June 3, 2023

Sportsnet: Vancouver Canucks president Jim Rutherford on Sportsnet 650 radio talking about the team. When asked about how the players aren’t executing like they should be, especially in the third period, and how views it.

**NHLrumors.com transcription

“Well, we’re at a point now, and certainly we’d be at this point more so at the end of this road trip where we have to make players more accountable. We’ll have to take the necessary steps to get players’ attention.

We’ve tried to make changes in the offseason. Priority of ours is the right side of the defense. We need to make it younger. We took a step forward there when we finally were able to get Ethan Bear. We worked at that deal for a few months but we didn’t have the cap space. Finally got creative enough to where we could do it.

If we were playing in a real strong structure, it would make it easier for our defense to play, and it wouldn’t matter who was on our defense. But right now we don’t have that strong structure and we need to change the makeup of our defense.

When a defenseman comes along, like it did in the offseason, we were in on just about everyone of those players that moved to another team. But there were also circumstances that meant we couldn’t get them. We either didn’t have the cap space or another was willing/had a better player, players to give up for the defenseman.”

Fans may be thinking ‘rebuild’ but the Canucks are viewing it as a ‘build.’ You don’t need to tear it down, but maybe a step back to take a step forward. When asked if it’s still something they can do with this group.

“It is, but I don’t think we need to use the word ‘rebuild.’ We all get caught up in words, and the word we use internally is build. Continue to build, build, build.

Move out players that don’t fit here. Move in younger players. I’ve talked about it from day one. When we bring players in we’re going to try to bring in relatively young players, 26 years old or younger. For the most, that’s what we’ve done to this point.

We’re not trading draft picks for guys in their 30’s and things like that. We’re trying to build this together so it can come together, certainly within the next year for next season, if not prior to that. But certainly, with that start we’ve had, it’s going to be very difficult for this team to claw out of the hole we’re in and contend for a playoff spot.”

When asked if there comes a point where setting things up for next season becomes a priority,

“Yes, there will be a point where we do that, and I also think there will be a point where we start to talk, you know, there’s certain players you can trade because people aren’t interested in them. So maybe we’re going to get point where we’re going to have to take a look at trading one or two players that in the offseason we would never consider doing it.

Now the only way we would do that, is to trade that player and get something in return that we can at least stay the same as we are now and get a couple more younger assets.

That’s what I talk about when we build. It’s not necessarily a teardown and rebuild. We just keep building piece by piece by piece. We’d all like, it’s like doing a puzzle. We’d all like to put those 1,000 pieces out on a table and fit the most important pieces first. But it doesn’t work that way. Each piece by piece at some point will make sense for what we’re trying to do.”

**NHLrumors.com transcription

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