A call for bold off-season moves by the Vancouver Canucks, plus a list of potential unrestricted free agents who could help the Nashville Predators.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher recently called upon Canucks management to make bold moves this summer to improve the roster so they don’t “become the equivalent of the Calgary Flames.” He suggests offering Alexander Edler to the Philadelphia Flyers, who have some “outstanding frontline talent” they might be willing to part with for Edler. Another is to shop Alex Burrows (whose “no-trade” clause doesn’t kick in until July) for a young prospect and move Zach Kassian onto the Sedins line. Gallagher also suggests the Canucks might get better value if they shop Cory Schneider instead of Roberto Luongo. He also wondered about the future of the Sedins, who have one season remaining on their contracts and become UFAs next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks definitely need a shakeup, and it’ll be interesting to see what moves GM Mike Gillis has in store. Edler to Philly isn’t a bad suggestion, though I daresay Flyers management would prefer someone a little more physical. Moving Burrows also isn’t a bad idea, though I don’t know if Kassian is the right fit with the Sedins. I also believe they should use one of their amnesty buyouts on winger David Booth (provided he’s healthy and thus qualifies for one) and maybe Keith Ballard.
Shopping Schneider might fetch a better return at this stage, but it won’t improve their goaltending. Luongo’s still good but he’s also ageing, while Schneider is their future. Luongo has also put his Vancouver penthouse up for sale, suggesting he’s gone one way (trade) or the other (amnesty buyout) this summer. Even if the Canucks end up practically giving Luongo away in a trade at this point, I believe they’ll do it.
As for the Sedins, it might be a good idea for Gillis to meet with them this summer, determine their future plans and the cost of keeping them with the Canucks.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper listed Florida’s Stephen Weiss, Boston’s Nathan Horton, Ottawa’s Sergei Gonchar and Vancouver’s Derek Roy as potential UFAs who could help the Nashville Predators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: All but Weiss have issues (injury history, age, declining production) making them “buyer beware”players, but if they could be signed to reasonable short-term deals might be worthwhile. Weiss would be the best of this bunch, but the Panthers hope to re-sign him, and should Weiss hit the UFA market, the Preds will face competition to sign him.