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[Proposal] Improving Canucks Defense through Free Agency


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Let us tackle the issue of Canucks defense and see what would be the optimal results, both in terms of trading away the defense we already have and recruiting the ones we do not. 


As of now, there are only two players (D), who are a near-lock/certainty for starting the next season in Canucks uniform:

1. Troy Stecher  (RD)

2. Quinn Hughes(LD)

 

That, I am afraid, is only 1/3rd of the pie, less even, if you factor in the requirement for having 7/8 D who can fill in for injury.

 

Our depth in injury-filling position constitutes of : 
Briesebois (LD)

Sautner(LD)
Chatfield(LD)

Juolevi(LD)
Rafferty(RD)

Biega (RD)

Elliot(RD)

 

Make no mistake- these guys are not there yet in terms of playing extended games for top minutes, but at least, we have a bit of a revolving door for LDs to fill in. Rafferty is our only RD who is likely to be an injury call-up. Woo won't be, because due to his age and WHL rules, he either makes the team from the get-go, or he joins after his junior team has been eliminated/won the juniors. And though it'd be a welcome surprise, lets not count on a 19 year old D making the team from the get-go. The Canucks will not want to stall his development by making him the 7th D for many nights and not being able to send him down also hamstrings the team's roster management. 

 

So, back to the problem. Here are my solutions:

 

1. Keep Tanev for now. I know people want Tanev to be dealt, to get returns for him and not lose him for nothing, like we may lose Edler for nothing. But all said and done, the team needs him right now to not have the bottom fall out, he missed the last half of last season, so his trade value is low. At best, trade him around Dec-Feb window if the team is not in a strong playoff position for a higher value. This addresses the starting night roster issue.

 

2. Sign Schenn for a one year/two year deal at around 1.5 million. Schenn has proved that he can effectively offer what Gudbranson was offering, on a slightly more consistent basis, though his 'good nights' were not as good as Guddy's, his bad nights were, in fact, rarer. He shouldn't be a starting D, but should be a 7th D, used for rotational use in our lineup. 

 

3. Sign Adam McQuaid. Lets get a skinny on him and why I like him: He is 32, will be 33 in October. He is 6'4 and 210 pounds and has consistently been in the top 4 for both Rangers and the blue jackets in terms of hits & blocked shots. Effective Penalty killer, too. He also occasionally fights and holds his own - IIRC he had two fights last season, both where he did quite well. He is in essence, the big, strong abrasive D we need for the immediate future, to balance out the team. He also made 2M/yr last contract. So offer him a 3 year 3.5M-4M deal. Yes, it may be overpayement, by a bit, but we can afford it and we'll need to sweeten the pot to come to a non-playoff/barely playoff team. 

 

This rounds out our Right D side as:

 

Tanev

Stecher

McQuaid

Schenn

 

4. Sign Jordi Benn. He is basically a left handed Tanev with slightly more hits thrown and slightly less blocked shots. Sees 2nd D minutes but is one of the top PK-ers in the league and is a safe guy in his own end. Decently mobile, pretty much average in the O-zone but takes care of his own side, which is more important. He made a measly 1.1M/yr last contract and is due a raise. Also a BC boy, so might be enticing for him to come home at the age of 32. I'd offer him a 3 year contract at 3.5-4M and that should do the trick. Its again, a bit of an overpayment but again, we are going to need a safe as a bank guy manning the left side, especially if Edler does not sign here.

 

5. Now the Big pickle. Edler.  From what I've gathered, he wants to retire here and apparently wants a NMC to protect him from the Seattle Expansion draft. The Canucks definitely shouldn't hand that out, given that we can protect ONLY three D if we also want to keep our forward core intact, with two of those spots likely being Stecher and Juolevi ( hopefully). Thankfully, neither Hughes nor Woo qualifies for the expansion, so we don't have to worry. IMO, the ideal scenario for Edler would be to give him a 2 year 7.5M deal as an overpayment to keep him here till the next generation D-core is ready to take over and bridge the gap, while also giving him 'cash insurance' for having no NMC. IMO there is a conceivable way for us to give him a NMC, but ONLY if he takes a serious hometown discount - something to the nature of 4 years at 3.5M with a NMC can be worth it, IMO. 


However, if Edler is not there, we need a PMD who can munch minutes and play the left side. The pool is thin this year in the UFA market, but there are a few options: Hainsey and Coburn would both be a short term fit, as would Kronwall, though I don't think Kronwall will leave Detroit this late in his career. Gardiner will be too expensive, will require too much term and will be too error prone for the tighter western conference style. Both Hainsey is 38 and making 2.4M while Coburn is 34 and making 3.7M. Both can be lured potentially with a 2 year 5M contract, 3 year in case of Coburn. Kronwall, if a possibility, would be a 2 year 5M offer as well IMO. 

This gives us the D-core of:

 

Edler/Coburn/Hainsey/Kronwall           Tanev

Hughes                                                   McQuaid

Benn                                                       Stecher

                                                                Schenn

 

These are the 7 D-men who, IMO crack the roster, with the following AHL D-men filling in for injuries:

Briesebois          Rafferty

Sautner               Biega
Chatfield             Eliot

Juolevi

 

This raises the question of, what about Hutton ?


IMO, its time to trade Hutton, especially if we can package him with another player to snag a high 2nd round prospect. IMO Hutton will be a good 3rd pairing defenseman going forward, who may peak out for a few years as a trusty 2nd pairing, but he will never be a solid 2nd pairing who peaks out to shoulder top pair minutes, because his defensive zone awareness is not very high. He has strength, he has decent speed and good reach but is predictable. 

 

What do you folks think ? 

 

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I like it. A few bigger guys who aren’t afraid to lay the body would be crucial for Hughes’ development. A bit of an overpayment on Coburn and Hainsey, but it makes sense. 

 

Good job ;)

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17 minutes ago, canuckistani said:

What do you folks think ? 

This is written as if the Canucks get to decide who signs here and who doesn't (inclusive of Edler).   This isn't a video game with one player.   Until July 1st comes and goes with AE making up his mind based upon where the Canucks best offer landed, my "thoughts" are great to knock yourself out with all these scenarios but there is so much in what other teams will be trying to do that the only thing I can assure you of is whatever the results are, it won't be like what you have proposed.:)

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2 minutes ago, Rob_Zepp said:

This is written as if the Canucks get to decide who signs here and who doesn't (inclusive of Edler).   This isn't a video game with one player.   Until July 1st comes and goes with AE making up his mind based upon where the Canucks best offer landed, my "thoughts" are great to knock yourself out with all these scenarios but there is so much in what other teams will be trying to do that the only thing I can assure you of is whatever the results are, it won't be like what you have proposed.:)

No $hyte sherlock. Until July 1 rolls around, we don't even know who is available and who isn't. I'd have liked to sign Polak but he just signed in Dallas. This is obviously a speculation as any prior to July 1st threads are. However, IF these players are available come 1st of July, we'd be in a stronger position than most teams to go after them, given we can over-pay them more than most teams can. 

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9 minutes ago, Alflives said:

I like the players, especially the D, proposed.  It all depends of the term needed to land these guys though.  I doubt they will accept 2 year deals.  

We don't need two year deals for some cases.We need it for Edler, unless he wants to re-sign something similar to a 3/4 year 5M deal with no NMC. Hainsey may agree to a 2 year deal, since he is 38 and he won't be seeing offers much longer than that, given the 35+ rule in NHL.  Same goes for Schenn - a guy who made less than 1M and played in the AHL most of last year would be quite open to a 2 year 1.5M deal IMO.

 

Coburn, McQuaid and Benn in my proposals are all 3 year deals, could be offered a 4 year deal. Their proposed salaries could be handled by the Canucks ( 3.5-5M), especially in the absence of Edler. 

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12 minutes ago, canuckistani said:

No $hyte sherlock. Until July 1 rolls around, we don't even know who is available and who isn't. I'd have liked to sign Polak but he just signed in Dallas. This is obviously a speculation as any prior to July 1st threads are. However, IF these players are available come 1st of July, we'd be in a stronger position than most teams to go after them, given we can over-pay them more than most teams can. 

You missed the point.   Which is fine.

 

Enjoy the thread.   :)

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Just now, Rob_Zepp said:

You missed the point.   Which is fine.

 

Enjoy the thread.   :)

No, I didn't. You are stating the obvious in a proposal/speculative section of the board when you say ' none of this may pan out'. Like, really ?!? Nobody ever thought of that !! 

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2 minutes ago, canuckistani said:

We don't need two year deals for some cases. Like Edler, unless he wants to re-sign something similar to a 3/4 year 5M deal with no NMC. Hainsey may agree to a 2 year deal, since he is 38 and he won't be seeing offers much longer than that, given the 35+ rule in NHL.  Same goes for Schenn - a guy who made less than 1M and played in the AHL most of last year would be quite open to a 2 year 1.5M deal IMO.

 

Coburn, McQuaid and Benn in my proposals are all 3 year deals, could be offered a 4 year deal. Their proposed salaries could be handled by the Canucks ( 3.5-5M), especially in the absence of Edler. 

I like the players, but IMO we need to get some young blood on our back end too.  I'd like to see OJ this year, Rathbone next year, and Woo the year after come on board.  So one and two year deals would be what I would want from the experienced guys.  

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Just now, Alflives said:

I like the players, but IMO we need to get some young blood on our back end too.  I'd like to see OJ this year, Rathbone next year, and Woo the year after come on board.  So one and two year deals would be what I would want from the experienced guys.  

1 year deals are nearly impossible to fill a starting D-line roster with, unless they are the 6th-8th D. For 1st/2nd pairing D, you must have multi-year deals or play fringe players for the 1D role - which is suicide.

 

I agree that if things go well, we should see OJ, Woo, Rathbone, etc. in the coming few years. 
However,  we should not count them to be mainstays/regulars this season at the very least and not even next season.


OJ is coming off a knee surgery and has missed the last 4-5 months of hockey. His goal would be to dominate in the AHL and be injury callup/6th D guy around Jan-Feb next year and hope to make it stick in the team by playing sheltered minutes in his first NHL season. Woo and Rathbone are near certainties to not be in the team this year and if they join the AHL team next year ( Woo will, Rathbone may as well) they will be on a similar trajectory as OJ is this year - play in the AHL next year to acclamatise to pro Hockey, do well and get call-up duties late in the 20-21 season. 

 

This means, except for QH and TS, we don't have any of the kids who are definitely on course to play a full NHL season the upcoming season and will most likely be transitioned into the top minutes (if everything goes well) over the next 2 seasons.


Which means, at bare minimum we need cover for at least 2 seasons from the older Pros. Give them 3 year deals to provide more stability and if required, trade or waive them if the youngsters are really knocking on the door hard.

 

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14 minutes ago, canuckistani said:

No, I didn't. You are stating the obvious in a proposal/speculative section of the board when you say ' none of this may pan out'. Like, really ?!? Nobody ever thought of that !! 

epic-shot-attempts.jpg?resize=800,445

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1 minute ago, canuckistani said:

LOL. 

You wanna make innane comments about speculative/hypotheticals being speculative/hypotheticals and then post to get the last word. Your sagacity is an inspiration. 

No...just sayin' your proposal is very "Ottawa".

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1 minute ago, Rob_Zepp said:

No...just sayin' your proposal is very "Ottawa".

Whatever that means. :rolleyes:

Feel free to demonstrate what is 'Ottawa' about this proposal, outside of the inane observation of 'this isnt 1st of July, these guys may get signed up by their respective rights holding teams before July 1st and other teams are in the mix too'. 

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* All first- and second-year NHL/AHL players, and all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection and will not be counted toward protection limits.

 

Hughes will just have finished his 3rd NHL season in 2021 so he will need to be protected. So Stecher, Hughes and Juolevi would likely be the 3 d-men the Canucks will protect.

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3 minutes ago, GritGrinder said:

* All first- and second-year NHL/AHL players, and all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection and will not be counted toward protection limits.

 

Hughes will just have finished his 3rd NHL season in 2021 so he will need to be protected. So Stecher, Hughes and Juolevi would likely be the 3 d-men the Canucks will protect.

No. You must play 9-12 games at the NHL/AHL level for a year to be considered a pro for that year. Hughes played 5. He does not qualify for protection ( ie, he is exempt). If Hughes plays more than 9-12 games in 19-20 season at the NHL/AHL level, it will count as his 1st year as a pro. Only thing we did with Hughes by playing him 5 games this year, is burn a year off his ELC contract, thats all. 

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12 minutes ago, canuckistani said:

No. You must play 9-12 games at the NHL/AHL level for a year to be considered a pro for that year. Hughes played 5. He does not qualify for protection ( ie, he is exempt). If Hughes plays more than 9-12 games in 19-20 season at the NHL/AHL level, it will count as his 1st year as a pro. Only thing we did with Hughes by playing him 5 games this year, is burn a year off his ELC contract, thats all. 

9-12.? Why would it be a range of games? Do you have a link to that rule? Doesn't seem to make sense.

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