The Vancouver Canucks have missed the playoffs just once in the past five seasons, but apparently the fashion in which they failed to qualify for the postseason in 2013-14 was enough for the fan base to send a message.
According to ticket broker Kingsley Bailey of Vancouver Ticket, demand for Canucks tickets has fallen about 40 percent compared to September 2013.
Speaking with CKWX News 1130 in Vancouver, Bailey said, “Right now there is no demand for Vancouver Canucks tickets.”
According to the radio station, the team announced earlier in the week that ticket prices would not be reduced.
“If they want to drop prices, they can. But if they don’t feel they have to and the demand is there — that’s their call. But as far as what I know — and I’m on the front lines when it comes to dealing with Vancouver Canucks tickets — the demand is definitely lower and if they really want to get an increase in fans, even the average fan that wants to go to the odd game, they’re going to have to lower prices,” said Bailey.
The Canucks are of course in transition period after cleaning out their front office and dealing veteran center Ryan Kesler at the NHL Draft.
“For the last couple of years, we have been taking hits and we’ve adjusted accordingly,” Bailey said. “We definitely don’t see demand for tickets for the Vancouver Canucks for two to three years — minimum.”
The Canucks open the 2014-15 season on the road in Calgary Oct. 8 before hosting Edmonton in their home opener Oct. 11.
Three seasons ago, Alexander Edler appeared to be a revelation on the Vancouver Canucks blue line. His 11 goal and 49 point season showed him to be a threat to score both at even strength and on the power play.
Since then, his production has slipped and they could use that version of him more than ever now.
Last season, Edler battled injury and poor play as he had 22 points, the same as he had in the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, but checked in with a minus-39 plus-minus rating – worst in the NHL. Say what you will about that statistic, but if you’re a defenseman you never want to have a negative number, especially not the league’s worst.
For Edler, he’s never been much of a possession-dominant blue liner but instead has relied on his physical play and offensively-gifted skill set to get him by. As Canucks President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden told Ben Kuzma of The Province back in June, he and Edler both know he has the skills to get his game back.
“He’s got all the tools to be a dominant No. 1 defenseman,” Linden said. “He’d be the first to admit he didn’t have a good year, and part of our job is to recapture the Alex Edler that we all know he can be. He has the skill-set that every team wants and we just have to get him back where he should be.”
Getting him back there may have a lot to do with keeping the Sedins healthy and perhaps getting back to playing more of a skill-style game as opposed to what John Tortorella was doing last season.
New coach Willie Desjardins brings an upbeat style of hockey and while he’ll work to implement that, making sure Edler can get back to the brand of game he knows best how to play will be vital. His skill set is unlike what other defensemen have in Vancouver and if he can’t get it going, the offense may stagnate.
This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.
1. Pavel Bure — 836 votes
2. Trevor Linden — 332 votes
3. Markus Naslund — 159 votes
4. Mark Messier — 97 votes
When you think of the Canucks, often times memories go straight to 1994 and their run to the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers. While they lost that series in seven games, one of the most memorable players during their playoff run that season was Pavel Bure.
The “Russian Rocket” led all playoff goal scorers in those playoffs with 16 and had 31 points overall. Had things gone differently in that Game 7 in Madison Square Garden, it’s possible he would’ve won the Conn Smythe Trophy and canonized as the patron saint of Vancouver.
Instead, all he did was score 254 of his 437 career goals for the Canucks in a career marred by injuries. For the NHL, he was the human highlight reel using his blazing speed to get behind defenses and make goaltenders quake as he came roaring in to score. His back-to-back 60-goal seasons in 1992-93 and 1993-94 stand out as his best work in Vancouver and reasons why they retired his No. 10 last season and led to his election to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.
While he doesn’t have the all-time standing in goals or points the way Naslund and Linden do, Bure’s breathtaking play helped make him the fans’ choice as the greatest player in franchise history.
By the way, congrats to the fans who attempted to swing the vote for Messier. You cracked the leader board.