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Although the Vancouver Canucks finally found a solution for their goaltending woes, their work on the back end wasn't complete.
After suffering two consecutive playoff losses to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Vancouver brass decided another deal had to be made.
Naturally, they called up Florida again.
After watching their blue line go down two years in a row with injuries and problems, they decided they needed another top-four defenseman for insurance so that they could stay healthy for a longer playoff run.
With the 2010 NHL entry draft in progress, general manager Mike Gillis pulled the trigger on a trade that brought defenseman Keith Ballard and gritty forward Victor Oreskovich to the coast in exchange for forward Steve Bernier, promising prospect Michael Grabner and the team's 2010 first-round selection.
For once, it looked like Florida could have pulled the long straw in a Vancouver trade. Grabner looked like a player around whom they could build, while Bernier provided depth that was in short supply.
Then, Florida managed to hurt themselves again.
Apparently, unimpressed with Michael Grabner's training camp, the team decided to assign him to their AHL affiliate. However, to do so he would have to clear waivers.
The New York Islanders snatched the Austrian off waivers, immediately playing him on their team. Michael Grabner went on to record 34 goals as a rookie, and earned a Calder Trophy nomination as the league's top rookie of the year.
Steve Bernier played 68 games for the Panthers and posted a disappointing 15 points for his efforts. He remains an unrestricted free agent to start this year.
The Vancouver Canucks found some success with forward Victor Oreskovich on their fourth line for most of their recent playoff run, while Ballard struggled with injuries and inconsistency. Both players remain with the club however, and Ballard has come back with a strong start to the new year.
Winner: It should have been the Florida Panthers, but it's now the Vancouver Canucks.
Michael Grabner was a promising asset that the Canucks could afford to trade way, however, the fear was that he would go on to outscore Mason Raymond and be dominant.
Grabner posted big offensive numbers after joining the Islanders, something that the Panthers desperately needed. A young, gifted player and a guy with good character were a good deal for a defenseman whom they didn't need, yet they let Grabner get away.
Waiving the Austrian winger was a huge mistake that will cost the team in the future.