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(Discussion) Let's build our team

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The players on the team that are signed through next year includes (with their AAV):


Centers (total AAV = 23.25M):

JT Miller (8M)

Elias Petterson (11.6M)

Pius Suter (1.6M)

Nils Aman (.825M)


Wingers (total AAV = 19.325M):

Brock Boeser (6.65M)

Conor Garland (4.95M)

Ilya Miheyev (4.75M)

Nils Höglander (1.1M)

Vasily Podkolzin (1.1M)

Phillip Di Giuseppe (.775M)


Defense (total AAV = 11.875M):

Quinn Hughes (7.85M)

Carson Soucy (3.25M)

Noah Juulsen (.775M)


Goaltender (total AAV = 5.95M):

Thatcher Demko (5M)

Nikita Tolopilo (.950M)


LTIR (total AAV = 2.5M):

Tucker Poolman (2.5M)


Dead cap (total AAV = 2.346667M):

Oliver Ekman-Larsson (2.346667M)


That makes a total of 15 players (4 centers, 6 wingers, 3 defensemen, 2 goalkeepers) that are signed with a cap hit of 60.4M + dead cap and LTIR of 4.846667 for a total of 65.246667 cap hit for next year.


Let's remove the LTIR cause we can maneuver around that by the start of the season. Let's also remove Tolopilo since we know he won't be the back-up goalie.


That leaves 61.79667M already spent. The estimated cap for 2024-2025 is 88M. That leaves 26.2033M to spend on 9 more players. Now, to determine the players we need to spend this on, we need to figure out our holes in the team.





Di Giuseppe-Aman-Mikheyev









Hold your horses guys before you flame me. This is just based on the positions and people signed to contracts for next year. This is a work in progress.


Looking at that roster, we know we need to sign at least 10 more players (4-5 forwards, 4-5 defensemen, 1 goalie) all for 26.2M.


Looking at our UFAs: Let's start with the easy one. Back-up goalkeeper. We know that Arturs Silovs will probably be our back-up keeper. We know he will be getting to see more action after the need to decrease the workload of Thatcher Demko. So, it'll be a pairing of Silovs and Demko. Silovs just concluded a 3-year $2.555M contract with an AAV of .786111M. He is due for a raise. He is a RFA and would probably sign a short-term (2years?) one way contract of $.9-1M. For arguements sake, I will use 1M


Goaltender (total AAV = 6M):

Thatcher Demko (5M)

Arturs Silovs (1M)


That is a great duo at a great price.


Next is defensemen. If you can find me 2 right hand defensemen that will come cheaper than resigning (2 of the 3) Hronek, Zadorov or Myers, then I'm willing to listen. But in my opinion, these three guys really played well under Rick Tocchet's system, and from what I'm reading, would love to stay in VanCity.


Hronek is a RFA. He had a great 1st half of the season but tailed off probably due to injury. The big picture here is that he allowed Quinn to do what Quinn did this year. We know about tandems and he does fit with Quinn. He is making $6.318M annually now. He needs a raise based on the whole year's body of work. For those quibbling about 7.5M vs 8M. Are we seriously haggling $500k AAV? If Hronek signs for 8M for 4years, wouldn't that make sense?


How about Nikita Zadorov? If he signs a 6-year $5M deal? Would this be acceptable? We need the longer term for him to sign for $5M as he will command >5M in free agency.


Tyler Myers might give a discount as he is calling BC home. How about $3.5M for 2 years. He was not playing to the amount of his contract but if he takes a discount, he would be worth it.


I'll leave the choice for the other defensman for later.


So if we get this done, then we have 6 defensemen at $28.375M.



Hughes (7.85M)-Hronek (8M)

Soucy (3.25)-Zadorov (5M)

_______-Juulsen (.775M)/Myers (3.5M)


The forwards are the difficult ones to fit.


As you can see, we have Suter as the thurd line center. We know that Rutheford wants to be strong up the middle. We know they want Lindholm.


What would Lindholm command in the open market? It was a down season. He was making $7.841M last season. I think he would want to cash in a long contract due to his age. Because it was a down year, he would probably go for a 7-year $8M AAV contract. That would take him to 36y/o for a defensively sound center that wins draws. Personally, I think that he will play to this contract based on his play. If the offense dries up, he still has his defense to rely on. If we can sign him to a 7-7.5M 8-year deal then I would be over the moon, but I know that won't happen.


Do we sign Dakota Joshua? Hell yeah! For what he brings, I think a 2-year 3M deal would get it done.


Teddy Blueger is a player I hope they re-sign. He was effective and brought the hardhat work ethic every night. Would 1 to 2-years at 1.75M work?


So, if they sign those 3, we will have:






Di Giuseppe-Aman


That is a cap hit of $55.325


Forwards = $55.325

Defense = $28.375

Goaltending = $6.0


That is $89.7M for 13 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goalies. Clearly that is above the cap.


A buyout or trade of Mikheyev and Poolman will bring down our cap to $84.95 + dead cap of $2.346.667 = 87.296667 for 20 players. 


If we do not sign Myers, then we stick with Juulsen. That removes $3.5 to the equation.


$83.79667M for 19 players. Leaving a glaring hole of 1-2 wingers, 1-2 NHL defensemen. The strong side of the arguement above is that we are strong in the middle, great top pairing defensemen and a great goalie tandem.


What are your thoughts?

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It is not lost on me that I did not improve the team from this year's team.


I just think that our defense was awesome this year and will only get better. Goaltending is just as good if not better. Down the middle we have Lindholm for the whole year.


We just have holes at the wing. Wouldn't it be great if Lekkeremaki and Podkolzin step up their play? That would be perfect.



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Posted (edited)

Oh, I counted OEL's dead cap twice. That means having our centers, top pair defensemen, 3RHDs and goalies (20 players) for a total of $84.95 (that's with Myers signed and Mikheyev & Poolman traded).


Everyone will be one year older (bad for some but good for most on the team). A full year of playing together.


That leaves us with 3.05M to sign 3 forwards.

Edited by Kevlar
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Good OP @Kevlar. It reflects a lot of thought and a lot of work. I have a few reservations.


1. Zadorov is not a RD. He shoots left, plays LD, and has said he is not comfortable on the right side.  I don't think you should count him as a RD. (Tocchet won't.) Also, putting him in the top 4 is a stretch. Yes, he had a great playoff series against Nashville, but his play in the regular season was suitable for a good 3rd pairing guy.  I like Z, and his size, toughness, and skating are very valuable. But it would be mistake to overestimate what he can do. You could move him to 3LD with Juulsen as 3RD and Myers as 2RD. 


2. But relying Juulsen to be an everyday 3RD is a stretch. I like Juulsen, he improved over the year, and the Canucks did not lose a lot when he played. And he was good on the PK. He is a great guy as 7th man. But when he played, Tocchet usually limited him to about 14 or 15 minutes, which puts a lot of pressure on the other guys.  In the playoffs, Tocc consistently went with Cole in preference to Juulsen. 


3. I wouldn't pay Hronek 8M. I wouldn't pay him 7.5. In the data, he did well with Hughes but poorly with everyone else. And, for what it's worth, Hughes and Myers were just as good by most metrics as Hughes and Hronek (although Hughes and Myers did not play together much). The point is that Hughes makes anyone he plays with look good. I admit that Hronek was their best RD this season, but he was not good enough for a cap hit of 8M.


4. If the Canucks do not re-sign Cole (and they probably won't) but otherwise stand pat, their D will be worse than last year. They will be looking to upgrade by signing a good RD free agent. But that will be costly and probably rules out re-signing Lindy. I think that Hronek probably will be on the team, but they might go to arbitration with him. And a trade is a possibility.


4. I think that Lindy will sign somewhere for about 8M, but not in Vancouver.


5. I think 3M is optimistic for Joshua.  At least I doubt if he signs with the Canucks for that.


6. Mik is probably not going anywhere. He would be hard to trade without significant retention and the Canucks won't want to add to their buyout bill. I think the Canucks are stuck with his cap hit.


7. The Canucks went with a 22-man roster most of last year, but they did not like it. They certainly won't go to 21.


I think the Canucks will be good again next year but, to improve, they will need one or more of their young guys (PodZ? Bains?) to take a big step and they will need one or two bargains in free agency (like Suter and Blueger were last summer).





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Great assessment @JamesB . I did think quite a bit about it because of the numerous clamor and rumors of big splashes and big game fishing.


I just felt we were really close last year and that having too many changes might upset the apple cart.


1. You are correct. I initally was going to say "find 2 RHDs that bring the same things as these two (Hronek and Myers) without having to lose assets or overspending (more than what you will pay them). Then I thought od Zadorov and what he brings to the table and how we could find someone like him (without spending as much). 


My conclusion was that we would not find any three defensemen that would bring what they bring without spending more than giving them what they want.


I do appreciate your insight on the comparables. The fact of the matter is that we need 3 NHL defensemen and probably do not have the assets to upgrade our current UFAs.


2. That is definitely correct. Cole is needed but I don't think we can afford him without losing one of the other dmen. So maybe we go for 3 of the 4 UFA dmen we have? Even though we need all 4.


3. He may eventually be traded but he is young and our #1 RHD. A difference of 500k will not break the bank.


4. You may be right but I think management will push to get him. We lost a lot of assets to acquire him...


5. You think so? Maybe 3.5M then? I don't think he can be expecting more no?


6. It would free up the cap though... wishful thinking I know but maybe if we attach a pick?


7. Yeah. We really need the young guns to step up.


Thanks for your well thought out response.


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The sins of the past of being a capped out bottom feeding team and not retaining and acquiring assets is hurting us to this day


Management surprised me by what  changes they were able to do with their hands tied this year and I thought that going into next year that it wouldn't be possible to be as strong next year as we were this year, because of the cap, but I hope management pleasantly surprises me again

As I started to type this the Stones "Can't Always Get What You Want" was playing, there will be huge choices to be made with cap restrictions shown above, and hopefully the players they can sign, can provide what they are expected too and our team grows

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I think Lindholm is a nice to have but not necessary, not because he is a not a great player but because he does not gel with Pettersson and the Bluegar, Joshua and Garland line was great. 

We really need to have the proper support for Pettersson as it is imperative he is effective in the playoffs. We did not find the right line mates for him last year.

Joshua and Zadorov are no brainers. They need to be priced accordingly but have that much needed size and physicality we have so badly needed for years.

Signing big Z, Bluegar, Silovs ,Joshua and finding a good winger for Petey should be the priorities.

Also, if Hronek asks for too much,  I think he could be traded for a better fit for Hughes too. Less offense but more defense and physicality, to compliment him more. Like a Tanev? :classic_biggrin:

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I like the idea of trying to keep everyone together. Too much turn-over every 6 months and we'll never generate chemistry. We've got to keep guys together, especially the younger guys like Zadorov and Hronek, and I really like the idea of Myers coming back on a short-term, low-cost deal. Up front is where things get tricky but we've got to stick to our laurels and remember what made this team great - big, physical, strong defence.


I think in terms of priority:


1) Zadorov - 5.5M deal (he'll get offers of 6M out there, 5M seems a bit too low)

2) Hronek - 7.5-8M deal (he'll use the argument of cap % in which case 8M isn't as bad as it seems - give him term, lock him down and forget about him he's a top-4 RD for maybe the next 10 years on this team).

3) Myers - 3M x 2 years (he'll get offers of 4M elsewhere but I think he wants to stay)


Ideally we'd have another defenceman because this is essentially the same squad as we had last year minus Cole who did play 19 minutes a night of hard hockey. Is Juulsen good enough to cover that? Absolutely not, but I think Hronek and Zadorov and Soucy will all be a lot better than last year. A veteran guy would be nice, someone really cheap, Hakanpaa would be ideal but anyone for around 1-2M would be perfect to round us out. This is mainly for injuries down the line.


Finally up-front, I don't think we're going to have cap to fit everyone in. I can't imagine us having a spare 7M for Lindholm, so think it'll be one or the other - Lindholm and let Blueger/Lafferty/Joshua walk, or we sign all the depth guys. This is interesting and depends on how we want our team made up. We could let them all go and try to find a decent 3C and keep Joshua. Roslovic is another young right handed center we could target, wonder if we could get him for 5M or if he's playing up closer to 5.5-6M right now?


I'd rather we try and keep Lindholm and let the depth guys walk because having that 3rd top tier center puts us above. I know our wingers struggled in the playoffs but center depth is far more important and we can try and find a way to replace Joshua internally. Podkolzin and Lekker could come up sooner than we think. 


I think surely we look at flipping Mikheyev at the cost of whatever late picks it takes or honestly I wouldn't be against a buyout. Freeing up that 5M means we could try and keep Joshua.


Suter - Miller - Boeser

Hoglander - Pettersson - Podkolzin

Joshua - Lindholm - Garland

PDG - Aman - Karlsson


Hughes - Hronek

Zadorov - Myers

Soucy - Hakanpaa


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You are correct. The defense we had was a big factor why we got to where we got. 


I like the roster you have above. People will question Suter, Podkolzin and even Höglander in the top 6 but we need to cut cost somewhere. Your line up consists of a strong goaltender tandem, big defense (7 deep) and strong up the middle. Having that (1 more year of growth too)... with hard-working wingers might surprise a lot of people.


The key to making it work is getting to trade Mikheyev. Unfortunately his contract is too much for what he brings to the table.



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