It’s been quite the week, hasn’t it? After coming up with nothing just one year ago, the Canucks have made off like bandits at this year’s trade deadline, getting great returns for Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows.
Now that we’re almost certain the Canucks no longer see themselves as a playoff team, we come to the question of how to approach the rest of the season. Now that there’s not much to play for, the remainder of the schedule is the time for auditions and experimentation. With that in mind, which players would you like to see get an extended look down the stretch?
Last week I asked:
Who would you like to see traded at the deadline? Don’t be afraid to get creative.
TD: I like the consistent effort the team has played with this year, but they are in need of a rebuild and hopefully ownership now sees it. Hansen may have some real value, but Burrows and Miller are worth a mid round pick at most.
The Canucks need more help than a mid round pick or two. They need to look at trading one or more of the veteran D men. I would love to see Gudbranson or Spisa get traded for some young talented forward prospects but that isn’t likely. The Canucks probably need to look at trading Elder and/or Tanev. They have real value and could jump start the rebuild. With Tavares and now Strom playing well for NYI, would they consider trading Mathew Barzal?
TheRealPB: We’ve talked about Miller, Hansen and Burrows to death so I won’t repeat them. Beyond that I would like to see a strategy to protect the young players who are proving themselves to be NHLers no matter the bumps in their game (as mentioned by others any commitment to rebuilding and a youth movement has to have way more patience than this fanbase often shows with the hate for Hutton a case in point). This means making moves that increases the likelihood of us moving forward with a D of Hutton, Tryamkin and Stetcher from this year’s group, and Horvat, Baertschi, Gaunce and Granlund from the forwards.
I don’t see us moving Sutter because despite all the “evidence” to the contrary I think he has value in multiple areas. One thing I have liked about Benning has been his ability to sell high on some players even when everyone else thought he was crazy (e.g Shinkaruk). In that vein I would really like to see us move Sbisa (since JB is likely going to double down on the acquisition of Gudbranson which is scary). He’s developed into a pretty solid 4-5 D with much better positioning and decision-making to go along with a decent amount of physicality and good skating.
I know this will never happen but I did wonder if there was any scenario in which we moved the Sedins to a contender to play in a more suitable 2nd (or probably even 3rd) line role. It would likely mean eating half of each salary this and next year and it would likely be a tough sell for them given their families and roles in the community but they both seem like pretty competitive guys and this year in particular can’t have been easy. If we could get a prospect each or even a couple of 2nd or 3rd rounders it might again be a win-win situation. But I know it probably would never happen.
I would like to see any trade where Benning gets draft picks back happen. Everyone on this team should be on the block, especially if they are over 30.
natevk: I’d like to see Sutter moved. His usage and goal numbers likely inflate his value on the market and he’s still young enough that he may be able to fetch a relatively decent return.
Obviously that leaves a hole in the third-line C spot but I think that’s something Gaunce may be able to grow into in the future, and Sutter could be replaced in the meantime by a minor-leaguer or off-season cheap UFA while the Canucks aren’t close to contending anyways.