72
Photo Credit: NHL.com

Immodest Proposals: Buy-Low Reclamation Projects At The Deadline

As the Vancouver Canucks approach the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline—February 25, for those keeping score at home—the organization finds itself in a difficult position. The team is very much in the hunt for a playoff position, and that probably precludes GM Jim Benning from doing much—if any—selling off of assets. At the same time, the Canucks are kilometres away from competing for the Stanley Cup, so it also doesn’t make sense for them to be buyers at the

A possible middle ground can be found in a true Jim Benning classic—reclamation projects. With the development of Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, and Elias Pettersson—along with the imminent arrival of Quinn Hughes—the franchise is starting to approach the period in which young, NHL-ready players might be more valuable to the rebuild than draft picks.

In the latest edition of Immodest Proposals we’ll be highlighting some potential reclamation projects around the league that might be available at the deadline—or in the offseason—for relatively cheap.

The Concept 

Jim Benning’s propensity for acquiring reclamation projects is near-legendary, so we know exactly what we’re looking for here. Like Sven Baertschi, Markus Granlund, and Nikolay Goldobin—but also like Derrick Pouliot and Linden Vey—a reclamation project should be a formerly highly-touted player between the ages of 20 and 23 that has yet to make an impact at the NHL level and has seen their development stall because of it. Players nearing the end of their waiver exemption are particularly attainable.

The exchange rate for such players has traditionally been draft picks or similar prospects. With the 2019 NHL Entry Draft located in Vancouver, there’s little chance of Benning dealing any 2019 picks—so, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll set a price of a 2020 2nd Round Pick and throw in a 5th to compensate for the later date where necessary.

Vancouver Trades A 2020 2nd Round Pick And Maybe A 2020 5th Round Pick For A 20 To 23-Year-Old Reclamation Project

The Rationale 

The Canucks seem to be set on adding picks for the 2019 draft instead of dealing them, and that’s definitely the right idea. Beyond 2019, however, the strategy may start to shift. The ascension of Elias Pettersson has kicked the rebuild into overdrive, and it’s conceivable that the franchise could be a contender as early as 2021. Prospects drafted in 2020 or later will probably not hit the big leagues for a few years thereafter, and so they won’t be available to contribute when the team starts competing in the playoffs. Hence, the need for players that are further along on their development curve.

It’s not to say that draft picks aren’t important and valuable, or that they should be thrown away for waiver bait. Instead, we’re arguing that if Benning and his staff identify a reclamation project that they believe in elsewhere in the league—and if that player is available to be traded for draft picks beyond 2019—they should pull the trigger and add a potentially important piece for the 2020/21 season.

With the current depth chart in mind, we’ll give preference to left wingers and right-handed defensemen, but won’t focus on them exclusively.

The Proposals

This time around, we’re opening the field to any and all NHL teams. After all, organizations trade away underperforming youngsters for a multitude of reasons, so such deals are often unpredictable. Some of these players may be available, and others may not.

To Vancouver:

Danton Heinen

To Boston:

A 2020 2nd And A 2020 5th

Position Age Draft Games Goals Assists Points
C/LW 23 #116 Overall in 2014 52 8 8 16

Unlike some of the other names on this list, Heinen has already made a significant impact at the NHL level with 47 points in 77 games last season. However, since then he’s found himself embroiled in a hideous sophomore slump and bypassed by several other forwards on the Boston depth chart. If the Bruins add a forward or two at the deadline, they could look to jettison Heinen—and with a hometown of Langley, he’s a natural fit for the Canucks.

 

To Vancouver:

AJ Greer 

To Colorado:

A 2020 2nd And A 2020 5th

Position Age Draft Games (AHL) Goals (AHL) Assists (AHL) Points (AHL)
LW 22 #39 Overall in 2015 36 13 16 29

Greer makes the list because he’s big, tough, and can score from the left wing—meaning he might just be a future running mate for Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser. Greer is dominating at the AHL level but has been unable to crack the Avalanche roster despite their need for offensive depth. Aside from Jonah Gadjovich, this is the type of player that the organization currently lacks—and having someone who can keep up with Pettersson while simultaneously providing intimidation could prove rather valuable in the playoffs.

 

To Vancouver:

Tyson Jost

To Colorado:

A 2020 2nd And A 2020 5th

Position Age Draft Games Goals Assists Points
C 20 #10 Overall in 2016 43 6 9 15

Jost is both the youngest player on this list and tied for the highest draft position, and thus he’s also probably the most unattainable. Despite receiving solid opportunities with the Avalanche, Jost has struggled to find consistency at the pro level—and his formerly explosive offensive talents now only show up in spurts. Injuries have also been a factor for Jost. He’s a longshot to be available, but there’s a chance he might hit the market as Colorado gears up for the playoffs.

 

To Vancouver:

Julius Honka

To Dallas:

A 2020 2nd  

Position Age Draft Games Goals Assists Points
RD 23 #14 Overall in 2014 29 0 4 4

Honka would fill a need on the right side of the Canucks’ defense, but his NHL development hasn’t been very smooth. Having lost his waiver exemption this year, Honka has been stuck in the Dallas pressbox for large chunks of the season and his development has stalled as a result. While he hasn’t put up numbers in the NHL as of yet, he’s consistently demonstrated ample offensive talent in lower leagues—and a fresh start could unlock it.

 

To Vancouver:

Valeri Nichushkin

To Dallas:

A 2020 2nd  

Position Age Draft Games Goals Assists Points
RW/LW 23 #10 Overall in 2013 39 0 7 7

Nichushkin was the player drafted immediately after Bo Horvat and a large portion of the fanbase was livid over the Canucks decision to take Horvat—not that such opinions have aged particularly well. Nichushkin’s return to the NHL from a stint in Russia has been nothing short of disastrous, but he’s still just 23 years old and blessed with a bounty of size and skill. Maybe a change of scenery is all he needs.

 

To Vancouver:

Jeremy Bracco

To Toronto:

A 2020 2nd

Position Age Draft Games (AHL) Goals (AHL) Assists (AHL) Points (AHL)
RW 21 #61 Overall in 2015 47 13 34 47

Between Brendan Leipsic and Josh Leivo, Benning apparently has a thing for failed Maple Leafs forwards, and Bracco might be next on the list. Despite consistently scoring at every level he’s played at, Bracco has yet to dress for an NHL game thanks to Toronto’s preposterous depth at forward—and it’s conceivable that the situation won’t be changing anytime soon. He could look good on Bo Horvat’s right side.

 

To Vancouver:

Madison Bowey 

To Washington:

A 2020 2nd And A 2020 5th 

Position Age Draft Games Goals Assists Points
RD 23 #53 Overall in 2013 33 1 5 6

After a long and noteworthy career with the Kelowna Rockets that culminated in dominant performances at the World Juniors and Memorial Cup in 2015, Bowey has struggled to make the transition to pro hockey. Without waiver exemption, he’s found himself spending lengthy stints in the Washington pressbox—and flashes of his previous offensive talent are rare. That being said, that talent is still in there somewhere, and Bowey’s blend of size and skill could make him a good future partner for Quinn Hughes.

  • I don’t think any of these proposals are *bad*, necessarily, but I don’t think they really address the Canucks’ needs. The Canucks have a lot of middle of the roster depth. They have lots of decent wingers, both on the team now and in the system, for example. What they really lack are a couple of Grade A-type prospects, both at forward and on defence. Most of these players are going to compete with players like Leivo, Goldobin, Baertschi, Virtanen, Lind, MacEwen, Eriksson, etc. for 2nd/3rd line winger duty. None of them are likely to be a true first-line talent. Given the Canucks’ depth at wing, I’d say keep the 2nd and swing for the fences at the draft.

    Same goes with defence – with Hutton and Stetcher on the team, and Juolevi and Woo coming up, the Canucks are pretty set for young 2nd/3rd-pairing defencemen. What they really need is another top-pairing guy, and I don’t see Bowey or Honka being that.

    • Looking long term, the Canucks have Hughes, Juolevi and Hutton on the left side with Sautner and McEneny as other options, plus the probable signing of Edler. But the only right d man they have on the roster looking into the future is Stetcher, with Woo hopefully developing into a NHL player and maybe Chatfield. At this point, the odds are against all of the prospects becoming legitimate NHL players so the need is there. Both Bowey and Honka are right handed d men which would fill a need. If even one of them became a second or third pairing guy that would be huge. I have some concerns about Hughes transition and think it will take some time for him to reach his potential. There is a long history of solid defensive guys pairing with an offensive guy to create a great pair. Marc Methot is not the same guy away from Karlson, but together they were a great #1 pairing. I agree with your comments on the forwards. They would be competing with all our current prospects for the middle six so it probably doesn’t make sense.

    • I agree with all of this; also the price for all of these are way too high. Think about what most of our other reclamation projects cost — mostly low draft picks and other stalled prospects. You could argue that Baertschi, Goldobin and Leivo weren’t ‘failed’, they were just stuck in a bad situation where they weren’t going to get a shot. If you could flip someone who isn’t going to get a shot here — Goldobin for Honka or Bowey — maybe you do it but I agree that you should just keep the second (and probably Goldobin) and avoid any more reclamation projects. We’ve had a pretty mediocre record with them.

    • Note that those 2nd round draft picks were traded during the “build on the fly” era to refresh the roster. We don’t need to give up draft picks anymore because the prospect pipeline is starting to fill up. We have a serious need for a Top 2 RHD but I can’t see any team giving up that kind of prospect unless we overpay big-time in terms of assets. I don’t see any impact guys in this year’s 1st round of the draft either. (Which is why I’m such a huge proponent of signing Erik Karlsson.)

    • My thinking here was that Benning and co. needed to feel that one of these guys had top-line potential in order to pull the trigger. I think all of these players showed that potential in the past, it’s just a question of whether they still have it.

      You’re right that none of them are slam dunks, but it’s tough to find a slam dunk on a bargain.

  • depending on a lot of things, any of these people would have a good chance of playing in utica. i’d like to know a little more tho. skating, scoring history, size, puck pursuit and more. got kero from t.o. and another might be good too.
    sure would not use a second on any tho, but a third is okay
    i’m Really happy to see the color change for the quick hits! it was stupidly obnoxious as orange! and there has recently been a couple of posts! it was dormant forever, whoever set that up should be applying for warehouse work.

  • Excellent topic Stephan! This is what I’d want more of from CA.

    The ‘picks-only’ format is a bit constricting, but here are my thoughts:

    Heinen is a pass. Interesting but too expensive.
    Greer is also a pass. Too expensive.
    No chance Jost is available. If he was, I’d go for it. An excellent LW upgrade for Pete, plus can swap-in at C.
    A definite maybe for Honka. Tempting. He HAS to play though!
    Nichushkin is high risk and a hard no.
    Bracco is almost interesting, but a 2nd is too expensive.
    Madison Bowey is a hard yes, but unlikely available.

    It’s a coincidence that I was researching Bowey yesterday. I was going to throw his name into the comments at some point as exactly the guy I’d love Benning and Co. to target and acquire. Putting aside the draft picks only format, I believe a deal could be done that might be attractive to Washington. They are very hungry for another Cup run. This is a perfect time to strike. I have all sorts of kooky ideas on how to do this, but I’ll respect the readers and leave them out. This RHD kid is for real, a very good fit with the club and exactly the kind of bet I’d love to see the organization make.

    Sheesh, Jost would be a sweet get. Trying… not… to… think… aboutit.

    • I felt that the picks only was a bit constricting, too. I tried something like “A package equivalent to” but it felt to nebulous. Any feedback on how to better frame this is appreciated! I’d also like to hear more about what you’d like to hear more of!

      I have to say that I’m surprised at a lot of the feedback on the players. Personally, I thought Honka was the worst option on the list, but he’s the one people seem to want the most!

      Really interesting thoughts on Bowey. Caps are reportedly looking for third line help, but I don’t know if the Canucks have anyone who fits that bill and is available (other than a heavily-retained Sutter).

  • I don’t think the Canucks need anymore forward reclamation projects and especially at forward. It the Canucks could trade Gudbranson for the assets needed to trade for a young RHD that would be worth the effort.

    I don’t know Honka’s game very well but I did see Bowey a lot in junior and have monitored his progress since. His most successful year in junior was with Josh Morrissey. Bowey’s mind and feet seem to struggle with the speed of the NHL game. I don’t think I’d give even odds at this point he will make it to being a #6 Dman.

    I think the Canucks should either keep the picks, draft and develop or build trades with for young players with higher ceilings and greater certainty of success.

  • “Jim Benning’s propensity for acquiring reclamation projects is near-legendary…”

    I’d agree that Baertschi, Granlund, and Pouliot were reclamation projects. Goldobin is borderline, we knew that the Sharks were going to give up on him but not because he had failed to make an impact at the NHL level (only played 11 games with the Sharks, far less than Baertschi, Granlund, and Pouliot). Vey wasn’t a reclamation project, he was another example of how Benning was trying to exploit roster crunches by acquiring players who were subject to waivers (e.g. Leivo, Pouliot, and Clendening).

    • Agree except for Vey — he was a sop to Willie whose inability to evaluate NHL talent was only surpassed by his inability to coach an NHL team.

      I don’t think JB was ever sold on Vey or he likely would have passed on Baertschi who turned out to be the much superior player compared to Vey (and a few other players as well!).

      I think, like others, that this team needs some real, legit top line talent, not some more maybes, placeholders or retirement projects.

      The cupboards for talent and tradeable players isn’t really overstocked right now, and the need is for that definite top forward and top D and the rest backfill from there.

      • Botchford clarified that Vey wasn’t a true Benning transaction. Desjardins specifically asked for Vey so Benning made the trade for his new coach: “A pick was moved for Linden Vey, a Willie Desjardins ask…” There was another article where I saw the same thing, I believe, but I don’t feel like scouring the net for it.

        https://theprovince.com/sports/hockey/nhl/vancouver-canucks/canucks-rebuild

        But in retrospect, you can see that Vey was very high in the LA Kings prospect pool. So it’s not like Benning traded for a random guy. Where the Vey trade falls down is that Benning did not see that Vey’s points with the Monarches was propped up because Vey had Pearson and Toffoli as his wingers. With that in retrospect, Benning and his pro scouting staff should have pushed back and said “No, he’s riding the coattails of more talented wingers.”

      • It’s pretty great that Vey has a decent career going in the KHL considering the horrifying life experience he was going through while working his ass off to become a regular NHL player. He’s 3rd in points on CSKA Moscow, the top team in the K. Just keeping things positive Dirty30!

        • I totally forgot about his dad being involved in a murder conspiracy. Too bad, I would have liked to have seen Vey resigned to another contract after that news came out. We could have used him in Utica and he was still a viable AHL depth call-up.

      • Vey was highly touted by didn’t flounder until he came to Vancouver and played significant minutes. LA didn’t have room for him on the roster and he was waiver exempt at that point so they flipped him. He never underperformed at LA but like Goldobin, didn’t get significant games in before he was traded. So that’s why I don’t consider Vey to be a reclamation project.

        • I dunno if I agree with that. Vey scored at a higher rate in Vancouver than he ever did in LA. He didn’t really receive too much of a chance in LA, but he also didn’t do much with the chances he received. If he was performing well, they would have made room for him on the roster. I think he qualifies as a reclamation, but we can agree to disagree!

  • Has to be no on Honka unless you move another smurf out. I couldn’t imagine going with any combination of Honka, Hughes, Stetcher, Pouliot or Biega. You would have no physical presence and get manhandled in front of the net and on the wall. Mobility and puck movement are paramount these days but size and power still matter especially playoff time. They need a Pietrangelo type guy. Plays in any situation and has the size and strength to handle the opposition.

  • The Canucks have plenty of bottom-six forward depth. When guys like Gaudette and Granlund struggle to make the line-up, and when talented prospects have trouble getting ice time in Utica, then the Canucks should only consider adding top-six forwards.

    Right defense is something else entirely, and the Canucks should seriously look at anyone who has a solid defensive game.

  • A worthy exercise and a fun one at that. Worthy bc the kid you pick in `20 or even `19 may not become an impactfull player for three years. That burns three years off the affordability window the Canucks have open to them starting next season. Fun bc who doesn’t like talking hockey.

    I like the Bowey proposal and the Joost suggestion. Think you’d have to pay up for the latter.

    If I am Benning, I’d be kicking tires on kids with legit sniper potential. Tippett from FLA could be a nice fit as would Nylander from Buffalo. Best guess is the price on either player would be a couple seconds or a mid-round first.

  • Seems like a classic troll job by staff. Jim Benning critics have been roasting him his entire tenure in Vancouver for trading picks for prospects. Now a fairly new contributor is promoting the very thing his predecessors have been fanning the fire with. Duck, duck goose

    • No one has ever taken this position.

      The criticism of Benning trading picks for prospects and reclamation projects was twofold: First, that he did a poor job generally of evaluating talent, and lost most of these trades with the notable exception of Baertschi. Second, that a team *starting* the rebuild process should be stockpiling picks, not trading them away for marginal players.

      The Canucks are at a different point in their rebuild process, and maybe one or two of the players Stephan has noted above will turn into impact players worth acquiring. However, as myself and a number of other people have said above, this is still probably not the right direction for the team.

      Now for a real exercise in hypocrisy: I seem to recall you and a few other commenters whining and crying about how CA writers all had a hate-on for Benning and there were no alternate perspectives being presented. Stephan’s here presenting an alternate perspecting, and you’re whining and crying about how he hasn’t fallen in line with the positions of past writers? C’mon.

        • Holly Wood – let me catch you up. The issue has never been so much the ‘trading picks for prospects’ as a stand alone issue (although there’s usually a reason these guys are reclamation projects) – it’s the fact that the picks were never recouped (and an astute observer whose watched the last two games would see what that’s cost them).

          Also, the author clearly stated that with the emergence of a core the strategy could be different now than it was earlier. I don’t agree with that but it was said. There’s enough people whining at the authors on here as is – don’t be like that.

    • Three things.

      1) Different people have different opinions.

      2) The Canucks are in a very different position now than they were at the beginning of Benning’s tenure.

      3) Few, if any, CA contributors were complaining about “trading picks for prospects.” They were complaining about trading picks for players that were already old enough to lose their waiver exemption, like Linden Vey. When Benning traded picks for Baertschi, there were few complaints.

  • Like others here have pointed out, the Canucks already have multiple reclaimation projects going. I suspect that the big holes in their roster: another winger who can score regularly, and a big-time defender who can play the right side, will be found through the draft or free agency.

  • I think the players suggested are all reasonable targets, but all would make more sense if the Canucks were giving up players. Bowey and Maddison are both underachieving talents, bit unless Van moves on from Gudbranson or Tanev, where will they play? Similarly, Heinan and Jost might make sense, but you’d have to move Goldobin, Baertschi or Leivo to fit them in

    I like the premise though; if I could take two players from the list Heinan and Bowey (perhaps ‘for’ Baertschi and Guddy respectively, plus some draft picks coming back 😉 ) would be they. Jost isn’t realistic IMO

    • Thanks. I definitely struggled with how to set the price, especially with the Twitter vote format. Didn’t want to leave it too vague, and didn’t want to attract too many arguments based on players Vancouver was giving up.

      I think that Baertschi would make a lot of sense to move for a player of this ilk–before his recent PCS, that is.

  • I wouldn’t be looking for immediate help. The concept is good but if those same players are there in a years time it will mean their value will have further diminished or they ain’t going to make it and they should stay put. Next year will present yet another list similar to this and a further opportunity. I don’t believe we’re close enough to start throwing away draft picks already.

    IMO Vcr should look at some UFA in the summer. The two that jump off the page are Myers and McQuaid … maybe Jensen in Detroit … all RHD and then fingers crossed Woo will be ready. It may allow us to move EG and garner a pick

    https://www.capfriendly.com/browse/free-agents/2020/caphit/all/defense/ufa/desc/1/right&status=active-roster

    • I agree about the picks. Keep ’em. I’m glad you mention Myers. I’ve read several times that JB loves this guy. It makes sense that the Jets let him walk. They have depth and youth on the right side and upcoming cap/contract challenges. I can’t see them paying him is quote which is definitely more than 5.5M. He’d be a solid partner for Hughes.

    • I would be super cautious about signing Myers. He’s one of the top UFAs out there, and will almost certainly be overpaid. I also constantly hear Winnipeg fans expressing their frustration with him.

      McQuaid is a worse version of Gudbranson. Jensen is fine, but doesn’t move the needle much for me.

  • it’s about time Benning pulled off a blockbuster trade like the late great Pat Quinn did many times and GM Mike Gillis did by acquiring Ehrhoff, Markstrom and the Horvat pick that actually makes a significant difference to this hockey club!

    Too many plugs not enough sparks. The club has been drowning in bottom six and bottom pair castoffs the last five years under Dim Jim. True story.

    • I was listening to Brian Burke describing the drafting process. For instance he wasn’t in favour of drafting the Sedins, but was convinced by Thomas Gradin ( it must be tough to admit that ! ) but his take was GM’s just don’t get the opportunity or time to get out and look at players to the same degree as the scouts. They may see a player 10-15 times while the GM get’s to look maybe 1-2. Why I’m mentioning this is maybe the best thing to happen to JB is inheriting one Mr. Judd Brackett …. the gift that just keeps on giving. I don’t know what sort of contract they have with Brackett but it best be good and iron clad. He lies in the weeds and yet from all the videos I’ve seen he basically takes control a the draft table and it’s Brackett that’s leading the way with the resurrection of the club. It strikes me that although scouts such as Delorme and Gradin et al might have good instincts Brackett has an overall plan and direction for the club. Maybe he has some good contacts ( bird dogs in the East ) he is a New England native and from the picks he’s made in the late round stikes me he’s well positioned ( Rathbone, Gaudette, Madden, Lockwood ) high school and USHL. I aslo read an acrticle where some one was suggesting Brackett was under consideration for an Asst GM’s job

    • Mike Gillis and a blockbuster trade? Ehrhoff was a salary dump but it was a good trade. Markstrom, Gillis didn’t even engineer the trade, that was Luongo’s agent that arranged that deal. Gillis admitted that they didn’t even know who they were going to draft because the trade was made the night before.

      • Last i checked agents do not rubber stamp trades, NHL GMs do… they are employed to do so, agents are not!

        But what can we expect from the same ego-centric know-it-all who wanted to engineer this deal to Benning…

        “Benning should claim Ville Pokka if Sakic doesn’t first. Then pair Pokka and Pedan.” – Forever 1915

        Humiliating.

        • I hope people show you the patience and tolerance anyone with mental health issues deserves. It must be so painful your only joy comes from the memories inspired by a fading Mike Gillis poster. A man the hockey community widely acknowledges as unsuitable for team management.

          Please seek help. Mental health professionals know and understand the conditions that lead to your behaviour. They will help you.

      • Sorry I don’t buy that. The Schneider for Horvat deal was stalled because if he wasn’t there at the NJ ( # 10) pick then Schneider was staying, the deal was made on the draft floor. Horvat was the player they wanted!! Luongo screwed the Canucks, refused the TO deal when a Florida management type leaked to hang back because FLORIDA was going to make an offer. In the end Mrs Luongo got her way and kept Lou close for constant vigilance. What you might call a salary dump I’d call an astute trade, Erhoff for White. It doesn’t get much better than that. There’s always clubs in Cap trouble ( JB enjoyed the TO Cap problem and I’m sure scouted the them hard and waited ! ) Preperation is key IMO. I doubt any one was more tuned into the Cap than Lawrence Gillman. They understand how much each team needs to jettison and the players that will achieve that … for each club that is in a Cap minefield. It’s astute mangement

        • No, the Schneider trade was done the night before. Gillis and Gilman had no idea who they were going to draft until it was their turn. Gilman was on TSN radio in the afternoon during one of those regular segments he attended and said everything I wrote. If you really need to, you can go through the TSN radio archives and find the clip.

        • Gillis lost Ehrhoff for a fourth round pick because of his own cap problems.
          Losing the fifth highest scoring d-man in the NHL for a fourth round pick is hardly astute management.

          • Gillis got what he could for Ehrhoff. You do remember Ehrhoff was a pending UFA who signed a $40M 10 year contract? He earned $10M in that first year and got bought out 3 years later. It was obvious Ehrhoff was going to demand a stupid salary, at least Gillis got a draft pick for him. NYI flipped him to Buffalo the day after he was traded by the Canucks, also for a 4th round pick.

          • Gillis didn’t “lose” Ehrhoff. Ehrhoff chose 40 million dollars over 20 million dollars. The Buffalo Sabres signed him to a stupid contract and Gillis was smart enough to not to do something stupid like offer Ehrhoff a 10 year deal.

            And you know this. So stop being stupid.

          • you’re still being stupid. How could they “sign him before he went UFA” if Ehrhoff knew he was going to go to UFA because he knew he would get a big contract offer?

            Seriously Bud…..stop it. You’re embarrassing yourself.

          • Gillis lost Ehrhoff because he didn’t have the cap to pay Bieksa and Christian.
            He signed Ehrhoff and then insinuated Christian should take Bieksa money.
            Ehrhoff said he was willing to sign in Vancouver but Gillis blew it.
            Seriously,for a ‘truthseeker’ you need to read history when you don’t have a clue about it.

          • Sorry,should read:
            He signed Bieksa and then insinuated Christian should take Bieksa money.
            Essentially,he publicly humiliated Ehrhoff.

          • Yeah, Ehrhoff would have signed in Vancouver but only for a ridiculous amount of money. He knew he was going to get overpaid somewhere. Remember, he was overpaid by the same team that signed Vanek to a long-term deal, paying him $10M in the first year and flipped him with retained salary because he wasn’t worth it. Gillis never lost Ehrhoff, he was going to the highest bidder and signalled that long before he was traded.

          • geezus you’re such an idiot. Gillis had an established policy that all the players knew about with regards to salary. He didn’t “embarrass” Ehrhoff you moron. It was simply a business decision on both sides. Ehrhoff was right to leave the canucks and the canucks were right to not offer him a contract like that.

            Talk about not understanding history….how about spinning history to fit your stupid narrative. You’re being even more stupid than you were with the first post. Talk about a doubling down on stupidity.

            Just be a man and admit you’re wrong about this. Completely, and stupidly wrong.

          • And if Gillis had signed him to a significant contract you’d be complaining that he overpaid Ehrhoff.

            This is really ridiculous, even for you.

          • Before continuing to exhibit your class act ‘truthseeker’,do some research because you don’t remember very well and your mouth matches your memory and class you exhibit:

            Ehrhoff also seems to realize that if he wants to stay in Vancouver he’ll have to accept less than what he’d get on the open market.
            “I just want something that is fair and obviously if I end up staying here it’s natural that you have got to come their way a little bit,” Ehrhoff said.

            The Canucks finally pressed their last-resort button Tuesday, dealing Ehrhoff to the Islanders for a 2012 fourth-round draft pick.The trade was a no-brainer, and something of a haul for the Canucks, who concluded there was no way they could meet Ehrhoff’s contract demands, believed to be just north of $5-million per year. “It became apparent to us we weren’t going to be able to re-sign Christian,” admitted assistant GM Laurence Gilman.The move came after GM Mike Gillis peppered a conference call, scheduled to announce Kevin Bieksa’s signing, with hints Ehrhoff is chasing loonies.Ehrhoff flatly rejected the Canucks’ last offer, which was THE SAME five-year, $23-million deal Bieksa agreed to Monday. The Canucks may have lacked confidence in this negotiation, but they did hold out hope that their final offer, and a chance to win, would be enough to win Ehrhoff over. It was not. “Playing on this team is more important than individual compensation and that’s our expectation with everybody,” Gillis said before the trade.

            2010-11 Canucks scoring:
            Bieksa: 6-16 -22 pts
            Ehrhoff: 14-36-50 pts

          • Bieksa is quoted as having signed for a discount to stay in Vancouver @ $5.3m.
            Gillis’ final offer was for Bieksa money.
            Ehrhoff tallied 50% more assists than Bieksa scored total points.
            Gillis looked like an idiot for not having the cap space and he ultimately chose to sign Bieksa over Christian and then browbeat Ehrhoff on the way out.

          • Only you could post something that totally backs up everything I said, and think that it’s somehow defending your position.

            You deserve all the disrespect you get.

  • Absolute “No” to giving up 2nd rounders for any of the players mentioned in the article. 2nd rounders are like gold as picks can go and the Canucks do not need more reclamation projects at the moment. The help must be immediate and it certainly isn’t with any of these guys. Forget high picks for maybes.

    • It would be up to the Canucks pro scouting staff to determine which of these players is worth the risk, in the end. Not something we fans can determine.

      I’d definitely argue with you on the “2nd rounders are like gold” assertion, though. I guess it depends on your definition of gold, but I find them to be a highly overrated asset among hockey fans.

      • Exactly. There are a bunch of people here who are super weird about 2nd round picks. The failure rate of 2nd round picks is huge. They have approximately a 10% chance of ever being a top 6/top 4 player, and the most likely outcome is a 2 – 3 player. 50 to 200 NHL games at best.

        2nd round picks are almost worthless. Problem is, most of these people cherry pick the Saad’s and O’Reilly’s and think that’s what a second round pick is.

        • Well at least 2nd rounders make the NHL. 3rd and lower don’t usually even make it to the big show. I think a lot of people over value later picks and under value these reclamation projects. Las Vegas is a fine example of the value of reclamation projects. Arm chair GMs don’t have the skills necessary for picking out reclamation projects as they pretty much only watch their team or stars on the other team. They don’t the see potential of underachieving players on other teams because they just don’t have the knowledge. Myself included. Therefore it’s easier to say “just get more draft picks” or “draft picks are more valuable than a reclamation project” or “the draft is in Vancouver so we need more draft picks”.

  • I like Sautner and McEneny, but both are going to be 25 this spring. As much as we’d like them to be part of the next wave, they’ve played very little in the NHL thus far. Surely if they were legit prospects they’d have played more games by now.

  • FINALLY the TED had come BACK to CA! Solid article and ideas here. I think I’d stay away from Jost due to the price – probably very high and not waiver exempt.

    Bowey is intriguing but a 2nd and 5th for a guy that is often in the pressbox? No. If the price was lower then for sure, take a run. And by lower, maybe a 3 and 6.

    Bracco is another intriguing player and maybe some other assets could be moved for him. If it’s a pick then a 3rd isn’t unreasonable. He is an unknown at the NHL level.

    Nichushkin? A 2nd? Not a chance in hell. A malcontent who has all the tools but no toolbox. Pass. Maybe a late pick or a low end prospect if anything. I haven’t watched a ton of Dallas games but when I do, this guy is invisible. I am glad we’re not saddled with a guy like this.

    Honka. Another guy who sits in the pressbox a lot. No chance would I give a 2nd for this guy. A 3rd is the best I’d do or a lower prospect or a combo. He’s been in the NHL for a lot of games and doesn’t show me enough to drop a high pick for him.

    AJ Greer is a big unknown to me. Maybe he’s worth a 2nd and 5th. I wouldn’t send a 2nd. It’d have to be something else. Picks are too valuable and the Avs need scoring depth – so why hasn’t this guy cracked the lineup? Makes me wonder…

    Heinen? He might be worth it but a big regression is a scary thing! I’m loathed to dealing a 1st or 2nd so that’s too rich in my opinion. 3rd and 5th? That might be better but I haven’t heard a lot about this guy so maybe he’s worth the 2nd…maybe not.

    I’d also like to add to the buy-low list if the price is right. I’d look at what the ask is for Kapanen out in Toronto and Puljujarvi in Edmonton.

    Maybe Benning could do a Tanev for Kapanen/Bracco/pick deal in the summer (or now?). I’d see if Edm is open to dealing Puljujarvi for Goldobin – a risk for both but I think Goldy, despite his issues, has a brighter NHL future. However, Puljujarvi is still young and his potential could be realized at some point – probably not with the Coilers.

    Good article!

  • It is kinda of fun to look the other way and what are the Canucks reclamation players worth? We have some players that were late draft picks and signed for nuttin’. What could the rewards be in trade to teams looking for a cheap bump this year.

  • One sleeper RHD to watch is Nicolas Meloche in Colorado, he’s firmly buried behind Johnson, Barrie, Makar, and Timmins so it’s been hard for him to get in the lineup. He’s played extremely well in the AHL and the last few training camps and has a pretty good combination of size, toughness, and skill. He isn’t a superstar but he has legit top four potential if he can get a chance to play.

    Colorado has a brutal track record of developing defencemen so there is a chance that he could be had pretty reasonably, he would definitely be worth the price. He was a bit of a sleeper who fell to the second round a few years ago and just hasn’t got the chance since, I’d be thrilled if we were able to acquire him and see what happens there.

  • When will CA finally stop shilling for Nichushkin and simply admit that they were totally and utterly wrong? Horvat was, is and always will be the better player. Nichushkin is a bust. Simple fact.

    As for the rest, I’d only be really interested in a RHD like Bowey.

    Summary: sign players named Bo/Bowie/Bowey or any variant thereof.