Five Players the Canucks Should Consider Trading

With the trade deadline roughly a month away, the Canucks are right in the thick of things in the Western Conference playoff race. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be shopping players at the deadline, so here are five players that could be out of VanCity by March the 2nd.

Five Players the Canucks Should Consider Trading

Eddie Lack

With Ryan Miller likely locked in as the Canucks starter until at least the 2016-17 campaign, and the organization’s excitement over Jacob Markstrom’s career revival in Utica, it’s not likely that Lack, a fan favorite in Vancouver, will get regular game time anywhere in the near future, making him a prime candidate to join another organization at the trade deadline. The lovable Swede has played well over the course of one-and-a-half seasons as both a back-up and starter for the Canucks, and may have a fair bit of value due to his reputation as one of the NHL’s stronger second-stringers, as well as his potential to develop into a respectable starting goaltender.

Ryan Stanton

The Canucks have a problem on defense, but it’s the type of problem you want to have. They have a log jam on the back end, with Dan Hamhuis, Chris Tanev, Alex Edler, Frankie Corrado, newly-acquired Adam Clendening, Luca Sbisa, Yannick Weber, and Stanton all on the active roster, and that’s not including the injured Kevin Bieksa. It’s safe to say Hamhuis, Edler, Tanev and Bieksa aren’t going anywhere, and it seems doubtful that they’ll move Clendening, seeing as they traded for him just a few days ago. That leaves Stanton, Weber, and Sbisa. Jim Benning seems to be intrigued by Sbisa’s skill-set (though one look at his Twitter mentions tells you no one else is), while Weber, as steady as he’s been in a depth capacity, is unlikely to fetch you much more than a late round draft pick, leaving Stanton as the last man standing. Not only would moving Stanton not leave a gaping hole on the Canucks’ blueline, he could fetch them something of actual value, due to his upside as a defensive defenceman. The addition of Clendening and the strong play of Corrado have made the former-Blackhawk expendable, and the Canucks would be wise to capitalize.

Zack Kassian

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Just a few years ago, we were discussing the Cody Hodgson trade as a swap featuring two of the NHL’s most promising youngsters. Now, we’re talking about two guys who have been a healthy scratch in recent games, and hold very little in terms of value. For Kassian, it has now been three coaches in a row (Alain Vigneault, John Tortorella, Willie Desjardins) who have had problems with his consistency, his effort, and his defensive play. At this point, it would be shocking if Kassian wasn’t dealt, though the Canucks are unlikely to get very much for him at this point, with a Brett Connolly-esque player likely being the ceiling in terms of quality for a return. Kassian still has the potential to be a respectable NHL forward, but it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen in Vancouver.

Chris Higgins

I wrote an article back in November about how well Higgins was fitting into Vancouver’s top six, alongside Alex Burrows and Nick Bonino. None of what I said back then holds true now, as Higgins put up a mere three points in the month of January. Three. And two of those came against the historically awful Buffalo Sabres. That kind of production is not even remotely close to acceptable for a guy getting the kind of ice-time he does. That said, despite his wretched offensive production, he does have the pedigree of a strong two-way player, and could be a nice pick-up for a team looking for some bottom-six depth. They won’t get a lot for Higgins, but he’s not giving them a lot either.

Brad Richardson

While some may scoff at the idea of trading Richardson, a workhorse and fan favorite, it really comes down to him or Shawn Matthias. Assuming the Canucks want to give Bo Horvat an increased role and/or break Brendan Gaunce into the NHL, they simply don’t have the room for both, and due to Matthias being younger and having more room to grow, it’s clear that Richardson is the odd man out. However, it is possible that the Canucks get something halfway decent back for him, such as a mid-round draft pick. He’s the kind of player teams look for to round out there depth for a lengthy playoff run, making him a potential trade candidate at the upcoming trade deadline.


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