I frequent the Canucks' forums and I also frequent this site as I wait impatiently for the start of another season.
Despite rumors of Yashin or Lindros or Elias coming here via free agency or trade, I am not convinced this is the time to make a big move. I don't know that Nonis is convinced either.
The Stanley Cup takes practice to win for most teams. Tampa didn't win it their first strong season. Anaheim won it this year, but they had their falls along the way and they didn't sacrifice major parts of their team nucleus to get Pronger while developing some prospects who played a major role in their victory.
I'm an old guy by internet hockey fan standards. At least it appears that way. I can recall a time when the Oilers had failed to win a Cup and everyone said the run and gun style could never win the big game like the tough game of the Flyers or the dominant defence of the Islanders. In the end, the run and gun won a few championships. I also remember when the Wings were labelled as choke artists and failed to win anything of note until the mid-90s. People at one point questioned whether Yzerman would ever win a championship. The Nordques were also in this category until they got Patrick Roy as a steal from Montreal and off to the Cup they went.
As a Canucks fan, I am just hoping a strong team is allowed to grow since most strong champions actually grow together. People who scream, "I want the Cup. Nazzy sux. Marleau will get us the Cup! Get Elias! yadda yadda yadda," they're insane. Marleau was invisible against Detroit in the playoffs this year. He has never been to the Final in his career. Elias? So, Canucks fans bash Naslund for his point totals dropping and want a guy who makes more money and scores at roughly the same clip? Of course, people point out the Devils play the trap, so that hurts Elias' goal totals. I'm not sure which team these "fans" were watching last year because the Canucks are playing the trap and winning games 2-1 and in shootouts with regularity. This didn't hurt goal production in Vancouver? Of course it did and it will do so again next year.
The "we suck, need forward" brigade gives me a headache. Yashin is a tool. Anson Carter would be a one year deal at best and might not have the magic with the Sedins this time around if he signs here. Lindros? Dear God, ask Dallas how great he is or Toronto! Elias helps, but giving up Ohlund would be foolish. Mitchell and Salo get hurt at least once a year and if they were hurt at the same time, we currently have them covered. Give up reliable and almost always ready to go Ohlund and suddenly we're in trouble. If Aaron Miller's back goes out, too, we're in deep.
Nonis himself has said he is waiting for arbitration because certain teams will be over the cap once awards are handed out. This is brilliant. He can then drop the offers down and have the advantage. Right now, any team he calls knows he NEEDS scoring, so they will ask for more.
Look at the Canucks current line up and it doesn't look too different from the mid-90s Devils team who lacked scoring but usually got one hero a spring to propel them in the playoffs like Claude Lemieux.
Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Taylor Pyatt
Markus Naslund Brendan Morrison Matt Cooke
Jeff Cowan Ryan Kesler Brad Isbister
Alex Burrows Byron Ritchie Rick Rypien
Mattias Ohlund Sami Salo
Willie Mitchell Kevin Bieksa
Lukas Krajicek Aaron Miller
I am not penciling in Linden as he has yet to sign and I am not sure the Canucks will sign him. I have Rypien in the line up since Vigneault likes him and he's an agitator who would play well with Burrows and Ritchie. Cooke drops if we do trade for a second line winger. Mayson Raymond will get his shot to make the team in training camp, but he probably needs a year in the AHL first. I would say the same for Bourdon on the point and the surprisingly solid Jannik Hansen from this year's playoffs. Edler will be a solid defenceman, but another year with the Moose would be best.
I think there is something to be said for stability in the NHL and players not having to spend the season getting to know their teammates. The Canucks have a few decent prospects for a change. They have improved their back up position so Luongo can play a few less games and conserve his energy.
I also realize that only one team out of 30 wins the Cup, so every team has a 3% chance of winning it. If this is the only measure you have for success, you'll be a bitter fan for many years of your life. I remember the mid-80s with the Halloween jerseys, Petri Skriko as our leading scorer and the team allowing almost 6 goals a game. No matter what happens this year, we're not going back to the mid-80s.