The best in the west: The Vancouver Canucks' 10 best additions to the Canucks for the 1014-15 season
This list is about one of the top ten teams competing in the western conference of the National Hockey League. The season may have just started but there are a lot of new changes that have shaken up the Vancouver Canucks and they promise to provide tons of entertainment for the rest of the season. This list will be judged not only by points scored, but improvement of the team, positive trades, and scoring trends that have made an impact so far this year.
Many of you many remember the last season for the Canucks. Under the misguided leadership of Nhl bad boy John Tortarella. The Canucks went from top five to bottom in the first half of the season. This year they are under the leadership of last year’s Dunc McCallum trophy winning Willie Desjardins. The team has been turned around for the better and with Desjardins’ world class attitude, stern leadership, and no nonsense attitude toward untimely penalties and useless fights; the Canucks are going to spend less time in the penalty box and more time in the playoffs!
Straight from the Arizona Coyotes locker room to the back of the Canucks' rival's nets, It's Radim Vrbata! A perfect new addition to Vancouver’s line up, Vrbata has replace Alex Burrows (And rightfully so in my opinion) as the butter to the Sedin brothers' bread. This season he has made a great addition to the first line, attributing a total of seven assists and six goals. Vrbata has attributed fourteen points in ten games, making him the perfect fit for the Sedins and this list.
If there was ever a trade in recent Canucks history that put the fans up in arms, it was the trade of Ryan Kessler to the Anaheim Ducks. Kessler was a huge point scorer for the Canucks and as a National level player he was quite coveted. In the last season it seems as if Kessler and Torts had a falling out and a trade was requested. Well, out with the old and in with the new! Nick Bonino or "Bones" as he's come to be called is now the Canucks’ top goal scorer. With seven goals and five assists, Bones has really broken out of his shell and found his stride with the team.
He's Back! If you're a real fan (Not one of those band Wagoner’s) you'll remember Trevor Linden as a star player from the glory days. He's retired now and he has traded in his mouth guard for a tie. As the new President of hockey operations, he's calling the shots now and so far he has proven to be just as important in the front office as on the first line.
It's Miller time! In a shocking turn of events, at the end of the trade deadline last season, long time crowd pleaser Roberto Luongo was traded off, leaving rookie goal tender Eddie Lack to suffer a trial by fire. It wasn't an easy ride out to the end of the season but the fan’s patients have paid off big time with the acquisition of Ryan Miller. Miller was purchased from the Buffalo Sabers and as a two time Olympic goal tender and a three time Men's U.S. hockey team goalie he has the experience needed to fill the Canucks' net. So far this season, Miller has made a great many saves and is set to make many more.
It's another blast from the past! Jim Benning was a Canuck back in the days of yore. Now he has been brought in as the boss man. Benning is serving as he general manager for the Vancouver Canucks and though it's easy to forget it, the man making the decisions is just as important to the success of the club as any man on the ice. So far every decision Benning has made has been an asset to the team, and he will prove to be a vital key to the Canucks' success this season.
The offensive lines
Nothing contributes to success better than synergy. It seems the way that the Canucks have been set up this season has produced favorable results across the board. The offensive lines have been both high scoring and technical and have woven the new techniques of valuable new players with the same old tricks that make the older players the best of their generation.
The Defensive lines
Remember when the Canucks had a great depth of defense? Yeah always, so it seems odd to add this to the list but once again this is in comparison to last season’s nightmare. A fair amount of the reason that Vancouver conceded so damn many goals and blew so many leads last season is because the defensemen were in the wrong place at the wrong time, dragging their sticks behind them. Well I am glad to announce that the 2014-15 defensive lines have been a great improvement over last season. I'm sure Ryan Miller is grateful.
I know it seems like a silly buzz word that gains power when teams lose games but in the case of the Canucks, there is a lot of truth to the concept and the change that was needed. Not to dwell, but last season was HORRIBLE! A new coach that tried to take the team in a direction that they shouldn't have been headed in, the allowance of unnecessary fighting, and a slew of unhappy player requesting trades is not what a team should be striving for. This season’s new front office, new team members and positivity have taken the Canucks back to the team of Finesse that they can be.
There is no such thing as a good team with a bad mascot and as far as mascots are concerned, fin wins. He's always in the crowd, putting smiles on children’s faces and out and about spreading the good word about the Vancouver Canucks. In this year's media guide, he dressed to the nines and proved that he's just as good on paper as he is live. Is it the best thing about this year’s Canucks; no, is it the silliest; yes!
While Willie Desjardins is the number one thing to happen to the Vancouver Canucks this season, there have been a great many additions and subtactions to the team that will lead up on the road to victory! See you guys in April!