With the season lurking upon us and the talk of rookies and young players being discussed and scrutinized like Global Warming in the year 2000 I thought it would be fun to look at a few what-if scenarios. Since the Vancouver Canucks fanbase has a reputation for being pretty pessimistic and fickle(insert lame overused riot joke here) I thought I would start off with the negative issues.
What if this team does not respond to Torts and has even a worse record than last year?
My Thoughts: At that point I think Mike Gillis has to be fired, he's made some big moves during his tenure here, but the Hodgson and Luongo/Schneider issues would likely be his downfall in this scenario. Not too mention the problems this team has had putting together a legit second line, the third line center hole, and the fact that he didn't hire the right guy to coach this team. I'm guessing injuries would also be a big issue if this scenario were to come true, either that or just a complete team meltdown.
What if Zack Kassian shows no signs of improvement this year?
Well for starters, you'd have to play Burrows back with the Sedins right? Then who plays with Kesler? Do we go back to having one first line(Sedin-Sedin-Burrows) and having our second line filled with 2 third line wingers and a guy who apparently needs to learn to pass the puck more centering them(Higgins-Kesler-Hansen)? Not only that, but suddenly Gillis is going to take even more heat for that shocking Hodgson trade, I guess that he may have had to move him, but maybe he should have gotten a young player that had at least showed a little something at the NHL level, you know...kind of like the player he was trading.
What If Ryan Kesler gets injured again?
Okay first of all, I think Kesler being injury-prone is little overblown. I know that he's had quite a few surgeries and such, but he's only missed a combined 7 regular season games during his last 5 seasons before last year's shortened season where he only appeared in 17 of 48 games. Oops, but this is the pessimistic blog so let's assume that he does miss at least half of the season. The Canucks would be pretty much screwed in that scenario. The team is already trying to find someone to fill the third line center role this year so I'm guessing we'd likely be looking at Jordan Schroeder centering the second line again. Yikes! Not to mention that he could very possibly end up being traded if he has another disappointing season.
What if the team rushes it's shiny new prospects this year?
What if Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk are both kept up with the big club all season long but end up struggling and even are sat out or benched at times? This could be the worst case scenario of all and again not very likely but then again keeping Luongo was once viewed as highly unlikely not too long ago. Would it hurt their development in the long run? I'd say so.
What If Luongo sucks again and demands a trade?
We all know his contract "sucks" but what if his on-ice play and attitude starts to suck as well? Some have argued that he was already untradeable this past summer so at that point he'd definitely be untradeable and would probably force a buyout from team owner, Francesco Aquilini which could get Gilis in some hot water with his boss. And who would replace him? The 2 young, inexperienced Swedish goalies, Eddie Lack and Joacim Eriksson? You'd have to think that this would be the start of a major rebuild or re-tool as some like to call it.
So lets hear it, which of these scenarios do you see as most likely? Which is the worst? Which would you be able to live with?
All good points and concerns. If Schroeder has a broken foot, looks like Gaunce will probably stay imo. At some point here Gillis will be forced to trade for a center. Possibly he picks one up on waivers...
A lot of holes and no cap space to fill them. This could be a very good or bad year depending on injuries/suspension. A bad start could really kill the team in this division.