Monday, April 14, 2008

Dave Nonis Fired!

With all apologies to Zanstorm for pushing his post down the page (though who really wants to see that photoshopped diver...), there is breaking news out of Vancouver today.

Dave Nonis has been fired and is no longer GM of the Vancouver Canucks.

Wow. This is not what I saw coming at all. My gut reaction is "terrible move!" because the Canucks will be shedding a boatload of salary and will be in good shape to sign some free agents. I'd like to see what Nonis would have done. The guy pulled off arguably the best deal in Canucks history by nabbing Luongo from Florida. It's a shame he had to be given the boot.

However.

He's had three years at the helm and the one recurring theme has been a lack of scoring. That's three years to address this issue, with nothing to show for it but guys like Rucinsky, Bulis, Smolinski, and Carney who aren't even here anymore.

Soooooo... Pat Quinn? Brian Burke? Or does Aquilini do like the Capitals Islanders owner and hire a back-up goalie as GM? Paging Frank Caprice!

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19 Comments:

At April 14, 2008 at 7:22 PM , Anonymous GZ Expat said...

Viggy is next...

 
At April 14, 2008 at 7:38 PM , Blogger robert cleave said...

George McPhee was a back up goalie?

 
At April 14, 2008 at 8:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Linden?

Something kooky is going to be announced...

 
At April 14, 2008 at 9:02 PM , Blogger New Sisyphus said...

I've been surveying the reaction in Canuckland and while I admire everyone's loyalty to Nonis, I'm a bit mystified about where, exactly, it comes from.

Let me preface this by saying that I claim no special genius. I'm just a guy who loves hockey and who fell in love with the Canucks when he was a Los Angeles boy who was taken to Vancouver by his grandfather when he was twelve.

I have the Center Ice package because there is no NHL coverage where I live. I see a lot of hockey. Here is what I've seen recently:

-- The Canucks under Nonis have had no fire. Technical skill, but no grit, no determination. You watch for a night or two then watch the Flames or the Oilers and you can see the difference. This is what the Flames are showing against SJ right now. Grit. Spirit. Nonis' teams didn't have them at all.

-- The Sedins. The Sedins are AT BEST a second line. AT BEST. That this is not obvious to the GM is worrisome.

-- Defense doesn't win wars and, after the Devils caused major rule changes, it doesn't win in the NHL anymore. Winners don't build teams around goalies.

-- Trade deadline. I knew he wasn't going to do anything and he didn't.

-- Toughness...Burke has it, Nonis doesn't.

Like I've said, I'll trade some pure skill--on the ice or in a GM--for a guy who wants to win, period.

Let's hope the next guy has that.

 
At April 14, 2008 at 9:03 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Names like Jim Nill and Steve Tambellini are being tossed around. But I like Kelly Hrudey's idea: since this guy lives in Vernon over the summer, it could be....Ken Holland from Detroit, as Stevie Y could take over the helm there. If Holland was a possibility, I'd fire Nonis for that very reason!
No, not Trevor Linden! No damned way! He would have to work alongside a bonafide GM for a while first.

Can't see Viggy getting beheaded, Expat.
I still don't quite get this. Was it Nonis' inability to sign cheap forwards? How can you hang a GM when your goalie plays half-assed for more than half the year, and your #1 scoring unit dries up AND you have all of those injuries on the blueline? The only reason why we had any depth on the back end was because of Nonis and the scouting staff.
There must have been some difference in team direction going on behind the scenes.
Regardless, I'm still shocked. The new GM has a LOT of work to do!

 
At April 14, 2008 at 9:04 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

George MCPhee was a Habs d-man, no? #35?

 
At April 14, 2008 at 9:11 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

From Canucks.com:
“The decision to relieve Dave of his duties was difficult,” explained Francesco Aquilini, Chairman, Vancouver Canucks. “We want to thank Dave for the many contributions he has made helping to build our organization during his tenure. However, I think this important change in leadership is critical to the future of the team and the direction we need to take. It’s not acceptable to our fans or to us as owners that our team isn’t in the playoffs.”

“As owners we made a commitment to deliver the kind of hockey our fans deserve. At the same time, with leadership comes responsibility. So, our search begins today for a new general manager, and our focus going forward is on a winning season in 2008-09.”

Nonis mentioned in the post season interview that the team was in better financial shape than it has been in a long time. Maybe management wanted him to be more aggressive instead, like Sisyphus pointed out.

 
At April 14, 2008 at 9:15 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Even Bob McKenzie thinks this was the wrong move:
http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/bob_mckenzie/?id=234318

 
At April 15, 2008 at 12:23 AM , Anonymous GZ Expat said...

Sean...why does Linden need to 'work alongside a 'bonafide'GM in order to be qualified? I just don't get that. Nonis worked alongside a bonafide GM for quite a few years and look what it got him...

I don't understand people that say a guy like Linden could not step right into a GM or Coach role...'without experience.' The NBA and MLB have proved over and over again (Terry Porter, Avery Johnson, Ozzie Guillen, Joe Girardi) that a player can step into the role and have an immediate impact on any given team. What makes hockey so special/different in that regard??

 
At April 15, 2008 at 7:31 AM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Well, I'm assuming he doesn't have any experience in an NHL GM position. He ran the NHLPA but that's different. Stevie Y needed some help from Ken Holland this season and I'm assuming it's no different for Linden.
Hey, maybe he's been learning GM stuff on days that he wasn't playing. If not, then I think you can't just throw a guy into that role without a bunch of training.
Oh and by the way, I think Nonis was a fine GM! We'll have to disagree on this whole topic.
Watch Nonis sign in Toronto for double the paycheck.... we'll see!

 
At April 15, 2008 at 8:17 AM , Blogger Temujin said...

Linden is a union man anyways. You think he is management material? Sure didn't act like it during the lock-out!

And I typed "Capitals" but i clearly meant Islanders :-)

Heh... yergh.

 
At April 15, 2008 at 9:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob McKenzie is an idiot for thinking this is a wrong move, he will probably have a similar stance when they finally fire viggy too.

The fact that this team will have a lot of cap room to acquire some free agents is due to the fact that Nonis did very little to improve the obvious scoring problems. People think he should be rewarded for this by giving him another year to do nothing.

I say great that we have all this cap room this summer but even greater that we may actually get a hockey mind behind the spend.

Dave - don't let the door hit you on the way out and please take the coach you hired with you when you leave.

 
At April 15, 2008 at 11:52 AM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

"People think he should be rewarded for this by giving him another year to do nothing." Hey, he was strapped under the cap. I give him credit for keeping the core of the team in tact and waiting until dickhead Naslund's contract expired. Now he won't see his goal come to fruition as he has more cap space. So I disagree with you.
What more did you expect Nonis to do? Have a fire sale? Make another blockbuster deal?
If it wasn't for his wizardry, Vancouver would be stuck with half-assed goaltending and a shotty bunch of idiot defencemen. Instead, we have a world class goalie who underperformed, and great defence corps that was mostly injured all year, and a bunch of Swedes up front who under-performed as well.
Why does the blame fall on him then?
His biggest moves since the Luongo deal were just about to happen this summer because he had plenty of depth in prospects and plenty of cap space. He was fired prematurely.
Anonymous, you are sounding like a Leafs fan!
They want a fire sale every fucking spring! :)

 
At April 15, 2008 at 12:01 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Oh, and the press conference with Acquilini didn't raise much confidence in many people today did it?
At least Team 1040 agrees with me! Nonis did not his his 3-4 year plan come to fruition.

 
At April 15, 2008 at 1:02 PM , Blogger Temujin said...

Expect to hear within the next week:

Ladies and gentlemen, the new GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs: Dave Nonis!

I've got no idea who the next Canuck GM will be. I think Holland is a bit of a pipe dream. Maybe Aquilini picked up someone from the European leagues while he was on holiday at the end of March!

 
At April 15, 2008 at 1:34 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

There is a lot of negativity over this firing on Team 1040, including guys like Iain McIntyre.
Is the new GM going to support Viggy? What style of play is the new GM going to want?

 
At April 15, 2008 at 5:29 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

On a Team 1040 poll, 42% of Canucks fans think the team is heading in the right direction.

 
At April 15, 2008 at 6:17 PM , Blogger Temujin said...

Not exactly a scientific study, but that's pretty interesting.

How can anyone answer that question honestly though? We haven't been heading in the right direction all year (if "heading in the right direction" means making the playoffs or winning the Stanley Cup).

Firing the GM doesnt make you head in the right direction all of a sudden. It's not like Nonis' decisions have destroyed the team. Even though we aren't as good as we were four years ago.

 
At April 15, 2008 at 6:35 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

It's more of a judgement call or a feeling the fans have after the Aquilini presser today.
Hey, the next guy could be GM Jeezus for all we know.

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.