Plugging the Holes: Northwest Division
The Stanley Cup finalists could use some depth on the front line
With the Stanley Cup heading back to Boston, it's time for every NHL team to evaluate its roster and see how it can retool for next season. The analysts of Hockey Prospectus provide some help, identifying the biggest shortcoming on every NHL roster using their GVT valuation metric (explained here) and offering a unique suggestion on how to fix it for 2011-12. The series continues today with fixes for the five teams in the Northwest Division, where the Canucks need some depth at forward.
The hole: Top-six winger
The Stanley Cup finalists ran roughshod over their Northwest Division contemporaries this season and therefore have the shortest wish list. If Vancouver wants to continue to hang out with the elite teams in the NHL, they may want to add another affordable top-six winger, particularly if they lose Chris Higgins and Raffi Torres to free agency. Guys like Mason Raymond, Alex Burrows and Mikael Samuelsson have been capable enough complements to the "big three" of Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler up front, but the Canucks' depth will be tested quickly if any one of the top six forwards goes down.
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