NHL Trade Rumors: If Canucks Are 'Open for Business', Who Stays and Who Goes?

Riley Kufta@@RileyKuftaContributor IIIJanuary 23, 2012

NHL Trade Rumors: If Canucks Are 'Open for Business', Who Stays and Who Goes?

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    Speculation heated up in the Canucks organization recently, when GM Mike Gillis told the Team1040 that the Canucks are "open for business".  

    In the interview, Gillis claims that the team is looking to add balance before the Feb 27 trade deadline. When questioned if he was looking for more toughness, Gillis did not confirm.

    Despite Mike Gillis' comments, with Tanner Glass, Raffi Torres and Rick Rypien among the names the Canucks lost since last season, added size and grit could very well be on the Canucks' wish list.   

    Assuming the Canucks are looking to make some deadline moves, who are they willing to part with?

    This slideshow will identify players who will likely be the subject of trade talks, and which ones might actually be finding a new home in the coming weeks.  

Corey Schneider and Roberto Luongo

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    The Vancouver Canucks have two elite goaltenders; only one of which will be suiting up to start next season.  

    Roberto Luongo was supposed to be the go-to guy when Vancouver signed him five seasons ago, but his playoff woes have had many questioning if he can bring Vancouver a Cup.  

    Despite his skeptics, Luongo's lengthy contract most likely means Cory Schneider will be the one to go.  

    Schneider has incredible trade value, and will be sought out by many teams (New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Columbus and Florida). But as an upcoming restricted free agent, the Canucks may want to hold on to him for a little while longer.  

    The Canucks are yet again looking dangerous to win the cup. If Luongo struggles again in the playoffs, Schneider may come in more handy than any player the Canucks could land in return.  

    Corey Schneider: Stay

    Roberto Luongo: Stay

Keith Ballard

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    Less than two full seasons into his contract, fans are calling Keith Ballard one of the most disappointing signings in Canuck history.  Making $4.2 million per year, a lot was expected of Ballard.  

    With 14 points in 107 games with the Canucks (a number which he surpassed in each and every season of his NHL career), his departure would likely have fans cheering in the streets.  

    Although his offensive production is lacking, are his positive contributions being overlooked? 

    The defenseman has a career high of 39 points, and prior to joining the Canucks, he was one of the most consistent defenders in the league. With three seasons on his contract following this one, there's plenty of time for Ballard to re-find his way. 

    So far with the Canucks, Ballard has a plus-12 rating. He is one of the best hip-checkers in the game (along with fellow Canuck Dan Hamhuis), and is not shy to dropping the mitts and sticking up for his teammates, a fact that Joe Pavelski learned the hard way Saturday afternoon.  

    Apart from the benefits he brings to the team, his contract and diminished trade value likely mean he will be living out the remainder of his contract in Vancouver.  

    Keith Ballard: Stay

Jordan Schroeder

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    Now that Cody Hodgson is a full-time Canuck, Jordan Schroeder is the top prospect in the organization. An article on NBC suggested that the young forward could be sent elsewhere this deadline.  

    In the interview with Mike Gillis, however, he claims that they've "modeled the team after the most successful franchise in the last 20 years in the NHL, and that's Detroit".  

    If there's one thing that Detroit does better than any other team in the league, it's building the team from within. They have the best drafting in the league, and spend years developing their prospects into the stars we see today. 

    If Gillis and the Canucks really do model their team after the Red Wings, Jordan Schroeder and the prospects in the organization won't be going anywhere.  

    Jordan Schroeder: Stay

Sami Salo

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    Sami Salo is a great defenseman. In addition to one of the most deadly slap shots in the league, he brings 13 NHL seasons of experience to the table and would be a valuable asset to any team.  

    In those 13 seasons, however, Salo has never played a full season. The oft injured 37-year-old recently took another blow after sustaining a concussion against the Boston Bruins.  

    According to CBS, Salo could be returning from his concussion as early as Tuesday.  

    Salo is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and there is a lot of doubt regarding a contract extension. That being said, the Canucks have been depleted on the back end in recent postseason appearances, and will take all the help they can get.  

    That, along with the fact that he has a no movement clause and would have to agree to any trade, makes his position on the team fairly safe.  

    Sami Salo: Stay

Mason Raymond

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    Mason Raymond is in a similar situation to what Michael Grabner had a few seasons ago. An immensely talented and shifty forward, but no room to grow with the Canucks.  

    The Canucks parted ways with Grabner, and since then he's flourished with the New York Islanders. Last year, Grabner was a Calder Trophy finalist; ultimately losing to Carolina's Jeff Skinner. 

    Of course, Mason Raymond can't win the Calder, as he's older and has more NHL experience, but he does have the opportunity to find a new home and flourish there.  

    The Canucks are fairly locked up next season for salary, and as an upcoming restricted free agent, they may be willing to part ways with the young forward.  

    Mason Raymond's offensive ability would benefit many teams. Since he's not yet ready for top line play, look for teams with a depleted left wing past the first line to pursue him.  

    Don't be surprised to see a deal involving George Parros or Tuomo Ruutu.  

    Mason Raymond: Go