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Is our time running out?

The Situation

Window of Opportunity  

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I read this interesting article by CDC's favourite, Cam Cole earlier this morning. He raises a good point about the ageing team and its especially true with our thin prospect pool.


This could be the last NHL playoff run for Roberto Luongo with the Vancouver Canucks.

VANCOUVER — It is window season again in Vancouver.

If the Canucks’ marketing department were on its toes, it would have a major sponsorship deal with Jeld-Wen, or Pella. Surely Bill Gates would do Windows commercials on the big scoreboard, maybe even own the team. He could probably afford it.

Capitals hope Alex Ovechkin can keep scoring in NHL playoffs

Window season is every spring for the last two or three — that time of year when the Vancouver Canucks’ core group is reminded of its advancing years and advised to win the Stanley Cup now, before the prime of Henrik and Daniel Sedin has expired and the good times follow these magical twins over the far side of the hill, lamming the window of opportunity shut on everyone’s fingers.

There are those in the room who would rather not discuss it.

Kevin Bieksa, for one, like some recalcitrant janitor, says, in effect: “I don’t do windows.”

For one thing, it’s too far in the future, he said Tuesday, when what really needs to be looked after is Game 1 against the San Jose Sharks tonight, then Game 2 and eventually trying to get through the first round — and then, maybe, we’ll talk about windows.

And of course, he’s right.

“I think last year we kind of overlooked our first-round opponent a little bit — not too much, but just enough,” said the most indispensable piece of the Canucks’ defence. “And I think we’re not making that mistake this year.”

The Sedins, though, are not bashful about addressing age. Neither is coach Alain Vigneault.

Much is at stake for the Canucks in these playoffs. They all know it, perhaps none more so than the twins, although Vigneault is keenly aware of how quickly regular-season success — even years of it on end — can be forgotten in the fevered aftermath of an early playoff exit.

I think last year we kind of overlooked our first-round opponent a little bit — not too much, but just enough

Asked Tuesday if there is any such thing as wanting it more this year than last year or the year before — or the year before that — the coach said: “I believe so. I think guys are smart. We’re all getting a little older and I think they understand they’ve been working for this moment, for this opportunity, for a long time.

“They’re excited, they’re highly motivated and they understand about the window. We’re in our window. And the will to get it done, in my opinion, is going to be real high.

“And they’re going to go out and be in the moment [Wednesday] night and work real hard to get it done.”

It is not as though the nucleus is approaching the Geritol years, although one question to Daniel about reaching his mid-30s prompted a round of chuckles and an “I’m almost 40!” retort from Henrik’s little bro. (For the record, they’re 32. Both of them.)

“It’s always been about the Stanley Cup, that’s what people don’t understand. You’re no one in this league if you haven’t won,” Daniel said. “That’s always been our goal, [but] lately we’ve had the teams to do it.

“Management has believed in us. That’s what they’ve been telling us all along. We want to prove they’ve chosen the right people.

“You never know with injuries and the salary cap situation what team you’re going to have in here from year to year. We know we might be down to our last few chances. But our team is as good as it was two years ago. We’re looking forward to this opportunity.”

“We talk about it pretty much every day,” Henrik added. “You look at team pictures from our first years, or when Burr [Alex Burrows] came in and Juice [bieksa] and other guys … and now you look at pictures, or go to Christmas parties, and we all have kids — we’ve been here a long time and it’s old home for us. It’s special that way. It means we’ve done something good, but we have one more thing to accomplish together.”

Those old photos of the twins as rosy-cheeked cherubs are hilarious now, given the chiselled features of today and the accumulated mileage that’s evident in their eyes.

“I think the only message you can give to young guys that are here now and maybe getting their first taste of playoffs is that you can’t take this for granted,” Henrik said. “They might think ‘I’m 21-22 years old and this is going to happen every year,’ but I’ve been here 12 years now and there’s very few years where you go into the playoffs feeling you have a great chance of winning it all. You’ve got to take advantage of that when it happens.

“You’re going to be in more playoffs, but it’s not every year you’re in a group that’s been together a long time, with two great goalies, one of the best D groups in the league and has some offensive talent. So, you have to make something out of it.”

Individually, Henrik said, the window will be open a while longer. But for he and Daniel, for Ryan Kesler, 28, and Bieksa, 31, and Burrows, 32, and Roberto Luongo, 34, and Dan Hamhuis, 30, and even Alex Edler, Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen, all 27, there is perhaps another level of want.


Ryan Kesler is getting old. So old.

“For us, this core group, we have a chance to be front-line players winning the Cup,” the captain said. “We might have guys that move on and go to other teams and might win a Cup here or there, but they might not have a chance to be the front-line players and that’s where you want to be.

“We’ve been fortunate to have great teams here. But until you win it all, people are going to look back at this team like every other team that had good players but didn’t win [the Cup].

“When we first came in, Ottawa had a great group of players and they didn’t take the chance when they had it. And a few years later, they’re rebuilding and they’re not close to where they were.”

The core guys know they are approaching that kind of tipping point, where it becomes impossible economically, or impractical, performance-wise, to keep the whole gang together.

“They want to win,” Vigneault said. “There is no other thing.”

The window is closing. Each opportunity lost could be the last.

So if wanting it more is a possibility, now is the time.

No pane, no gain.


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To be honest, I didn't read the article. I might later, but it just seems a little inappropriate before we've even started the playoffs this season.

So, to answer the thread title's question...Not today! Today we start a new SC run and should be putting out positive energy, good thoughts, and support for our team! We might not need a freaking window. We might just get to walk through the fracking door this year!

Go, Canucks, Go!

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Yes the number of years this core can win together is finite but I'm hopeful that the window will be kept open with some good drafting and savvy moves by our GM. The Sedins are in great physical shape and can probably have another 5 productive years in the league if they choose to. Maybe not as the top line but a solid second line.

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I said 3 to 4 years, but I think that the odds will be getting lower and lower each year up until then. I think that in about 4 years, the Sedins will be second liners, and our team will be beginning to regress.

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There are two reasons our window might close:

-Losing players to free agency.

-Losing players (or at least having them decline) due to age.

I really don't see the second one as that pressing. The Sedins are only in their early 30s. Especially when you factor in their style of play which does not rely heavilly on pure physical ability, I don't see any reason they shouldn't have another three to four years left before they decline. And even when they do, they will still provide an excellent second line threat for a few more years. Kesler can become our new #1 center so if we can just develop or acquire an elite winger or two (which is by no means guarunteed but far from impossible as well) we may well be able to keep our window open even longer. And even if we don't I think we definitely have at least a few more years.

As for the first point...well that could go either way. If managed badly it could kill us long before age does. Still, the cap reduction next year will be surprisingly managable thanks to buyouts. We have a lot of dead weight we can cut. And we pretty much have our whole core locked up long term. The Sedins will obviously need to be resigned but I really don't think that will be hard. They aren't going to go anywhere else. They want to stay here and even if they did entertain the possibility of leaving, there are few teams that could absorb both their cap hits. And say what you will about Gillis, but he has clearly shown a tremendous ability to find great depth additions (Higgins, Lapierre, Torres, etc.) at bargain prices and to land free agents at below market value. So yeah, I feel good here.

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I would say the San Jose series is going to be a toss up, both teams can crank it up or sh!t the bed. If the Nucks move on to round 2 I think theynare in over there head against any of the other western conference teams, unless by some weird stroke of luck Minny beats Chi and Det beats the Ducks. The Van would beat Minny.

The Sedins were noticeably on the decline this year. Can't really judge which way Kes is going as he's hurt all the time. I doubt he will ever see another 40 goal season and would hazard a guess that even another 30 goal season out of him is unlikely. Edler has been exposed this year and last for his lack of defensive awareness. Kassian may yet develop into a decent top six guy. Hamhuis should have a few more decent seasons in him. We need to get a good look at Shneider in playoff action to see if he can live up to expectations.

To sum it up I don't think the current teams window is open very far anymore. I would not suggest a full rebuild, but rather a partial re-build. Hopefully threw wheeling and dealing the Nucks can add some grit and heart and youth this summer. If MG continues on not being able to make key trades and we see more or less the same roster next year with the realignment I think the aging, injury prone lineup will enter the playoffs in a bottom (7 or 8) seed position. After that things may get ugly. But as mentioned Connor McDavid coming up in two years, with the lottery format anythings possible

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