Archive for the ‘Vancouver Canucks’ Category

The Sore Thumb: Vancouver Canucks

October 14, 2009


When you see the title of this blog, you’d think we’d be a source for Vancouver Canucks information (or at least snark). No, that is not the case. Instead, you should go to blogs like Vancity Canuck. Sha Sha’s a longtime buddy of the blog and even runs a Tampa Bay Lightning blog (The Hockey Bay) to boot! What an overachiever…


All in-depth analysis aside, what flaw or weakness in your team sticks out like a sore thumb?

The one thing that hasn’t changed from last year, is that the Canucks still don’t have secondary scoring. There was hopes that Cody Hodgson was the answer. And Cody Hodgson was not the answer, at least not right now with his ailing back. Then, there was hopes that Sergei Shirokov was the answer, and it turns out he was not the answer. So where is our secondary scoring when the Sedins and Burrows don’t score? Hopefully Kesler and Samuelsson can find some chemistry with the newly promoted Raymond, or hopefully Berniers hands of stone finally turn into hands that can put pucks in the back of the net. Hopefully. And speaking of sore thumbs, or sore shoulders/knees/who knows what Salo/Demitra/Schneider has hurt now….Some components of the Canucks are like glass, you never know who’s gonna be hurt from taking a hit/puck/throwing a hit/trippingoverelectricaltape…

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Gut Reactions: Vancouver Canucks

September 8, 2009

Being that I’m still trying to come up with an interesting concept for our “real” season previews, I thought it would be important to start getting into game shape for the season. So on a semi-daily basis, I’ll roll out these unsolicited opinions on various NHL teams.

Keep in mind that these are assessments made without painstaking research and are not meant to be “official” predictions. Whatever that means, anyway…

The Vancouver Canucks’ hopes are hitched to three workhorses for the forseeable future. For at least the next 5 years, Vancouver goes as Roberto Luongo and the Sedins go. Whatever you may say about the crazy lifetime contracts being thrown around, there are worse players to have locked up for the remainder of their best days than Bobby Lou.

So, the good news is that the Canucks locked up their best players for fairly reasonable cap hits.

The bad news is that the 2010 Olympics are going to completely screw them over.

In last year’s BoC bubble updates, my main theory was that the main thing non-elite teams was the difficulty of their remaining schedules. Well, by that train of thought, it’s very difficult for me to justify the idea of the Canucks winning their division.

On the bright side, though, I find it hard to imagine Vancouver missing the playoffs entirely. This team is considerably stronger than Edmonton, Minnesota and Colorado even with the handicap of their fairly insane road schedule.

Photoshop by Katchop

The Canucks won’t be blowing many teams out, as even their best forwards (Sedins, Kesler, Burrows) tend to get their points by grinding other teams to dust.

Even after losing heart-and-soul D Matt Ohlund to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Canucks have one of the deepest groups of blueliners in the NHL. It doesn’t get much better than Kevin Bieska – Sami Salo – Wille Mitchell -Alex Edler – Mathieu Schneider – Christian Ehrhoff – Shane O’Brien. It wouldn’t be surprising if one of those seven ended up in a salary dump, but either way that’s a versatile bunch.

And, of course, the Canucks feature arguably the world’s greatest goaltender in Luongo. To make him look even more world class, they brought in Andrew Raycroft, a guy who inexplicably remains in the NHL while guys likeManny Fernandez wait in UFA limbo. If Luongo is injured again next season, it’s pretty hard to imagine the Canucks opting for Raycroft over their solid prospect Corey Schneider.

Overall, there’s a lot to like about the Canucks but a rough schedule will derail Vancouver’s division title hopes.

Lightly researched, impulsive prediction: #2 in the Northwest Division, #5 in the Western Conference

With the second pick, the Vancouver Canucks select:

July 23, 2009

2. Sidney Crosby to the Vancouver Canucks (selected by Vancity Canuck)

Crosby rocks a Canadian tuxedo for the occasion!

Cap Hit: $8,700,000

Vancity Canuck’s thoughts

Vancity Canuck gives her Vancouver FA thoughts

July 1, 2009

To read more from Vancity Canuck, read her Vancouver Canucks blog as well as her work at The Hockey Bay. Thanks again, VC!

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Any player with a girl’s name, namely Marian.

Gaborik: When he’s not injured, he’s a really exciting player to watch. But he does get injured, 27 injuries since 2000 injured. There’s also a lot of obstacles when you play in Vancouver, he could trip and break his leg on the seawall, sprain his ankles on the Grouse Grind, break both legs snowboarding on the mountains…or just trip on some electrical tape.

Marian Hossa really might be the best in the litter, but I can’t get over the feeling that he’s cursed in the Stanley Cup Finals.

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

Bouwmeester in Calgary! Imagine having Jay Bo and Phaneuf shutting down Vancouver’s top two lines six times a year. I want him on my team, and if we can’t have him, I’d rather see him in an Oilers jersey than being a Flamer.

Vancity Canuck talks about Vancouver’s upcoming draft

June 25, 2009

Vancity Canuck is another great friend of the blog. Along with providing the Vancouver perspective quite frequently, they came through in a big way when the Canucks were in the playoffs.

Make sure to follow Vancity Canuck’s work regarding Vancouver (and also the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Hockey Bay).

1. What direction do you expect Vancouver to go in with this year’s draft? What’s your preference?

Since we are picking at 22, I think we should really just pick the best player available at the position. The Canucks do need defensive prospects because our cupboards are looking pretty bare. Luc Bourdon was our best defensive prospect, but now the Canucks have no Top 4 D developing in Winnipeg.

I know, I know, not that Winnipeg team but isn’t that logo bad ass?

My preference, would be a defenceman like John Moore, but that’s crazy talk for him to drop to 22 right? Damn. More realistically I see the Canucks taking Ryan Ellis or Stefan Elliot if they are still available. Elliot is a BC kid, and unlike the other BC-born boy, with the last name of Ferraro, at least when you draft him, you don’t also get his dad.

2. Looking back, discuss some of the highest and lowest draft moments in Canucks history. What are some of the “steals” and groan-inducing moments that Vancouver fans will never forget?

Recently, a high moment of last year’s draft was taking Cody Hodgson last year at 10th. More importantly, was the choice not the draft Kyle Beech (have fun with that Chicago). Other than drafting Trevor Linden, the Sedins, and more recently Kesler, the Canucks have not had success in their ‘drafting abilities’. Nonis also like to trade away draft picks for players that no longer play for our team. What, you have to build a team through the draft? Nonis must have missed that lesson in GM school.

Kyle Beech-ed whale. G-g-get it?

Recent groan? Who is Patrick White and why didn’t we draft David Perron instead of him.

Soapbox time: take this opportunity to discuss the Canucks and/or NHL in general.

Mike Gillis will have an interesting week in front of him. I can’t say I envy him at all right now. The Canucks may end up having a similar look for next 5 or 6 years with the Sedins’ and their cycling or if they aren’t re-signed, the Canucks could look drastically different (cue the Luongo traders if no contract happens). I read today that Vancouver was on Heatley’s wish list. Um, thanks but no thanks. And Gaborik in Vancouver? Can you imagine the two Slovaks (Demitra & Gaborik) playing together? Maybe they can chat about being BFF’s as they both sit out on the IR together.

Where should the Sedins cycle in 2009-10?

May 11, 2009

July isn’t that far off into the future, really. Every now and then, we’ll take a look at some of the more interesting free agent situations.

Since we named this crazy little blog after the Sedin twins, it only makes sense to start with them. Now that the Canucks are out of the playoffs, let’s ask: where will those whacky gingers land?

***

How much are the Sedin twins worth? From what I’ve read, it sounds like it will take about $13 million to wrap up those weird looking twingers. James Mirtle provided a fantastic rundown detailing the fact that they might just in fact be worth that much cash (and cap space). With that in mind, let’s take a look at the teams that should strongly consider wrapping those freakish little Swedes up:

Vancouver
Salary Cap 2009-10: (without Sedins) about $31.3 million; (with Sedins) about $44.3 million

Naturally, the team that drafts you usually gets the benefit of the doubt in re-signing a player. The Canucks have improved this season as players like Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler raise their games, but they still would be extremely weak offensively if they let their two point-per-game players go via free agency. If the Canucks are willing to tie their future to the Sedin twins, then they have the money to do it.

Twin-o-meter:

Almost too obvious, like a reference to the movie “Twins.”

New York Islanders
The Islanders cap (with or without the Sedins) is a bit hard to figure because I still haven’t quite wrapped my mind around how rookie contracts will show up on the cap. As you may or may not already know, incentive clauses will be reflected differently on next year’s cap numbers.

If Hockey Buzz’s NHLSCAP page is correct, the Islanders currently have about $32.5 million committed to players going into the 2009-10 season. The good news is that money constitutes nearly enough roster spots to fill a whole team. The bad news is that those roster spots would be filled mostly be awful hockey players.

John Tavares (please tell me the Islanders draft him, they’ve made enough mistakes already … just take the big name Canadian forward and move on) will mean a cap hit between $1 million and $4 million. In a worst case scenario, adding the Sedins and Tavares would bring the cap to $50 million.

This would give the Islanders four nice offensive players (Tavares – Sedin twins – Kyle Okposo) to construct to respectable forward lines. This could actually be a good move if Rick Dipietro can bounce back from knee surgery, but there’s just so many “ifs” that it would be hard to imagine the Sedin twins going to Long Island.

Twin-o-meter:

Could be awesome, but could also be a train wreck … like the Olsen twins

Nashville Predators
Pre-Sedin Cap: $33 million; With Sedins: $46 million

While it wasn’t the first match that came to my head, it almost makes sense. After all, isn’t cycling the puck hockey’s answer to the line dance? (cricket chirps … dodges a tomato)

The Predators could conceivably bring the Sedins aboard and pair them up (perhaps) with tail-between-his-legs Alex Radulov to give the team what could be the franchise’s greatest line ever. The Sedins seem like they would fit in nicely with the Predators’ worker bee mentality.

You’d have to think they could make the playoffs with a core of Sedins-Radulov(?)-Jason ArnottShea WeberPekka RinneJ.P. Dumont, right?

Twin-o-meter:

Could be brilliant, but might upset mainstream audiences like “Dead Ringers.”

The Southern Ontario Team-to-be-Named-Laters
Pre-Sedins Cap: $32.1 million, with Sedins: $45.1 million

If the Coyotes DO get moved, you know Mr. Blackberry will want to bring some top-end talent to a roster that was gutted during the trade deadline. There are some really nice steals and semi-steals on this roster: Shane Doan is a nice power forward who could fit in well with the Sedins at a low price ($4.55 million cap hit) and Kyle Turris/Peter Mueller both have sub-$3 million contracts that could end up being steals in the right situation.

Who knows: the South Hamilton ex-Yotes could end up adding Jay Bouwmeester and the Sedins for $20 million and make a lot of people nervous.

Twin-o-meter:

Could be ugly, like the Phoenix Coyotes situation and the movie “Stuck on You.”

Round 2: Who’s under pressure?

April 30, 2009

With the second round set to begin in Vancouver tonight, the stakes are rising for the remaining 8 teams. Still, expectations and future outlooks play a huge role in how a team’s playoff run is evaluated. Taking that into account, which teams have the most to lose (and gain)? Are there any teams “playing with house money”? Let’s take a look.

1. Boston vs. 6. Carolina

Both teams defied expectations this season. For the Bruins, that came early, as Boston went from being a nice little 8th seed last year to a squad good enough to make people wonder if they could go toe-to-toe with San Jose and Detroit. In Carolina, the Hurricanes went through most of the regular season looking like their typical selves (limping through stretches, remaining thoroughly mediocre … the ultimate bubble team) and then all of a sudden became arguably the hottest team in the NHL.

Hockey fans will probably remember the Canes stunning two goals in 1:20 to shock the Devils for years to come. At this point, Carolina is the perfect foil for a number one seed: they’re playing their best hockey of the year and just seem to have everything falling in place. If they lose, no sweat, really. Right?

One thing that stands out for Boston is that they have some tough salary cap decisions to make. David Krejci and Phil Kessel are RFAs this summer. Marc Savard only has one year left on his contract and will certainly command a bigger cap hit than his current $5 million.

The B’s are a nice story, but the startling depth that made them such a juggernaut won’t last forever.

Bruins have way, way WAY more to lose than the Hurricanes.

2. Detroit vs. 8. Anaheim

The second of two “behemoth vs. Cinderella” match-ups, although the Ducks have more to lose than the Hurricanes (and the Red Wings are probably yawning at the pressure of being heavy favorites).

Anaheim will have a lot of questions to answer this off-season, particularly when it comes to Scott Niedermayer. Could this be the last year of the Norris brothers?

Still, the Ducks can’t sweat it too much when they look at their young forward trifecta: Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan make up quite the nice group of sub-25 threats. With Getzlaf and Perry wrapped up for a long time at a low cap hit, Anaheim isn’t crazy to wonder if the sky is the limit.

And if they get bounced, it will at least make Jonas Hiller easier to re-sign.

It’s difficult, however, to muster much fervor for the Red Wings. Yes, it would be a letdown if Detroit blows this series but they won the Cup last year. They have a mountain of talent wrapped up for below market value prices. If they screw up this year, they’ll be a top-3 seed for the next decade anyway.

Ugh.

Detroit has more to lose than Anaheim, but they both have bright futures.

2. Washington vs. 4. Pittsburgh

No doubt about it, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have a lot to lose in this series. They are the two faces of the league and will suffer from harsh Photoshops, mouth-breathers in comments and a predictable “I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!11” mentality. Evgeni Malkin can obviously swoop in and show that perhaps he should be the Hart trophy winner instead of Ovechkin.

Hell, even Alex Semin has plenty to prove after his “Kane over Crosby” comments from earlier this year.

If you had to choose, the slight edge in pressure might go to the Capitals. They are the higher seed with home ice advantage. After barely beating the Rangers in a 7-game series – and getting, honestly, severely out-played at times in that decisive game – the Capitals need to show that they’re not just a weak willed collection of gorgeously talented Europeans.

The Penguins have “been there” before, putting up a cute little fight against the Red Wings in the SCF last year. In some ways, that means that they have quite a bit to lose, as they don’t have the excuse of inexperience.

The Capitals and Penguins face extreme pressure to deliver on all the media hype, with a slight bit more on the Caps’ shoulders. Either way, someone’s getting flamed in a message board before this one is done.

3. Vancouver vs. 4. Chicago

The Canucks are an odd story this season. On one hand, you have disappointments like Mats Sundin and the hot button issue of re-signing the Sedin twins. There’s also the oddness of Roberto Luongo being the first goalie to be a team captain since the railroad industry was thriving.

That being said, there’s the “aha!” season of Alex Burrows and the assorted flavors of hard scrabble two-way forwards this team provides. Will Kyle Wellwood make you pay for that fat joke? Shall Ryan Kesler show us why he’s a Selke finalist? Lots of sneaky good guys on this team.

One story I promise to beat to the ground is that the Chicago Blackhawks shouldn’t be so loosey goosey this year. Everyone seems to think that the BLACKHAWKS ARE A TEAM OF THE FUTURE. While that would be great, it might not be so easy.

Martin Havlat and Nik Bulin are all but gone, barring some crazy hypnosis-based contract signings. As I wrote before, the team might have a devil of a time re-signing its talented trio of Kane-Toews-Keith between now and the 2010 summer.

Yes, the Hawks are still in their cliched “losing to learn how to win” season, but they might want to think about skipping that process altogether. Things might get a lot tougher for this team in the future.

The Canucks are under more pressure, but the Blackhawks are under more pressure than you’d think.

Hockey Orphan: Yankee Canuck on the Vancouver Canucks

April 11, 2009
Click on logo to check out all the Hockey Orphan entries

(Thanks to Yankee Canuck for another great contribution. YC is part of the gang at Nucks Misconduct, a great SB Nation blog that covers Captain Lou and the Vancouver Canucks. Some people might think that CLS is a place to go for ‘Nucks stuff, but follow NM instead. They actually know what they’re talking about.)

So the NFL is out of season, the XFL is defunct, baseball bores you to tears, basketball doesn’t make sense and, for some reason, no one has opened a worthwhile Roman gladiator league in ages. But, hark, you found hockey. Welcome friend.

Now there’s 30 punk ass teams in the league (that’s not fair…28 punk ass teams with Calgary and the NY Rangers being just thoroughly reprehensible) and you need help picking one? Easy enough, come with me while I explain the delight of being part of the Canucks Nation (free booze!).

Alex Burrows – Oh you haven’t heard? An undrafted ball hockey player used his love of the game and NHL-approved moxie to not just make the starting roster for Vancouver but help spark the team’s top line (those Sedin guys…I understand they cycle most excellently) in the process of helping his team post a 20-5-1 run over two months of wonderful winter hockey. Not enough? He takes a hometown discount and makes $2 million a year for the next four years. Still not enough? When he’s not scoring, he’s pissing off the entire opposition and, unlike former Canuck Matt Cooke, will drop the gloves and even hair pull during line brawls. Simply said, Burrows is the type of player every fan wants on his or her team.

Ryan Kesler – If a man crush on Burrows isn’t enough, let’s try KesLORD. A first round pick that Bob Clarke (*spits*) tried to make a Flyer a few years back via the RFA route, Kes hit his stride at the exact same time as Burrows did this season. Just like Burrows, he is the spark on his line (playing alongside some clown named Sundin) and drops the gloves when things get chippy. He sacrifices his body every game and has been the recipient of a Jesse Boulerice stick to the skull and a Chris Pronger blade to the leg as proof of his art. If Burrows won’t get to you, Kesler is right behind him. They’re twins of an entirely different cut.

Roberto Luongo – Best. Goalie. In. The. Conference. And he missed 25 games this year and is still third in shutouts. And I won’t even mention the Floridian rape of 2007 that brought him to the team because poor Florida has been through enough.

Genetic Superiority – Twins who always know where the other one is at all times on the ice, often without even looking? This is clearly the future of mankind. The X-Men couldn’t stop the Sedins. And the scariest part? They know I am writing this right now and deciding whether to choke me like Darth Vader if I get out of hand. So…yeah…they’re wonderful humans.

A Little Swedish DelightD. Sedin, H. Sedin, M. Sundin, A. Edler, M. Ohlund. If one scores, you can say “Bork, bork, bork! outloud and the hot chicks in the stands behind you won’t question it for a second. In fact, that may be your in. You’re welcome.

You talkin’ to me? – For some reason you’d think a team from a pot-happy city would be a bit more mellow. Nope. Throughout recent history – from Bertuzzi to Rypien, Brashear to Hordichuk (who admits he “blacks out” when he fights) and all the Shane O’Brien meltdowns you can handle – the Canucks will chuck rocks with zero provocation. But afterwards they’ll all friends again (I assume). This year they’re currently tied for fourth in fights and the third highest penalized team overall.

Backasswards – Firing the GM but keeping his coach? Making the new GM a former player agent with zero NHL management experience? Making the goalie captain? Saluting the fans by retiring the #7? Have your mascot make out with celebrities on camera? Sleep deprivation studies and biorhythm bracelets? Scott Mellanby?! See you could go watch VH1 for some trashy reality show, but the Canucks give it to you on ice and in the back office. Take that Bret f’ing Michaels.

Now all of these wonderful accolades (and don’t forget the free booze) don’t come without some causes for concern. They’re basically 0-39 in terms of Stanley Cup relevancy. They’ve made the final dance only twice and neither went well. In fact post season success has been somewhat elusive altogether. So temper your parade route dreams accordingly.

Also you should probably be aware that the team is often cited forbeing cursed: they’ve sported an unusually long line of piss poor goaltenders and, so yeah, a few years ago one of their wingers almost killed a guy during a game. In fact their ex-captain said they choked a few years ago and that was to the entire audience of a home game prior to the fan friendly “give them the shirts off you back” event.

Their scouts have drafted a depressing amount of busts; their 2000 first round pick Nathan Smith played four games for the team over the course of five seasons but did make a name for himself by streaking the Dunder Mifflin branch in Scranton last year. So when they suck, they set the bar pretty far down there.

In addition, Vancouver changes their uniform every third game and are the proud owners, with little dispute, of some of the ugliest sports designs that the human eye has ever had the misfortune of interpreting. Lastly, being from Vancouver as they are, it really helps if you’re in the PST. Otherwise, like me, you spend far too many nights awake until past 1:00 AM watching you team cough up a loss on their home ice, then you can’t sleep and end up inadvertently cursing in a business meeting the next morning at 8:00 AM (and don’t try blaming hockey because they’ll just never understand. Just walk across the room, pick up the coffee you flung at the guy’s head and apologize nicely).

Blogger GM vs. Real-life GM: Northwest division

March 12, 2009

To wrap up our Trade Deadline coverage, we’ll take a look at the big moves (and non-moves) in each division one-by-one. Did our contributors and their respective GMs see eye-to-eye? Would those guest posts provide a better reality than what really came about? Let’s take a look at the Northwest Division.

Real Life: Vancouver Canucks do nothing.

Zanstorm from Nucks Misconduct said:

“Something is going to go down by Wednesday. We officially have too many defencemen. I think Gillis may flog Shane O’Brien, Wellwood, or even Mason Raymond with a pick included to acquire either a top 6 forward or a 3rd line player.”

The ‘Nucks didn’t do anything. It looks like that could have been the right (non)move.

Real Life: Colorado Avalanche trade Jordan Leopold to Calgary Flames for two prospect D and a 2nd round pick in 2009.

Tapeleg from Jerseys and Hockey Love said:

“Ryan Smyth is going nowhere, let’s just get that out of the way. He has a no-trade, and doesn’t seem like he wants to leave. And frankly, I would have a long talk with him about how I felt he was performing and what his position would be if he didn’t have that clause, and try to get a better dollar to performance ratio going from him for next season.

After that, the list is extremely short. Maybe Ruslan Salei, or Jordan Leopold. For these guys, you need back what you are letting go, only a better incarnation, defensemen who can move the puck (the holy grail). Then you start getting into bag of pucks guys (I’m looking at you, Tyler Arnason) or guys no one really wants (Tucker, Hannan). And finally, the youth and picks, and I wouldn’t let those guys go. What are you going to do, dangle a Chris Stewart or a David Jones for a few picks? It won’t happen, and it shouldn’t.”

Tapeleg got Smyth and Leopold right, so that’s an emphatic Correct.

Real Life: Minnesota does nothing

Wild View from Section 216 said:

“The problem is Gaborik has no trade value right now. I’ve got to let him come back from his injury this season and hope that I can sign him to a one-year deal, then get something for him next year. The move I make is with Backstrom. I have an anemic offense and I’ve got to get some scoring.

I make a move on Backstrom because I have a good goalie in Josh Harding waiting for his chance and a defensive coach (understatement of the year). I also know there are teams looking to shore up their goaltending heading into the playoffs, and if I can get someone with slightly above-average scoring prowess, and if Gaborik comes back with some fire, suddenly I’ve got more offense to make this playoff push.

And that will make Mikko Koivu, Andrew Brunette, and Owen Nolan better instead of relying on them for all my scoring. And instead of making the playoffs as the 8th seed and losing to Detroit in the 1st round, maybe there’s a bit of run in this team after all.

Unfortunately, I’m not real Wild GM, and none of this will happen.”

Some bold stuff from Wild View. Both right and wrong (with the qualifying last sentence).

Real Life: Calgary Flames become the biggest factor in the trade deadline, acquiring Olli Jokinen and Jordan Leopold for 1st and 2nd round draft picks with prospects plus Matthew Lombardi.
Kent from Five Hole Fanatics pleaded for the Flames to move Todd Bertuzzi, but also:

“In addition, I would make a play for Jordan Leopold. The former Flame was slowed by injuries in Colorado, but was probably the best ever partner for shut-down man Robyn Regehr here in Calgary.

The Avs are out of the running and Leopold is under the radar thanks to his poor luck during his time there. He could probably be had for a prospect/pick and would instantly step into the divide left by the down-for-the-count Mark Giordano. Then, you can try to re-sign Leopold to take over for the departing Adrian Aucoin, who is UFA in July.”

Well done, Kent.

Real Life: Edmonton acquires Ales Kotalik, Patrick O’Sullivan and a second round pick for Erik Cole, a second round pick and a fifth round pick.

Wasn’t able to get an Oilers blogger, but Edmonton did a great job during the deadline.

If you were the GM (Northwest division)

March 4, 2009

(With the trade deadline upon us, Cycle like the Sedins decided to ask about 30 or so friends in the blogosphere to represent his or her team and answer the question: “What would you do if you were the GM during the trade deadline?

Since things change in a heartbeat, the date of each person’s submission is listed next to each entry. So before you start screaming “BUT THEY TRADED HIM!” while food spills out of your mouth, we’re showing what they thought at the time.

Don’t like it? Psh.)

Vancouver
Zanstorm from Nucks Misconduct
(March 1)

Given the failure of Kyle Wellwood to emerge as a top 6 forward and now a 3rd line center, I’m thinking he’s either going to get traded or waived. In that case, a 3rd line center needs to be acquired. I don’t know about a certain center that is available that we should go after to fill that role.

Has Mark Recchi ever played center? He is the one guy that I would love to see in the 3rd line role and maybe even on one of the 2 power play units. He’d fit in well with the Sedins there.

And speaking of the Sedins, I don’t know how long Alex Burrows will be given a shot on the top line with them.

Personally, I’d rather see Burrows back on the 3rd line. Maybe Recchi could fill in a permanent spot with the Twins 5-on-5 and on the power play. He has a great presence around the net. (And he is a BC boy after all!)

Something is going to go down by Wednesday. We officially have too many defencemen. I think Gillis may flog Shane O’Brien, Wellwood, or even Mason Raymond with a pick included to acquire either a top 6 forward or a 3rd line player.

Some people say we need a puck-moving defenceman. I disagree. I think Bieksa, Ohlund, Salo and Edler fill that role already.

Is Gillis going to go big on a name like Keith Tkachuk? I really don’t know. He has mentioned that Mats Sundin was his big catch and that he doesn’t want to disrupt the team’s chemistry at the deadline. So that’s why I’m thinking a Recchi-type will be acquired. He’s a leader, a winner, and he won’t cost us too much, as we don’t have too much to offer.

Just my 2 cents.

Yankee Canuck from Nucks Misconduct
(March 1)

It feels like each NHL deadline brings with it the media suggesting everyone in the damn league, playoff bound or not, needs a “puck moving defensemen”. I say screw that; even though Vancouver is tied to Bouwmeester in recent rumors, their defense is more or less fine as is
and they don’t need top tier talent who they’d most certainly have to cough up a first round pick (which, if you’ve seen their farm system lately, you’d know damn well they need). In anything, with Vaananen now on board it suggests a D-man like Salo or O’Brien could be on the
move (or Ohlund assuming he’d waive his NTC).

Also with Vigneault’s man-child Rypien appearing near a return, a bottom six winger could be on the move too. And honestly that’s where Vancouver needs the most help: reinforcements on the wings, preferably a known scorer, a veteran or someone that inspires a bit more offensive confidence than the likes of Pyatt, Bernier or wherever the hell Wellwood is these days. Right now the Canucks are playing well enough to promote Kesler and Burrows, but if those two slow down or need to return to the third line in more of a shutdown mode, what their top six becomes gets mighty depressing without some deadline help.

If Mike Gillis can swing for a winger or two in exchange for a mid round pick, some of the aforementioned dead weight or a prospect not named Hodgson, Schneider or Grabner I’d call the deadline a win.

Chris Kontos:Tkachuk and Wellwood on the same team would be an amazing pairing… those guys should totally room together on the road. The room service bill would totally cut into the salary cap. I don’t think Tkachuk is going anywhere, but picking up Recchi would be a perfect fit and help continue Recchi’s quest to play for every NHL team.

James O’Brien: Some teams have a grind-it-out fate. The Vancouver Canucks seem to be one of those teams. Their lineup seems pretty solid, if unspectacular. Cannot offer much more than a “shrug” on the Canucks.

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Colorado Avalanche

Mile High Hockey
(March 1)

Mired in last place and playing awful, awful hockey, the Colorado Avalanche are going to be sellers at the deadline. However, most of their bigger assets – guys like Ryan Smyth and Milan Hejduk – have no-trade clauses and a serious case of…well, whatever the opposite of wanderlust
is. In other words, they ain’t moving. How active the Avs are at the deadline will depend on Francois Giguere’s ability to convince someone that our useless dreck – guys like Darcy Tucker and Tyler Arnason – are the perfect pieces for a Stanley Cup run.

The Avalanche really need a goalie – hey, that “Lalongo” guy Don Cherry keeps raving about isn’t available, is he? Yeah, didn’t thinks so. In light of that, I will use the GM power vested in me to swing the following trade with the Boston Bruins: Ian Laperriere and Jordan Leopold for Manny Fernandez. All three players are unrestricted free agents this summer and have been mentioned in trade talks. The Bruins would get a puck moving defensemen they reportedly are coveting as well as terrific do-whatever-it-takes-to-win forward to improve the team both on the ice and in the locker room. Both players would help any team in the playoffs, and the B’s seem to be as good a fit as any. The Avalanche get that number one goalie they so desperately need. At 33, he’s no spring chicken, but beggars can’t be choosers. Oh, and my GM magic wand will force Fernandez to agree to an extension before the trigger is pulled on the deal.

That’s my GM for a day trade. It kills me to trade “Lappy” and the fans are going to hate me for letting him go, but contract talks have broken down and I need to be able to get something for him. Plus, he’ll get a chance to do a reverse Bourque, moving from Colorado to Boston to win a
Cup. Leopold is walking this summer no matter what, so his inclusion in a deal is a no-brainer. And Manny? I know about the knee and the age. I don’t care – he’ll be the best goalie we’ve had since the retirement of St Patrick.
Tapeleg from Jerseys and Hockey Love
(2/28)

It’s a strange position for the Colorado Avalanche, since this is the first time as a franchise that they have been sellers. But the question is, do they have anything to sell anyone wants?

When the biggest name on the list is Ian Laperriere, you know you have a problem. Lappy has been the heart and soul of the franchise for the last year, ever since Joe Sakic got hurt (aka: Super Joe vs Super Snow). He becomes a UFA at the end of the season, but if you could resign him, maybe trade him away and convince him to come back so you pick up a draft pick, then I would consider it.

Ryan Smyth is going nowhere, let’s just get that out of the way. He has a no-trade, and doesn’t seem like he wants to leave. And frankly, I would have a long talk with him about how I felt he was performing and what his position would be if he didn’t have that clause, and try to get a better dollar to performance ratio going from him for next season.

After that, the list is extremely short. Maybe Ruslan Salei, or Jordan Leopold. For these guys, you need back what you are letting go, only a better incarnation, defensemen who can move the puck (the holy grail). Then you start getting into bag of pucks guys (I’m looking at you, Tyler Arnason) or guys no one really wants (Tucker, Hannan). And finally, the youth and picks, and I wouldn’t let those guys go. What are you going to do, dangle a Chris Stewart or a David Jones for a few picks? It won’t happen, and it shouldn’t.

If I were making a long story short, you have to have a dance partner for a trade, and looking at this list, there would be very few dance partners out there. Hell, there may be very few dancers at all. The phone in GM Francois Gigurere’s office must have squeeze marks embedded in it, or have been thrown against the wall. Even being sellers, I think the Avs team we see now will be the same team we see for the last game of the season.

Chris Kontos:As a Kings fan, never in my wildest imagination did I think I’d see the day when the hated AV’s would be in last place. It’s been a long time coming for this team and only Joe Sakic can remember what it felt like to be a Quebec Nordique. This team needs a goalie. And Manny would be a great fit, but if I’m Boston, I’m not letting him go. If the Av’s are selling, a goalie, especially a young one must be coming the other way.

James O’Brien: While I agree that the Avalanche are quite poor in net, at least they are employing poor men in net. Their goaltending spending is quite Detroit Red Wings like – which is about the only similarity any longer between those two diverging rivals.

To me, the Avalanche employ quite a few middle-of-the-road defensemen for $3 million a pop. Ugh, this team is built on a Jenga-like foundation. To extend the childhood toy analogy, this team just needs to shake that etch-a-sketch and start all over with Paul Stastny and … I’m sure there’s SOMEONE else worth keeping on that roster. Right? Maybe?

***

Minnesota Wild

Wild View from Section 216
(2/27)

If I’m Wild GM in a world where the fans are about to revolt if my team doesn’t make the playoffs, I’m a lot more bold than real Wild GM Doug Reisbrogh (who lives in some kind of fantasy world where he thinks he is untouchable). I have two big decisions to make…what to do with UFAs F Marian Gaborik and G Niklas Backstrom. Gaborik has been injured for long periods of time in each of his nine seasons except one, and he has shown me no desire to stay in Minnesota long term. Backstrom is a goalie that emerged out of nowhere to be one of the top goalies in the league.

The problem is Gaborik has no trade value right now. I’ve got to let him come back from his injury this season and hope that I can sign him to a one-year deal, then get something for him next year. The move I make is with Backstrom. I have an anemic offense and I’ve got to get some scoring. I make a move on Backstrom because I have a good goalie in Josh Harding waiting for his chance and a defensive coach (understatement of the year). I also know there are teams looking to shore up their goaltending heading into the playoffs, and if I can get someone with slightly above-average scoring prowess, and if Gaborik comes back with some fire, suddenly I’ve got more offense to make this playoff push. And that will make Mikko Koivu, Andrew Brunette, and Owen Nolan better instead of relying on them for all my scoring. And instead of making the playoffs as the 8th seed and losing to Detroit in the 1st round, maybe there’s a bit of run in this team after all.

Unfortunately, I’m not real Wild GM, and none of this will happen.

Elise from18,568 Reasons Why (2/27)

Minnesota fans are used to not expecting much at the trade deadline – the biggest trades have included names like Dominic Moore, Adam Hall, and Chris Simon. But this year there are big decisions that have to be made about important players like Marian Gaborik and Niklas Backstrom and the team’s future as a whole.

There’s uncertainty about whether the team will even make the playoffs this season, leading to questions about whether the Wild should bother trying to get a rental player or should start rebuilding for next year. A lot of this will not even be determined by the trade deadline – the rest of Minnesota’s schedule is tough and 14 of 17 in March are on the road.

The best trade for the Wild would probably be to get rid of a member of the clogged defensive corps (most likely stay-at-home Kim Johnsson or powerplay expert Marc-Andre Bergeron) for some offense. Another option would be to trade Gaborik for anything they could. After the injuries and bad relations between the team and Gaby’s agent, there’s no chance the sniper will be staying with Minnesota long-term.

Backstrom also has the potential to be moved, but his chance of moving is much lower than the others. His contract goes through this season, but there have been talks between the team and Backy (whose agent gets along very well with the Wild.) Any trade the Wild makes, it will be for offense, there’s no doubt about that. This team has too much defense and will never win unless they can score more.

Chris Kontos: With Backstrom getting signed today, Gaborik remains the mystery. As a GM, can you really allow this guy to walk away for nothing. There is no way he is coming back to a Jacques Lemaire coached Wild team (can you believe Gaborik played all these years in that defensive system!) so they should get what they can for a damaged Gaborik. Maybe they could continue their short history of bonehead trades with the Kings (really, Patrick O’Sullivan and a 10th overall pick for Demitra) and give the Kings Gaborik for Kyle Calder.

James O’Brien: It seems like the Wild are going to have to tough it out with Marian Gaborik. I really wonder how Wild fans feel about the guy. He was their best player in their long ago run to the Western Conference Finals, then turned into an even less lucky version of Martin Havlat. Why not just dump him for next to nothing and move on? I know I’d want to get him out of site if I was in that spot.

***

Calgary Flames

March 2

Kent from Five Hole Fanatics

If I was Sutter at the deadline, I’d look for a way to flip ToddBertuzzi for whatever I could get. Bert’s stats look alright (3rd highest scorer on the Flames), but it has almost everything to do with lots of ice time with excellent players, rather than any inherent value he brings. In fact, Bert’s been something of lead weight in the Flames top 6 this year – partially because he makes terrible decisions in his own and neutral zones and partially because Keenan refuses to see Bertuzzi for what he is: a marginal player who’s good at the highlight reel stuff but lousy at everything else.

Bertuzzi has a thoroughly mediocre ESP/60 rate (1.94), that’s good for 7th on the team (behind such guys as David Moss and Curtis Glencross).He also has the second worst corsi rate of any regular skating forward(4.4) ahead of only Dustin Boyd (who is 22 and has spent most of the year on the 4th line). Oh, and Bertuzzi’s quality of teammates as ranked by behindthenet.ca? A 2nd best 0.17 (Conroy is first with 0.18). Bert doesn’t play against the toughest competition either (-0.01). In short, he’s getting mediocre results in very favorable circumstances.

So deal him at the deadline to a contender in the East who wants to upgrade their forward depth. Get some lesser roster player and a draft pick and you win the trade, hands down.

In addition, I would make a play for Jordan Leopold. The former Flame was slowed by injuries in Colorado, but was probably the best ever partner for shut-down man Robyn Regehr here in Calgary.

The Avs are out of the running and Leopold is under the radar thanks to his poor luck during his time there. He could probably be had for a prospect/pick and would instantly step into the divide left by the down-for-the-count Mark Giordano. Then, you can try to re-sign Leopold to take over for the departing Adrian Aucoin, who is UFA in July.

Chris Kontos: Wow! This is the most out there one yet. But trading Bertuzzi kinda makes sense. Too bad that Cammalleri is off to the races next season because he has seemed to be a nice fit in Calgary with Iginla.

James O’Brien: If there was an easy way to quantify hate (Kent would know it), I wonder who would win a Bertuzzi hate-off between Kent and I. We both seem to agree that getting rid of Bertuzzi is addition by subtraction. That’s good enough for me.

EDMONTON: (No guest post … maybe tomorrow)