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S17-Canucks Season Preview (®)

2021-01-13

Well to the backend of the line-up.

The team has long had strength on the blue-line. It wasn’t always that way, but players developed and players were traded for and the team built its strength. It was a team that centred on Kenny Jonsson for a number of years and then the team needed to transition after a season ender and then a failure to resign. It was a bitter pill to swallow but it made the team adapt.   

The team wasn’t looking for a top flight defender last season but sometimes opportunity knocks and you have to answer. Andrei Markov was the best defender in the league a two seasons ago. He raked up 100 points and proved that he is one of the best and should be there for a while. He has 90s across the board in PH, PA, SC and DF. He isn’t a massive physical presence but can hold his own. He is skating with the 22 year old Dan Girardi. Dan is very well rounded in his game and does process the physically that Markov is lacking.

The longest serving Canuck is the anchor of the second pairing, Ed Jovanovski. The bruising hitter has great offensive upside and in his last two full seasons that he wasn’t injured in he notched point totals in the high 70s. As long has he can avoid that bug he should be a pivotal member of the defensive corps. Vitaly Vishnevski is a great puck-mover with excellent defensive skills. He isn’t great on the offensive end of the ice, but he has the ability to eat a ton of minutes.

Jason Smith and Suchy have been around the Canucks for a while. Suchy has made his way home after failing to sign a new contract. He is a well rounded player that will do his best to stay out of the penalty box, something that can’t be said of most defenders. Jason Smith is very well rounded with above average to great skills in most areas. He is the teams best defensive player and will continue produce on the offensive side of things. The team does implement a 7th defender and the team will use Neckar, Miller, Bouchard, and Whooley in that role. Some of these players will likely rotate into the 4th line winger role.

The team had every intention of replacing Vesa Toskala with first rounder Brian Elliot. That all changed with free agency. The team ended up signing both Khabibulin and Chris Mason. It was a calculated move to have the best goalies for the cheapest cap hit. The two prove to be quite the tandem with a cap hit of under 4m. The team does believe that the Bulin wall will be the go to guy, but Mason is a very capable to pick up some slack if necessary. With the two of them pro Brian Elliot can spend a season in the minors to aid his development.

Thanks for the read and Enjoy.

WC 500