Trade Deadline 2015: What Areas Should The Canucks Address?


So the trade deadline is fast approaching and a lot of people have asked me what areas I think the Canucks should address at the trade deadline.

Before I talk about that, I have to let everyone know my position in regards to the Canucks going into the post season, as I believe that is very much connected to what they do at the deadline.  Simply, I do not think that the Canucks will make it very far into the playoffs this year.  Everyone should keep my position in mind when reading this article, because if you do not, my commentary on the deadline might not make a lot of sense.  For instance, if you believe the Canucks are going to win the Cup this year then your ‘areas of address’ at the deadline would probably be a lot different and more numerous than mine.  So what areas do I think the Canucks should address at the trade deadline?  Honestly, given my position and my thoughts on the trade deadline (mentioned below) I don’t think the Canucks should address anything at the trade deadline.

Feb 25, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Calgary Flames left wing Jiri Hudler (24) passes the puck away from New Jersey Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr (68) during first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Historically, the trade deadline (in my opinion) is used by teams to acquire various pieces in hopes of making a push for the Stanley Cup.  Also, historically, picks and prospects are usually the currency used by teams at or near the trade deadline to acquire these ‘pieces’.

In addition, the asking price of various players near this time of year is highly inflated, so only teams which think they have a shot at the cup really make any major moves at the deadline.  Look at the moves made so far.  Every one of those relatively ‘big’ trades had something in common: The sellers were teams not expected to either make, or make it far into the playoffs and the buyers were teams who were expected to do decently in the playoffs.  Also, in almost every one of those trades, the sellers received either prospects, picks, or both in return for a roster player.

The only area I think the Canucks should improve is the top 6.  I think if the Canucks added a top 6 forward that they would be a much better team.

However, I do not think the Canucks should add a top 6 guy at the trade deadline.  I cite two interconnected reasons for this:

1) I don’t want the Canucks to give up prospects and/or picks to get that top 6 guy and

2) who is really available ?  Given the inflated asking price for guys at the trade deadline, I think the Canucks would be much better suited to keep their picks/prospects.

I guess I am a guy who would rather the Canucks get better later, rather than sooner.  For the Canucks to give up such valuable draft picks would be a detriment to the team.  Also, given that this years draft is supposed to be the best one in nearly a decade, I think the asking price for guys is even more inflated.

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Secondly, look at who is available at the trade deadline.  The best top 6 guy available is Phil Kessel and after that its Antoine Vermette.  I had heard rumors that the Canucks were interested in Phil Kessel, however, the amount we would have to give up would not be worth a guy who, in my opinion, is hot and cold so often and has an horrible attitude.  I see Kessel going for a 1st and 2nd rounder AT MINIMUM.  Too much for the Canucks.  Secondly, we have less than a million dollars left in cap space.  The pieces we would have to move to have enough cap space, again, would not be worth Kessel.  The guy doesn’t really backcheck and is horrible defensively, has an absolutely horrible attitude and is a coach killer.  Would you really want this guy on the Canucks?

Jan 18, 2015; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; AArizona Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette (50) prior to the game against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

What about Vermette?  Honestly, I like Vermette and I could see good chemistry with him and Vrbata (Coyote connection), however, the asking price comes into question.  Seeing as the Blackhawks are very interested in Vermette inflates his price considerably and honestly, I do not think he is worth it.  He probably will not go for anything less than a 2nd rounder and a mid-level prospect and that is definitely not worth it for this Canucks team who needs all the picks and prospects they can get.

So what should the Canucks do at the trade deadline?  Honestly, not much. Apparently, Jim Benning agrees with me.  Let’s hold onto our draft picks and prospects and develop our own talent instead of trading for it.  Looks like the guys from Utica have been doing a bang up job so far for us, and that’s a great sign of progress.