Vancouver Canucks at a glance
LAST SEASON: 36-35-11, finished 12th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs.
COACH: Willie Desjardins, first season with the Canucks.
ADDED: C Nick Bonino, LW Derek Dorsett, G Ryan Miller, D Luca Sbisa, RW Radim Vrbata.
LOST: RW Zac Dalpe, D Jason Garrison, C Ryan Kesler, C Mike Santorelli, C Jordan Schroeder.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Ryan Miller. On June 29, 2013, the Canucks had a goaltending tandem of Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. When Vancouver’s season ended 288 days later, the duo in net was Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom after Schneider and Luongo were traded. In a combined 45 games with Vancouver, Lack and Markstrom were 17-19-5 with a 2.39 goals against average and .908 save percentage. Miller, who was signed to a three-year, $18 million free agent deal, has a 2.55 GAA and .916 save percentage the last four seasons.
OUTLOOK: The dismissals of coach John Tortorella and Kesler, traded to Anaheim, can be seen as addition by subtraction. Kesler’s in-season trade request became a distraction for a team whose 2013-14 campaign was an unmitigated failure. So the Canucks can do nothing but improve in 2014-15. Will there be enough improvement to qualify for a playoff berth? That may be too much to ask for a team in the tough Western Conference.