With less than 100 hours before the NHL trade deadline arrives, there’s a lot of discussion going on about what (if anything) the Canucks should do. Most of it’s surrounding Alexander Edler and this fluid situation may make you happy or stabby depending on how you feel about him. We’re hearing rumblings right now that Jim Benning is in discussions with Edler’s people and how close they are to some type of a decision depends on who you hear it from.
IMAC on Edler : I think there will be a frame work by Monday but am not sure if it will be signed that day. It's a pressure point and the Canucks want to know what Alex wants in term. My understanding is the term will be gentle no matter what.— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) February 22, 2019
Kuzma on Edler NTC & trade front: "I don't think Edler waives. Benning is not interested in rentals. There could be a slight move, a bottom six move at deadline. I don't think it was ever in Jim's mind to ask Alex to waive his NTC" #Canucks #NHL— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) February 22, 2019
Talks have progressed on an Alex Edler extension with the Vancouver Canucks Not done yet, but heading in that direction which should kill all trade speculation.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 22, 2019
It’s pretty clear that Edler wants to stay, and having earned that with the NTC, that’s his right. The Canucks aren’t going to let him walk away and would like to bring him back if you believe what you see coming out of the various sources out there. And I think there’s nothing wrong with bring him back, but there’s got to be some conditions attached to this.
First, term and cap hit have to be reasonable. If he wants to stay then there has to be a hometown discount. There are huge RFA signings down the road that the Canucks are going to have to be forking money out for, so tying up large amounts in a defenceman in the twilight of his career doesn’t help the Canucks. Secondly, this deal has to be one that doesn’t require them to protect him in the upcoming expansion draft for Seattle. The Canucks have a number of young assets that they’re going to need to protect and they shouldn’t give up a space for anyone over the age of 30, honestly.
As far as the rest of the defence goes, they need to address Christopher Tanev (likely this will happen at the draft), Erik Gudbranson and Derrick Pouliot. Room needs to be made for Quinn Hughes, Ashton Sautner (who looked just fine last night against Arizona even being saddled with Gudbranson) and Guillaume Brisebois and Olli Juolevi. That means bodies need to move and I swear to dog I will burn this blog to the ground if the Canucks return next season with a defence that looks anything like the abomination we’ve had to endure the last couple years. Re-signing Gudbranson is looking more and more like one of Benning’s worst moves, so it’s time to cut bait on him and get what they can.
On the front end the Canucks have 3 top 6 guys and some guys that are middle six and a whole lot of 4th liners along with a collection of guys who might not play every night in Utica. Think about this: last night might have been Tim Schaller’s best game as a Canuck and his contribution was beating out an icing call. Meanwhile Nikolay Goldobin continues to toil away in the press box. It pisses me off to the point that if they’re not going to let him out of the doghouse then just trade him already. There isn’t a guy who they’re playing in place of him that’s been better, so they must not believe he’s capable of getting the job done.
Brandon Sutter has to go. I know he can’t be traded now, but he’s gotta be gone at the Draft. If the Canucks aren’t gonna end up with the 1st pick then here’s how Jim Benning wins the day as host of the draft. Step up to the podium and tell this fan base Brandon Sutter will never take a roster spot again. Super nice guy, but he doesn’t help this team get better. We would also accept the removal of Loui Eriksson. No more little things because this team needs to move on to bigger things.
That’s just how I feel, but we want to know what you think they should do. You’re Jim Benning on Monday morning. Come to the office and get some stuff done. Tell us what moves you make. Or do nothing. Try and keep the moves within the realm of possibility (no trading Tyler Motte for Sidney Crosby, etc) and make this team better.