by PuckStopsHere on 06/28/14 at 01:54 PM ET
The Vancouver Canucks have been the most active team making trades at the NHL Entry Draft. They sent Ryan Kesler and a 2015 third round draft pick to Anaheim for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and Anaheim's draft picks 24th and 85th overall in this year's draft. They then traded the 85th pick to the New York Rangers for Derek Dorsett. Next they traded Jason Garrison and Jeff Costello to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 50th pick in the draft. Today they have traded that 50th overall pick to Los Angeles for Linden Vey. When all is said and done, by far the best player moved is Ryan Kesler. The best defenceman moved is Jason Garrison. The Canucks have not picked up a core player. They may hope that one may develop from the players acquired but there are no promises.
Vancouver was a top contending team that went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2011. Many of their core players are beginning to age. They had a lost season under John Tortorella where they missed playoffs. In the past year they have given up both of their top flight goaltenders in Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo in trades without bringing back a core player in return. Is this a team that should be rebuilding? How effective is a deep rebuild in today's NHL?
I think that the Canucks are a strong enough team that they could be a solid playoff team if they add the right goaltender this summer. It doesn't look like that is the path that Jim Benning is choosing.
The problem with rebuilding in today's NHL is the salary floor. You cannot ice an inexperienced young team and make the salary floor. You will have to have many of your roster spots devoted to older players with larger salaries who do not belong on a rebuilding team. This limits the amount of ice time that can be given to these younger players. There is no clear example of a team that has rebuilt in that method in the salary capped era. The Edmonton Oilers are an example of a team that is perennially trying that route and failing. It isn't a route any team should willingly take.
The Vancouver Canucks are clearly worse off for the trades that they made. They will be a weaker team next year. The hope is that things will work out in the future but that is far from certain. All that is clear is the Canucks are a weaker team today. Jim Benning has made his mark on the Vancouver Canucks and I am underwhelmed.
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