In a sentence, I am officially predicting that the Vancouver Canucks will MISS the playoffs in 2013.
-Goaltending fiasco. Don't care about PC responses from the players or the GM, this will be a major distraction that will have an adverse effect on team morale. Awkward locker room. Poor allocation of cap dollars. I've said for a long time that the Canucks really missed the boat by not trading Schneider for something that could've seriously helped up in a Cup run last year, and it will for a long time be a regret of ours, IMO. Whatever we get for Luongo will be unexciting and we'll still have a relatively unproven goalie backstopping an alleged "team built to win now". Not a good combination.
-Complacency. Why didn't anybody go to Europe? Practicing with the UBC team is hardly an adequate preparation for the season. Makes me think that this bunch has largely lost their hunger. A 5-game post-season exit last year adds credence to this thought. By not going to Europe/Russia, the message in essence is that they'd rather stay in their posh Vancouver homes than be bothered to go try and compete to help stay sharp. Not a good sign. Of course, this doesn't include everybody, but the vast majority of the team chose to not play hockey in the downtime. I expect it to cost them.
-Calgary has gotten better. Added good scoring depth in Hudler, and late-season acquisition Cammalleri. Got rid of Jokinen, which is addition by subtraction. Got a proven PP QB in Wideman. Most importantly, a new coach. Would not surprise me at all to see the Flames win the division, somewhat like the Canucks did in '06-'07, out of nowhere and under AV's rookie year behind the bench.
-Edmonton has gotten better. Justin Schultz is going to be a star. I like the Fistric acquisition a lot. Dubnyk was very good at the Spengler Cup. Heavy momentum going into the year. Key guys are already in mid-season form.
-Minnesota has gotten better. Granlund, Parise, & Suter should all have an immediate and material impact.
David Booth's injury announcement yesterday just makes me more confident that this is one of those years where essentially everything's going to go wrong for the Canucks. The Jason Garrison signing is also one that I was/am vehemently against. Don't expect it to turn out good. Sami Salo's presence on the back end will be sorely missed.
And no, I am not "hating", so please don't suggest that I am. This is an opinion of mine that I am fully entitled to. Feel free to debate and/or include your own prediction.
Valid concerns King, but your conclusions strikes me as an over-reaction to the state of affairs for the Canucks. True, the issues that are raised are cause for concerns and in a shortened season, everything in magnified, so I suppose fans reactions should be the same.
The Canucks are dealing with injury issues and issues that are unique to them, but every single team in the NHL are dealing with multiple issues themselves. So, where does that leave us? We're probably not a lock on winning the NW division as I had thought a week ago, though I think even with Booth being out, a playoff seed in spots 5-8 is realistic.
I say this because:
(1) the first line should get more ice time (improving their productivity);
(2) the defense is deep and balanced;
(3) the goaltending, in spite of external chaos is still the best 1-2 tandem in the NHL;
(4) continuity in systems and veteran presence;
(5) and a core group of veterans who were embarrassed by their early exit in last year's playoffs.
I've suggested in past posts that the two keys to the Canucks success will be great goaltending and staying healthy (that's obvious, ain't it, Sherlock?)...if the CDC members will indulge me, I shall add the ability to weather the early season storm with the second line being out of commish as an added key element to our success (that's even more obvious, ain't it Sherlock?). I believe that as a collective group, the team should be able to deal with this for 3-4 weeks (tops), at which time, we will hopefully have injury issues resolved (and/or possibly have some reinforcements added).
I find the King's over-reaction (on issues that are valid) and subsequent drama that it has caused (surprisingly, that of Deb the Moderator who in her role as moderator shouldn't be fanning the flames herself...evidently, she's lost her objectivity) to be amusing...there's never a dull moment on the board.