• Vintage Hockey League

S13-Canucks at the Deadline [WB8]


Well, all I can say was that it was an eventful day. There was close to 20 total deals that happened on the day. There were elite goalies moved, elite defenders, and lots of picks. The biggest deal of the period happened the day before the deadline. I bet there were lots of talks and lots of deals that didn’t happen. It certainly was a exciting period and for those that were taking part.

There were some notable absences from the day as well. Vincent Damphousse was on the trade block for almost the entire season. The fact that the trading pool was limited hindered attempts to move him and new GM Cook is looking at this season being a win now and then focus on the future. There were also a number of impending free agents that weren’t move and still some that have not been extended a contract offer. With that being said, there was one team that certainly was active on deadline day. That would be yours truly.

I have never been one to shy away from changing up the roster. I trade a lot, but for a good reason; at least in my head. There were a couple goals that I had going into the deadline period. The first was to move Trevor Linden. The second was to bring in players that would help the Lock Monsters in their quest to win the Calder Cup, keeping it away from Muskegon once again. And the last was to get players at a deal, at least in my mind. And then there were a deal or two that were done out of necessity.

Let’s start with the one that had people thinking, “what is he thinking?” So the Canucks have had one player be a constant since the start of the VHL and his name is Trevor Linden. He is one of the few positional players that will start a season off at 86 OV without the aid of Morale. He is really good, and has the stats to prove it. He is the franchises leader in every category designed for positional players but shots blocked. That’s 11 of 12 top spots. Yet I had my reasoning for wanting to trade him in while the he was still under contract and young enough to sign at least two more contracts. I was searching for a younger elite level player and would be willing to pay for the added years. Then the tradeblock lit up with the Blues were looking for a elite right winger in exchange for Vinny Prospal. Good thing I good right wing added to Linden this offseason. The conversation was pretty quick and the deal was agreed that the Canucks would send a 2nd round pick to the Blues along with Linden.

Vinny Prospal was exactly the type of player that the Canucks were looking for. He might not play the same physical game that Linden did, or be able to play half the game without being tired, but he has a couple things that are value here. First of all he is younger, with at least two 4 year contracts left. He makes a significant amount less than Linden, and when he is due for resigning will demand less than Linden. The added benefit to a less physical style of play is the fact that he will not spend significant time in the penalty box. Linden was good this year so far, but he was the franchise leader in PIMs. After trying to move Linden for the entire season, this deal was absolutely perfect. Added youth, while staying in the race to win the VHL Cup.

This deal was at a fortunate time. It freed up about 2.8m in cap space and gave the Canucks the opportunity to pursue other deals at the deadline. At this point they came fast and furious.

The Craig deal and the Nylander deal happened almost simultaneously and for good reason. Mike Craig was picked up cheap at last deadline due to a expiring contract. He was resigned and played decently well in Vancouver but frankly I never truly waned him. After working out a deal for Nylander for a 2nd and Marc Fortier; the Canucks could go ahead with a deal that had been in place with Washington. The Canucks basically undid a deal that they did with Washington earlier this season. They moved Dubinsky and Hoglund for a 2nd. That 2nd was used to get Nylander, and Craig was moved for those two back. The Canucks got the replacement for Craig, and added talented AHL players to help continue the run for the Calder.

The next deal was all AHL and an attempt to mitigate any damages if Andy MacDonald gets the call up to the Canucks. Andy Mac has been having an unbelievable season to this point. So good that there is a real chance that he gets promoted to the big club. He is not only leading the AHL in scoring, but is about to smash the record for most points in a season by a AHL player. To lose that kind of production to truly hurt the chances that the Lock Monsters have at a long playoff run. The Canucks scouting department went looking for a player that has good offensive skills that can help out if the promotion happens or add to the talent on the team if not. Stephane Morin is a talented farm player that has great passing. He will fill a top two line centre spot and should be a good player for younger guys to lean on. The cost was Sergei Berezin and a third in this year’s draft. Having a bunch of 2nds and 3rds in the next number of drafts helped a couple become disposable.

The Canucks thought they were done at this point. They were waiting for the sim and content were things were. The sim came late and I was minding the phones . Now was the time to take a good deal when it presented itself. I was just checking to see availability and prices on guys. Here comes along Jason Smith, a talented defender who plays with a mean streak. The ask was a 4.0 prospect and a pick. The Canucks had two prospects that fit the bill. Ales Hemsky would not be moved for a defender, unless he was elite. Smith is good not elite. The other was Tim Gleason. Tim was a really good prospect and the team had great plans for him. But he was a mid 2nd and Smith was worth a mid 2nd and another pick. The other pick ended up being a 3rd in the coming draft. Smith was too good a player to pass up at this point and at that price point. Smith provides a great insurance policy should one of the two defenders up for resigning next season.

The last deal was done because though I was willing to hold eight pro defenders going into the playoffs, I would prefer not to. Kroupa had been the defender that had the most interest throughout the season. The price was never right to move him, but after getting Smith I could move for a cheaper price. I moved Rob Niedermayer before to get a more offensively gifted player in Bob Joyce. Getting a younger player back that has decent skills was good enough for me. Rob Niedermayer is a gritty player that will fill the 4th line spot for the time being. I hope that the second time around is better for Rob. He will help the team over the hopefully lengthy playoff run.

Thanks for the read and all the deals gentlemen. Good luck in all you playoff runs as long as your don't have to play the Canucks. Then well….you get it. 

WC 1308