How I Would Fix the Vancouver Canucks: Part Four

Part Four! Today, we hit October and go over the opening night roster, what I would do during the trade deadline and what the roster would look like once the season is completed.

Read on to find out how this idiot will get one step closer to fixing the Vancouver Canucks.

2017-2018 OPENING NIGHT ROSTER:

FORWARDS

calgary-flames-v-vancouver-canucks

LINE 1 –
#47 SVEN BAERTSCHI – #53 BO HORVAT – #82 NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

The kid line starts the season as the number 1 line, with new Head Coach Travis Green doing the opposite of what Willie Desjardins did: play the youngsters. Goldobin had a few games of AHL success under Green at the end of last season, so there is some familiarity there and who knows how productive the three could be together. It could be amazing in this no-pressure season.

LINE 2 –
#22 DANIEL SEDIN – #33 HENRIK SEDIN – #21 LOUI ERIKSSON

Hear me out. It did not work last season when this was the team’s number 1 line and there was a lot of internal pressure to produce and have the kind of chemistry that they had during their brief time together in international play. This line could be a nice compliment to Horvat’s.

LINE 3 –
#24 REID BOUCHER – #60 MARKUS GRANLUND – #17 ANTON RODIN

Another trio who could produce goals. Boucher is due for a breakout year after showing glimpses of something special during last season. With a little more ice time and playing with someone like Granlund, he could be a 15 goal scorer on this team. Rodin is the wildcard. If healthy (with a good amount of training time during the summer and a full training camp), he could be a steal at $950,000.

LINE 4 –
#50 BRENDAN GAUNCE – #20 BRANDON SUTTER – #18 JAKE VIRTANEN

This could be a solid 4th line to begin the season if everything we have heard about Virtanen’s 200-foot game improving is true. Gaunce was one of the best defensive forwards for the Canucks last season, and if he scores one time next year who knows what kind of offensive confidence he will have. Brandon Sutter isn’t fit for an offensive role but could be effective as a 4th line center.

SCRATCHES –
#15 DEREK DORSETT, #46 JAYSON MEGNA 

OTHER PLAYERS –
#6 BROCK BOESER: Starts the season in Utica
#62 JOSEPH LABATE: Begins in Utica, top call up option
#54 JONATHAN DAHLEN: Starts the season in Utica
#13 GRIFFEN MOLINO: Starts the season in Utica

TOP PROSPECTS –
CASEY MIDDLESTADT – Will be playing his first season for the University of Minnesota
WILLIAM LOCKWOOD – Will be playing his second season for the University of Michigan
ADAM GAUDETTE – Will be playing his third season for Northeastern University

chris-tanev-and-alex-edler

DEFENSE

#23 ALEXANDER EDLER – #8 CHRIS TANEV

We decide against trading Tanev before his No Trade Clause kicks in on July 1st/2017 and have him start the season on our first pairing with Edler.

#44 ERIK GUDBRANSON – #27 BEN HUTTON

This pairing did not work last season before Gudbranson got hurt and there is no reason to believe it would work this season but it’s worth a shot. Hutton is a year older and Gudbranson will be completely healthy.

#51 TROY STECHER – #67 JORDAN SUBBAN

The most exciting pairing that the team has. Jordan Subban gets a chance to show what he can do under his old coach Travis Green. He will be sheltered defensively early, but with some NHL time under his belt, his defensive game will improve. This will also be the #1 Power Play defensive unit. Both these players may even be getting real numbers, with Stecher taking Hamhuis’ old number 2 and Subban grabbing Linden Vey’s #7.

SCRATCHES –
#55 ALEX BIEGA

OTHER PLAYERS –
#72 TIM HEED – Will start in Utica, first call up option for offensive defenseman
#29 ANDREY PEDAN – Will start in Utica, first call up option for defensive defenseman
#42 DARREN RADDYSH – Will start in Utica, likely spending the whole season

TOP PROSPECTS –
OLLI JUOLEVI – Will be returned to the OHL’s London Knights for his last season there. He could see some games (9 or less) but returning to the Knights are what is best for his development at this point
GUILLAUME BRISEBOIS – Will be joining the Utica Comets for his first professional season

Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks

GOALTENDERS

STARTER – #25 JACOB MARKSTROM
BACKUP – #32 RICHARD BACHMAN

No brainer here. Ryan Miller leaves, Markstrom becomes the new #1 guy and Bachman, who did well in a backup role with Markstrom hurt, takes the full-time job.

OTHER PLAYERS –
#30 THATCHER DEMKO – The starter in Utica, after playing 45 games in his rookie professional season, will be counted on to play 50+ this season.
#40 EDWARD PASQUALE – The backup in Utica, could play 30 games or more in case Demko faulters in his sophomore season.
#35 MICHAEL GARTEIG – The starter for the yet to be named ECHL affiliate. The Alaska Aces have folded so the Canucks are in search of a new team.

TOP PROSPECTS –
UKKO-PEKKA LUUKKONEN – Will be playing his first season for HPK in Finland’s Liiga.

TRADE DEADLINE 2018

If everything goes to plan and the 2017-2018 Vancouver Canucks are out of the playoff race come the beginning of March, it is time to sell and ask some players to make a sacrifice and agree to waive their no trade clauses.

The first move we make?

sedins-2-0-jpeg

TO WASHINGTON CAPITALS:
DANIEL SEDIN*
HENRIK SEDIN

TO VANCOUVER CANUCKS:
BROOKS ORPIK
LARS ELLER
LUCAS JOHANSEN
WSH 2018 4th Round Draft Pick**

Conditions:
*Canucks retain $3,500,000 of Daniel Sedin’s contract. They cannot retain on Henrik Sedin because they have already retained on Roberto Luongo and Jannik Hansen and league only permits three contracts to retain on.
**Washington’s 4th round pick becomes their 2018 1st round pick (31st overall) if Washington wins the Stanley Cup.

Brooks Orpik and Lars Eller equal $9,000,000 in salary, with Eller becoming a UFA at the end of the season, and Orpik will have 1 season left on his contract in 2018-2019, but he’ll likely be buried in the AHL, or retire, as a 37-year-old. The Sedins agree to waive to go to Washington in order to help them win a cup, with an excellend chance that the two of them will be back in the summer with the Canucks on cheaper deals. Lucas Johansen, brother of Ryan and a Port Moody BC native, will be someone the Canucks would covet and the Capitals could probably afford to give up.

TO MONTREAL CANADIENS:
ALEX BIEGA

TO VANCOUVER CANUCKS:
2018 5th Round Draft Pick

The Montreal native goes to Montreal as defensive depth as he was unlikely to be re-signed by Vancouver.

caggiula-e1462555211556-984x500

TO EDMONTON OILERS:
BRANDON SUTTER
2018 3rd Round Draft Pick

TO VANCOUVER CANUCKS:
DRAKE CAGGIULA

Brandon Sutter agrees to waive his no trade clause to go to Edmonton, as it’s close to his father, Brent, who runs the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL. The Canucks have to ship a 3rd with him in order to take 3+ more seasons of Sutter’s contract, and they get a player they wanted when he was a free agent. Maybe we should have exposed Sutter in the Expansion Draft, but Edmonton gets a bottom 6 center for another playoff run.

TO PITTSBURGH PENGUINS:
ANTON RODIN

TO VANCOUVER CANUCKS:
2018 2nd Round Draft Pick

If Rodin can find his scoring touch in Vancouver, the Canucks should sell high on him and send him to a playoff club. If they can get a 2nd, great. Keeping him might not be in their best interest as a potential UFA.

So, when the trade deadline is over, these are what the lines will look like for the rest of the season:

 

SVEN BAERTSCHI – BO HORVAT – NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN
JONATHAN DAHLEN – DRAKE CAGGIULA – BROCK BOESER
REID BOUCHER – MARKUS GRANLUND – LOUI ERIKSSON
LARS ELLER – BRENDAN GAUNCE – JAKE VIRTANEN

EX – DEREK DORSETT, JAYSON MEGNA

ALEXANDER EDLER – CHRIS TANEV
ERIK GUDBRANSON – BEN HUTTON
TROY STECHER – JORDAN SUBBAN

EX – BROOKS ORPIK

JACOB MARKSTROM
RICHARD BACHMAN

brock-boeser-body-image-1490640961

The core of this group is starting to come together. It’s hard to tell if this team will be better than the one that finished 2016-2017, but in all likely hood it will be another top 10 draft pick (perhaps in the top 7).

The next (and last) edition of this series will deal with the draft (although in fewer specifics), the re-signing period and perhaps a few trades will shake down. I will have fixed the team in two seasons!*

*Fixing the team means improving their future core and the team won’t actually win anything in this time.

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