Canucks need to focus on old adage

'You win championships with defense,' right? They need a shutdown force

Originally Published: June 18, 2010
By Robert Vollman and E.J. Hradek | Puck Prospectus and ESPN The Magazine
Getty ImagesChristian Ehrhoff was a good pickup for theCanucks, but they need more help on D.

Plugging Holes -- Vancouver Canucks

The Hole: A shutdown defenseman

The Chicago Blackhawks exposed one of Vancouver's few shortcomings in the playoffs -- and its lack of shutdown depth on the blue line will only get worse if the Canucks part ways with unrestricted free agent Willie Mitchell. The Canucks threw the second-fewest hits and yet took the sixth-most minor penalties this past season, and they would benefit most from signing one of the many board-rattling but disciplined free-agent defensemen.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.