The trading deadline is one week away, and the Canucks have the same record as they did last year at the 60-game mark.
30 W 22 L 8 OTL – 68 Pts.
Last year, nothing much happened, except for the Cooke for Pettinger deal. Then the team went into a free-fall with 9 wins in the remaining 22 games. The rest was history.
So Gillis must ensure the same thing won’t happen again, or at least put up an attempt, because if the team repeats itself, and fail to make the playoffs, Gillis wouldn’t be compared to Nonis in terms of incompetance.
Under this mindset, I thought I should look at what can be done to improve our line up, although I did mention in my earlier post that the roster and line up looks decent for a shot at post-season. We must still keep in mind that we are not that deep in terms of reserves, if a top-line forward or a defenseman gets hurt, we could be in trouble. (We are somewhat better in Goal, with Labarbera, Sanford and Schneider.)
But where do we add? Especially with our top two-lines performing (well, the Canadiens game not including), do we add a third-line player? Let’s just, for fun sake, we decide to move Burrows down to the third line for now.
So we can be looking for a top-2-line forward, and possibly a defenseman reserve.
conditional 3rd rounder 2009 if Canucks makes 2nd round playoff
A swap of UFA-RW between two teams. Canucks get a 20-goal scoring right-wing veteran who can play with Sedins or third line with Wellwood and Raymond/Bernier. Islanders dumps salary and gets Ouellet, who is likely to re-sign with the team, since there are more roster room with the Islanders.
But, a better deal which is less-likely to happen is:
Conditional 2nd round pick 2009 if Canucks makes playoff
Canucks get a genuine top-2 line right winger with one more year in his contract, who can easily fit with the Sedins or even the RPM line if someone gets hurt. Avalanche gets a speedy young winger in Raymond, who is cheap and can excel with more ice-time and confidence. Schneider will be a great backup and future goalie for Colorado, since both their startup and backup goalies’ contracts expire this summer. If they pick up another verteran G via free agency, the team is set. Only add the 2nd rounder if Colorado doesn’t bite.
What about defenseman?
3rd rounder 2009
Another UFA swap. Atlanta doens’t have a lot to lose as Havelid, a solid defensive D-man, will likely walk and try the open market comes July. In return they get Pyatt, who has excellent on-ice ethics, and is very decent at price tag of 1.5-million. Atlanta can see this as a salary dump, and choose to sign back Pyatt if he plays well the remaining of this season. Atlanta will want as much picks as possible entering the draft, so the 3rd rounder is actually the attraction in this deal. Canucks get a rental in Havelid, but will instantly solidify any concerns defensively. Put O’Brien on reserve and play Havelid for the remaining 22 games.
I seriously think the Gillis will do something before the deadline, and it wouldn’t be small either. We’ll see.