The curious case of Mason Raymond
Even Google knows when the NHL trade deadline is. “I googled it”. – “The NHL Trade Deadline is on Monday, February 27, 2012.”
A couple weeks ago, Jason Botchford explored the possibility that Mason Raymond was Michael Grabner 2.0. He saw Raymond as a luxury player for the top six that at the same time wasn’t built for a bottom six role.
In the same article, Ray Ferraro comments that by simple elimination Raymond was the Vancouver Canucks forward suitable as trade bait.
The latter definitely isn’t going anywhere while the former has a deeply entrenched spot on the team. The blueline meanwhile isn’t in a position to trade assets aside from possibly Keith Ballard, but with that contract you’re doubtful to get much of value back without sweetening the pot.
So it comes back to Mason Raymond.
Young (26), cheap ($2.55 million), and productive (105 points in 179 games over the past two and a half years), he’s a valuable player to 25 or so teams that don’t boast the forward depth Vancouver has.
He may be a top six luxury in Vancouver, but he’d be a top six necessity most anywhere else.
If Raymond could be flipped for a forward of the same hypothetical skill who had more size than speed or the white whale right-handed shot on the blueline it would be hard to say no in theory.
As we’ve seen in the Corey Perry rumours, he also packages nicely with Keith Ballard and Cory Schneider to make an intriguing package albeit again in a purely hypothetical world where the perfect deal is attainable.
It comes down to what you feel is the missing link on this team.
Most everyone can agree that this core is fundamentally sound but most everyone would also agree that this team feels a bit unfinished. It’s hard to remember but there was a time before last year’s deadline when Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre weren’t even rumoured to be coming to Vancouver.
There was a time when Mikkael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm were the second line options instead of David Booth.
Mike Gillis isn’t afraid to improve this team through trades, he isn’t afraid to move guys he would seem committed to, and he targets guys that nobody in the media has connected with Vancouver leading up to the deal.
The pickings are interesting this year.
Blueline options are either old (Adrian Aucoin), making a lot of money (Bryan Allen), or pipe dreams (Shea Weber).
Forward options include Travis Moen and Chad LaRose of Montreal and Carolina, both linked to the Canucks and both guys I wouldn’t mind seeing on this team after the deadline.
Tuomo Ruutu, also of Carolina, seems like the early front-runner for overpayment of the deadline.
It means that anyone claiming to know what Gillis will do at the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline this year is speculating.
Attempts will be certainly be made, the constant barrage of rumours is confirmation that feelers are being sent out around the league, but remember too that Gillis also has a history of bowing out of bidding wars if the price gets too high.
He prefers his cheap, under-the-radar types.
Whatever happens, if something happens it could very well happen with Mason Raymond. It could be Raymond alone, or Raymond and Schneider, or Raymond and Ballard, or Raymond and both those guys and some picks, or even not involving Raymond at all but i dunno, Jordan Schroeder.
Six hundreds words and I’ve managed to say a lot about nothing except that a trade will occur involving some form of hockey players, except if it doesn’t.
Someone give me a Sportsnet job.
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