5 Steps To Reload For Next Year
Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:24 PM
Byron Bitz - 1 year / $800 000. Bitz proved he can still play in this league, and is a really nice depth option. He can start at the AHL and the Canucks can always call him up if they need some extra muscle.
Aaron Volpatti - 2 years / $800 000 per. Volpatti is still relatively young (26); he can blossom into a Rypien-type player.
Aaron Rome - 2 years / $1.1 million per. Stay-at-home D-man has proven to be the definition of reliable, he deserves a longer contract and a raise.
Let go of:
Sami Phalsson. He was serviceable, collecting 6 points in 19 games while going plus-4 in the regular season, but the Canucks can find younger options for their #3 centre.
Sami Salo. He still has hockey in him left, and he is arguably one of the best defensemen the Canucks . have had, but its time to move on. Salo is not going to take a another paycut and it really is unfortunate that his last hurrah as a Canucks was an out in the first round.
2. Trade Roberto Luongo to Tampa Bay.
Unlike all the insane trade rumours that I've seen out there, this is what is likely to happen come draft day:
Tampa Bay's 1st round 2012 selection (from Detriot, likely in the high 20s)
Tampa Bay's 2nd round 2013 selection
Tampa Bay Receives:
G Roberto Luongo
F Mason Raymond
Does it seem like the Canucks lose this trade? Yes. But Roberto's trade value is honestly not that high. Though he is easily one of the best goalies in the world, his gigantic contract really lowers his trade value and the fact that he is already 33 does not help either. Mason has absolutely zero trade value, and this is just a way to clear cap space and give him a fresh start.
In return, Vancouver receives some nice picks to re-stock a prospect cupboard that is starting to wear thin. Yes, we still have Jordan Schroeder, Eddie Lack, and Kevin Connauton down in Chicago. But if theres one thing I've learned in the new NHL, you can never have too many prospects. In addition, we get former Vancouver Giant James Wright, who I think could eventually develop into a solid 3rd line center for years to come.
3. With two first round picks draft....
With the pick from Tampa, say it ends up being #22, draft: Brady Skjei. The Canucks seem to love drafting Americans in the first round (Kesler, Schroeder, and ugh... Patrick White..), so why stop now? Skjei is a smooth-skating 2-way D-man. He does need some time to develop his defensive game and to bulk up. Luckily, he has committed to the University of Minnesota, which by the way is loaded with NHL-drafted talent. He's perfect to help fill the prospect cupboard, and the Canucks can afford him to take his time to develop his game.
With Vancouver's pick, #26, draft: Nicholas Kerdiles. Another US development team player, Kerdiles has proved that he has what it takes to score in the big games, tallying 5 points for the US at the U-18s in the gold medal game. Again, he is a project and a bit of a gamble, since he does need to bulk up to play the power game a la Rick Nash at the NHL level, but he could turn out to be a consistent producer. Whalers beast Tom Wilson is also an option here.
4. Sign the following free agents:
1. Torrey Mitchell - Our 3rd line centre. Give him a contract similar to Malhotra's - 3 years/2 million per. Granted, he is not great at faceoffs, going sub-50% last season, but he is great on the PK as a winger (when we have Malhotra to take the faceoffs), and he can grind with the best of them. Plus, he is entering the prime of his career at 27.
2. Brent Johnson - 2 years / 1 million per. savvy veteran goalie who can hold the fort while Eddie Lack improves. He is old (35), but he has proven that he can step in at any time and should help Schnieds in his first full season as a starter.
3. Dennis Wideman - 4 years / 4.4 million cap hit. It is a bit of an overpayment, but Wideman is a powerplay quarterback who take some of the load off Alex Edler. He's fairly durable, and has got good size.
5. Let the kids take the next step
This is key because it is the huge risk. The way I see it, it is time the Canucks give their prospects a chance to shine. Jensen (3rd line) and Schroeder (2nd line passer for Kesler and Booth) will contribute to an already solid group of veterans. This wont be like Edmonton where the kids are trying to lead the team. The Canucks need some youth to kick start their game. The beginning of the season might bring growing pains, but Coach V will have to trust his players and give them the ice time they need so that they can be effective the playoffs. This isnt just a plan to succeed next year, but for years after that. They need their prospects to become established players, and the only way to do that is to let them play.
D. Sedin (6.1 million) H.Sedin (6.1 million) Burrows (2 million)
Booth (4.2 million) Kesler (5 million) Schroeder (1.025 million)
Higgins (1.9 million) Mitchell (2 million) Jensen (0.925 million)
Hansen (1.350 million) Lapierre (1 million) Kassian (0.870 million)
Weise (0.7 million), Malhotra (2.5 million)
Bieksa (4.6 million) Hamhuis (4.5 million)
Wideman (4.4 million) Edler (3.25 million)
Ballard (4.2 million) Tanev (0.9 million)
Gragnani (0.7 million) Rome (1 million)
Schneider (4 million)
Johnson (1 million)
Total cap hit: $64 270 000
cap space: $30 000
Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:33 AM
I think the luongo deal is probably fairly accurate to what he's worth. I like the idea of stocking a few picks and I have to take your word for it in terms of prospects at the draft.
I don't like the Rome signing. We still have Alberts locked up for another year so you forgot to include that salary that will be difficult to get rid of. And having two guys who are 7th defensman instead of using that money for someone better than shroeder for our 2nd line woul be my idea, with rome's money + increased salary cap (assuming the trend continues).
Overall, good job OP very interesting ideas
Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:40 AM