If the Vancouver Canucks lose tonight in San Jose — and they’ll be underdogs for sure — they’ll tie their franchise record with 10 straight losses.
That record dates back to their nightmarish 1997-98 campaign, when they dropped 10 in a row in October and November. The roster that season did not lack star power. It featured newly signed Mark Messier, along with Pavel Bure, Alex Mogilny, and Markus Naslund.
The consequences of losing?
Pat Quinn was fired as president and GM; Tom Renney was fired as coach, replaced by the one and only Mike Keenan; and former captain Trevor Linden, now the Canucks’ president of hockey operations, was traded to the Islanders for Todd Bertuzzi.
So yeah, a pretty crazy year.
And the Canucks would remain a disaster the following season. New GM Brian Burke traded an unhappy Bure, fired Keenan and hired Marc Crawford. In the summer, the Sedin twins were drafted with the second and third overall picks.
The Canucks would eventually emerge from the wreckage, and perhaps that’s of some solace to their fans today. But for now, it’s hard to watch.
Vancouver — a team that started the season with a questionable roster, then on top of that was beset by injuries — has been shut out four times during its nine-game winless streak and outscored by a combined 28 to 8.