Canuck Trade Options

I wrote this a few days ago, but elected to wait a bit before posting.  Apparently it’s the talk of the town now, so here it is…

The reality of this team is that they work hard, get a ton of shots on net, but can’t score goals.  Read Orland Kurtenblog’s post for some great analysis of this.  Add to that their defense has been decimated.  So a trade seems almost inevitable.  Here’s a look at where they should be looking.

Who to Get – Forwards

Scott Hartnell– He can play on the second line.  He’s big.  He’s a UFA at the end of the year, making it possible to pry him out of Nashville.  After having Witt walk away last year, Poile isn’t going to want to let that happen again.  It was a total blow to his ego.

R.J. Umberger –  He can play on the second line.  He’s big.  While he’s young and that would usually mean untouchable, Philadelphia needs major changes.   And with Carter & Richards still there, you have to ask yourself which young guys would you rather part with to bring in sweeping changes.

Jason Allison– I have never been a fan of him.  But just take a look at the statistics and you see that this may be the right option.  The Canucks are puttering along at 12% on the power play, good for 25th in the league, you have to think that a specialist like Allison may give them the jump they need.  The team is averaging only 2 goals per game and it’s the powerplay that has let them down the most so far.

Antoine Vermette– With lots of depth, and a commitment to Daniel Alfredson, Ottawa may put up this young guy as trade bait to help bring in a center.  With the Canucks needing scoring, Vermette has the skills to play on the second line.

Who to Get – Defenseman

Anton Volchenkov– While not a top two defenseman, Nonis has tried to pry this guy away from the Senators for depth on the blue line since last year.  With Ottawa needing a shake-up, they may just want to pull the trigger on a deal now.

What to Give

Whatever happens, they cannot give up a first round draft pick.  These are now worth the core building blocks to assemble a successful franchise in the new NHL.

Unfortunately, it’s still going to cost them, and expect it Luc Bourdon to pay the price.  He’s the biggest piece of trade bait the team has, and they simply cannot wait for his development… actually with Nonis in the last year of his contract, he’s the one that can’t wait. 

However, it has be for someone like R.J. Umberger that is still young, and a former first rounder himself.  It cannot be for anything less, or depth.  First round picks like Bourdon should drive a high trade value on the market.

As for cap relief, the best place to get that is from moving Morrison and to a lesser degree, Cooke.  I like having a hometown kid like Brendan playing here, but with such clear needs facing the team, they may have little choice.

Of course, that is all limited by which teams can afford to take on salary. 

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