2008-09 record: 45-27-10, Western Conference semifinals.
New faces: Christian Ehrhoff (D), Tanner Glass (F), Brad Lukowich (D), Andrew Raycroft (G), Aaron Rome (D), Mikael Samuelsson (F), Dave Scatchard (F), Mathieu Schneider (D).
Camp slogan: Signed, sealed, time to deliver.
General manager Mike Gillis wasn't idle in his first full summer as an incumbent general manager, locking up twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin and star goalie Roberto Luongo. It wasn't all about circling the wagons — he also acquired four defencemen with varying degrees of NHL experience, and a few potential depth players.
The incumbent players will enter camp knowing that reaching the conference semis for the third time in four years isn't good enough. The Canucks feel they can contend for the Stanley Cup right now, although it's all contingent on Luongo's good health.
Vancouver four pre-season home games and play in Terrace, B.C., on Sept. 14 against the New York Islanders as part of CBC Kraft Hockeyville festivities.
Young blood: Cody Hodgson
Don Cherry's favourite prospect was named CHL junior player of the year and is too young to be sent to the American Hockey League, leaving him betwixt and between. Barring injury, the 19-year-old will likely be in the Vancouver lineup for the first nine regular season games, at which point the Canucks have a decision to make over his immediate future.
Time to make a move: Michael Grabner
The Canucks got a whole lot grittier last year but could use a bit more speed. The Austrian Grabner will be 22 when the season starts — not exactly old — but it's time for him give the Canucks no other alternative but to bring him aboard after scoring 40 goals in 86 AHL games last year.
X-factor: Sergei Shirokov
Shirokov has left the relative comfort of the Kontinental Hockey League to pursue a career with the Canucks, who drafted him in the sixth round in 2006. The Russian won't crack the Vancouver lineup, but a good September can help determine whether he's an afterthought or on the short list if injuries mount or the offence sputters for the NHL club.
On the spot: Shane O'Brien
The rugged defenceman O'Brien showed what he can bring to the table with a solid playoff series against St. Louis, but then had some brutal moments in the Chicago. With a glut of NHL-calibre defencemen in camp, O'Brien will be trying to make a statement, whether he ultimately sticks with Vancouver or joins his fourth club in less than three years.