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  1. #1
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    TSN: Canucks Off-Season Game Plan

    The Vancouver Canucks won the Presidents' Trophy, but were quickly eliminated from the playoffs in the first round by the Los Angeles Kings.

    Off-Season Game Plan examines a Canucks team that has registered 100 points or more in seven of the last nine seasons, but remains in the hunt for the franchise's first Stanley Cup.

    When the Canucks made it to Game Seven of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, it was a heartbreaking defeat, to come so close to the ultimate goal, but the challenge for any Cup finalist is daunting: getting revved up for another season after coming so close the year before.

    In the Canucks' case, it's not unreasonable to start wondering whether their championship window is starting to close, even a little bit. The Sedins will be 32 by the time next season starts, Ryan Kesler is enduring another summer of rehabilitation after surgery and Roberto Luongo appears to be on his way out of town.

    These are all reasons to be concerned about the Canucks, but not unduly so. The Sedins have been among the game's best scorers in recent seasons and that should continue. Even if they lose some ground, it's hard to imagine a steep drop.

    The anticipated Roberto Luongo trade poses challenges, but could also provide opportunities. If the Canucks make a deal for Luongo, it's likely going to improve their long-term salary cap situation and as long as Cory Schneider can handle the No. 1 job, there may not be a huge letdown in goal (to be fair, it's unlikely that the Canucks will have a backup goaltender next season that is as good as Schneider has been the past two seasons in that role).

    When it comes Kesler, however, there is no easy fix. He's not going to be ready for the start of next season and he's been such an integral part of the Canucks' success in recent years that it will be hard for Vancouver to replace him while he's out or, worse, make up for lost production if he's not the same player post-surgery.

    In the larger picture, the Canucks' concerns are the concerns of a Cup contender, though. Sure, they need their best players healthy and could use an upgrade on the blueline, maybe a quality forward or two to fill out the lineup but, presuming the Canucks are active this summer, they are going to be expected to contend for a championship again next season.

    Being an annual Cup contender can't be taken for granted, especially after getting bounced in the first round, so a sense of urgency should be at hand because that window can't stay open forever.
    http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/scott_cullen/?id=397989

    Click the link to read the full story, but here's the potential FA targets that he lists:

    F: Chris Kelly, Jarret Stoll, Paul Gaustad, Kyle Wellwood.
    D: Jason Garrison, Barret Jackman, Sheldon Souray, Carlo Colaiacovo
    G: Martin Biron, Scot Clemmensen, Jonas Gustavsson
    "We earned this ****ing burn. It doesn’t matter how you get from A to B. Our goal at the beginning of this ****ing season is to win a ****ing World Series, and guess what, boys, we’re going to the ****ing dance." - The Reverend Hunter Pence

    #3in5



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    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck

  2. #2
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    None of those forwards would really help...I feel like this team doesn't understand we need scoring. Jason Garrison would be an awesome addition on defense. If we can move Luongo as well as Ballard, we can have enough cap room to get Garrison and a big offensive splash also. At this point I would take a 5th round pick straight up for Ballard. I want his cap room back. Waste of money. Luongo I hope brings us back a solid prospect in return. Who knows though. He still has a lot of value despite the struggles.
    TAKE PRIDE

  3. #3
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    TSN: Canucks Off-Season Game Plan

    I agree about Ballard. The way AV sees him we are better off with the cap room. He's going to waste here and his cap space would be better used to improve our top forwards.

  4. #4
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    I am concerned about this team's chances. Gillis et al are wanting to keep Raymond and it seems they brain trust still believes speed and skill is that way to go. We need some speed and skill but the trends is big and some skill; not only big but willing to get into the tough areas and get some ugly goals. NHL playoffs are ugly to watch cuz the officiating is pathetic and inconsistent. Many things are let go. It's too bad. By the Canucks trying to keep Mason, it seems they want to go speed and finesse.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurtin' M's Fan View Post
    I am concerned about this team's chances. Gillis et al are wanting to keep Raymond and it seems they brain trust still believes speed and skill is that way to go. We need some speed and skill but the trends is big and some skill; not only big but willing to get into the tough areas and get some ugly goals. NHL playoffs are ugly to watch cuz the officiating is pathetic and inconsistent. Many things are let go. It's too bad. By the Canucks trying to keep Mason, it seems they want to go speed and finesse.
    Problem is, Mason has speed but no finesse/skill. They don't invent drinking games about players that fall down when they have finesse. lol.

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