Preseason games are well underway, and we’re rapidly approaching the regular season. This is the time that roster spots are earned, so let’s keep the question simple this week. What does your opening-night roster look like?
Last week I asked:
The Canucks have now signed two players to PTOs, Ryan White in late August and Scottie Upshall earlier this week. Which of these two players would you most like to see make the team, and are there any other players on the market you would like to see the Canucks invite to training camp?
I assume White and Upshall are trying out for Dorsett’s spot. A part of me thinks, well, let’s just forget about all that, play the kids, roll 4 skilled lines and such. But another part of me also knows that (especially in our division) a soft team is going to get bullied around and the team (and fans) are going to look to someone to settle injustices. Without that person, who will that be? Gudbranson? He is a tough guy, but not used to bearing the policeman’s badge. As much as I would like to see more spots for skilled young players to move up, I “predict” they keep White as long as he outplays Dorsett.
I don’t see either of the PTOs being a good fit because there is just so much quantity at forward this year (and not high on quality). If I had to choose one, I would go with Ryan White. He is a bit more versatile at centre and a right-handed shot that could perhaps be useful on the PP in the event of injuries.
As for other PTO possibilities, the Canucks could use some skill and PTO isn’t a great place to find that. Perhaps Jagr or Gionta can offer some offensive skill. It is a stretch though. Realistically, the Canucks are more likely to unearth a Jack Skille. Good enough to play 4th line minutes on a struggling team.
Honestly, Jagr would just be entertaining to get those Travelling Jagrs from Calgary in town.
If there was ever a year to demand a spectacular showing from a PTO player it’s this year. If the future stars of the organization have to wrestle a job away from a max-ed out veteran, then these guys better be head and shoulders over the youth to earn a spot.
I understand that if they are successful they will be pulling 4th line duty and not necessarily impeding a Goldobin or Rodin. There are other options such as Molino, Labate, Carcone etc. who might fit the bill and bring a spark and some upside.
Adding to the negatives would be the certain addition of another player to the waiver wire. I’m not in favour of losing sight of building “organizational depth” for a modest, if any, upgrade in a role-playing position.
There has been a lot of talk about how improving the offence was a top priority for the season (with good reason). And I think they’ve done enough to address at least their PP.
But their penalty kill wasn’t great either. And with two of their top PK players traded at the deadline, there is a need to fill those skates! If there is room for a PP specialist like Gagner, then why can’t there be room for a PK specialist?
Upshall might be the guy to do that. He can play on your 4th line and keep his head above water. And he was a part of a very good STL PK unit last year.
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