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48MPHSlapShot

[Discussion] Going from playoff hopeful to legitimate contender. What do we need?

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This is sort of an all encompassing discussion thread about what steps the team should take to move from a playoff hopeful to a legitimate contender. Apologies if this topic is somewhat redundant, but I kinda wanted to see where everyone feels the team is sitting right now and what they would do to push it to that next level, either with specific proposals or more generalized thoughts as to where we need improvement. 

 

The lineup as it sits right now looks something like this when everyone else healthy...

 

Miller- Pettersson- Boeser

Pearson-Horvat- Leivo

Roussel/Ferland- Gaudette/Sutter- Virtanen

Schaller/Eriksson- Beagle- Virtanen/MacEwan

 

Edler- Myers

Hughes- Tanev

Stetcher- Benn

Fantenburg

 

Markstrom

Demko

 

What are it's strengths, weaknesses, and what pieces need to be upgraded or swapped out for younger pieces going forward?

 

My thoughts...

 

Forwards: Petey, Miller, Boeser and Horvat are all set in stone. Legitimate top 6 forwards that make up the core that will carry the team for the next several years.

The question marks arise when discussing the final two spots in that top 6. We've been filling those spots with "stopgap" options for a while now and, although I think the current stopgaps are a step above the players we've utilized over the last several years, they're not players I'd want to see in that role going forward.

Leivo has been having himself a nice season thus far, but I see him as a 3rd liner that can play in the top 6 if and when the inevitable injury bug bites.

Pearson is simply too inconsistent to be a permanent option imho. For whatever reason he's just an incredibly streaky player. He'll put up 8 points in 6 games, then put up 1 point over his next 12. His overall production has still been nice, but I'd prefer a more consistent option.

Gaudette is a player that's coming along very nicely. He's the key to success of the 2nd unit powerplay, and his overall drive is something that our top 6 could really benefit from. I see him being a legitimate top 6 option going forward.

Virtanen, like Pearson, is unfortunately very inconsistent. When he's on, he's great, but when he's not, he's invisible. At this point, I think we have a pretty good idea of what we have in Virtanen. 

 

Luckily, the issue of what to do to improve our top 6 may already have been solved, and Podkolzin, Hoglander, Lind and Madden all look like they have top 6 potential (with varying degrees of likelihood, obviously), and I'd say it's pretty probable that at least one of two of them reach that ceiling. It'd certainly be nice to add another elite piece, but as it stands right now I think our top 6 is looking to be in pretty good shape going forward.

 

As far as the bottom 6 is concerned, I can see Gaudette anchoring an offensively minded 3rd line, with players like Pearson, Leivo, Virtanen, Ferland, etc being solid middle 6 offensively minded wingers that could play with him and give our team a pretty great multidimensional assault that'll give opposing teams nightmares. 

 

One thing that I do feel we need is a youngish, dependable defensive minded center that can win a lot of faceoffs and play some hard minutes. Chances are Sutter and Beagle aren't too long for this team, and as much as we need them, neither of them have been durable enough to play a full season, and both are on the wrong side of 30. We need someone that can take their place and actually stay healthy enough to help us for something resembling a full season. This hypothetical player wouldn't have to bring a ton of offense, but would provide the necessary defensive coverage to our lineup to allow us to roll 3 scoring lines. Unfortunately I don't think this player exists anywhere in our system right now, and I think finding a player like this is pretty necessary.

 

Defense: This is where the real question marks start to appear. Of our current blueline, the only player I see being a staple of our top 4 for the next several years is Hughes. Everyone else is a question mark.

Edler is certainly a legitimate top 4 defenseman right now, but he's 33 years old, on a two year contract, and has been riddled with injuries over the course of his career. I imagine Hughes usurps his position in pretty short order, if it hasn't already happened, and we do have Juolevi marinating in Utica who could eventually come in and take that 2nd left D spot, although at this point Juolevi is a huge question mark.

Benn rounds out our left D option and, although I don't think he'll be here long term, I have no problems with him anchoring that bottom pairing position.

On right D we have Tanev, Myers and Stetcher. Tanev is certainly our best defensive defenseman, but he's not what I would consider to be a top pairing guy. He's also injury prone and will be turning 30 in a matter of days. Not a player I'd put a lot of stock into being a staple of our lineup over the next several years, as much as I like the guy and how he plays. 

Myers is locked up long term, and likely won't be going anywhere for a while. While I do like the way Myers plays, he's been unproductive so far this season, and he's prone to making the occasional bone headed mistake. I can see him anchoring the 2nd pairing for a while, but he's certainly not a top pairing defenseman.

Stetcher is a guy that sort of straddles the line between 2nd pairing and bottom pairing defenseman. He plays with his heart on his sleeve, his numbers are solid for a bottom pairing guy, and his underlying stats are good. He's still relatively young as well, so I can see him being part of our core for a while, although with his contract close to expiring, he may be too pricey to hold onto considering his current role on the team. 

 

Bottom line: Our D needs work going forward. Two top 4 defenseman are a necessity if this team is going to compete for a cup, preferably one of which can be a legitimate top pairing guy to play with Hughes. If I was to narrow down what we need to inject in our blueline, I'd say we need a top pairing right D that can put up good offensive numbers, play both special teams, can throw the body, and has a canon from the point. Basically, a younger version of Edler in his prime that can play the opposite side. I also think we need a defensive specialist that can fill Tanev's role once he's gone. Preferably someone that can put up a few more points as well. Something akin to Hamhuis in his prime.

 

As far as goaltending goes, I'm pretty content with where we are right now. The expansion draft necessitates making a decision pretty soon, but having both Markstrom and Demko is a pretty good problem to have, especially with DiPietro playing well in Utica. In ann ideal scenario, Demko takes the reigns as starter and we're able to move Markstrom before the expansion draft.

 

 

With what we have currently in the lineup (not including prospects), we look something like this right now and going forward. 

 

Miller- Pettersson- Boeser

xxxxx- Horvat-xxxxx

Leivo- Gaudette- Virtanen

Ferland- xxxxx- MacEwan

 

Hughes-xxxxx

xxxxx- Myers

xxxxx- Stecher

 

Demko

xxxxx

 

With Podkolzin, Hoglander, Lind, Madden, Juolevi, Rathbone, DiPietro, Woo, Rafferty, Brisebois, Chatfield, Teves, Dadjovich, Palmu, Karlsson, Tryamkin(?), Focht and various other prospects to fill those voids. 

 

Of these prospects, I can see quite a few panning out, although still leaving us lacking in a few key positions. 

 

So, do you more or less agree with this assessment. If you do, what are your ideas for filling these holes? If not, where do you think we need work, and what are some of your ideas? Really curious as to what the boards ideas are. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by 48MPHSlapShot
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To be a legit cup contender I'd say we require 2 top 6 forwards, a top pair D, and a top 4 D. The question is, do we have the assets in our organization that can grow into those players?

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If Ferland can get back to looking like a top 6 winger that would go a long way.

We are likely 2-3 years away from any of the young wingers listed from being in the NHL much less impact players.  Hoglander may be the wild card there.

Still would like to see Brock on Bo's wing and Miller and Ferland on Elias'.  Get Elias shooting more when Brock is not there and make for 2 much more dangerous lines.  Unfortunately Ferland's play has landed him firmly in bottom 6 so far.

I would also like to see Gaudette with Sutter on his wing to help with faceoffs.  Just like Sutter as a RW better anyway.  Roussel on the left or moved up with Bo and Brock when Pearson is slumping.  Jake can also float up and down the lineup depending on his play.

Beagle Jake and Schaller would create a solid checking line.  Leivo is flex player as can go in anywhere when needed.  Good enough at everything, not particularly good at anything.  A better Granlund. 

Motte would also be a guy rotating in and out as needed.

Unfortunately though, the predilections of Green seem to point to sitting Gaudette when the team is healthy.

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1 hour ago, 48MPHSlapShot said:

This is sort of an all encompassing discussion thread about what steps the team should take to move from a playoff hopeful to a legitimate contender. Apologies if this topic is somewhat redundant, but I kinda wanted to see where everyone feels the team is sitting right now and what they would do to push it to that next level, either with specific proposals or more generalized thoughts as to where we need improvement. 

 

The lineup as it sits right now looks something like this when everyone else healthy...

 

Miller- Pettersson- Boeser

Pearson-Horvat- Leivo

Roussel/Ferland- Gaudette/Sutter- Virtanen

Schaller/Eriksson- Beagle- Virtanen/MacEwan

 

Edler- Myers

Hughes- Tanev

Stetcher- Benn

Fantenburg

 

Markstrom

Demko

 

What are it's strengths, weaknesses, and what pieces need to be upgraded or swapped out for younger pieces going forward?

 

My thoughts...

 

Forwards: Petey, Miller, Boeser and Horvat are all set in stone. Legitimate top 6 forwards that make up the core that will carry the team for the next several years.

The question marks arise when discussing the final two spots in that top 6. We've been filling those spots with "stopgap" options for a while now and, although I think the current stopgaps are a step above the players we've utilized over the last several years, they're not players I'd want to see in that role going forward.

Leivo has been having himself a nice season thus far, but I see him as a 3rd liner that can play in the top 6 if and when the inevitable injury bug bites.

Pearson is simply to inconsistent to be a permanent option imho. For whatever reason he's just an incredibly streaky player. He'll put up 8 points in 6 games, then put up 1 point over his next 12. His overall production has still been nice, but I'd prefer a more consistent option.

Gaudette is a player that's coming along very nicely. He's the key to success of the 2nd unit powerplay, and his overall drive is something that our top 6 could really benefit from. I see him being a legitimate top 6 option going forward.

Virtanen, like Pearson, is unfortunately very inconsistent. When he's on, he's great, but when he's not, he's invisible. At this point, I think we have a pretty good idea of what we have in Virtanen. 

 

Luckily, the issue of what to do to improve our top 6 may already have been solved, and Podkolzin, Hoglander, Lind and Madden all look like they have top 6 potential (with varying degrees of likelihood, obviously), and I'd say it's pretty probable that at least one of two of them reach that ceiling. It'd certainly be nice to add another elite piece, but as it stands right now I think our top 6 is looking to be in pretty good shape going forward.

 

As far as the bottom 6 is concerned, I can see Gaudette anchoring an offensively minded 3rd line, with players like Pearson, Leivo, Virtanen, Ferland, etc being solid middle 6 offensively minded wingers that could play with him and give our team a pretty great multidimensional assault that'll give opposing teams nightmares. 

 

One thing that I do feel we need is a youngish, dependable defensive minded center that can win a lot of faceoffs and play some hard minutes. Chances are Sutter and Beagle aren't too long for this team, and as much as we need them, neither of them have been durable enough to play a full season, and both are on the wrong side of 30. We need someone that can take their place and actually stay healthy enough to help us for something resembling a full season. This hypothetical player wouldn't have to bring a ton of offense, but would provide the necessary defensive coverage to our lineup to allow us to roll 3 scoring lines. Unfortunately I don't think this player exists anywhere in our system right now, and I think finding a player like this is pretty necessary.

 

Defense: This is where the real question marks start to appear. Of our current blueline, the only player I see being a staple of our top 4 for the nest several years is Hughes. Everyone else is a question mark.

Edler is certainly a legitimate top 4 defenseman right now, but he's 33 years old, on a two year contract, and has been riddled with injuries over the course of his career. I imagine Hughes usurps his position in pretty short order, if it hasn't already happened, and we do have Juolevi marinating in Utica who could eventually come in and take that 2nd left D spot, although at this point Juolevi is a huge question mark.

Benn rounds out our left D option and, although I don't think he'll be here long term, I have no problems with him anchoring that bottom pairing position.

On right D we have Tanev, Myers and Stetcher. Tanev is certainly our best defensive defenseman, but he's not what I would consider to be a top pairing guy. He's also injury prone and will be turning 30 in a matter of days. Not a player I'd put a lot of stock into being a staple of our lineup over the next several years, as much as I like the guy and how he plays. 

Myers is locked up long term, and likely won't be going anywhere for a while. While I do like the way Myers plays, he's been unproductive so far this season, and he's prone to making the occasional bone headed mistake. I can see him anchoring the 2nd pairing for a while, but he's certainly not a top pairing defenseman.

Stetcher is a guy that sort of straddles the line between 2nd pairing and bottom pairing defenseman. He plays with his heart on his sleeve, his numbers are solid for a bottom pairing guy, and his underlying stats are good. He's still relatively young as well, so I can see him being part of our core for a while, although with his contract close to expiring, he may be too pricey to hold onto considering his current role on the team. 

 

Bottom line: Our D needs work going forward. Two top 4 defenseman are a necessity if this team is going to compete for a cup, preferably one of which can be a legitimate top pairing guy to play with Hughes. If I was to narrow down what we need to inject in our blueline, I'd say we need a top pairing right D that can put up good offensive numbers, play both special teams, can throw the body, and has a canon from the point. Basically, a younger version of Edler in his prime that can play the opposite side. I also think we need a defensive specialist that can fill Tanev's role once he's gone. Preferably someone that can put up a few more points as well. Something akin to Hamhuis in his prime.

 

As far as goaltending goes, I'm pretty content with where we are right now. The expansion draft necessitates making a decision pretty soon, but having both Markstrom and Demko is a pretty good problem to have, especially with DiPietro playing well in Utica. In ann ideal scenario, Demko takes the reigns as starter and we're able to move Markstrom before the expansion draft.

 

 

With what we have currently in the lineup (not including prospects), we look something like this right now and going forward. 

 

Miller- Pettersson- Boeser

xxxxx- Horvat-xxxxx

Leivo- Gaudette- Virtanen

Ferland- xxxxx- MacEwan

 

Hughes-xxxxx

xxxxx- Myers

xxxxx- Stecher

 

Demko

xxxxx

 

With Podkolzin, Hoglander, Lind, Madden, Juolevi, Rathbone, DiPietro, Woo, Rafferty, Brisebois, Chatfield, Teves, Dadjovich, Palmu, Karlsson, Tryamkin(?), Focht and various other prospects to fill those voids. 

 

Of these prospects, I can see quite a few panning out, although still leaving us lacking in a few key positions. 

 

So, do you more or less agree with this assessment. If you do, what are your ideas for filling these holes? If not, where do you think we need work, and what are some of your ideas? Really curious as to what the boards ideas are. 

 

 

 

 

 

You are right about the younger version of a Sutter/\Beagle and we do need top 4 D to push Edler and Tanev farther down the pairings. The big thing I see that needs to be done is to move Boeser to Bo's wing to balance out the top 6 attack. We see what happens when Pearson decides to play in that it provides legitimate secondary scoring. Boeser seems to be in a bit of funk right now outside of the PP and I believe he does have chemistry with Bo. Plus I think Bo deserves a bit of consistency with his line mates and I think he's earned it. Its like Kessler all over again with the lack of legit wingers throughout his career. This hasn't been tried by TG yet this year and I think it deserves at least a try for a few games in the very least.

Edited by EdgarM
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8 minutes ago, DrJockitch said:

If Ferland can get back to looking like a top 6 winger that would go a long way.

We are likely 2-3 years away from any of the young wingers listed from being in the NHL much less impact players.  Hoglander may be the wild card there.

Still would like to see Brock on Bo's wing and Miller and Ferland on Elias'.  Get Elias shooting more when Brock is not there and make for 2 much more dangerous lines.  Unfortunately Ferland's play has landed him firmly in bottom 6 so far.

I would also like to see Gaudette with Sutter on his wing to help with faceoffs.  Just like Sutter as a RW better anyway.  Roussel on the left or moved up with Bo and Brock when Pearson is slumping.  Jake can also float up and down the lineup depending on his play.

Beagle Jake and Schaller would create a solid checking line.  Leivo is flex player as can go in anywhere when needed.  Good enough at everything, not particularly good at anything.  A better Granlund. 

Motte would also be a guy rotating in and out as needed.

Unfortunately though, the predilections of Green seem to point to sitting Gaudette when the team is healthy.

Exactly this. Totally agree Dr. J.

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podkolzin, hoglander, lind, tryankin, woo, juolevi, madden and improvement from gaudette, macewen, virtanen, ferland, boeser and everyone else. plus more speed, grit and talent. 

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At minimum we need one top-6 forward AND a minute-munching, all-situations defenseman equal to or greater than Alex Edler. 

 

We may be able to find a top-6 forward internally with Ferland or Gaudette. There's also Madden, Podkolzin, and Hoglander in the pipes. 

 

In terms of a defenseman, unless we get a miracle with Juolevi or Rathbone we may have to trade for or sign one.

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1 hour ago, 48MPHSlapShot said:

 

Miller- Pettersson- Boeser

xxxxx- Horvat-xxxxx

Leivo- Gaudette- Virtanen

Ferland- xxxxx- MacEwan

 

Hughes-xxxxx

xxxxx- Myers

xxxxx- Stecher

 

Demko

xxxxx

 

With Podkolzin, Hoglander, Lind, Madden, Juolevi, Rathbone, DiPietro, Woo, Rafferty, Brisebois, Chatfield, Teves, Dadjovich, Palmu, Karlsson, Tryamkin(?), Focht and various other prospects to fill those voids. 

 

I think if we are looking down the road 3 to 4 years (3 for this thread), we have a solid start in what needs to happen. Now what I will say is that not all positions will be replace through drafted players. There will be some UFA signings and trades done to achieve this. You can not find a single team, that does not do this to some extent. But what we have now, and what we will have in the pipeline in 3 years, are some what different, in terms of prospects.

 

I see our holes in 3 to 4 years looking somewhat like this, today

 

Miller- Pettersson- Boeser

xxxxxx - Horvat - Podkolzin

xxxxxxx- Gaudette- Virtanen

Ferland - xxxxx - MacEwan

 

Hughes - xxxxx

xxxxx- Myers

Juolevi - Tryamkin

 

Demko

DiPietro

 

So, just as a matter of this exercise, I see 4 of our prospects (signed and un-signed) making the jump by the 3 year mark or earlier, with the potential of several others

pushing hard by that time...……Rathbone (LHD), Madden (C), Hoglander (LW), Rafferty (RHD), Lind (RW) and possibly Woo (RHD). In that order.

 

"IF" that was to happen (that all the secondary prospects developed as hoped) then the team would look somewhat like this...……………..

 

Miller- Pettersson- Boeser

Hoglander - Horvat - Podkolzin

xxxxxxx- Gaudette- Virtanen/Lind

Ferland - Madden - MacEwan

 

Hughes - xxxxx

Juolevi - Myers

Rathbone - Tryamkin

          Rafferty/Woo

 

Demko

DiPietro

 

So, although you can never count on all prospects to turn out. I think this gives us a picture of where we have the potential to be. Obviously, it will not happen exactly how this looks, but it does illustrate where we should be concentrating our next few drafts and recruitment. Let's hope that some of the 

B - Prospects develop past their ceiling.

 

Looking at the last Roster scenario, it totally identifies, IMO, where Benning should be focusing his mining of gems...………….To me, to become a

perennial power house, or a true contender at the very least.

 

To me, looking at this, it shows us we are woefully shallow at top end LW and RHD prospects, and when Miller and Myers leave/retire, we will be very 

weak in those 2 positions.

 

 

* For reasons beyond my understanding my computer posted my comments while I was half way through making my comments, and I had to make my remaining comments while in edit format......sorry guys! Man, I hate PC's. LOL

 

 

 

Edited by janisahockeynut
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Good post @48MPHSlapShotI think you assessments are fair and accurate.  This is exactly the question that Benning is asking himself this season going into the next.  What is going to make the Canucks a true contender from the jump that was made last season?

 

We can go down the list and evaluate the line up and to this point, I think you're bang on with the so-called middle 6 (Pearson, Leivo, Gaudette, Virtanen, Ferland?)  Make no mistake, it is great to have players like these on your 3rd line because they can play up your line up in case of injury in the top 6.  I would say it is vital if the team isn't going to see a drop off in performance when key people get hurt.  Is it possible that one of these players finds some consistency and develops into a full time 2nd line player?  Virtanen perhaps but I'm not sure we're getting any growth from the others.

 

I want to say that all of the core players are still developing and getting better year over year.  Horvat is close to his peak but even he is getting better.  All other players that Benning has drafted are improving and this is one way the team will improve moving forward.  Having said that, I agree with your missing pieces.  Ferland was supposed to be top 6 and he has had plenty of difficulty.  It is safe to say that if he pans out, it would be a bonus at this point.  I'm not holding out a lot of hope.  Top 6 potential would be Podkolzin, Hoglander, Lind, Gaudette? and? but all of these players may take years.

 

Same on D.  Ovbviously, it is unknown how long Edler and Tanev will remain effective.  Myers is 29 (same age as Tanev) and Benning is betting on him for 4 years after this.  Are there players with top 4 potential in the system?  Juolevi, Woo, Rafferty?  I would say that Briesbois and Sautner are potential bottom pair guys fwiw.

 

So what does Benning do this summer?  I think he tries to find another top 6 forward, one like Ferland was supposed to be.  I can't be certain that he's going to do more.  There were a lot of changes last year and there is something to be said for stability.

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Just now, janisahockeynut said:

I think if we are looking down the road 3 to 4 years (3 for this thread), we have a solid start in what needs to happen. Now what I will say is that not all positions will be replace through drafted players. There will be some UFA signings and trades done to achieve this. You can not find a single team, that does not do this to some extent. But what we have now, and what we will have in the pipeline in 3 years, are some what different, in terms of prospects.

 

I see our holes in 3 to 4 years looking somewhat like this, today

 

Miller- Pettersson- Boeser

xxxxxx - Horvat - Podkolzin

xxxxxxx- Gaudette- Virtanen

Ferland - xxxxx - MacEwan

 

Hughes - xxxxx

xxxxx- Myers

Juolevi - Tryamkin

 

Demko

DiPietro

 

So, just as a matter of this exercise, I see 4 of our prospects (signed and un-signed) making the jump by the 3 year mark or earlier, with the potential of several others

pushing hard by that time...……Rathbone (LHD), Madden (C), Hoglander (LW), Rafferty (RHD), Lind (RW) and possibly Woo (RHD). In that order.

 

"IF" that was to happen (that all the secondary prospects developed as hoped) then the team would look somewhat like this...……………..

 

Miller- Pettersson- Boeser

xxxxxx - Horvat - Podkolzin

xxxxxxx- Gaudette- Virtanen

Ferland - xxxxx - MacEwan

 

Hughes - xxxxx

xxxxx- Myers

Juolevi - Tryamkin

 

Demko

DiPietro

 

 

 

 

I think that's a pretty solid projection. I don't see any issue with holding onto Leivo and slotting him into that 3rd line RW position. That leaves the a top 6 RW position and the 4th line center position open. 

 

The problem for me is that I don't think we have the pieces in our system to say with anything resembling certainty that we'll be able to fill the spots that need filling on the blueline. A top pairing defenseman that can play the right side may actually be the most difficult position to fill competently of any position in the NHL, meaning we'll either have to draft one within the next 2 or so years, sign one via free agency (and how often does that pan out?), or trade for one. Of the three option, I feel our best bet may be to trade for one. While it would be nice to draft one, we'll likely be picking lower than we have been, and with us already missing a first rd pick, the likelihood of selecting a first pairing D that can contribute in short order is highly unlikely. Free agent signings of that magnitude rarely work out, so unless a really unique situation pops up, I doubt that's a realistic option.

 

That leaves the trade option. What do we have that we can move for a top pairing Dman? Who would we target?

 

I have a couple of ideas, neither of which I think would be very popular. The first option would be to create a package revolving around our next 1st rd pick. It's a hell of an ask to give up two first rd picks in a row, but if the player we were to land was young enough, I would certainly consider it. 

 

The next option may be even less popular here. Create a package revolving around Podkolzin. I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm not as certain about Podkolzin's ceiling as others here. I have doubts as to whether or not he'll actually pan out as a top 6 forward, and that his value may not ever be as high as it is right now again. Now, with Boeser already slated in as one of our two top 6 RWs, losing Pod would leave us with another hole to fill up front. That said, I don't feel as though filling a top 6 RW position would be as difficult as filling a top pairing right D spot, which is why I might consider this hypothetical move. 

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Crabcakes said:

Good post @48MPHSlapShotI think you assessments are fair and accurate.  This is exactly the question that Benning is asking himself this season going into the next.  What is going to make the Canucks a true contender from the jump that was made last season?

 

We can go down the list and evaluate the line up and to this point, I think you're bang on with the so-called middle 6 (Pearson, Leivo, Gaudette, Virtanen, Ferland?)  Make no mistake, it is great to have players like these on your 3rd line because they can play up your line up in case of injury in the top 6.  I would say it is vital if the team isn't going to see a drop off in performance when key people get hurt.  Is it possible that one of these players finds some consistency and develops into a full time 2nd line player?  Virtanen perhaps but I'm not sure we're getting any growth from the others.

 

I want to say that all of the core players are still developing and getting better year over year.  Horvat is close to his peak but even he is getting better.  All other players that Benning has drafted are improving and this is one way the team will improve moving forward.  Having said that, I agree with your missing pieces.  Ferland was supposed to be top 6 and he has had plenty of difficulty.  It is safe to say that if he pans out, it would be a bonus at this point.  I'm not holding out a lot of hope.  Top 6 potential would be Podkolzin, Hoglander, Lind, Gaudette? and? but all of these players may take years.

 

Same on D.  Ovbviously, it is unknown how long Edler and Tanev will remain effective.  Myers is 29 (same age as Tanev) and Benning is betting on him for 4 years after this.  Are there players with top 4 potential in the system?  Juolevi, Woo, Rafferty?  I would say that Briesbois and Sautner are potential bottom pair guys fwiw.

 

So what does Benning do this summer?  I think he tries to find another top 6 forward, one like Ferland was supposed to be.  I can't be certain that he's going to do more.  There were a lot of changes last year and there is something to be said for stability.

I might hold off on trying to land another top 6 forward right now. Between the current roster and what we have in the system, I think we're adequately stocked up front for the time being. Maybe not enough to be a contender, but enough to put together a pretty solid offense.

 

The big question marks are on the blueline, and I think Benning should be looking at trying to move some pieces around to land a significant piece, be it a top pairing guy or a high end prospect. At the very least, I'd like to see him make an effort to stock the cupboard a little more. It would cost us a significant piece to land a high end Dman or prospect, but at this point, with the team really starting to take shape, I think we need to focus on the most glaring holes. Middle 6 forwards like Virtanen, Leivo, Pearson, etc...could be thrown into packages as sweeteners, and a blueliner like Stetcher or a few of our prospects could be pretty appealing sweeteners as well, but at the end of the day, if we really want to get "our guy", it's going to cost us a significant piece. Our next 1st rd pick or Podkolzin would be the most likely options imo. While it would suck to lose either one of those two assets, they're the only two pieces I can think of that would warrant such a return. 

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5 minutes ago, 48MPHSlapShot said:

 

I think that's a pretty solid projection. I don't see any issue with holding onto Leivo and slotting him into that 3rd line RW position. That leaves the a top 6 RW position and the 4th line center position open. 

 

The problem for me is that I don't think we have the pieces in our system to say with anything resembling certainty that we'll be able to fill the spots that need filling on the blueline. A top pairing defenseman that can play the right side may actually be the most difficult position to fill competently of any position in the NHL, meaning we'll either have to draft one within the next 2 or so years, sign one via free agency (and how often does that pan out?), or trade for one. Of the three option, I feel our best bet may be to trade for one. While it would be nice to draft one, we'll likely be picking lower than we have been, and with us already missing a first rd pick, the likelihood of selecting a first pairing D that can contribute in short order is highly unlikely. Free agent signings of that magnitude rarely work out, so unless a really unique situation pops up, I doubt that's a realistic option.

 

That leaves the trade option. What do we have that we can move for a top pairing Dman? Who would we target?

 

I have a couple of ideas, neither of which I think would be very popular. The first option would be to create a package revolving around our next 1st rd pick. It's a hell of an ask to give up two first rd picks in a row, but if the player we were to land was young enough, I would certainly consider it. 

 

The next option may be even less popular here. Create a package revolving around Podkolzin. I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm not as certain about Podkolzin's ceiling as others here. I have doubts as to whether or not he'll actually pan out as a top 6 forward, and that his value may not ever be as high as it is right now again. Now, with Boeser already slated in as one of our two top 6 RWs, losing Pod would leave us with another hole to fill up front. That said, I don't feel as though filling a top 6 RW position would be as difficult as filling a top pairing right D spot, which is why I might consider this hypothetical move. 

 

 

 

 

Well, if Gaudette actually turns out to be a good 3rd line Center (and develops his FO and defensive skills), (If not, I believe he will make a great RWer), either way, we are flush at RW, and have extra's.....it is either A) or B)

 

A ) RW depth...…..Boeser, Podkolzin, Madden, Virtanen, Lind, and McEwen (with Gaudette being a 3rd line center)

or

B ) RW depth...…..Boeser, Podkolzin, Gaudette, Virtanen, Lind, and McEwen (with Madden being our 3rd line center)

 

As, I said, our RW is flush and there are expendable players...………..to me Virtanen has become expendable in these senario's. But note, only B has been test

to any extent, and A) is only an "IF" everyone turns out.

 

If, we are making a RHD move, it will involve a RWer as well...………..

 

So, today, my question is...….what does Virtanen and Tanev in a trade get you as a young RHD? 

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2 hours ago, shayster007 said:

To be a legit cup contender I'd say we require 2 top 6 forwards, a top pair D, and a top 4 D. The question is, do we have the assets in our organization that can grow into those players?

I think we do. The question is does it align with the current "window"? Pretty good chance it might, I'm very excited about Rathbone in particular, we might have a McAvoy-ish player on our hands there. Tryamkin round out the group nicely. And IF Juolevi can stay healthy I think we're in very good shape, and Woo hasn't even come into it yet. 

 

The big question in my mind is getting Bo at least one legit winger. Podkolzin looks to be a future stud, but thats 3-4 seasons away, Bo needs a guy well before then. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, 48MPHSlapShot said:

I might hold off on trying to land another top 6 forward right now. Between the current roster and what we have in the system, I think we're adequately stocked up front for the time being. Maybe not enough to be a contender, but enough to put together a pretty solid offense.

 

The big question marks are on the blueline, and I think Benning should be looking at trying to move some pieces around to land a significant piece, be it a top pairing guy or a high end prospect. At the very least, I'd like to see him make an effort to stock the cupboard a little more. It would cost us a significant piece to land a high end Dman or prospect, but at this point, with the team really starting to take shape, I think we need to focus on the most glaring holes. Middle 6 forwards like Virtanen, Leivo, Pearson, etc...could be thrown into packages as sweeteners, and a blueliner like Stetcher or a few of our prospects could be pretty appealing sweeteners as well, but at the end of the day, if we really want to get "our guy", it's going to cost us a significant piece. Our next 1st rd pick or Podkolzin would be the most likely options imo. While it would suck to lose either one of those two assets, they're the only two pieces I can think of that would warrant such a return. 

Funny, I was writing as you were posting, but your idea and mind seem to be running somewhat parallel 

  • Hydration 1

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41 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

I think we do. The question is does it align with the current "window"? Pretty good chance it might, I'm very excited about Rathbone in particular, we might have a McAvoy-ish player on our hands there. Tryamkin round out the group nicely. And IF Juolevi can stay healthy I think we're in very good shape, and Woo hasn't even come into it yet. 

 

The big question in my mind is getting Bo at least one legit winger. Podkolzin looks to be a future stud, but thats 3-4 seasons away, Bo needs a guy well before then. 

 

 

Bo needs a guy now, Bo needed a guy last year. Miller should be that guy, as he was traded here to be that guy. If Ferland can recover and form chemistry with Petey and Brock, then that will open up Miller for Bo. If that is the case, we are left with 1 spot to be filled. At this point, if we get very lucky that could be Gaud or Virt, but I wouldn't be banking on that at this point.

 

I'm still a huge Olli supporter and believe he will be in our top 4 sooner rather then later, not so sure about Try.  

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