A couple of trades kept things interesting over this layoff the Canucks found themselves on, some much-needed rest as they prepare for the stretch drive. The Hunter Shinkaruk trade was a shocker to be sure, and on the surface, doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. The Canucks, a team struggling to find goal scoring trading away a prospect who's been tearing it up in the AHL for Markus Granlund, who seems to be a downgrade, and a gamble to see if he could be a reclamation project like Sven Baertschi. Then yesterday's sending of a 5th round pick to the Oilers for the rights to KHL'er Philip Larsen. The coaching staff is familiar with Larsen, with Glen Gulatzan and Willie Desjardins having dealt with him in Dallas.
The Canucks will be without Radim Vrbata tonight, and if he's not able to return to the lineup before Sunday's afternoon tilt against San Jose, it could affect the Canucks moving him by Monday's trading deadline. They can't let him walk for nothing, and since it's unlikely they'll be bringing talent the other way (barring someone who could significantly improve the team on defence), then adding to the 6 picks they have for this summer's draft will be goal, and given what kind of values we've seen in the trades out there so far, a guy like Vrbata could fetch a decent return, as could Dan Hamhuis, who is the subject of a ton of speculation as to whether or not he'll waive his NTC.
One good thing about tonight, is we get a chance to see one of the true superstars of the game play: Erik Karlsson. Don't let the LA PR team and their various water carriers blow smoke up your keister: Karlsson is the best defenceman in the NHL and there's no Dought(y) about it. He's a joy to watch if you truly enjoy the grace and beauty of this game, and while I am hopeful the Canucks can pull out a victory tonight, much of the time will be spent watching Karlsson do his thing. He's a hell of a player and Ottawa's fortunate to have him.
FRESH HOT LINKS
- Valeri Nichushkin's name is being mentioned as a possible fit with the Canucks, but isn't anyone concerned about how Hell will deal with frozen lava lakes for a deal between Vancouver and Dallas to happen?
- Buyers of Sellers? Tonight will go a long way in determining that...
- Botchford thinks there's still a chance to save the Canucks
- Could we see Ryan Miller dealt if the Canucks are in full sell mode?
- Can Markus Granlund find the promise many saw in him?
- Hammer's trying to sort out waiving his NTC (dear god, not to LA. Trade outside the division please!)
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Though they'd already been building quite a solid reputation in the metal underground, OPETH's Blackwater Park was a game changer, bringing the band into a much brighter spotlight. Led by Mikael Akerfeldt (also part of Bloodbath and vocalist for two Katatonia albums). The band mixes intense, and sometimes haunting melodicism into death/black metal for a truly unique sound. The album was produced by Steven Wilson of legendary prog band Porcupine Tree, and Akerfeldt has said that band was a huge influence on Opeth's sound.
- TSN's McKenzie: Canucks Open For Business On Several Players At Deadline
- Canucks add another Danish player, Philip Larsen
- Lunchtime Links: Waiting for the Next Shoes to Drop Edition
- History Of Canucks GM Jim Benning's Trades, Signings, Draft Picks & More
- Hunter Shinkaruk Traded To Calgary for Markus Granlund