The Vancouver Canucks' 2013 playoff campaign was one of the least successful among all postseason teams and one of the worst performances we've seen in years.
As disappointing as it was, it makes way for quite an interesting summer, where we'll likely see a very intriguing Vancouver team both at the 2013 entry draft and free agency.
The following are the best- and worst-case scenarios for the Vancouver Canucks at the 2013 draft.
Goalie Controversy Resolution
I've been a strong supporter of Roberto Luongo's departure just about since the day he arrived. That hasn't changed, but if trading Cory Schneider puts an end to this controversy, then I'm all for it. The team needs a defined No. 1.
The best-case scenario here would be for the Canucks to trade Luongo for either some prospects or a higher draft pick. Any significant salary coming in return would be a failure on Mike Gillis' part. The team has some serious payroll issues going into next season that must be addressed in order to make the improvements needed to once again become a contender.
The Canucks desperately need to get rid of some salary this summer, and it doesn't end at Roberto Luongo. There's some dead weight on the team that needs to go (David Booth and Keith Ballard). I expect one or both of these players to be bought out during the summer, but if the Canucks can find any takers who'll send some youth back, it'd be nothing short of a miracle.
The Canucks currently have the 24th overall pick in the draft. Whether they trade up or keep the pick, it's time to start planning for the post-Sedin era.
Suitable picks include: Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Aleksander Barkov (would all require blockbuster trade), Valeri Nichushkin, Elias Lindholm, Bo Horvat, Max Domi, Valentin Zykov, Curtis Lazar, Alexander Wennberg, Anthony Mantha, Frederik Gauthier and Kerby Rychel.
Realistically, it will be difficult for the Canucks to rid themselves of Luongo, Booth and Ballard's contracts, all while moving up in the draft.
A fair expectation would for the Canucks to find a taker for Luongo (either the Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers or New Jersey Devils) and manage to move up a bit in the draft (if the taker is Toronto or New Jersey).
The Canucks will draft Elias Lindholm, Bo Horvat, Max Domi, Frederik Gauthier or Kerby Rychel.
If the 2013 entry draft wraps up and Luongo, Ballard and Booth are all still on the roster, then Mike Gillis belongs on the next plane out.
The Canucks' horrible playoff performance not just this year but last year as well showed how far they really are from cup contention. Gillis has been unable to move these contracts in recent years, but the pressure is really on now.
Either one goes or they all go. Ball's in your court, Gillis.
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