Vancouver Canucks Tanking 101: The Right Model of Tanking

Feb 10, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins looks on during the first period against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 10, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins looks on during the first period against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 29, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr (68) is congratulated after his goal against the Montreal Canadiens with defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) center Aleksander Barkov (16) and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (left) in the second period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports /

Model No. 3: Tanking in Florida (2010 ~ 2014)

You know that years of missing the playoffs pays off when everything is smiles in the locker room. Thanks to the return of Bobby Luo to Sunrise, Florida, the Panthers are looking like a contender, especially having had a historic winning streak this season. They are a sure shot to make the playoffs, perhaps one of the best lineups in Panthers history.

Top-Five Picks of Significance

  • Aaron Ekblad, First Overall (2014)
  • Aleksander Barkov, Second Overall (2013)
  • Jonathan Huberdeau, Third Overall (2011)
  • Erik Gudbranson, Third Overall (2010)

Other notes of significance

  • The Panthers have won just three playoff games in the 21st century, just one playoff appearance in the last 15 seasons.
  • Of the players Florida has drafted in the past four years, only two have played in the NHL to date (Ekblad and Barkov).

Tanking in Florida: Fixing Struggles with Experience

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Veteran presence is so obvious is Florida. The Panthers are showing that to lead a team from the tanking years to its winning years, you need veterans around. Jaromir Jagr (RW, 44), Roberto Luongo (G, 36), Brian Campbell (D, 36), Willie Mitchell (D, 38), Marc Savard (C, 38) and Shawn Thornton (LW, 38) will testify.

Again, the balance of veteran defencemen is key. Mitchell, Campbell, and netminder Luongo hold strong the blueline now led by Aaron Ekblad (hello, Edmonton Oilers, again) and also with Erik Gudbranson in the mix.

That is the reason the Panthers can draft and develop Huberdeau and Barkov. The Panthers look like a healthy organization who followed a healthy model of tanking.

Next: Day Two Bottomline: The Vancouver Model is?