Why can’t the Canucks play in the playoffs? The answer is they have no idea how to play in it.
NHL.com has learned that the Vancouver Canucks will not be playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs next season because of a series of financial and organizational issues that have caused them to miss the postseason for six straight seasons.
The Canucks’ attendance issues have been well-documented.
In the past year, the team has consistently ranked as the lowest-attended team in the NHL, averaging just over 10,000 fans per game.
The team has been unable to fill its seats with fans in order to accommodate the growing crowds of the team’s newest and biggest stars, including superstar Ryan Kesler.
The team’s management team, led by general manager Jim Benning, has tried to fix the situation by increasing ticket prices and decreasing season ticket allotments.
The decision to sell season tickets in the second half of the season has also been controversial.
Benning has insisted that the team will not sell season-ticket holders out, however, he did not publicly address the issue.
Instead, the Canucks have opted to sell the remaining season-plus-one tickets at the price they would have sold at the beginning of the regular season.
The season-over-one package is $125 for a single seat and $150 for two seats.
The first-time season-holder will receive the lowest price in the first-half of the calendar year and the remaining price is $175 for the entire season.
The club’s owner, Adrian Belew, has said that the franchise will only sell season ticket holders in the regular-season.
However, fans will not receive the full amount of season-tickets if they renew before April 15, which is when the season-to-date allotments expire.
While season-holders have the option to renew before the end of the year, there is a catch: if a season-member does not renew within 30 days of purchasing the first year-plus ticket, they will be required to pay $150 in order for the first season-taker to be eligible to renew.
Fans who purchase a season ticket before the expiration date are ineligible for the next season-membership, which has caused a rift between the team and its fan base.
Fans have been upset by the lack of action by the team, which led to a protest outside the Canucks’ practice facility.
Bennington has also indicated that the Canucks may need to consider selling the entire team in order not to lose out on any future revenue.
The Vancouver Canucks have played the last six games in the shortened season, which they have lost three of, including two games to the Philadelphia Flyers.
While fans have been left with little choice, the club needs to start paying its bills and be more competitive to compete for a playoff spot.
Benning’s team has a new, younger coach in Scott Arniel, who is expected to lead the team into the playoffs this season.
However of late, Arniel has not had the success of his predecessor.
The club has lost four of its last five games, including a 1-0 defeat to the New Jersey Devils in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Canucks have also been outscored 5-1 in the third period, which could have resulted in a loss in the series if not for the timely goal by Nikita Tryamkin.
The franchise has also suffered from an on-ice culture of being a team that plays by the book, which Benning recently acknowledged.
The franchise has played its share of games that were decided by one goal, and that could be the catalyst that is holding the Canucks back.
In the standings, the current standings place the Canucks at ninth place in the Pacific Division, two points behind the first place San Jose Sharks.
However the Sharks will need to come away with a Game 7 on Tuesday to advance to the Western Conference Finals.