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To: Mike Gillis


Ewok

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No matter the outcome of the Playoffs for Vancouver, I think it would be in the teams best interest to do some minor rebuilding. For the most part our team is very solid and balanced, but I think removing and adding a few players could add a phenomenal consistency increase from all lines.

Basic Lines

D. Sedin - H. Sedin - A. Burrows

C. Higgins - R. Kesler - D. Booth

M. Raymond - S. Pahlsson - J. Hansen

M. Lapierre - M. Malhotra - Z. Kassian

D. Hamhuis - K. Bieksa

A. Edler - S. Salo

K. Ballard - C. Tanev

First Line

When healthy, this is by far our most effective and powerful line. Burrows fits in snuggly with the fast-paced play of the Sedin's and when this line plays great, usually all our lines play great. I can't think of any reason why this line should be tampered with in any way.

Second Line

This line can easily be one of the most dangerous second lines in the league, but its also one of our least consistent lines as well. Therefore I feel we have an incomplete Top 6 line, and adding another player that compliments both Kesler and Booth's play could add that spark that gets this line going when its needed.

Third Line

This line, like a few of our lines, can play either amazing or horribly. This line is most valuable when it has Higgins on it. While Higgins can be a very good player at times, I think he is nothing more than a third line player and belongs on that line. Pahlsson and Hansen are a great pair in my opinion and compliment each others play. So as far as I'm concerned, the third line shouldn't be tampered with as long as it has Higgins, Pahlsson, and Hansen.

Fourth Line

Our fourth line is great in my opinion. As long as Lapierre, Malhotra, and Kassian don't get too dirty, they usually are a very effective line that controls play.

Goaltending

We are so lucky to have the goaltending we do. Luongo, while at times inconsistent, can play so extraordinary and his glove saves are some of the best in the league. Schneider is the best back up you can ask for. Unfortunately, one of them will probably go. It's likely to be Schneider as I don't believe Luongo contracts allows for a trade of any sorts. So Schneider will be our bag of gold, the question is who do we trade him for.

Who should we move and who should we add?

I believe that it is extremely likely that Tampa Bay will be the new owner of Corey Schneider. They have previously expressed interest in Corey and they obviously need a new one, as Roloson is almost guaranteed to retire next year. And one player on Tampa sticks out at me to fill that second line void... Ryan Malone. The trade could go down as follows...

Corey Scheider

Mason Raymond

4th. Round Pick

For:

Ryan Malone

Ryan Malone is a power-forward left winger and might add that much needed spark to our second line. Not only that but I think it would actually give us a 'complete' second line. Eddie Lack, could fill the void that Schneider leaves, and Luongo can continue as our starting goaltender. Malone finished this last season with 48 points, 20 goals and 28 assists.

D. Sedin - H. Sedin - A. Burrows

R. Malone - R. Kesler - D. Booth

C. Higgins - S. Pahlsson - J. Hansen

M. Lapierre - M. Malhotra - Z. Kassian

While I think our defence is solid enough to not have a 'star' defence-men, I think it would also be in our best interest to pick up an above average offensive defence-men. Especially if Salo retires next year. As Calgary is rebuilding, that could be the best place to pick up a decent defence-men in a solid trade.

Please feel free to come up with any good 'rebuilding' or 'retooling' possibilities.

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Goaltending

We are so lucky to have the goaltending we do. Luongo, while at times inconsistent, can play so extraordinary and his glove saves are some of the best in the league. Schneider is the best back up you can ask for. Unfortunately, one of them will probably go. It's likely to be Schneider as I don't believe Luongo contracts allows for a trade of any sorts. So Schneider will be our bag of gold, the question is who do we trade him for.

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Please leave these message boards if you talk about the inconsistency of Luongo. Lazy hockey fans blame Luongo because they don't put in the effort to analyze the psychology of the game.

That was last year.

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Our forwards are perfect right now. We have too many powerforwards if anything (Kesler, Booth, Higgins, Kassian, Burrows cannot all play in our top-6 let alone Hansen who will really emerge next year as a possible 20-goal scoring top-6 forward).

Our problem is on defence. We have to stop playing this rediculous "offensive-defensive" style because its leading to too many defensive gambles that are giving our opponents opportunities, and in the playoffs defence wins championships. The Bruins and Blackhawks exploited our leaky defence and now LA is doing the same, while the Kings and Bruins have solid stay-at-home defences that play the way a defence should - physically and soundly.

The Canucks have great goaltending and physical forwards so we'd be better suited to play a grinding, physical, hard-nosed style of game instead of a fast-paced skilled game (especially after MG traded Hodgson away), so to complement that we need bigger, more physical shutdown defencemen.

To that point, we have to look at our defence and decide who to keep. Edler is a giant, great physically and great scorer so despite a few defensive lapses, he's worth keeping. Hamhuis is a solid shutdown defenceman and exactly what this team needs more of. Tanev and Ballard on the otherhand are both small, fast skaters but are terribly defensively. Personally, I'd prefer more big, hulky guys like Matt Greene or even Andrew Alberts playing the 3rd pairing to wear other team's forwards down physically. Then there's Bieksa who is too small to really intimidate anyone (infact he's been humiliated by the entire league for trying to intimidate people) and while he produces plenty of offence, he is brutal in his own zone without Hamhuis.

Trade Ballard and Bieksa, get guys like (for example) Gill and Greene who play a strong defensive game and contribute little offence and leave the scoring to our forwards so we can clean up our defensive game. Defence wins championships and it won one over us last year, so we should focus on shutting it down in our own zone first, then building offence from there.

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Malone's an old man (in hockey yrs), and he has a $4.5 cap hit for next 3 years. No way Gillis trades a bright young goaltender for an old man who has large cap hit. Canucks team is older (at least their top start are: Sedins, Bieksa, Hamhuis, Salo). They need some young blood, not many options on the farm. If Schneids is traded, it better be for a young 'proven' player.

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