-- Last summer one of the points of emphasis for Canucks general manager Mike Gillis was to improve his defensive depth.
Gillis made a four-player trade to acquire Keith Ballard
from the Florida Panthers
, and then signed free-agent Dan Hamhuis
to bolster his blue-line.
In July, on paper, it looked like a significant upgrade to the team, which was bounced for the second straight year, in the second round, by the Chicago Blackhawks
. However, then came the injuries -- Sami Salo
ruptured his Achilles tendon playing floorball in his native Finland, and the bad news mounted throughout the season.
In all the Canucks used 13 different defensemen on the blue-line including the likes of Evan Oberg
, Ryan Parent
and Lee Sweatt
. It wasn't until game 82 of the regular season, in Calgary, that Vancouver had the six defensemen they hoped to start the season with all in the line-up.