The Vancouver Canucks could sell high on Jannik Hansen while buying low on Radim Vrbata.
Last week, I wrote about pending Vancouver Canucks free agents, including Radim Vrbata, and whether they are likely to be retained. To reiterate, as long as Jannik Hansen, and not Vrbata, is playing on the top line with Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin, there is little chance Vrbata will re-sign, and no reason for the Vancouver Canucks to try to keep him.
At the same time, at least one other writer has made the case that Vrbata should stay: he is second on the team in shots, while his PDO is worst on the Canucks, suggesting he has been a victim of some nasty bad luck. His possession numbers over the past three seasons show he is still a top-six calibre player despite his sub-par season.
So, there may be a statistical reason for Vrbata to be retained if possible. Yet, the case against his retention by the Vancouver Canucks is his asking price and where he fits in the line-up.
Not to mention that keeping Vrbata would create a new problem: what to do with Jannik Hansen, who has parleyed a full-time job on the Canucks top line into career highs in goals?
Here is an ideal — if optimistic — scenario, in which the Canucks could maximize their value on both players:
Next: Radim Vrbata: The Unluckiest Canuck