The 2012 NHL Trade Deadline Nears For The Canucks Mike Gillis

The curious case of Mason Raymond

Even Google knows when the NHL trade deadline is.  “I googled it”. – “The NHL Trade Deadline is on MondayFebruary 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 first line isn’t going anywhere, neither is the American Express line, and nobody on the bottom six has any trade value aside from Jannik Hansen and Cody Hodgson.

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.    

Mike Gillis

Anyone claiming to know what Gillis will do at the deadline this year is speculating. I'm talking to you Bob McKenzie!

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.

Richard Hodges writes our Canucks Post-Game articles “Love’ em & Hate’ em” – Check out the Avs recap!


Follow our Editor "Q" on Twitter, and NWSB, 'Like' us on Facebook.
About Richard Hodges

A proud Vancouverite with a lifelong passion for the home teams that some would classify as pointless and disturbing. Now realizes that The Linden Tree is not the play you think it would be.
Richard On Twitter
NWSB Facebook FanPage
Richard's NWSB Forum Profile
Subscribe To Richard's Articles Via RSS On NWSB
Like Something I wrote? Hate it? Hit me back today I want to hear from you!

  • With Mason Raymond at $2.55 mil and the Canucks extremely close to the Cap I think there’s a decent possibility Raymond will be moved, but would require Gillis to attach some extra cap hit along with him. How toxic is Ballard’s contract to the rest of the NHL you think?

    • Guestbgwwd12292

      Problem is Raymond is an important and affordable part of the Canucks depth and scoring depth. Adding Booth at the expense of Raymond AND Samuelsson is not a forward move. Sure, if you can get back a 2.5 mil power forward version of Raymond, definitely, but you cant. I mean, Chris Stewart? Raymond has outplayed him this year, but yes overall that would be a positive move in the long run, but I cant see St Louis doing it.

      More likely youre thinking Raymond for someone like Moen, which would be an unmitigated disaster. I can just picture San Jose’s GM Doug Wilson driving up the asking price for Moen by pretending to be interested (like Moen really wants to come back and Wilson really wants him back), but Wilson will drive up the price so that Vancouver has to give up who Wilson knows is actually the much better player, the player who was so integral in mitigating the impact of Wilson’s power forwards with his back checking and incredible speed.

      Mason Raymond in a deal for Chris Stewart, or Brenden Morrow, maybe even Tuomo Ruutu provided you can re-sign him? You look at those options. But you do not, under any circumstances, trade the talented and great-value Raymond for an overrated checking line forward like Travis Moen or even the better Paul Gaustad. Raymond is a top 6 fwd, you dont trade him for a 3rd liner. You trade him for another 2nd liner, a top 4 D if you feel D is the greater need, or not at all.

  • Guestbgwwd12292

    “Blueline options are either old (Adrian Aucoin), making a lot of money (Bryan Allen), or pipe dreams (Shea Weber).”
    Good article Richard, but that statement is inaccurate. You must be keeping up with the latest Insider Trading clips on TSN or the news around the NHL. Options on defense actually seem as plentiful as I can remember in a long time.

    Bryan Allen who you mentioned, Jaroslav Spacek, Hal Gill, Nicklas Grossman (although he sucks and is wildly overrated due to size and skating, when his reads, decisions, and actual overall defensive play is awful), Andy Sutton, Johny Oduya, (who else am I forgetting on bottom feeders like Edmonton and Columbus?), Shane O’Brien, Chris Campoli, Alec Martinez (be he also sucks), potentially Cody Franson, potentially Scott Hannan, Mark Eaton and/or any other Islanders they dont want to keep, you mentioned Aucoin, Carlo Colaiacovo will probably be available although not necessarily to the Canucks, John Erskine, and my favorites who ARE available, Kyle Quincey, Lubomir Visnovsky, and Marek Zidlicky. Pavel Kubina and/or Brett Clark are definitely available and solid options themselves. Stephane Robidas would also make my favorites list but hes probably not available. 

    There is basically going to be at least one defenseman for practically every contender in the league. Ive never seen this many available. The pickings certainly arent slim. 

    As for forward, people are overlooking Jeff Carter, he would be a fantastic addition. The perfect 50 goal scorer with a perfect contract and the perfect attitude who plays amazing defense is never available. If he even exists, he would be untouchable. Carter is not perfect but he is the cheapest top line sniper (of which there are only a handful in the NHL) that will ever be available to the Canucks through trade, both in terms of assets (Columbus doesnt expect anything for him, they just want to get rid of him) and cap hit (5.27 million). The only drawback is a long term deal, but the Canucks should be thankful for that, because if he wasnt on a long term deal, every team in the league would be in on him, and the asking price would be huge for a 45 goal scorer with a cap hit under 5.5 M. 

    So Carter is who the Canucks should really be adding, and he wouldnt cost them anything.

    Cheaper options… Jason Blake reminds me of the Higgins acquisition last year except hes older. But it reminds me of the Higgins deal in the sense that no one is thinking about him, hes underrated, hes probably only going to go for a 3rd round pick, but hes played really solid, simple straight line hockey this year, using his skating and hockey sense. Hes someone you throw on your 4th line instead of AHL fill ins who adds scoring depth without having to worry about him.

    So thats someone I would add just on top of whatever other additions they make. Just a good guy to have in the mix if you can get him for so little (cap space allowing, of course).

    Besides that, Tuomo Ruutu is obviouslya fantastic add for anyone. You could try to re-sign him, too, to justify the asking price. Expensive to acquire but hes the best rental forward. If you dont want to acquire Carter who is the better player, who youll get to keep for longer, and who will cost you much less (so hes better value in every area), then Ruutu is another way to go. Probably the only other really good way to go up front. There arent as many forwards.

    If I was Gillis, I would probably add Carter, Quincey, Jason Blake, and maybe a forward with more size, or another dman on the cheap. But Carter would be the main addition up front, and either Robidas (but hes probably not available), Quincey, or Visnovsky would be the dman.

    Also at forward I just remembered Brenden Morrow, but he will cost way too much. Thats whats so great about Carter, hes the most talented guy available, the most productive guy available, brings all the size and finishing ability the Canucks could hope for in a fourth liner, let alone a top  liner, and yet, somehow, by some drop of good fortune, hes also going to be one of the cheapest players to acquire at the deadline.

    Essentially, hes going to be the player with the highest upside that also requires the lowest cost. Hes the ultimate win/win addition.

    I think that makes Jeff Carter the key to the Canucks deadline. No addition they can make will help them more while also subtracting less from them. Adding him would give them maybe the best offense any team has had in years, their second line could have two 40 goal scorers on it with Kesler and Carter, and really two guys who are still 40 goal scorers. That gives the Canucks two top lines, including their actual top line which might be the league’s best top line.

    Thats how you win a Cup. You dont leave it to chance like we’re “one of” the best, we have as good a chance as any. You go out and, if a top player is there like there is now with Carter so fortuitously, and he’s gettable (and Carter could not be more gettable), then you dont hesitate, you go and get the guy, load up that roster, like Detroit did in adding Hossa (didnt work out because of injuries, but that was a fantastic move). When the player is available, true top teams know to go get him. Carter is that guy right now and if the Canucks want to win the Cup a few months from now, hes the guy that can help them most to do it. The amount of talent the Canucks would have on their roster with him would overwhelm the opposition. They are good now, but not quite there. Carter puts them over the top in talent, separates them from the bunch.

    So those are some ideas and things Id do. 

North West Sports Beat

Sponsored Links


Razor Ray's Picks

10 Articles To Your Inbox Daily! NWSB Daily Brew! Get It Now! Newsletter
NorthWest Sports Beat