One of the key reasons given for the Canucks’ disappointing end to the season has been the fact that the spine of the team is much older than a lot of other teams in the playoffs. Led by Henrik Sedin, this ageing Vancouver team has now gone 3-12 in the postseason since reaching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011, and some feel that now it's time to draw the curtain on that chapter in the franchise's history and begin really looking to the future.
CreativeCommons by m_kania
While the likes of Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Alexandre Burrows, Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis and Chris Higgins have all been sensational this season, all are well into their 30s and beginning to show signs of slowing down, especially when it comes to the postseason. Even Jannik Hansen and Alexander Elder, the two youngest members of that 2011 team, will both pass the age of 30 before the end of next season. The Canucks had been firm favourites with online bookmakers like bet365 to beat the Flames, only for Vancouver's regular season form to desert them against a little-fancied Calgary team. There are now question marks over whether a number of those veterans should be moved on. This would bring to an end one of the most successful sides in the franchise's recent history.
The Canucks have been slowly trying to blend youth into this experienced roster in recent years and the form of Bo Horvat this season has shown that it works. The rookie centre only turned 20 late this season and the youngster ended the season as one of the most in-form players in the playoffs. After starting the year with much of his focus on defence, Horvat returned from the All-Star Break in prolific form, scoring 10 of his 13 goals and 16 of his 24 points, tying for the playoff lead with four points.
But before they are able to add a host of youngsters to this Vancouver roster, the Canucks management will need to find room for those players in this team. All nine members of the 2011 roster have no-trade clauses in their current contracts. While general manager Jim Benning convinced Jason Garrison to waive his no-trade clause last year, he has failed to do the same with Bieksa or Hamhuis, both of whom are entering the final year on their deals. So even though it's clear the defense that struggled so badly against Calgary needs freshening up, that won't be a straight forward job for the Vancouver management.