The Vancouver Canucks are in danger of becoming a team on the decline if they don’t do something fast. They showed strong signs of beginning the rebuilding process today when they traded center Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks.
Vancouver received center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and Anaheim’s first-round pick in the 2014 draft, which is tonight. Whether or not you believe the trade is a good one for Vancouver, the team desperately needs to start something fresh. They started it earlier this week when they named Willie Desjardins the new head coach.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin aren’t what they used to be, and the team needs to get younger. That’s something that this trade is designed to bring along with the fact that Kesler ultimately wanted out of Vancouver. Bonino and Sbisa are both in their mid-20s and will hopefully help the team on the road of rebuilding. Rebuilding needs to happen; of Vancouver’s top 13 scorers last season, all but one of them are 28 or older.
Sbisa only has nine career goals in 227 NHL games, but Vancouver is hoping he can add youth and defense to their group of blueliners. Bonino had somewhat of a breakout year last season, tallying career highs in goals and assists. He also played very well for Anaheim in the playoffs but will have greater responsibilities in Vancouver. He’ll step into a large role immediately because the Canucks have little to no depth at the center position and just traded possibly their best one. Bonino might have a great first season with Vancouver, but there’s almost no chance he’ll match the production of Kesler.
The trade is certainly a good one for the Ducks considering they’re getting a very good center who can win faceoffs, score and play great defense. As for the Canucks, the quality of the trade will be fully identified depending on the players they draft. Vancouver got the 24th overall pick from Anaheim to go along with the sixth overall pick they already own.
If Vancouver can have a good first round and nab two players who could help them in a few years, that makes today’s trade way more worth it. They also have the option of trying to use their picks to trade up in the draft in an attempt to get one of the highest prospects.
In any event this trade can save them a little money and help move towards a younger Canucks team. Whatever the quality of the trade becomes, it was only a matter of time before Kesler got moved. They would have gotten more for Kesler if they moved him at last season’s trade deadline, but what’s done is done and they have to move forward.The worst nightmare for the Canucks would be these potential picks not having good NHL careers, but only time will tell.