You know, when the Canucks missed the playoffs after this season, I thought my world of being involved and/or following hockey would slow down. I thought that we would all be saying our farewell to Trevor Linden, find out who wins the cup, get some new draft picks, make some off season trades, and then get ready for the preseason with that yearly glimmer of hope.
Wow. What a bomb shell.
Actually, I take that back. I kept asking friends, co-workers, and Crazy Canuckers as to what they thought about Dave Nonis[wiki] and his job being in jeopardy as GM of the Vancouver Canucks. Something inside of me just felt uneasy about his role for a better part of the season, more so at the tail end.
My feeling about it all is that he was a good general manager of the organization. After that, you can’t say much more. Sure, there was the blockbuster trade for Roberto Luongo, but that isn’t a ton more to speak of after that. Willie Mitchell, yeah. After that, it’s been a lot of pickups and trades that were not the strongest or memorable. They were just… good or okay.
There’s not a lot to say about his activity in the last few years as being great or prolific, but he wasn’t half bad either.
Nonis had the passion and desire to be good at the job he held. There is no doubt about that. What works against him is what didn’t happen. An incredible goalie with a strong defense in front of him didn’t produce the goals, points, and playoff birth that could have kept his job.
However, this wasn’t my decision to make, nor can I say that I’m 100% in agreement. The only reason I say that I can’t be surprised is the fact that we have new ownership of this team, and this team is a business. The Aquilini’s are a business minded group of people. They are also lifelong fans. Nonis had those things working against his job, no matter how much the team he is in charge of spends on the disabled list or doesn’t produce on the ice.
Darren Barefoot mentioned to me on Twitter how Nonis should have been able to finish the last year on his contract, and I agree with that. The year after the lockout saw a lot of shuffling around the league, and we were a team built for a different game than what came about that season. The next season saw something different for this city: a real goalie. This year was a nightmare of injuries.
With his contract in mind, I think Nonis had a plan. One more year left, he can’t finish that vision that he had, and we’ll never know if that script would have played out for the better.
They say that a true test of a general manager is proven in five years. The contract gave him four, but he only got three. When I do those calculations in my head, combined with all the ups and downs of the days of Nonis, the one thing I keep coming back to is concern as a fan. Concern that we now have owners of this team who can prove themselves that much better in half the time than one man did in three. If they can do that, then I’ll be really impressed.
Zanstorm has a really great post that made me think a little bit more about my point, and I think it still stands. His break down of what Nonis did during his tenure in Vancouver is a tad mediocre in the proof, so like I said. He did… okay.