As we approach the playoffs, I can’t help but think about two things.
First, I hope we don’t take a losing streak into the second season; and second, I keep telling myself Luongo will be at his best again come playoff time. I just have to start believing what I say. But there are other reasons as a faithful Canuck fan that has me grinning from ear to ear and it’s not just because of this season’s potential playoff run.
As much as Mike Gillis is known for not making big trades, he is most definitely known for signing key players; with the likes of Luongo signed until he is 73 years old, most recently Ryan Kesler, and of course the twin powers in the Sedin’s, we have these core players until at least the end of the 2013/2014 season provided they don’t get traded. We also have Burrows locked in, albeit for one less year than his twin partners until the 2012/2013 season.
And it’s not as big of a hit to the cap as you think. For those top 5 players combined, they affect the cap with 25.95 million dollars each year for the next 3 years, and only 23.95 million for the following year without Burrows signed that far ahead.
With the Cap this year being at 56.8 Million dollars for this season, an increase of only $100,000 from the previous season, don’t be surprised if the cap stays close to the 57 – 60 Million dollar marks for the next 4 years, which still puts the Canucks in great position. That leaves them with at least 31 million dollars in cap space for the remaining players.
We have one of the leading scorers in the league and his brother, who could put up the same numbers if he is healthy all season.
We have a top 5 goalie in the league, which as Canuck fans know, since Kirk McLean; this place has been considered a goalie graveyard. When was the last time you said an explicative in your sentence, followed by a comment similar to, “I wish we could get a real goalie to play here”?
We have prospects like Jordan Schroeder, Cody Hodgson, and Anton Rodin, who had two game winning goals for Sweden in the World Junior Championship.
We have trade bait in Cory Schneider.
And we have current NHL young future stars like Mason Raymond and Alex Edler; you could add Grabner to that list, but I am not sold yet on his stock value.
So unless you would rather be in the same boat as other Canadian teams like Calgary, Toronto and in some cases Montreal, I think as Canuck fans, we needn’t worry about missing the second season for a few years to come.
And please, don’t remind us of the Naslund, Burtuzzi, Cloutier era. I think we are better than that. But that might be another story for another day.