Canucks, Filip Hronek

Canucks Hronek The Right Man For The Job … Again

Canucks D-man Filip Hronek didn’t push the Vancouver NHL franchise all the way over the top, but as expected, his addition did provide a big, big boost.

Justin Schultz joining the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016, a move made by current Canucks executive Jim Rutherford, served as one of the last pieces of the puzzle for a Stanley Cup title that year. Josh Manson joining the Colorado Avalanche in 2022 did the same thing.

And while Hronek’s addition came a year earlier and didn’t lead to a title this spring — the Canucks current roster was light on playoff experience — it did serve multiple invaluable purposes over time.

Finally with a legitimate, versatile, offensively gifted compliment, Canucks captain Quinn Hughes flourished. We could stop there. That’s plenty. But overall, Hronek’s abilities and the depth factor played a huge part in Vancouver as a whole taking a giant step forward.

Speaking of giants, D-man Nikita Zadorov’s addition in November fit the early “last piece of the puzzle” concept timing wise, but it was really Hronek’s season long effort and presence that proved the biggest difference along the blueline.

Despite shortcomings in the postseason — it was Hronek’s first ever Stanley Cup playoff experience after five seasons in Detroit and just the second postseason for Hughes — the Vancouver D-corps gained valuable experience and Hronek’s new eight year contract signed on Tuesday was a no-brainer, locking up a righthander in his prime.

The 26-year-old Czech native will earn $7.25-million per season. Complacency might be the one concern, given some of scouting reports from the Detroit days, but the Red Wings then and the Canucks now are in two very different places.

Earlier Canucks:

Postmortem On Another Canadian Team That Had High Hopes

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.
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