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The Canucks Stand Pat on Deadline Day

The Vancouver Canucks had their biggest trade deadline in over a decade. For once, they weren’t sellers, they were buyers hoping to bulk up for a deep playoff run. As good of a season as they are having, they needed a few more pieces to truly be one of the league’s top teams. But the Canucks stood pat on deadline day, much to the disappointment of several fans. Was this the right move or will this backfire in the playoffs?

Patrik Allvin Reveals Why the Canucks Stood Pat on Deadline Day

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin met with the media after the noon Pacific deadline had passed. He explained why they didn’t make any moves and was asked if Elias Pettersson‘s contract extension changed their plans.

“Yeah, it definitely did,” said Allvin per Rob Williams of Daily Hive. “With the projection of our roster moving forward, we know we’re going to have some really good players on our team for at least eight years. But that being said, we know that there were a couple of intriguing players available, and we were in on those discussions. For whatever reason, they didn’t end up here. But we also weren’t willing to part ways with future assets or the young players we have that we believe can come in and help us over the next couple of years.”

Allvin was also hesitant to part ways with more draft picks and top prospects including Tom Willander and Jonathan Lekkerimäki.

“We already parted ways with a lot of draft picks,” said Allvin. “If there was any chance for us to improve with a reasonable cost, not setting the future back, we definitely would have looked at it. Unfortunately, it didn’t work this time. Willander, Lekkerimäki, (Elias) Pettersson (the defenceman), (Aatu) Räty, (Max) Sasson, (Arshdeep) Bains, (Vasily) Podkolzin, those are the guys of the future here, and we feel strongly about those young players,” said Allvin.

Phil Kessel Not Signed

Other than not making trades, the most surprising part of the Canucks deadline day was not signing Phil Kessel. The veteran winger and three-time Stanley Cup Champion has been skating with the Abbotsford Canucks of the AHL since he arrived in the Vancouver area on February 12.

Kessel was supposed to sign a contract before the noon Pacific deadline to be eligible for the playoffs. However, a contract never materialized. Had the Canucks signed Kessel, he would’ve brought depth, specifically as a 13th forward or fourth liner.

“Phil is a great person and well-respected player, what he has done in the League, a three-time Cup winner,” said Allvin per Kevin Woodley NHL.Com. “He wanted to come back to play. With roster complications and how we want to play, unfortunately at this point, it wasn’t a fit for us.”

The Canucks needed to clear cap space to sign Kessel…and also acquire another top-six forward.

The Canucks Trade Deadline was Underwhelming, But It Is What It Is

It is fair to feel disappointed that the Canucks didn’t make a trade on deadline day. Another top-six forward would have helped. Unfortunately, Pius Suter isn’t a top-six player and Ilya Mikheyev is on a long goal drought.

The Canucks were linked to Jake Guentzel, Tyler Toffoli and Jason ZuckerGuentzel was dealt from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Carolina Hurricanes the night before the deadline.

Toffoli was dealt to the Winnipeg Jets for a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick while Zucker was dealt to the Coyotes for only a sixth-round pick. Those returns were steals for their respective teams and it is disappointing the Canucks couldn’t jump on Toffoli or Zucker. It was likely due to cap reasons.

It also kind of sucks because Winnipeg, the Colorado Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights have bulked up for playoff runs with their moves on deadline day. These are teams competing with the Canucks for the Western Conference crown and are potential playoff opponents.

But let’s face it, the Canucks already made their moves. They acquired Sam Lafferty, Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm earlier this season. Lindholm was their big move.

Yes, he has underwhelming so far with just four goals and three assists in 16 games since being acquired from the Calgary Flames on January 31. However, he has shown he can be reliable defensively and on the penalty kill. Lindholm has also been very good in the faceoff circle for the Canucks.

Now is a good time for Lindholm to get the offence going and prove he was the right acquisition for the Canucks.

The Playoffs Will Tell if Standing Pat the Right Move

One of the best things about the Canucks standing pat is that they did not part ways with any of their top prospects such as Lekkerimäki or Willander. It seems Allvin is being smart about going “all-in.”

The Canucks have a good squad, not a great one. But they look poised to do some damage in the playoffs. But teams like Vegas, Winnipeg, Colorado and Dallas are ahead of them in terms of Stanley Cup chances in the Western Conference. Can they prove to people that they belong with the top dogs too? Time will tell.

Sure, they could’ve added another piece at the deadline but the upcoming stretch and playoffs will determine if that was the right move.

Main Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports


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