A few days after the NHL trade deadline, some details are starting to seep out with regards to what the Vancouver Canucks were trying to do in order to land a big name forward. Sources close to the talks assure me that GM Dave Nonis wasn’t blowing smoke when he says the asking prices were extremely high and didn’t necessarily make the Canucks a better team.
For example, when the Canucks made inquiries about what it would take to get Olli Jokinen out of Florida, the Panthers responded by saying the Sedins would have to be coming back the other way. Maybe you like the twins and maybe you don’t, but either way, you’re left with the same problem you set out to fix if you make that deal — a lack of secondary scoring.
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As for Brad Richards, I’m told the Canucks were so serious about acquiring the former Bolts’ centre that Nonis offered up prospects Luc Bourdon, Cory Schneider plus 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks. Tampa Bay’s brass countered by saying they would take the three draft picks, but also wanted Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond and Alex Edler instead of the two players the Canucks offered.
If Nonis pulls the trigger on that deal, who does he get to replace Raymond on the wing and Edler on the blue-line? Is this team a lot stronger with Richards, Jannick Hansen and Bourdon in the lineup instead of Kesler, Raymond and Edler? They get better at one position but take a step back at the other two.
Though I am still of the opinion that something could have been done in the past nine months to upgrade the offence, I have to side with management on this one. While Canucks fans shouldn’t have to keep waiting for a legitimate shot at the Stanley Cup, neither of those deals would have vaulted Vancouver into the upper echelon of the Western Conference based on what they would have had to give up to bring in new blood.
•Roberto Luongo’s post-game rant caught some fans by surprise on Wednesday night.
After allowing the Avalanche to tie the game with just under 15 seconds to go, Luongo criticized his team’s inability to clear the puck from its own end despite a number of opportunities and concluded with “it’s inexcusable, it’s unacceptable and we just pissed away two points.”
It was an honest assessment that most fans would agree with, but some are scolding Luongo for not regurgitating the “win as a team, lose as a team” mantra.