The Vancouver Canucks are in last place in the Pacific Division, and ownership decided it was time to drastically shake things up in the organization. Sunday night, the Canucks announced sweeping changes in leadership, including the firing of general manager Jim Benning, assistant general manager John Weisbrod, head coach Travis Green and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner.
Former Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau has been tabbed as the next head coach, with Scott Walker coming on board as an assistant coach. Stan Smyl is the new interim general manager, and Ryan Johnson is the interim assistant general manager.
The Canucks will embark on a search for new full-time leadership in hockey operations.
Once a mainstay in the playoffs not too long ago, Vancouver has only made the postseason once in the last six seasons, and things aren’t looking good for them in 2021-22. The Canucks are 8-15-2 for a total of 18 points, which is two points behind the expansion Seattle Kraken.
Benning was hired in 2014 after spending time as the assistant general manager with the Boston Bruins, where he won a Stanley Cup. Benning hired Green in 2017 to replace Willie Desjardins, who struggled in a short stint as Canucks head coach.
Boudreau has a track record of making the playoffs, though he has never made it to a Stanley Cup Final. Vancouver is hoping he can help turn things around after years of wallowing in mediocrity outside of one trip to the second round of the playoffs.