With another disappointing season about to end, Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green said that the team will look a lot different in 2019-20.
For a team that is on the verge of missing the postseason for the fourth time in five years, the Vancouver Canucks really haven’t made all many drastic changes to their roster.
General manager Jim Benning has pledged plenty of loyalty to veteran players since replacing Mike Gillis five years ago. He allowed the Sedins to retire as Canucks. Veteran blueliners Chris Tanev and Alexander Edler are still on the team, even though they were among his few good trade chips over the years.
Obviously, player personnel moves aren’t up to head coach Travis Green. That said, the second-year head coach can at least provide Benning with the players he needs if this team is to turn a corner next season.
In fact, Green has already vowed that Vancouver’s roster will undergo some changes before the 2019-20 campaign. He wouldn’t fully go into details about what kind of moves the Canucks could make, but Green’s message was loud and clear, via Ed Willies of the Vancouver Province:
"“We’re not going to have the same team back.How do you get better? We’re going to try to make changes. Now, it’s easier said than done in the NHL. But teams that don’t make the playoffs make changes.”"
When the offseason begins, Benning’s first order of business will be to re-sign Edler — the team’s top blueliner. He also must decide what to do with Tanev, who is slated to enter free agency next summer. Tanev’s trade value went down this season, so perhaps Benning will look to keep him and see how things play out before the 2020 trade deadline.
The Canucks will have to fix a leaky blue line that should get a boost with Quinn Hughes and Olli Juolevi, this team’s top two prospects who will likely be on the team next season. Benning could also look to add another veteran defencemen or two in free agency.
Finding another scoring winger or two would help aplenty, to. The Canucks have relied far too much on Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat this season, and this group won’t make the playoffs unless the secondary scoring shows up.
Benning also must look at ways to move out Loui Eriksson and Brandon Sutter, two underachieving veterans who carry cap hits of $6 and $4.375 million, respectively. The latter probably has some value on the trade market, and if there’s a taker, Benning has to make the move.
The Canucks will have a firm goal of making the playoffs next season, but as Green emphasized, changes must be made to the roster for that to be a possibility. It’s going to be one very interesting offseason here in Vancouver, to say the least.