Survival of the Fittest: The Canucks Have 18 Forwards Fighting for Six Positions

September 21st, 2010 by Joel Prosser Leave a reply »
After being pushed around by the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs two years in a row, Vancouver Canucks' GM Mike Gillis made it a priority for the Canucks to be bigger, tougher, and generally harder to play against.

On defense, this was done by bringing in Keith Ballard (5'11" 208 lbs) and Dan Hamhuis (6'2" 205 lbs), a pair of durable defensemen.

Up front, the top six forwards from last year, a high scoring but not physically imposing bunch led by Art Ross winner Henrik Sedin, are all returning. Any improvement in grit from the top two lines is going to have to come from Alex Burrows (6'1" 200 lbs) and Ryan Kesler (6'2" 202 lbs) not being hampered by shoulder injuries by the time the playoffs come around (Burrows is still recovering from his shoulder surgery, and should be returning sometime in November).

When healthy, Burrows, Kesler, and Mikael Samuelsson (6'2" 218 lbs) provide enough physical play to make the top lines hard to play against. Mason Raymond (6' 183 lbs) and the Sedin twins (both 6'1" 183 lbs) don't shy away from high traffic areas either.

But at best, these two lines will be able to hold their own physically while d ...

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