Who likes rumours? Everyone! Matthew Sekeres is reporting that the Canucks and Blues may be working on a deal that would see the Canucks acquiring David Backes with Cory Schneider heading the other way. Apparently Mike Gillis decided last minute to skip the Top Prospects Game in Windsor in favour of the Habs-Blues game in Montreal, presumably to watch Backes.
Here are some other interesting things that Sekeres is saying about this rumour:
- In July 2008, one of Gillis’ first acts as Canucks GM was to sign St. Louis centre David Backes to a three-year, $7.5-million (all currencies U.S.) offer sheet. The Blues, grudgingly, matched.
- The Blues are six points out of a playoff spot, and have 16 games remaining before the Olympic break
- Blues president John Davidson was in Winnipeg in early-January, and told a local radio station he was there to scout the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, Vancouver’s farm team, and the Hershey Bears, the Washington Capitals farm team. Both the Canucks and Caps are in playoff position.
- The Blues have been trying to get by with the tandem of Chris Mason and Ty Conklin, a pair of 33-year-olds who have been backups more than starters over their careers. Prospect Ben Bishop seems to have fallen out of favour, and long-range prospect Jake Allen proved that he is not nearly ready for prime time with an abysmal performance at the world junior championship in Saskatchewan earlier this month.
What would this trade mean for the Canucks:
-Acquiring a 25 year old 31 goal scorer (last season)
-Adding size and grit
-Upgrading on Kyle Wellwood as a 3rd line centre
What this would mean for the Blues:
-Securing their goaltending future
-Shedding some salary for a relatively cash poor franchise
Acquiring David Backes is very intriguing to me. Is he the 31 goal scorer we saw last year or is he the under performing player we’re seeing this year? Probably somewhere in between. He’s the right type of player they need: a young big bruising forward. My only concern is that giving up Cory Schneider might be a bit too much. If they could throw-in a draft pick, I think they may have a deal.
Lets hope this deal gets done if for no other reason than to wonder what Kesler and Burrows have to say to Backes when he walks in the room: