1 season of missing the playoffs and he's gone? Man... I'd love to have management like that.
That'd be like music to my ears.
It's not just about missing the playoffs this season, it's about his entire body of work over the 4 years he was here.
Remember game 6 vs Dallas last year? How they didn't even show up for it? Injuries or not, there were too many games like that this season...The 6-2 loss at home vs Colorado, the 5-1 loss in Chicago, any of the seven games they lost in the last nine games of the season.
Then you look at the games where there were efforts this year and you could plainly see that they just didn't have the talent. January was a good example of this, where in 14 of their 15 games that month they had leads of either 1-0 or 2-1 and gave up the next goal.
Then there were the myriad of reclamation projects here under Nonis. Park, Carter, Noronen, Pyatt, Bulis, Cowan, Ritchie, Isbister, Beech, Pettinger and almost Brunnstrom.
There was the fact that he couldn't draft an impact player in the first round of the draft. Again, one project after another meant there was almost no help from the system when they needed it.
And then the coup de grace...the fact that he had one of the best goalies on the planet and a 48 million dollar payroll and missed the playoffs again.
This was not a knee jerk reaction, despite what the idiots in the media want you to believe. This is about the fact that Nonis took over a 100 point roster, missed the playoffs 2 out of three years and has left the roster smaller, weaker and with more holes in it than when he took over, Luongo or no Luongo.
Consider all the mistakes Nonis made here.
- He is one of the 2005 draft lottery winners, moving up from 23rd to 10th. Despite this team's long standing need for both a top 6 scorer and impact centre, he takes a project defenseman in Luc Bourdon and passes on Anze Kopitar, who went next to the Kings.
- Needing to get under the cap coming out of the lockout, he panics and dumps Sopel off for a 2nd round pick. This leaves him with Ohlund, Jovanovski, Salo, Allen and Baumgarnter as his only NHL calibre defenders. His answer to the problem was Steve McCarthy, who didn't last the season.
- Coming out of the lockout, he had an entire third of the league to add from through unrestricted free agency, knowing that he had questions in goal, a lack of depth on defense and was short at least one top 6 forward. His only additions were Richard Park and Anson Carter, despite the fact that Scott Neidermayer wanted to sign and play in Vancouver. Despite an obvious need for another NHL calibre defenseman, Nonis says no thanks. Scott Neidermayer would sign with the Ducks, take them to the WCF in his first year and the Stanley Cup in year two.
- Knowing full well that Ed Jovanovski was not part of his long term plans, he opts not to trade him at the deadline and lets him walk as a free agent withgout compensation. Going in to the deadline that year, they are playing their backup goalie Alex Auld and still have not addressed their obvious weakness on defense, even though both Ohlund and Salo have been knocked out of the lineup with injuries they sustained at the Olympics. His answer to these problems at the deadline are Mika Noronen, Eric Weinrich and Sean Brown, none of whom would play another year in the NHL. Shockingly, the team misses the playoffs.
- In the 2006 draft, Nonis takes Michael Grabner with his first pick, a player that is not ranked as a first round selection on any prospect list on the planet. In fact, most people have him pegged as a late second round or third round pick.
- That summer he allows Jarrko Ruutu, a third round pick, to walk away as an unrestricted free agent.
- Despite the fact that Anson carter scored 33 goals and helped turned the Sedins into legitimate first line scoring threats, Nonis decides he's too expensive at 2 million per and opts not to resign him. Having dealt Bertuzzi to Florida in the Luongo deal, he is now short at least two top 6 scorers and still hasn't acquired an impact centre. His answers to these problems are Jan Bulis and Taylor Pyatt.
- Going in to the 2007 trade deadline, he has the hottest team in the league and his goaltender is having an MVP season that has the team on pace for it's best regular season in team history. But he still has the need for an impact scorer, and it's clear his leading scorer and captain needs an elite forward to help maintain his offensive production. His answer to this need is Bryan Smolinski. The team scores more than 2 goals in just 2 of its 12 playoff games, blows another 3-1 series lead and then bows out in 5 games in the second round.
-Still in dire need of help on offense, he takes a project centre in high school player Patrick White and passes on David Perron, a scoring winger who won the gold medal with Canada at the WJCs that winter. Perron goes on to score 14 goals and 38 points as a rookie with the Blues. No one really knows where White is.
- Completely ignores the team's need for more scoring. His answer in the summer of 07 is to sign Byron Ritchie and Brad Isbister. And despite having an obvious problem with his blueliners ability to stay healthy, he resigns the most injury prone defender in the league in Sami Salo to a 4 year, 14 million dollar contract AND throws in an NTC for good measure.
- Loses a top 6 forward and a top 4 defender to long term injuries in November and his only answer to pick up Kris Beech off of waivers. Beech is cast off by the goal starved Blue Jackets and doesn't last three weeks as a Canuck.
- Despite an obvious need for scoring and having a blue line that is decimated by injury, while watching his team slide inexorably out of a playoff spot, he answers at the trade dealine with third line forward Matt Pettinger. Pettinger had 2 goals when acquired by Nonis.
- He leaves the team faced with the very real possibility that both Morrison and Naslund will walk out of this organization as UFAs, again with no compensation, leaving the team short at least 3 top 6 forwards and STILL NO IMPACT CENTRE. His answer to the problem this time around was to offer a 2 million per contract to 23 year-old underachieving Swede, Fabian Brunnstrom, a player that was not even drafted.
Now you can say hind sight is 20 / 20, but with every one of those decisions, there was a t least one Canuck fan on this board pointing out that these were stupid decisions that would hurt this team rather than help. So if we as fans can see it, what the hell was Nonis' problem?
Outside of the Luongo deal and signing Willie Mitchell, Dave Nonis did a horrible job here and has likely set this team back at least 5 years.
Firing him was not only the right thing to do, it was long, long overdue.