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As I watch the Canucks play the Rangers, I cannot help but cringe at the the injury plagued lineup the Canucks are currently icing. Kevin Bieksa, Chris Tanev, Alex Edler, Frank Corrado, Nick Bonino, and Brad Richardson are all out with injuries. Three of those defenceman should be playing in the top 4 and Corrado could be pushing for a top 4 spot as well. Brad Richardson has been key to the Canucks' penalty kill and our second line centre has been out for significant time.
What does the Canucks' line up look like when everyone is healthy?
Alex Edler - Chris Tanev
Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Luca Sbisa - Frank Corrado
Now, a lot of the extras can be interchanged, I have just based this lineup off of how the players have been used by the Canucks. The Canucks have a lot of role-player pieces when healthy.
The Christmas time of the NHL is less than two weeks away and the Canucks are sitting at the edge of a playoff spot with Calgary, Minnesota, and San Jose close in the standings. What does GM Jim Benning do with the trade deadline looming for the Canucks?
If the Canucks stay the course with the roster they have, they will probably make the playoffs as the eighth seed.
The Canucks could be sellers. Not only do the Canucks have a decent collection of healthy scratches, but they have multiple players on the Utica Comets who are fringe NHLers or are ready to break into the NHL. When discussing looking for scoring, GM Jim Benning said this about their search:
If the Canucks trade some of their more replaceable players for draft picks or prospects, this could inadvertently increase scoring and help the future of the Canucks.
The Canucks can be buyers. With all of these pieces, the Canucks could make a traditional hockey trade with another team to fill each others' needs.
"We’ve talked to a few teams on Zack, but listen - we know that Zack’s a unique player because it’s hard to find players with size and with skill and the hands that he has, so we’re not looking to move Zack. We want to just keep working with him and keep getting him better and hopefully he turns out to be the player that we all think he can be." (TSN)
While Benning has stated that the Canucks are not going to trade Kassian, he has looked around to see what Kassian can bring back. Kassian and another piece could bring back a top 6 scorer in a trade. This option could benefit the Canucks now and for the post-season, but also sacrifice their future by trading younger players, prospects, or draft picks.
If I were the GM of the Canucks, I try to sell some of the more replaceable role player pieces that the team has in abundance. The Canucks' current roster is not good enough to go far into the playoffs. The team is not built big enough, fast enough, and does not have enough consistent scoring. If the Canucks make a couple of trades that include younger players, picks, and prospects they will sacrifice their future. The Canucks need to look to the future, continue to build up their pool of prospects and give their young players bigger chances to succeed. With the call ups from Utica, the Canucks have some good options moving forward. That is what I think the Canucks should do.
What do you think the Canucks should do? Can they make a playoff run or are they better off selling?