The Fansided NHL Network, that SenShot is proud to be a member of, is embarking on its NHL preview. Each day in September, one of its members will be posting a preview for their club. SenShot will look at their preview, and let you have a look. After that, we will provide our own perspective. Jared will handle the Western Conference teams while Tony will look at the East.
Today we finish up the Western Conference, fittingly with the defending Conference Champion and President’s Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks.
The Vancouver Canucks got as close as they could without winning the Cup as they lost game 7 of the finals to the Boston Bruins. Not standing pat, GM Mike Gillis made some minor moves in an attempt to not let the disappointment happen again. Did he do enough?
Larenzo from The Canuck Way checked in with his preveiw on their site:
As it stands right now, the Canucks have made 3 Stanley Cup Finals appearances, yet the ultimate team prize eludes them. With only small changes, relatively speaking, occuring during the off-season, General Manager Mike Gillis still has the utmost confidence in this group to go deep. Some hockey pundits felt that more could have been done to the team during the summer, particularly in free agency. To this, Gillis responded:
“We think we have a really strong team. We don’t really see a tremendous weakness. Of course there are certain players that you would love to have that are on other teams and think they would fit in well here. They are impossible to get at this point. We are really confident in the group we have. If something comes our way between now and the start of the season we are going to act upon it. You can’t manufacture it.”
If one subscribes to the theory that the Canucks were ‘out-muscled’ in the Final against Boston, then the departures of veteran Raffi Torres (Brent Seabrook can attest to that), Tanner Glass (Winnipeg) and the sudden loss of Rick Rypien might look like further proof the Canucks need to get tougher. But the trained eye would also note that a couple of new faces, particularly Victor Oreskovich (6’3, 215 lbs), Mark Mancari (6’3, 225 lbs) and a tryout contract for Todd Fedoruk might help replace the missing brawn. In recent interviews, all three have stated they understand their role, and their need to protect their teammates. Another name to throw into the mix is Aaron Volpatti, though based on watching him live against San Jose in the pre-season, he is still a little ways off from any regular duty.
YOU CAN READ THE REST OF LARENZO’S PREVIEW HERE
SENSHOT’S TAKE ON THE CANUCKS
Most of the big changes made were actually exits. The biggest, of course, is the departure of Christian Ehrhoff, whose rights were dealt to the Islanders, who eventually moved him on to Buffalo, who signed him to a heavily front loaded long term deal. Also leaving town was key contributor Raffi Torres, Tanner Glass and Rick Rypien, who signed with the Jets before his unfortunate passing this summer.
Incoming Marco Sturm hopes to regain the skill that he had a couple of years ago before injuries limited his effectiveness. Marc Mancari adds size and grit.
How the Canucks weather the absence to injuries to Kesler and Raymond will go a long way to determining their placement in the playoffs. However, it will not be the first 8 months that determine the fate of the Cancuks season. President’s Trophies and playoff appearances are no longer enough, it is Stanley Cup or bust. The Canucks have the skill, experience and talent to get it done, and in my opinion their season comes down to the 4 inches between Luongo’s ears. His mindset in June is of the utmost importance after having been called into question over the past couple of seasons.
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