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[Discussion] What if... the Canucks don't do anything major....


HKSR

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So I went through the effort of checking the Canucks actual record the past couple months, and these are my findings:

 

Since the end of November, the Canucks have 5 regulation losses (pretty amazing if you think about it... 5 regulation losses in 2 months):

Pittsburgh (at the time, a top 5 team in the entire NHL)

Florida (top 5 team in the entire NHL)

Tampa (top 5 team in the entire NHL)

Carolina (top 5 team in the entire NHL)

St Louis (played with our 4th string goaltender, and missing 3 of our Top 6 forwards)

 

Since the end of November, they also have 4 losses in either a shootout or OT:

LA -- the end of the winning streak

Florida (this was during our covid impacted week -- ie. missing our franchise goaltender along with numerous forwards)

Edmonton (this was during our covid impacted week -- ie. missing our franchise goaltender along with numerous forwards)

Calgary (probably the worst effort I've seen since Boudreau took over)

 

Since the end of November, they also have 12 wins.

 

So they are 12-5-4 since the end of November.  13-5-4 if you count the Montreal win on Nov 29th.

 

So they have been basically a .700 hockey club.  This puts them in the discussions of a top 10 team... TOP 3 in the WEST behind only Colorado and Minnesota.

 

Ok, so what? 

 

What if the Canucks don't trade any major core pieces and keep working with what they have now... is it possible?  Here's what I've got...

 

Re-signings:

Boeser at $7.25M AAV

Miller at $8.5M AAV

Petey at $8.5M AAV

Bo at $7.25M AAV

Hogs and Podz both at $3M AAV bridge deals

Motte at $2M AAV

 

Trades and Movement:

Dickinson NEEDS to be moved... assume he's still here next year, but then gets moved in the last year of his deal.

Lockwood and Rathbone move up from the AHL

Lammiko moves up into the 3C position

Halak will be replaced by Martin at some point too.

 

Halak's bonus is included, and there's still room for other bonuses to kick in.

 

Now assuming the cap limit moves up a measly $1M per year for the next 4 years... here we have it.  Cap compliant with the entire core intact... and a team capable of .700 hockey:

 

Cap2025-26.jpg.067470a1235825005db2638787bf93e5.jpg

 

So there you have it... is it possible?  YES.  Is it the right decision?  I'll leave that up to JR/Allvin, and you guys to decide. 

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Nice post! I really do think there's an outside chance that this current roster, with everyone healthy and playing to their potential, could be a top-10 team and possibly even have a dream run in the playoffs. Bruce has everyone believing and Demko gives us a chance to win every night. I'd be quite happy keeping this group together, and I think they deserve a shot they way they've turned this season around.

 

Having said that, I don't think management sees it quite the same way, and "hope" isn't really a strategy, so I think there will be moves. I hope they are the right ones!

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If they do nothing major at all it will be a missed and wasted opportunity period.

 

We've sat for years watching assets leave for nothing for various reasons.  Playoff attempts, playoff runs; trying to re-sign them etc.

 

If we got down the list of missed opportunities (in hindsight only) we've lost out on a number of potential windfalls that would have returned at least a pick or better.  Most recently

 

Tanev

Markstrom

Tofolli

Edler

Stecher

 

If we do nothing major, we lose value on Miller; risk Boeser at his QO; Halak who controls his destiny and the like.  We; as indicated have a ton of smaller moves we could make as well but the major moves are the ones that will set us up for success or failure by doing nothing or acting on them.

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22 minutes ago, Warhippy said:

If they do nothing major at all it will be a missed and wasted opportunity period.

This IMO.

 

We're certainly a far better team than our early record indicated but any sober look at this roster does not put us anywhere near the same class as the contenders of the league (Florida, Carolina, Tampa, Colorado, Vegas et al).

 

And that assessment doesn't get rosier looking a couple years out, with an expiring Myers and nobody in the pipeline to replace him (not to mention that we arguably need another top 4 RHD with Myers on the roster).

 

This team has holes now, and even more of them moving forward, and they don't get easier to fill with a $9m dollar, soon to be declining Miller on the books either. They get harder. The opportunity cost of retaining him is too great given those issues and the young core's window.

 

It's just bad math. As hard as that may be too swallow.

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I think that we have enough skill players, and that's the most difficult part.  What we really need is one or two physical defencemen and one or two big tough forwards to protect our skill guys.  Or in other words I don't think we need a complete rebuild, just a few tweaks, mostly to improve our team toughness.  I would actually prefer it if the NHL actually enforced the rules through proper officiating and supplemental discipline, but we know that that isn't going to happen so we have to bring in some enforcers to protect our skill guys.  That shouldn't be too difficult.

 

Take Petey for example.  I think that he is really suffering from not only lack of confidence but having to constantly protect himself from cheap shots and "extra attention" from the opposition.  Every relatively small skill guy gets the treatment but he seems to be particularly vulnerable to this and there's nobody out there to protect him.  Sure, one of our guys sometimes steps up, and good for them, but we need someone who can actually make the other team pay when they touch Petey or Hughes.  Gretzky had his Semenko.  Bure had his Odjick.  Where's Petey's protection?  It makes a huge difference.  The NHL is always evolving but some things don't change. 

 

So I don't think we need major changes, just some upgrades in team toughness and that should give the space and the confidence to our skilled players.  We've got good goaltending and if we can just get Petey back his mojo we already have the skill it takes for a long run in the playoffs.  We just have to buckle down and win some games.  Now!  Not later.  GCG!

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2 hours ago, nergish said:

I genuinely believe we can trade someone like JT Miller for the right package and make out like Columbus did in the Seth Jones trade - younger, with a better longterm outlook, and with no drop-off in the standings for next season.

Well the “bonus” is that we are in a really bad spot in the standings now, so it is actually hard to get worse with just a couple moves.  Most of the potential is upwards.

 

If you can swap out Miller and Boeser for good returns and can also create cap space with any Poolman, Myers, Dickenson, Pearson, Hamonic trades… then we aren’t looking at a long horizon to actually be competitive again (assuming the brass targets the right players).

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9 minutes ago, BPA said:

You can probably go with a $1-2M backup goalie instead of $3M.

Agreed.  I think Martin would be the guy.  I just copied and pasted across the row lol.

 

It would mean an extra $1M to $2M AAV per year.  There's clearly plenty of room to work with.  Just depends on what JR/Allvin want to do.

 

With this news:  https://www.nhltraderumors.me/2022/02/nhl-rumors-canucks-forward-prefers-to.html

 

I'd say we might be safer moving JT Miller while we can....

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I'd be happy with this really, but it looks like JR wants more picks and prospects in the pool. We could really use some defencemen to be honest because OEL isn't getting any younger and we lack Schenn-like toughness in our future.

 

Our top 6 is relatively young, our 3rd line is gritty and solid and quite young and Petey and Brock are hopefully only going to get better. If we can convince Miller to re-sign, we'd have a nice natural regression of him down the ranks and hopefully Petey up the ranks. Miller at 33 would still be a valuable 40 point 3rd line center.

 

I would maybe consider trading Garland for a young defenceman as we have that winger spot filled with Brock, Hoglander and Podz, but he brings a lot of qualities the others don't. 

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