As Dan Hamhuis and Chris Higgins bid farewell to the Canucks, there will be a few extra bucks hanging around the Rog on July 1. Jim Benning has drafted the future but his inability to sign true talent has been his undoing. Its pretty early to talk legacy but in Vancouver you don’t get a whole lot of time to make one. As Steven Stamkos enters free agency, Benning can offer the world and in turn would erase years of pain, mistakes and filler.
Stammer might not be a generational talent in the sense he isn’t Sidney Crosby or what we all believe Connor McDavid is but his ability to elevate a team is obvious.
The Canucks have seen their fair share of injuries and mishaps that only could happen to this team or maybe the Leafs but I assure you, a blood clot will not turn them away. What Stamkos has the chance to do is to be THE star, the magnet and the face of hockey in Vancouver. Roberto Luongo held that mantle for what seemed like forever, Trevor Linden has that spot in many fans hearts but on the ice, on the ice shift after shift Steven Stamkos can bring the fans back and a ton of goals too!
Will he cost a lot? Oh he’ll cost a lot and Don Meehan (his agent) will be able to buy a nice new boat when the cheque clears. There won’t be any room left to sign anyone else which in turn means there will be some trades coming. Alex Edler and Jannik Hansen might need to head to the airport to make this happen.
No one can forget what players like Pavel Bure, Alex Mogilny, heck our current heroes Henrik and Daniel Sedin have done for the Canucks on the ice. Bure electrified with the flip of a switch and forced fans to tape the game at home so they could see his moves in a slightly slower frame rate. Alex Mogilny was brought in to flank Bure’s other wing and sadly injuries among other things couldn’t get this team past the hump. With the Sedins, they have dazzled night after night in typical Sedin fashion.
Possession is 9/10 of the law, the other 1/10 is being a Sedin. People always talk about coming to the games to see the opponents play, well when you came to see the Canucks in 2010-2012 it was the Twins that got top billing. They did it all and still do. With Stamkos, they’ll prolong their careers potentially 2 more years than what they would have achieved if no one else could match their skill level.
His numbers speak for themselves; he’s just a hair under a point per game player in his career, in the last three years 61 of his 104 goals were on the power play and gosh he’s fancy too since then! Puckalytics has the goods for his 5v5 statisticals from Oct 2013-Apr 2016:
PDO – 101.6
CF% – 52.5
Yes, he’s a star player and opportunity is in his his blood….hmmmm that actually solves some things. He still needs a Cup and Vancouver won’t get him one this year and maybe not the year after but as this team matures there will be a handful of players that can grow with him and what he does on the ice, what he puts in the back of the net should be motivation enough.
Luongo finally got the support he deserved and when it all came together he didn’t need to be the one they relied on every night, he was a complimentary piece to the flood of goals that went in the other net and the defense in front of him was so reliable it made him that much better.
If this actually did happen, the top line of Stamkos and the Sedins would be a treat and quite frankly it gives Brandon Sutter and Bo Horvat along with their wingers a whole lot more time to create chances. Shutting down an all star line takes way too much effort and at some point the levy breaks. Sure, Luca Sbisa is still there but maybe he won’t be if they need a few extra bucks to sign the jolted bolt.
Killer rhyming I know.
This city needs a hero again and it needs something to believe in. Steven Stamkos is that guy, we can believe in his ability.
I’m a dreamer and the likelihood of him coming to dismal, rainy, riotty Vancouver is slimmer than Kyle Wellwood’s diet books but just imagine for a second that the Canucks changed for the better. I can’t accept that this team will be bad forever, it just isn’t feasible. The Cubs and all their fans will stick it in my face but its doable….right?
Or they could sign Lucic and some other guys I guess.
photo – nhl.com