2.12.2007

Your move pardner

Should the 'nucks be nervous? It's a legitimate question after watching a rival team make moves in anticipation of the upcoming trade deadline.

Craig Conroy for Jamie Lundmark and two picks is a great move for the Flames (that pains me to say). Conroy has a productive history on that team obviously and has three times as many points as Lundmark. (An aside: I remember when Lundmark was a first round prodigy and untouchable for the Rangers a few years ago. Then again, they said the same thing about Manny Malhotra so, yeah, go Rangers).

The Brad Stuart move is a bit more perplexing, at least from Boston's side. If you ignore his Yannick Tremblay-esque +/- rating, he's still another first round pick with a solid defensive game who was rumored to be on the move to Edmonton. Wayne Primeau (who must have a clause in his contract that he's only to be moved along with Stuart) doesn't do much for me if you consider he has to crack a position slot already crowded with Conroy, Langkow, Lombardi & Yelle. If the Flames make an early exit from the playoffs, losing Kobasew may come back to haunt them even though his numbers are off. As for Boston, well, the nightmare that was moving Thornton just keeps haunting them.

My issue here is that, so far, the Canucks have been able to beat Calgary at their own game (aggressive forechecking, creating turnovers, and employing a vigorous defensive scheme behind a world class netminder). But Calgary's moves will make that a bit tougher to do going forward and, especially, in a playoff atmosphere. Nonis has already said he isn't necessarily going to make a move prior to the deadline. Sure, every GM says that as a CYA this time of year. But if you make a logical assumption that the Canucks are playoff bound, it's likely they could finish second or third in the division and drop to anywhere from sixth to eighth as a result. That means Vancouver's going to have a date with Anaheim, the Preds or Wings or, yes, Calgary.

As February 27th looms, Nonis has a decision to make much like Sutter: do you move players/picks to gamble that you can do some damage this spring and ride Luongo as far as he can take you or do you stay idle, be happy you didn't end up in last place in the league as all the pundits predicted and focus your "retooling" efforts on next year? Nonis doesn’t really have an expendable Ference or Lundmark to move and no GM in their right mind is going to bang his door down for Bulis or Chouinard (damnit, where’s Keenan when you need him?). Would he move a prospect like Grabner or Schneider for a rental if you still get bumped out in the first round? And what about Naslund, the captain who only has a handful of years left to play and how he’s going to feel if Nonis keeps retooling?

Then again, perhaps I am making something out of nothing. The new Flames hardly brought the Joe to their knees with their play last night. But I remain, obviously, quite interested to see what Nonis will do. If nothing else, I pray one of the moves isn’t to pry Weinrich out of retirement; if I see that yellow visor in a Canuck uniform again, I’ll gladly flip this blog over to recap meaningless and mundane preseason baseball games.

4 comments:

Zanstorm said...

I don't think Nonis will sacrifice our future for a Forsberg-type. But I could see him getting Gelinas still, or someone like him.
Some one we don't have to sacrifice alot for!
Besides, we have Reid and Moran playing with Nazzy now! Instant chemistry! Woo!

Mike said...

I think a more pertinent question could be what do we really need? An extra d-man never hurts, but everyone wants them. I hate to say it, but I would like Carter back. Now that the twins are leading the offensive charge and Vigneault is doing well at mixing lines, I would much rather have him on the ice at the expense of other guys.

I'm not terribly sold on pitching Bulis yet either...he's become extremely annoying in that I want to hate him but his play has become more well rounded so I really can't. Help me Zanstorm, help me hate him!

formerlynjjohan said...

All in all, I still think Bulis is worth keeping. When he is given the oppurtunity to play his way, he usually gets a couple of points. Definitely more effective than the like os Chouinard, so it is strange than Nonis gave him the 2 year deal whilst only signing the likes of Pyatt and Bulis to one-year contracts

Mike said...

formerlynjjohan - I can forgive Nonis for Chouinard; somehow his numbers under Lemaire last year were far better then under Vigneault's system. Pyatt was a gamble and Bulis was an experiment. Sadly, just for salary cap purposes, Bulis and Salo are the best guys to move as rentals. It'll be interesting to see what he does, if anything.