Key Offseason Losses: Kyle Wellwood, Andrew Raycroft
Key Offseason Additions: Raffi Torres, Bill Sweatt, Dan Hamhuis, Manny Malhotra, Mason Raymond, Keith Ballard
Last Season Ranking: 3rd, West
Offense: Second only to the Washington Capitals in goals last season (268), the Vancouver Canucks will be one of the top offensive teams again this upcoming season.
Both Henrik and Daniel Sedin were crazy last season, Henrik 112 points and Daniel 85 points. Keep in mind that Daniel only played 63 games, he could have easily reached the 100 point mark. From there you have Ryan Kessler (75), Alexandre Burrows (67), Mikael Samuelsson (53) and Mason Raymond 53) all over 50 point seasons.
Defense: Christian Ehrhoff lead the team with a plus 36 last season as well as netting 14 goals, passing for 30 assists totaling 44 points. Expected line-mate and recently acquired Dan Hamhuis from the Nashville Predators has been in the league 6 years and all played with the Predators, it will be nice to see him holding the blue-line for a much better offensive team in the Canucks.
Alexander Edler had an excellent season as well with 42 points. Partnering with other newly acquired Keith Ballard from the Florida Panthers should provide two solid defensive pairings.
Lastly Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo should hold down the third pairing, although Shane O’Brien is still working on a roster spot.
Goaltending: News, controversy, whatever you wish to call it, has been following the removal of Captaincy from net-minder Roberto Luongo. What was once a bold move in the Canuck’s organization has now caused them to back track. This though for fans should be a positive thing, with Henrik Sedin expected to receive the C, Luongo is now able to focus solely on playing goalie. A 40-22-4 record last season, 2.57 goals against average and a .913 save percentage, Luongo will be the top goalie in the league to pick up for wins this season on your fantasy team. Not convinced yet? Backup Cory Schneider has only played 10 games in the last two seasons with a 2-5 record. Luongo will be the new Brodeur.
Season Outlook: When asked if the Vancouver Canucks could be a Stanley Cup Contender this season, Macho Man Randy Savage had only two words to say, “Ohhh Yeahhh!” I’m going to leave it at that and agree with the Macho Man.