Top Five Trade Destinations for Radim Vrbata

A year removed from one of the more active trade deadline periods in recent memory, it’s been all quiet on the western front to date. The stagnating salary cap and false positives that give the illusion of parity are making for a nasty set of circumstances for the transaction savvy fans in all of us.

One such team that is contributing to the malaise are the Vancouver Canucks. They’ve one of the better rental forwards the market could bear, should they choose to go that route, in Radim Vrbata. With just one year remaining on his two-year pact with the Canucks, at an AAV of $5-million, there’s little investment beyond spring for contending sides.

Should the Canucks opt to sell at this year’s deadline, one has to imagine Vrbata will be one of, if not the first piece out the door. So, let’s do the Canucks a solid and try to find a fit for them.

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Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks core is still in their prime and gearing up for another run at the Stanley Cup. Their depth pieces leave much to be desired outside the top-six, but they’ve still as good a chance as any team in the west to come out of the conference. Would a player like Vrbata put them over the top? It’s certainly a better option than last year’s acquisition of Antoine Vermette. Besides…

Potential trade chips: first round pick, second round pick, Jiri Sekac, Vincent Hinostroza, Ville Pokka, Marko Dano, Ryan Hartman

Tampa Bay Lightning

This might be Tampa Bay’s last kick at the can with Steven Stamkos as their captain. Unrestricted free agecy is on the horizon and they’ve still yet to come to terms on an extension. The time is now. Don’t be surprised if they’re a little less risk averse than usual. Working out the dollars and cents will be a little tricky, but perhaps the Canucks can help the Bolts do away with one of their more onerous contracts in the process to make it work.

Potential trade chips: first round pick, second round pick, Matthew Carle, Jonathan Drouin, Adam Erne, Anthony Deangelo, J.T. Brown

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Minnesota Wild

If nothing else, the firing of Mike Yeo showed how deep their commitment to making a run this season goes. Makes sense given the age of some of their core members. The Wild as a team have struggled to score goals for much of the season, which makes a player like Vrbata right up their alley. 

Potential trade chips: first round pick, second round pick, Joel Eriksson Ek, Alex Tuch

New York Rangers

The Canucks and Rangers are no stranger to each other on the trade market, having swapped Nicklas Jensen and Emerson Etem not that long ago. The Rangers, much like the Blackhawks and Lightning, are all-in on the season and looking better in the second half. Wouldn’t be overly surprised to see them mortgage more futures for another kick at the can.

Potential trade chips: second round pick, Pavel Buchevnich, Brady Skjei, Ryan Graves

Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks will have $35-million plus in cap space at the deadline. That makes them a serious player. They’ve also a wealth of assets at their disposal should they look to enter the rental market. The injury to Chris Stewart puts a sizable dent on their right flank. Vrbata would represent an upgrade in the long term and a great short term fill-in. 

Potential trade chips: first round pick, Josh Manson, Brandon Montour, Stefan Noessen, Jacob Larsson, Marcus Pettersson

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  • Almo89

    Sorry, but whoever thinks Vrbie is going for a first rounder is a little out of touch with reality…

    No matter where he goes, hope he’s happy and that we’re happy with the returns =)

    • Vintage

      Vermette went for a late first and a young d-man to Chicago last year.

      Vrbata roughly has the same counting stats this season as Vermette did last year. Chicago is well known to value advanced numbers and Vrbata’s are also better than Vermette’s.

      So, I can appreciate your opinion, but it appears to have been made in a vacuum, the actual evidence shows it could be reality.

      But, as usual, we will see.

  • Spiel

    Vrbata needs to be dealt, no question.
    In terms of where he slots in the market of potentially available UFAs – he is near the top of the RWs available, but is decidedly behind a player like Ladd.

    I think a 1st rounder is more than we can expect in return as Vrbata’s numbers are down this year. Some combination of 2nd/3rd round picks and prospects would be fine.

  • SJ

    I assume Benning has extra cap space to play with with Edler and Sutter able to go to LTIR?

    Agreeing to also take back a bad expiring contract from someone in a Vrbata/Hamhuis type trade might get a better return and allow a team like the ones mentioned to clear some space to acquire another rental for a playoff run…

    Where’s Drance to set something like this up?

  • SJ

    Return may be a little bit high, but I would be thrilled if we got a 4th or higher for him. He will be easily replaced in the lineup, even if we put a snail out on the ice.

    Please Mr. Benning just get him out of here.

    I am not a member of teamtank, but this process should have started 4-5 years ago. Looking forward to Trade deadline, and Draft Day.

    I am expecting Arizona to be the big movers at the Draft, 1st trading OEL to Edmonton for the 1st Overall Arizona boy Austen Matthews, then trading with Vancouver for Canucks 4th Overall pick to select Pheonix born Tkachuk. In return Vancouver recieves Arizona’s 2 1st rounders (6th overall & Rangers 21st overall).

    Vancouver then selects Pierre-Luc Dubois 6th and Logan Stanley 21st. Canucks use 1st from Hamhuis to select BC boy Dante Fabbro.

    Make it happen please JB.

    • Vintage

      Wow, look at you go.

      The best thing for Vrbata is a fresh start with another team. Look at David Perron, change is good. Unfortunately we are selling when Radims value is low, but this hurts his future contract as well. The best thing for both Canucks and Verbata is a trade. I think a 2nd rounder is realistic value.

      • SJ

        That is when some of so-called valued assets should have started to be moved or else you end up with the situation we are in now.

        Ohh… never mind i am already enjoying a cold one, the weather is beautiful up here in Pacific northwest how is Vancouver.

        By the way a lot of us up here still cheer for Our Canucks & are willing to go to Games whenever we make it to Vancouver.

  • Vintage

    Vrbata is a UFA at season’s end, he doesn’t have “just one year remaining”. You are thinking of JB’s other UFA signing, Ryan Miller, who should also be dealt at the deadline…

  • Vintage

    I don’t think Vrbata is going to help a playoff team that already has a scoring problem and he certainly isn’t going to put a team “over the hump” but he is still a useful middle six winger with scoring potential and you can never have enough of those during the playoffs.

    I don’t see Vancouver getting more than a 2nd round pick coming back unless a package deal is done. Vrby + spare parts + pick for a late 1st/high 2nd + ‘A’ prospect.

  • pheenster

    it will be more than a third round pick or Benning will keep him. He he is one season off 30 goals.

    Vermette went for a first but that could be a reason we don’t get a first for bata.
    Sekera went for a first last year as well.

    It will all depend on where Ladd goes.

    Likely the hawks, but ducks and fla will be hot on him.

    how many potential 30 goal scorers are on the market?
    maybe 3?

    Any team who misses out on Ladd will be in on Bata.

    minimum second rounder or prospect and a third

  • Marvin101

    He’s having an terrible year but he should be super motivated. Having a good playoff performance will literally mean millions of dollars for his next contract.

  • Marvin101

    >> The Anaheim Ducks will have $35-million plus in cap space at the deadline.

    I know what you mean, but you really need to rephrase that.

    The Ducks project to have $7,545,695 in cap space at the end of the season. Since they pay only a pro-rated portion of this year’s salary if they pick up a player, they could add up to $35 million of salary at the trade deadline and still be cap compliant this year.

    But that only works for expiring contracts. If those salary dollars carry over into next year they would be in a whole lot of trouble.

  • Marvin101

    If we could get a 2nd for Vrbata I’d be ecstatic. That for a rental is pretty good. I have a hard time imagining that Hamhuis will actually accept a trade. Miller will not.

  • Dirty30

    Vrby has been so invisible on this team this season, how will we know he’s actually been traded?

    With Therrian pooping all over PK, do you think we could get another brother playing for the team?

  • Almo89

    Capfriendly reports Vrbata has a Modified No-Trade Clause, so he needs to agree to the destination?

    He’s a top 6 RW. What contender is in need of a 1st or 2nd line RW at this point in the season?

    Considering that his previous history with Tampa, he prolly doesn’t want to go there now. (

    The only destination that makes sense to me is Nashville. The Preds have enough young prospects to flip back without hurting their long term future. Plus they have a lot of forwards who are able to play at different positions. Vrbata would make their line up more dynamic and give them flexibility.

  • Marvin101

    The value of anything is what someone is willing to pay for it. It’s that simple. You’ll have to wait until the deadline to know what this price is, but in the meantime, you’re just a bunch of arm-chair GM’s d***-measuring. “I’m smarter than you because I think…” “Nah uh! I am! Because I’m me and this is my opinion!!” Reading these comment boards is like listening to a jungle gym full of kids at recess, or watching an episode of “The View”: painful.

  • SJ

    My best guess would be Chicago. Marko Dano would be a nice return. He’s squarely built, plays a ‘thick’ game for an undersized player, and has lots of speed. Would fit in well with the team that it looks like GMJB wants to build. Not sure he’s the player Chicago wants to give up, since he’s still waiver-eligible. But he would be a good fit, I think.

  • SJ

    i see Anaheim, Chicago. Anaheim has lots of good defence prospects and i have my eye on Brandon Montour, Marcus Pettersson. all good puck moving defense men that can jump up in the play but also be responsibly defense. Throw in a second round pick and you could never be angry ( only problem is Jim Benning is the Gm). From Chicago I see Them giving us Ryan Hartman, Plays a game that you cant hate he is Fast, likes to hit, goes to the net, will be a leadership guy as it comes. Also throw in a second round pick you could no be angry with that (Ryan could play with the Canucks as of this year).

    • Marvin101

      I really was upset that the Canucks had a chance to draft Pettersson in 2014 and passed until I realized how good Thatcher Demko was going to be. The Ducks are easily the most stacked team in the NHL for young dmen that will actually play, even better than the NYI (whom I’d love to pry Mayfield away from).

      There’s no room in Anaheim for all those players, they can afford to take their time and groom them and STILL have to trade a couple of them. Keep your fingers crossed, it would be nice to get a legit player in return for Vrbie.

  • SJ

    Whatever Benning gets for Vrbata he should definitely milk this right till the bitter end of the deadline. What until teams get desperate by losing out on a couple other better options and see what they’re willing to give up. His play this year isn’t worthy of much but if all you’re being offered is a 3rd rounder or something don’t give in!!!!

    This deadline will be such a huge barometer/test for this management group. Generally I’ve been really negative about them (FYI: I was a big Gillis fan) and if they don’t have a good trade deadline that’ll seal my opinion. Please make me change my mind!!

  • SJ

    A second and Connauton for a few weeks of Derek Roy comes to mind,as does $4.25m for a concussed David Booth to officially close the window.Two-fourth rounders for Pahlsson after he told them he is retiring back to Sweden is typical Gillis.

    After a very lacklustre season for Vrbata,given his age and non-playoff performance record I doubt Benning gets much but he will get what he can,which is the opposite of the freaky Gillis show.

  • KiLLKiND

    Uh I doubt Chicago trades for Vrbata as they are apparently in the market for a LW not a RW.

    On a side note Drouin isn’t playing hockey till he gets traded how funny would it be if he doesn’t get traded? I would love to see that especially after how he has handled being in the AHL. He needs to accept that he isn’t an NHL quality player on the Lightning right now and earn his shot in the NHL.