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WWYDW: Andre Burakovsky

The Canucks have interest in Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky, according to a report by HNIC’s Chris Johnston.

Burakovsky has averaged just under a half a point per game playing mostly in a third-line role for the Capitals over his career. As a once-highly-touted prospect who’s struggled at times to reach his full potential, he fits the mold of players the team has acquired in the past, with varying degrees of success. Sven Baertschi, Linden Vey, Markus Granlund, Adam Clendening, and Nikolay Goldobin all come to mind, but none had the NHL track record Burakovsky has at the timed they were acquired.

Would you trade for Andre Burakovsky? If so, what would you give up? (Try to keep suggestions realistic.)

Last week I asked: Who should be sent down to accommodate Baertschi’s return?


As to who goes to Utica when Baer gets back it comes down to either Schaller, whom I prefer to go, and Gaudette whom I do not. With veteran FA signings however there seems to exist unspoken mollify action of said veterans among GMs. If you sign these guys and put them on waivers 30 games into it there can be the perception that FA signings don’t get treated well and future players may not want to sign with that club. Because of contractual politics it’d have to be Gaudette who goes…and I wouldn’t like that.?

speering major:

Gaudette, and it’s not even close. He would benefit greatly from the ice time and to develop his all around game, but especially scoring at the pro level. On top of that, he’s not even better than anyone in the line up yet.


Gaudette should go down when Baer is back, so he can get first line minutes and build his game. Chances are, he will be recalled due to injuries sooner rather than later. Utica also needs the help. Biega should go down once Sutter is back.

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If injuries don’t solve the logjam, I think the Canucks should look at moving a few players to A. improve the D and B. amass picks. I wouldn’t object to Baer, Granlund or Sutter being moved. Schaller too, but he has no value. Pouliot is likely in the same boat. A Guddy trade would be welcome. And then there are Tanev and/or Edler trade possibilities.

So, short term, move Gaudette and Biega down. Long term, trade for room and bring Gaudette back if injuries don’t solve the problem.


Gaudette, despite Schaller’s weak play.

For Gaudette as a rookie it is all about his development. He’s had more than a taste of the NHL, enough to know what he can and can’t do there. I think now it would be better for him in the long run to get to the AHL where he could be a difference maker instead of a low-minute 4th line defender, playing more minutes in all situations and getting more offensive development than has been apparent during his time in the NHL. I don’t expect Gaudette to stay in the AHL for too long, but that’s who I think could benefit most from some time in Utica.

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They may keep Gaudette up as he plays centre, but I would send him down for his own development. He didn’t play in Columbus and has had way too many games where he only played limited minutes. Schaller has not been good, but this is about the future which means we give Gaudette time to develop as a top line all situation player in the AHL instead of limited minutes or the press box in the NHL.

Defenceman Factory:

Baertschi makes for a lot of left wingers. None destined to be one of best 10 or 15 in the league. Time to make a trade.

Send Baertschi on a conditioning stint in Utica. If a trade can’t be made before the stint ends then send Beiga down and keep trying to make a trade. Right now it’s Granlund or Schaller but if Baertschi looks good and for the right price I’d move any one of Baertschi, Lievo or Goldobin.

If a reasonable return can’t be found it’s Schaller most deserving of the demotion. Gaudette goes down when Sutter returns.


  • If the Canucks are going to acquire a winger, they should aim a little higher than Burakovsky. They’ve got plenty of guys on the team now, or in the minor coming along, who project to be middle-six wingers who can pot 30-40 points a year. In fact, that’s probably the position at which the team has the most depth, with Goldobin, Baertschi, Gagner, Granlund, Eriksson, Leivo, Virtanen, Roussel, Dahlen, Lind, Gadjovich, Boucher, and MacEwen all either capable of playing that role now, or projecting to in the future.

    If the Canucks are hankering to make a trade, they should be targeting defensive depth. If they really feel they need another winger, they should be looking to add someone with first-line upside, not another guy who’ll play on the third line and move up to the second when injuries hit.

    • If the Canucks are in the market for a winger, perhaps Tarasenko? Friedman and others have reported that the Blues are shopping him, he’s 27 and locked up until he’s 31 so you’re getting the tail end of his prime years without being committed too far into his 30s, he’s been an elite player who is struggling this year on a bad team and could probably be had for less than he’s worth, and he’d look amazing alongside Pettersson.

    • I think the point of acquiring Burakovsky is that he could become a Top 6 scoring winger with more opportunity. Historically, he projected to be a 34-45 point player over 82 games with 4th line TOI. Draft scouting reports gave him a Top 6 ceiling. Loui Eriksson is in our Top 9, I would think Burakovsky would be an upgrade. There is room for growth but only if he can overcome inconsistency and avoid injury (e.g. hands).

  • Just-One-Cup

    Not one of these numerous reclamation projects has truly paid off for the Canucks. Sven was the best one, but his ongoing concussion problems make that a wash now.

    I would rather take a punt on the waiver wire than trade assets for underachieving prospects hoping they will magically turn the corner.

    There is usually a very good reason why clubs give up on their own picks eg: Poulliot. So a hard pass for me on Burakovsky, especially being a dime-a-dozen winger.

    • Based on the metrics and stats, it seems like Burakovsky isn’t a guy that needs to really turn a corner but just needs an opportunity to play in a Top 9 situation. He gets near 4th line minutes but historically put up P/60 of 1.90 or more. I’d liken him to Goldobin or Leivo, guys who can put up decent numbers when they’re given more scoring opportunities.

    • Bud Poile

      Baertschi scored at a .5 PPG pace with four previous concussions.
      Goldolbin is the third leading scorer on the team.
      Granlund is a very serviceable depth forward.
      Ditto Motte.
      Pouliot is also serviceable depth.
      All these players ” paid off ” given the price was right.

  • Killer Marmot

    The best time to make a trade is when the other team is a motivated seller. Dubas trying to prevent Leivo from being claimed on waivers is a fine example.

    From the sounds of it, the Capitals are not desperate to part with Burakovsky, even though he has been a healthy scratch. They surely recognize that they could use his services later in the season, and they would like to take another run at the cup. Further, half the teams in the league have probably made a bid for him now.

    This suggests that the Canucks are not likely to get a good deal. Make an offer — a little on the low side — but don’t hold your breath.

  • Robson Street

    Burakovsky is likely to be a cap victim (no pun intended) next year if he stays in Washington. I’d be looking to trade a rental defenseman like Del Zotto (salary retained) and a prospect not named Demko, Gaudette, Juolevi, or Hughes. Let’s say DiPietro, fresh off a WJC bump.


    If the Canucks could trade Edler for a 1st then I would give the Caps a 2nd round pick. They are in win now mode, so they probably want a useful NHler, which means it won’t happen, but a 2nd is fair

  • Raymond, Ballard & a 2nd

    I like the idea of acquiring Burakovsky, I think he has a lot of offensive upside, which we could certainly use more of. I couldn’t see the Caps wanting picks or prospects with their window still open. You have to wonder if a package built around Tryamkin could get the deal done. I think he’d be much more likely to come over again playing for the capitals with all their Russian connections. Add another veteran/depth player to further bolster the caps play off run and I think it could work out for both sides

  • speering major

    I think this is a the type of player the Canucks should be looking at. That said I don’t think giving up futures is the way to go. If the Caps have a playoff rental they would be interested in, then there could be a deal there. You could maybe justify at 2020 pick but I don’t think 2019 should be on the table unless it’s a late rounder and I don’t see the Caps biting on that

  • NucksLifer

    Defencemen. Defensemen. Defencemen.

    If the Nucks are going to spend assets, it better be on young defencemen with upside. Think about it….Edler and To a lesser extent Tanev are on the downswing of their careers. MDZ, Pouliot and Guddy suck (aren’t good enough). Biega is a depth guy. So they’ve got one future top four in Hutton (unless he regresses again) and a 5-6 in Stetch (though I love him). One top prospect has a failure to launch. Others – Rathbone, Woo, Brisebois, Chatfield, etc – are iffy. Hughes is likely a keeper. But, even if one iffy prospect pans out, that leaves 2-3 future spots to fill.

    So spend the assets on what is needed rather than a marginal wing upgrade. People are suggesting Granlund for Bura but are we sure Bura is better? Similar age. Granlund is more versatile. Bura is bigger but is he more physical ? I don’t get the attraction.

  • I’d make an offer based around Sutter with 50% retained salary for the rest of the year. It gives the Capitals a versatile bottom 6 player that fits under the cap. If the Capitals want something to sweeten the pot, they can have some call-up depth like Boucher. Otherwise, we really don’t have anything on the roster that makes sense other than Granlund but I’d like to keep him. (Besides, the Capitals just drafted another Sutter this summer so it’s a place of familiarity for them.)

    • speering major

      I don’t mind that at all. I was thinking it would be best to try to get a 1st round pick and even take back a bad contract if necessary for Sutter but if something like this is the only thing on the table then I wouldn’t mind it at all. I think Sutters value will go back up if he has a few good weeks under his belt heading in to the deadline. Sutter is the kind of player teams want for a playoff run. The problem is his contract, most contending teams don’t have room for him over the next couple years

    • Over at HFBoards, Caps fans want at least a 3rd round pick. But they really feel they should be cutting bait with him. In light of their discussions, Sutter may be an overpayment if management agrees with their fans. They all have reasons for hating him but it seems that he lacks confidence and hockey sense. Hopefully, he’s not another Yakupov if the Canucks trade for him.

      • Hmmm, you may be right, Goon. Retained salary seems like it needs to be on the duration of the remaining contract. So getting Sutter under Washington’s cap means you need to do more in the current season (e.g. take a bad contract back) or be prepared to eat salary for this year and the next two seasons. That’s pretty rich to roll the dice on Burakovsky.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Andre Burakovsky would be a sound addition if Benning parts with a very late pick or fringe roster player to get him. But why would WASH GM Brian MacLellan go for a deal like this? Besides the Canucks need defencemen and ASAP. Don’t think anyone wants Tryamkin and talk of acquiring Tarasenko is very intriguing but would be very expensive. As for Burakovsky he just might have an asking price that Mr. Benning can’t afford presently.

  • TD

    I looks like Granlund is currently a better player, but Burakovsky probably has more upside. So that is the type of trade I would approve of. Granlund may be more reliable for the Caps to go for another cup and the Canucks take a chance on getting more out of an underperforming player. I like Granlund, but can live without him to take a chance on upgrading. If it doesn’t work, I think MacEwan could more than replace Granlund/Burakovsky going forward.

    • speering major

      Granlund has value. He is versatile and fills a depth role nicely. That said, he’s not a part of the future. The team needs difference makers. Guys like Granlund are nice to have but they come and go. They just picked up Leivo for nothing

      I would be fine with Granlund + a 2020 pick but I don’t see the caps biting on that unless Granlund had another season under contract. It would free up a bunch of cap space though, I’m not sure what it works out to on deadline space but it would be enough to make room for another player

      It would be pretty amazing if Benning flipped Leivo for him and he ended up being the 0.50 PPG player he should be

  • Defenceman Factory

    There is just no reason to pursue Burakovsky. he is probably a fine middle 6 winger with some upside. As has been stated the Canucks have a lot of these types of players and prospects. If you have 10 boxes of cereal and no milk the plan shouldn’t be to acquire more cereal. Best to trade some of the extra cereal for some milk.

    If the Canucks are going to acquire good young Dmen and that 1st line calibre winger such as Terasenko they do not have the assets to do it with. Convert extra wingers to draft picks. Edler and a 2nd gets you more than just Edler. Sutter and 2 2nds might get you a very good D prospect. If you can’t find those types of trades you make lots of picks and increase the odds of developing what is needed.

    • The reason why one would pursue Burakovsky is because he could become more than his current value. Looks like Caps’ fans want to sell low and just get rid of him. Using the cereal analogy, you’re trading for a box of cereal that could contain cereal, a deluxe Belgian waffle, or sawdust. What is one willing to give up if they are willing to gamble? Moreover, taking risks to build equity in the roster does not necessarily preclude hunting for milk; however, the acquisition costs for both do need to be considered.

      Burakovsky is essentially Goldobin Part 2. Although I don’t view Goldobin as a core player (personally, I would use him to acquire that milky RHD), it is an example where Benning got more value than what he gave up on the trade.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    I like Sutter but would part with him for Burakovsky plus??????
    Not a fan of Goldobin and would swap him straight across. He is terrible defensively and avoids the physical areas of the game along the boards and in front of the net. E.P.40 plays much harder with his slim body.

  • Burnabybob

    The Canucks already have a ton of forwards like Burakovsky- talented players who haven’t quite yet fulfilled their potential: Leivo, Goldobin, Dahlen, Virtanen, and they have a few others waiting in the wings, like Lind and Dahlen who have a good chance to play in the NHL one day. They will probably pick a forward in the first round in June, too.

    The big weakness in the Canucks’ prospect pool is defense- especially on the right side, but Juolevi’s injury raises questions about the left side as well. If I were Benning, that’s what I would try to address.

  • Holly Wood

    On paper Burakovsky looks very interesting. Former 1st round pick, 6’3”, 200 lbs, 280 games played with one year remaining with a $3 mil cap hit. Why has he fallen down the caps lineup? Until I was comfortable with the answer to that I would only be offering spare parts , certainly not a Gaudette, Demko, or even, a high pick. I don’t see him being an upgrade on Leivo or Baertschi.