Lay off Nonis, already

BARRY MACDONALD -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

I am getting a little worried. I might be coming around to Troy's way of thinking.

Troy, in case you don't subscribe to the highly acclaimed B-Mac and Rintoul show on the Team 1040, is a regular, uh, contributor to the show. His particularly specialty is tormenting Canuck fans who torment themselves with that troubling blend of expectations and panic. It's a toxic brew, that if nothing else, fuels sports talk shows.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised in a city where 8,500 (a limit imposed by the team!) fans showed up at GM Place for the official unveiling of the new jersey. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised in a city where the battle for the seventh defenceman spot garners daily debates.

Maybe I should just get my head around the idea that even in September, coming off a division title and a first round playoff victory, there are going to be fans who find a reason to fret.

More than one, I can tell you, has suggested Dave Nonis should be out of a job. With just over a week before the frickin' season starts!

You can understand the sentiment. He needs his head examined for the Luongo trade. Vigneault is clearly another Bill Laforge. Taylor Pyatt for a fourth rounder? The Sabres are still doubled up over that one.

For those of you dumping on Nonis, tap your collective helmets. I know, there have been moves he would like back. The name Marc Chouinard comes to mind. Swing and a horrible miss. The Eric Weinrich deadline deal? Not exactly a fleecing. But guess what? General managers don't bat a thousand. Even Sam Pollock acquired a Hab-not on occasion.

I find the timing of the concern more laughable than the concern itself. It is September. October is next in line, and that historically has been the START of the NHL season. Once that rolls around, there is tangible evidence being offered up three or four nights a week as to whether a general manager has done his job, and whether the coach and players are doing theirs.

Just a thought, but maybe let the preseason slide by and the regular season start before passing judgment. Feel free to fret. But if you want to judge Nonis on what he has done, you have last season to go on. And if that disappointed you as a Canuck fan, I am compelled to inform you, that you are an idiot.

But Nonis would be the first to admit, he isn't taking any bows. Last year is last year, and the Canucks' most glaring weakness wasn't addressed over the summer, unless you have faith in bounce-back seasons. Here is where you have licence to criticize the general manager.

If Vancouver continues to struggle offensively, and he doesn't make a move of some sort to deal with that deficiency, then Nonis is fair game.

This team has a window of opportunity as long as Luongo has a pulse. The most pressing need is at the offensive end of the ice.

It may be comforting to those of you inflicted by the toxic brew, that Dave Nonis is quite aware of this. What you see in those uniforms next Friday night might well change sooner, than later.

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Barry Macdonald is co-host of BS in the Morning on the Team 1040 from 6-9 a.m.


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