Vancouver Canucks 2016-17 Schedule: Top 5 Notable Games

Apr 9, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; The Vancouver Canucks players celebrate after their game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; The Vancouver Canucks players celebrate after their game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jan 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Jared McCann (91) prepares to take the opening face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Jared McCann (91) prepares to take the opening face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Saturday, December 10th @ Florida Panthers

The Panthers have their new military style logo and, as a team on the rise the last few years, a whole slew of new fans. They also have a few ex-Canucks in their lineup, including the newly-acquired Jared McCann. Why watch these games? The chance to see Jaromir Jagr play possibly one last time; reunion of Roberto Luongo with his former teammates; the inevitable scrutiny by analysts and media personalities over McCann vs. Erik Gudbranson.

More from The Canuck Way

Just like with Shinkaruk, I sincerely hope McCann doesn’t develop into a 20 or 30-goal scorer for the Panthers. By that point in the season, Canucks fans will know who won that trade. I like the acquisition of Gudbranson because it gives the Canucks more size and shut-down ability on their blue line, especially for penalty kill purposes. But, as a general rule, I lament the departure of any prospect or established player who has the potential to produce offensively.

That being said, McCann’s small frame might hamper his production. Again, as with Shinkaruk, Benning obiously saw something he thought would inhibit McCann’s game in its transition to the NHL level.

Maybe an in-depth comparison would prove differently but the Panthers are similar to the Canucks: very solid goaltending, youth-infused lineup, an excellent mix of veterans (especially once Keith Yandle arrives). Florida is what the Canucks should strive to be in the coming years and could potentially be if they surround their youth with the right veteran group — that’s what makes the Panthers an exciting team to watch. Throw in some more offensive producers to compliment the Sedins and you essentially have a Panthers-esque team on your hands.

Last Season’s Record vs. Panthers: 1-0-1, 7 GF, 7 GA

Next: December 20th/22nd