After making the playoffs in 2015, Vancouver failed to qualify this past season. They finished with a 31-28-13 record and 75 points while having an abysmal offensive game. They were the second worst offensive team in the NHL, scoring just 191 goals. Unlike the Devils, who scored only 184, though, the Canucks were not very good defensively, giving up 243 goals. Their -52 goal differential was the worst in the league. The allowed the second most shots against, giving up 32.5 shots per game. Their goaltenders did a solid job considering all the fire that came at them, but an aging Ryan Miller is not going to carry a team to the playoffs like a Carey Price or Henrik Lundqvist could.
Jim Benning did make some good moves. The trade for Erik Gudbransen gives them a top 4 defenseman. They then signed Louis Eriksson. He has been a productive top six forward throughout his career in Boston and Dallas, scoring around 30 goals a season. This could really help offensively, and it may be what the Sedins need to get going again.
Vancouver also signed Anton Rodin, the MVP of the Swedish Elite League, and Philp Larsen, who ranked fifth in scoring among defensemen in the KHL last season. It’s hard to say how much of an impact they will make, though.
Do these moves make the Canucks a better team? Yes, they do, but there are still a lot of questions. I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs this season.