Jan
10

Scouting the trade market: Vancouver Canucks

January 10, 2018, by

henrik sedin daniel sedin

With the Rangers in the middle of their bye week, we are able to take a step back and assess where they are at the midpoint of the season. The good news is that we know what the Rangers are. The bad news is that we may not like what they are.

The Blueshirts are a team that will live and die by their ability to get quality scoring chances. They don’t get quantity, but when they get quality, they go in the net. Combine that with Henrik Lundqvist, and you get a team that, if they get hot, can make a run. That said, the overall process is lacking, and that begins with roster construction.

The Rangers need another center. David Desharnais is a nice story, but not the true answer. Ditto Paul Carey. It would be ideal if the Blueshirts can add to the blue line –or subtract by jettisoning Nick Holden and/or Marc Staal– but that likely won’t happen.

With Vancouver basically out of the playoffs, look for them to sell off some assets. They don’t have much, but their top-end assets are worth something.

Henrik/Daniel Sedin – Let’s be real, you won’t get one without the other. The Canucks can probably get a killing for their 37 year old twins, who are on expiring deals. Very few teams can afford to give up assets to land them both, but if they do, they’d be instantly upgrading their entire forward corps.

Acquiring both Sedins would address the center problem (Henrik) and the injury to Chris Kreider problem (Daniel). Plus it forces both Desharnais and Carey out of the lineup for more stability. There’s the added bonus of them having familiarity with Alain Vigneault.

Acquiring both Sedins likely requires a combination of young roster players, top prospects, and top picks. Expect to part with something you don’t want to part with (Buchnevich, Chytil, or Andersson), plus a first rounder, plus more. This is the ultimate going for it move.

Thomas Vanek – Vanek isn’t a center, but he’s still a dangerous asset, especially on the powerplay. He’s not the 40 goal guy anymore, but give him space and he can still snipe a corner. He’s also a pending UFA, and will cost significantly less than the Sedins. If Kreider doesn’t return, Vanek is likely a cheap replacement for the eventual “rental for a Cup run” trade.

Erik Gudbranson – It’s going to be funny when some team trades for Gudbranson. He’s a defenseman, and he’s not all that good. Luckily AV seems set with his defensemen, for better or for worse. But believe it or not, AV’s preference for Holden et al is actually a good thing here. Avoid at all costs.

Alex Edler – Edler would be a great get for the Blueshirts, but he doesn’t really have a role on the club unless there’s a piece from the blue line headed the other way. Signed for next year as well at a reasonable $5 million, Edler would be an instant upgrade on Holden and Staal (and Kampfer). If AV is really dead-set on sitting Brendan Smith regularly, then Edler would be the ideal replacement. That said, this isn’t happening.

61 comments

  1. Richter1994 says:

    I was touting getting Vanek for the cheap contract he got over the offseason. It would have lessened the blow for the lack of center talent by having a scoring winger. But what do I know?

    The problem is what will it cost to get an impact player? I do not think that the Rangers will buy at that level.

    • Lace says:

      If Vanek came for nothing, I would take him. He always played around the net and could at least upgrade the power play. He is older tho and I’d rather the Rangers stay away from players 30 and older for the time being.

    • pavel_burrito says:

      I never felt that Vanek played with any kind of passion. Its a job for him. He’ll score goals when they are there, but I don’t think he drives the play himself.
      He’s pretty much a passenger who capitalizes on other’s hard work.

      • Walt says:

        you mean like Stepan, as far as others doing the hard work??

      • Richter1994 says:

        I just felt with the lack of good center talent after Stepan was traded that a scoring wing would help.

        Vanek is in a contract year so of course he’s productive, similar to E. Kane. But you will see now how the Rangers will need to find scoring. They always do when the calendar turns to January, and that was even with Kreider in the line up.

  2. Peter says:

    A pair of 37 year-olds for some of their young talent in a desperate move to save the season, and end up not winning the cup despite the move? Yeah, that sounds like the type of foolishness the Rangers might have engaged in before Gorton. Let’s hope that he and not Slats is calling the shots.

    • Walt says:

      Oh so true!

      • flatbush says:

        this is the typical dumb conversation about acquiring high priced rentals. Granted the brothers are very good but getting them does not make us Cup winners. They are the same type of players we have. Very Pretty> the road to the cup demands more than pretty. Yeah that’s what AV needs the guys that carried his lunch in the regular season while they were in their prime yet his team never got the cup.
        If that’s our answer, and we have to give up young talent we are doomed.

  3. Mancunian Candidate says:

    No thanks to everybody on this list. Especially Vanek, who only seems to play well on bad teams lately. Not to mention the fact that a lousy week of football betting can have a huge impact on his play.

  4. Walt says:

    If this team does anything at the trade deadline, it will be sell off some of its assets. None of the listed players are appealing to me, especially the twins. It would cost a fortune to acquire them, and then what? That would be too expensive to get for rental players. Also, having played for this coach, do you see the twins resigning here, with their history, I suspect not. We are trying to get younger, and they bring 74 years between them to us, for what two months at best???????????

  5. amy says:

    we need a center to replace Stephan and we need a defensive defenseman to replace Dan Girardi and a partner for MCDonough the point is who is available

  6. Joe says:

    I say no to all of them, with maybe (MAYBE) the exception of Gudbranson..if we can get him cheap? (probably not) .. even though he’s not a great D-Man..Can’t be any worse than Marc (snow angel ) Staal or Nick (William Holden) Holden or the great 7th D-Man Steve Kampfer. he has something we definitely DON’T have a crease clearer, and toughness..

    • Bobby B says:

      Spot on Joe, and besides crease clearing ability, Gudbranson plays with an EDGE, when was the last time you saw a Ranger D-man throw a body check with bad intentions???, when was the last time you saw any Ranger throw a body check??? or throw hands with an opponent???. Get any of the following players, Gudbranson, Evander Kane, Darnell Nurse Patrick Maroon, Josh Manson, Milan Lucic, Matthew Tkachuk. This current Ranger crew is the softest team in the league, too polite , no snarl, edge or sand paper. They are built to play in a European league.

      • Rich S says:

        Bobby B,
        you were right in your desire to get Evander Kane…..since what last season?
        What a great replacement he would be for kreider and would give us at least 1 physical presence ……..besides the occasional check by miller……..
        Unfortunately with the year he is having the price has gone up!
        Except for the too slow lucic, I agree with all the rest especially manson……..and Tkachuk…..What we really need is a coach who says, ”if you dont hit. you dont play!”’

      • Walt says:

        Bobby

        This is a classic example why I would avoid Cane like the plague.

        “Kane, Falk downplay practice spat: ‘Emotions are running high’
        Buffalo Sabres defenceman Justin Falk shoved forward Evander Kane and called him selfish minutes after Zach Bogosian was injured in practice on Wednesday. Kane downplayed the significance of the scuffle after the skate, noting the practice continued after the incident.”

        Got this off of the TSN site, just another example of how much of a team player, and revered player Cane is to his teammates. NOT!!!!!!

  7. Walt says:

    “For this is a team that rarely plays a full 60 minutes, is lacking in focus and intensity, is riddled with defensive-zone deficiencies, and has been kept afloat in shallow waters only by consistently spectacular goaltending of Hart Trophy contender Henrik Lundqvist and understudy Ondrej Pavelec, who have combined for a .936 save percentage and 2.17 GAA in 32 games since the calendar turned to November.”

    This is far from a ringing endorsement from Brooks of this team, and it’s coach, so I’ll quote him as suited for our side of the argument, as E3 does when he sees some value from quotes from the same man!

  8. roadrider says:

    Hard pass on the twins unless the Canucks want to give them away for practically nothing. Don’t really know much about the others besides Vanek and it seems to me that he’s past his sell-by date.

  9. Monty says:

    So are we going to be sellers (with expiring contracts for Nash and Grabner) or buyers? It would be difficult to be both…

  10. Andy says:

    I would pass on all of the above. The Sedins would be interesting as they truly would make a big difference, but they are not worth the price. Vanek was a missed opportunity in the off season. If you can get him for a 3rd or 4th fine, but I think Vancouver gets more than that. Also his playoff track record is soft at best. Gudbranson…that’s funny..
    This is a tough pill to swallow but we would be better suited as sellers this year. It probably won’t happen, but with this upcoming draft, all the UFA’s and a reasonable increase in cap space next year management would do well to restock the cupboard and give the young kids a shot to see what they can do.

  11. Joe Fortunato says:

    Zack Kassian is no longer with the Canucks, or he’d be on this list. Kassian was one of the “promising young players” that the Vancouver press thought AV needed to give more ice time to. (I mentioned this in a recent article). Looking at Kassian’s post-AV career, I’d say we have another case of missing evidence.

  12. Kal Pohar says:

    Give our future away for 2 geezers on the final year of their contracts? The sooner fans and writers understand this team needs to sell and revamp with youngsters the better these articles will be to read…until this team has a new coach there isn’t much to talk about

    • Dave says:

      There’s a difference between what we’d like them to do (sell off assets, retool for next year) and what they will do (low-risk rentals for a Cup run).

      But hey, if the Yankees can be sellers, so can the Rangers.

  13. pas44 says:

    Nice insight on Vancouver.

    I would not compromise the three young gun referenced for just a shot at the cup this year. The risk could damage years of solid growth for a crap shoot getting players that have no cups between them.

    if AV did pick up the twins, my guess is he would start to bench Miller, Hayes and Krieder.

  14. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    My disclaimer up front….when it comes to specific trades and who to give up, I am probably the worst in history in figuring out what would work. Thus ending my dream of being a GM! 🙂

    Ok, now that that is out of the way, I’m going to speak more broadly here…and taking my extremely limited abilities in this and combining them with conversations I’ve had with actual GMs, here’s what I’ve got to offer….

    I’m never for or against any acquisition. I’m never for or against changing coaches or GMs. It’s all about one simple thing…what do you lose by making the move? What do you gain? How does said moves fit into the financial picture? And what are your goals short term and long term?

    The last question is key, because in reality, we have NO idea what Sather/Gorton expect from this year’s squad, whether they see this group as legit contenders or not, and whether they believe a trade or trades would further elevate the team’s chances without severely impacting the future. So without that knowledge, we know nothing.

    My hunch is this….and I base it on the way both Sather and Gorton have managed things in the past. First and foremost, IF they believe a deal is out there that could get the team to at least the ECF, I think they will seriously consider it as long as the price tag does not include Chytil, Andersson or Shesterkin. Because playing a minimum of three rounds is significant revenue in ownership’s pocket. And once there, heck, anything can happen. Hank is having a season for the ages, and the Metro, while incredibly balanced, has no team that really stands out as unbeatable. They may well conclude that a run akin to 2015 or even 2014 is possible. So if that is the belief, as long as the ask is reasonable, I believe they would go for it.

    But then there is the flip side. What if the team continues to scuffle? Kreider gets evaluated on or around 2/20, just a week before the deadline. What will the doctors conclude is his prognosis for a healthy and effective return in the short run? If they believe he can be effective, that suggests possibly going for it. But if not, than that might make them reconsider. Do we really know what the actual status is of both Mika and McDonagh? Will Mika find his pre-concussion groove again, or will this be one of those years where, although cleared to play, we only get a player who’s 75%? What about McDonagh? He’s hardly played like the top tier defenseman everyone expected he would be this year. Is he still compromised in some way? Is this something that will linger all season?

    If those answers come back in the negative, than it is hard to see how the Rangers do anything except sell. But sell for what? What return? Will teams be willing to give significant value back for assets like Nash, Grabner, McDonagh, Zuc? Or do we, in our own Rangers bubble out here, overrate these guys relative to how the league sees them? Why trade them if the return is something more akin to what we got for Hagelin or Talbot, which wasn’t much?

    I mentioned this before. The Rangers are in a similar position to where they were in 2014. That team had been mostly mediocre in the first half of the season. Few saw a run that would lead them to the SCF. Sather had several pending FAs to deal with. It was rumored that Sather was entertaining the idea of either sending Cally to SJ for future assets, or make the MSL trade and go for it. Obviously, he assessed the offers in front of him, and decided on the latter. We will never know what would have happened or what return we would have gotten if he opted for the former. But the MSL trade was made, and it got us to within three wins of the Cup. A more than reasonable gamble to take.

    So looking at these trades mentioned above, there’s no one here that I really would want. But then again, for a trade of assets that perhaps we won’t miss much, and again, IF there is a belief there is a window to “go for it”, and assuming there aren’t better opportunities out there, sure, I’d be open to it. The Sedins and Vanek would ALL be upgrades to our lineup. It just depends on all the factors mentioned above.

    • Richter1994 says:

      You can tell that you are involved in politics bro, lol.

    • Rich S says:

      3E
      Cant give up Ronning or especially – Day……. either!!!!!! High ceilings……

    • JoeS. says:

      Really E3?! If this…then that, If that…then this, would’ve, could’ve, shouldv’e. Wow, all bases covered here! However, a very entertaining read, none the less, as always. But!, I wouldn’t vote for you, we have enough of your type in Congress. LOL.

      In case this is misread by some, no malice intended here, I love E3!

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Excellent Joe…and thank you!

        Btw, I guess after re-reading my comments, they are remiscent of the classic Lite Beer commercial with Billy Martin, when he says (to avoid a fight), “I feel very strongly both ways!” 🙂

  15. Peter says:

    I am not sure, but Dave you sound like you are are often trying to figure out a win now strategy. It may be because that is what you expect will be the approach and that you are not advocating it. I am most definitely not in the win now camp. I’d like them to be sellers at the deadline unless the team suddenly goes on a terrific tear that makes them look like real contenders.

    However, they probably will again be buyers at the deadline instead of the sellers I think they should be. As 3E points out, there are revenue considerations that drive the desire to get into and go far into the playoffs. But it would be nice to see them build a team that will compete at a high level for years. One can always hope!

  16. Stevem says:

    Can we pull Trevor Linden out of retirement? I kid, of course

  17. tanto says:

    Will we never learn?

    I want Hank to win a SC, but it’s time management focus on the future as much, if not more so, as on the now.

  18. CRANKY says:

    Vanek would be perfect, he plays without passion and our coach coaches without passion!

  19. Blue Seat says:

    The Rangers will trade for someone they believe offers both a possibility of filling a need and signing an affordable contract. Then Av can bench him, or play him out of position.

  20. Larry says:

    Selling or Buying?
    .

  21. Scott Cl says:

    When is this management team going to get it? This group isn’t winning anything! It’s time to rebuild

  22. Joseph Giambra says:

    I really don’t like any of these suggestions concerning Vancouver.

    The best course of action is to sell off assets for futures, and try to move Marc Staal out of town.

    Next year add the players you suggested to trade away for one shot at glory which will fail.

    Anywho, LET’S GO RANGERS

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