It’s the quiet before the storm; the Friday before a Monday NHL trade deadline. Trades are starting to come together, some with more ease than others — I’m looking at you, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators and… Vegas Golden Knights?
PIT-OTT deal involving Brassard is ultra-complicated, so much so that Brassard will likely first be traded to a team other than PIT. Then flipped to PIT. Hearing that third team is likely VGK. Potential for layers of salary retention.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 23, 2018
One has to think that if and when this trade comes together, it will be the final push on the levy and a flood of movement will follow. The real question is: to what extent will the Canucks be a part of that surge? Right now, it’s hard to say.
The Canucks locked up their premier trade asset in Erik Gudbranson, which leaves Thomas Vanek as their biggest bullet in the deadline chamber. All that’s left is to pull the trigger. But then what? The Canucks don’t have a lot of rental options outside of Vanek, but the likes of Ben Hutton and Anders Nilsson have worked their way in and out of the rumour mill all the same.
There’s no telling which way the Canucks will go. The results in each of Canucks general manager Jim Benning’s three trade deadlines are varied. So, with that, I’ve left it to the CanucksArmy staff to determine what constitutes a successful trade deadline.
They come away with as many draft picks as they have going in.
They do as little as is humanly possible.
I think at the very least, Vanek has to be moved for an asset/assets. It would be nice to see the team do something to address the untenable situation on the blue-line as well. It would be cool to see them pull off a trade that nobody is talking about and have it actually work out for the team. As a Comets guy, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing some help brought in for Utica that can stick around beyond this season.
I don’t care.
Draft picks are always nice, maybe moving Loui Eriksson, draft picks are always nice and maybe a foundational player no one saw coming and we they steal the day. Realistically, draft picks are nice.
Unfortunately, the Canucks veterans will be incredibly difficult to move at the trade deadline for multiple reasons:
Brandon Sutter, 29, the $4,375,000 possession anchor signed until 2020-21. When Sutter is ‘shutting down’ opposing teams top players without the assistance of Chris Tanev, his CF% is 41.37, tough sell. Oh, and he has a no-trade clause.
Loui Eriksson, 32, good player, not worth anywhere near $6,000,000 per until 2021-22. A Catastrophic evaluation of talent by management.
Alex Edler, 31, playing well but has the no movement clause which he earned for his years of service for this team. I wish he’d waive because I think he could still contribute on a contending team with a reduced role. However, if he wants to stay, he’s earned that right and that’s fine by me.
Chris Tanev, 28, by far the Canucks most attractive asset is injured and it sounds like it could be long-term. On top of that, I’m not sure Jim Benning should consider trading Tanev. If the Canucks were to trade Tanev that would leave the right side defenders lacking depth. Essentially, leaving it up to Troy Stecher to usher Olli Juolevi into the NHL next season which would be asking for too much, too soon from both players.
Then we have Thomas Vanek, 32, $2,000,000, unrestricted free agent after this season who currently has 40 points in 60 games. The state of team, his age, his production, his contract, this situation screams ‘trade me!” to the highest bidder and that’s exactly what Benning should do.
I’ll consider the trade deadline a success if Vanek is recycled for a pick or prospect and the Canucks chance at Rasmus Dahlin isn’t traded for Tyson Barrie.
They already re-signed Erik Gudbranson so the only way it could possibly get worse is if they don’t move out Thomas Vanek and decide to extend him, too. So obviously, that’s exactly what will happen.
Acquire draft picks and/or young players. Not young-to-middle aged, 24-ish players – I’m talking about 18-21 year-olds. I don’t see a purpose to the rumours that they’re searching for middle-aged players (Bjugstad, Namestnikov, etc) because they will be past their prime by the time the Canucks are competitive again. I want to see Linden and Benning stay true to their word when they say the only way through the mess is to “build through the draft”. They’ve failed to do the very thing they’re preaching and I’m curious to see if it’ll be the same old story once again.
Specifically, with trades, I’d like to see the Canucks trade Vanek at the bare minimum. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy and I think he’s had a great season, but he could always re-sign with the Canucks in the off-season if he wants to be back. If Linden and Benning are confident that they can re-sign him, why not acquire some assets and then negotiate when the season is over?