VanNuck Posted July 26, 2015 Share Posted July 26, 2015 So, entering into this upcoming season, I will first give props to Jim Benning for a great draft. These boys, we know, are just going to be rockstars - well maybe not, but they will be something. But, I would like to discuss the Canucks' best approach to next season. Folks may have various ideas, but here are some of mine: 1. Promote Jake Virtanen to the lineup, slot him with the Sedins Of course, this is assuming Virtanen is NHL-ready. I think he has a chance - he can handle the physical rigors, has a high compete level, and turned in some good junior seasons, including an AHL call-up. If he's ready though, he will be, on paper at least, the perfect winger for the Sedins. A right-shooting right winger, he is lightning fast, physically imposing, and possesses a deadly shot. He should make life easier for the twins, opening up space for them, and offering Henrik an ideal passing option - just hit him with the pass and more often than not, he'll put it in. Or he'll create enough of a distraction that Daniel could get the puck unnoticed and tuck one away. 2. Sign Cody Franson By the time you see this, Franson may or may not be available. The BC-born former Vancouver Giant seems to have a rough go at things - rendered inconsistent, having never played out a full season in seven years of NHL action, and now seeking anything but a one-year deal. Too bad, because he is a quality offensive-minded giant of a defenseman, the kind Vancouver needs. Franson, a right-shooting blueliner, could easily slot in the top four alongside Hamuis or Edler. If he just simplifies his game, he could be a true force. Either way, Vancouver is short on full-time right shooting defenseman, and I see a Franson-sized hole with his hometown team. 3. Fix the second and third lines This involves first and foremost signing Sven Baertschi and promoting Brendan Gaunce - who I will argue is overdue for the NHL. But my lines would look like this: Baertschi-Horvat-Higgins Hansen-Gaunce-Prust Horvat is not a second liner? I've heard this story before, and I disagree. The guy kind of reminds me of Jonathan Toews, excellent two-way center with loads of character and determination. Already won a Memorial Cup. Sure, he lacks "elite offense" as does linemate Higgins, but enter Baertschi, a potential Pavel Bure who could ignite the second line and bring the best out of his linemates' offense. The Gaunce line will be the checking line, capable of scoring in a moment's notice, but unlike the second unit, their calling card will be a more aggressive forecheck. FTR, the fourth line will be Dorsett-Jones-Vey 4. Trade off all the others Namely Burrows, Bonino, Jensen, and Vrbata. Sadly, these folks will be phased out of their current roles, and we can wish them well, especially Burrows after all he has been for us. I imagine if we make the right trades, we could maybe address the remainder of our team needs (ie. blueline depth, prospects, picks)? Someone suggest something. Summary: the lineup, I propose would look like this Forward Sedin-Sedin-Virtanen Baertschi-Horvat-Higgins Hansen-Gaunce-Prust Dorsett-Jones-Vey Defense Edler-Tanev Hamuis-Franson ??-?? Goal Miller Markstrom Overall, I feel this lineup has a shot. We have a number of character guys who complement each others' skillsets and can be effective. My biggest question mark of course is do the Sedins have enough in the tank to lead them? They have been class acts, who probably just never had the right guys around them at the right time, or otherwise just don't have what it takes - but with the good team around them now, we will find out. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.