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WWYDW: Cap Space!

The Canucks are going to have a lot of cap space this summer. I mean it when I say a lot of cap space, too.

With the Sedins retirement, the Canucks are set to enter this summer with about $29-million with which to play. They’ve got a handful of restricted free agents in Jake Virtanen, Sven Baertschi, Derrick Pouliot, Troy Stecher and Markus Granlund to sign to new deals, but that’s not going to break the bank by any means.

So, with that, what do you want to see from the Canucks this off-season? How do you want them to spend their cash?

Last week I askedwhat would you do about the void at captain? Who should be the next Canuck to wear the ‘C’?

kneedroptalbot:

Eric Gudbranson for captain. He provides leadership and all the young players look up to him. 2nd choice would be Markus Grandlund, all the same reasons though he is more soft spoken. All the young Canuck’s aren’t ready for that role until the team learns to win consistently. Let the vets answer the tough questions while the kids are still becoming professionals.

OMAR49:

I think Bo Horvat is a future captain of this team, I just don’t think it’s now. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a 23 year old. Make him an alternate captain and give him 2-3 years to grow into the job. In the interim I would appoint Sutter as the Captain. He has experience as an alternate and the maturity to deal the media.

Goon:

Horvat strikes me as mature, seems to be a leader already, he’s one of the best players on the Canucks, and someone who is likely going to be on the team for a long time.

If the team wants a stop-gap captain for a couple of years with the influx of young talent coming before they pick a long-term captain, I’d nominate Edler. With the Sedins retiring he’s the longest-serving Canuck, he has class, he’s still an excellent player, and someone I’m sure the younger guys look up to. He certainly deserves to wear the C for a couple of years before passing it on to Bo, or Boeser, or Pettersson, or whoever steps up in the next generation.

Jamie E:

Who cares? What difference does it make? Most teams have a leadership group rather than a single, clear leader anyways. Other than being the designated point person to give canned, non answers to the same repetitive questions the media ask after every game and being the “Complainer-in-Chief” when the coach wants a ref yelled at, does it matter? If it does, someone will have to explain why to me.

Beer Can Boyd:

No captain for next year. Bo, Sutter and Tanev wear the A’s. No rush to make this decision.

  • Rodeobill

    I wonder with the Sedins gone, how will that change the style of play, deployment, etc. for the next year. Some people may get more O zone time with them gone, and our PP will need a rehaul. I think two questions need to be addressed with the cap, and I think it needs to happen after the draft (to see who we get and who else is missing from pre-draft moves).
    1) How best to utilize the cap towards the future
    2) What missing pieces do we need to fill to ice a competitive team
    Do we need leadership still in lieu of the Sedins? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe that is what the coach is supposed to do. I don’t sit on the bench, so I don’t claim to know. Do we need an enforcer/policeman to look out for our younger talent? Do we need support in the crease? A good goalie could have made a big difference last year in games, but also where we draft this year. Is that what we want next year too? A great team that drafts high due to poor goaltending is still fun to watch.
    I think they should get someone shrewd with money in the FO to help JB spend it with an eye to these two ends, we don’t have to call it “weaponizing,” we can just call it investing in the future, and part of that is icing a team that doesn’t lose faith in the meantime in being thrown to the wolves. Maybe lopsided trades could be made where we lose the money and cap but get someone to fill a leadership role and picks, for instance. We need to figure out more ways to spend that money on Jim’s drafting ability.

  • Ser Jaime Lannister

    With the Sedins retiring where is our succession plan for the twins next year? JB has been here since May/2014, Plenty of time to draft/trade for a top 6 C but i dont see that on our roster next year. Gaudette/Sutter have the bottom 6 locked down, Bo is our number 1, but where is our second line C?

    Canucks are going to have to spend some Cap money on a top 6 C, going into next season without one doesnt look good. Looking at the UFA list looks pretty bleak, we are going to be paying for players on the down swing and will have to greatly over pay with term and dollar.

    Hopefully JB/TL get creative with trades and use our cap space to our advantage. Lots of players on this team can be traded and should be…..whats the hold up.

    • canuckfan

      With Granlund and Gagne we don’t need another center as we have a few prospects that can also fill the spot. I would not sign anyone give the prospect chances to play a role on the team. We need to have improvement in goal and on defence. Keep the puck out of our zone will help our goals against and having the goalie stop more pucks should keep us in more games. I think we have a good nucleus just need to add more depth and quality at all positions. We are not going to go on a cup run next year so lets stay the course and not sign any free agents. But if there are some trades that will help tweak the lineup go for it, but lets see where we are at with who we have now. The following summer we will have another draft and from what I have read the free agent players available will be of a higher quality. Our leadership group as it is now will be just fine. Another strong start will help, and if the injuries taper down we could build on where the Canucks placed this season which I would see as progress another year of drafting in the upper range should stock Utica and improve the team and then push for a playoff spot.
      Watching the replay of when we traded for Bo and listening to the commentary it was clear the Canucks had no depth no prospects in the system as that was repeated over and over in the clip. Our team got old and players wanted out and we have been rebuilding ever since. It is evident that we had been spoiled for a number of years and traded away spots at the draft for that player(s) that could get us a chance to challenge for the Cup.

        • TD

          I would put Granlund in the 2 C spot. Before you Trash It, listen why. They Canucks will not be a competitive team next year so it is the year to see what you have. Last year Granlund had 19 goals and 13 assists for 32 points in 69 games. That translates to 38 points over an 82 game season. He padded his goals that year with a brief but successful stint on the first PP and time with the Sedins, but he still almost scored 20 in less than a full season. Last year he was deployed very defensively with players with limited offensive upside. Don’t waste money on a player like Bozak when we have kids who have never had a chance on the team. I don’t see Granlund as a permanent solution, but who knows. Even half decent numbers would increase his trade value which took a hit this year. Put Granlund with Eriksson and Petterson or Dahlen. Give him some decent talent to work with and he either succeeds or at least puts up better numbers before he’s traded.

          • TD

            I roughed out a line-up that would look like this:

            Baertschi Bo Brock
            Gaunce Sutter Eriksson
            Pettersson Granlund Dahlen
            Leipsic Gaudette Virtanen

            I then went over this year’s player to see who I missed and saw Goldobin, Archibald and Gagner. So you could sub players around. I like the first line where it is as Bo’s line showed very well together in the limited games together. They were a true number 1 line scoring against the other teams best before Bo got hurt. Green will dump the hard match ups on Sutter and Archibald could easily be subbed in.

            That leaves the other two line with decent offensive kids getting the chance to develop and see what they can do outside of really tough match-ups. Both lines look like they could provide some offence.

            I would rather see the Canucks look at these kids and give them a chance to see what they can do then sign some 30 year old free agent that’s only coming to Vancouver because no playoff teams wanted him. The players list add to 15, so one or two of them would have to clear waivers at the beginning of the season if the team was healthy.

            This still leaves Motte, Lind, Gadjovich and maybe MacEwen and Jasek as possible call ups (along with the Megna and Chaput type of players who definitely are not long term solutions but could fill a tweener role).

            In order for the Canucks to succeed long term, they need to see the kids develop. So I would rather see the kids than older free agents. Let the kids play so they plan for the future.

      • Kootenaydude

        Canuckfan do you remember what happened when Horvat went down? We had nobody to step in and the Canucks went down like a sinking ship. Centremen are your third defenceman. Henrik wasn’t very good at backchecking this year and it cost the team a lot of goals. Granlund is a fourth liner and Gagne is a power play guy. Much like many other players Granlund played well with the Sedins. I would trade them both if you want this team to get better. Neither one was impressive this year.

        • Ser Jaime Lannister

          Absolutely, again this falls to poor planning by JB and TL, how have we not drafted or traded for a top 6 C at this point? We are going to assume Pettersson who payed majority of his SHL games on the W is going to jump in and be our second line C? and Dahlen plays C as well? a guy whos played wing majority if not all his Allsvenskin days? what leagues were these guys playing C at?

        • liqueur des fenetres

          Trade one or both of them for what exactly? Benning’s been going through the bargain bin looking for someone with upside. They’re still stuck on Willie’s gameplan of rolling 3 third lines.

        • canuckfan

          I agree that both Granlund and Gagne are not top line centers you won’t get much value, or any value on a trade unless you are going for a late round pick and best to keep them until the deadline to pull that off. Granlund is a great role player and can play every forward position and has ability to score. The year he got all his goals yes he played with the Sedins but mostly played with Sutter and Erikssen. Gagne is a bit lower quality in my opinion that Granlund but is a good depth player.
          We have a number of prospects that both wing and center they can be given a chance. Face it we are not going to win the cup next year but will be better. There are better free agents the following year so my position is lets see what we have in our prospects give them a chance others are a year older Jake and Goldobin it will be make it or break it years for them are they willing to put in the work we will see at training camp.

    • Killer Marmot

      Is the loss of the Sedins anything to be concerned about? I don’t think so. They retired for a reason.

      Although the Sedins put up good offensive numbers, that was only with “protected minutes”, meaning at the expense of other forwards. They were a defensive liability, ending up with even-strength goal differentials of -15.

      Even if the likes of Petterson, Dahlen, and Gaudette make a lot of rookie mistakes, it should not be hard to improve on that performance.

      • crofton

        One problem to overcome for that to happen is to be able to get them those “protected” minutes. The reason they retired is not that they were not producing as they were deployed, it was that they were not producing up to their standards. They were given 3rd and 4th line minutes…and as that their production was great….but most times they didn’t have a bona fide 1st or 2nd line ahead of them. And no they were not great defensively , but some of that can also be put on their Defence. And it would be interesting to see the +/- WOWYs. I think it’s quite possible their defensive shortcomings would be covered up when they had Ericsson with them, for example. Pettersson, Dahlen and Gaudette may find they have the same lack of 1st and 2nd lines ahead of them, unless Vancouver’s infirmary is a lot less full.

  • Rayman

    i have a bad feeling that we are going to see lots of old, avarage players on our team next yr. All of them with 4 yr contract….

    hope I am wrong but, JB kinda suck with trade, so…

  • Joe Hockey

    I would do as little as possible with cap space this summer. If there is an opportunity to take on a short but expensive contract for something in return then great, but keep some in reserve. The cap space will still be valuable at the trade deadline and there may not be too many assets to sell that are of interest to contenders.

  • Holly Wood

    I wonder if Aqaulini is at all interested in shelling out salary to help other teams rid themselves of bad contracts. I appreciate that may be a method of acquiring draft picks but it’s not yours and my money . He didn’t become wealthy by throwing money to competitors and he will have the final say.

    • Dirty30

      If the money thrown at competitors results in high draft picks coming back, then if those pan out, it will result in cost-controlled salaries for a number of years which off-sets the high cost contracts.

      It’s worse to sign Eriksson contracts with no compensation than buy contracts that result in cost controlled contracts.

  • Puck Viking

    See if the stars will give you a 2nd or/and prospect for Jason Spezza.. Those are the types of deals this team should be making so that they can finally start rebuilding..

    If those types of deals are not on the table then sign some quality players to high money 1 year deals so that they can be flipped at the deadline while eating 50% salary if need be to increase the players value.

  • bushdog

    Roussel!! 3-4 years @3 or 3.5. the only option to replace dorsett. this guy will put some guts in the little guys if they know he has their backs. who else is an option…that vague ‘team toughness’ guy? sign him!!

  • BC SPORTS FAN

    Don’t you guys watch the Canucks game to think that Gudbrandson could be our next captain ? most nights he was our 7th best D-man. This is Bo’s team to lead!!!!