The final installment of the Canucks offseason review will be a preview of the roster and expectations for the 2021/2022 NEFHL Season.
The playoffs ended quickly for the second best NEFHL team in 2020/2021 at the hands of the Nashville Predators who went onto a somewhat Cinderella run beating out the Canucks and President Trophy winning Colorado Avalanche. It was a gut punch for a team that felt they had the ability to win the Stanley Cup.
“We felt we had a team that could not only compete for the cup but also win the cup for the first time in franchise history. Disappointment in the first round loss is an understatement. It was heart breaking and caused us all to take a step back for a while before getting back into the thick of the offseason that was ahead of us. We’ve been the underdog before taking down the best regular season team in NEFHL history in round” said General Manager Allen.
When asked what the goals of the 2021/2022 version of the Canucks were, it was two words from GM Allen “Stanley Cup.” Needless to say expectations are at the highest level and just making the playoffs isn’t good enough.
“No, playoffs are the absolute minimum expectation we have. We expect that every year. We want to win our division title; we want to be the President Trophy winner but none of that means much if we don’t win the Stanley Cup. This team is built to win and will be tweaked as the season moves along”
The roster went over a little overhaul as referenced in the previous articles. As of the season opener, it is expected that the roster will look as follows:
Gabriel Landeskog, Patrice Bergeron, Matthew Tkachuk
Andrei Svechnikov, Sean Couturier, Zach Hyman
Christian Dvorak, Jared McCann, Tyler Bertuzzi
Darren Helm, Luke Glendening, Jesper Fast
Morgan Reilly, Miro Heiskanen
Shea Theodore, Dmitri Kulkov
Ryan Lindgren, Jason Demers
Numerous players were brought in this off season and some have been moved or cut from the roster which was partly the plan going into the season. “We brought in some guys, more than we needed to be honest to make these guys compete. Some agents reached out to us for their players. We made moves, spent some money, lost some skilled guys but it was a great camp and good competition.”
“We feel we have a nice mix of veterans and youth. We’re skilled but we are also defensive and our forwards have a lot of depth to them with the ability to move players around. In net, we feel like we have a solid tandem, one of the better in the league really. Our weakness and I wouldn’t say it is truly a weakness but an area we will look to improve will be our defense. We have some youth in there and phenomenal talent but we need an alpha, a playoff warrior type guy” said GM Allen.
Pundits have the Canucks as one of the top teams in the league. Time will tell as we know the NEFHL seasons can be crazy. Go Canucks Go!