Welcome to a mid-week favourite feature here on Canucks Army and all sites on the Nation Network: What Would You Do Wednesday, 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:
Trade rumours have been swirling around Vancouver’s 2nd and 3rd string goalies for a while now, so last week we asked you which of Eddie Lack or Jacob Markstrom you would trade. It was one of my favourite What Would You Do‘s so far, and oh man do you guys ever not like Ryan Miller.
The top answer from Ruprecht:
Which Lemming clearly agreed with:
I don’t think anyone else needs to really post anything anymore; I think we all know the winner is whoever says Miller should go.
I agree wholeheartedly, as did many other Canucks fans as soon as he was signed…
I don’t think anyone has any ill will towards him, but you just don’t need a 6 million dollar goalie. Period. If he was signed for 3-4, it would be easier to swallow, but one of the highest paid goalies who is really only average?
It’s no surprise everyone says Miller. No surprise at all.
Miller Miller Miller.
And so did Steampuck:
I’ll sort of umpteenth the sentiment that the Miller signing was a bad idea. A one-year deal, and I’d be all over it. But three years kills any of that enthusiasm. Already this year, he’s flashed brilliant play but he’s also looked pretty run-down at times, too. That can only get worse. And he’s not a marked improvement on Lack, who’s a lot cheaper and younger.
Best case scenario (and you never wish injury on anyone): a cup contender loses their goalie around the trade deadline, and we can unload Miller (assuming a cup run might get Miller to waive his NTC) in order to move ahead next year with a cheaper and younger goaltending duo. I can live with Lack starting, so long as he’s spelled more than he was at the tail-end of last year. Or, better, yet: Markstrom’s actually turned the corner and you have a platoon.
As ever in Canuckland, there’s no good decision. I don’t like the play, but I think I’ll hold onto all three if at all possible (without breaking the bank). If Markstrom becomes the next Bishop, there’ll be hell to pay if he’s not in blue and green. If he’s Reto Berra and we’ve just dealt Lack, it’ll be even worse. Regardless, any move needs to be a package deal that makes the team younger. I’d take prospects over picks, especially if we can move out some of the aging core…
Meanwhile, Origamirock designed a time machine to sort this out:
Honestly, this is it. I would build a time machine, go back in time and not sign Miller in the first place. Having said that, if there’s any way they can move him (even if the return is subpar or minimal or a roll of hockey tape) that is the best step to take. Nothing we’ve seen this year gives the indication that Miller + Lack is better than Lack + Markstrom. The former will not be as good in the long term and is certainly more expensive in the short term.
The time machine idea picked up some steam, as friend-of-the-blog NM00 (or N-moo, as he’s called on the streets) saved us all about four years of goalie-related stress and silliness:
Trade Schneider to improve the team in front of Luongo while the Canucks are still at the top of the win curve…
Ruprecht made his second appearance and made us all sad soon after:
This is a time machine I can get behind. I say to Columbus for Carter plus. If we don’t make the move perhaps one of our rivals might, and that could come back to bite us for years to come.
At the end of the day though, it was Char Richo that bit the bullet and pulled the trigger on a non-Ryan Miller deal:
UGH. I’d trade Lack. I hate myself for even saying that. It’s awful. I love him. He is like unicorns and candy and puppies and rainbows.
That being said… he would get the best return. And did we learn nothing from the Luongo-Schneids situation? Schneids should have been traded as soon as it became clear he was too good to be a backup. His value was highest then, and we would have got way more for him if we weren’t completely backed into a corner.
There is a caveat to all of this though, and that is that I’ve heard rumours that Markstrom is already wanting out of the organization, regardless of what happens with Lack. If that is the case, then obviously you have to keep Lack and try to trade Markstrom. No sense going into RFA negotiations with someone who doesn’t want to be here, he will just make trouble. I kinda doubt there is any truth to this though, I assume Markstrom would be happy to come up to Van and play here if Lack is traded, just doesn’t want to stay in the AHL.
(You can go back and read the thread here). We’ll miss you, Eddie.
This week, we’ll ask you to determine the fate of an overtime hero rapidly ascending to cult hero status on the interwebs. Yes, we’re asking you if Luca Sbisa should be re-signed by the Vancouver Canucks after this season.
Sbisa’s brief tenure as a Vancouver Canuck can likely be best described as “tumultuous” on the ice, though it’s not devoid of highlights. Most notably, he had arguably his finest moment as a Vancouver Canuck just last night:
The hulking Swiss/Italian defender is a restricted free agent at the end of this season, as his 4 year, $8.7 million contract is up at the end of the year. As his paid salary has risen above his $2.175 million cap hit over the duration of his deal, he’s in line for a raise should the Canucks qualify him. Sbisa is making $2.9 million in actual salary in 2014-2015, which means that his qualifying offer from Vancouver must be at minimum $2.9 million for next season.
On the one hand, Luca Sbisa has not been good throughout his NHL career:
The fact that he’s hardly been a serviceable depth guy should be argument enough to let Sbisa walk after this season, but there are still arguments to be made to keep him in the fold. Mainly, the fact that he’s just 24 and, if he figures the whole NHL thing out, is young enough to be a steady contributor for years to come. It also appears that Sbisa might genuinely be improving too.
According to Stats.Hockeyanalysis.com, Sbisa’s 47.7% Fenwick is currently tied for the best mark of his young NHL career. While 47.7% isn’t fantastic, he’s also posting it while spending a good portion of the year playing his off-side and in the most defensive-oriented deployment of his career as well. Similarly, Sbisa is also seeing the toughest competition he’s faced since he broke in to the league.
Sbisa is also 4th on Canucks D in PK TOI and is allowing a very respectable 46 shots against/60, filling in admirably for the previously injured Dan Hamhuis and now for the currently injured Kevin Bieksa. In short, Luca Sbisa is a young and growing defender that’s beginning to carve out a role as a physical, defense-first penalty killer – a useful piece to have.
Add to this the fact that non-tendering Sbisa would be an asset management nightmare. He was one of three pieces acquired in the Ryan Kesler deal, and to let him walk for nothing when you still control his free agency rights would be a bit of a head scratcher.
So what would you do? Would you cast Sbisa free to sign wherever he wants? Or would you tender him a qualifying offer at the end of the season seeing as he’s young and potentially improving? Let us know in the comments!