NHL Trade Deadline: 5 Deals Vancouver Canucks Must Consider
5 Deadline Moves Canucks Must Make
The Vancouver Canucks are in a unique situation that hasn’t happened to the organization in quite a while: they are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in at the trade deadline. Vancouver has perennially been a lock for a playoff spot, but has struggled since realignment has made their division one of the most difficult in the entire NHL. It does not help that at the same time as realignment, the team hired a new head coach with an entire different philosophy than the previous regime. In fact, Alain Vigneault and John Tortorella are polar opposites when it comes to coaching style. While Vigneault is much more laid back, Tortorella employs the in your face aggressive style that lights a fire under his team yet can also grow old on players.
Tortorella is reknown for getting a lot out of his players, yet this has not entirely been the case for Vancouver. Both Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin are on pace for awful offensive seasons in regards to their usual production and the team as a whole has seemed to struggle to success. The Canucks are only two points out of the final playoff spot and have the ability to be successful and even a handful in the postseason. Roberto Luongo has risen back to prominence after almost being shipped out and has produced steady goaltending. The rest of the team has to match his effort. What additions can be made to improve the odds of Vancouver getting into the postseason?
5. Trade Alex Edler
Alexander Edler is not the same player under the new coaching staff. He is sporting a team-worst -23 plus-minus rating and is on pace for an under-par offensive season. Because he doesn’t fit the current style of the team yet is a valuable asset, trading him for a player who does fit the system would greatly benefit the team going forward as they continue to gel under Tortorella. Who better to play for Tortorella than…
4. Replace Alex Edler
...the New York Rangers' Dan Girardi, who has played above and beyond expectations when Tortorella was his coach. Girardi went from undrafted free agent to prospect to eventually a top pairing defenseman under Tortorella and they are very familiar with each other. Girardi is an unrestricted free agent and if an extension is not agreed upon by the trade deadline, there is a 99% chance he will be traded. What better way to improve the defense than by a player who already knows the system?
3. Bring in Two-Way Center
The Canucks are strong up the middle with Sedin and Ryan Kesler playing in the top two spots, but lack depth that is required for a long playoff grind. Vancouver has a plethora of wingers that fit well on any of their lines yet lack that same ability at center. Acquiring the Florida Panthers' Marcel Goc or the Buffalo Sabres' Steve Ott would solve this problem and provide an interesting option should the Canucks suffer an injury.
2. Acquire a Supporting Scorer
While the Canucks do possess a plethora of wingers with a scoring touch, only one of them is producing at a pace acceptable of a second line player. That player, Chris Higgins, is having his best offensive season since 2007. Adding Buffalo's Matt Moulson to the equation would help the attack and strengthen their chance at the postseason. Moulson has a knack for scoring goals and is strong in front of the net. The Canucks have never been regarded as a team that goes to the rough areas on the ice, so Moulson can help change that notion.
1. Move Alex Burrows Out
No one has fallen off more than Alex Burrows, who has suffered through inconsistent play and injury throughout the year. Under a coach such as Tortorella, Burrows tenacity and gritty approach should have been keys to his game and made him a go-to guy for a coach notorious for playing favorites, yet he has not scored a single goal this year. It does not help that the coach changes his lines more often than not. Burrows is in the first year of a four year deal with decreasing salary each season, which could make him somewhat attractive for a cap-strapped team.
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