There are only 25 days until the NHL. Things will start to move fast before anyone realizes it.
25 days left until the NHL trade.
The Canucks, who are coming back to action this weekend, are in the playoff race. They also have some decisions that need to be made.
In the recent past, the team has the story to say: 2013 San Jose Sharks. In the season that was shortened, it happened on 17-11-6, when March is coming. This business year was April 3.
The sharks were in a much stronger position than the Canucks, and they were still making moves that kept the future in mind. In the days before the deadline, they traded Douglas Murray, Ryan Clowe and Michal Handzus, and in turn raised six proposals.
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They then made two deals on the closing day and culminated in two dive tips for Scott Hannan and Raffi Torres. At the end of the day she blew a few veterans and went out of it with four dive picks and was still in the play-off.
Now Canucks are not like these sharks, but the head is that you can trade in the future and still be creative in maintaining your club's competitiveness.
Canucks has three big decisions that need to be considered in the coming days. Let's dive into:
1. What do they do with Alex Edler?
If you have serious hopes for the playoffs this season, it seems stupid that you trade with your best defender.
Alex Edler does almost everything for the Canucks, who, as we know, do not have terribly deep or good defensive choirs. They are better than last year, but Ben Hutton aside, much of it is a better defense system, and not so many mutational defenses.
Edler plays the best defensive hockey in his career. He is well killing punishments, and for now he is the main choice for a play-related point.
On the other hand, a player who played so well should draw lots of business interests.
If you focus on the future in Vancouver, relocating Edler and bringing suggestions into choices, or perhaps prospects – and you never have too many of them – seems to be cautious.
Edler turns 33 in April and this summer he decides to become an unrestricted free agent. Both are challenges: first, because defenders usually hit the wall when they are 35, second, because you know that his agent knows the first and that he will fish for a solid business that covers more than a year or two.
This is a danger for a team like Canucks. Yes, they need high-quality players like Edler, but how long will it stay so good? And is it worth getting a chance to bring a younger talent that could help the years behind West Edler's career?
2. How will Adam Gaudette get to the next year?
This is a good question, but it has a short-term significance.
Adam Gaudette played a lot in the NHL this year. The trainers say that his progress was good. Diving into numbers reveals that they need to improve at the attack end – an eye test suggests that his shot could be better – but also that he was strong enough defensive.
He played mainly as the fourth center, with wings like Darren Archibald and Tyler Motte a lot of time. They were not wanted to attack and did not create much.
This means that Gaudette showed enough when he was placed with more dynamic wings like Jake Virtanen and Loui Eriksson. You can see how the next season urges him to play his full role.
But there is one problem: Brandon Sutter and Jay Beagle block the road as the third and fourth line.
None of the players have the offensive and while Sutter was struggling with the blow, Beagle had some strong defensive moments.
If Gaudette stays and plays, he will have to find a way to overcome one of the two.
Since Gaudette's Canucks have a long-term vision, they are supposed to have a long-term plan for what they will do with the two other defensive centers.
It seems unlikely, but this time he must consider the idea of trading. Surely the one who was there would be interested in either Beagle or Sutter to kill sanctions.
And Canucks are currently in a strong position with a salary limit, so they can handle the retention of half of one salary.
It was possible that they could wait until summer, but the prices would be better on time.
3. How can they solve the scoring problem?
It is clear that the Canucks want to find another scoring wing, one to play with Elias Pettersson or Bo Horvat.
They did not have to resolve this issue before the deadline, and it would probably be wise to wait until the summer, but what the team is missing from the survey is top-notch.
Sure, there are hopes for current members of Utica Comets Jonathan Dahlen or Kole Linda, but Dahlen was so in the first season in North America while Lind just started to land a regular place in the Comets' AHL lineup.
It seems that Canucks will look elsewhere for such a player. They hoped Loui Eriksson would be such wings, but she disappeared into her thirties and now is basically a solid, though expensive, control wing.
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