Where do the perpetually mediocre Canucks go from here?

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The Vancouver Canucks have not been doing well this season, sitting 11-12-3 with 25 points in 26 games. And with little hope of a mid-season reversal, the team should be pretty active ahead of the March 3 trade deadline.

Entering the list on Wednesday, the team is only two points away from the final spot in the Western Conference, but is also ranked 11th out of 16 in points percentage (.481) – so they are nowhere close to the playoff picture. as their current score suggests.

The odds also agree with this sentiment, as Vancouver has a better chance of winning the draft lottery next summer (6.9%) than making the playoffs (6.7%). MoneyPack. And those percentages will likely continue to move in opposite directions for the rest of the season.

It is becoming clear that this current group of Canucks will not be the ones to bring the organization out of its constant mediocre phase. This means that most of the list, with the exception of a few major parts, is probably in need of a major overhaul.

Keystones like Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes are likely at the top of the Canucks’ list of untouchables. The same goes for Thatcher Demko, who is currently on the team’s injured list, given how few elite goaltenders there are in the NHL.

Where are the Vancouver Canucks going next?  (Getty)
Where are the Vancouver Canucks going next? (Getty)

But aside from this talented trio, everyone else is likely to be up for grabs, including Captain Bo Horvath, who will soon become an unrestricted free agent. Several other notable names may also be on the move.

With just six picks in the 2023 draft and a lead system that most pundits consider mediocre, it will be vital for general manager Patrick Allvin to acquire as many future assets and draft picks as possible, as well as clear enough ceiling space and create plenty of flexibility can very help in this venture.

The Canucks’ salary this season is approximately $87.34 million. eighth largest cap among all 32 NHL franchises. It’s not ideal for a team that’s outside the playoffs, and it doesn’t help that there won’t be a lot of financial relief along the way.

Even taking into account the fact that after the 2022-2023 season. Horvath won’t have $5.5 million, the club still has roughly $80.65 million guaranteed to 18 skaters for next season. The salary cap is expected to rise to $83.5M in 2023-24, but they will still only have $2.85M of headroom.

Building a roster will remain a challenge next season as Vancouver has already committed approximately $55.46 million to nine players for the 2024-25 season. So for the sake of their future, the leadership must give up several expensive contracts as early as possible.

The cleanup in the front office will no doubt begin with Croatia, who will be one of the league’s most attractive trading targets in the coming weeks. Although he is likely to be loaned, the 27-year-old will be of great value to any playoff contender.

Horvath, a 2017 All-Star, is one of the few Canucks to score this season. In 26 games, the left-handed center scored 20 goals and 27 points and averaged 21:00 minutes on the ice per night, the best of his career.

The London, Ontario native currently ranks third in the league in goals and is tied with New York’s Mika Zibanejad for third in goals (8). He is also close to a career high in both goals and points.

On top of his value, Horvath also wins faceoffs at a higher percentage (58.6%) than at any time in his career.

For any club looking to shore up their depth in the center — Washington or Colorado, for example — Horvath will be the perfect addition as he aims for his first Stanley Cup.

Of course, a Horvath trade won’t affect the club’s payroll next season, but parting ways with striker Brock Bozer will definitely. And the 25-year-old’s departure isn’t surprising either, as he has apparently already been cleared for a trade as the Canucks are reportedly looking to move on from Bozer less than six months after renewing his three-year contract. , a $20 million contract in July.

The team just handled this situation badly from the start. From Agent Bozer he was told to look for a deal for his client (this is not the agent’s job), command almost scratched Boser on the night of the cancer hockey fights Last weekend – which would have prevented him from honoring his late father, Duke – it was odd to see a professional organization handle a once-valuable asset like this.

Despite these setbacks, the 6-foot-1 forward still holds tremendous value in the trading market as a top-six winger. So far, he has struggled in attack, scoring four goals and 16 points in 20 games, but has scored at least 20 goals in four of his previous six campaigns.

Most playoff contenders will have a hard time swallowing Bowser’s $6.7 million annual cap until 2024-25. But if the Canucks are willing to hold on to about $2 million each season, his market could expand significantly and the team could make a significant profit.

Tyler Myers, signed until 2023-24 for $6 million a season, is another candidate for a trade to the Canucks as they look to cut back-end costs. The 32-year-old’s contract includes a 10-team no-transfer clause, but for now, he’s likely to accept any trade to a play-off club. However, Vancouver is likely to have to eat the bulk of the paycheck in any deal with Myers, so whether that juice is worth the money squeeze remains to be seen.

Vancouver president Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin made all the right noises when they were hired at the beginning of 2022 but after an offseason where very little happened beyond a $56M extension for J.T. Miller, the team's flaws have been laid bare in a disastrous start to the new season.","thumbnailUrl":"https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/Z_i4WPRsfujjdaQEElszNw--~B/dz0xOTIwO2g9MTA4MDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg--/https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2022-10/68e5c310-546d-11ed-bfbb-e3b6a2a2e430","uploadDate":"2022-10-25T14:00:56Z","duration":"PT1M57S","contentUrl":"https://video.media.yql.yahoo.com/v1/video/sapi/hlsstreams/f9fc60d9-b8a1-3acd-a53e-930325d72065.m3u8?site=sports&region=US&lang=en-US&devtype=desktop&src=sapi","embedUrl":"https://sports.yahoo.com/video/canucks-rebuilt-front-office-then-140056804.html?format=embed","identifier":"f9fc60d9-b8a1-3acd-a53e-930325d72065"}

The 6-foot-8 defenseman’s best years are behind him, but he’s still able to use his tall frame with 145 hits and 148 blocks in 82 games last season. For the first time in his career, he scored 100 points in both categories in a single campaign.

Myers is showing the same pace this season, with 30 hits and 33 blocks in 23 games. However, at this point in his career, he doesn’t attack much as he only has four assists in a year.

Closer to the trade deadline, defenders are usually in high demand, especially those who can add physical strength, which bodes well for Myers and the Canucks front office. But given this big success, the Canucks may have to look into a three-team deal to profit from the blueliner’s move.

Trades of forwards JT Miller (signed through 2029-30 for $5.25m this season, $8m after), Conor Garland (signed through 2025-26 for $4.95m this season) should also be explored. season) and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (signed until 2026–27 for $7.26 million per season).

However, the length of their contracts could prevent negotiations from taking place, forcing Vancouver to delay trade talks until the summer, when more teams should have additional financial flexibility.

Taking this route will send a clear signal to the fans that the recovery is on track as it should be. The Canucks have only made the playoffs once since 2016 (2020), and it doesn’t look like there’s a better day for the franchise. It’s time to tear it down.

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Source: sports.yahoo.com