Nonis gets the cruel, cruel axe
The Vancouver Canucks had their share of problems this year. I'm just not sure general manager
Not that Aquilini has to provide a rational explanation for the move -- it's fun being the owner, eh? -- but he would be hard pressed if called upon to do so. The Canucks were certainly a disappointment this season, especially coming on the heels of the franchise-record 105 points in 2006-07. But honestly, can anyone look at Nonis and say his poor construct of the team was to blame for the step back it took this season?
Sure, he could have made a stopgap move here or there while the team was struggling, and he certainly deserved criticism for failing to add at least one more cannon at the deadline to supplement the league's 23rd-ranked offense. There were also complaints from the fans that outside of
But these Canucks certainly had a chance to do well, and would have been in the playoff mix were it not for a catastrophic series of injuries that decimated the blueline and robbed them of their hardcore defensive identity. Both
And even if you were inclined to criticize Nonis for the last few months, he'd chocked up plenty of items on the positive side of his ledger during his tenure. The trade to acquire Luongo not only ranks as one of the most lopsided in NHL history, it set up the franchise for the next decade at the most important position. It's also worth noting that the young blueliners who performed so admirably during the blitz of injuries, prospects such as
And if the rumors are to be believed, Nonis was on the verge of signing the most coveted European free agent of the offseason -- 23-year-old Swedish winger
A top tier GM? Maybe, maybe not. But Nonis certainly had built up enough equity that his leash would have been extended at least another year by most franchises.
There's already speculation about a potential replacement.
Who might it be?
Whoever gets the call, he'll likely be named soon, possibly in the next week or so.