What is it that's bugging me about this season?

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What is it that's bugging me about this season?

Postby DavidPratt_ » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:07 pm

A few things bugging me about the Canucks this season. Thought I'd list them:

1. The Canucks are pushed against the Cap, but they have awful depth on the defense after Salo, Mitchell and Ohlund and less scoring up front. Why is that?

2. It's probably because a lot of teams have cheap young talent - guys who are young, developed their skills and have talent but aren't getting paid too much because they are in restricted free-agent land. The problem is, outside of Schneider and Bourdon, the Canucks don't have a lot of cheap young talent, so they have to overpay for guys like Chouinard to make up for that.

3. What also concerns me are guys who have one-way contracts who shouldn't. What did Tommy Santala ever do to deserve one? Didn't impress me in pre-season.

4. Finally - if Luongo gets injured, it's over. Dave Nonis has put all his eggs in the Luongo basket. It may work out for him. Luongo in goal if the Canucks make the playoffs will redeem any flak Nonis has taken about the team's lack of overall depth. But if Luongo gets injured and Vancouver has two AHL goalies (Flaherty and Sabourin), it's over. The team's lack of depth AND AHL goaltending will lead to a complete disaster of a season.

I can't help wonder if the Canucks made the deal for Luongo and dumped Bertuzzi and then flipped Luongo to a team with some scorers and good young players who could afford to give up players for Luongo. The Canucks could have then gone out and signed a free-agent goalie like a Gerber for $3.5M/year and used any cap space to fill some holes. After paying Luongo nearly $7M/year there wasn't much money left under the cap to fill all the holes.

But who knows? I hope I'm wrong. A big reminder is the Canucks missed the playoffs last year and changes had to be made.

dp
Last edited by DavidPratt_ on Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby *CanucksForLife* » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:14 pm

#4 Is a biggie. Pretty much all of the city's pressure is being applied on luongo's shoulders. If he's out for a season or even 10 games, we will have to be idgging ourselves out of a big hole... Jeepers.
I Hart Luongo.
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Postby Island Nucklehead » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:51 pm

Welcome to the era of the salary cap. It should be common knowledge that if your star player goes down, your chances of going anywhere are slim.

If Kipper is hurt, Calgary is in nearly the same situation we are.

It's a huge gamble, but if Luongo plays 70 games this year, there would be no point in paying 1 Mil for a goalie who plays 12 games. This is the Franchise player problem. The Penguins will only go as far as Crosby takes them, likewise with Washington and Ovechkin. If Marty Brodeur goes down, so do the Devils.

We have to be ready to accept the risk. We have one of the best goalies in the world...we shouldn't be worried about who is going to back him up.

Try likening it to the NFL. If Peyton Manning is out for the season, the chances of the Colts winning the Super Bowl go from 1 in 10 to 1 in 40.

Let's get too caught up in the "What if's." WITH Luongo in goal, we will have a chance to win every night. WITHOUT him, we're screwed. I'm completely ready to take that risk, it's how cups are won.
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Postby MarkMM » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:03 pm

Island Nucklehead wrote:Welcome to the era of the salary cap. It should be common knowledge that if your star player goes down, your chances of going anywhere are slim.

If Kipper is hurt, Calgary is in nearly the same situation we are.

It's a huge gamble, but if Luongo plays 70 games this year, there would be no point in paying 1 Mil for a goalie who plays 12 games. This is the Franchise player problem. The Penguins will only go as far as Crosby takes them, likewise with Washington and Ovechkin. If Marty Brodeur goes down, so do the Devils.

We have to be ready to accept the risk. We have one of the best goalies in the world...we shouldn't be worried about who is going to back him up.

Try likening it to the NFL. If Peyton Manning is out for the season, the chances of the Colts winning the Super Bowl go from 1 in 10 to 1 in 40.

Let's get too caught up in the "What if's." WITH Luongo in goal, we will have a chance to win every night. WITHOUT him, we're screwed. I'm completely ready to take that risk, it's how cups are won.


I agree with one minor point, Luongo stated earlier that he wants to play less this season as he's not sure how his body will hold up going into a long playoff run (the underlying message made me smile, definitely like the confidence/determination). So whoever plays back-up will have to win their share of games in a tight division to make sure we can squeak through.

Part of the cap problem was the Clarke fiasco, no one's fault (at least on our team), otherwise we'd have an extra million in cap space OR we could have picked up Labarbera who would've made me more comfortable in net. But when bad things happen, good managers simply take bigger risks, and if they pan out, it works out. We're counting on Bourdon to be ready and for Krajicek to step up, if these two things happen (not out of the question), our defense doesn't look so bad, though the start for Bourdon hasn't been optimistic. If Sabourin is as good as Ian Clark seems to think he is, then maybe we just found ourselves a steal.

In the cap league, it's less about who can afford the best stars or even who has the best stars, so much as it is how good management is at calling the long-shots and how good the coaches are at squeezing the best performance possible out of their players. We've got a lot going against us, but Nonis has so far shown he's willing to swing for the fences, and Vigneault seems to be about accountability, Nonis has put together a team that has a chance despite a crappy hand he was dealt (in damaged trade goods in Bert, and then being screwed over by Clarke) and Vigneault is demanding that his players out hit and outwork other teams, it's about all we can ask for at this point.
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Postby JamesOwnzSam11 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:30 pm

Luongo is getting to much pressure on him....hell maybe even more so than when Messier signed....both teams are coming off similar situations.
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Postby Larionov » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:03 am

I'll agree with point #2 fully -- the Canucks' lack of good young players who can "outperform" their rookie contract does indeed hurt them. That's what happens, however, when you think you have the core for a Cup run, as the Canucks did for a couple of seasons. You end up sacrificing the future for the present. Well, the future has arrived, and I have an ugly feeling we're not going to like how it looks.

I struggle, however, with the notion that we could have flipped Luongo for "some scorers". That's easy to say, but what are their names? Trades in the NHL these days have to make sense from a cap perspective as well. If another team has a young scorer who is still a ways removed from free agency, no way are they parting with him. The only time teams are going to be willing to trade an offensive threat is if the guy is a year away from a big free agent payday (i.e. the Senators trading Havlat.) Now all we have done is rented a guy for a year.

Also, Gerber isn't getting $3.5 million -- it's more like $4.2 million, which doesn't sound like much but in the cap era represents the salary of a fourth liner or sixth defenceman you must sign. Gerber signed a 4 year, $17 million deal with Ottawa. He's 32, played a lot of his career in Europe, and has never been a dominant NHL starter for any significant period of time. To say that the Senators paid top market dollar for him is a bit of an understatement.
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Postby stevethiessen » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:59 am

Island Nucklehead's got it right - It's scary thinking about Luongo going down, but how many teams that are widely considered as being contenders are in the same spot? In the cap world, it goes without saying for almost anyone that if their goalie is hurt for a long stretch they are in trouble.

Here's who would be playing in goal for teams right now if their starter went down, according to TSN...

Atlantic
NJD - Scott Clemmensen
NYI - Mike Dunham
NYR - Kevin Weekes
PHI - Robert Esche
PIT - MA Fleury // Jocelyn Thibault

Northest
BUF - Martin Biron
OTT - Ray Emery
BOS - Tim Thomas
MON - David Aebisher
TOR - JS Aubin

Southeast
CAR - John Grahme
ATL - Johan Hedberg // Freddy B.
FLA - Alex Auld // Ed Belfour
TAM - Johan Holmqvist
WAS - Brent Johnson

Central
CHI - Brian Boucher
CBJ - Fredrik Norenna
DET - Chris Osgood
NAS - Chris Mason
STL - Jason Bacashuia // Curtis Sanford

Northwest
COL - Peter Budaj
CGY - Jaime McLennan
EDM - Jussi Markkenan
MIN - Niklas Backstrom
VAN - Dany Sabourin

Pacific
DAL - Mike Smith
ANA - JS Giguere // Illya Bryzgalov
LAK - Mathieu Garon
PHX - Mike Morrison
SJS - Evgeni Nabokov // Vesa Toskala

If that's what everyone's starters look like, the playoff would look mighty different. With the exception of maybe San Jose, Anahiem (both of whom are rumored from time to tiime to be shopping one of thier two), and Buffalo, there are question marks with each other goalie. It's a rickety boat, and we're all in it :)
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Postby Kowch » Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:28 am

Right now, there's nothing bugging me about this season. Mainly because tonight is game 1 of 82. When we get to game 15 or 20 of 82 and things are looking bleak, then I might begin to fret.

Until then, we have to give these guys time to gel and get used to working as a unit.
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Postby Canuck2 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:42 am

I too am not confident this team will be successful. I don't think Nonis gave Vigneault enough flexibility in choosing a team that he would like to start each game, way too many one-way contracts limited his pool of players to choose from.

I still think this team lacks enough toughness (even with Rypien in the line-up), I would hate sitting in GM Place and watch the players get pushed around in their own building. Just one of those things that I think should never happen.
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Postby Kowch » Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:14 am

Who cares about the number of one way contracts? As far as I recall (and correct me if I'm wrong), if they get sent down to the Moose they'll get paid the same amount, but that amount still won't count against the cap because they're not playing in the NHL.

So where's the problem?

The team is spending less now than it was a couple of years ago prior to the cap, so spending a littlle more on one way contracts that may not count against the cap doesn't matter does it?
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Postby DavidPratt_ » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:00 pm

Kowch wrote:Who cares about the number of one way contracts? As far as I recall (and correct me if I'm wrong), if they get sent down to the Moose they'll get paid the same amount, but that amount still won't count against the cap because they're not playing in the NHL.

So where's the problem?

The team is spending less now than it was a couple of years ago prior to the cap, so spending a littlle more on one way contracts that may not count against the cap doesn't matter does it?


Kowch, you missed the preseason games here. Yes, too early too tell, but my biggest concern is that the Canucks spent a lot on a superstar goalie with limited depth and had limited room to sign players because of their cap situation.

This is the best-case scenario. The Canucks make the playoffs. Barely. But Luongo stones every single team (like Kiprusoff did in 04) and the Canucks make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

It could happen.

dp
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Postby Madcombinepilot » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:36 pm

point number 4 is what killed us last year.


I will say it again, unless you can predict injuries, you can't predict the race.
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Postby Kowch » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:48 pm

DavidPratt_ wrote:Kowch, you missed the preseason games here.


While it's true that I didn't get to see them, I did (however) get to listen to them. Thank you Team1040 :)

And the difference between pre-season and regular season is huge. First off, the games they lost, they didn't play many starters (in fact, in the 1st game IIRC Cooke was the only regular playing that game).

Secondly, many players played who aren't even with the team anymore. They were out there trying to show Vigneault what they could do in order to try and make the squad, but most coaches and GM's know before pre-season starts exactly who is going to be starting the season with the big club, and who is going to ride the bus with the farm team.

Pre-season is a joke. Tonight is when we start judging Nonis and staff on what kind of team they but together. The way some people are talking, this season is already a write off based off of 8 meaningless games.

Yes, too early too tell, but my biggest concern is that the Canucks spent a lot on a superstar goalie with limited depth and had limited room to sign players because of their cap situation.


I'll freely admit that I also have some concern as to how this team will perform. A number of players (Mitchell, Bulis, Choinard, Pyatt etc) I've seen sporatically and because they don't play for my team I haven't kept exact tabs on them. However, I'm not ready to start hitting the panic button nor critisize Nonis for putting a team together that has yet to play a real meaningful game together.

This is the best-case scenario. The Canucks make the playoffs. Barely. But Luongo stones every single team (like Kiprusoff did in 04) and the Canucks make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

It could happen.



While you could be right, I really hope they surprise a lot of people. I think they still have enough talent to do that. Who picked a Carolina - Edmonton final after preseason finished last year?

You never know.
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Postby mattola » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:59 pm

Calgary loses Kipper they are done
Isles lose Dipetor they are done (they are done anyway but more done)
Devils lose Marty.....
Coyotes lose Cujo.....
Nashville - Vokuhn
etc... etc..

there are a few teams with 2 goalies that can play. there are ALOT that dont have the same credentials. If we had Auld and Cloutier most would still bitch about not having a solid #1. now we have one but sadly with a Cap its at the expense of Depth.

pray for strength. pray for no injuries. pray for luck. its a wing and prayer to get to the playoffs and finals for about 90% of the teams in this league. we are no different than most of them
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Postby MacNews » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:28 pm

What else are you going to do though? Have 2 mediocre goalies?
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