June 18 2013 10:53AM
We kicked off "Team Needs" week at Canucks Army on Monday with a look at third-line centre options this offseason. That series continues today with a look at top-six forward options.
I looked at some second line options last week (including David Clarkson and Valtteri Filppula), and that analysis will be expanded upon a bit in today’s post. Let’s assume that Ryan Kesler remains at center and the Canucks find themselves in the market for a top six right winger at a bargain basement price (a very realistic scenario). Who is available in-house? How about on the trade market?
June 13 2013 10:20AM
David Clarkson - Wikicommons Media
Assuming the Canucks go with the status quo for next season (relatively speaking, there will be some inevitable change to the roster), what holes do they need to fill?
Today, we will take a look at some options for the second line wing spot next to David Booth* and Ryan Kesler**.
June 10 2013 03:10PM
Max Lapierre - Wikicommons Media
Last week, we looked at some internal and external options for the Canucks to use for the fourth line wings. On the left side, there isn't much organizatonal depth, and my suggestion was to find a proven NHL player (Blake Comeau, for example). On the right side, though, it makes sense to bring Restricted Free Agent Dale Weise back, as he has proven to be an effective player at times and he is still fairly young. Zack Kassian is also an option, but the club is likely hoping that he steps into a top nine spot and stays there.
How about up the middle? Once a strong suit of the Canucks, the center ice position has been in disarray in recent years, due to the freak eye injury to Manny Malhotra and the spate of injuries to Ryan Kesler. Maxim Lapierre likely won't be back (all indications point to the club wanting to go a different direction), and he served the team well during his two years here. However, he isn't an irreplaceable player, and there are several intriguing options for the spot both within and outside the organization.
Let's look at a few of them.
June 06 2013 08:51AM
Dale Weise and Max Lapierre - Wikicommons Media
On Tuesday, we looked at Vancouver's search for a left winger to play on the fourth line. My suggestion was to sign UFA winger Blake Comeau, or to find a player in the AHL (much like the Canucks did a few years ago with Tanner Glass).
The Canucks have absolutely zero organizational depth in terms of checking line left wingers. However, that isn't the case on the right side. Dale Weise and Zack Kassian are both solid fourth line options. Kassian, ideally, will play a bigger role with the club in 2013-14. Is Weise the best possible option for the fourth line?
Let's take a look, shall we?
June 04 2013 10:19AM
Tanner Glass - Wikicommons Media
It has been a while since the Canucks have had a consistent trio of players on the fourth forward unit. Max Lapierre, for the most part, has played the role as fourth line center since coming over at the 2011 trade deadline, but to say that he has seen a revolving door of wingers would be a significant understatement.
Just because a fourth line is the fourth most important forward unit, that doesn’t mean that it should be overlooked.
There aren’t many NHL teams with a consistent fourth line nowadays, though. As depth players mature and improve, their salary demands increase. And because of this, teams continue to have to find more cost-effective options to place on the fourth line. This can be done through the draft or through smart open-market signings.
Over the next week, the past, present, and future of Vancouver’s fourth unit will be analyzed. Today, we look at the left winger(s).