Canucks add 3 Defensemen.

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Finally something to write about. Actually I started to write about the Schneider rumor last thursday, but never finished it, as you can imagine, I wasn’t too excited about signing a 40-yr old journeyman who I thought wouldn’t be healthy enough to play more the 50 games this coming season.

But Gillis, again surprised everyone.

On Friday, Gillis pulled off another lopsided trade with San Jose, by shipping out Patrick White and Daniel Rahimi to the Sharks for Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich. I found this out via Twitter, and my initial reaction is that Eklund was at it again with his crazy rumors.

I love what the guys at CDC said, if someone was to suggest this trade in the forum, everyone would have flamed him and called him stupid. But I guess in today’s NHL, there are a lot of hidden factors that we fans don’t know about. This time is the Salary Cap problem for San Jose.

Prior to this trade, the Sharks were up against the Cap with only a $600,000 cushion, but only 16 skaters and 1 goalie signed. They need at least 18 skaters and 2 goalies. It has been widely published that the cause of this is the inflated contracts Doug Wilson offered to his young players in the past season.

However, when you hear that so many teams are still looking for experienced puck-moving defensemen, you’d think that the Sharks could’ve gotten much more than White and Rahimi for Ehrhoff alone, not to mention Lukowich. But if you look at the offer closely, you will learn that with Lukowich’s salary, he was actually a condition for the Sharks, not against them.

A $1.6-million 6th defenseman is unaccpetable in today’s NHL, especially if the player is older than 30, with little upside to his future improvements. Gillis accpeted the deal mainly for Ehrhoff, and if you look at the offer this way:

Young Puck-Moving Defenseman with a slight drop in overall performance (according to folks at Sharks.com’s forum, but in fact Ehrhoff had 42 points last season, same as that Bouwmesster fellow)

for

Unproven former 1st-round centerman (White) + Cheap young AHL defenseman with potential to become a 5th or 6th D-man (Rahimi) + Salary Cap Acquisition of $1.6-million.

Then, this deal makes some sense.

I don’t believe in pure luck for these deals, Gillis is smart, but Doug Wilsion is no dummie either, if he could’ve gotten more with his intention to offload salary, he would’ve gotten it.

Despite what reason Wilson has, this deal is still an awesome deal if Ehrhoff can continue with his point production, he is afterall just entering his prime. Fortunately, in Vancouver, with our decent top 4-defensive pairing, we can afford to take a chance with him.

So, who is Christian Ehrhoff?

Christian Ehrhoff, German, was drafted 106th overall in 2001, and that’s the year when Kovalchuk and Spezza were drafted first and second overall. Christian is known for his skating and offensive abilities. He started out full-time with the Sharks after the lock-out. In the following four seasons with the Sharks, Ehrhoff improved in his point-production every year, except for the 2007-08 season, which is due to the team switching to a defensive system, and almost every players’ point-production were affected.

Last season, Ehrhoff was one of the few sharks logging the most ice-time, and he was the one with the most ice-time during the playoffs. In the past three seasons, Ehrhoff gathered 48 powerplay points. Although the Sharks, again faced an early exit the last season, Ehrhoff had a breakout year point-production-wise, with 8G 34A and 42Pts.

What about his down side? His major problem for the fans was his turn-overs, which lead to his horrible +/- stats. He was a negative -12 last season, and with $6.2-million remaining on his contract for the next two seasons, fans are crying for his head this summer.

A quick look at the Sharks’ forum, and you will find out two facts. First, Ehrhoff is suggested as a trade bait in most if not all of their fan’s suggestions. Second, most fans aren’t upset that he’s gone, but that Wilson was only able to get so little in return. Sharks fans were expecting Ehrhoff as a part of the deal to Ottawa for Heatley, and with that not longer available, they are worried that it is going to take much more to see Dany in teal.

But that’s their problem, right? What about us? How does adding 3 defensemen affect our Cap situation? I think it’s obvious that we don’t NEED 3 more veteran defensemen, what’s going on?

As of today, according to NHL Numbers, the Canucks are $1.2-million over the cap with 16 forwards, 10 defenseman and 3 goaltenders (Matthieu Schneider not included).

Are we in trouble? You ask. Of course not, I think from what Gillis said, he’s implying that we aren’t over the cap because he won’t play everyone. A few players will have to start their season in Manitoba.

Just take a look at the D. We are hearing that Schneider’s contract is somewhere near the $1.5-million range. As I explained earlier, Lukowich is here mostly for salary dump, but Gillis signed Schnedier willingly, so I’m guessing Schneider will start with the Canucks, and Lukowich won’t. Shane O’Brien will also most likely not see any icetime.

But why are we paying $3.1-million for O’Brien and Lukowich to play in the minors? Doesnt’ make sense, right? We already have Rome, Nycholat, Baumgartner there already, the Moose will have a heck of a D-corp.

Since we already have 16 forwards signed, and this is not including Hodgson. With a second-line of Demitra-Kesler-Samuelsson/Burrows, I honestly think it doesn’t parallel our defensive depth, so will we see a Demtira + O’Brien/Lukowich deal to get a legitimate top second-liner??

Don’t know…but knowing Gillis, he’s probably not going to be this predictable.

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