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End of the Crawford years

At 3:30PM PDT, Dave Nonis held a press conference to announce Marc Crawford's (forced) departure from the Canucks organization.

He stressed that Crawford did a great job with the team but that, in spite of his success, he feels that it was best for the organization to let him go. A change behind the bench is only the starting point for this team and Crawford's firing does not, in any way, absolve any of the players from the lack of effort this season. In fact, he feels that it puts more pressure on them. There is much more blame to go around and a lot of it falls on the leadership on the team. The effort just wasn't good enough.

A short list will be drawn up with potential head coaches and a thorough interview process will be held before they make their decision. Nonis is open to guys who don't necessarily have the head coach experience but who, nonetheless, are a good fit for the team. Just because Crawford didn't have the success with the Canucks, it doesn't mean he's a bad coach. This move was done in an attempt to jump start the club.

He feels that no team in the league was better prepared night in, night out, than the Canucks. No team was better prepared for the post season. But there were too many nights when the players tuned out the coach, and not because the message they were hearing wasn't the right message. It was because certain players weren't listening.

There wasn't any one player, or even a group of players, who was/were a factor in the decision to let Crawford go. The players are supportive of the coaching staff and hold a lot of respect and like for Crawford. That said, their like doesn't change the fact that they didn't have the jump this season that they've had in previous seasons. The team needs new energy.

If he feels the best decision for the organization is for Bertuzzi to go, then Bertuzzi will go. But he still doesn't have an answer.

There will be a new focus on accountability, from the captain, to the players, to the coaches, to the equipment manager. He still thinks that the Canucks are a good hockey team and have good players, but what they need is a hard-working club, attention to detail; things that make teams strong and successful.

Decisions and responsibility lie solely in Orca Bay's hockey operations department. Owners are not to blame.

Also, Nonis would like you to know that the new head coach will be the man who is right for the club, not the sexiest. But a headshot wouldn't hurt.


May 2006

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