Vancouver Canucks Trades: Failing to Adjust to the Trade Market


The Vancouver Canucks are not a sexy trade partner right now. They simple have no way to cram big names like Ryan Johansen and Steven Stamkos into their lineup.

The Vancouver Canucks have worked themselves into a hole. Not saying that is a bad thing, just that it sucks when names like Ryan Johansen and Steven Stamkos are floating around. It really is a bad time to be a Canucks fan, eh? The team is losing, not really getting the Auston Matthew pick, and they can’t make big splashes on the trade front.

The Sedins

The Sedins are generational talents. They are refusing to let their production age, and although the entire league knows what to do when the Sedins are on the ice — take away the passing lanes from them — they still manage to score. But they are also managing to choke up Vancouver’s trade market.

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The Sedins are not leaving, but they occupy the top left wing and centre slots on the Canucks roster. That leaves only one wing open, a highly-touted spot for any scoring winger in the league. That is why Radim Vrbata came here, after all — to play with the Sedins. And with Vrbata no longer with the Sedins and set to leave after this season, the Canucks should be in the market for a top-tier winger for the Sedins to accompany.

Right now, there are no first-line wingers on the market. The Canucks can only hope that Milan Lucic makes it to free agency, where the Canucks will surely do anything they can to lock the Vancouver-native power forward to a deal that will make him play with the Sedins. The Sedins, as great as they are, are locking up the big trades up front.

Down the Middle

Steven Stamkos and Ryan Johansen are both centremen. Although Johansen would be a great hockey story should he ever wear the Canuck blue-and-green, the Canucks have no room for him.

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After captain Henrik, Brandon Sutter is a lock. Bo Horvat is a lock. Jared McCann is a lock. Alex Friesan is apparently up and coming. Brendan Gaunce is hitting the NHL sooner rather than later. This logjam down the middle is simply ridiculous — to the extent that Linden Vey is essentially getting locked out. The only centreman the Canucks need is a defensively sound and physically intimidating fourth-line centre.

Simply put, the Canucks have no room for a centreman, regardless of anyone’s star status.

Tradeable Assets

Let me say this again: the Canucks are not a sexy trade partner. Simple logic.

We want them to acquire young assets. We don’t want them to let go of their own young assets. So, here you go, dear National Hockey League. Vancouver is willing to give up no one but Chris Higgins, Yannick Weber, Dan Hamhuis, and maybe our fan-favourite Alex Burrows.

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Dear Vancouver Canucks, in a league averaging 27-year-old players, nobody wants a 32-year-old Higgy, 33-year-old Hamhuis, or a 34-year-old Burr. Make some calls on Yannick. He might be the easiest one to trade, the 27-year-old.

If you are not going to give up good names, you will not get good names. Bottomline.

If the Vancouver Canucks want to make some moves, they are not going to get too much back dangling those names aforementioned. They are old, and if they want to off-load the aged veterans, they are going to have to pay a price for falling behind the league and its youth. Trading away veterans is going to hurt their on-ice product, but Vancouver will have to live through it.

Looking at this situation, I realized something myself. The biggest problem that Vancouver faces right now is not the salary cap. It is not about the big fat contracts Jim Benning dished out to Luca Sbisa and Brandon Sutter. It is about having nothing to trade and only having themselves for being one of the older teams in the league.

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So, Vancouver, you can forget about Steven Stamkos, Ryan Johansen, Tyson Barrie, and whatever other names you might hear out there. Just enjoy how bad the Pacific has been.