Plugging Holes: Northwest Division

Key offseason fixes for the Canucks, Avs, Flames, Wild and Oilers

Originally Published: June 19, 2012
By Robert Vollman | Hockey Prospectus
Dylan ReeseLen Redkoles/NHLI/Getty ImagesDylan Reese could be a perfect addition for the Vancouver Canucks.

With the Stanley Cup finals in the books, it's time for every NHL team to tinker with 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 2012-13. The series continues with fixes for the five teams in the Northwest Division, where the Canucks need more depth on defense.

Vancouver Canucks

The hole: Depth defenseman

The Canucks are a team that uses the classic ice-tilting model where players like Manny Malhotra play against top lines in the defensive zone, so that the Sedins can do what they do best and dominate in the offensive zone against secondary lines. To make that work, they need a good depth of players who can handle tough assignments, especially on the blue line, a task that big veterans like Keith Ballard, Andrew Alberts and Aaron Rome struggled with last year.