Are they trade winds a-blowin’? It would certainly appear that way.
But the question is… Who are the Canucks trading?
With the acquisition of Andrew Raycroft yesterday, the Canucks seem poised to make a trade involving a goaltender. Likely that trade would involve Cory Schneider, the Canucks first round pick from 2004, who is on the brink of his NHL breakthrough. The problem with Cory Schneider is that he needs NHL minutes. And when you have an All-Star goalie in Roberto Luongo already between the pipes, Schneider is just not going to see much ice time.
So it does seem likely that the Canucks would trade Schneider, rather than keeping him in the AHL for another year. He took the Moose to the finals last year, and won Goalie of the Year honours. He doesn’t really have much left to accomplish.
So the question is… who needs a goalie? And who has a puck moving defenseman that could be sent to Vancouver in return?
Up until yesterday, there was a lot of chatter about a possible trade to the Leafs for Kaberle. However, the Leafs have Toskala and Pogge and just this morning signed Swedish goalie phenom Jonas Gustavsson. So the Leafs are flush with goalies now. It seems pretty unlikely that they would be dance partners at this party.
So let’s look first at how needs a goalie. The teams that I see as needing young goaltending are:
New York Rangers
So now that we have a list of potential dance partners, who would Vancouver want in return? A better question is: Who could Vancouver get in return:
Chicago – Seabrook, Keith
Colorado – JM Liles
Los Angeles – Doughty, J. Johnson (RFA), Preissing
New Jersey – Oduya
New York Rangers – no players of interest
Pittsburgh – Orpik, Letang
San Jose – Vlasic, Ehrhoff
If it was a straight-up deal, Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya, Kristopher Letang and Marc-Eduoard Vlasic would be my four main targets.
They all have reasonable cap numbers, and most (except for Letang) offers their current team much needed cap relief in exchange for Schneider.
The other possibility is to create a package.
Two possible packages are Schneider + Mason Raymond or Schneider + either Bieksa or Salo.
If the Canucks are offering either of these packages, most of these players/team are possible partners. In return, the Canucks would probably ask for one of the players listed above, and an upcoming draft pick or two.
I don’t think that the Kings are going to trade Doughty. He’s the future of their defense core. The same is true with the Blackhawks and Duncun Keith. I think he’s just too valuable to them right now. NY Rangers don’t really have any defenseman who I think the Canucks would be willing to take back.
Given cap constraints and up-and-coming players on their current rosters, I believe that the two most suitable trade partners would be Chicago or San Jose. Both teams really need to solidify their current backup goalie situations, both have aging goaltenders, and both have cap constraints that could be eased with trading a more expensive puck-moving defenseman.
The other target is Colorado. They have clearly stated that they are rebuilding. They traded Ryan Smyth to begin this process and are looking to younger and start this process now. They have very shaky goaltending, and have had for a couple of seasons now. Getting a young goalie in now would certainly help that process, and Jon-Michael Liles would be a great fit in Vancouver.
It’s going to be a tense summer if you’re a Canucks fan, playing the waiting game.
– Cam Davie