Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
Things have not worked out for Vancouver
  1. NHL

Vancouver Canucks offseason: Five biggest questions

Following a disappointing 2022-23 campaign, the Vancouver Canucks turned things around in a big way this past season, winning the Pacific Division.

However, after losing in the second round in seven games to the Edmonton Oilers, it’s time to address their offseason questions.

Address salary cap concerns

As mentioned, the Canucks were able to win the Pacific ahead of the likes of the Edmonton Oilers and last year’s Cup winners, the Vegas Golden Knights. That was thanks to a deep roster that saw them with the most All-Star selections with six in total.

However, with that comes salary cap issues. They were able to make one of the biggest acquisitions at the trade deadline, snagging Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames.

Along with JT Miller having over 100 points, Quinn Hughes having the fourth-most assists in the NHL and Brock Boeser having a 40-goal season, it should come as no surprise that Vancouver will need to open their wallet in a big way.

Frankly, their entire offseason could be summarized with salary cap gymnastics, but specifically Filip Hronek has been a skater of emphasis as of late.

It’s also worth noting that captain Hughes, Miller and Elias Pettersson are signed for the next few years.

So, it’s Hronek, Boeser and secondary skaters that need to be taken care of before taking a cap hit from those other significant contracts.

Analyze draft capital

While acquiring Lindholm was huge for the Canucks, giving them a second elite center alongside Miller, it also took their first-round pick for the upcoming 2024 NHL Draft.

The Canucks also lack a second-round pick thanks to grabbing Riley Stillman from the Chicago Blackhawks.

That leaves them with just five picks in total, three of which are in rounds six and seven.

It’s going to be difficult to acquire more top-end picks while dealing with their in-house salary cap issues, but they could also use that to leverage picks for skaters they may feel are expendable.

In other words, there is quite a bit riding on the front office decisions in Vancouver over the next few months.

Find value in a winger

Speaking of those front office decisions, whether in the draft or through free agency, the Canucks need to find value in the forward market.

As stated, Lindholm and Miller are one of the best duos in the NHL in terms of centers, but they need more help around them.

Of course, Elias Pettersson was nothing short of remarkable this past season, scoring 34 goals and recording 89 points in total.

However, having Ilya Mikheyev as the third piece of the top line is less than ideal, especially given his current buyout situation.

Acquire goaltending depth

Along with having a stronger piece alongside some great centers, the Canucks could use some goaltending depth.

Two seasons ago Thatcher Demko looked like a Vezina Trophy candidate and, after his down season, was strong once again in 2023-24.

So, with him signed through the 2025-26 season, that provides Vancouver with their starting netminder.

As for depth, that is where they are severely lacking. Despite a strong season overall, the Canucks began to dwindle down the stretch and that is where that second goalie is going to come into play.

There are quite a few options in the market, including Cam Talbot, Ilya Samsonov and Antti Raanta if their respective teams don’t take care of them.

Prioritize consistency

We just alluded to it, but sustaining the success that the Canucks had this season throughout the entire year is a must.

For example, they were the highest-scoring team through the All-Star break and the month and half that followed.

However, through the remainder of the season they fell to sixth in that regard.

While that is certainly still very strong, the significant drop-off came at the worst time and would have been even more dramatic if we could extrapolate the numbers.

That extends to their penalty kill as well, which dropped into the bottom half of the league.

It was certainly a great season overall in Vancouver, but until the Stanley Cup is hoisted improvements can always be made.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

in Bonus Bets
BET $10
in Bonus Bets
Join Now
Deposit required (min $10). Paid in Bonus Bets. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. New customers only. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. View Full Terms and Conditions.