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WDYTT: Vancouver Canucks Free Agent Overload, who stays and who goes?

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
23 days ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that rings louder than a puck off the post.
Speaking of posts, we’re in the post-season now. No, not the postseason. We wish we were still in the postseason. This is the post-season, with the emphasis on the hyphen.
The bad news is that this means the 2023/24 season, which will go down in history as an ultra-memorable one, is over. The good news is that the 2024 offseason can now begin in earnest.
And if it’s not also ultra-memorable, we can at least bet on it being ultra-busy.
There aren’t many, if any, other NHL teams out there with as much contract work to do as GM Patrik Allvin and Co. do this summer. Of those who were a part of the active playoff roster, a full 12 Canucks are in need of a new contract, including nine UFAs and three RFAs.
That list, for those keeping track at home, includes the likes of Elias Lindholm, Filip Hronek, Nikita Zadorov, Dakota Joshua, Ian Cole, Teddy Blueger, Tyler Myers, Casey DeSmith, Sam Lafferty, and, of course, playoff hero Arturs Silovs.
Whether you think it fortunate or unfortunate, there’s simply not enough room for all of those players to get new contracts with the Canucks. There’s thus going to be an awful lot of roster movement this offseason, and the news should start flowing in very soon, and it might not stop until October.
But before we get there, it’s time to make some predictions and projections. It’s time to armchair GM and make some keeps and cuts!
This week, we’re asking:

Of the many Vancouver Canucks free agents this offseason, who would you keep and who would you not?

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

What are your feelings on the 2023/24 Canucks season, here in the wake of its immediate aftermath?

Your raw emotions are displayed below!
burnabybob:
My dominant feeling right at the moment about the Canucks is uncertainty. (Is uncertainty a feeling?) On the one hand, they did better than most expected them to this year, but on the other hand, the final two games of the Edmonton series they were badly outclassed, making it seem like their (mostly) good play up until that point was a bit of a mirage.
Another big source of uncertainty is Elias Pettersson. Who is he? A lot of their success or failure over the next eight years will depend on that answer. But the fact that I even need to ask the question is concerning. I’m not as excited by this team as some are. I suspect this year was a bit of a fluke and that they will be a bubble team next year, and could even miss the playoffs.
Wilson:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
My overall feeling this year was pleasant surprise.
I watch the games on TV rather then attending – so to use a TV show analogy, I started watching the ‘Canucks’ series in October hoping it would be a somewhat watchable CBC show (not too corny), and got the equivalent of a really good HBO thriller instead.
Like ‘The Sopranos’ the ending was disappointing, but as far as free entertainment goes, what more could I have asked for?
Jibsys:
Overall these guys did better than I expected and played entertaining hockey, a lot of credit to the coaching staff for that.
However, they leave me wanting more and to get that, they need to improve top-six scoring depth and forward grit, to do so will mean making some tough offseason moves and maybe cutting your losses on certain players.
I think the course should be pretty obvious, keep the guys who showed up for the playoffs and move on those who didn’t…no excuses.
elliot:
My big question is will we be better or worse next season?
I hate the term “load management,” but Demko’s load management really needs to be addressed. It’s hard to believe that we will be better next year without a healthy Demko.
Could Boeser have developed blood clots from working too hard at conditioning and not being fully hydrated?
Lots of question marks for next season and I think we will regress.
Harvey M:
They started off like gangbusters, coming off the structural changes by the new coaching staff, some powerful roster changes implemented by the front office, the serious commitment by the players to not repeat the horrendous starts of the previous three years, and a couple of brilliant goals in the first period of Game 1 that led them to two huge wins over Edmonton.
As other teams, as expected, started to lift their games and their physicality in and around February, and we started to coast on our decent-sized standings lead, we settled in to being a team that was still quite good, but not dominant, and won more by defending well and less by being the high-powered offence with a brilliant PP that characterized the beginning of the year.
And that is how the playoffs played out, as a team that is just short of elite, but nonetheless a team that wildly outperformed expectations and delivered one of the bigger turnarounds of a franchise in a one-year period (from complete disarray to relevance) that I can remember in recent pro sports history.
Totem Gunn:
Regular season feelings were glad to watch some entertaining hockey and a brief collapse in the second half which foreshadowed EP’s epic struggles in the playoffs. However, the Nashville series showed me that Tocchet plays a system of fear and it cripples our offence, which pissed me off. The PP was infuriating all year; too many passers, too stationary, no rebounds or battles. I’m happy to say they still have hope but I doubt we can make a roster for next year more competitive. Clean house, dump salary, finish in 10th. Next-next year is $4mill for OEL..better have a plan longer than the upcoming year.
bruce donice:
As much as we all like to give lines a number, the Canucks never had a true Number 1 line. They have a player listed as a franchise player in EP, but surround him with third and fourth line wingers. That has to change.
If the Canucks are going to build off of last season, they will need to get a couple wingers for EP. If they aren’t looking for two top wingers, then trade EP. He can’t carry a line with a third and fourth line winger beside him. There are no wingers in the Canucks system who will be able to compliment EP. So they will need to bring in two wingers, not just one. Höglander is not a first or second line winger.
If they got Guentzel, could Garland be a fit for the other wing? He has a high energy that hopefully could rub off onto EP, plus he had to dig a lot of pucks off the endboards to set Joshua up in the slot. So, maybe they only need one winger if Garland can work with EP, and the Canucks can get Guentzel.
There is also a hole that needs to be filled on the left side of Miller and Brock. Suter was fine, but they need a player who is a couple steps up from him who has some offensive flair. Raty played quite a bit on the left wing with a lot of success for Abbotsford. Could he fill the spot beside Miller and Brock?
It’s going to be an interesting offseason for the team. In my opinion, they will need to build a Number 1, and Number 2 line to build off of this season’s success.
Magic Head:
At the beginning of training camp, I didn’t think the Canucks would make the playoffs. They had that great start at the beginning of the season and I was surprised. I was never on board with the Hronek trade when it happened, and I still think it was a massive overpay. I thought the OEL buyout was a mistake and the Canucks made a big mistake not going all-in for this season after they made that Lindholm trade. They should have gave up the first rounder for Tanev. His shot-blocking would have been huge for the Canucks. The team had a good season, but I don’t think they’ll be contenders next season. All their weaknesses were exposed by Edmonton. Garland, Zadorov, and Silovs were the only players who overachieved consistently during the playoffs.
defenceman factory:
The season started with a pleasant surprise as the moves management made, including the coaching change and player fitness, shot the Canucks out of the gate and jelled into a good team. Around the All-Star break, the games stiffened up with teams battling for playoff spots and looking to beat a division leading team. With some struggling players, the Canucks had peaked and didn’t have enough gears left to finish the season strong or put in a playoff performance indicative of their performance in the first half of the regular season.
sydblackwell:
This management team turned the team into a winner. Would we have all liked them to still be playing? Of course, but the gains made this season, on so many issues, have been incredible. Until Game Seven, it has been the most enjoyable season I have had in my 53+ years of Canucks watching. I trust that they can continue to progress. They are already working on this. I look forward to next year. It would be foolish and vain to think that management team are reading the comments on CanucksArmy for direction, so I will not make suggestions on what they need, or who they should target. I will just wait for next year´s new and improved product.
Craig Gowan:
Overall, the team had a great season. The Tocchet coaching staff and new players worked out very well. There’s still a lot of work to do this summer to make the Canucks a true Cup contender.
arthur kidd:
The Canucks showed us what they were capable of in Game 5, which made it all the more frustrating when they **** the bed in Games 6 and 7. The series was theirs for the taking, so it’s pretty hard to find many silver linings when a team goes out and gets outshot 22-4 in the early going of a Game 7. I also think that Tocchet is not as smart as he thinks he is.
Hockey Bunker:
Fun year.
Some tough decisions ahead about who to keep and who to let go.
The right decisions mean this group will continue to advance.
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