1) Our defense is good but not great. Every team that beats us has a better defense core.
2) We lack toughness. We are always out hit and although we win tons of games in the regular season, when we play stronger and tougher teams we are clearly physically outmatched and almost feel like an underdog.
3) Outside of the Sedins we don't have enough natural scorers.
So now for my proposal.
Samuel Pahlsson: 2 years/3.5 million dollars (1.75 million per season)
Pahlsson proved himself as a valuable center down the stretch. He comes pretty cheap and has won the Stanley Cup before. I'd bring him back cause he does the job, knows the team, and there is no guarantee we could find a viable replacement via UFA. Chances are if we could that they would cost most than Pahlsson as well.
Dale Weise: 2 years/1.2 million dollars (600 000 per season)
Weise looked good in the lineup vs LA. He brings toughness and tenacity to the wing at a very cheap price. We can slot him in the lineup when we need toughness or energy or sit him out if we find him ineffective or if we need more skill in the lineup for certain games. He will compete everynight and we should lock him up as a Canuck.
Cory Schneider: 3 years/10.5 million dollars (3.5 million per season)
The future in our net. I don't think he wants to sign for more than 3 years at this price which is fine. We have three years with a top goalie at a great price to win a cup. I am confident he wil re-sign after the duration of this contract but that is not what we should be worrying about yet. Schneider is younger, cheaper, and seems to be liked more by the team than Luongo. Losing Cory would be a blow to the hearts of the team and the city and a fresh season with Schneider as the undoubted starter will give this team the better attitude and will be a more fresh start at the beginning of next season to help rebound after the failures of the past few seasons.
Marc-Andre Gragnani: 2 years/1.6 million dollars (800 000 per season)
Gragnani has shown offensive upside and the ability to be a key contributor on the powerplay. If he can learn to play better defensively he could be a valuable player for us. He will be motivated to work hard and play better defensively because if he doesn't he will find himself a healthy scratch more often than not.
To Toronto: Roberto Luongo, Mason Raymond
To Vancouver: Luke Schenn, Toronto 2nd round pick, Toronto 3rd round pick
Roberto Luongo is a great goalie but his time is done in Vancouver. Other teams will appreciate him more and he can have a fresh start as the superstar in Toronto. He deserves to be treated better. We are fortunate to have a guy like Cory Schneider to take overso we can trade Luongo early in his contract while he still has value. If Luongo didn't have 10 more years on his contract than maybe he would be the one we would be keeping but Gillis will jump on the opportunity to forget about the most idiotic move he has made since taking over as General Manager; the Luongo contract. Well that or the Ballard trade.
Luke Schenn's value is currently at an all time low because the Leafs lack leadership and have not been able to develop him properly. Honestly, I'm not worried about him if we can sign him. This kid has a great attitude, is tough, and is capable of being a top notch shutdown defenseman in the NHL. potentially the type of player that we have lacked for some time now. Ya, Pietrangelo and Doughty both have proven themselves better thus far, but that is just because they are more offensively gifted players. It takes longer for shutdown dmen to develop because they will not wow you very often and often get exposed by world class players. Schenn will continue to develop properly in our organization and will become a real leader and a top player for the Canucks for many years. I don't want to overhype Schenn but he is captain material if he plays to his potential and I believe that he has the type of attitude that will step up while playing with better players. He will take it upon himself not to be the weak link here. If Burke was more patient and not so stupid he would probably hold on to this player while the Leafs learn to win.
To Islanders: Keith Ballard
To Vancouver: NYI 3rd round pick
Ballard isn't bad but Vignault doesn't trust him at all and he just doesn't seem to fit the system. At 4.2 million dollars we are better off trading him and give him the opportunity to be a top 4 dman in Long Island where he could play big minutes and great hockey for a team that appreciates his talent. I think that his time in Vancouver could be a huge learning expirience for him and he will turn out a better hockey player for it.
July 1st 2012
Jakub Voracek: 5 years/23.5 million dollars (4.7 million per season)
Compensation = Vancouver 1st and 3rd round draft picks 2013
Normally I am not big on offer sheets but in this case I am going to make an acception. Remember when Holmgrem offersheeted Kesler a few seasons back? Well now we finally get our revenge. Philli won't be happy about this because Voracek has looked great in his first season as a Flyer. The natural right wing was drafted 7th overall in 2007 and has been playing his best hockey in the playoffs for Philladelphia. With 7 points in 6 playoff games, as well as 18 gols playinfg 3rd line minutes for the Flyers, the 6"1, 205 lbs winger would look great next to the Sedins. He has shown aggression and much more upside. Often he has looked like a natural goal scorer with a wicked wrist shot in way Booth is not and he looks like he wants to win as badly as anyone during the Flyers current playoff run. If he meshes, I could see Voracek scoring 30, maybe even over 35 goals playing on our top line with the Sedins, allowing Burrows to play on Kesler's wing because he seems to be the only guy that can move the puck with him.
As badly as Philladelphia would want to keep Voracek, they might just need to take the draft picks. With the Coburn and Van Riemsdyk extensions kicking in next season as well as Simmonds, Schenn, Couturier, Read and even Giroux due for raises within the next few seasons I think that Philladelphia will need to make some long term decisions and decide that they may be better off letting Voracek go.
Ryan Suter: 7 years/50.4 million dollars (7.2 million dollars per season)
I could see Ryan Suter re-signing in Nashville if the don't win the cup, but if they do I think he will hit UFA and land big money. He could re-sign in Nashville either way actually but if he doesn't I think we can all agree that the Canucks need to make a huge pitch. He is exactly what we need and is the only somewhat realistic option available this offseason. We know that this is his chance to get big money and a ton of teams will offer him over 7 million dollars to sign. Anyone who thinks that he is going to sign at a discounted price with Vancouver is dillusional. However, at 7.2 million dollars for seven years playing for the back to back President Trophy winning team that clearly needs him as much as anyone could be intriguing. I am not saying this offer will necessarily get him but it is the best offer we can make and will definitely be something he looks at twice.
For those of you that think 7.2 is too much money... well it probably is. Sometimes you have to overpay to get what you want. Look at Brian Campbell making 7.14 in Chicago when they won the cup or Gaborik making 7.5 right now in New York where they have a solid chance. How about Spezza and Heatley both making 7.5 when Ottawa went to the finals or Crosby and Malkin both making 8.7 in Pittsuburgh. Ya, some of those guys are bigger names than Suter but with our team being so close and the perfect player being on the open market I think that we may have to break the bank in order to get him.
Jordin Tootoo: 4 years/7 million dollars (1.75 million per season)
Tootoo is a competative guy that is as tough as anyone in this league. He always get the short end of the stick in Nashville and you can all but guarantee that he will be leaving at the end of the season when his contract expires. Tootoo managed to score 30 points in limited playing time this season for the Preds and looked like possibly there best forward at times in the playoffs last season for them. He has all the speed in the word as well as the tenacity. He goes hard to the net and always gives it his all. He is always willing to fight for his teammates and is exactly what we need on this team. At the same price as Talbot signed in Philladelphia, I think Tootoo could serve as a Chris Neil type player for the Canucks and would singlehandedly make us a tougher team night in and night out.
Adrian Aucoin: 1 year/1.5 million dollars
The veteran Aucoin started his career out in Vancouver and would be a welcomed addition to come back here. Aucoin is tough, and has been playing solid defensively for years now. He has taken over a leadership role in Phoenix and I would love for him to do the same thing for us in Vancouver while also serving as a mentor to Luke Schenn on our bottom pairing.
Aaron Johnson: 1 year/700 000
Johnson would be a solid replacement for guys like Rome and Alberts. He has been playing minutes on bad teams for most of his career and put up solid point numbers in CBJ this year. The one year he played for a winning team he was a +19 in only like 38 games in Chicago in 08/09. Clearly the 29 year old can at least play in the NHL and maybe he will turn out to be a big, trustworthy, 2-way dman at a cheap price.
Rhett Rakhshani: 1 year/650 000
Rakhshani is an RFA but if NYI doesn't qualify him, I think he could be a guy that might be a good NHL scorer if given the opportunity. A Tambellini/Ebbett type signing, the skilled and smart winger has been a ppg player throughout his college career as well as in his two seasons in the AHL. I could see the Isles keeping the playmaker under contract on a two-way deal but if they don't I think he has the upside to be a good pickup for the Nucks.
Zack Stortini: 1 year/550 000
Stortini is an agitator, a fighter, and a heart and soul kind of player. He has been out of the NHL for a few years but I used to hate playing against him when he was in Edmonton. He would always go hard and I wouldn't mind letting this guy battle his ass off trying to earn himself a 4th line role. If not he would play for the Wolves.
To Winnipeg: David Booth
To Vancouver: Winnipeg 2nd round pick 2013, Winnipeg 4th round pick 2013
If Philladelphia doesn't match the offersheet for Voracek than there is no longer room for Booth in Vancouver. Booth is a solid player and will look unreal in Winnipeg at 4.25 million dollars but he just isn't a natural goal scorer and doesn't really bring anything quite unique enough to the table to be paid so highly by the Canucks. He isn't fantastic defensively or offensively. He is a hell of an athlete and a strong hockey player but there are just better options for the Canucks throughout the lineup.
2012-13 Vancouver Canucks Lineup
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jakub Voracek
Alexandre Burrows - Ryan Kesler - Zack Kassian
Jordin Tootoo - Maxim Lapierre - Jannik Hansen
Chris Higgins - Samuel Pahlsson - Niklas Jensen
Dale Weise, Manny Malhotra, Rhett Rakhshani, Zack Stortini, Jordan Schroeder
Alexander Edler - Ryan Suter
Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Luke Schenn - Adrian Aucoin
Chris Tanev, Aaron Johnson, Andrew Alberts, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Kevin Connauton
Overall I think this lineup has a lot of depth, versatility, scoring, and toughness. The Offense is improved in my opinion from line one to line four. I think that Voracek will be a great addition to our top line and as I stated will I think he would thrive in his opportunity as the Sedins go-to guy and will score 30 something goals.
Our second line will be improved this year with the Burrows-Kesler connection back in tact for an entire season and I think Kassian will end up proving himself as a core player and will earn himself a spot on the second line. Kassian will be tough, has great hands, lays out hits, can move the puck around and goes to the net hard. Canucks fans haven't seen it yet but I think he will be a great powerforward for us for years to come and may even be as valuable to us as Hodgson could have been. If Kassian does not earn the job we still have Higgins, Jensen, and even Hansen if we have to competing for the job.
Our third line is a line we have been lacking for years now. That has gotta be one of the toughest, most annoying lines to play against in the league. We have an animal in Tootoo, a premier agitator in Lappy, and a speedy puck hound in Hansen. This line will be feared and will get solid minutes for the Canucks. This would be one of my favorite third lines in hockey and I think people would be surprised to see the offensive upside of these three players.
Our fourth line consists of Pahlsson who will be a consistent fourth line center at all ends of the ice as well as Higgins who can be slotted in the top six when we need him or even on the third line in case of injury. Maybe even get some opportunities with the Sedins? Jensen could be an "X" factor for us and can also compete for playing time througout the lineup. Kassian and Jensen will be huge players in the future for the Canucks and will bring a youthful energy to the lineup that the team has been lacking. I want to give them both real playing time and watch them learn from there mistakes and play their best hockey come playoff time.
Or defense wil have three solid pairings, will be a lot tougher, and more consistent. I think that this defense is one of the best in the league and has guys like Tanev, Johnson, Alberts, and Gragnani competing for time and ready to be slotted in when needed.
What do you guys think?
Is this realistic? Do you like the lineup?
Edited by da.moose, 07 May 2012 - 11:45 PM.