Monday, 27 May 2013

History Repeating Itself once again with another Canadian team

    Let's go back to the early part of the 2000's. The Ottawa Senators were a dominating force in the NHL and were always considered to be Stanley Cup contenders. The only problem was that they could not translate their regular season success into the playoffs as they were often eliminated in the first or second round of the playoffs. The only times they got past the second round was in 2003 (losing Eastern Conference Finals to New Jersey) and in 2007 (losing Stanley Cup Finals to Anaheim). After that, things started to slowly fall apart in the Nation's Capital due to salary cap constraints that would see Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden and Anton Volchenkov leave along with multiple coaching changes. Although they are slowly rebuilding, they are no where near the dominating force they were a decade ago.
   The same thing is slowly happening again, but with the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks always had a good team however the only problem they had was acquiring a goaltender. That problem was resolved during the 2006 draft when they acquired Roberto Luongo from the Florida Panthers. Since then, the Canucks have been a force in the Western Conference by winning the Northwest division in six of the past seven seasons and two President Trophies. Although they lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to Boston in 2011, the Canucks like the Sens have not had great success in the playoffs as they have been eliminated in the first or second round during this period. If the Canucks hope to avoid a downfall like Ottawa, there are going to simply have to rebuild their core. GM Mike Gillis somehow has to find a way to trade Luongo but most GM's would hesitate to acquire him due to his large contract (12 years). If Gillis cannot trade him, he will probably have to buy him out but it is rumored that Gillis will use the amnesty buyouts on Center David Booth and Defensemen Keith Ballard. The Sedin's and Ryan Kesler still have something to give, but the Nucks simply need players who can play under a more physical style rather than playing under a finesse style. That challenge is left for whoever replaces Alain Vigneault as Head Coach of the Vancouver Canucks.

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