Welcome to a mid-week favourite feature here on Canucks Army and all sites on the Nation Network: What Would You Do Thursday, where we put you, yes YOU, in charge of your own imaginary Vancouver Canucks. We’ll present you with a different scenario each week, and you tell us how you’d solve it in the comments section below. Give props to the answers you do like and trash the ones you don’t. Easy! So let’s get started:
The last time out, we asked you if you thought the Vancouver Canucks should be trade deadline buyers like Jim Benning suggested they would be, or if they should sell everything that’s not bolted down. In general, given that Vancouver was and still is in a playoff position, not many of you favoured a full-on tear down at this point in time, but at the same time wouldn’t give up any future assets to make a run. In the words of Jamie E:
Should not be buyers, but should definitely be vultures. If teams who are buyers need to shed salary or open up roster spots for a potential acquisition, I have no problem with the Canucks picking up a useful (young) piece or two for cheap.
If the Canucks fall out of playoff contention, like last year, I hope Benning will be an AGGRESSIVE seller – and should be asking/pressuring vets like Bieksa/Higgins/Burrows to waive NTCs and NMCs.
Unlike others, I am not a proponent of trying to push the Sedins out the door. They deserve to stay lifetime Canucks if they wish to – and with their dual contracts I think we’d end up giving them away for very little anyways.
And Goon echoed a similar sentiment:
The Canucks should be neither buyers nor sellers at the deadline. The team isn’t good enough that they should be sacrificing long-term growth for a short-term run, but they’re also not bad enough that they should be blowing the team up and starting from scratch.
If the Canucks are going to make trades down the stretch, they should do it with an eye to balance – is it a “hockey trade” – does it address the team’s needs now *and* going forward? If they can land a top-4 defenceman with another year on his contract at a reasonable price, do it – the team needs that, now and in the future. If they’re offered a middle-six centre at a reasonable price, do it – the team needs that now, and they’ll need that in the future. But don’t go out and trade for guys on expiring deals in exchange for picks and prospects – the team isn’t good enough to make that a worthwhile investment.
The only “Canucks should be buyers” take that really got any traction was van Malmsteen’s, and I gotta admit, it’s pretty bang-on. A George Foreman grill carried me through university after all:
The Canucks should for sure be buyers. I would suggest first buying a George Foreman grill – no sense in eating fatty fried foods when watching the playoffs at home when you can eat delicious, healthy grilled meats.
On to this week’s order of business: figuring out what Vancouver should do with their goaltender situation. You’ll know by now that the Canucks are looking to move one of 27-year old Eddie Lack or 25-year old Jacob Markstrom, and it’s essentially a foregone conclusion that one of these two is dealt by the time the entry draft rolls around.
Originally, the plan appeared to be to move Markstrom as the Canucks were not afraid to expose him on waivers to send him to Utica. Markstrom went unclaimed, but his play with the Comets has been so strong that the organization is apparently having second thoughts about moving the no-longer-young goalie, envisioning him instead as a Ben Bishop-type late bloomer.
While that’s certainly possible, especially because like Bishop, Markstrom is dominating the AHL at 25, has always posted very strong numbers below the NHL level, and stands above 6’5 tall, it seems unlikely since Markstrom has been a train wreck in his limited NHL action. Between 2007-2014, Markstrom was 102nd out of 106 NHL goalies in even strength save percentage in over 1,000 minutes played. The only guys worse? Johan Holmqvist, Andrew Raycroft, Reto Berra, and Anntti Raanta. Then again, Bishop was awful too before he got good.
It’s not as if this season is a notable step forward for Markstrom either, since he appeared to be around this strong in the AHL in 2011-2012:
Re: Markstrom – I doubt he’s turned a corner in the AHL this year. Went on a similar run in 2011-12 too pic.twitter.com/4JiiVntS9u
— Rhys Jessop (@Thats_Offside) January 28, 2015
On the other hand, Eddie Lack is a more known commodity at the NHL level. Between 2007-2014, Lack posted essentially the same even strength save percentage as Ryan Miller did: a very respectable 0.925. Still, Lack’s 41 games likely aren’t entirely reflective of his true talent level, but at least he has NHL success under his belt, unlike Markstrom.
Lack may yield more value in a trade though, seeing as all 29 other teams have already passed on Markstrom and Devan Dubnyk, a career NHLer with a track record of moderate success, was dealt for a 3rd rounder. Lack likely won’t yield a 2nd round pick or a top-end prospect, but a 3rd rounder seems like a reasonable return to ask for.
So, what do you do? Do you trade Jacob Markstrom now that he’s on an expiring contract and his value is higher than it’s ever been? Or do you trade the more proven but slightly older Eddie Lack with the hope that Markstrom is legit. Let us know in the comments!