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2017-18 Pacific Division Goodbyes: Vancouver Canucks

Hear the sound of the fallin’ rain, comin’ down like an armageddon flame...

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 5: Daniel Sedin #22 and Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks salute the fans after playing in their final home game of their career against the Arizona Coyotes in NHL action on April, 5, 2018 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Brit Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

To the Canucks fans it may concern:

It seems as if your boys in blue and green are once again cleaning out their lockers early. That’s right, for the third straight year and for the fourth time in five years, the Canucks have been eliminated from playoff contention. And this time next season, the Sedins won’t be able to salvage your season.

Yep, that’s right — Henrik and Daniel Sedin, as of today, are officially retiring from the NHL, and ended their careers not with a bang (okay, well at least they did in the home finale), but a whimper, losing in a shootout to the Oilers. But that’s okay, because your future star, Brock Boeser, had an extraordinary first full season! He had 55 points in 62 games, surely he’s on pace for the Calder — aaaaand he fractured his lower back and ended up out for the year.

Now, let’s talk about that great veteran presence you have. Ah, yes, Loui Eriksson, your star free agency signing two years ago, how’s he been doing? You’re telling me he only had 23 points this season? Sheesh, hopefully he hasn’t been chewing up that cap space of yours — He’s being paid $6 million for four more years?? Oh, brother!

It’s unfortunate that Erik Gudbranson has been having some bad years for you guys. He’s had Corsi under 50% ever since he joined y’all. Hopefully you guys can let him walk and forget about that Jared McCann trade. Good thing Jim Benning gave him a $12 million extension for three more years.

No wonder I’ve heard so much about the Fire Benning movement on the Twitter machine. He picked Olli Juolevi with the fifth pick in 2016. I mean, he hasn’t even played an NHL game, so it’s too early to tell, but you know who was picked immediately after him? Matthew Tkachuk. A pretty darn good player, there, and a player you love to hate, especially if you’re a Canucks fan.

At least you made the right decision this year and sold. You traded Thomas Vanek to the Blue Jackets, one of your top scorers, so you have to had gotten something good in return, right? You got -squints- Tyler Motte in return. Huh. He had a good 17 games with the Cleveland Monsters, but couldn’t produce too well for the Blue Jackets, with only five points in 31 games.

And then you traded for Brendan Leipsic. Well done! It wasn’t long ago that he recorded 51 points in 49 games with the Marlies, so he still has some potential. You might have gotten rid of Philip Holm, a good offensive defenseman down in Utica with 29 points in 42 games played, but he hasn’t done much with the Wolves.

Now that we’ve covered your somewhat busy trade deadline, let’s overview how much cap space you used last summer on free agents:

  • Sam Gagner, C
  • The aforementioned Thomas Vanek
  • Michael Del Zotto, D
  • Anders Nilsson, G
  • Alex Burmistrov, C
  • Patrick Wiercioch, D

That’s about as mediocre as it gets. Signing Gagner cost you $3.5 million over three years, and for a guy that had a sub-50% Corsi this year, it doesn’t look too good.

Then there’s Del Zotto. You currently owe him $3 million over two years, and he was... not good at all. His Corsi against is well over 1000, and he isn’t too good offensively either, with a 46.2 CF%. Yikes.

I don’t have a lot to say about Nilsson other than, was it really necessary? Especially with Thatcher Demko waiting over 1,000 miles away?

Burmistrov and Wiercioch ended up leaving for Russia and getting buried in the AHL, respectively. So, yeah, this was not a strong free agency period for you guys at all.

But there is hope! Of course, there’s still Boeser! Kole Lind had a fantastic season in Kelowna, racking up 95 points! Adam Gaudette had a 60 point season at Northeastern! Jake Virtanen is still around, and he might still be good! Bo Horvat has been locked in for five more years, and it’s looking like a good move! You won the Sven Baertschi trade! Plus, Nikolay Goldobin is hoping to prove that the Canucks didn’t get fleeced in the Jannik Hansen trade (but they still got fleeced in the Hansen trade).

At least you don’t have Willie Desjardins anymore! See you next year!