They still hold onto two of the leagues elite goaltenders, and have both locked up until the summer of 2015. Not without cost however, 9.3 million worth of cap space is parked inside the blue paint as of right now, but just how bad a scenario is this?
The blue line, most fans feel, is aptly guarded, even with the departure of beloved Sami Salo, the team has 7 capable guys locked up in Hamhuis, Bieksa, Edler, Garrison, Ballard, Tanev and Alberts. Ballard had a rough transition to Vancouver, and I believe came here injured. I expect him to have a bounce back year, but even if he plays just as well as he did last year: If Keith Ballard is your 6th Dman, you have DEPTH like no other! Do we need any more upgrades on D right now? I say we don't. We have some talent in the minors, and we could stand to add more sub million dollar depth for the wolves, and emergency call ups, obviously, but our D as it sits is one of the more rounded, deep defenses in the league. Thank you @JasonGarrison52.
The real questions are up front, and have been since our game 7 exit of the Stanley Cup Finals. It is no secret that it was not Lu's fault we couldn't score, and its no secret that despite Schneiders amazing turn in net in the postseason when he got a chance, we still could not score. These two goalies are the best tandem in the league today, but even they can't deke around 5 opposing players and go top shelf glove side on the likes of Quick and Tomas.
Most fans, at least the vocal ones are yelling to trade Luongo and bring in the fire power to help that situation out. This is not as easy as it looks, nor should it be, and to what end result? I believe Mike Gillis will and should keep both of these guys at least until the trade deadline, maybe even for a few years. It appears more and more that teams expect Lu to be on sale at Wallmart during the Rollback of the decade event. This will not add to our fire power, and frankly, you need to find a willing suitor before you can even begin to F leece them. stomping around talking about trading Lu for specific top six players in the league is putting the cart before the horse. But I digress..
The forward group as it stands has a great core, but not as big a core as we all imagine. Sure there is your Daniel, your Henrik, Kesler and Burrows, 2/3rds of two lines. That is amazing as it is, and there is a good group of 'not quite star top sixers' as well in that core, players like Raymond, Hansen, and I consider Lapierre part of that group as well. A fantastic bottom six centerman, who came to Vancouver under rated and almost unknown. While David Booth is relatively new to our team, he did manage to put up 16 goals in just 56 games, on par for a 24 goal season. His 5 game playoff experience was the first of his career, and one that will teach him more than any game footage or text book ever could. With a healthy Kesler, Booth will improve on his best Points Per Game average since 2009: last year a wonderful .52 ppg with Vancouver, and he also gets another year beyond his concussion, suffered in October 2009. I won't go on about all the guys playing Offense, but we can say the bottom six is well stocked, the top six have 5 solid performers. So we are once again missing that one piece up front.
The difference this coming year is that while we are missing that piece that we have been missing since the dawn of winning hockey in Vancouver, I call that year 2001, for the first time in what seems like ever we have no other holes on the club. In fact, with our two all star goalies, even at their price, we don't have to miss a beat if one gets hurt. Our seventh Dman is likely to be Andrew Alberts, and that is not a bad situation to be in. I have full faith in the other six guys being able to each hold down heavy minutes, and more than one of them put up points on the PP. Our bottom six with kassian, malhotra, Lapierre, Hansen, Higgins, and even Raymond, if he is not played on the second line, would be one of the most complete bottom sixes in the league. The Twins need no explanation, Burr and Booth are excellent complimentary players and Kesler when he gets better and joins the club remains the heart and soul of the club. What more do we want as fans? Oh yes, that elusive ELITE winger to fill the only hole on the club. Well, I can tell you there are 29 other teams that wish they had Vancouvers problems, and none of them will help us fix the only one we have by trading a star winger for one of our excellent goalies, and anything less would be ridiculous.
Edited by Primal Optimist, 03 July 2012 - 07:20 AM.