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The Secret Plan


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Trevor Linden is obviously a smart guy who has been successful at everything he has done. And Benning is clearly an excellent judge of talent. But some of the things they did last year do not seem to make sense, especially overpaying Miller, Sbisa, and Dorsett.

But I think I have it figured out. It is all part of a secret plan. Don't tell anyone, as it won't be a secret plan anymore if lots of people know about it. But I think I can reveal a few details here.

When TL and JB came on board they could see that the Sedins were still the best players on the team. However, even when the Sedins were at their peak in 2010-11 and 11-12, and the Canucks had arguable the best goaltending combo in the league (Lu and Schneider) and Hammer and Bieksa were in their prime, along with Ehrhoff, Salo, and Edler on D, that still was not good enough to win a Stanley Cup (although it was close and did win two President's trophies).

If that team could not win in 2011 or 2012 it certainly was not going to win the Cup in 2015 or 2016. To win the Canucks needed to add some really high end talent and the best way to do that is with high draft picks. Note that Tampa is following that model, built around a #1 overall pick (Stamkos) and #2 overall pick (Hedman). Chicago of course did the same thing (Toews -- #3 overall pick and Kane -- #1 overall pick,)

The problem is that ownership wanted a playoff team -- and the financial incentives are compelling as the playoffs generate a lot of profit and being in contention helps with regular season revenue as well. And making the playoffs makes it hard to get high draft picks.

So, the Canucks needed to make the playoffs in 2015 to keep ownership happy and earn them some leeway. But they needed to do badly in 2016 and 2017 before re-emerging with a legitimate Cup contender.

So they cleverly overpaid for Miller and others in 2015 to preclude adding players for the 2016 year.

And they are trying to accumulate good young assets like Virtanen, McCann, Demko, Pedan, Baertschi and Clendening. With a few young assets left over from Gillis regime (Horvat, Cassels, Markstrom) they have part of an emerging young core. .

At the trade deadline in 2016 the Canucks will be in a position to trade Bieksa, Hammer, Vrbata and maybe others for draft picks. (Those guys will only have a couple of months left on their contracts anyway so would probably be happy to go to contender to end the season. Maybe we could even re-sign Hammer in the summer of 2016).

Then the Canucks could have a monster draft in 2016. (Benning has already said that the thinks the 2016 draft will be even better than the 2015 draft). Assuming they add at least one good young player in the 2015 draft, they should be well-positioned 3 or 4 years from now.

I am pretty sure that is the secret plan. But, like I said, keep it secret.

seriously man. You shouldn't be revealing our secrets

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The Horton hit was the impetus and the blind zebras the gasoline.

Imagine if in game 2 Seabrook got suspended for the rest of the series in our current Cup Final. Or even Garrison or Coburn for the Lightning.

How much of an impact would losing a second pairing D impact the series? I doubt we see a suspension like that in a cup final in another 10 years if ever.

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my question is, why is jb given this free ticket that he is a great judge of talent. there aint even no pudding let alone proof. this is the fella that raved about our vets last year. the same vets that bowed out to the calgary flames. how does that qualify as being a savant talent scout?

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Game 7, that third goal Luongo let in was one of the worst in Stanley Cup final Game 7 history.

Yeah! Darn that 3rd goal!! If he didnt let that in we woulda won!

Oh wait, we didnt even score a single goal! That doesnt matter though!! Luos 3rd goal was a softie!!

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If the defence was good enough to win the Cup it would have one the Cup. It wasn't. This has always been the Canucks biggest issue.

While Erhoff and Salo were well versed offensive d-men, neither was a deterrent against a strong forecheck (such as Boston's overwhelming 2011 version). Luongo played out of his head in the 2011 run, and due to that, the glaring issues with the defense's lack of size and physicality was never exposed.

Edler was the biggest defenseman, and Bieksa the most truculent, but all the same both played as they are 2/3 defensemen. This team needs to remedy this point in the offseason by trading for some convincing size on the blueline, and acquire raw talent for it through the draft.


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In 2011, injuries were a big factor on D ...losing Hamhuis was big...

This past year, if they improved the D, they could have made it past the first round...Calgary's D was better and their goalie was better.

Getting over the past and looking ahead the Canucks need to improve the D, and Miller needs to play better.

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Generally I find you analysis plausible and well thought out.

However, the Sedins are so good that with them on the team, it won't tank (as least not as well as the other tanking competition). Makes sense to try to tank after they retire... that's 2018. Until then build the team to make a run.

I agree, the Sedins are more amazing than anyone in the NHL will admit until they're retired and in the hall or fame.

Of the top 40 points leaders in the league last year, only 5 were in their mid-30s.

The list includes the likes of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Thornton, D. Sedin, and H. Sedin.

Pretty elite company.

So with guys like Horvat coming along to beef up a second line, and the Sedins being as great as they are, it's hard to see this team tanking with Hank and Dank around.

Mind you our defense is so bad that they will need to score 6 or 7 goals a game to keep things afloat.

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  • 2 weeks later...

LA doesnt have a bunch of top draft picks tho, they developed their guys, just like we are developing our guys, things are going well

The most important player on the Kings is Drew Doughty, who was drafted #2 overall. I did not say that a team needs "a lot" of high draft picks. But most Stanley Cup contenders are built around a couple of high picks. In the LA case Doughty is one of those guys. Their top forwards are Gabork -- a #3 overall pick, Jeff Carter -- a #11 overall pick, and, most importantly, Kopitar who was #11 overall.

Gaborik and Carter came to LA as trades.

But the bottom line is that it is hard to win without a couple of very high end players (like the Sedins were for the Canucks when the Canucks were one of the top teams in the league.).

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