It’s still Boxing Day as I sit here and write this, so let’s stick what that theme, why don’t we? The festivities never end here at CanucksArmy!
If it’s Boxing Day and you’re involved, you’re either a buyer or a seller. There really isn’t any middle ground. It’s a lot like the NHL’s trade deadline. The way things are shaping up, it’s looking like the Canucks’ profile is teetering closer to that of a seller. They’re five points out of a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, and even if they were healthy, which they’re not, it would be hard to envision a scenario where they’re playoff competitive right to the end.
We’ve heard that the Canucks are already looking to move Erik Gudbranson sooner than later. Thomas Vanek, on a one-year deal, is an obvious candidate for renting out to a deadline buyer. But who else goes? That’s where things get tricky. Aside from those two, they don’t have any unrestricted free agents on the horizon that are feasible rental candidates.
The Canucks do have a glut of middle of the lineup wingers and bottom-four defenceman, though, and at some point, they’re going to need space for incoming prospects. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks moved a pending restricted free agent, for example, to clear the logjam.
So, if the Canucks come out of the Christmas break and continue to trend towards the sellers part of the market at the trade deadline, who do you see getting moved out? What would you do if you were in charge at the deadline?
Last week I asked: What do you think the Canucks best course of action is to fix their goaltending woes before this season veers into disrepair if it’s not already at that point.
Markstrom and Nilsson both started the season strong, and have had bad stretches recently. I don’t think it’s too much to expect them both to return to roughly league-average over the longer term.
What’s causing consternation is that they’ve both hit a rough patch at the same time, which is just bad luck. If Markstrom had been struggling and Nilsson had been playing well, or vice-versa, we wouldn’t be talking about this.
They’re both competent goalies and they’ll both return to form. No need to freak out and ship one of them off for nothing, call up Demko before he’s ready, and cause a real mess.