7 reasons why the Vancouver Canucks were so successful this season

The Vancouver Canucks surprised many during the 2023-24 campaign. We look at the reasons why and if they can do it again next season.
The Vancouver Canucks surprised many this year.
The Vancouver Canucks surprised many this year. / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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5) Trades, Contracts, etc.

Regardless of whether or not Patrik Allvin wins the Jim Gregory Award for general manager of the year, he and Jim Rutherford, along with the rest of the front office, made some exceptional moves. First, they bought out Oliver Ekman-Larsson, freeing up almost $6 million with which they signed Cole and Soucy. Getting two players for the price of one is a tantalizing concept, especially when both of those guys play better than the first guy did.

Next, they added several depth forwards on excellent contracts. The only unfortunate thing is that they didn’t secure them at those prices for longer term. Blueger and Suter will get both get raises this year, whether from the Canucks or other teams.

Just before the start of the season, the Canucks managed to turn a negatively valued player — Tanner Pearson — and a mid-round pick into a reliable backup goalie. That trade was the icing on the most beautiful cake Vancouver has seen in more than a decade. The Lafferty trade was a fleecing, too.

Management wasn’t shy during the season, either, making more trades than any other team during the season. GMs around the league are still scratching their heads, wondering how the Canucks turned Anthony Beauvillier and a third into Nikita Zadorov.

They also swapped out some spare parts for Elias Lindholm, who really became useful in the playoffs. If they can find a way to keep him this summer, that trade could really pay off. And, although it happened last year, the acquisition of Hronek paid massive dividends this year.

Management has plenty of decisions to make this summer, but it’s a lot easier to trust them now that they’ve proven what they’re capable of.

6) No Doctors? No Problem.

The Canucks did the rest of British Columbia a favour by staying out of the hospital during a time where healthcare professionals are in short supply. Injuries just couldn’t seem to touch them for the most part.

There were exceptions to this, unfortunately, in the playoffs. Had a few guys been a little healthier, we could be analyzing how the Canucks pulled off a surprise Stanley Cup victory, rather than a surprise second-round exit.

7) What’s Next?

Now, the question revolves around the replicability of this season. The Canucks can’t afford to keep everyone.

Can they fill out their depth roles with bargain contracts again? Is there any guarantee that things will mesh with the new group the way they did this year? Will Pettersson and Hronek find their game again? Will Silovs continue to trend in the right direction? Will Jonathan Lekkerimäki or any other prospect be able to step into the lineup and make an impact?

There’s certainly no guarantees, but Canucks fans are much more optimistic now than they were at this time last year.

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