The Vancouver Canucks are no longer in the Stanley Cup playoffs and there are many pertinent questions about the future of this team going forward.
Perhaps Thursday, when general manager Mike Gillis addresses the media at a press conference inside Rogers Arena, there will be some answers.
Players will also hold media availability prior to the Gillis press conference.
On Tuesday, the Canucks were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks, the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
That’s back-to-back years the Canucks have been knocked out of the playoffs in the opening round, without getting past a fifth game.
It was only two years ago the Canucks won their first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history and were within one win of hoisting the Stanley Cup, which also would’ve been a first for the NHL club.
Instead, the drought has endured and the Canucks now face a litany of questions in a number of different aspects, although coaching and goaltending are sure to dominate the discussion.
Alain Vigneault, who was appointed as the Canucks’ head coach on June 20, 2006, is the franchise leader in wins with 313 over the course of seven regular seasons.
But the Canucks have just one win in their last 11 playoff games dating back to the Stanley Cup Final.
There has been talk that Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Sharks could be Vigneault’s last behind the Canucks’ bench.
On May 23 of last year, the Canucks announced Vigneault signed a contract extension.
The goaltending situation is also expected to be addressed.
Cory Schneider was thrown into the fire for Games 3 and 4 against San Jose, despite the fact Roberto Luongo put up two valiant performances, albeit both losses, in the first two games of the series at Rogers Arena.
They are both world-class goalies, capable of being starters in the NHL. Both want more than anything to be starters in the NHL.
The Canucks currently have more than $9 million invested into both goalies, with the salary cap coming down to $64.3 million next season.
The goaltending controversy began last April when Schneider took over the starting job from Luongo midway through what turned out to be an opening-round series loss to the L.A. Kings, but cooled off during the lockout.
It was kick-started the moment the NHL owners and players’ association forged an agreement to end the work stoppage, and has been weighing heavier and heavier on this team ever since.
The decision to start Schneider, who suffered an undisclosed injury on April 22 and didn’t dress for the first two games of the series, over Luongo for the final two games was heavily scrutinized by fans and media.
There was also news about the Sedin twins – Daniel and Henrik – and Alex Edler. All three will join Sweden for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, according to an article on the IIHF website.