Personally, I really enjoyed the work ethic of Steve Bernier, Kyle Wellwood and Taylor Pyatt / Mason Raymond for most of last season. They did score the goal of the year while Pyatt was out. Simply magic. But now, Pyatt is an unrestricted free agent who will most likely not get a contract. Wellwood is a restricted free agent and his stay will depend on the dollars he is asking for.
Once again assuming that the Sedins do re-sign, Gillis just needs to acquire another top 6 forward and the top 2 lines are set:
And of course line 4 is signed up and ready to go:
Where does that leave line 3? To continue being an inquisitive bastard, does Gillis let Wellwood and Pyatt go and put Cody Hodgson and/or Michael Grabner there with Steve Berner or Mason Raymond? (Would that be a fast line or what?) So much hinges on not only the Sedins, but how Hodgson and Grabner fare at training camp. I'd guess that Grabner makes the cut for sure, but that doesn't fill the hole at center on that line. Wellwood was so damn good at the middle position. Maybe that's where Hodgson makes the cut as he is a centerman.
This is confusing. Is Raymond going to break out this year? It will be a contract year for him after all. If he does then there is no need to acquire another top 6 guy (if the Sedins return). If the Sedins don't return it's a whole new bowl of wax. If they do, we have too many forwards on our hands. That could spell a trade. (Oh shit, I forgot about Jannik Hansen. See? Too many forwards.)
And too many questions. YOU be the armchair GM. What would YOU do? My current opinion is to sign the Twins and put Raymond with Kesler and Demitra, thus having Hodgson center Bernier and Grabner (and letting Wellwood go work at McDonald's or on another team because we cannot afford his potential raise.) That would also mean that Gillis will be able to sign a Bouwmeester or Niedermayer-type after July 1.
For a great reference on Canucks forwards, check out Yankee's "Picking Up The Pieces" post from May 21.
But I want to know YOUR opinion, Canucks fans.