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.

    • Gillis is damned if he did, damned if he didnt. At least what he didnt do was take less than value for Kesler.
      There are a few rumors out there. One is that Aquillini nixed any deal for Kesler, the other was that the Pens refused to include Poulliot in the deal (which apparently was revolving around Sutter) which if that was the case, was the wise choice not to make.

      Kesler will still have plenty of value at the draft. There will be just more teams with a optimistic outlook on the upcoming season, and a higher Cap to work under. Combine that with his bargain cap hit and there will be lots of offers.

    • Ragnarok Ouroboros

      No silver lining until Gillis is gone. In retrospect I actually am pretty glad that nothing big really happened, except that Luongo got a mercy pull out of this ***show. Too good and classy a guy to continue to deal with this nonsense, even if he’s got a few million reasons to be ok.

      I mostly shudder at the fact that there’s likely going to have to be some other kind of disaster before the Aquilinis pull the trapdoor on Gillis. Hoping that missing the playoffs is going to be enough and we can get someone else in before the draft.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    I’ve lost faith in Gillis. Kesler trade value will never be higher than it was now. The Canucks need to get a new GM that can get things done before the Kesler issue becomes another Luongo Saga.

      • andyg

        Enough with the rose-coloured spectacles.

        Our “good GM” is Slats junior, and the Leafs are wallowing in the same mediocrity that they wallowed in until Pat Quinn got there & made the team relevant. Our “good GM” has never been hired by anyone but Brian Burke.

        As for the “the ownership pulled the trade” noise, that’s coming out of Shero’s camp. It’s nothing but sour grapes by a notoriously cheap GM that he wasn’t able to convince Gillis to take an Iginla-like trade for Kesler.

        That said, GMs, like coaches, have a shelf life. Perhaps Gillis has reached his. Hopefully, whether Gillis goes or no, he cuts Torts loose. He’s proved himself to be the wrong coach for this squad.

    • Sir Qautorze

      Its not Mike “The Blimp, Creepy beard” Gillis fault. Its you crappy ownership that you can blame for a lack of a trade and the Luongo fiasco. A GM can easily be fired but having inept ownership is a nightmare. Just ask Islanders fans