In our Christmas Day series of NHL wish lists, this installment takes a look at four teams in the Pacific Division. The Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, and Seattle Kraken all need different things are the franchises, in some cases are heading in different directions.
While the Oilers and Flames are hoping to stay in the playoff conversation, competing with the Vegas Golden Knights and Anaheim Ducks, the Canucks are hoping they continue their winning ways after coaching and management changes. Meanwhile, the Kraken are going to be anywhere near the playoff picture and need to make the best possible moves as the season rolls along to put themselves in a positive spot for next year.
The Edmonton Oilers Wish List
Among the big things the Oilers need, a proven goaltender, some depth on the left side of their blue line, and a third-line center are priorities. Perhaps the goaltending is near the top of the list of Mike Smith doesn’t return soon, or does and he’s not the same player that left.
There aren’t a ton of options out there that are seen as a vast improvement over Mikko Koskinen but Marc-Andre Fleury has been connected in trade rumors if the Chicago Blackhawks end us as sellers.
The Calgary Flames Wish List
If the Flames could ask for one thing it’s better health. No team has been hit as hard by the COVID virus as the Flames who had almost the entire roster outside of about three players hit the COVID list. Their games had been postponed but the season kicks back in on December 27th and if the Flames are going to continue their strong season the health interruption can’t affect their momentum.
For a stocking stuffer, the Flames would love it if recently-signed free agent Blake Coleman could produce a bit more offensively. His career-low shooting percentage is not helping things.
If we’re really being selfish, throw in a new contract for Johnny Gaudreau.
The Canucks Wish List
Vancouver is on a roll after making a coaching and GM change. If they’re going to keep this run going, their stars need to get and stay hot and this six-game run can’t be more than a blip that tends to come with a big change. The Canucks’ Christmas wish is that Boudreau’s influence on this team is more than just a short-term lift that doesn’t continue.
If the Canucks are going to make the playoffs, the team needs more than a solid run of 10-or-so games. They put themselves behind the 8-ball in a major way and the team needs to stay hot to climb their way back up the standings.
The Canucks also need to make the right decision when it comes to their GM search. That means Jim Rutherford needs to carefully select a candidate that works alongside him and eventually takes the reigns.
If the Canucks could find a way to get an extension done with Brock Boeser and not overspend, that would be a nice little stocking stuffer.
The Kraken Wish List
For Seattle, their season is much different than the other three teams listed above. For the Kraken, it’s all about maximizing the value of the players they’ll be selling before the March 21st deadline. Whether it be Mark Giordano that moves or any one of their other UFA rentals, Seattle needs a market where there are a number of buyers who have cap space to add.
If the outbreak of COVID cases means that teams can’t make moves because they need to space to bring in players from their respective AHL clubs, that’s not good for the NHL’s newest franchise. The more shoppers the better.
Before the team gets to the trade deadline, it could use some improved play from their goaltending. Considered to be a strength coming out of the offseason, Philipp Grubauer hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype that came with a new lucrative six-year contract.
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