Assets today may not be assets tomorrow. No rebuilding.

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Assets today may not be assets tomorrow. No rebuilding.

Postby Farhan Lalji » Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:03 pm

Assets today may not be assets tomorrow. No rebuilding.

It only seemed like yesterday that the Canucks, led by the WCE line, were an offensive powerhouse that were considered to be "cup contenders." After falling unexpectedly in the first few rounds, most Canuck fans had the following mantra.

"If this team had decent goaltending, we'd win the cup!" "If this team had a solid work ethic, we'd win the cup!" "If this team got goals from people other than Naslund/Morrison/Bertuzzi.....we'd win the cup!"

Then the lockout occurred.

The following season, the Sedin twins emerged....big time. The Canucks' "secondary scoring" was no longer an issue......or so we thought. Now - it was the WCE line that had turned into a liabilitiy. Morrison fought injuries, while Bertuzzi was mentally damaged goods. Naslund fought injuries, and also seemed to have lost a step (age?).

The WCE line was no longer the powerhouse that it once was. The Canucks were once again a line time.


Same shit.....different pile.


The Canucks missed the playoffs, and the offseason came. Bertuzzi, Carter, Jovo, etc. all left town, while Luongo, Mitchell, Bulis, etc., came in. The Canucks are now known as a team that is hardworking and defensive-oriented. The Canucks, while offensively challenged, have a solid PK and have arguably the best goalie in the game.

To make a long story short.....the Canucks are almost the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they used to be. Almost all/most of their OLD liabilities are now ASSETS today (i.e. goaltending, team defense, team work ethic). Similarly, our assets of yester-year are now liabilities today.

Same shit......different pile.

Despite all of our changes, the Canucks remain a team that will struggle to make the playoffs.

So - how does all this relate to this particular thread/post?

All I want to say, is that Canuck fans (and management) have to be CAREFUL when making plans that are geared towards the LONG-TERM. It works both ways. Liabilities can turn into assets, but assets can turn into liabilities. Guys like Kesler and Bourdon might be solid players for us a few years from, but who knows what can happen.

Did any of us know that Bertuzzi would become mentally damaged goods?.....or that the WCE line would lose its magic? Or that Jovanovski would become a liability on defense? Or that Trevor Linden would look like a 46 year old instead of a 36 year old? The bottom line here, is that.....things change (for better AND for worse).

The Canucks have Roberto Luongo for 4 years. Luongo is one of the best goalies in the league.....if not, THE best. All championship teams have a goalie that delivers come playoff time.

The point I'm trying to make here, is that the Canucks need to have a strategy that allows us to win NOW (or within the next year or two). In my opinion, it is UNACCEPTABLE for the Canucks to be in "rebuild" mode......or have a mindset that we "might" be good in 3-4 years. As we saw with the LAST Canuck core, changes happen for better and for worse. In the end though, the (negative) result can be the exact same.

We saw what happened with Chris Pronger last season in Edmonton. Although he was signed for a number of years, he left after one year. Who's to say that Luongo won't do the same thing? (per say). What if Luongo decides, "hey you know what? I signed with Vancouver because I thought I'd have a chance to win the cup....but these guys are in re-build mode. Screw them. I'm out."


CONCLUSION: Nonis needs to be far more proactive in building a winning team NOW....not 3-4 years from now. In yesteryear, the Canucks waited far too long in giving the WCE line some help (in the form of other lines being able to score, and in the form of having a decent goalie). By the time those "liabilities" became assets, the WCE line were no longer as good as they once were. The more things changed.....the more things stayed the same.

Lets build a team NOW that can complement our CURRENT strengths (Luongo, Ohlund, Mitchell, Salo, Sedin twins, Naslund). Rebuilding is great, but there are limits to rebuilding as well. Rebuilding should never be a neverending cycle.
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Postby Island Nucklehead » Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:57 pm

Yes the new NHL allows for faster turnaround from loser to winner, but to suggest this can happen in one season is retarded. With the cap, we have to manage money wisely, the shitty thing for us, is that it came in at such a terrible time. Where teams like Buffalo had most of their contracts expire AFTER the cap came into play, allowing their management to use it as a bargaining chip, the majority of our albatros contracts were signed prior to the lockout. Naslund is no longer worth 6 million, Morrison is not worth 3.5, Cooke is not worth 1.5 etc.

Look at the Sedins, before the lockout they would have wanted aroung 5 mil per, but reality today means they have to be realistic in these goals. I don't know how you suggest to rebuild this team, the people you want to build your team around are the same people DN HAS built his team around (7, 3.2, 3, 1.5, 3.5, 3.5, 6 = 27.7 million). How do you think your team will be different from Nonis'?

Morrison will probably be moved eventually, and between him, Cooke and Kesler (who we can do nothing about), there is really no other disgusting contracts. Guys like Bulis and Chouinard are overpaid, but with FA signees, its whoever can pay the most. You win some, lose most...as with any team, there is a huge amount or risk in signing people that may make or break your team...in the Canucks case, break.

Who knows, this team may turn it around, or maybe if Bourdon can come in next year, and a decent draft pick this year may solve our problems. Nobody has a perfect answer, and it takes a combination of drafting and signing. Look around the league, all the best teams have taken years to get to where they now sit, mostly through drafting and careful planning. Blowing up the Canucks was essential, expecting them to win the cup the following year is dreaming. Personally, I think it will take a couple more years for us to rid ourselves of the massive contracts, in order to build a more evenly paid team.

I think 2 or 3 guys at 2-3 million per, who can score 20 apeice is more valuable than Naslund at 6. The problem is we can't trade the contracts away and expect to get anything from them, and you're right on one point, admitting that the team has no chance and give up isn't an option in this market. The rebuilding phase is in, and I think it will be with us for the remainder of the year and we can demand to see results come this time next year. Anything we get from now until then is either to be expected (if we bomb), or a bonus.
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Postby Cornuck » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:43 pm

I don't think that we are rebuilding as much as having a year of transistion. To change a coach, system, many players, etc should take a full season of adaptation.

To me rebuilding means that your team is admitting defeat for the next 3-4 years. That doesn't sound like this team.

We are only 2-3 players from having a more respectable team, and this could happen by (or at) the deadline.

We are in the same boat as most teams - 2-3 key injuries and your team is done for the season - weather you have depth or not.
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Postby tuzzi44 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:34 pm

I agree with Cornuck here... think of the teams in the league who are officially in "rebuilding" mode... i dont think our situation is like those.

TRANSITION is a much better term for us, we went through a ton of changes this past offseason, and i would say most teams would be in trouble if they lost a few key guys...
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Re: Assets today may not be assets tomorrow. No rebuilding.

Postby DavidPratt_ » Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:49 pm

Farhan Lalji wrote:Assets today may not be assets tomorrow. No rebuilding.

It only seemed like yesterday that the Canucks, led by the WCE line, were an offensive powerhouse that were considered to be "cup contenders." After falling unexpectedly in the first few rounds, most Canuck fans had the following mantra.


CONCLUSION: Nonis needs to be far more proactive in building a winning team NOW....not 3-4 years from now. In yesteryear, the Canucks waited far too long in giving the WCE line some help (in the form of other lines being able to score, and in the form of having a decent goalie). By the time those "liabilities" became assets, the WCE line were no longer as good as they once were. The more things changed.....the more things stayed the same.

Lets build a team NOW that can complement our CURRENT strengths (Luongo, Ohlund, Mitchell, Salo, Sedin twins, Naslund). Rebuilding is great, but there are limits to rebuilding as well. Rebuilding should never be a neverending cycle.



Some good points here. Vancouver Canuck fans don't want to hear the words 'rebuilding'. If anything I have been disappointed with the Canucks drafting record until the past few seasons. At least I see some 'jewels' (Edler, Bourdon, Rahimi, Hansen) but the new NHL is all about drafting (cheap young players to support core veterans).

This post reminded me of how players who left Vancouver are doing. Dan Cloutier, Alex Auld, Bryan Allen are all having awful seasons so far. Todd Bertuzzi is injured and Ed Jovanovski has been inconsistent in Phoenix. Vancouver has a new core (Luongo, Naslund, Mitchell, Sedins) and Dave Nonis has to figure out how to make sure the right 'mix' is in place for this team to be in the playoffs this season.

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Postby Momesso » Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:00 am

Farhan, IMHO that NOW strategy is as risky as any. A few years ago, many people (including media types like Pratt & Gallagher) were clamouring for trading the Sedins for players like Gratton (among others). Thank god BB had the patience that he did.

From what I've seen, and certainly from looking at the history of this franchise, trading young assets or picks for players at the deadline rarely does us any good. Last year we blew 2 second round picks for garbage. In hindsight, we not only should have kept the picks, but McCarthy as well. The vast majority of other teams who acquired players at the deadline didn't get their money's worth either.

Look at Colorado. A couple of years of good drafting and the team has re-tooled nicely. The future looks very bright there, thanks to their drafting.

To succeed, first and foremost our Scouting needs to get better in a hurry. This team needs to hit a home-run in the next two drafts.

There's not a whole lot we can do anyway, we haven't the cap room. A part of me is actually happy for this, may be it will force Nonis to actually use our 3 2nd rounders in the upcoming draft, rather than piss them away for band-aids.

Now I'm not saying Nonis should stand pat if we are in a playoff race, but that he should make one deal, and make it a good one, and not overpay if the assets available become overpriced. A tough task for anyone, but that's why he gets paid what he does.
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Postby tantalum » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:19 am

A team does not have to rebuild by going with a huge youth movement and struggling for a couple of years. Given the right set of assets a team can rebuild quite quickly with astute trades etc. And Nons has many of those assets (the first being Bertuzzi who brought back a veteran goaltender in Luongo).

It's not unacceptable the canucks are in a rebuilding mode...it is actually long overdue. And it started with the late season play of Bieksa and Burrows last year. Look at the multi year deals Nonis has in place...Ohlund, Mitchell, Henrik, Daniel, and Luongo. He has his core signed for a couple more seasons after this and for that I congratulate him. Notice it's also a pretty experienced core. BY the end of the year all of them should be above the 400 NHL game mark. And it's still fairly young (all are under 30 at this time). Nonis should be able to surround this core with a good selection of young and experienced talent.

To do that he has some potential trading chips: Morrison, Cooke, Salo (deadline deal perhaps), Koltsov, Bourdon, Schneider, and yes Naslund if he wiaves his no trade clause.

There is a good chance that from middle of the 05/06 to the start of 07/08 that the only players that stay the same are Ohlund, Henrik, Daniel, maybe Naslund, maybe Kesler, maybe Cooke and maybe Salo (doubtful to have all 4 of those maybes returning). I do think Morrison is gone by the start of next season. And the core will have changed from Naslund, Morrison, Bertuzzi, Jovanovksi, Ohlund to that above where Ohlund is the only lasting member of the former core.

A change in management style, a change in coaching staff, a change in team philosophy on and off the ice (i.e. build from teh net out), a large turnover of players, a change in the core that you build around.....that is pretty much the definition of rebuild in my world. And it's a rebuild that I don't think will rely on stinking out the joint completely for a few years but one that will be done through trades of current assets to get other ready to go assets. That isn't to say that such a massive rebuild doesn't take time. It will take a summer, full season and the subsequent summer. Which is why I continually wish that Nonis hadn't wasted a year by giving the previous team another go (especially when burke said it needed to be blown up).
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Postby Jyrki21 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:30 am

The fans pushing for a total scorched-earth rebuild are encouring this franchise to pursue the modus operandi which has landed it years of failure in the past.

A lot of fans don't understand that about half of NHL teams don't make the playoffs. Missing them is not only not a calamity or disaster (if I hear 2006-07 described as "disastrous" one more time, I'll puke), it's statistically very likely! If every team which missed the playoffs went into full-scale rebuilding, the NHL would be even more ridiculous than it is.

This franchise has always been conservative yet panicky (I mean the management here, not the fans) – a combination not unlike the oxymoronic "stagflation," and a recipe for endless rebuilding. (Stand pat, stand pat, stand pat... not working, so scorch the earth). Nonis is the first GM in some time who has shown an ability to maybe take things in a different direction.

If teams like the Red Wings or Devils adopted this approach (remember the numerous disappointments early in the Red Wing dynasty, or the Devils missing the playoffs right after their first Cup victory), they would have been caught in this endless rebuilding cycle too. They were smart – they retooled and made changes consistently in an effort to get better. The Canucks could learn from this.
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Postby Farhan Lalji » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:24 pm

Island Nucklehead wrote: I don't know how you suggest to rebuild this team, the people you want to build your team around are the same people DN HAS built his team around (7, 3.2, 3, 1.5, 3.5, 3.5, 6 = 27.7 million). How do you think your team will be different from Nonis'?



Hey,

Although there are a few things that we can agree to disagree on, I think your post was pretty good.

As far as MY team would go, here's the ONE thing that I'd do differently than Dave Nonis (or what Nonis has seemingly done).

Instead of trying to "fill holes" and cover up weaknesses, I would focus my efforts on building STRENGTHS.

Take a look at our current Canuck roster right now. We have over 6 players or so, making over 3 million (if I recall correctly, New Jersey Devils are the ONLY other team that has that many players making over 3 million).

Now - with that in mind, DEPTH will most likely not be a strong suit for the Canucks (unless we see a few major surprises.......which we really haven't).

The Canucks have one decent scoring line, but every other line has had difficulty scoring. Offense is not our strong suit.

The Canucks have a decent defense....but only when all or most defensemen are healthy.

The Canucks have a top-tier goaltender in Roberto Luongo, but have an absolutely terrible back-up in Danny Sabourin.

CONCLUSION: If ANY NHL Team (in a Cap era) is going to have SIX or more players making over 3 million, then that team NEEDS to have more than one STRENGTH of which the team can build their game around......with SIX or more players making over 3 million, DEPTH is most likely be an issue .

As we're seeing with Nonis' team, this seems to be the case.

-The Canucks DO have depth issues
-The Canucks seem to be EXTREMELY susceptible and vulnerable when they have key injuries
-The Canucks, despite having 6 player making over 3 million, do not seem to have very many STRENGHTS..


In a cap era, all or most NHL teams will have a weakness. It's inevitable. The great teams however, will focus on building strengths......strengths of which become so lethal, that they significantly outweigh the weaknesses.

These strengths come in the form of

a) Great goaltending
b) Well balanced team (i.e. if your team doesn't have too many superstars, your 3rd/4th lines and your 5th/6th d-men are better than all/most other teams).
c) Great defense
d) Great offense (i.e. two solid scoring lines).

All great teams will have 'a' when it comes to succeeding in the playoffs. The Canucks HAVE 'a'. The only thing I'd do differently than Nonis here, is to get a decent back-up for Luongo. This way, pressure is taken off Luongo, while he also gets more rest down the stretch.


This is where me and Nonis start to part ways in our thoughts:


I apologize for rambling on here, but here's my final point. Looking at this team, *I* think this team needs another defenseman....one of which is capable of playing top 4.

Nonis on the other hand, seems VERY reluctant to move a forward (i.e. Morrison) for another solid defenseman. I think he even commented on this a little while back (around the time when rumors were swirling that Morrison was going to Ottawa).

If it was up to me, I'd try to make a Brendan Morrison/Chris Philips type deal (if that's not fair....then it can be altered slightly I guess). Matt Cooke also gets moved for a defenseman (that can comfortably play top 4 if some key guys get hurt).

The Canucks then use a draft pick to upgrade their back-up goaltending.


What the Canucks now have, are STRENGHTS and a team IDENTITY.

Defense and Goaltending would now be considered MAJOR strengths for the Canucks. Even a few injuries would not hurt the Canucks too much in this area.


Now up front:

So obviously, the Canucks would be even weaker up front.....since there would be no Morrison or Cooke. However - the Canucks were weak here anyway......so in actuality, your subtracting from something that was already a ZERO anyways.

In essence, you are turning that ZERO....into depth on defense. That added depth has now made the defense a STRENGTH.

However - the team still needs to be able to score.

So the team is TERRIBLE up front. How can we turn this around?


If the Canucks can manage to score goals on the Power Play, can this compensate for the (severe) lack of scoring depth up front?


As we all now, guys like Jason Allison and Peter Bondra are no longer the players they once were. In fact - these guys probably aren't even as good as Brendan Morrison. As much as we rag on a guy like Morrison, Morrison is probably a better all-around player than Bondra and Allison now.

HOWEVER - Allison and Bondra are both better than Morrison is one area.....and one area only. The Power Play.

Both these guys can be effective on the power play.....moreso than Morrison.

So basically - even though guys like Allison and Bondra are WORSE than Morrison, they would have more PURPOSE on the Canuck team.


Final team look, strategy, identity, and plan:

Sedin-Sedin-Naslund
Bulis-Allison-Pyatt
Green-Kesler-Bondra
Burrows-Chouinard-Linden

(I personally would try and get Rypien and Bouck into the line-up somehow to add toughness...so for example, if the Canucks can't get BOTH Allison and Bondra, Rypien steps in). I would also get Chouinard into the line since he SPECIALIZES in penalty killing. Remember - if a player can excel in ONE area....than they have a use.

Ohlund-Salo
Mitchell-Philips
Cooketrade - Kraijeck

Bieksa

Luongo
New back-up via trade


The strategy: The Canucks now have an EXTREMELY solid defensive core, backed by what should be exceptional goaltending. Luongo doesn't play as many games, and is well rested down the stretch as result.

Although the Canucks have severe shortcomings up front (much like Calgary did last season), other teams will be hardpressed to score on us....even when we have injuries (much like Calgary last season).

What will separate the Canucks from other teams however, will be their special teams. Allison and/or Bondra, although ineffective in most other areas, greatly help the power play.

Chouinard, although ineffective in most other areas, greatly help the PK.

The Canucks consistently shut down other teams with superior goaltending, defense, and penalty killing. The Canucks win games with the Sedin/Sedin/Naslund line, and a decent power play.


I reallly need to learn how be more succint. :oops:

Hope you all stayed awake. :P
Farhan Lalji
 

Postby Farhan Lalji » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:26 pm

Island Nucklehead wrote: I don't know how you suggest to rebuild this team, the people you want to build your team around are the same people DN HAS built his team around (7, 3.2, 3, 1.5, 3.5, 3.5, 6 = 27.7 million). How do you think your team will be different from Nonis'?



Hey,

Although there are a few things that we can agree to disagree on, I think your post was pretty good.

As far as MY team would go, here's the ONE thing that I'd do differently than Dave Nonis (or what Nonis has seemingly done).

Instead of trying to "fill holes" and cover up weaknesses, I would focus my efforts on building STRENGTHS.

Take a look at our current Canuck roster right now. We have over 6 players or so, making over 3 million (if I recall correctly, New Jersey Devils are the ONLY other team that has that many players making over 3 million).

Now - with that in mind, DEPTH will most likely not be a strong suit for the Canucks (unless we see a few major surprises.......which we really haven't).

The Canucks have one decent scoring line, but every other line has had difficulty scoring. Offense is not our strong suit.

The Canucks have a decent defense....but only when all or most defensemen are healthy.

The Canucks have a top-tier goaltender in Roberto Luongo, but have an absolutely terrible back-up in Danny Sabourin.

CONCLUSION: If ANY NHL Team (in a Cap era) is going to have SIX or more players making over 3 million, then that team NEEDS to have more than one STRENGTH of which the team can build their game around......with SIX or more players making over 3 million, DEPTH is most likely be an issue .

As we're seeing with Nonis' team, this seems to be the case.

-The Canucks DO have depth issues
-The Canucks seem to be EXTREMELY susceptible and vulnerable when they have key injuries
-The Canucks, despite having 6 player making over 3 million, do not seem to have very many STRENGHTS..


In a cap era, all or most NHL teams will have a weakness. It's inevitable. The great teams however, will focus on building strengths......strengths of which become so lethal, that they significantly outweigh the weaknesses.

These strengths come in the form of

a) Great goaltending
b) Well balanced team (i.e. if your team doesn't have too many superstars, your 3rd/4th lines and your 5th/6th d-men are better than all/most other teams).
c) Great defense
d) Great offense (i.e. two solid scoring lines).

All great teams will have 'a' when it comes to succeeding in the playoffs. The Canucks HAVE 'a'. The only thing I'd do differently than Nonis here, is to get a decent back-up for Luongo. This way, pressure is taken off Luongo, while he also gets more rest down the stretch.


This is where me and Nonis start to part ways in our thoughts:


I apologize for rambling on here, but here's my final point. Looking at this team, *I* think this team needs another defenseman....one of which is capable of playing top 4.

Nonis on the other hand, seems VERY reluctant to move a forward (i.e. Morrison) for another solid defenseman. I think he even commented on this a little while back (around the time when rumors were swirling that Morrison was going to Ottawa).

If it was up to me, I'd try to make a Brendan Morrison/Chris Philips type deal (if that's not fair....then it can be altered slightly I guess). Matt Cooke also gets moved for a defenseman (that can comfortably play top 4 if some key guys get hurt).

The Canucks then use a draft pick to upgrade their back-up goaltending.


What the Canucks now have, are STRENGHTS and a team IDENTITY.

Defense and Goaltending would now be considered MAJOR strengths for the Canucks. Even a few injuries would not hurt the Canucks too much in this area.


Now up front:

So obviously, the Canucks would be even weaker up front.....since there would be no Morrison or Cooke. However - the Canucks were weak here anyway......so in actuality, your subtracting from something that was already a ZERO anyways.

In essence, you are turning that ZERO....into depth on defense. That added depth has now made the defense a STRENGTH.

However - the team still needs to be able to score.

So the team is TERRIBLE up front. How can we turn this around?


If the Canucks can manage to score goals on the Power Play, can this compensate for the (severe) lack of scoring depth up front?


As we all now, guys like Jason Allison and Peter Bondra are no longer the players they once were. In fact - these guys probably aren't even as good as Brendan Morrison. As much as we rag on a guy like Morrison, Morrison is probably a better all-around player than Bondra and Allison now.

HOWEVER - Allison and Bondra are both better than Morrison is one area.....and one area only. The Power Play.

Both these guys can be effective on the power play.....moreso than Morrison.

So basically - even though guys like Allison and Bondra are WORSE than Morrison, they would have more PURPOSE on the Canuck team.


Final team look, strategy, identity, and plan:

Sedin-Sedin-Naslund
Bulis-Allison-Pyatt
Green-Kesler-Bondra
Burrows-Chouinard-Linden

(I personally would try and get Rypien and Bouck into the line-up somehow to add toughness...so for example, if the Canucks can't get BOTH Allison and Bondra, Rypien steps in). I would also get Chouinard into the line since he SPECIALIZES in penalty killing. Remember - if a player can excel in ONE area....than they have a use.

Ohlund-Salo
Mitchell-Philips
Cooketrade - Kraijeck

Bieksa

Luongo
New back-up via trade


The strategy: The Canucks now have an EXTREMELY solid defensive core, backed by what should be exceptional goaltending. Luongo doesn't play as many games, and is well rested down the stretch as result.

Although the Canucks have severe shortcomings up front (much like Calgary did last season), other teams will be hardpressed to score on us....even when we have injuries (much like Calgary last season).

What will separate the Canucks from other teams however, will be their special teams. Allison and/or Bondra, although ineffective in most other areas, greatly help the power play.

Chouinard, although ineffective in most other areas, greatly help the PK.

The Canucks consistently shut down other teams with superior goaltending, defense, and penalty killing. The Canucks win games with the Sedin/Sedin/Naslund line, and a decent power play.


I reallly need to learn how be more succint. :oops:

Hope you all stayed awake. :P
Farhan Lalji
 

Postby Farhan Lalji » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:41 pm

^^^^^^

I probably made quite a few grammatical errors in my above post (apology in advance), but I'm way too tired to make corrections right now. I'll try and respond to some other posts later on.

Basically - what I was trying to say was that this CURRENT Canuck team doesn't have very many strengths (despite tying up so much money into such few players). The opportunity cost of spending lots of money on a few players, is organizational depth. However - this is only justifiable (imo) if the team has other SIGNIFICANT strengths to build their game around (which the Canucks don't).

The difference between me and Dave Nonis (seemingly), is that I would try and convert our current defense and goaltending into MAJOR strengths.......even if it's at the expense of giving away forwards (forwards that aren't really doing much anyways!).

IMO - if the Canucks are to be successful this year, it will be because of our strengths on defense and goaltending (depth will prevent injuries from turning this strength into weaknesses).

The Canucks then "gamble" on the fact that either...

a) Guys like Kesler and Burrows step it up with more resposibility
b) Someone like Allison and/or Bondra come here and help the Power Play greatly.
c) Sedin/Sedin/Naslund stay healthy and score goals on a fairly consistent basis.

If worse comes to worse....and we can't score, then atleast other teams will find it very tough to score on us....injuries/back-up goalie or not.
Farhan Lalji
 

Postby Island Nucklehead » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:14 pm

I see where you're comming from Farhan, but I'm going to have to agree to disagree.

In the cap world, it's almost impossible to create the perfect strength. Looking around the league, everyone has holes, and (like you suggest) try to play to what strengths they have, while minimizing their weakness. In some cases, while the strength is great, the weakness is too much to overcome. In our case, we're teetering on that brink.

Our defence (and not just our defencemen, but TEAM D), is pretty solid, starting with one of the best keepers in the league, and running through a top 3 that should match anyone (notable exception Anaheim, class of the show with Pronger and Neidermayer). Adding Krajicek and Bieksa for the 4/5 hasn't been the sore point we thought it would be. You're correct, if we're successful it will be because of our Goalie and Defence, but if we are not, the forwards will have to answer that as well. We could lose 1-0 or 10-0, at the end of the day, the standings will reflect the same thing...a loss.

Our biggest concern is offence, and Nonis must fix this above all else. Back-up goaltending be damned, we need to score goals to win hockey games.

Your assessment of our forwards is a ZERO, and again I have to disagree. Our forwards' speed greatly increases their ability to backcheck (which I believe is one of the reasons we aren't scoring goals), how does trading Morrison and signing a washed up slowpoke like Allison help us there? There is NO guarantee Allison will help this team offensively (at least more than Morrison), and I suspect he will be worse defensively. (By the way, anyone think we should have gone after Perrault?)

The team will only be as good as its weakest link, and currently, the weakest link is our ability to score goals. I'm not sure if that is a product of our forwards having only the ability to hit the goalie with the puck (we get enough shots) and not score, or if its bad puck luck. I think AV's team D system is forcing guys to stay to the outside and high in the slot, making chances less lethal.

We brought in Luongo to cover up the mistakes that our lack of depth in certain areas (primarily defence) would create for the opposition. It's debatable to what level he has done that. I'm not so sure bringing in another 4/5 guy will provide the increase you believe it will. Is Phillips a better defenceman that Krajicek or Bieksa, man for man probably, but will he make this team THAT much better than either of those guys? I have my doubts.

I think, given the number of shots we are generating, it would not take as much to CONVERT some of those chances into goals. Bringing in a guy with a little more finish might be all we need to generate that extra goal/game to push us over the top.

I don't think it's a matter of stopping the oposition from scoring one more goal, it's a matter of us putting one more into their net.
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Postby Farhan Lalji » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:44 pm

Island Nucklehead wrote:I see where you're comming from Farhan, but I'm going to have to agree to disagree.

In the cap world, it's almost impossible to create the perfect strength.


Almost impossible, but still possible. For instance - the Anaheim Ducks had a fairly strong defensive core last season (with Niedermayer back there). So what did the Ducks do? They went out and traded for Pronger. Basically - they turned a very good defense into a major juggernaut.

Looking around the league, everyone has holes, and (like you suggest) try to play to what strengths they have, while minimizing their weakness. In some cases, while the strength is great, the weakness is too much to overcome. In our case, we're teetering on that brink.


I wholeheartedly agree, but I see it in a different light than you. I actually find it interesting that you use the description of "teetering on the brink" because that's how I feel!

While you look at our offense as "teetering on the brink", I have the same view with our defense. As we've seen this season, the Canucks were flat out destroyed when Mitchell and/or Salo were out of the line-up. To ME, that SCREAMS for more defensive depth! Meanwhile, the Canucks, despite their scoring defincies, have still managed to win a lot of their games.

I again take note of the fact that the Canucks have won a LARGE majority of their games when their defense has been healthy (and Luongo has played in net).....this, DESPITE the fact that the Canucks have difficulty scoring


Our defence (and not just our defencemen, but TEAM D), is pretty solid, starting with one of the best keepers in the league, and running through a top 3 that should match anyone (notable exception Anaheim, class of the show with Pronger and Neidermayer). Adding Krajicek and Bieksa for the 4/5 hasn't been the sore point we thought it would be. You're correct, if we're successful it will be because of our Goalie and Defence, but if we are not, the forwards will have to answer that as well. We could lose 1-0 or 10-0, at the end of the day, the standings will reflect the same thing...a loss.


I see what you're saying here, but let me ask you this: Although our TEAM D is pretty good, don't you think the QUALITY of our actual defensemen is still far more important?

I too, shared your viewpoint (a little while ago, I actually suggested that we trade Mattias Ohlund for a solid second line center).....but then I saw how the Canucks' played when Mitchell was injured (and Salo for a few games).

With our forwards all healthy and 1 (or 2) of our top d-men injured, the Canucks lost pretty convincingly in a lot of their games.

Our biggest concern is offence, and Nonis must fix this above all else. Back-up goaltending be damned, we need to score goals to win hockey games.


As great as Luongo is, he's not god. He has great endurance, etc., but he NEEDS to be well rested down the stretch. We both agree that if the Canucks are to succeed this year, Luongo will have to lead the way.

Here's a thought I want to run by you: Do you think a LARGE part of the reason why guys like Morrison, Cooke, Bulis, and Kesler are struggling to score, is because they are TRYING too hard? (and simply feel too much pressure due to their expected roles, etc.)

If you said 'yes' to the above, then let me ask you this:

Lets say instead of Morrison, Cooke, (who get traded for defensemen), you bring up some SCRUBS Rypien and Bouck. As result, Kesler and Green get elevated to the 2nd line.

So now - knowing that the team is EXTREMELY limited talentwise up front, Veenyo says the following to Kesler and Burrows:

"You know what guys? Relax. We have one of the best goalies in the league, and we have one of the deepest defensive cores in the league (if not, THE deepest). Go out there and have fun."

Ok - so maybe Veenyo won't say that, but I think my point remains.

Perhaps guys like Rypien, Bouck, Kesler, Green, and Burrows (who aren't expected or pressured to produce) can actually be MORE effective than Morrison, Bulis, Cooke (who are under EXTREME pressure to produce right now) if they were given 2nd line ice time.

Maybe we'll disagree....and maybe I'm wrong, but that is a risk I'd be willing to take.

Think about it - if a BELOW AVERAGE player...or a BELOW AVERAGE line knew that they had the best goalie in the world and one of the deepest blue-lines (injuries or not) behind them, don't you think they'd be FAR more relaxed.......and consequently, OUTPERFORM an AVERAGE line (with extreme pressure to produce)....an average line of which that would still be under pressure to produce even if there was a few key injuries on the blue-line.


Bringing in a guy with a little more finish might be all we need to generate that extra goal/game to push us over the top.


Although the Canucks have had trouble scoring, they still have had such a high number of shots. Maybe their luck will turn around? Perhaps getting rid of TWO forwards for TWO defensemen is a bit extreme.......but perhaps ONE OF Cooke or Morrison being traded for another D would suffice.

That way - the Canucks are less susceptible to injury on defense, while hopefully, guys like Morrison/Cooke, Kesler, and Bulis finally start converting their opportunities.
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Postby Mantle » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:46 pm

I've been an advocate of signing Perrault ever since I saw him get cut loose by the Leafs. At that time we were having huge trouble in faceoffs and I never understood why he kept bouncing around from team to team and was even more surprised when he didn't get snapped up right away after a career year last year, and even more surprised at the numbers he did sign for. There is a TSN article on why he ended up in Phoenix and it looks like he just wanted to take his time and pick a place good for him. If that's the case maybe nothing would have brought him over to Vancouver.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=186279&hubname=nhl
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Postby Island Nucklehead » Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:27 pm

Depth on "D" is a major issue if a player gets hurt. But let me ask you this...if Markus Naslund goes down, how much of a chance do we have? Say Naslund and one of the Sedins is out, I would argue that this would be almost as much of a limiting factor as losing Salo/Mitchell. The only difference being the D play more. So yes, depth on D > depth at F.

In our particular case, however, I think our depth at forward is so lacking that it requires some immediate attention. The depth at D, when healthy, looks pretty solid. Forwards, on the other hand, looks more like the Manitoba Moose of last season. When we have guys like Green, Santala and Burrows playing regularily, an over-the-hill Linden and Chouinard who are pretty much used as PK-only guys, and decent third line guys like Cooke, Bulis, and Kesler expected to shoulder a significant load on offence it smells of utter weakness. That leaves us with Morrison and Pyatt. Morrison is a decent second line center, paid quasi-first line money, not good for the franchise, and until this season Pyatt has been a third line guy as well (one of the only pleasant surprizes this season on forward). That leaves us with the Swedes, granted they are our stars...but you can't win in this NHL with one line anymore.

You cite injuries as a major reason for aquiring more depth on D. When I see 2 of our top 3 D-men go down, I KNOW we're in for a tough spell. In this cap era, you run that risk. We can't plan for a season thinking, "You know what, I want to have 6 top four D-men just in case the injury bug bites us...the forwards, well who cares, we can win all the games 2-1, they're only responsible for 2 goals." It just dosn't work, you have to take into account that fact and be confident that: A) you're guys aren't bandaids (something we need to think about when looking at Salo for next season). and B) the other guys behind them can step up. In any case, losing 2 of the top 3 will kill any team. If the Ducks lose Niedermayer and Beachemin they're in a tough spot too.

I don't think its realistic to expect any team (let alone a Canucks team) to win 2-1 games in this league anymore. The PP's handed out like H at the safe injection site sees to it that enough chances are given to each team. If we are incapable of scoring 2-3 goals/night on a regular basis we're done like dinner. All that aside, I think one minor trade might be all the difference.
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