5 Burning Questions for the Vancouver Canucks' 2013-14 Season
The offseason for the Vancouver Canucks was interesting, to say the least, as they parted ways with multiple roster players, making way for the inevitable youth movement.
But here we are with the regular season just one week away. The Canucks have lost all three preseason games thus far, being outscored 12-5 in the process. The young talent we all hoped would make an impact has been mediocre, and Roberto Luongo's return as the staring goaltender has been nothing but a disappointment.
Embarking on a season that was already surrounded with uncertainty, the Canucks' early performance has many questioning their ability to contend.
The following are five burning questions for the Vancouver Canucks entering the 2013-14 season.
5. Can David Booth Make an Impact?
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Since joining the Vancouver Canucks, David Booth has played just 68 games of a possible 124 and has picked up 32 points in that time.
At $4.25 million per year, Booth's numbers must be better.
For those who've had the chance to watch Booth in action, there is no doubt that he is one talented player. But what is skill and power if you can't stay healthy or put the puck in the net? After the changes made to the Canucks lineup this summer, he'll need to learn to do both if the Canucks are to succeed.
4. Will Any Young Faces Crack the Lineup?
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The Sedin era is nearing an end and with that comes the youth movement. Brendan Gaunce, Nicklas Jensen, Bo Horvat, Frank Corrado, Hunter Shinkaruk and Jordan Schroeder are the faces of the future, but which ones are ready to make the leap to the NHL today?
Based on the Canucks' early preseason performance, it's fair to say the majority of these players need some more time to develop.
3. Is John Tortorella the Right Man for the Job?
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There are plenty of questions surrounding John Tortorella.
How will he react to another media-crazy market? Will the Sedins respond to his coaching strategies? Which players will thrive off of his intensity? Can he speed up the development of the Canucks' youth? Will blocking shots be an issue? Will he lead Vancouver to a successful season?
Only time will tell.
2. Will the Sedins Re-Sign?
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Both Daniel and Henrik Sedin will earn $6.1 million this season, the final season before their current contracts expire.
On one hand, the Sedins have played such a big role for Vancouver (both the team and the city), and it's nearly impossible to imagine them leaving.
On the other hand, the Canucks are due for a rebuild. Rebuilding will always come easier with $12 million-plus to spare.
When asked about re-signing in late August, Henrik Sedin had this to say, according to The Vancouver Sun:
There has been some talk. Nothing really concrete, but it's getting there. We would like to get something done before the season. We're not guys who like to talk about those things while playing, so we'll see what happens.
If they really do intend on finding a resolution before the season starts, they better get a move on. In my opinion, if the Sedins aren't comfortable with general manager Mike Gillis' terms (whatever they may be), then it's time to move on.
Losing Daniel and Henrik will hurt in the short run, but their departure would allow for a quick rebuild.
How Will Luongo Fare in His Return as the Canucks Starter?
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Despite the shaky relationship between Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks, the veteran netminder claims to be fully committed to the team, per NHL.com.
So far this preseason, Roberto has played just two periods. In that time, he allowed four goals on 18 shots for a .778 save percentage.
Luongo is slated to play the full game tonight (September 23), which should provide more insight into his game.
At this point, his numbers don't look good, but it's never a good idea to read into the preseason too much.
The real test will come Oct. 3, when the Canucks face the San Jose Sharks in their opening game of the season—the same San Jose Sharks that swept Vancouver in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.
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