The Vancouver Canucks dealt prospect forward Hunter Shinkaruk to the Calgary Flames in return for forward Markus Granlund.
WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?! With that out of the way, WHYYYYYYYYYY?! The Vancouver Canucks traded Hunter Shinkaruk, perhaps the most natural goal scorer in the entire organization, to the rival Calgary Flames in return for Markus Granlund, a third-line centre.
In talks with our staff right after the move became public, it was clear that everyone was hoping there would be another trade in the making, that general manager Jim Benning had a master plan and was working his phone as we spoke. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
The Canucks had their official press release done already, which is something that normally does not happen until everything is set and done. Had the Canucks planned on making another trade, they would have waited to have a release on the entirety of moves. Furthermore, Benning spoke to the media shortly after the move was made public.
“I think Shinkaruk did improve. He’s an outstanding scorer and has a lot of potential but we don’t know if it translates to the NHL. Let’s never find out!”
Come on, Benning, what?
Sven Baertschi seems to stick with the big club. Anton Rodin, a 2009 Canucks draft pick, is having a great year in Sweden. He is captaining Brynas IF and has recorded 16 goals and 37 points in 33 contests so far this season. Benning’s comment sounds like there is a good chance of him coming over to join the Canucks next season.
That makes at least a little bit of sense. However, with Radim Vrbata leaving Vancouver no later than this summer and Daniel Sedin possibly retiring in 2018, who is going to score goals for the Canucks? Are Baertschi and Rodin first-line wingers? Will Brock Boeser be ready by then? Who knows.
Also, where is Granlund supposed to fit in the lineup? The Canucks’ deepest position is centre, where they have Henrik Sedin, Brandon Sutter, Bo Horvat, Jared McCann and Linden Vey. Is Sutter moving to the wing? Are Vey and/or McCann on the move?
For now, Granlund, a 22-year-old who has 14 goals and 28 points in 86 regular season games, should not be higher than No. 3 on the depth chart. Once Sutter returns from his injury, he should move down to No. 4 — pushing McCann further down. Are the Canucks trying to work out a deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning to get Jonathan Drouin to Vancouver for McCann?
Another possibility is that Granlund moves to the wing. He has played on both wings before and Benning says that versatility is what he likes about Granlund.
For now, we will wait and see. See what Willie Desjardins does with the lineup for Thursday’s match-up with the Ottawa Senators. See what Granlund can do. Wait even longer and see what Shinkaruk can do at the NHL level.
Worst-case scenario: Shinkaruk becomes a first-line scorer while Granlund is nothing more than a role player. Best-case scenario — and just as well possible — Granlund develops into a strong second-line centre/winger while Shinkaruk struggles to establish himself at the highest level. Both are possible.
Since we cannot look into the future though: what are you doing, Benning?!
In his defence, Granlund is not what he was originally looking for:
Rumour has it, the conversation went like this.
Benning: “Yo, Brad Treliving, got a D-man for us?”
Treliving: “Nope, but you can have Markus Granlund, he’s, uh… Real good!”
Benning: “Real good? Willie D will like that. Deal!”
Let’s hope Granlund gets a t-shirt that says “I was the best they could get.”
The biggest problem here: that clearly shows Benning wanted to get rid of Shinkaruk. He kept on saying he didn’t and Shinkaruk was just down in Utica because he needed it, but Benning had been planning a trade all this time. Come on, Benning, what did you do this for?!
Now, to make your anger and frustration even worse: