Vancouver Canucks Could ‘Pull a Coyote’

Jun 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Antoine Vermette (80) holds the Stanley Cup during the 2015 Stanley Cup championship rally at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Antoine Vermette (80) holds the Stanley Cup during the 2015 Stanley Cup championship rally at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

If the Vancouver Canucks end up being sellers at the trade deadline, they might as well “pull a Coyote.”

Whether or not the Vancouver Canucks decide to trade Dan Hamhuis is anybody’s guess. Whether or not Hamhuis will waive his no-trade clause is a whole different story. But perhaps he should.

On February 28, 2015, the Arizona Coyotes traded centre Antoine Vermette to the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2015 first-round pick and defenceman Klas Dahlbeck. One year later, Dahlbeck is a regular on the Coyotes’ blue line. The first-round pick turned out to be 30th overall and was used on WHL forward Nick Merkley. As to Vermette, he is still the Coyotes’ first-line centre.

Well, we should probably say he is in that position again. Vermette spent the final months of the 2014-15 season with the Chicago Blackhawks, won the Stanley Cup, and returned to Glendale. A perfect scenario for whatever might happen with Dan Hamhuis.

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Imagine this: the Canucks decide to trade Hamhuis and he is willing to waive his NTC for a chance to win the Stanley Cup. He is sent to the Washington Capitals who send prospect defenceman Madison Bowey, the 53rd-overall pick of 2013, and a later draft pick to Vancouver in return. The Caps go on to win the Stanley Cup and Hamhuis returns to Vancouver in the summer, sporting a 14-karat, 350-diamond ring on his finger.

The Canucks now have Dan Hamhuis — like they did for the past six years — as well as a blue chip defensive prospect and a fresh draft pick. Oh, and don’t forget about the additional experience Hamhuis got from the Cup run!

This is already quite unlikely, but let’s continue for the fun of it.

Arizona didn’t stop at Vermette when they decided to sell at the deadline. They also shipped out defenceman Keith Yandle along with fellow defender Chris Summers and a 2015 fourth-round pick for forward Anthony Duclair, defenceman John Moore, a 2015 second-round pick and a 2016 first-round pick.

John Moore was also a pending unrestricted free agent who signed with the New Jersey Devils in the summer, but that was totally okay for AZ. At the draft, the Coyotes turned the second-round pick into the 76th and 83rd-overall picks. They still have the Rangers’ first-round pick for this year, and Duclair is one of the club’s most promising players.

You probably get where I am going with this.

If the Canucks decide to trade Hamhuis, they make a bigger decision. They are sellers at the deadline.

Along with Hamhuis, the Canucks could try to trade Radim Vrbata for another prospect and/or draft picks. Perhaps they could snag another good prospect.

If that were to happen, the trade deadline could look like the following for Benning’s Vancouver Canucks.

Throw in another trade or two to ship out Chris Higgins, Brandon Prust and Yannick Weber — as many of them as possible, anyway — and things would look more than good for the Canucks. Well, besides the fact that all this would mean the Canucks are out of the playoff race.

In the scenario outlined above, all that would change for the team would be that Vrbata leaves — which will most likely happen anyway. However, the Canucks add two defencemen who might be able to jump into the NHL within the next couple of years, as well as two or more draft picks.

But, life isn’t that easy. The trades above are certainly a dream scenario and would never happen like that – except, perhaps, in NHL 16 on your PlayStation.

Plus, there are always some risks that need to be considered.

  1. What if Dan Hamhuis decides he likes his new home and wants to re-sign with his new team no matter what he and Benning had previously agreed on?
  2. What if Hamhuis’ new team doesn’t win the Cup and he decides he wants to try again somewhere else?
  3. What if Hamhuis could get more money in Calgary or Edmonton — which is still close-ish to home — and he signs there instead?

That’s just three of the many risks that need to be considered.

For the Coyotes, everything worked out well. They got their first-line centre back, but added several young pieces that will help the team going forward. Plus, they are still as much in the playoff race as the Canucks are this year.

So, if Vancouver fails to win more than half of their remaining pre-deadline games, they should certainly consider “pulling a Coyote.” They wouldn’t get a return as good as what I suggested above, but they could definitely get something of decent value. Why would Dan Hamhuis say no to that?

Next: Vancouver Does not Have to Settle on Buying or Selling

What do you think? Is Arizona’s strategy a possibility for the Canucks? Let us know in the comments!