May 8, 2013
Face it Canucks, your Stanley Cup window is shut
Club should take lessons from Flames and Oilers
By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

With stars Daniel (left) and Henrik Sedin not getting any younger, how much longer can the Canucks consider themselves Stanley Cup contenders? (ANDY CLARK/Reuters)

SAN JOSE - The Calgary Flames reached Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in the spring of 2004.

The Flames braintrusts spent several seasons afterwards believing they were still a Cup contender, drafting poorly while trying to recapture the magic by adding pieces around their core. They failed to even come close and this season, when it became obvious that dream was more dead than a zombie in the path of Rick Grimes, finally started a long-awaited rebuild.

The Edmonton Oilers reached Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup final.

The Oilers spent the next couple of seasons chasing the faint hope they could return, failing to land many free-agents they chased, losing key players from their own team and hitting rock bottom to the point they drafted first overall three consecutive seasons.

The Vancouver Canucks reached Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup final.

Anybody believe the Canucks will be back there any time soon?

More likely, the Canucks are heading down the same path as the Flames and Oilers.

Last season, the Canucks were defeated in the first round of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Kings.

Today, they are still stinging from the effects of a four-game sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, which concluded Tuesday.

Next year? Good guess, but it's a longshot the Canucks will be skating until late June and battling to the championship round. Or the year after. Or the year after that.

Their loss to the Sharks exposed too many holes.



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