Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:30 PM
I think the best way to handle the goaltending luxury will be to make the decision quite soon. Mike Gillis has said that he is prepared to go to training camp with both goaltenders, and that makes sense if there aren't reasonable offers out there, but I think if they are going to move a goaltender it seems more likely to be Luongo, and if there is interest currently, then the time to do so would be in the next week. If in fact Toronto and Florida are interested (Columbus is also rumoured to be 'very interested') - they to are probably not going to want to wait it out either. As far as the Canucks are concerned, a potential Luongo deal in the very neare future would give them time to sign Schneider to a longer term deal, avoid a one year deal and the prospect of him becoming a UFA in a year, avoid offer sheets and the continued speculation mill.
Neither Florida nor Toronto have a power forward/right wing of interest, which would be a nice piece to acquire in a Luongo deal, but that will have to come elsewhere. If I were guessing, I would say that Luongo winds up in Florida. I would like to see one of Florida's prospect centers and a prospect blueliner as main components of the deal. Luongo would probably be happiest there, Gillis and Tallon are regular trade partners, and Florida probably has the most viable young assets.
I would like to see Sami Salo re-sign for another year. Henrik can pass him the Cup first.
Ideally I would re-sign Raymond, or qualify him if necessary, but would not risk losing him as a UFA. I'd wait to see what he looks like in training camp (and ignore all the sign and trade threads for now.) Qualify Weise as well.
There are a number of depth/shutdown blueliiner UFAs available this year - in addition to the interest in Schultz and Garrison that is strong on CDC. I don't see the need to waste any assets to go after a top 4 guy when the Canucks have good depth, and a few solid prospects.
Garrison, Filip Kuba, Bryan Allen, Matt Carle, Hal Gill, Adrian Aucoin - some interesting UFA options out there.
Of all the UFA wingers I think Shane Doan would be the best fit - a big right wing power forward would be a great option to play with the Sedins or Kesler/Booth and a prototype for Kassian to learn from. If the cap space were there following a Luongo deal, that would be a pitch I would make. A respected, veteran, power forward, character guy...
I would like to re-sign Pahlsson as well. The third line looked great after his arrival at the trade deadline. It would be nice to have him for the shutdown role again at a lower cap hit, and have Schroeder and ideally a second prospect from the Luongo deal - a big two way center that is close to ready for the NHL. Question marks are if Malhotra and Raymond benefit from some more healing time?
Eddie Lack has paid his dues as Schneider did, and is near ready for a shot at the backup role. I would give him that shot if ready - if not, perhaps Theodore would be a good piece to take back in a deal with Florida - he has one year left at 1.5 cap hit and could be good insurance.
I think Kassian is ready and will play a good, versatile role this year. He and Jensen could make the necessity of adding a top end forward less urgent. A big skilled guy who hits (like Latendresse/Pyatt) might be a nice upgrade for the fourth line with the versatility to move up the lineup.
If things panned out as wished, my roster would look like this...
Daniel 6.1 Henrik 6.1 Doan 5 /Burrows
Booth 4.25 Kesler 5 Burrows 2/Doan
Higgins 1.9 Pahlsson 1.75 Hansen 1.35(Raymond 2)
Malhotra 2.5 /(Latendresse /Pyatt 1.5 ) Lapierre 1 Kassian .87
Schroeder/ prospect center (Bjugstad) from Luongo deal / Weise / Bitz
Hamhuis 4.5 Bieksa 4.6
Edler 3.25 Salo 2 UFA (3)
Ballard 4.2 Alberts 1.225 Tanev .9
Connauton.9 Gragnani 1 (Petrovic?)
Schneider 3.5/4 Lack .9
69.77 cap total even if no roster players are moved (aside from Luongo), leaving some flexibility for moves if any current roster players are not qualified, not re-signed, or traded. A lot of depth and room for a few potential upgrades.
If the Canucks add a few young prospects in a Luongo deal they have more freedom to trade a young asset or two if they felt they need to acquire a top six forward or top 4 blueliner.
I think that they will be well positioned to take another run at the Cup.