The Vancouver Canucks have experienced yet another playoff disappointment this spring, as has become a custom of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in recent years. Only this time, the stakes were higher, which could lead to some pretty massive changes throughout the organization.
General manager Mike Gillis has already come out and said that they’re going to re-evaluate and look at some necessary changes that need to be made. Depending on what exactly he’s referring to, we could be seeing a very different Canucks team on the ice next year than the one of the past few seasons.
The most likely is the fact that Alain Vigneault is very likely going to go. He’s been an excellent regular season coach for the Canucks, but has been unable to put it together in the playoffs. He won’t be without a job for long, perhaps in a lower pressure environment.
Then you have Roberto Luongo. After months of trade rumors, dating back to last summer’s offseason, we could finally see Luongo move. It’s pretty clear that he is no longer the no. 1 man between the pipes, and will likely find a new home. Probably also in a lower pressure environment.
Other players on this roster could be moved. There aren’t a ton of impact free agents, if any, for this team to worry about. The focus is going to be on the guys currently on the roster. Who could be the next to go after Luongo? One would have to imagine that not a lot of these guys are safe.
Could Gillis look to deal Kevin Bieksa? He’ll very likely try and rid himself of the disaster that has been the Keith Ballard trade. Others could go as well. Most of the changes that this organization will make will likely come through a swap with another team, rather than a free agent signing.
No Vigneault and no Luongo automatically makes this team look quite a bit different. But the changes aren’t going to stop there. This is a team that could see a pretty large overhaul throughout the summer. It will be interesting to see what Gillis does once the offseason does officially begin.