WDYTT: Do you believe the Canucks can improve on the 2023/24 season next year?

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
22 days ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that makes it up as we go.
Speaking of improv, the great Mitch Hedberg once observed that if you add an ‘E’ to the end of it, you get a different word. And we know that the Vancouver Canucks and their front office are not just making things up as they go. They’ve got a plan, and that plan is to do that word: improve.
But is improving on what proved to be a whirlwind 2023/24 even possible? On a campaign that outstripped even the most optimistic of projections?
It’s a fair question to ask. At least, we hope it is. We’re about to pitch it to you.
Every NHL team, save perhaps for those actively tearing down in preparation for a rebuild, plan to get better year-over-year. Few actually accomplish this. The 2023/24 Canucks are one such team, and they didn’t just get better, they evolved.
Will the 2024/25 Canucks be able to say the same?
It won’t be easy. Half the roster are pending free agents. Those that return will probably do so with raises in hand, save for Tyler Myers. It’s an enormous task just to bring back the same team as last year, never mind somehow managing to bring back an even better team.
And yet…that’s the plan that Patrik Allvin and Co. are currently cooking up in the bowels of Rogers Arena as we speak.
We won’t ask you to guess at the specifics of the plan. That’s well above our paygrade. Instead, we’re just here to read your belief-meters.
This week, we’re asking:

Do you believe that the Canucks can actually improve upon 2023/24 in the season to come? If so, or if not, why?

Let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

Which out-of-organization pending unrestricted free agent is at the top of your Canucks wish list for this offseason?

You answered below!
I’ve always really liked Anthony Duclair. He flies under the radar but is a genuine first line player. I think he could be acquired for a relatively low cap hit and provide Pettersson with the skilled forward he needs to succeed.
I think Duclair’s cap hit could be low enough that the Canucks management could consider looking to get another first line winger as well.
Swing big, show me some Stamkos!
On a more serious note, I’d like to see Montour or Pesce, preferably Pesce.
I’m fairly big on Matt Roy.
I think he could be the bigger-bodied puck retrieval specialist that would work well with Hughes. Roy could be the first guy into the corners and absorb the double-teaming efforts and make that good short pass out for Hughes to do his thing.
According to The Athletic, Roy may be facing $5-6 million for up to five years in free agency, which would probably mean moving on from Hronek. This may sacrifice some offence, but still probably makes the team harder to play against and can give better protection to Hughes making him more durable long into the season.
Hockey Bunker:
Two…both short-term good players and great fit with Tocchet’s system…
Tanev and Toffoli.
Won’t cost too much or hang around too long to delay the promotion of the best young players in the system.
Also, if young players develop faster, both would have trade value near the trade deadline in the last year of a contract.
I’ve never heard of this guy, which of course means it is insane for me to suggest they should sign him to be Pettey’s running mate, but this site is about fun as much as anything else, so I’ll say it anyway. I’ll go with one of your featured FA from yesterday[‘s article], Teuvo Teravainen. Probably won’t break the bank, might be a decent fit, and Canucks are light on Finns, need another one so Aatu Räty isn’t so lonely…A bigger and more “bangery” type right-handed forward or RHD to replace Hronek would work better in some ways, but unfortunately they won’t get much for Hronek right now with talk of him wanting $8mil circling around him.
bruce donice:
There was an article written on ‘who is the next Joshua?’ where a couple players were mentioned: Riley Tufte (LW 6’6″) and Danton Heinen, a good PK player with Boston. Neither are going to cost a lot, the Canucks need players who can play the PK, and with Tufte’s size, if Tocchet can teach him how to be a power forward and Tufte gets it, that would be quite the acquisition.
defenceman factory:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Writing a UFA wish list is pretty easy. Writing one where the players on it fit the Canucks’ budget, structure, and have a realistic chance of signing here is tougher. Choosing the one player to put at the top of the list is very difficult.
The first choice is: should it be a top-six forward or top-four RHD? There are double the number of top-six wingers than top-four D-men. Very few top-four RHD ever hit the market. Teams lock them up. The scarcity of RHD make one the priority. I’m not a fan of Hronek as Hughes partner, and he is too expensive for the second pairing and should be traded.
There are several good UFA RHD options. The one I think not likely to be re-signed by his existing team, who fits the structure and budget of the Canucks the best, is Matt Roy.
The Kings have Jordan Spence and Brandt Clarke ready to take over the bottom-four RHD spots. They have a few other RHD prospects. Roy will cost too much and blocks a roster spot of a younger, cheaper, cost-controlled player. The prevailing opinion in Kings media is he should not be re-signed.
Roy is bigger than Hronek (6’2”, 210 lbs). He is better defensively and on the PK than Hronek. He may not be as good offensively as Hronek, but Roy has never played with Hughes or outside the Kings’ oppressive structure.
Roy is 29 and about to sign the biggest contract of his career. According to Kings media, he will cost around $6 mil AAV for five years. He would be the same age at the end of that contract as Tanev is now.
My vote would go to Matt Roy. He’s a top-pairing RHD who can play with Hughes. His contract is probably reasonable with something like four years and $5.25 million per season. He’s a lot cheaper than Hronek.
Hronek becomes an interesting trade chip that should return a young top-six winger who will likely be cheaper than any UFAs out there.
Richard Hickey:
I am also high on Roy, but didn’t realize the price would be so high. If not Roy, than Tanev. I also think Martinook is a good replacement for Joshua if he gets too pricy. Sean Walker anyone?
Uncle Jeffy:
While I don’t know an awful lot about Dylan DeMelo, I’d like to see him as a signing to be QH’s partner, if he can be had with a 3-4 year term. He is very much under the radar, but was a top-pairing RHD in Winnipeg.
Craig Gowan:
  1. Jake Guentzel. 2. Matt Roy.
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