Canucks and Beyond

Vancouver Trade Talk

02/19/2007 at 4:53pm EST
I never know when to trust the instincts of Grant Kerr at the Globe & Mail (he fools me rather a lot) but he sure as hell knows more than I do, so I'll pass this on:
Look for Vancouver to be proactive on the trade market by the Feb. 27 deadline because the Canucks lack depth on the blue line as the National Hockey League heads into the stretch run to the playoffs. [...]Vancouver management wants to add proven defenders, although they would need to be affordable because the Canucks are precariously near the salary cap limit, with about $650,000 (U.S.) to spare under the $44-million maximum.The Canucks have a first-round and three second-round selections in the 2007 NHL entry draft to dangle as bait for veteran help.
While I don't doubt Vancouver needs to tweak the team in a few spots, I'm not convinced that defense is the only priority. Unless I'm reading this totally wrong, that $650,000 and related trade bait might be needed on the forward end as much as the back end. Though maybe we're planning on relying on guys like Brad Moran and Brandon Reid coming up from the Manitoba Moose? Not that that would be bad either.But coach Alain Vigneault doesn't seem that certain of his forward corps yet, still changing the lineups with frequency.Where do Vigneault's and the GM's priorities lie at this point, I wonder? And who are they willing to lose to free up cap space?12:05 PT Update:One other thing from the Kerr article:
Lukas Krajicek, acquired from the Florida Panthers in the Todd Bertuzzi-for-Roberto Luongo headline deal in the off-season, has been a disappointment, while Rory Fitzpatrick is adequate at best.
Personally I haven't been altogether disappointed with Krajicek. I've been hot and cold on him, sure, but he's shown some surprising upside at times. And Fitzpatrick being "adequate at best" is pretty much doing what's been expected of him. Did anyone expect either of these players to be competing as top-4 defensemen? I think their performances have been reasonable, and God knows they're working for what amounts to peanuts on this team... which pretty much suits our budget at this point.

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