FanPost

The problem of the Vancouver Canucks 2013-14

 photo Canucks_zps2f23dc81.jpg

photo by Don Smith

The series with San Jose is most cases is irrelevant to the problem the Nucks face next year.

Here is our opening day roster for next year


FORWARDS
Daniel Sedin ($6.100m) / Henrik Sedin ($6.100m) / Alexandre Burrows ($4.500m)
David Booth ($4.250m) / Ryan Kesler ($5.000m) / Jannik Hansen ($1.350m)
Chris Higgins ($2.500m) / Zack Kassian ($0.870m)
DEFENSEMEN
Alexander Edler ($5.000m) / Kevin Bieksa ($4.600m)
Jason Garrison ($4.600m) / Dan Hamhuis ($4.500m)
Keith Ballard ($4.200m) / Frank Corrado ($0.599m)
GOALTENDERS
Roberto Luongo ($5.333m)
Cory Schneider ($4.000m)
Joe Cannata ($0.900m)
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $64,402,778; BONUSES: $0
CAP SPACE (17-man roster):- $102,778

Do you see some glaring problems like I do? We seem to be short of players. Of course we still need to sign guys like Tanev, Lappy…maybe MayRay again. But we won’t be able to do that with this group of guys as the Canucks are over the cap already with these 17 players. Some of the money needed will be freed up without buyouts or trades….or both. The debate about who should get moved has been going on since the new CBA was announced.

In the post mortem of this team, I think the causes of its demise can’t focus solely on this year’s events. You would have to go back and look at the creation of this roster over time and take guesses at management was/was not thinking. I really wonder how far the owners and management think ahead when it comes to salary cap and player signings. Two years ago did the Aquillinis believe there would be a salary rollback that would help them sign others down the line or did they realize that eventually the team would have a group of high paid players and minimum wage players with not a lot in the middle?

GMMG and his reign as GM is always a hot topic at the end of the year. And this year’s signings and trades (or lack of) will be discussed the moment the Canucks pack their bags. I am sure NM will have all of its writers take a crack at it. And AV and his style of coaching will fill another month of blogging.

I am sure there is enough blame for everyone to share, but I am more interested in seeing the direction the team goes in fixing this salary cap problem. I doubt the ship gets blown up but I wonder how much money the Aquillini’s are willing to spend for buyouts. It’s easy for me to sit here and say the Nucks should buyout Booth, it’s not my money being spent. Personally I would trade Schneider. The Canucks would get more for him, and the farm system needs to improve. Lu’s contract is one of GMMG’s biggest blunders and yet I have no problem keeping Lu. The return in trading this top 10 goalie is going to be minimal except for salary cap space. Schneider is a great goalie but Canuck fans seem to get stuck on potential instead of actual results. Lu has results…..Schneider has potential. I think the Cam Neely trade still haunts old fans and the Hodgson/Kassian trade seems to be the mental roadblock for younger fans who see Lu as the reason the Canucks lost the SCF and therefore want Schneider to stay.

Going back to Booth, I would buy him out in a second. It would cost the Aquillini’s $6.3 million to buy him out and pay over 4 years. I wonder if they would take the hit. I would keep Ballard as he is at least versatile as a defenseman/forward. Ballard is overpaid, but again I think the Canucks would get nothing in return if they traded him. Also the Canucks defensive core is thin at the minor league level now that Tanev is a regular and Corrado will probably be a regular to help balance the salary cap.

So in the end I don’t have answers, just hypotheticals. And my hypothetical still has holes in it. Here’s what it looks like.


FORWARDS
Daniel Sedin ($6.100m) / Henrik Sedin ($6.100m) / Alexandre Burrows ($4.500m)
Chris Higgins ($2.500m) / Ryan Kesler ($5.000m) / Jannik Hansen ($1.350m)
Maxim Lapierre ($1.000m) / Zack Kassian ($0.870m)
Jordan Schroeder ($0.851m) / Nicklas Jensen ($0.894m)
DEFENSEMEN
Alexander Edler ($5.000m) / Kevin Bieksa ($4.600m)
Jason Garrison ($4.600m) / Dan Hamhuis ($4.500m)
Keith Ballard ($4.200m) / Frank Corrado ($0.599m)
Chris Tanev ($1.300m) / Andrew Alberts ($1.225m)
GOALTENDERS
Roberto Luongo ($5.333m)
Eddie Lack ($0.750m)
OTHER
Buyout: David Booth ($0.000m)

SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,312,444; BONUSES: $0
CAP SPACE (21-man roster): $2,987,556

I resigned Lappy, Tanev, and Alberts. I traded Schneider for hopefully a first round pick (and some cap relief). I bought out Booth. Good Riddance. There are still 2 forward spots left open and I have one extra d-man signed for the 21 man roster, but at least there is almost $3 million in wiggle room to try and sign a 3rd line forward.

This is not a first place team, but it still can get into the playoffs if injuries can keep away from the top lines and defense pairings.

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