Well, perhaps change was gonna come to Vancouver eventually regardless. Nothing lasts forever, and we both know hearts can change. The Canucks won the Northeast Division again, but that was on account of how week it was, and their plus-6 goal differential was second worst of any Western Conference playoff team. They were then ousted in the first round of the postseason, a disappointing result for a team that likes to contend for the Cup and that has President's Trophies in its recent past.
So a couple of things changed, but none of the changes was the one we most expected to see. Alain Vigneault was fired in part of an ersatz coaching trade with the Rangers, as the Canucks then brought in John Tortorella. The change we expected was in net. Roberto Luongo was going to finally be move along, giving way to Cory Schneider. Instead, Schneider was the one who was traded, leaving Luongo the once and future starter for Vancouver.
The Sedin twins are still around and, at 32, they still have a few good years left. Ryan Kesler missed most of last season, and having him healthy will be big for them. The forward depth does not impress, however. Bo Horvath, who they took with the pick they go for Schneider, probably can't help much yet. Zach Kassian is good I guess? David Booth is never healthy. This is a team that will probably have to rely on defense and goal prevention. Good thing Tortorella is their coach.
This team does have a good defensive group with guys like Alex Edler and Jason Garrison and Kevin Bieksa. However, the real onus lies at the feet of Luongo. He struggled last year, sure, but the two seasons prior he was very good, and a sample size of 18 starts isn't all that telling. Luongo is 34 now, but goalies tend to age well. I think he will improve, but how much? Again, Tortorella's presence should help, but this is an intriguing situation.
The Canucks now need to play in a division with teams like the Kings and the Sharks too. It isn't the old Northeast, even if they can still beat up on Calgary. It hurts. Vancouver's run as a leading light of this league is over. What we have now is a playoff also ran. In a couple years, it could be a team starting a rebuild. The old Cup window seems to have closed.