Well, I’ve been predicting that Canucks General Manager Dave Nonis would be out and this afternoon at 4:45PM Pacific Time it happened. Facing the utter collapse of the Canucks as a team this summer Nonis was fiddling, chasing down yet another Swede on a team that hasn’t finished a check since Bertuzzi finished a guy’s career. Of Nonis’ four years as GM of the Canucks, they played only three — and made the playoffs once.
Thankfully the Canucks’ new owner Francesco Aquilini has also realized that Nonis has no coherent vision for the team and it’s time to move on.
So now I’m gonna start the rumour mill. I highly doubt that Brian Burke will be back as GM of the Canucks next season. For one thing, he still has a year on his contract — and for another, Burke is actively engaged in watching his team compete for the cup at the moment, and I have to believe that Aquilini wouldn’t toast the Nonis without having another solution lined up. For Burke to be negotiating with another team at the moment would be pretty disingenuous and an announcement would be disruptive to the Ducks.
Therefore, my prediction is that this available post will be filled from within the confines of Vancouver, either by Steve Tambellini, who has been the shadow GM of the Canucks for a number of years; or by Pat Quinn, who lives in Vancouver and hasn’t been working since he was fired by the Leafs in 2006.
As an owner of the Vancouver Giants, Quinn has appeared before fans in Vancouver frequently since, and is still beloved by the crowd for leading the Canucks to fame in the team’s last Cup run in 1993-94.
That said, Quinn owning one team in town and being employed by another one might represent a troubling conflict of interest for Aquilini (Orca Bay, under different ownership, famously bought the Vancouer Voodoo in order to shut them down) but establishing a development pipeline from the Giants to the Canucks might benefit both teams.