Canucks Trade Deadline 2015: What You Would Do

This past Thursday we asked you, the readers, to tell us what you would do on Monday’s trade deadline. And you all didn’t disappoint. There were some fantastic responses to our questions, but our favourites are on the other side of the jump. Join us on the other side to see what you thought Jim Benning should do tomorrow!

The general consensus was that the Canucks shouldn’t be overly active tomorrow, and absolutely no one suggested moving draft picks of prospects for a rental player at the deadline. Many people favoured moving pending UFAs, but nothing too earth-shattering. Commenter Goon had a solid take:

At most, I’d look at moving maybe one depth winger and one right-side defenceman for some picks and prospects. Make a few calls and see what you could get for Yannick Weber or Derek Dorsett – if a team is willing to give a decent pick or prospect back, move them, but for the most part, I’d stand pat unless a really good deal is offered.
It would be foolish to mortgage the future for a team that probably isn’t going deep, but it would send a bad message to the players if the team went on a selling spree.
I’d also hold off on making an goalie moves until the off-season. If Markstrom looks solid in a few games while Miller’s out, see if you can move Miller and his $6 million contract to Edmonton or Dallas.

Others, like Gunnar had a more militant approach, seemingly advocating burning the thing to the ground right now:

Derek Dorsett, Brad Richardson, and Shawn Matthias must be moved for something.
I love Matthias and really want the Canucks to resign him, 3 years for the money mentioned on this site earlier this week is about right, but they can not let him walk for nothing. If he doesn’t sign by monday they have to move him and really he is the only asset the canucks have to move to get something of value.
Richardson and Dorset are the type of players whose value will never be higher then it is now. Playoff teams looking for depth really like these type of players. Think 3rd to 5th round picks, maybe if things break right a B level prospect. Neither of these guys are in the canucks long term plans (or shouldn’t be) get something for them now.
I do not think that the canucks are a Stanely cup threat, hand on a bible and shot up with truth serum I don’t believe the canucks can beat the kings 4 games in a row. Thats who their opponent is going to be, as GM I’ve got to be realistic so I’m thinking future and I’m going to cut into this “stale core” now.
Chris Higgins traded to NYI, he’s from there, they are damn good, east is wide open, and it’s the last ride of the immortals in Uniondale Arena. I’d like to believe that all of the above would make him lift his no move and go home. As GM I’m looking for a prospect back, Scott Mayfield (D) would be pie in the sky return and it wouldn’t hurt to ask you never know. NYI has a deep prospect pool with guys close find something that matches up.
Now here’s were I get really unpopular. As GM I look to move Alex Burrows. He is 33/34, not part of the future and his value is only going to decrease. The Canadiens or Rangers are teams I believe he would lift his no move each team has got to think they can come out of the east and Burrows could put them over the top, he is a good forward. There are prospects that are close in both organizations depending on the quality of the prospect ( Jarred Tinordi, J.T. Miller) I’d retain salary. If I can’t get something I like I do not move Burrows, but I’m working hard to make it happen by monday.
So thats what I would do for Trade Deadline. Move out all the drift wood for something, move out some of the core that is clearly not part of the future while they still have value (I call this the anti flames way of doing things) plug in the replacements and call reinforcements up from Utica to fill out the roster and have at it for the rest of the season. What the canucks have left combined with the lead built up in the standings probably still gets them into the playoffs (though if the Hockey Gods are just they’ll make it so the canucks miss the playoffs and win the draft lottery) get their heads kicked in and move to the summer.

While I agree that Higgins and Burrows will have to be moved eventually, and also before they depreciate into nothing, I’m not entirely sold on the fact that these moves have to be made tomorrow. Besides, Canuck4Life20 raises a very valid point about the “sell everything tomorrow” approach:

So you want Burrows, Higgins, Matthias, Dorsett, and Richardson moved? Basically you are advocating that we gut almost half of our forwards for picks and prospects for a team that is sitting in a playoff spot right now. They would be left without a top-six winger and no fourth line. Who steps in to replace those guys? Vey and McMillan? What kind of message does that send to Desjardins and the remaining players?

There is a fine line that Jim Benning has to walk, and he should have the foresight to know that it’s going to get bad in Vancouver eventually, so there’s no reason to walk away from earning some playoff revenue and building equity with his bosses. Lumme21 believed that since Dan Hamhuis holds a lot of value, he should be moved, possibly to the Penguins for a package including prospect Derrick Pouliot:

Looking at what Carolina got for Sekera, I would trade Hamhuis to an Eastern contender that needs a veteran D. He only has one year left on his deal, and once Edler/Tanev are back he’s a bit redundant. I think it’s important to keep one of the veteran D to help the next generation of players develop, but that guy is Kevin Bieksa and not Hamhuis in my mind (partially because Bieksa is a better leader, and partially because his trade value is probably nothing). If Sekera gets a 1st in this draft and McKeown, I don’t think it’s crazy to think that sending Hamhuis to Pittsburgh would get Pouliot (or maybe Depres) and a similar pick. If the Islanders want to load up and have an insurance policy for losing Boychuk next year, maybe they would give up Reinhart. Before yesterday, I would never have thought those kinds of returns would be realistic but that Sekera deal set a lofty precedent for defensemen.

I am a pretty huge Pouliot fan, but I don’t think the time for moving Dan Hamhuis is right now. He’s going to depart eventually, and there will always be a market for a steady D-man with the character and experience Hamhuis has. 

Besides, it’s not as if draft picks in 2016 and 2017 are worthless either. There’s no McDavid next season, but Auston Matthews may be better than Jack Eichel, and the CHL boasts some pretty high-end talent, including Jakob Chychrun, Sean Day, Tyler Benson, Julien Gauthier, Sam Steel, and Alex DeBrincat. The “2015 is the best draft EVER” stuff is overblown, and there will continue to be opportunities to acquire high-end talent in later years too. Hell, 6’3 2017-eligible Nolan Patrick is already one of the best players on one of the CHL’s best teams.

Anyways, Goon (making his second appearance) summed up the Hamhuis situation well:

Hamhuis had a slow start to this season, but since coming back from injury he’s been fantastic. He may have declined a bit, but to say he’s “not nearly the player he was two years ago” is hyperbole. He remains a legitimate top-pairing defenceman.
Yes, I think Hamhuis is better than Sekera and could net a significant return. But while the players you’ve mentioned may one day develop into top-four guys, but they’re not there now – they’re third pairing guys, and the Canucks sans Hamhuis have *one* top-four left defenceman. Shipping out Hamhuis for another bottom-pairing guy, regardless of what he might become in the future, really does “hinder us now”.
If the Canucks were in full-on rebuild mode, it might make sense to ship Hamhuis out. Next year if it’s clear that Hamhuis will not resign with the team (unlikely, IMO), it might make sense to ship him out. The Canucks are not in a full-on rebuild, though, and are trying to remain competitive and restock on the fly. Moving Hamhuis out would be a huge blow to the team and would remove even the small chance they currently have of going anywhere in the playoffs.
There are lots of off-ice reasons to keep Hamhuis, too – he’s a good leader and role model for younger players, he’s heavily involved in the community, he’s a local boy – these things matter when you’re trying to build a successful team.

RobG and peterl will round out our discussion with a couple of similar takes: look at dealing some veteran depth pieces for useful youth, but don’t count on doing much unless the right deal comes along:

Since the team is likely to make the playoffs but unlikely to make it passed round 1 I would look to move any piece that isn’t part of the 2-3 year plan but only if it speeds up the re-build process. The Canucks have a couple veteran depth guys that would be useful on a contending team that – if moved – wouldn’t hurt the teams’ chances down the stretch *cough Higgins/Bieksa cough* They could fetch a 3rd rounder for each. Miller’s injury basically guarantees a goalie doesn’t get moved until the draft and prospect trades can happen now or at the draft with no consequence to the teams’ on ice success.
Stand pat unless a really good deal comes along.

I think the Canucks need to move out a middle-six forward. The emergence of Kenins and Horvat has really stabilized their bottom six. They now have a glut of middle six forwards: Higgins, Burrows, Hansen, Richardson, Matthias, Dorsett, Kassian, and Vey.
The three in particular to watch are Richardson, Matthias, and Dorsett since they are incoming UFAs. Richardson and Dorsett have been extremely effective in their limited minutes.
Kassian and Vey may have higher ceilings and it is a bit early to give up on either of them.
Hansen has distinguished himself with Horvat/Kenins or Horvat/Dorsett this year and I don’t think he should be moved. Burrows would be hard to move with his contract. He still has some value playing with the Sedin twins. He gives them a familiar linemate and a left-handed shot.
I think Higgins makes for great trade bait. He is not a rental so he does command some return. He has playoff experience. He can add depth to scoring if needed and has shown some clutch potential in 2011. He is great on the PK. If another team makes a decent offer for him, I would move Higgins for a bit of financial flexibility moving forward knowing that team depth at forward can replace him.
I’m in favor of moving Richardson or Matthias as a rental to another team. Matthias has the size that JB likes. Matthias is a great sell high right now. Richardson is great on the PK. I think either player demands a decent return as well. Again, forward depth can stabilize the team for now.
If the Canucks add, it would obviously be a D-man. But the price is too high. Maybe next year with expiring Bieksa/Hamhuis contracts they can revisit trading their players as rentals for huge returns.

So there you have it, the general consensus seem to have an appetite for planning for the future, and no one suggested trading picks or prospects for a rental with an eye to this season’s playoffs. If a quiet day tomorrow is what you’d like to see, then judging by Jim Benning’s comments yesterday, you’re not going to be disappointed.

Thank you to everyone who participated, and we hope that you’ll join us for our trade deadline coverage on Monday!

  • pheenster

    Flames just lost Glencross and Giordano. They’re not making the playoffs. The Sharts are terrible and aren’t making the playoffs either.

    As much as some around here may hate to admit it, the Canucks are in, and no organization is going to run up the white flag in that situation no matter who the opponent is.

  • allsportsfan

    I’d be interested in trying to claim Craig Cunningham off waivers today as a 4th line player to see what he can do since he’s a Trail BC boy. As Ray Ferraro has said you won’t find too many people who will outwork Craig. Playing with Boston would have made him work in that tough environment.

    It would enable Horvat to be playing on the 3rd line center, even though that line has been the de facto 2nd or 3d line the last 10 games.

  • pheenster

    I would have sent Schnieder and Hodgson to Columbus for Carter and Johansen. Henrik would be my 3rd line centre and I’d be GM of the year with 2 cups under my belt already.

    • pheenster

      Hey, in the 2011 draft I’d take Saad 29th overall, Johnny Gaudreau with our first 3rd rounder at 71, followed by Ondrej Palat at #90. Can I be your VP-Player Development & Amateur Scouting?

      • pheenster

        Can I be President of Hockey Operations? Mostly because in this scenario it sounds like all I would have to do is show up to Rogers five days a week, read Twitter and play Candy Crush for eight hours, and then cash my paycheck.

    • pheenster

      I’m so smart that I knew ahead of time that Daigle and Brendl and Stefan and a thousand others wouldn’t pan out. My knowledge is so all-ecompassing that I was able to know ahead of time that a billion trades would have worked better if only the GMs had asked me.

      But you’re right, only the Canucks swing and miss at the draft table or the trade deadline.

  • pheenster

    I’d definitely aim for some hockey trades.

    Hamhuis to one of the many teams who are looking for a top 4 D man. I’d want a lot in return – top prospect and a 1st at the very least or some combination of players and/or picks that is very high.

    I would like to deal Higgins. Likely in a package. Alone he might get us a 3rd round pick but after seeing some of the deals, he might get us a bit more.

    I would also look at dealing Richardson if someone is willing to overpay or package him.

  • Dirty30

    There is no reason to trade unless we get players back that are better than the players we have.

    Talent at the deadline is always over blown. Good players become great and 3rd line centers become game changers.

    There are no teams in the Playoffs that look unbeatable, so make the playoffs and see what happens. A healthy D and good goaltending coud mean a long run.

  • Dirty30

    I’d be inclined to say no to trades except for the sheer madness that is taking place right now. Vermette for one of the Blackhawks’ top d prospects AND a first rounder? For his -23 and seriously troubling underlying numbers? Sekera for McKeown and a first (that Vey trade’s not looking so iffy now is it)? Yandle for Duclair, a first and a second? Gleason for anything? Clarkson???? What the hell is going on?

    I’d hold onto Matthias but if the price is that steep I’d definitely trade him and absolutely one of the other vets with no NTC. If these teams trying to go all in — Chicago, NYR, LA — because they see this as a last shot before getting clobbered by their contracts or age or whatever are this desperate we should definitely milk them. I’m not sure if we can only get a 3rd back it’s worth it but anything in the 1-2 range or good prospects like the ones being tossed around then for god’s sake pull the trigger.

    Also why is Chicago hell bent on tearing through their once incredible prospect pool (especially on D) with very few returns? Forget Leddy — Clendenning was one of their top ranked d prospects along with Erixon and Dahlbeck. They also have no 1 or 2 pick this year — is the plan to just play Kane, Toews, Saad, Keith and Seabrook for 30 minutes a game with some AHL scrubs for the next ten years?

    • Dirty30

      I would hold onto Matthais also,

      He really has taken steps forward this year. He can play wing and center and is on pace for 20 goals. The Canucks need to resign him!

      Big guy that can score and is versatile.