The line up in Vancouver is going to seem quite a bit different when opening night comes around this season.
The Vancouver Canucks had one of their key defencemen depart for the desert, as Ed Jovanovski became the latest to leave Vancouver, gladly accepting Wayne Gretzky’s offer of 32 and a half million dollars over five years of service in the land of the Coyote.
It’s another change in the Vancouver line up that will see the Nonis era Canucnks look significantly different than the core group that Brian Burke put together in his time in Vancouver.
To try to fill in the huge hole created by the Jovanovski departure the Canucks picked up the services of Willie Mitchell for four years at fourteen million dollars. His arrival will showcase a marked difference in styles on the blue line this season, more know for his stay at home ways, Mitchell won’t be leading the charge as Jovanovski did through his years in Vancouver. On the plus side for Vancouver, the goals against should drop when Mitchell is on the ice, an effective defenceman he can be nasty in front of his own net if required which will be of comfort to newly acquired goaltender Roberto Luongo.
The Coyotes made a bold statement that they will be a more serious contender this year with their acquisition of Jovanovski, who says he is excited at the opportunity to play in Arizona and to play for Wayne Gretzky.
The thinking prior to the free agent sweeps was that Jovanovski was heading back to Florida to join up with Mike Keenan’s Florida Panthers, but he instead chose the desert sun over the Florida one.
Leaving Vancouver to determine how the Canucks are going to look and more importantly perform as the old familiar faces head off to newer locales and chances for glory.