Pittsburgh Penguins Could Target the Vancouver Canucks for Trade

Russ GodekContributor IIIFebruary 17, 2011

LW Mason Raymond holds of D Deryk Engelland
LW Mason Raymond holds of D Deryk EngellandJamie Sabau/Getty Images

With the Vancouver Canucks defense dropping like flies as of late, they are probably going to bring in some help before the trade deadline. The Canucks, who lead the Western Conference comfortably, are going to have to do something to bolster their defense heading into the playoffs.

Recent Injuries to Kevin Bieksa, who will miss three weeks with a broken foot and Andrew Alberts, who will require surgery and miss 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist, are hard to swallow.

In addition, Dan Hamhuis (concussion), Keith Ballard (sprained right knee), Lee Sweatt (broken foot) and Alexander Edler (back surgery) are all out.

While the Canucks may get some of these players back in time for the playoffs, not all are guarentees. In addition, it would be wise to try and stay atop the Western Conference, securing the coveted home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have been riddled with injuries themselves, are in dire need of scoring help. The Canucks have plenty of that but are lacking defenseman right now, something the Penguins have plenty of. The two teams seem to be a perfect match for a deadline deal.

The Penguins could move young defenseman Alex Goligoski to the Canucks in exchange for one of their talented wingers, such as LW Mason Raymond. The Penguins have plenty of young defenseman in the minors who will be ready in a year or two.

The Penguins also have cap room to bring in a veteran defenseman to plug the hole that Goligoski would leave and still be just as strong at the blueline. Raymond would be a good addition for the Penguins, as he is a fast and skilled winger with soft hands.

Goligoski would fit in at the Canucks blueline well as a quick, puck-moving defenseman. Both players are signed for another season, at which point they will become restricted free-agents. This seems like a good deal for both teams and would not surprise many if it happened.

While neither player may get traded, especially for each other, both teams seem to have a reserve of what the other is lacking. Being from separate Conferences is only a plus and would make the trade easier.