Vancouver Canucks pull off trade at the buzzer, just not the one we were waiting for

“And if you take a right, you should arrive at YVR.” [Image via the Windsor Star]

We waited all the way up until the final buzzer – nay, even a few minutes past it – to hear about a Vancouver Canucks trade today. And then we finally did. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the one many people around these parts were hoping to hear about on this day.

We’re referring to the Ryan Kesler trade, which was never made and will now be talked about ad nauseam all the way through to the Draft this Summer. We’ll have plenty of time to discuss why it didn’t happen in depth, as the truth slowly but surely trickles out.

But for now all we can do is talk about the stuff that *did* happen, and that’s that Raphael Diaz is off to New York, as he’ll be given a chance to contribute for a playoff bound team (assuming he manages to stay out of Alain Vigneault’s doghouse..).

The return was a 5th round pick. That seems like an asset that isn’t exactly worth all that much – which ironically seems like a totally fair return for one Dale Weise – but keep in mind that Diaz is an impending UFA, and a player that saw his ice-time go from 21:03 to 14:38 to 6:54 in the span of three games. With all of the blueliners returning from injury, he had quickly become an afterthought exactly a month after people had been excited about the thievery Mike Gillis had managed to pull on the Habs. 

His final line as a Canuck reads: 6 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 15:58 ATOI, and an impressive 59.7 corsi for % (with the 2nd highest offensively skewed zone start ratio on the team, just 0.1% behind Daniel Sedin, it should be mentioned).

It’s not what you were hoping for, and I don’t blame you. There’s reason to be frustrated with what’s going on in Vancouver these days. But don’t make the mistake of taking out your pent up anger on this particular trade. The Canucks did well to at least get some sort of asset for one that was going to leave in a few months anyways.

Hey, you never know.. maybe this’ll lead to them stumbling upon the next Kevin Bieksa! Or maybe the next Frankie Corrado! But realistically, more likely something closer to the next Prab Rai.

  • Mantastic

    I am not a Gillis fan but I think he made the right move (assuming the reported Sutter package was the best offer). Kes is under contract for a few more years and is one of the few players that can do it all. His numbers have suffered this year but that has more to do with the team than him declining.

    If someone gave me the option of Bobby Ryan or Kes for the next few years, it’d be Kes in a heart beat. Idiots like ShatForBrains00 etc may differ but we all know what he brings to the table….his name says it all…

    • Mantastic

      “If someone gave me the option of Bobby Ryan or Kes for the next few years, it’d be Kes in a heart beat.”

      Only because I’m in a generous mood today Ted

      We can infer that Bobby Ryan was sold for the best offer because his market was not limited by a NTC.

      If, as reported, there are only a handful of teams to which Kesler will accept a change of address, the Canucks are bound by a few offers as opposed to 29 offers.

      Of these few offers, not every single one will match up in terms of addressing Vancouver’s needs.

      Of course, the Canucks always have the option of holding onto Kesler until the 2016 trade deadline and shipping him out for a 2nd round pick and B prospect (see Vanek & Moulson).

      But it would simply be wasting what is left of Kesler’s asset value as he enters his thirties.

      “Idiots like ShatForBrains00 etc may differ but we all know what he brings to the table….his name says it all”

      If the name said it all, you would not need your paraphrases in place of a logical, cogent argument as to why you hold the position you do.

      Age, term, cap hit, salary, surplus value, an NTC or lack thereof must all be considered.

      I’m not going to educate delusional Canuck fans every week Ted.

      So make the most of this outreach initiative…

      • Mantastic

        I love how you ‘read’ comments and then go off. I am not talking contracts, NTC etc. I am talking players. That’s it. If I could pick between the two, I’d pick Kes.

        Why did I do this? To see what SHOULD be a fair offer for a player like Kes. Yes, the NTC etc is problematic but when a team offers you Sutter and 2 draft picks (if that indeed was the offer) than you have to laugh at PITT and applaud Gillis.

        So, spare me your crap. You’re a moron…that is why you are Moron00

    • Mantastic

      Not that it’s an either or proposition (since no-one’s talking about trading Kesler for Ryan), you’d rather have a shut-down two-way center who’s in his 30s than a scoring winger who’s already had 4 x 30 goal seasons (maybe a fifth this year) going into his prime?

      I’d point out that for teams like the Pens Kesler would make an amazing 2W or 3C but for the Canucks can’t even really function as the 1C. Our problem isn’t really limiting goals right now is it? It’s scoring them. I think the Canucks need is more Ryans and less Keslers right now…

  • Mantastic

    Personally if Kesler gets moved in the off season I think it should be to Washington. That’s if Kusnetsov (sp?) Comes over from the KHL after his playoffs. Ovechkins biggest and perhaps only problem is the defensive side and he’s 28 turning 29. Their Window is open but for a short period of time. I’d look to flip Kesler for Kusnetsov and burakowsky. If they balked at the price I’d throw in Guance if they tossed in a 1st in 2015.

    They have Halak in goal to support Holtby and if either get hot its very good for the club. If they keep Penner and grabovski the team is pretty strong for a run in the east. Given that west is a demolishin derby to get to the final the East team could play against a walking wounded West.

    For us we need to be sure he’s coming over from Russia but he has the talent to be our future #1. Burakawski is the cost of Kesler’s pedigree. If it makes them feel better with Guance coming back that’s fine for the extra pick.

    • Mantastic

      “Personally if Kesler gets moved in the off season I think it should be to Washington.”

      Kesler probably disagrees with you and his is one of the few opinions that actually matters…

    • Mantastic

      your sweetener for the kesler trade to wsh makes no sense.

      Guance alone will not nab you a 2015 1st round pick, so how is that sweetening the kesler pot for Kuz and bur?

        • Mantastic

          Why would Gaunce a 26th overall pick having a solid but not spectacular season be worth the 15th in a strong draft year this year? And how would it change the calculus of 2 washington top tier prospects for a strong two-way player with 1 year of contract left who’s aging?

        • Mantastic

          Why would Gaunce a 26th overall pick having a solid but not spectacular season be worth the 15th in a strong draft year this year? And how would it change the calculus of 2 washington top tier prospects for a strong two-way player with 1 year of contract left who’s aging?

        • Mantastic

          who cares if he’s a known quantity? Hansen and Booth are known quantities too! when has anyone ever traded their 1st rd pick for a low teir 1st rd prospect?!

  • Mantastic

    The most pernicious thing about the NHL trade deadline is what it does to the quality of Canuck blogs and forums. Although it certainly confirms that 99.9% of fans are completely unqualified to be an NHL General Manager.

    1) After fans and the genius Eastern media declare that Luongo’s contract is untradeable, unless it were for a bucket of piss and a massive salary retention, Gillis moves him for two potentially useful younger pieces, retains little salary and clears significant cap space.

    The Canucks have gone from having $9.333 million in cap hit tied up in their goaltenders last year to $2.35 (+$.8 retained) million today and through next season.

    2) Posters make the argument that a) The offers reportedly made for Ryan Kesler were entirely unacceptable AND b) Gillis should be fired for not trading Kesler NOW because offers at the draft will be worse because uhhhh they say so.

    Typically actual hockey trades are made in the off-season when teams know how they did the previous season, can more fully analyze their real needs, and have a more accurate picture of their team’s salary structure moving forward what the actual cap for the next season will be.

    There will be MORE teams in on Kesler at the draft, not fewer. And with the experience of the trade deadline behind him perhaps Kesler, if he is still truly motivated to leave Vancouver, will add teams to his trade list. Mike Gillis has had an opportunity to effectively test the market for Kesler and may also adjust his demands.

    3) Alex Edler’s post deadline comments make it perfectly clear he has no desire to waive his NTC. So we should all stop fantasizing about the spoils of an Edler trade. It ‘ain’t happening.

    4) When will NHL fans come to understand that cap space in a hard cap environment is a commodity in and of itself? With one Luongo trade we now sit 17th in the league in terms of cap space for this season instead of in the top 5. We’re a Booth buy-out in the off season away from being able to take runs at significant free agents. And despite the fact that dudes like to turn professional sports into a “Days of our Lives” episode, there are plenty of good players who WANT to play in Canada and the overwhelming majority will choose Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal. And the Swedes will ALL choose Vancouver! 🙂

    We’re going to miss the playoffs and we’re going to re-tool in the off season. I would currently peg the chances of Mike Gillis taking it in the neck at less than 20%. And if Gillis stays, Torts will stay.

    • Mantastic

      1) … and no proven NHL starter
      2) I think Kesler is more enticing to other GMs when he is able to play near the end of the season and not injured. By not trading him now you run the risk of injury and diminishing returns. Between now and the draft how will Kesler’s value go up?
      3) I agree
      4) Cap space is amazing! I mean that’s what I hear out of Florida and Long Island, anyways!
      I hope you’re right about Vancouver still being desirable location for free agents. I hope they are able to overlook the GM and for some players the coach?

    • Mantastic

      That’s ridiculous. Yes we have less money tied up in our goalies but we’re not talking Bryzgalov and Dipietro here, we are talking two top ten goalies in the NHL. How strong is that free agent market that we can use all this extra dough? Some of that money’s needed to resign Tanev and Kassian too.

      The problem isn’t that Kesler didn’t get traded its that Gillis again managed to make himself look incompetent and clueless. Yes he was probably in a no win situation but it’s one of his own doing. Why not tamp down the Kesler wants out rumors at the outset like the player and his agent did? Was the value of the offers increased by this nonsense?

      You’re right this is all very melodramatic and the fan base is likely over the top with its outrage. But the bottom line is has Gillis improved the very good core of the team he inherited? How many years of slow and now precipitous decline before some of this can be laid at his feet?