Five Ways to Address the Canucks Roster

Cam Davie
May 14 2009 11:07AM

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Well now that the Canucks playoff hopes have been dashed, we'll start hyper-analyzing the Canucks, their coaching, their management, their front office, the GM Place vending staff, the Sportsnet crew and anyone who is even remotely connected to the team.

So I'll start. Here's five ways I think the Canucks need to address their roster this off-season.

1. Time for young kids to play now - Cody Hodgson, Michael Grabner, and Cory Schneider. All three of these players seem NHL ready now. Schneider and Grabner proved they could play very well at the AHL level, so it's now the time for them to take the leap to the big leagues. Cody Hodgson, by all accounts, is ready to go. In fact, it sounds like he was close to making the team last season. He's a calm, cool and collected player who looks like a future NHL captain.

2. Add/trade for a young, puck-moving defenseman that isn't Jay Bouwmeester. Bouwmeester is going to be far too expensive on the open market, come July 1st. It would not be fiscally prudent to try to sign Jay Bouwmeester, because it would not benefit the team. It would take too much money away from the line-up, and Gillis looks like he's intent on playing hockey's version of Moneyball. Tomorrow, I'll write on who I think the Canucks should target for this position. They will also have to likely pick up another depth defenseman in free agency, with Ohlund likely leaving and having to trade to bring in a puck-moving defenseman.

3. What about Team Sweden? Re-sign the Sedins. The twins proved their worth. For the Sedins, I would offer 5.75-6m per season for 4 years, in hopes that they will want to stay in Vancouver, where they clearly enjoy playing. As for Sundin and Ohlund - let them go. The Canucks need to get younger and faster and neither of those two players serve that need any longer. Mats Sundin was not a difference maker for the Canucks, not in the regular season or the playoffs.

4. Re-sign Bernier and Wellwood, and let Pyatt go. Pyatt and Bernier are similar players in stature and skill but Bernier is younger and much faster. I feel incredibly bad for Taylor Pyatt and his plight recently, but he's broken now. He is a broken player emotionally and he simply did not play well this season. It does not do the team any good to keep a player out of pity. Wellwood proved he is worth $1m per season, and played his role very well late in the season and into the playoffs.

5.Extend Roberto Luongo - if he's willing to come back. Roberto Luongo has all the characteristics you want in your top player. Heart, determination, character, winning attitude, game-changing ability. I would extend him if he is willing to stay and prove he can win a Cup here. I would suggest to Luongo that he makes the same cash as the Sedins. If he wants to win here in Vancouver, he would hopefully be willing to re-sign for slightly less money to help better the team in the long-run. This will improve his chances of winning a cup if we can get better talent here. An offer of 6m per season for 4-5 years is really only 500K less than what he is currently making now, on average. I know that this is a bit of a wish, but I think that Luongo is the type of player who only wants to win a Stanley Cup, and he would be willing to take slightly less cash if he knew it would make his team better.

Here is what my projected lines would be, focusing on the forwards:

Sedin-Sedin-Burrows Demitra-Kesler-Bernier Wellwood-Hodgson-Grabner Raymond-Johnson-Rypien Hordichuk

Or

Sedin-Sedin-Burrows Demitra-Kesler-Hodgson Wellwood-Bernier-Grabner/Raymond Grabner/Raymond-Johnson-Rypien Hordichuk

The defense would look like this: Salo, **PMD, Mitchell, Bieksa, Edler, O'Brien, Vaananen, Davison

Now I will assume that since I am suggesting that the Canucks trade for a puck-moving defenseman (**PMD) that they will have to trade away an existing defenseman. I will suggest that this trade would involve Salo, Mitchell or Bieksa. I say this because the Canucks will want to keep Edler, and the other defenseman wouldn't be worth the trade coming the other way. Tomorrow, I will specifically address the conundrum of the Puck-Moving Defenseman.

Time to get younger and faster, boys! Time for Gillis to officially put his stamp on this team and prove why he was hired.

Go Canucks!

-Cam Davie

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Cam was born in Greater Vancouver, raised in Greater Vancouver, and lives in Greater Vancouver. So, yes, he's from Vancouver. He attended his first Vancouver Canucks game on Dec 26th, 1980 and has bled orange/black/red/blue+green ever since. You can reach him on Twitter @tinfoiltuque or on e-mail at tinfoiltuque(at)gmail(dot)com.
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#1 Five Ways to Address the Canucks Roster « Nucks Hub
May 14 2009, 11:12AM
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[...] Read the full article at CANUCKSARMY.COM [...]

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#2 Jack Bauer
May 14 2009, 12:18PM
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We need to figure the 5 ways to address the Canuck fans. I love how the final act that the classless scum that populate GM Place was to throw crap on the ice for 10 minutes. Compare that to the Capital's fans that gave their team a standing ovation after a blowout. Other than the team being full of dirtbag, classless, cheatshot players, this is another example of why I hate the Canucks.

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#3 Sedinz
May 14 2009, 02:33PM
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@ Jack Bauer:

There there Jack. My Dad used to always tell me "the problem with Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver is that the real fans don't get anywhere near the arena cause they can't shell out the $400 for the tickets."

Those weren't canucks fans, those were people at the arena watching the Canucks. There is a difference.

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#4 Jack Bauer
May 14 2009, 03:49PM
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I dont by that. People who arent fans dont react that way. They would have left, beaten the traffic and been home before the horn. In fact if anything the argument can be made those are the diehard fans. But either way, if you throw crap on the ice during a game, you shouldnt be allowed out in public with decent people.

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#5 Jonathan Willis
May 14 2009, 04:17PM
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Schneider and Grabner proved they could play very well at the AHL level, so it’s now the time for them to take the leap to the big leagues.

I'll disagree here. For starters, Grabner has yet to hit the 50-point mark in the AHL, and even his junior numbers since being drafted have not been inspiring. Jason Jaffray had more points in ten less games and I'd put both him and Jannik Hansen has more NHL-ready than Grabner.

As for Schneider, he's been great in the AHL, but he's not going to get any better playing ten games a year as Luongo's backup. Keep him in the minors, recall him if Luongo gets injured would seem to be the course to take there.

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#6 Jack Bauer
May 14 2009, 04:44PM
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"but he’s not going to get any better playing ten games a year as Luongo’s backup. Keep him in the minors, recall him if Luongo gets injured would seem to be the course to take there"

Perhaps thats another issue. Maybe Luongo shouldnt be playing 72 games a year?

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#7 Brian O'Neill
May 14 2009, 04:47PM
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@ Jack Bauer: The more games he plays, the more shots he faces, the better goaltender Luongo is.

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#8 doritogrande
May 22 2009, 02:10PM
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@ JW:

I'll disagree with your disagreeing. I've been going to the Moose home playoff games and Grabner has been absolute money when in the lineup. Two beauty snipes in G2 at my end of the ice and he was shooting from everywhere. This is also the product of having Jason Krog as a linemate, but I firmly believe that Grabner is NHL ready next season. It may be true what you say in that he hasn't topped the 50 point mark, but he was playing most of the season hurt according to my local papers. He's of the Pavel Bure school of wingers that use their blinding speed to get wide on the defender and use their stick skills to cut to the inside for a deadly shot.

Cory Schneider is, without a doubt, the best goalie not playing in the NHL this year. He's kept the Moose in some close games during the playoffs and his composure equals that of some NHL goaltenders I've seen. I noticed that his feet were always calm, his movements precise. This in stark contrast to his current opponent Anton Khudobin of the Aeros, who reminds me of watching Simeon Varlamov in net for Washington during these playoffs. His only downside as you said was that he's got to get past Luongo for playing time. He's not far off from forcing the Canucks' hand.

From what I saw of Hodgson in his time in Manitoba, you put him at C, and you damn well better keep him there. 19 years old and he's outmanning veterans in the faceoff dot. And he's scoring too. I couldnt' get enough of watching him play the other night, because I know after this year's playoff run, I'll never see him in Winnipeg again. Vancouver found their version of Jonathan Toews in this kid.

For anyone interested in following the Moose, all Calder Cup playoff games are being streamed free and live at theahl.com

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