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Could Canucks continue exiling pricey veterans: Loui Eriksson edition

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The Canucks six-million dollar man won’t be so pricey for teams after July 1st.

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames
Loui Eriksson is halfway through his humongous contract, and it’s time for the Canucks to get creative and move on.
Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

It’s been a while since a Loui Eriksson jersey has been spotted in The Athletties. Likely because nobody owns one, and those that did probably gifted it to their local thrift store in fear that Loui’s bad luck would haunt them on a daily basis.

You can cite bad luck, age, or the fact that Eriksson promotes laziness by being the first guy off of the ice in practice everyday, but his three years in Vancouver have been absolutely miserable. Other than the fact that he’s collected $117,346 per game in Vancouver so far, Eriksson can’t be too happy with his performance as a Canuck.

In those 193 games, Eriksson has 32 goals for the the Canucks (not including the goal above). In comparison, Eriksson scored 30 in 63 games during his last year in Boston, and had a career-high of 36 with the Dallas Stars in 2009-10. Now, he’s been regulated to fourth-line duty and his ice-time has dwindled throughout the season.

So, why would anyone want to trade for Eriksson?

Admittedly, it will be a tough trade for Jim Benning (or another general manager?) to pull off, but let’s look at some of the positives about Eriksson which could help facilitate a trade.

What Eriksson does well

Although he was signed to produce offence, Eriksson has turned into a penalty killing, defensive specialist. While that’s not enough to warrant a $6 million per season price tag, it does have value.

Eriksson’s numbers on the penalty kill are up there with the best in the league. Among 182 forwards with over 50 minutes of four-on-five ice time, Eriksson has the 14th-lowest Corsi against and the 7th-lowest goals against.

Offensively, when Eriksson is scoring goals, more than half of them are still coming from right in front of the net. He’s also taken 37% of his shots from the “greasy area,” which is noticeably above the league average.

Loui Eriksson’s shot data, courtesy of Icy Data.
https://www.icydata.hockey/players/1513/loui-eriksson

While spending most of his even-strength ice time getting shelled with Jay Beagle and Tyler Motte, there is still potential for Eriksson to score more goals. He just needs to play with guys who like to shoot while Eriksson crashes the net.

Eriksson has also been devoid of power play opportunities in Vancouver. Again, there is potential for him to rebound as a net front presence or a contributor beneath the goal line. It just doesn’t look like he will realize that opportunity in Vancouver.

How the Canucks can trade Loui Eriksson

This is where Jim Benning’s blunders will come back to bite him in the behind. First off, Eriksson has a full no-trade clause until the beginning of the 2020-21 season. He does have a young family with four children, so it’s plausible he could strong-arm a trade to stay in Vancouver.

That being said, Eriksson’s time here has been disastrous, and it’s not impossible to see him wanting a fresh start.

If Eriksson were to be traded, the Canucks would likely max out the amount of money retained. Teams can retain a maximum of 50% salary under the CBA, and 15% of their overall cap hit.

Vancouver Canucks v Los Angeles Kings
One of the many faces of Loui Eriksson during his time in Vancouver.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The one benefit is that most of Eriksson’s contract will be paid out after July 1st. He’s owed a $4 million signing bonus then, and will only have $9 million that he’s owed over the next three seasons.

Heck, maybe he even retires on July 2nd...

Still, let’s assume he doesn’t, and that the Canucks retain the maximum 50% of his cap hit. Even though he isn’t owed much money after July 1st, a $3 million cap his is arguably still high for what Eriksson is bringing.

Possible Trade Scenarios

Here’s two possible suitors for Eriksson if he was to come on the cheap.

Carolina Hurricanes

Why he could be a fit: I mentioned Eriksson lacking an opportunity to crash the net and pounce on rebounds in Vancouver. In Carolina, however, it often doesn’t matter which line is on this ice. This is a team that creates chances and creates them often.

Carolina is second in the league in shots, second in Corsi for, and third in scoring chances for. This is a prime situation for Eriksson to play on a line where he could crash the net and capitalize on rebounds. He would also be a boon to a penalty kill that is already top-ten, and could slip in to a second-unit power play role as well.

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits
Would the Canucks get much more than Trevor Carrick (pictured) if Loui Eriksson were to join the Carolina Hurricanes?
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

What a deal could look like: Loui Eriksson (50% salary retained) to the Carolina Hurricanes for Trevor Carrick (RFA) and a 4th round draft pick in 2020.

Hope you weren’t expecting much for good ol’ Uncle Loui.

Hoping to pry Brock McGinn or even Jordan Martinook out of Carolina. Forget about it.

This is a salary dump trade, where the Canucks get some depth down in Utica in the form of Trevor Carrick. The soon-to-be 25-year-old defenceman has posted more than 40 points down in the AHL for three of the last four seasons. He would provide depth in Utica on the back-end and could be a call-up option when Alex Edler is inevitably injured next season.

Colorado Avalanche

Why he could be a fit: Uncle Loui comes to the rescue in Denver....to shore up their depth and help their penalty kill. Those are the two reasons why he could be a fit.

Forward depth has been an issue in Colorado all year long, with guys such as the young Tyson Jost and journeyman Sven Andrighetto underwhelming. Eriksson would be the 7th highest scoring forward on Colorado’s roster right now, even though guys such as Matt Nieto and Colin Wilson have a better points-per-game.

Colorado’s penalty kill has also been below average this season, ranking 26th overall in the NHL at 78.2%. That’s certainly an area where Eriksson could help as well.

Colorado Avalanche v Vegas Golden Knights
Malcolm Subban #30 of the Vegas Golden Knights blocks a shot by A.J. Greer #24 of the Colorado Avalanche in the first period of their preseason game at T-Mobile Arena on September 24, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

What a trade could look like: Loui Eriksson and the rights to Nikolay Goldobin to the Colorado Avalanche for A.J. Greer and a 2021 3rd round pick.

Not sure how eager the Colorado Avalanche are to give up on 22-year-old A.J. Greer, but one goal and six points in 35 career NHL games isn’t blowing anybody away. He is having a career-best year in the AHL though, with 18 goals and 42 points in 50 games.

Still, Nikolay Goldobin would bring more to the table than Greer, and he’s only one year older. If the Canucks don’t consider Goldobin part of their long-term plans, they should try and get rid of him for something. Goldy has proven to play well with skilled players, and he has his choice of Nathan MacKinnon, Alexander Kerfoot and J.T. Compher down the middle in Denver.

Eriksson is a depth piece for sure, but at a $3 million cap hit per season, he could bring some secondary offence while boosting the penalty kill. Colorado’s depth was an issue all season and Eriksson does help shore that up. The Avs give up their 2021 3rd round pick in the deal since they’re missing their 2020 3rd rounder, given up in the Derrick Brassard deal.

Vancouver Canucks v New Jersey Devils
Could Nikolay Goldobin be a fit in Colorado?
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Do you think these deals or fair or unfair? More importantly, do you think the Canucks will be able to get rid of Eriksson before the beginning of next season?

Poll

Will Loui Eriksson be a Vancouver Canuck by the beginning of the 2019-20 season?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Yes, Uncle Loui ain’t leavin’
    (121 votes)
  • 57%
    No, he’s gotta go
    (161 votes)
282 votes total Vote Now