The following is only of interest to a minority of my dear readers, but heck, it’s the long weekend. I’d imagine noboby’s reading today anyway.
As local sports fans will know, the only thing the Vancouver Canucks will be competing for in the near future are good tee times at Capilano Golf and Country Club.
I recently posted the following to the Canucks Usenet group, describing my ideal off-season activities by the team: [more]
- Crawford and his assistants get fired.
- Bertuzzi gets traded to Florida for Nathan Horton and a draft pick. This has been rumoured, and Keenan’s always liked Bertuzzi.
- Morrison and Cloutier get traded for young players and draft picks.
- Brown, Weinrich, Carney, Ruutu, Park and other riff-raff are not re-signed.
- They bring in a new coaching team from outside the organization.
- Using the money saved from Bertuzzi, Morrison and Cloutier’s departure, the team re-signs the Sedins, Carter, Auld and Jovanoski.
- They start next season with Auld and Noronen, give them and Corey Schneider (unlikely, but you never know) an equal shot at the starting job. If none of the them work out, they upgrade during the season.
The lineup for opening night 2006-07 looks like this:
Sedin Sedin Carter
Hecht (or whoever) Norton Naslund
Cooke Kesler Burrows
King? Linden Goren?
Someone pointed out that my off-season fantasy ought to at least include Jessica Alba, but what’re you going to do?
LMAO – the Jessica Alba kicker is classic. But seriously, when I started reading this post, I wanted to hate it. But I can’t really disagree with the thought process. Unfortunately, Crawford is due to earn 2.5 mil. more and is under contract for another 2 years. I’d be surprised if he’s not behind the bench next year.
Oh, and who’s this Nathan Horton kid you mention?
Good thoughts Darren – but you didn’t mention if Naslund will still be captain. I’m wondering if the burden of leadership is wearing too much on him, to the point where it seriously affected his play this season. Assuming that they can re-sign Jovo, he might be better suited for the role.
Jeff: When they gave the captaincy to Naslund, it was in the hopes that he’d rise to the occasion and lift his game. It worked, but I think the time has run out on that motivation.
I agree that Jovanoski would be a more natural selection. Besides, there’s always that old chestnut about a European captain never having won a Stanley Cup. Mind you, the Senators look pretty good this year (that’s who I’m pulling for).
I don’t know, Darren, this smacks of a bit of a fire sale to me 🙂
I mean does an off year for Morrison mean he should go? Particularly if you’re also ditching Crawford, whose treatment of Morrison surely bears some responsibility for his slump. Bertuzzi I can understand, though I think that keeping him isn’t a mistake (unless there’s something really good on offer, certainly better than what you’re asking for). I think the captaincy issue is a red herring…giving it to Jovo won’t spark the team so much as it will be more likely to affect Naslund negatively.
The weakness (as always always always with the Canucks…so predictable that it makes my head spin with frustration) is goaltending. They need someone who can win them games when the offense is shut down (or slumping). Cloutier had some promise, but has consistently frustrated and at this point it’s just one season-ending injury too many to trust the franchise’s future in him. Auld is great as a backup, but has shown he can’t handle the #1 spot’s workload. Noronen is a wild card, but I suspect that there’s a good reason that Buffalo kept him as the odd man out.
I’m not sure who to suggest at this point (why didn’t they listen to me years ago when Khabibulan was still available!) but I predict that until the Canucks seriously address the goaltending issue, they will never make it very far in the playoffs.
filmgoerjuan: When you miss the playoffs with a team that was meant to do signficant damage, a fire sale may be in order.
More importantly, the core of the team is getting old. Next season Morrison will be 31, Bertuzzi will be 31 and Naslund will be 33. Most players, statistically speaking, play their best at ages 27 – 29. So, if they want any assets in return, they’ll have to move these players. Naslund is near the end of his NHL career, and has a no-trade clause, which is why he’s the one I’d prefer they kept.
In Morrison’s case, he’s never been a first-line centre. He’s been, at best, a second line centre playing between two very talented wingers. I’d rather find out if Henrik Sedin can be a first line centre, and trade for a young potential first liner.
The exception to the age rule is goaltending. They take a long time to mature. I’m not saying Auld is the answer, but I’d like to see how far he, Noronen (and, possibly, Schneider) can take us. If I’m the GM, I save some cap room and assets to upgrade my goaltending during the season.
That said, it’s really hard to upgrade goaltending through a trade, so the Canucks may want to consider the available free agent goalies.
I agree that the captaincy isn’t a big deal. I don’t think Naslund has demonstrated the qualities I associate with an effective NHL captain, so I’d try somebody else. Heck, I don’t mind the Minnesota model of rotating it between players each month.
I like it but to be honest I have never liked Naslund. Hard because he’s the leader of the favorite team, but there’s nothing inspiring about Naslund’s style, form or function of leadership. I think everyone’s afraid to say it, but I’m not: Naslunds gotta go. Gimmie Iginla.
Corey Schneider? Not Chris Levesque?
Comments are closed.