Jury still out on season

BARRY MACDONALD -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Dave Nonis made it pretty clear last Friday, the day after the Canucks were given the boot from the playoffs, that he was going to take at least 10 days to assess what had transpired over this past hockey season before reaching any conclusions.

Four days into that 10-day window, Nonis held a media conference to discuss what went wrong and what he was going to do about it.

Time was on his side. He had another six days of assessing to do, so any suggestion that Tuesday's presser should have offered up more tangible plans was misguided.

All Nonis owed the fans was an honest assessment and he provided that - the season wasn't good enough and changes will be made.

What more could be expected of him at this point?

Imagine for a second that he said what most people know. Imagine Dave Nonis saying either Todd Bertuzzi or Marc Crawford would be gone ... that this town isn't big enough for both of them.

For the next umpteen weeks, until one of them was sent packing, Nonis would have been fielding calls from the inquiring minds about when he was going to pull the trigger.

If the fans know it isn't working, if the media knows it isn't working, my hunch is that the Bertuzzi-Crawford dynamic is not lost on Nonis. He knows the culture of his operation needs to be changed.

I had no trouble with what Nonis said on Tuesday. He made it clear that what happened this season was not acceptable. He made it clear he planned on doing something about it. But the decisions he makes and the execution of those decisions can't be made without serious consideration. There is more to simply saying Marc Crawford has to go, or Todd Bertuzzi has to go. If he fires Crawford, who does he replace him with? Who is available? Would that coach want to work with the existing core? Could he work with them? Would he want to try and rehabilitate Bertuzzi? And on and on it goes.

The easy thing to do after a team soils the sheets is to go nuclear. Wipe the slate and start all over. I am not convinced this team is miles away from not just making the playoffs, but contending again. It's somewhere between minor and major surgery.

But give Nonis the time to survey the damage, develop the X-rays before going full scalpel.

This is no easy fix and it requires a measured, prudent approach. In some ways, Dave Nonis' tenure as Canucks' GM has only just begun.


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