Report: Canucks have ‘shown interest’ in trading for Panthers’ Sean Bergenheim

The Vancouver Canucks have been dealing with injury-related depth issues of late, so we might reasonably expect several  organizational depth players to receive an opportunity to be called up from Vancouver’s minor league affiliate. We’re not talking about the Utica Comets though. We’re talking about Vancouver’s Eastern Conference affiliate, the Florida Panthers.

The Panthers are preparing to move rate-stats All-Star Sean Bergenheim and Vancouver is among the club’s that are interested, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Would Bergenheim fit in Vancouver, and might the asking price make sense for the Canucks?

Here are LeBrun’s comments in full from an Insider Trading segment broadcast on TSN on Thursday evening:

Yeah I would say (Bergenehim gets traded) sooner rather than later – even by monday wouldn’t surprise me – if he were dealt. We know he’s asked for a trade and Dale Tallon is working hard to move the pending UFA winger. Some Canadian teams have shown interested including the Winnipeg jets who we know are looking to acquire a couple of forwards. Vancouver, Montreal to some degree.

The problem for the Canucks is that the believed asking price for all these teams is a third-round pick, which the Canucks don’t own for this draft. We’ll see if he goes for a third. If he does, it could be north of the border.

A third-round pick for Bergenheim is a reasonable price to pay for an above average middle-six forward. Basically that’s modestly less than the Edmonton Oilers netted in the Ales Hemsky return at the deadline last season, and exactly the same price that the PIttsburgh Penguins paid to acquire Lee Stempniak. 

That Vancouver doesn’t have their third-round pick could complicate matters somewhat, but there are presumably ways to replicate that value if Jim Benning and Vancouver’s management team really believes that Bergenheim can help them. 

And Bergenheim most certainly can help. The 31-year-old winger has managed eight goals and 18 points with the Panthers this season, but he’s been mis-used and upset with management from almost the start of his tenure with the club. Former Panthers coach Kevin Dineen was often critical of Bergenheim’s play, and the Panthers attempted to avoid paying Bergenheim his salary during the lockout abbreviated 2013 campaign when he showed up to camp injured (Bergenheim would eventually win a medical grievance). 

Despite the off-ice tumult, Bergenheim has generated shots for at an elite-rate among NHL forwards over the past three seasons and he’s scored even-strength goals at a first-line rate. He also improves the shot-attempt differentials of basically anyone he spends any time playing with. He’s a very under-rated, exceedingly useful two-way forward.

While a player of Bergenheim’s ability would have a good deal of on-ice utility for any Western Conference club, the Canucks included, he’s also still an above average middle-six forward. In Chris Higgins, Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen, arguably Zack Kassian and the 2014-15 edition of Shawn Matthias, middle-six wing this isn’t exactly a position of need for Vancouver.

There’s also the salary to consider. Bergenheim’s $2.75 million ticket is hefty relative to other possible rental pieces like Toronto Maple Leafs forward Daniel Winnik. The Canucks can probably swallow Bergenheim’s deal while remaining cap compliant, especially if they place Kevin Bieksa and Alex Edler on LTIR or get the Panthers to retain a portion of the deal, but cap-wise the fit for Vancouver isn’t exactly seamless. 

  • Don’t really see the point of acquiring Bergenheim. He seems pretty much equivalent to what we already have and is getting up there in age. Maybe it makes sense of they have another deal lined up to trade a winger for a defenseman.

  • peterl

    It doesn’t make a lot of sense to add middle six forwards at this time. The Canucks have plenty of them (i.e. Higgins, Hansen, Matthias, Dorsett, Richardson, etc…). The Canucks could use a defenceman, but that will be costly. I would only say add Bergenheim if he is free (really low draft pick or prospect that is unlikely to crack the NHL). But nothing is inexpensive at the trade deadline.

  • peterl

    We’ve already established in the WWYDWs that no one sees the value in a rental right now. More importantly, Bergenheim looks a bit overrated by the fancy stats crowd. He seems like another Booth, which is useful, but will make very little difference to our season. His on ice sh% has been quite low consistently and his PDO this season seems way out of line with the results he’s produced for the last ~5 years. Fine depth, but makes no sense for the Canucks.

    If the Panthers are listening, we should push for Trocheck. Seems to be their 13th F this season and in a position where they have a lot of young high end talent – he could be affordable and would fit much better into the long term plan.

  • WTF

    This makes very little sense for the Canucks unless they plan on trading Higgins to make cap space for the off season. Poorer in short term but flexibility in long term.

    If they plan on picking him up for peanuts and standing pat otherwise, I still don’t see where he fits in. Once Richardson and Bonino are back and push Matthias and Vey back to the wings there is no space for a middle-six LW.

  • Vanoxy

    I like Bergenheim but don’t really see a fit here.

    Unless they have another deal in the works.
    I could see moving a couple of forwards for a defensive upgrade, then swinging a deal for Bergenheim to fill in the gap.

    He’s a guy any contender would love to have, but I think there are teams who need him more and will outbid the ‘Nucks when it gets down to the wire.

  • Dirty30

    Are there some kind of paint fumes in the GM’s office that turns everyone into Mike Gillis? Yeah, we need another trade with Florida and for a guy who will basically raise the average age of the team to somewhere between Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones.

    And what? Send them Kassian and Lack and promise to take on more of Luongo’s salary for Jed Klampett (yes, you have to be OLD to get that joke!)

    Note to Benning: “See Bo Go!” Dude’s 19 and skating like the wind and even tossing some pucks into the net and inspiring the old guys to get the lead out. Do not add more age to team unless his name is Sid.

    Ugh … this has the stink of ownership all over it all over again. Did you guys not just buy out Booth? Why do you want to sign his other brother Daryl (yes, you have to be OLD to get that joke! … and like sweaters)

  • CroBear

    I assume Benning is just doing his due dilligence and checking what a deal would look like. As interesting of a player as he seems, I’m not sure where would he fit. I doubt we’d give up any youth for him.

  • CroBear

    Lol @ruprecht took the words outta my mouth. If Florida calls, hang the phone up. tell Dale Fallon to p!ss off, we’ve had enough crappy ex panthers troubling us in canuckville. seriously, is florida the only team we can trade with? Is it a pathological desire to get unwanted assets as geographically far from Vancouver as possible? The only player out of florida that ever worked out was Jovanoski