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Canucks GM prior to trade deadline: “We are open for business”

Jan 11, 2012, 6:58 PM EDT

Mason Raymond Getty Images

Don’t worry, this isn’t another story about how Vancouver and Boston hate each other. This is something everyone can appreciate, even if it involves the Canucks – trade speculation!

Canucks GM Mike Gillis was on TEAM 1040 radio in Vancouver today and confirmed he’s looking to make some moves prior to the deadline on Feb. 27.

“We are open for business,” said Gillis. “We are talking about different players who bring more balance to our team in certain areas.”

Rumor has it the Canucks are in the market for an agitator. You know, one of those guys that can get under the skin of the opponent? A team can never have enough of those guys. They call it rat depth.

Actually, Gillis is probably looking for some size and strength on the third and fourth lines. And considering the injuries the Canucks have suffered on the back end during recent playoff runs, maybe a defenseman or seven.

And who would Vancouver be willing to give up?

Mason Raymond is a name that gets thrown around a lot. The speedy-but-slight winger is a pending RFA that could find it tough to crack the top six once David Booth returns from injury.

Maybe Cory Schneider…but don’t count on it. The prized backup goalie won’t be any less valuable as an asset this summer, so the return would have to be massive to trade Roberto Luongo’s meltdown insurance.

Overpaid defenseman Keith Ballard could probably be had for a bag of pucks, or even just a bag, but the Canucks would have to add an NHL-caliber defenseman with puck-moving abilities to replace him. Which is easier said than done. Plus, Ballard knows the system Vancouver plays. (He’s just not very good at playing it.)

The Canucks could also look at dealing prospect Jordan Schroeder, currently with the Chicago Wolves.

  1. oscojoe - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    The Canucks have a team of Pussy Cats & Rats. They should head up a NHL Womans league!

    • petriskriko - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:07 PM

      Because they play like girls!

    • blomfeld - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:54 PM

      Yes ! … they should rename themselves the “Violent Fems” and join the WNBA !

      • comeonnowguys - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:39 AM

        I thumbed it up solely on the team name.

  2. drewzducks - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Rumor is that they’re focusing on acquiring a spine.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      That is actually reasonably amusing.

      • drewzducks - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

        Thanks. Thought it was too obvious. But don’t they have enough agitators. Seem to be better off trying to get some blue line bulk.

  3. govtminion - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Luongo to Tampa for Lecavalier? I’ve heard of dumber trades.

    • blomfeld - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:06 PM

      ***** BINGO ! BINGO ! BINGO ! *****

      govtminion – Luongo being traded is “exactly” what I predict is going to happen this summer ! However, I doubt if his ever-decreasing value by that time will fetch a player of Lecavalier’s caliber in exchange ? More than likely the Canucks will have to compromise, given the idiotic term of his contract and settle for a top 6 forward in return, in addition to perhaps a 3rd or 4th round draft pick. Here in Vancouver, watching this play out is like watching a car wreck in slow motion. With each passing week now, it’s becoming more and more obvious to us Canuck fans that Cory Schneider is not only the “future” … but the “now” ! Should Luongo carry on as the “go to” goalie for the rest of the way and the Canucks fail to make the finals as I predict, then it’s a given that the Aqulini’s will want him off their books … who are we trying to kid here ? As for anyone who wants to talk about “set” contracts and such, I say give it a rest … anything can be done, given the will and need.

      • cshearing - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:08 AM

        Lecavelier’s caliber? You mean his standing as maybe the worst contract in the league? Paying $9M/year for a 2nd-3rd line center?

        If T-Bay can make that trade, they should jump with both feet.

  4. loinstache - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Play Tanev with Ballard again to see if there is still chemistry. If not, look at liquidating Ballard, at least to get some cap space. He’s been a constant liability in the back end and his bursts of ‘offence’ are so infrequent that they should be considered a non factor at this point.

    Raymond should only be traded if a tough third liner that can also play the second can be found. While the return of Booth will make Vancouver heavy on top 6 forwards, Raymond has shown great skill since coming back from a broken back which is pretty damn impressive.

    • blomfeld - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:25 PM

      hey man … I like your usage of the term “liquidating” … however, the one who needs to be liquidated on the Canucks “post haste” is big man Luongo ! … the organization and the city have been kissing his ass since day one and yet he’s become the indisputable Achilles heal of our team today … I say “Good-bye Vancouver, Hello Florida” to this overpaid, mentally unstable, narcissistic, Michelin Man ! :)

      • drewsylvania - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:25 AM

        Too bad that contract is 800 years long.

      • warpstonebc - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        LOL. Yah… the guy had a meltdown and couldn’t outplay Tim Thomas. How offensive. 😀

        There were 28 other goalies who did worse than Luongo last year. Maybe every team should also “liquidate” their goalies when they’re bounced from the playoffs.

        After all, how could a peanut gallery that doesn’t care about little things like defensive breakdowns excuse any goalie for giving up even a single goal let alone several?

        How dare goalies not register a shutout in every Stanley Cup Final game! Luongo only had 2. What a loser.

      • whatswellydoing - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        The guy took us to game 7 of the finals. He’s got his meltdowns, but he’s still one of the elite goalies in the league.

      • haterzgonahate - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        again… Canucks would not be the team they are today without Roberto Luongo… such short memories you fair weather fans have

        and the immature comments on here are hilarious considering this team of “women” made it to game 7 of the stanley cup final. but please carry on..

  5. jordthekid - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    oscojo, I guess you’re right since the only team in the league that has a chance of beating them is the Bruins. Dumb fuck

    • oscojoe - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:06 PM

      What is Dumb is tearing up your town. The Bruins showed the world what the Canucks are made of when they won the Cup on your home ice and then again last Saturday when 6 players attacked 1 Bruin. You can’t win a game Mano on Mano. (For Canuck fans that means Man on Man)

      Drewzduck is right the Canucks need a Spine!!!

      • blomfeld - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:04 AM

        friend … this is “high-quality” analysis on your part … God bless you and praise be …

        Jobs 3:9 … invite the infidel to the River Jordan, there where the current is strongest … then when he is least expecting, push him into the raging waters so that he may drown like the rat he is …

  6. kddidy - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Do you even watch the Canucks any more? Ballard’s not going anywhere, he is solid in the top 5.

    • petriskriko - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:04 PM

      15 mins a night in the bottom pairing taking up a ton of cap space. Yeah, they’d never trade him.

      • blomfeld - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:35 PM

        Since day one, Ballard’s been “abused” by the Canucks organization …

    • blomfeld - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:49 PM

      Keith Ballard is an excellent player and you sir, have obviously misunderstood what’s been going on around here …

    • warpstonebc - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Not really. There’s a definitive top 4. But the bottom 2 are always up for grabs. If Rome is healthy or Tanev recovers from his injury, Ballard is not guaranteed a spot.

      I admit, I really enjoy watching Ballard. There are times you go “wow, if this is considered a #5 d-man, that’s a stacked team!” But there are also times when you can say ‘oh… that’s why he’s not trusted with a top 4 spot.”

      Good puck mover, great skater, but prone to some defensive mistakes that are difficult to recover from due to his size. You’ll also catch him playing like a winger some nights, which drives Vigneult nuts. That’s why Rome, despite a more limited skill-set normally beats Ballard to a spot on the depth chart.

  7. davebabychreturns - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Canucks should be looking to add a defenceman before they go shopping for forwards…

    • blomfeld - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:40 PM

      and you should be looking to add to your ABBA collection …

      ps: I went to “Agnetha Fältskog’s” home in the summer of 1981 :)

  8. neelyisgod - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Nothing to see here. I thought this was NHL talk not AHL?

    • blomfeld - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:45 PM

      “We’re going to execute Neelyisgod !”
      :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

      with love … Henrietta, Daniella, Alexis, Roberta, Elaine, Rihanna, Kendra, Macy and Alberta

  9. t16rich - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    I think about what Colorado paid for Semyon Varlamov’s signing rights in the offseason and figure the Canucks will end up being very happy with what they acquire for Schneider. I am sure he will bring in the same type of value or maybe better then Varlamov did.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:37 PM

      Gillis has said in the past he’s happy to hold out for a great return on Schneider. He’s showed this year he’s no slouch and is ready to be a starter. There was a rumour that last year Gillis thought Philly might ask about him but his asking price would have been Giroux.

      Obviously GMs haggle, but that’s an indication of just how highly he thinks of Schneider.

      As far as possible deals, I’d like to see a young, high-potential D-man. We’d likely look for size and solid defensively, and maybe even a 4/5 D-man might be first on the list otherwise.

      • blomfeld - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:28 PM

        elvis – I’m sorry friend, but Schneider’s going nowhere, as he’s now become our number one “franchise” goalie ! … surely you can see “that” which even a blind man can now see ? The problem however, is that Luongo isn’t going to fetch much in return by next summer ? Not only is his diminishing “play” a growing concern, his idiotic long-term contract will also be a major liability for whoever is foolish enough to take him on. Therefore we’ll be lucky to get just top 6 forward or something in return ? … it won’t be much more, that’s for sure.

    • blomfeld - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      We’re not going to trade Schneider, as he’s a “keeper ! … instead we’re going to trade the Michelin Man “Luongo” himself by next summer ! … trust me :)

  10. danphipps01 - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    You know, given what we’ve seen of Schneider so far this season, he’s pretty much straight-up dumped fuel on the fire that they’d be better with him as their starter than Luongo. He’s playing superbly, but the thing that separates him from Luongo is that he does it ALL THE TIME. There’s no doubt that Schneider’s gonna give it every time he hits the ice. You never have to wonder if a quick pair by guys in Blackhawks jerseys just decided the game halfway through the first period. Honestly, they’d get a huge return on Schneider, but that shouldn’t necessarily diminish the return they’d get on Luongo if they got him to drop his NTC. He’s still an extremely high-calibre goaltender and a team like Tampa, with money to spend and absolutely nothing resembling a first-string goalie, really wouldn’t complain about the idea. Beggers, as they say, can’t be choosers. Another option that comes to mind is Washington – Vokoun’s gone at year’s end, as he thinks he deserves more and the Caps probably figure he doesn’t earn what he DOES make. With Semin at best resigning at a much lower salary and at worst shot out of a cannon back to Russia for being a horrific liability, they’d have the room to invest in a guy like Luongo, and given how disasterous this season has been for them, I imagine they’d leap at the chance. They’re REALLY hurting for lack of a good goalie, and headcase or not, Luongo is one.

    Anyway, this all hinges on him waiving his NTC, and frankly he seems like the kind of guy who’d sooner dick-move a team for his own sake than do that, so it’s probably all pointless theorizing anyway. Schneider’s return’ll be grand, though. I wonder if Gillis might try to attach Ballard to it just to get him the fuck out of Vancouver. Seems like the only way he possibly could. No-one’s gonna seriously TRADE for the useless log.

    • blomfeld - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:42 PM

      “all hinges on him waiving his NTC” …

      Danphipps01 – trust me friend, that can be accomplished quite easily … the Washington angle is interesting, as that would “dovetail” perfectly with this freak returning to home base and “Mister Luongo”, who by the way is the one really calling the shots here … I remain convinced that he will end up being trading to either Florida or Tampa this summer, but you never know ? … for sure though, it’ll be back east, eh ?

      • danphipps01 - Jan 12, 2012 at 8:58 PM

        Florida? Nah, they’re happy with Theodore/Markstrom for now. They’ve got other needs to spend on. I can see teams with fucking AWFUL goaltending betting on Luongo, but not teams with solid, workable goaltending and prospects in the works.

  11. ikillchicken - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    There’s absolutely no way they’re going to make a Goaltending change this year. It just doesn’t make any sense to do so. Schneider is just looking too damn good to move before we’ve even really learned what his true potential is and with all the question marks surrounding Luongo there is absolutely no way you’re gonna give up your backup plan. Moving Luongo is equally risky though. The fact is that he did get us all the way to the finals. Schneider has virtually no playoff experience. I’m not eager to attempt an extended playoff run with a guy with almost no playoff experience and no backup whatsoever. Goaltending is so vital in the NHL. It’s the one thing you absolutely cannot do without. Unless somebody offered us someone simply phenomenal (which nobody will at this stage for a questionable Luongo and an unproven Schneider) then it makes more sense to keep both guys for now.

    That said, I’d like to see them make a move on defence. We’ve got a great top 4 but they eat a ton of minutes and I don’t much like the idea of being one injury away from “Alex Sulzer, top 4 D-man”. Ballard is useless. He’s not totally awful (he’s a bit awful) but more than anything he’s just not a good fit. He can’t play on the right side which means he can’t play with Edler and can’t really find a spot on the powerplay or in any offensive role for that matter. If that’s the case though then he’s just not going to succeed here. He can’t put his talents to use and he’s useless as a depth defenceman since he’s a defensive liability. He’s still got value though and would be easy to move. (If someone picked up Kaberle, you can move Ballard) so let’s go ahead and move him and clear some space and try to pick up a good, mid-range stay at home defenceman. Nothing amazing that necessitates breaking the bank. Just a solid guy that can play decent minutes as a #5 or step up and be at least a passable #4 in the event of injury. (Off the top of my head: Hal Gill perhaps?)

    I’d also consider packaging Ballard with a little added incentive and making a play on Ryan Suter if he’s on the market. Mind you, he probably won’t be at least at the deadline.

  12. thomaspratt - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    I don’t know what it would take to get him out of New Jersey (probably a tonne), but the Canucks could use a guy like David Clarkson in the bottom 6. Tough, gritty, but talented enough not to waste a roster spot.

    I listened to a bit of the Wolves matinee this morning and Byron Bitz sounded slightly promising. Granted it’s AHL and granted that he’s been out of action with injuries for a couple years now, but more than once did the play include an extended stretch where he was able to protect the puck because of his size and power.

  13. rainyday56 - Jan 12, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    The big trade is going to involve Hodgson. Relations between team mgt and Cody have been strained since injuring his back training with Canucks Dave Gagner. Besides, he’s an eastern kid and has never come across as being thrilled to be playing out west. He has been patiently biding his time making the most of the 13-15 minutes per game that AV gives him. Its obvious he is being showcased for a trade and the Canucks brass are dumb enough to move him. It is a shame because Cody will be one of those quiet superstars like Yserman or Sakic and will lead his team to multiple Stanley Cups. Unfortunately it won’t be the Vancouver Canucks.

  14. comeonnowguys - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    An agitator?

    Luongo to Chicago for Dave Bolland.

    And then the universe implodes.

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