If the Canucks are able to pull the trigger on a trade before Wednesday’s deadline, Vancouver loyalists will have Paul Holmgren to thank.
The Flyers GM has handed out some big-dollar deals over the past two years, beginning with a monstrous eight-year contract for Daniel Briere in the summer of 2007. That pact cost the Flyers two players on Friday when Glen Metropolit and Ossi Vananen were placed on waivers in order to make sufficient room under the salary cap for Briere’s return to the lineup.
The Canadiens claimed Metropolit while Vananen was snagged by Canucks in a move to further bolster their blue-line. On the surface, Vancouver gets a six-foot-four, 212-pound defenseman with 476 games of NHL experience, but the larger implication is that Mike Gillis now has the opportunity to move a rearguard in a deal before Wednesday. Laurence Nycholat is close to returning from an ankle injury, which would make nine experienced Canucks blue-liners.
Though Gillis has repeatedly stated the Canucks aren’t interested in dealing top prospects or high draft picks, the lack of activity leading up to the deadline could drive prices down to something he could afford.