The biggest challenges for the Vancouver Canucks this offseason

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      As we approach the 2023 NHL offseason, the offseason previews continue. Today on Daily Faceoff Live, Daily Faceoff president and insider Frank Servavalli and former NHL goaltender now analyst Mike McKenna discuss what the Vancouver Canucks need to do this summer.

      Frank Seravalli: Let’s talk about the Vancouver Canucks as we sift and sort through what they are facing. Mike, what’s priority number one for you? For me, it’s something that they have been talking about but haven’t actually accomplished yet, which is to create salary cap flexibility. If you look at CapFriendly today, they are the only team above next season’s salary cap figure, which is pencilled in at 83.5 million. That’s an ugly place to be, and yeah, they do have some LTIR flexibility they can work in, but they still have players they need to sign. They are over the cap with a team who didn’t make the playoffs and only added to their trouble by adding guys like Filip Hronek instead of moving pieces off their books like they intended to do with Bo Horvat.

      Mike McKenna: Yeah, I mean, they did the same thing by extending Andrei Kuzmenko; he had a good year, but is he going to round out defensively? That’s something Rick Tocchet will have to work on. Honestly, if they don’t clear cap space after talking about it, then what are we even doing? I don’t want to hear that they can’t move cap, trade J.T. Miller you got until July 1st, trade Conor Garland, Tyler Myers makes $6 million and has one-year left, someone will take him, Oliver Ekman Larsson, you think they’d buy him out, Frank?

      Frank Seravalli: I don’t think they would; I don’t think it makes sense this year. Yeah, you would save $10 million real dollars, but to pay him $20 million to go away, I think you hope he has some kind of Erik Karlsson resurgence to his game out of the clear blue sky.

      Mike McKenna: Yeah, but that’s not going to happen. Look, Elias Pettersson is a top center in the league; he’s one of the top 10 players without anyone realizing it. Let him run, let Miller go, if you got a deal to move and you want to make cap space? That is a guy you could get rid of in a heartbeat. I just don’t want to hear the excuses that they can’t make a deal. It’s there, and it has to happen, and there is a whole lot of mid-priced contracts eating up the cap.

      Frank Seravalli: Mike, you have to remember what their mantra is; it’s to be competitive and bounce back and be a playoff team next year. I don’t know exactly what they are thinking, but I’d have to think their front office is sitting there after watching the Florida Panthers advance to the Stanley Cup Final; why can’t that be us? Why can’t we be the team that gets in, and anything can happen?

      Mike McKenna: Do they have someone with the same value as Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar? They do, it’s J.T. Miller, but they would have to find the value in the dollars behind him because of the cap hell they have created. So, that’s why. You keep signing guys and trading for guys who are blowing up the cap space. That’s not sustainable if you want to be able to reload on the fly.

      You can watch the full episode here…

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