Ranking the Vancouver Canucks' Biggest Needs at the 2013 Trade Deadline
After acquiring center Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars early Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks are in an unfavorable position with a remaining goalie controversy and little cap room heading into the next season, hinting that larger things are to come.
Given the Canucks' current situation, one would have to assume any further trades must include a goaltender, Keith Ballard or Mason Raymond — begging the question: what do the Canucks require in return?
The following explores the Canucks' biggest needs as the 2013 Trade Deadline approaches, and some potential players that could be joining the team tomorrow.
4. Defensive Support
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After two and a half years, it's safe to say that things have not, and will not work out with Keith Ballard (at least not while Alain Vigneault is in town).
If Mike Gillis can find a suitor for Ballard's $4.2 million contract, he could be looking for defensive support in return. Given the Canucks' cap situation, it won't be a big-name player, but anything will help.
Although this could be seen as a need for Vancouver, it likely will not be addressed as the Canucks will look to fill their larger needs.
Possible Fits: Andy Green (NJ), Mike Weaver (FLA), Carl Gunnarsson (Tor)
3. Scoring Winger
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The Canucks were quite public with their efforts to acquire Ryane Clowe before the power forward was shipped to the New York Rangers earlier this morning. We can only imagine that a winger will be included in any other trades the team makes (possibly with Mason Raymond going the other way).
Possible Fits: Peter Mueller (center with wing potential) (FLA), David Clarkson (NJ), Dainius Zubrus (NJ), Martin St. Louis (TB), Benoit Pouliot (TB), Nikolai Kulemin (Tor)
2. Backup Goaltender
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With Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo together, the Canucks have one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL. But with Luongo's occasional inconsistency and Schneider's lack of experience, a good backup goaltender will be needed when this controversy is put to bed.
Whether it's ultimately Schneider or Luongo departing, a goalie will be coming the other way.
Possible Fits: Scott Clemmensen (FLA), Johan Hedberg (NJ), Anders Lindback (TB), Mathieu Garon (TB), James Reimer (TOR), Drew MacIntyre (TOR)
1. Prospects/Draft Picks
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Despite some of the Canucks' other needs, their top priority needs to be the future. The team can have no room to take on more salary, the Sedins (although it may take a few more years) will slow down, and they are fairly thin in the prospect department.
I'm sure there will be arguments that Nicklas Jensen, Zack Kassian and Jordan Schroeder are the future, but the truth is, while those players may end up having successful careers, they could just as easily go the other way. The Canucks do not have that superstar prospect in their system that is guaranteed a dominant career.
Many of their competitors have that piece in their system, and Mike Gillis needs to focus on catching up before it's too late.
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