Do the Vancouver Canucks have any more bright ideas?

There’s still plenty of time left in the 2022-23 NHL season for additional PR nightmares. But trying to healthy scratch forward Brock Boeser on Hockey Fights Cancer night might take the cake.

In May of 2022, Duke Boeser, Brock’s father, passed away from cancer at the age of 61. Six months later and the Canucks decided it was time to give Boeser some tough love by sitting him out of a game – on a night that was bound to be extremely emotional for the star forward.

But in a twist of events, Vancouver forward Dakota Joshua was deemed unfit to play during the afternoon. So Boeser drew back into the lineup. And fittingly, he scored the game-tying goal midway through the third period. The Canucks won in overtime courtesy of Bo Horvat’s 19th goal of the season.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said afterwards that he’d already chosen to scratch Boeser on Friday, a day in advance of the Canucks matchup Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes. Boudreau also said that he wasn’t aware that it was Hockey Fights Cancer night in Vancouver when he made the decision.

I don’t have any reason to doubt Boudreau. He’s never come across as anything other than genuine. I know he likes ice cream and professional wrestling. I like ice cream and professional wrestling. I think Bruce and I would get along just dandy.

But this was a bad mistake. A really, really bad mistake. Because typically when a high-profile player like Boeser gets healthy scratched, approval needs to come from management.

I spoke with several current and former NHL coaches about this very topic. And all of them agreed: the decision to healthy scratch Boeser would almost certainly not have been Boudreau going it alone. Management had to be in on it. And some even believe there’s a chance management may have called for it.