The Vancouver Canucks were the latest President’s Trophy winner to get eliminated in the first round of the Playoffs. After reaching the Stanley Cup Finals last season, and this season’s solid record, getting knocked out this soon is a tough pill to swallow. Obviously, a bad team needs to explore ways to reinvent itself before the next season, but what of an excellent team that flopped in the playoffs?
A more reactionary club may see this as a reason to fire Alain Vigneault, but that doesn’t seem to be the course of action that the Canucks will take, and likely shouldn’t. Firing what has been an excellent coach is a decision you make to when a team needs to be shaken up. Axing Vigneault would leave the team without an excellent coach during the regular season. Vigneault has proven his worth in the regular season. IF you want to give a team that spark, you need to do it during a stretch of failure during the season, and Vigneault hasn’t given the Canucks brass that opportunity.
It’s hard to claim that the best regular season team in the league needs an overhaul, and from a strictly hockey sense, it’s hard to say that the best regular season team needs a makeover. The economics of the game, however, dictate otherwise. The Canucks, even if they do decide to sell off pieces, are in an excellent position to remain relevant for years to come.
One of the most expensive, yet expendable components on the team is Roberto Luongo, who lost his job to younger, less expensive Cory Schneider this season. Even though Luongo lost his job, it’s not hard to look around the league and find teams that would benefit from his addition. Top goalies are hard to come by, and the Canucks are working with two.
The team is also rife with expensive skaters. The Sedins will likely stay in Vancouver, but complimentary pieces have to be explored as trade options. Anyone over the age of 30 (aside from the Sedins) will likely be looked at as an option to be moved in order to infuse talented youth into the roster, as well as reduce the payroll. Who might that include? Alexandre Burrows (31) and Kevin Bieksa (30) might best candidates to be moved, though Bieksa just signed a long term extension in 2011, but Burrows has 2 years left, likely making him appealing on the market.
There is a very good chance that this will be an offseason of change for the Vancouver Canucks. Fortunately for them, they are in a good position to come back just as strong next year.
music notes facebook
paper mario 3ds
hodgkin s disease
jones international university