Analyzing the Canucks-Panthers Trade History over the Past Decade

Ian MathesonContributor IIIOctober 25, 2011

Analyzing the Canucks-Panthers Trade History over the Past Decade

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    Apparently, the Canucks and Panthers have figured out how to add each other on speed dial.

    On Sunday, the Vancouver Canucks pulled off yet another trade with the Florida Panthers that saw several prominent members of both organizations change colors.

    Both teams have a history of dealings in the past decade, which have seem some all-star names shipped in either direction.

    Here's an in-depth look at all the trades made between clubs since the 1998-1999 season.

January 17, 1999: Bure for Jovanovski

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    Halfway through the 1998-1999 season, both the Canucks and Panthers decided to mix it up in a major way.

    The Canucks were looking to get younger and better in goal, while the Panthers were looking for a bona fide star to help carry their offense, and so a trade was made.

    Florida acquired offensive star Pavel Bure from the Canucks along with defensemen Bret Hedican and Brad Ference, as well as a third-round draft selection. 

    In turn, they shipped promising youngster Ed Jovanovski to Vancouver along with Dave Gagner, Mike Brown, Kevin Weekes and their first-round pick in either the 1999 or 2000 entry draft. 

    Although Bure only appeared in 11 games during the remainder of the season, he went on to provide the Panthers with two monster seasons, averaging 93 points. (He was then dealt the following year to the Rangers).

    Vancouver, hoping to pick up "the goalie of the future," didn't initially find success in the trade. Kevin Weekes went 0-8-1 for the remainder of the season, then 6-7-4 the following year before management had seen enough and traded him to the Islanders

    Though they didn't get the goaltender they wanted, it was top pick Ed Jovanovski that turned out to be the real gem in the transaction for Vancouver.

    Jovanovski suited up for seven seasons for the Canucks, won a gold-medal in 2002 at the Olympics, while making three appearances at the NHL all-star game for the team.


    Winner: Vancouver Canucks. 

    Pavel Bure was everything the Panthers wanted, but he wasn't around long enough, nor did his presence help the team to any significant success.   

    Ed Jovanovski however, became a franchise player and a blue chip addition to the Canucks' blue line for many years.

    (Dave Gagner remains with the club as their director of player development).

May, 2001: Alex Auld Comes to Vancouver

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    With the 2000-2001 season winding down, a seemingly insignificant trade was made between both teams that saw young goaltender Alex Auld leave for the west coast in exchange for a pair of late draft picks.

    Auld spent the majority of the next four seasons playing in the minor leagues or the AHL, recording promising statistics wherever he went. His experience at an NHL level was still limited to injury call ups and an impressive playoff apperance against Calgary, until he finally caught his break.

    Heading into the 2005-2006 season, the Canucks were still relying upon goaltender Dan Cloutier as their starter while Auld was designated the backup assignment.

    However, after Cloutier suffered and ACL injury early into the year, Auld got his chance to pick up some big minutes under the spotlight.

    Auld posted solid numbers, going 33-26-6, showing some promise as a starting goaltender, or at least enough to convince Florida to pull the trigger on the biggest trade in their franchise's history.

    Winner: Vancouver Canucks

June 23, 2006: "The Trade"

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    In the summer of 2006, the Canucks and Panthers pulled off the biggest trade in either team's history, sending franchise names in both directions.

    The Canucks, desperate for a legitimate number one, had long been rumored to be interested in Luongo, while Bertuzzi was evidently in need of a fresh start.

    After an ugly incident in which he sucker-punched forward Steve Moore, Todd Bertuzzi never looked himself on the ice. His production went down, his demeanor changed along with his reputation, and some kind of trade involving the hulking winger seemed likely.

    That summer, Dave Nonis and Mike Keenan pulled off a blockbuster move that saw Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek and a sixth-round pick come to Vancouver in exchange for Todd Bertuzzi, defenseman Bryan Allen and a seemingly promising netminder in Alex Auld.

    There has not been a more lopsided trade made in the NHL since.

    Todd Bertuzzi immediately hurt himself seven games into the season and never played for the Panthers again. He was traded midway through the year to the Detroit Red Wings.

    Alex Auld played in 27 games, posting an abysmal 7-13-5 record. He too, would be on a different team to start the next season.

    Bryan Allen was the only piece of the trade that benefited Florida in any way, as he went on to play for the Panthers for five seasons before being traded last year to the Hurricanes.

    Vancouver locked up Luongo to a 12-year contract shortly after his remaining years expired, as well as using Krajicek for two years as a journeyman player.

    (The sixth pick, Sergei Shirokov, ironically was sent back to Florida this past offseason for forward Mike Duco in a minor trade.)


    Winner: Vancouver Canucks

    The fact that Luongo has made multiple playoff appearances, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, while Bertuzzi and Auld combined for 34 games in a Panthers' uniform makes this trade a landslide victory for the Canucks.

    Mentioning that Roberto is considered a top goaltender in the league and that he has posted career numbers in Vancouver as well is just salt in the wound if you're a Panthers fan.

    Florida essentially traded a franchise player for nothing.

June 25, 2010: Another VAN/FLA Summer Deal

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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.

February, 2011: Bulking Up for a Playoff Run

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    By February of last year, it was evident that the Canucks were poised for a deep run in the upcoming playoffs. Management knew some insurance would be a wise idea, and so they went after a pair of character players to help solidify their roster.

    Max Lapierre was acquired from Anaheim, while Gillis went back to the Panthers to pick up gritty forward Chris Higgins. In return, Vancouver sent AHL player Evan Oberg and a third-round pick.

    Both players picked up significant ice time due to injuries and excelled in the new environment, helping to lead the Canucks to a deciding game seven in the Finals.

    The team rewarded both players with contract extensions in the summer, and Higgins has picked up a spot on the second line to start the new season.

    Winner: Vancouver Canucks.

    Chris Higgins has regained his form in Vancouver, while Evan Oberg is unlikely to ever make the NHL.

October 22, 2011: Florida Continues to Shake Up Their Roster

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    The most recent dealing between clubs occurred this past weekend, when gifted forward David Booth was notified that he'd been dealt to Vancouver for a pair of veterans.

    The trade involved Vancouver sending forwards Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson to the Panthers, who shipped David Booth, Steven Reinprecht and a third-round pick (the same pick they acquired for Chris Higgins).

    An immediate look at the trade shows that Florida was less interested in picking up quality talent than it was in dumping salary, since Booth has four years remaining on a contract that pays just over $4 million a year.

    Florida's general manager Dale Tallon was reportedly unhappy with Booth's play. Getting rid of his $4 million, Reinprecht's $2 million and Samuelsson and Sturm's expiring contracts will give him some heavy cap leverage heading into the offseason.

    The Canucks, on the other hand, picked up a top-six forward who can play with Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins, while freeing up roster space, and getting younger in the process.

    How Mike Gillis managed to erase his failed experiment with Marco Sturm while packaging him with Samuelsson to pick up a high-value forward is a mystery. 

    Then again, a lot of the moves Florida has made in the past decade could also be categorized as such, so it remains consistent with the trend.  


    Winner: Vancouver Canucks

    It's hard to see this trade being anything but successful for the Canucks, since in the very least they got younger and turned two problems into a solution.

    Booth's injury history and remaining contract are the only potential issues down the road. However, both are a risk worth running if it means adding a quality winger like Booth to their roster.

    Picking up their own third-round pick previously dealt for Higgins only makes this trade seem worse, as it's been reduced to a one-for-one exchange: Oberg for Higgins.