Hello everybody. I’m back. It’s been a while since my last blog, and I’m sure you can understand why. The Canucks exciting and exhausting Stanley Cup run ended one month ago today. That was followed up quickly with the NHL draft, the NHL awards and the start of free agency. I was exhausted. I needed to re-charge. And no, the signing of Marco Sturm didn’t exactly give me the kick start I needed.
But I’ve recovered and I’m back for some fun summertime blogging. You know what’s great about summertime blogging? RUMOURS. Mike Gillis and the brass are pretty tight lipped, so there aren’t many juicy ones out there.
To start a good rumour, we have to address a team’s needs.
What do the Canucks need? The three most glaring areas are: an offensive defenceman to replace Christian Ehrhoff, a better second line winger to play with Ryan Kesler, and more grit/toughness.
Ok, those are the needs, lets start it off!
Contract: 2 more years left at $4.1 million per season
Last season stats: n/a
Why he’s a good fit: He’s an offensive defenceman who can play big minutes. He didn’t play at all last year due to injury, but his stats the previous three years are very impressive. He had 62, 56 and 49 points with the Canadiens and Islanders. He’s great on the power play, doing most of his offensive damage there. But he’s more than just a power play specialist. He averaged over 25 minutes of ice time in 2008-09 and 2009-10 on some terrible Islanders teams and was a combined +6. That’s downright astonishing.
What it would take to get him: So if Mark Streit is so good, why would the Islanders want to get rid of him? Perhaps because of his age (at 33 he’s getting old for a rebuilding team like the Islanders) or perhaps because of his injury troubles. But the best reason why he would be available is because Garth Snow is not a very good general manager! He wouldn’t come cheap, but perhaps he could be had for a combination of Keith Ballard and Mason Raymond? That’s a bit of a long shot, but certainly the Canucks could get him if they were willing to give up Cory Schneider or Cody Hodgson. I probably wouldn’t trade either youngster for him, but it’s at least worth a thought.
Contract: One more year left at $4.5 million per season
Last season stats: GP: 75, G: 10, A: 30, Pts: 40, -19, TOI/G: 23:59
Why he’s a good fit: He’s an offensive defenceman that could replace Christian Ehrhoff. He’s only two years removed from a 50 point season with the Bruins. He’s also low risk, seeing that he is only under contract for one more season.
What it would take to get him: Probably draft picks and/or young players. The Washington Capitals are currently over the salary cap and have a lot of defencemen. Wideman was brought in last season to fill-in for the injured Mike Green. Now that Green is healthy again, perhaps there’s less of a need for Wideman. The Caps currently have eight legitimate NHL defencemen signed.
Position: Left Wing
Contract: Two more years at $4.1 million per season
Last season stats: GP: 82, G: 33, A: 23, Pts: 56, -3, TOI/G: 19:14
Why he’s a good fit: He’s got grit, toughness, determination, leadership, experience and a goal scoring touch. He also scores big goals. What more do you want for your second line alongside Ryan Kesler?
What it would take to get him: A lot. He is the captain of the Dallas Stars and has played his whole career there since being drafted by the Stars in 1997. With that said, with the departure of Brad Richards and not much else coming on the horizon, the Stars are in a rebuilding situation. If the Canucks could knock their socks off with some young talent, I think the Stars might be willing to give up Morrow. What about Cory Schneider and Mason Raymond (or insert someone else’s name here if Dallas is unwilling to acquire a player with a broken back!) and a first round pick for Morrow and Andrew Raycroft? I’d make that deal.
So that’s my best attempt at getting the rumour ball rolling. Keep on enjoying the summer everybody.