As a lifelong Canucks fan I carry pain. I wouldn’t say it’s debilitating but there have been moments where it becomes unbearable (insert your own Canucks tale of heartbreak here).
For this reason my chosen method of pain management is a slow and steady drip feed of skepticism that provides insulation from swelling expectation and swooning disappointment. 52 seasons of fandom has taxed this heart to such a degree that the ol’ Buckster simply mustn’t ride the emotional rollercoaster ever again. Besides, as beat writer for local darlings of the slo-pitch diamond, your Denman Hashers, my winter months are already largely spent in therapy.
Why do I tell you this? Well, if at any point in the hockey season there could possibly be hope for this franchise it is before it even starts, right? The person who coined the phrase, ‘Hope springs eternal,’ I’m willing to bet wasn’t a sports fan. And for the Canuck fan well, ‘hope’ has a very narrow window. And this narrow window is presently wide open to the possibilities!
With a new coach and management team touting a plan of ‘changing the culture,’ I managed to resist the temptation to rip the IV from my arm and scheduled an extra therapy session. Because deep down ‘The Man’ knows changing the culture of the ‘Nucks requires something more than white boards and whistles and ‘holding one another to account.’ Something more like voodoo, perhaps.
To prove my point, lets check in on the squad as they kicked oﬀ their preseason against division rivals, the Calgary Flames:
Rick Tocchet buries his own players after ugly preseason performance.
The head coach of the Vancouver Canucks did not mince words during his post game media availability.
It is the National Hockey League preseason and the games technically do not matter in the grand scheme of things, but that did little to diminish the embarrassment Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet felt on Sunday night.
Tocchet stood behind the Canucks bench as his team put out one of the worst performances we have seen so far in the preseason during a blowout against the Calgary Flames, one that mercifully ended after the Flames put up 10 unanswered goals. That’s right, the final tally when it was all said and done was 10 – 0 in favour of the Flames.
Needless to say Tocchet was not very happy with what he saw on the ice, and following the game he let members of the assembled media and his players know exactly how he felt.
“If I have one goal for this our 53rd season, aside from the team scoring one obviously, is that I’m still gainfully employed by Christmas. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have much digging to do.”
I rest my case sports fans.
If the Grapevine is going to bring you the Canucks coverage you expect and deserve, Buck ‘The Man’ Manly is not the man for this job. So as I refasten my IV, I’d like to announce the Grapevine’s new Sports Bureau signing, Orland Kurtenbangs.