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Natural Evolution of the Canucks Leadership Core...


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#1 disisdayear

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:04 PM

This thread titled "Captain Canuck" has got me thinking about the natural evolution of the leadership core of the Canucks.

It's general consensus that the leadership group is made up of Henrik (32), Daniel (32), Kesler (28), Malhotra (32), Bieksa (30), Hamhuis (30) and Luongo (33). In brackets are their ages at the end of the 2012 calendar year.

This has been the leadership group for the past four seasons since they took over from remaining parts of the West Coast Express at the start of the 2008-2009 season. There's a lot of talk about how the current leadership group is a self governing group, with minimal coaching/management intervention, that demands accountability of each other.

As a group, they have accomplished as much, if not more than other leadership groups in the history of the Canucks.

Looking at our current leadership group, a couple of questions arise...

(1) How many years does this collective group have left? And does this group have what it takes to win the cup? My opinion is that the Sedins have 2-3 years left; Kesler has 5-6 years; Bieksa and Hamhuis have 4-5 years; Malhotra and Luongo are on borrowed time. I'm not entirely certain this group can get us to the promised land...they're very good, but for whatever reason they haven't been able to close the deal.

(2) Luongo appears to be on the way out, so has the natural evolution of the leadership group begun? My opinion is that the movement have begun -- lucky for us, Schneider seems to have all of the on and off ice qualities to step in and replace Luongo on all fronts. As well, without trying to read too much into MG's comments, his statement of wanting to get younger and bigger seems to allude to an openness within the management group (AV, whether he wants to or not, included) to giving opportunities for younger players in the system to step up on the leadership front.

(3) Are there any prospects currently in the system that possess the qualities to lead the next leadership group? Maybe Gaunce? McNally? Jensen?

(4) Related to question 3, will we have to look outside the organization to source out our next leadership group? Personally, I'm not certain about this question because I know very little about our prospects am curious what others think about our future leadership group.

(5) How is the team positioned compared to when Henrik, Daniel, Kesler, et. al. took over four years ago? Are we better/same/worse? My opinion is that we're not as strong as we were with the next wave of leaders, but I suppose that's because this hasn't been a organizational issue.

Anyways, I'd be interested in what members of the Board thinks about this issue...

#2 Grape

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:05 PM

Holy crap, Kesler is 28 already?

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#3 Danthecanucksfan

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:06 PM

we traded hodgson................... so when hank retires in 7 years, Jensen will be captin. :)

#4 Rey

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:11 PM

I've always found Leadership to be the most overrated aspect of sports. You want to be a leader? Take control of the team. How do you take control of the team? Hard work and be respected. Being the best player on the team helps. It's not about talking or taking control, it's about having your teammates listen to you when you say something. It all comes with the naturally. The more you are emotionally involved in something, the more you have a voice. You have a voice or an opinion, then you can be a leader. It has everything to do with experience and maturity.

PS - Apparently Gaunce has a bit of Jonathan Toews personality in him. Maybe he'll take control in the future, if he's good enough.

Edited by Rey, 05 July 2012 - 11:15 PM.


#5 our time is now

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:16 PM

I personally think gaunce has leadership enough to lead this team to the cup he is way underrated around the prospects

#6 uber_pwnzor

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:29 PM

This thing is that I don't really see a new wave/generation of leaders of players emerging as this group of players born around 1980 retire. When the Näslund, Morrison, Öhlund and Jovo started to decline and moved we had the Sedins, but now we don't have anything... :(
I guess that's what you get for being consistently good...

#7 VANFAN101

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:32 PM

I personally think gaunce has leadership enough to lead this team to the cup he is way underrated around the prospects


Slow down there speed racer. Its not that i disagree with your post, its just gaunce is more than a couple years away from making the line-up, and once he is settled then can we start talking about his leadership qualities in an nhl locker room

#8 ButterBean

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:53 PM

Sedins have only 2-3 years left? I beg to differ. Their game doesn't revolve on an attribute that lots of players lose once they get old. Mainly their hockey sense and vision on the ice is what makes them really good players, as long as that stays intact I can see them staying for 5 more years even if they get demoted to the 2nd line in a few years.

#9 DownUndaCanuck

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:08 AM

I feel that Kesler and the Sedins will probably retire around the same time. Despite the age difference, Kesler's injuries are slowing him down and the twins are conditioned better than anyone in the league. Once they retire the Canucks are in trouble.

This is where Hodgson would have been a perfect fit with Gaunce and Schroeder behind him, but now we have a big hole at that #1 center position that MG will hopefully fill in half a decades time.

On defence I feel Edler will carry an "A", Schneider will be a part of the leadership group, Hansen will take up some leadership as well as will Kassian if we keep him long enough.
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#10 disisdayear

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:24 AM

I feel that Kesler and the Sedins will probably retire around the same time. Despite the age difference, Kesler's injuries are slowing him down and the twins are conditioned better than anyone in the league. Once they retire the Canucks are in trouble.

This is where Hodgson would have been a perfect fit with Gaunce and Schroeder behind him, but now we have a big hole at that #1 center position that MG will hopefully fill in half a decades time.

On defence I feel Edler will carry an "A", Schneider will be a part of the leadership group, Hansen will take up some leadership as well as will Kassian if we keep him long enough.


I would tend to agree with your comments on Kesler/Sedins. Kesler has rough mileage on his body, while given the Sedins' relative good health throughout their careers, have less hard miles on theirs.

Hodgson definitely showed some leadership qualities while he was a junior...did he really have it as a pro? I'm inclined to say yes and part of his demands to play more may have been predicated by his desire to step up and be counted on more than the team was prepared to give him at this time. Perhaps what he possessed in leadership traits were overshadowed by his lack of patience at this stage of his career. Anyways, that ship has sailed.


Sedins have only 2-3 years left? I beg to differ. Their game doesn't revolve on an attribute that lots of players lose once they get old. Mainly their hockey sense and vision on the ice is what makes them really good players, as long as that stays intact I can see them staying for 5 more years even if they get demoted to the 2nd line in a few years.


Honestly and sincerely hope you're right about the Sedins (i.e., 5 years left as leadership core). I'm a big fan of the Sedins and marvel at their cycle game...if they can maintain their consistently high level of play for another 5 years (lets say 65 to 75 points per season for the next 5 years) then it allows the Canuck management the luxury of time to develop the next wave of core players who can step in when the Sedins will play a lesser role.

#11 Tragoedia

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 01:34 AM

In 2006 would you have pictured Henrik Sedin as captain of the Canucks? I sure didn't. Things have a way of happening in ways that we can never fully predict.

#12 keslerian one

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 07:40 AM

LaBate!

#13 Jagorim Jarg

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:26 AM

(1) How many years does this collective group have left? And does this group have what it takes to win the cup? My opinion is that the Sedins have 2-3 years left; Kesler has 5-6 years; Bieksa and Hamhuis have 4-5 years; Malhotra and Luongo are on borrowed time. I'm not entirely certain this group can get us to the promised land...they're very good, but for whatever reason they haven't been able to close the deal.

The reason is, there are plenty of other good teams out there. There's nothing wrong with this group when on it's game, compared to other groups it may have more or less of certain things than other teams but winning the cup can't be something anyone should ever expect from any group. That being said, I do think this group can win it, but it's much more a case of luck and timing, who faces who in what rounds, who gets injured etc.

I do think the young guys need to have a shot this year just to 'break the ice'. The rookie(s) on LA made a big splash and though they have size on their side, it's about time the Canucks showed some more youth in the lineup regardless of size. Have to use what team has. Would love to see Kassian develop into a leader someday.

Edited by Jagorim Jarg, 06 July 2012 - 09:29 AM.


#14 Wonderine

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:20 AM

we traded hodgson................... so when hank retires in 7 years, Jensen will be captin. :)


Best move ever by a GM in the history of the NHL :towel:

#15 Wheels22

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:41 AM

I wish we still had old man Sami Salo to carry our defense and show them how to play the game right

He was a great leader on the ice, that's for sure

Edited by Wheels22, 06 July 2012 - 10:42 AM.


#16 Tru_Knyte

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:06 AM

As they say, leader's aren't born, they're made. Consequently, it's hard to say which of the current youth on our team will become the future leaders of the team. The players who might not seem like candidates now may mature over the next few years to become a part of that core.
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#17 Primal Optimist

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:12 AM

For me, when you think about the qualities besides skill and points and height and age and weight, et cetera, you get down to leadership, mental toughness, team oriented work ethic, et cetera.

I have thought for a while now that the 'core' of the team really does boil down to a thick sauce of just Kesler and Bieksa. These are the archtype players that I wish our entire team was personified by. These are guys, who may not be the best in the league at their positions, but they are good at them, and they amplify those on ice skillsets with team work, dedication to the model the team is built on, and a certain mental quality that is rare enough in the NHL, let alone on the Canucks Roster. I am glad that we have a core, albeit just two guys, who are split into an offense and a defensive role. These characters, and they are characters, can and will shape the team on and off the ice, and they will do it for years to come.

Lapierre is benefiting from this already, but I am getting ahead of myself..Kes is going to be 28 for the duration of the 12-13 season, and Bieksa will be 31 for its entirety. Kes has not yet peaked in his on ice skillsets either, which is a great thing for the future. It is no accident that these two guys are wearing A's on their jerseys.

As I mentioned above, Lapierre is blossoming under the same style of, for lack of a better term, character, and it is showing in a greatly improved on ice contribution to the club. I expect that Mike Gillis and his executive squad brought in Kassian to grow under the same influence, and add these same character traits to his already impressive hockey skills set. At some point in the last three years I mentioned somewhere in the forums that our entire team should be built on the Kesler/Bieksa character traits model, not just a 'big' 'tough' model, but one where, to borrow a term from Gillis himself, where the team is hard to play against.

Hard. That is the word I want to use to describe Kes and Bieksa, and to a degree Lapierre. We can clearly see the Sedin Brothers are stellar hockey players, the best on average, for several years now, honestly, they are superpro's. Can we call them "HARD". I don't mean to disrespect them when I say that comparative to Kes/Bieker no they are not hard. Burrows has a bit of the edge of Hardness, if not the size to carry out its promise, and Hansen/Raymond simply don't. They are al good hockey players, and I am happy to have them on the team I love, but if I was looking to improve the basics of the team, I would ice 6 Bieksa's and 12 Keslers and call it fixed.

Going forward, the scouting team has to identify that mental skillset in guys who also have high skill levels, and then mentor the team as it transitions into Hard. I think the window is firmly wide open, as every team is constantly in flux, and with Kes being only 28, he has another decade of hockey to go, and by then, we may not have any single guy left here on the team from say 2006, or even 2010. Teams evolve..the thing of it is to evolve towards a destination, and not regress as a team.

I think we have the foundation to do that as a club, and I think management is years ahead of me in pointing it out and acquiring guys who can be mentored into Hard hockey players.

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#18 John.Tallhouse

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 01:31 PM

I was hoping Hodgson would take over as captain down the road.. :sadno:
ah well at least we got this guy, I'm sure he can fill a captain roll.....
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#19 stawns

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:13 PM

Perhaps I am in the minority here, but I don't see Kes as being as much of a positive leader as I used to...........in many respects I see him as a bit of a distraction

#20 DreamHerO

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:21 PM

Kesler has an ego problem, I don't see him as a captain at all.
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#21 thehamburglar

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:00 PM

I think that Hansen will come up as a leader.
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#22 ilduce39

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:55 PM

What makes the current leadership group effective in my mind is that they had the opportunity to grow up together in the Canucks organisation, while the WCE bunch was still shouldering most of the load... (Kes, Bur, Sedins, Bieksa) Lou was brought in just as they were taking over so he kind of fit in with that group as well.

What's a little concerning is that I don't really see a group of young-guns threatening on the 2nd and 3rd lines the way our current group did... a lot of our "role players" are older, around the same age, or probably not going to develop the way this group did... with all that said, it would be awesome to have guys like Jensen, Gaunce (not yet but soon), Kassian, Schroeder, Sauve, Connauton etc be given a chance to cut their teeth in the NHL... the problem is, as 2x Presidents trophy winners and with the "we want the cup now" mentality, do we have the patience to do so?
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#23 DaMacNamedDre

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:14 PM

What's disturbing about this is that nobody in the "leadership core" held Marchand accountable for this.

Most of us our getting quite sick of Canucks not defending themselves.


Edited by D.J Ball, 06 July 2012 - 08:16 PM.

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Posted ImageBodee, on 18 April 2012 - 11:07 AM, said:

I haven't been a supporter of the Canucks for long. Mainly because firstly I know nothing about NHL and secondly ESPN America only started showing NHL 3 years ago.

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#24 Primal Optimist

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:54 AM

Would holding Marchand accountable, vis a vis beating him up, have added some goals to our score sheet? Just sayin.

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#25 mpt

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:23 AM

we traded hodgson................... so when hank retires in 7 years, Jensen will be captin. :)


I doubt the Sedins will play at 39

#26 Burnsey

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:12 AM

Our younger players could become the next leadership core. I mean players like Schroeder, Hansen, Tanev, Kassian etc, could all get better and develop into an even better core. There is no telling what will happen, just a matter of getting good prospects and developing them in the right way. No rushing prospects as at this point we don't have to.

Teams like the Oilers tend to throw their new players into the NHL straight away...sure they are usually the 1st overall pick and they have done pretty well in their early career, but even having 6 months could help all prospects no matter where/when you were drafted.


EDIT: Also, a leader is hard to see when a lot of what makes a true leader is the off ice actions. People used to say Naslund didn't deserve to wear the C, well how many of us truly knew what he was like in the locker room.

Edited by Burnsey, 07 July 2012 - 09:18 AM.

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#27 Line Juggler

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:13 PM

Sedins have only 2-3 years left? I beg to differ. Their game doesn't revolve on an attribute that lots of players lose once they get old. Mainly their hockey sense and vision on the ice is what makes them really good players, as long as that stays intact I can see them staying for 5 more years even if they get demoted to the 2nd line in a few years.


Heck after that they can play 3rd line and 2nd unit power play. Those guys are in excellent shape and can play until they are 39 and still go out on top of their game. Will they still want to play that long is really the only question and will Gillis be willing to give them a competitive salary for that long, or will he more or less chase them out of town?
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#28 TheWheeler

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:48 PM

Kesler is not the guy I see as being a true leader on this team. The guy shows absolutely no emotion except for when it's towards himself, his interviews are incredibly unmotivating (even his teammates say he never smiles), and the on ice antics last playoffs were completely immature. At 27 I expect MUCH differently from him.



Deal him for Weber. A guy who won't take crap from ANYBODY and lead by true example of domination.

#29 NucksBruins

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:51 PM

Would holding Marchand accountable, vis a vis beating him up, have added some goals to our score sheet? Just sayin.


At least use it as a rallying point. The Bruins woke up from the hit Horton took. The Hawks woke up after Seabrook got wiped out in the first round and nearly came all the way back from 3-0 down by forcing OT in game 7. The Canucks don't seem capable of doing that with this group. I could care less if they fight anyone, but get mad at least. Show you care. It's like in the movie Dodgeball when Patches can't motivate Gordon on the team who says he can't get angry. He punches him in the nuts and asks "Are you angry now?" The Canucks just keep taking punches in the playoffs in the form of questionable hits and plays and don't rally or shift the momentum in their favor...
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#30 Hyzer

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:52 PM

If Kesler is named Captain, could we trade for Marchand and make the Vancouver Diving Team?




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