The Vancouver Canucks are heading into their first offseason with President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Patrik Allvin at the helm.
The former Pittsburgh Penguins executives are looking to be busy in the summer. They want to fill up the prospect cupboards, create cap space and of course, get the team closer to contention.
“We’d like to see our team play a more structured game, and not depend on our goalie as much,” said Rutherford to the media on Tuesday.
Thatcher Demko was a massive reason the Canucks managed to play meaningful games in April and covered up a lot of their mistakes. Rutherford was brutally honest about the Canucks defence which is something they really need to fix.
“I think it’s the structure of the team of how we’re going to play to give players a chance when they get in trouble, like, our exits from our defensive zone are not good, probably one of the worst in the league,” said Rutherford.
He’s right. The Canucks defence needs to be worked on. The right side in particular needs fixing.
Quinn Hughes needs a reliable partner. This is no disrespect towards Luke Schenn because he has done great as Hughes’ partner especially considering he was expected to be the seventh defenceman at the beginning of the season. But is he a long-term partner for Hughes? No.
With Allvin and Rutherford mentioning that they want to create cap space and also get better, changes to the roster are coming and the right side of the blue line should be included.
Let’s take a look at some right-handed defencemen under the age of 25 that the Canucks could acquire. With players like J.T. Miller, Conor Garland and Brock Boeser’s names being on the trade rumour department for the last few months at least one of them could possibly fetch one of these five young defencemen under 25 who have potential.