Trimming the hedges in Vancouver


So I haven’t been able to post blogs for a while now but I’m coming back strong….and by strong I mean this one…which may only be viewed as average at best.  I said it on twitter as soon as the matchups were set that the Kings were a total nightmare of a matchup for the Canucks.  Great goaltending, great down the middle, great defensively, and gritty as can be.  The Kings are built for the postseason.  The Daniel Sedin “return” for game 1 sounded way too much like trying to keep the fan base calm rather than him actually being ready. 

Weather they had started the series with Daniel or not, the Kings just have an answer to everything that makes the Canucks a power.  Then add in that the Kings are a team loaded with character and the Canucks lacking it…and here we are.

For 2 years now, at least, the Canucks have been the most hated team in the NHL.  And it’s not a hate like how people hated the Philadelphia Flyers of the mid 70’s, or the Oakland Raiders of the 70’s, or the Detroit Pistons of the late 80’s.  No, this is more of a laughing at the act of some of there players, there GM, there rioting fans, and not to be left out there head cheerleader who calls the games on CBC. 

They’re to the NHL what the Mountie was to the WWE in the early 90’s.  The Mountie was a d-bag who had Jimmy Hart as his annoying manager (Jim Hughson) and would do everything as cheap as he could to win.  He once won the Intercontinental title (the President’s trophy), but his antics would never get him close to the WWE title. 

Sure he probably got a shot once, but Hulk Hogan (Boston Bruins) “ran wild” over him and that was that.  And the Mountie would never give credit to the illegal weapons like the shock stick that would help him win, the same way that you never hear Mike Gillis give Dave Nonis any credit for building this team.

Anyways, the Canucks right now are just that healthy person with the flu.  Sometimes it just feels a lot better to stick your finger down your throat and purge the system.  It might not fix EVERYTHING, but you will feel a lot better for doing it.

Let’s start with Alex Burrows.  I give him a ton of credit, this kid worked his way up from the ECHL to become a 30 goal man in the NHL.  But his act is ridiculous.  He seems to be a great kid off the ice, but on it he acts like a child.  I am very certain that if Gillis went to Joe Nieuwendyk and offered Burrows for Brendan Morrow and a little something else, Nieuwendyk would be all over it. 

Burrows has a sweet heart contract, and Morrow was rumored to be available before the trade deadline.  Morrow would have interest inVancouverobviously because he is getting older and I’m certain would love to have a shot at the Cup, something that isn’t coming anytime soon inDallas. Vancouverloses in value here, but gains HUGE in character. 

Next is very simple, dump Max Lapierre.  If Burrows act is ridiculous, Lapierre’s is a disgrace.  And I don’t want to hear Canuck fan point out how he had 7 fighting major’s this year.  7 fights can easily mean he picked a guy who had never dropped the gloves before 7 times.  The guy has some talent but he is only hurting the culture of this team, dump him.

Then there is Roberto Luongo.  I give the guy a ton of props for being a standup guy and being classy throughout the last 2 seasons with all that he has been through.  If he is asking for a trade, he should.  If he isn’t….he should.  I can’t see the Canucks getting much back for him because his contract is extremely difficult to stomach. 

And there have been a ton of miles put on this vehicle.  When looking at goaltenders I tend to not look at age as much as I do games played.  Luongo has been playing a lot of hockey since he turned 21.  Now he is 33 and his game has seemingly digressed the last 2 years.  Again, that’s a TOUGH contract to move.  But just deal the man already so the distraction is out of the room, and if the new CBA does allow an amnesty for each team then he will be that guy forVancouver.  I probably wouldn’t deal him until the new CBA is in place. 

As for what to do with the cap space they would now have, I would take a run at Shane Doan should he choose to leavePhoenix(which is getting less likely by the day).  Like Morrow, Doan will be shopping for a shot at a Cup this offseason should he not get one next month.  But even if you can’t land Doan, there are plenty of other guys with character they could land in free agency (Jordin Tootoo, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brandon Prust, Travis Moen are a few that come to mind).

Done deal.  Burrows, Lapierre and Luongo out, a lot more grit and character in.  It would be a total culture change.  They would still be close to as talented of a team, but with a lot more toughness (mental and physical) and character.  And that would rub off on guys like the Sedin’s, Kesler, and maybe just as vital moving forward is Kassian who has a chance to be a beast playing with this much offensive talent.  I believe this would be a winning formula, and I’m not talking about winning in the regular season, I’m talking winning in the playoffs.  I guess we will see if Gillis see’s it this way or not.  If he doesn’t, then I’m guessing he will be the next guy that needs to be dumped.  There are way too many up and coming teams in the West to keep waiting for these problems to work themselves out.


Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups or the site @Soups_on_Sports

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