set to act as a precursor to better days, as a three-headed monster in the form of the aforementioned Boeser, Bo Horvat and up and coming sensation Elias Pettersson lingers on the not-so-distant horizon.
It’s an intriguing — and equally intimidating — thought: the notion, that is, of a full-fledged rebuild piloted by three of the game’s most power-ridden forces. And it’s one that hockey fans shall surely be reminded of when schedules align with those of Travis Green’s men.
Make no mistake: the chances of the Canucks qualifying for the postseason are all but non-existent. But this is merely part of a very necessary process. The skillset of Boeser, Horvat and Pettersson may often escape the discourse of even the most devout hockey fans — yet not due to any lack of talent. The team may be in an unfavorable position, but significant pieces are in place. As fans of the Blackhawks, Penguins and Maple Leafs can attest, trying times can certainly yield exciting results. Patience is key.
Slowly but surely, there’s a storm brewing in Vancouver. The 2018-19 campaign is just the beginning of it.