On December 5, the Vancouver Canucks dismissed Travis Green as their head coach and immediately named Bruce Boudreau as his successor. When GM Jim Benning was also let go that same day, the Canucks responded by hiring longtime NHL executive Jim Rutherford a few days later.
However, Rutherford was given the title of president of hockey operations and not that of general manager. In fact, one of his first major decisions as Canucks president will be to hire someone to fill the vacant GM role.
Online sportsbook Sportsbook has posted odds on who will become the Vancouver Canucks’ next general manager. The list of names is impressive and loaded with NHL experience.
Odds To Become Next Canucks’ General Manager
Odds as of December 15 at Sportsbook
Why Is Marc Bergevin The Favorite To Be Canucks’ Next GM?
Marc Bergevin (+350) is the betting favorite to take over as next GM of the Vancouver Canucks because Carey Price reached a level of goaltending in last year’s playoffs that allowed an offensively challenged Canadiens team to ride their goalie all the way to a Stanley Cup Final.
Or at least that is the viewpoint of a bitter longtime Maple Leafs fan. During his nine seasons as GM for the Canadiens, Bergevin did a lot of very good things. Montreal made the playoffs six times and capped it with a run to the final last season.
Bergevin was bold with his trades (think Shea Weber for PK Subban) and also made several good free-agent signings, including Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Petry.
However, a glance through the current Canadiens lineup leaves a hockey fan uninspired and unconvinced those are the names of an elite-level team.
Bergevin will definitely get consideration for this role, but whether he deserves to be the betting favorite is open for debate.
Other Vancouver Canucks General Manager Options
Despite not having a general manager currently in place, the arrival of Bruce Boudreau behind the bench appears to have sparked at least a short-term turnaround by the players on the ice.
However, the Canucks are still near the bottom of the Western Conference and whoever is named GM will have to evaluate whether this year’s squad is thinking of a second-half playoff push or if they are already playing for next year.
The Colorado Avalanche are believed by many to be the best overall team in hockey. General manager Joe Sakic gets a lot of credit for the talented roster he has assembled.
However, Sakic didn’t do it alone and his assistant GM with the Avalanche is Chris MacFarland. MacFarland spent over 15 seasons working in senior hockey operations roles with the Columbus Blue Jackets before jumping to Colorado. With 20-plus years of NHL executive experience, it may now be MacFarland’s time to build his own team.
Mike Gillis +500
What’s old is sometimes new again. Bringing back Mike Gillis, who was the Canucks’ general manager during their 2011 Stanley Cup Final playoff run, would be a very interesting and much-talked-about move by Vancouver.
There is no doubt that Gillis enjoyed success in Van-City and was captain of the ship for some very good Canucks teams, but at +500 I think the odds are a little short for him. I’m sure his name will be mentioned by the Vancouver brass when compiling their options, but I would be surprised if Rutherford had him on a short list to interview.
Laurence Gilman +1800
Although I am hesitant to believe Vancouver is seriously considering bringing back their old GM Mike Gillis, I am definitely more open to the idea of them bringing back their previous AGM, Laurence Gilman.
Gilman served under Gillis with the Canucks and behind the scenes was given a lot of credit for his forward-thinking approach and roster input for those talented teams.
Since leaving Vancouver, Gilman has done great things in the Toronto organization, building their AHL franchise into one of the league’s premier teams. If Vancouver does bring back a familiar face, I would be more willing to bet it’s Gilman than Gillis.
Eric Tulsky +1200
The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the elite teams in the NHL right now. They have a Stanley Cup-contending roster and a deep farm system with quality prospects ready to compete for NHL jobs.
Their roster has been built without having to overpay big-name free agents and they find themselves in a good salary cap position. Eric Tulsky gets a lot of the credit for the Hurricanes’ current success.
The Carolina AGM, Tulsky is regarded as one of the sharpest analytics minds in all of hockey. When it comes to future NHL general managers, he is considered a when, not an if. It might not be the open spot in Vancouver, but Eric Tulsky will be an NHL GM one day.
Roberto Luongo (+1600) and Ray Ferraro (+1700)
Recently, Jim Rutherford mentioned that he had constructed two lists of potential candidates. One list was composed of NHL experienced GMs no longer with a team. The other list was made up of current NHL assistant GMs whom Rutherford could mentor and help develop.
Although Roberto Luongo was a special advisor to the GM in Florida before building their goaltending excellence department, I don’t believe he has the experience Rutherford is looking for. Ray Ferraro is very talented as an NHL media personality and color analyst. Again, I think a lack of experience takes him out of the running as well.
There are a lot of great candidates and Rutherford could go in a lot of different directions with this hiring. However, at +1800 with a great reputation as an assistant GM, combined with Rutherford’s willingness to mentor someone in this role, my money is on Laurence Gilman.