Change is Coming
After their embarrassing sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, the Canucks need to shed several players in the offseason.
These 5 players especially cannot be back with the team next season.
1. G Roberto Luongo, Under Contract
This one is obvious.
Both of these players want and need to be starting goaltenders and it is clear that the team wants Schneider to be their guy going forward after what transgressed in the playoffs.
Luongo is without a doubt the greatest goalie to ever wear a Canucks jersey and it will be sad to see him leave.
But his fractured relationship with the team, his awful contract and his failure to win a Stanley Cup during his time here all but spell his departure, and unless Gillis receives an offer he can’t refuse for Schneider, Luongo will be wearing a different jersey next season.
2. LW David Booth, Under Contract
David Booth has, at times, been an electrifying player for the Canucks. He has great speed and he has the ability to drive the offense.
But ever since he was acquired from Florida, he has been often injured and his numbers are underwhelming at best.
In 68 regular season games for the Canucks over the past two seasons, he has only managed 17 goals and 32 points while missing 56 games due to injury.
And of those goals, only 1 came this season and it was into an empty net. That type of production is not good enough for a guy with a $4.25 million cap hit (via capgeek)
Booth could have been a fantastic player for the Canucks, but because he’s so injury prone and lacks production, he will be bought out in the offseason.
3. D Keith Ballard, Under Contract
I feel terrible about how Keith Ballard has been treated in Vancouver.
Throughout his career in Phoenix and Florida, he was a top 4 defenseman with significant power play time.
But in Vancouver, he’s been a top 5 defenseman, at best, due to the steady top four we already have.
He has been in coach Alain Vigneault’s doghouse seemingly since he arrived, has been a healthy scratch very often and has even had to play forward.
He has been given no real role on the team and has had a frustrating time trying to find one.
He did start to find chemistry with Chris Tanev in the first half of this season and they were the Canucks’ most consistent defensive pairing.
But throughout the second half, Ballard was again made a healthy scratch often and struggled with lingering injuries.
I blame none of this on him.
He has done what has been asked of him and has been a very good sport about it. But with a top 4′s salary and playing bottom 6 minutes at best, he will need to be bought out as well.
4. C Manny Malhotra, UFA
Manny Malhotra was fantastic for the Canucks before his serious injury. He was one of the best face-off men in the league and was great in the defensive zone, especially on the penalty kill.
But after his serious eye injury in 2011, he wasn’t quite the same player and the Canucks didn’t want to risk him losing sight in his eye completely, so he was shut down partway through this season.
Now, as an unrestricted free agent, it is likely that he will retire, unless he feels he can contribute for a team. However, that team won’t be the Canucks.
5. D Cam Barker, UFA
Simply put, this guy is a pylon. I have no idea how he was drafted in the top three in 2004.
He does not play well offensively or defensively and if that doesn’t tell you the story, he gets consistently outplayed by Andrew Alberts.
As an unrestricted free agent this offseason, just let him walk.
C Maxim Lapierre, UFA: Very good player, but Canucks may find a cheaper replacement from within (ie. Kellan Lain)
LW Mason Raymond, UFA: Great speed and offensive skills, but lacks control and tends to disappear for long stretches of the season.
D Alexander Edler, Under Contract: Hasn’t developed into a complete defenseman yet, was terrible in his own end last season.