Canucks’ News & Rumors: Julien, Kane, Marchand & More

In the latest edition of Vancouver Canucks’ News & Rumors, the organization has been doing external research on potential general manager and coach candidates. Additionally, the team has permission to approach Claude Julien as an option behind the bench. The Canucks won’t pursue Evander Kane in a trade, and lastly, the NHL has suspended Brad Marchand due to an incident in Sunday night’s game against the club.

Canucks Researching For Potential Candidates

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Canucks are doing external research on potential candidates for both the front office and behind the bench. Last Thursday, Friedman added on his 32 Thoughts podcast the organization has been researching for about 10 days. He adds the team is looking at all options, including internal options, such as Brad Shaw behind the bench, Stan Smyl or Ryan Johnson as interim general manager. 

Jim Benning Vancouver Canucks
Jim Benning, Vancouver Canucks, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Additionally, multiple names outside of the organization have been floating around as potential replacements. Jim Rutherford and Dale Tallon are two names mentioned as front office additions or replacements. As The Province’s Patrick Johnston mentions, both have an old way of doing things, and the Canucks should look at someone who brings dynamic thinking (from ‘The Skate: No, not that’ The Province, November 25, 2021). The team’s most successful period included Mike Gillis as the team’s general manager, and he was known for being a progressive thinker.

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Naming Johnson the team’s interim general manager might be the team’s best option at this point. He has managed Vancouver’s farm team since 2017-18 and has played a part in developing a few NHLers, including Thatcher Demko

Canucks Have Permission to Approach Claude Julien

Friedman noted if the Canucks want to talk to Julien, the Montreal Canadiens would not block permission. He added on Saturday night, the organization thought about hiring Julien, but he doesn’t believe they will go down that road.

Current general manager Jim Benning has a relationship with Julien dating back to their time in Boston. The Athletic’s Thomas Drance states the Canucks considered hiring Julien when Willie Desjardins was still the team’s head coach (from ‘Drance: Canucks leadership vacuum isn’t patience or due diligence. It’s just unfair to fans and all involved’ The Athletic, November 27, 2021). Friedman added on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday Scott Walker, the current president of hockey operations with the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm, as a person of interest, but stated the team likely won’t hire him for family reasons. He also said the team isn’t going to make a decision immediately and will be patient with their next move.

If the Canucks decide to fire Benning and head coach Travis Green, they have to move on from the general manager first. A new general manager will give ownership their input on who the team should hire as the next head coach. Otherwise, the team could add an interim general manager and head coach and wait until the offseason to make drastic changes. 

Canucks Won’t Pursue Kane

The San Jose Sharks placed Kane on waivers on Sunday, which he cleared. The forward’s 21 game suspension for submitting a fake vaccination card has expired. His agent, Dani Milstein, stated they have multiple options on the table, and he will be making a phone call to teams, including the Canucks, per Rick Dhaliwal. Drance stated the team isn’t and will not consider a trade for Kane (from ‘The Armies: Taking L’s, J.T. Miller’s frustrating week and teams are allowed to make swift regime changes?’ The Athletic, November 28, 2021).

In a trade for the forward, the Sharks are willing to retain some of his $7 million cap hit. He has four seasons remaining on his contract. 

Related: Canucks Potential Trade Partners: Toronto Maple Leafs

Through his four seasons with his third NHL club, Kane scored 87 goals and posted 166 points in 212 games. Despite his productivity the past few seasons, he has had a few off-ice issues. Along with his 21 game suspension, he has been included in allegations of domestic assault by his estranged wife, who also made allegations the forward was betting on his own NHL games, while Kane made counter-claims in court. The forward also filed for bankruptcy in January. 

Marchand Suspended for Slew Foot on Ekman-Larsson

Boston Bruins’ forward Marchand has been suspended for three games for slew-footing Oliver Ekman-Larson during Sunday’s game. He will also lose $91,875 of his salary. He didn’t receive a penalty for the slew-foot in the game. He will miss the Bruins’ games against the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning before returning on Dec 8th against the Canucks. 

Marchand has a history of dirty plays, especially against the Canucks. This is his seventh suspension and his fifth fine throughout his career.