The Canucks finally pulled the plug on the Erik Gudbranson experiment, shipping him off to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Tanner Pearson. In the absence of Sven Baertschi and with a dearth of offensive talent available to the Canucks on the left wing, Pearson looks primed for a golden opportunity with the Canucks. Where would you like to see Pearson play? Where do you think he fits in the lineup long-term?
Last week I asked: What would you like to see the Canucks do at the deadline?
Sell everything within reason so long as they can get decent returns. Edler (if he consents), Tanev, Gudbranson, Goldobin, Puliot, and Granlund should all be shopped. They should entertain offers on others, but only sell if there’s a real gain in the return.
It would be nice to see some young, perhaps underperforming, young guys come our way. I still think Puljujarvi could still be a solid top 6 player if he’s given time to develop properly, for instance.
If they can trade marginal players like Pouliot, Spooner, Boucher, Gaunce, and the like for draft picks then do it. Other than that, probably stand pat.
The Canucks are in an awkward position. There’s still a chance for a playoff spot, making the trading of a good roster player for a draft pick or prospect difficult. And even if they were interested in doing so, some of their best trade pieces are injured, greatly reducing the value for a playoff-bound team.
I want Benning to be an opportunist. No trades unless it truly benefits the team in the near future. Teams will be looking for toughness and grit for the playoffs. So moving Gudbranson or Granlund seems like a possibility. Most of our tradable assists are injured. So I don’t know how busy Benning will be. I do believe we have a lot of expendable middle 6 forwards. Both on the team and prospects. I would like to see some of them moved for one true top 6 forward to play with Horvat or top 4 RHD.
The only thing I’d like to see the Canucks do is trade Gubrandson. I don’t care if they only get a bag of pucks for him, their priority should be to get him out the door for whatever they can get. After that, I would see them trade Goldolbin since they don’t seem to want to play him, Sutter if they can get anything for him, Schaller who has been useless, Poulliote if they can find a taker, and then Granlund. If somehow you can get Edler to waive his no trade clause then shop him too. The best time to trade Tanev was last year I think; I find it hard to believe anyone would trade for him now since he is so fragile.
This deadline is the precursor to what has to happen this offseason. At the start of next season the Canucks should have added a true top 6 LWer and a young top 4 RHD with upside to the roster. Ideally trades for both could be made but that is highly unlikely.
At the deadline no buying. Get Guddy gone. Goldobin and Granlund also traded. The Canucks can’t worry about the whining about asset management. Take the best picks available. Entertain any offers for Poulliot, Spooner, Schenn, Biega, Boucher, Pyatt, Kero or Gaunce. Actively shop them all.
The big moves come in the offseason.
– Package Tanev with a couple of acquired picks, a surplus winger prospect (Palmu, Gadjovich, Lind, Lockwood) and perhaps take back a bad contract in exchange for the best young RHD (age 20-24) that can be acquired. Ideally this move could be made at the deadline but with Tanev hurt probably not.
– Move out Sutter and Eriksson. The costs are sunk, time to move on. Get the best picks/prospects possible.
– sign a top tier UFA left winger, maybe Skinner. The crop this summer looks much better than in 2020.
– re-sign Edler without trade protection and flip him in a year of two.
– Get Boeser’s deal done
– Do not sign any 28+ year old Dmen to long term contracts. It might be necessary to take an aging veteran for a year or two on the cheap to play 3rd pairing with Hughes.
It’s time to quit worrying about the return on every little deal and just clearly focus on filling the few large holes left in the roster. Solidify the top 6, no more projects. Get Edler and Hutton in place for a couple years anyway, integrate Hughes and continue building the D through drafting and developing.