Vancouver Canucks: Learning the Market for Free Agency

Mar 22, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) is congratulated by the beach after he scored a goal against the Detroit Red Wings during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) is congratulated by the beach after he scored a goal against the Detroit Red Wings during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 18, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Colorado Avalanche won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

MARKET: Colorado and Edmonton

After much speculation surrounding the Colorado Avalanche and the status of offensive defenseman RFA Tyson Barrie, the drama has been put to rest by Avalanche GM Joe Sakic much to the displeasure of the fans of the rumored potential destinations.

What does this mean for the Canucks and their free agency pursuit? It means that Vancouver will have to look at the open market for a proven NHL puck-moving defenseman should they want one. The Canucks were one of the teams rumored to be after Barrie, believe it or not.

Again, who knows if the Avalanche is putting up a smokescreen of sorts. Given the circumstances on the Avs’ blueline, it would not be surprising if Barrie ultimately is traded out for a big, physical defenseman, even if Colorado doesn’t advertise him on the block.

And perhaps this news, along with the news of Sami Vatanen‘s new contract with the Anaheim Ducks, makes Dan Hamhuis’s rights that little bit more valuable?

Edmonton Demanding King’s Ransom for No. 4

The Edmonton Oilers don’t feel like trading away the No. 4 pick, eh?

And of course, the Canucks could offer both Subban and Weber. Heck, we could throw in our No. 5 pick, too.

More from The Canuck Way

Joking aside, this serves well for Vancouver on so many different fronts. Draft-wise, the Oilers are the most likely team to even consider reaching to take a defenseman with the fourth-overall pick. That makes both Matthew Tkachuk and Pierre-Luc Dubois available for Jim Benning’s taking.

On the trade front, the Oilers have driven up the market price for high-end picks big time. With the No. 4 and No. 5 picks being considered pretty much equal at this year’s draft, the Canucks will be able to also demand a king’s ransom.

Or Jim Benning could do some marketing and lure teams with a slightly reduced price for the fifth-overall pick. Teams who struck out trying to trade with EDM could look to VAN for answers. This is unlikely, though, especially after this interview, courtesy of Farhan Lalji of TSN.

It seems that Vancouver could be reaping from Edmonton’s abuse of the No. 4 pick:

Trader Jim is still not planning to move the high pick but is that a glimmer of doubt I see in this quote?

If the Jim Benning indeed likes six players, a trade to move down by a couple of slots could still be in the works. Even if those “six players” include the likes of Auston Matthews, Jesse Puljujarvi, and Patrik Laine, the Canucks could move down a pick via trade with the Calgary Flames.

Though one may argue if the Flames would ant to pay anything of value to move up a single slot, the consensus that there is a drop off after Tkachuk and Dubois cannot be ignored.

Most thought that a Barrie trade would most certainly require the Canucks to move out of the draft’s top-five. With that also not being the case anymore, it seems that the Canucks will simply hold on to the pick unless some crazy offer trickles in.

Again, a trade involving the No. 5 pick likely will not help the cap situation going into July 1st.

A trade to add picks, however, will certainly require the Canucks to send NHL assets back the other way, increasing the salary cap leverage. In the same interview by Lalji, Jim Benning did say that he was looking to add another pick but likes the assets that the team has right now.

Next: Free Agency: The Wrap Up