James Mirtle, one of the most well-known NHL bloggers, recently had this to say about the Canucks' prospects for next season:
Still, if one of those top six blueliners isn't moved and Nonis decides to go with the same forward corps as last season, there's a real chance the Canucks miss the playoffs this year. I can't see Markus Naslund getting much better given his decline since the lockout, and Roberto Luongo can't play any better than he has already.
Is there any room for growth on this roster?
And you know what, he may have a point. Maybe missing the playoffs is a bit harsh but can you name a position on the team where we're significantly better than last season? Let's face it, 3d seed or not, last season the Canucks actually finished 6th in the conference in terms of points, and part of that may have been due to luck (see: our best-in-the-league 17-7 overtime record.). This may not be what many people want to hear, but there's a makeable case that the Canucks will actually be worse next season. I'm surprised it took a guy like Mirtle, who doesn't folow the Canucks on a daily basis, to make it. I don't even think he thought this was a particularly bold prediction. Nonetheless, considering everyone in this city seems to be assuming that the team will be either the same or better this year, maybe Canucks fans should at least consider the possibility that the team might worsen instead. Now, I'm not saying that it necessarily will. What I am saying, though, is that the possibility is definetly there, and that it deserves more discussion than it's getting right now.