Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike GIllis
With the Vancouver Canucks keeping a steady pace at top of the National Hockey League standings, a certain date all hockey fans are familiar with is approaching.
The NHL Trade Deadline is February 28th, 12 PST, and many Vancouver fans are speculating possible moves Canuck GM Mike Gillis could make.
Funny thing is, the Vancouver Canucks should be absolutely quiet during the trade deadline, and I'll tell you why.
The NHL trade deadline can be a place for teams to solidify themselves as contenders or rebuilders and, in some cases, a quick scapegoat to put fans in seats. Being on top of the NHL standings surely makes you a contender.
For the Vancouver Canucks, many believe this could be the year the team from the West Coast brings the cup home to Canada.
Mike Gillis has a tough job ahead of him trying to find out what can benefit his team the most during the run to the Stanley Cup in April. With that being said, the best move for Gillis might be to put his phone down for the day as this year's version of the Canucks has already acquired the assets needed for the stretch drive.
Throughout the season, the Vancouver Canucks have had a depleted blue line and never had the chance to have their potential top six of Kevin Bieksa, Christian Erhoff, Alex Edler, Sami Salo, Keith Ballard and Dan Hamhuis play together.
Now on paper that is possibly the deepest group of defence in the league. Not only does it consist of defencemen reliable in all situations, in contains one of the best up-and-comers on the back end in the injured Alex Edler.
With the injuries piled up on the back end, a possible trade may become the right move for the Canucks.
But think again.
NHL veterans Aaron Rome and Andrew Alberts have fit in perfectly with the lineup and could be in the top six of any other team in the National Hockey League. The Canucks have also been able to develop Toronto native Chris Tanev into a possible NHL regular.
If possible, when entering the playoffs and if the Canucks manage to have their injured defencemen back, Vancouver could have a total of three extra NHL-caliber defencemen to fill in any holes needed in the back end.
Many fans believe the Vancouver Canucks need more role players to take them on a deep run into the playoffs. Being pushed around by Chicago with the likes of Bolland, Byfuglien and Versteeg might lead to the inspiration of that analyst.
With that being said, the Canucks might have found their role players. Look no further to the development of Vancouver's Jannik Hansen and Tanner Glass. Both players have made huge strides and have discovered their roles on this club.
Glass has been a reliable fourth-line player all season. He's able to play with an edge without taking dumb penalties and has been able to chip in on occasion.
Jannik Hansen, on the other hand, has arguably been Vancouver's most underrated player. The "great Dane" does absolutely everything a third-line winger should do. He kills penalties, isn't afraid to use his small body to work and can make plays with his speed. Both these men may be able to make their mark in the playoffs.
The Vancouver Canucks have only passed the second round twice in their 40-year tenure with the National Hockey League.
The problem is simple: Vancouver's star players haven't showed up when needed.
This year could be different. Not because Mike Gillis is going to acquire a Conn Smythe winner, but because this year's version of the Canucks has gotten a whole lot deeper.
Ryan Kesler, who was quiet last April, has evolved into an elite player around the league. Wingers Alex Burrows, Mikael Samuelsson and Mason Raymond are healthy and are just catching their stride late in the year.
With all this occurring, the door for the Sedins to take their game to the next level is more open than it has ever been. They're not always going to be the focus of the other team, and this could be the year where they elevate into playoff performers.
The most underrated signing in the offseason may have become the biggest acquisition of the year. When the Canucks re-signed 24-year-old Cory Schneider, they didn't know they were getting another goaltender. Along with Cory came the return of Roberto Luongo.
Yes. Luongo is back. Going 16-1-5 in his last 22 starts has made him a Veizna candidate.
The once "overrated" Luongo seems to have grabbed most of the fans back and, being fully rested, could shine in the playoffs.
Mike Gillis has limited space in the cap to do much on February 28th. He has also made it clear he isn't looking to part ways with draft picks and prospects. So a possible zero-trade day for Vancouver may be on the horizon.
It might become a boring thought for Canuck fans, but it all comes back to the depth of this organization and one simple quote. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.