Canucks: Where does the team go from here in the offseason?

Vancouver Canucks Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 19: Nils Hoglander #36 of the Vancouver Canucks skates with the puck during NHL hockey action. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 19: Nils Hoglander #36 of the Vancouver Canucks skates with the puck during NHL hockey action. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

With the flat cap and financial ramifications of the global pandemic, this may be another summer of bargain contracts. And that is precisely the approach the Canucks must take: bargain bin hunting.

Players like Nick Bonino, John Merrill, Mike Reilly, Brandon Montour, and Nikita Gusev are potential impact players that could see their market impacted due to the flat cap and may be forced to take below-market deals. One thing in common among these possible free-agent additions is their offensive versatility. Each can provide secondary scoring, a far cry from the previous direction of free agents that this organization has targeted.

As for the infusion of young talent on entry-level contracts, you’d like to believe some of them are already on the roster. Players like Nils Höglander, Jack Rathbone, and Kole Lind played well in their first NHL seasons, and all of them, along with prized prospect Vasili Podkolzin, have an opportunity to make a big impact on this roster as soon as next season.

With that said, this organization must retain draft picks until they are ready to contend. For example, trading a second-round pick in addition to a valuable prospect for a rental, which was done during the Toffoli trade, is just not wise at this point of the Canucks timeline. Simply looking at the Canucks’ roster at face value, there isn’t enough offensive talent outside of the top six.

To win in today’s NHL, you need to have scoring threats on all four lines. The Canucks must change their team-building philosophy as they head into this crucial offseason. There is no quick fix; spending aimlessly in free agency has set this team back years. Large anchors of contracts have held them back from building around their young stars organically.

Before all that, the Canucks must decide on the direction they will head in for their front office leadership group. Rumours have begun swirling when it comes to the future of Benning. During his radio appearance on Sportsnet 650, reporter Patrick Johnston mentioned that Benning’s job could be in danger as the Canucks ownership group will evaluate their options in the coming weeks.

Johnston also went on to say that he “thinks there’s a strong chance that a change is going to happen for a whole bunch of reasons.”

A new management group could mean a new head coach. All in all, changes wouldn’t be the worst thing for this organization. The past seven years under this regime haven’t given the fanbase much to be excited about when it comes to one day raising a Stanley Cup banner in Rogers Arena.

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What do you think, Canucks fans? Do you agree with the direction this team is headed towards? Or do you encourage a change? Make sure to comment below!