Canucks need to upgrade offense ASAP
The biggest problem facing the Vancouver Canucks this season is the same issue that has shown up the last two years in the playoffs – not enough goals.
Vancouver is truly the definition of mediocrity right now. They’re fifth in the division, have scored 55 goals while giving up 56 goals and have two players (the Sedins) in the top 60 in league scoring. Yawn.
And the scary thing is this is with all the key players mostly healthy and several guys playing above expectations.
It’s pretty simple, the Canucks need more offense if they want a sniff of the playoffs and this means Mike Gillis will have to do something he hasn’t had a whole lot of success in – make a trade.
Here’s another problem for Gillis – most of this team has a no trade clause. The Sedins, Kesler, Burrows and Higgins all have NTCs, along with four d-men (Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison, Alex Edler and Dan Hamhuis).
Yikes. Oh yeah, that Luongo guy has one too.
There’s always the option of asking a player to waive the NTC but this already puts Gillis in a position of weakness. The only guys in play for sure are Booth, Tanev, picks, young players and the waiver wire junk that occupies the Canucks third and fourth line.
The next trade Gillis makes will be the most important one of his career and will probably make or break his career in Vancouver. If the Canucks miss the playoffs, he should be done. He needs to make a move ASAP to solidify the Canucks as a playoff team – this isn’t the Northwest division anymore and Vancouver no longer has a free pass.
That being said, here are a few guys that could be available and would give the Canucks a little more depth up front.
Michael Ryder – New Jersey Devils
A cap hit of $3.5 million for two more years, Ryder is a guy that can put the puck in the net and could help the Canucks now. He also could have some chemistry with Higgins from when they both played on the Habs. Ryder has scored over 30 goals three times in his career, including two years ago in Dallas.
Plus, Lamoriello owes us one for the Schneider gift this June… or does he?!
Steve Ott – Buffalo Sabres
We all know Buffalo’s a gong show so why not try to pick at some of the bones? Can you imagine how irritating a line of Ott, Kesler and Burrows would be?
He’s a guy that is always tough to play against and he knows the Sharks, Ducks and Kings well from when he was on Dallas.
Ott is a cap hit of $2.95 million and Buffalo has a ton of cap space so maybe David Booth would like to take a trip from Utica to Buffalo and cut some travel costs.
Wayne Simmonds – Philadelphia Flyers
Put Simmonds on one of the top two lines in Vancouver and he would produce. Like Buffalo, Philly is in a state of disrepair and is a team that needs to make moves. They’re stacked up front but have one of the worst D’s in the league.
Simmonds is making just under $4 million and it might be hard to get done but if he’s available a guy like him would be a nice fit on the Canucks.
Tomas Fleischmann, Scottie Upshall, Marcel Goc – Florida Panthers
Any one of this trio would add depth. I’m not sure if Gillis should ever make a trade with Florida again but all three are proven NHLers that can produce if given the opportunity.
It comes down to this, who would you rather have on the ice – one of these three or Zac Dalpe, Jeremy Welsh and Dale Weise.
Yeah…pretty easy choice there.
Forget about the sleep doctors and the yoga – Gillis needs to do his job and improve this team in a trade while the Canucks are still in the playoff conversation.