Do the Canucks need to bust a Weber-Move?
Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis has seen highly coveted un-drafted free agent Defenseman Justin Shultz flirt with his team, then sign with the Edmonton Oilers.
He’s seen the Minnesota Wild pull out some big ol’ piles of cash ($98 million US each, to be exact), to land top free agent Forward Zach Parise (New Jersey Devils), and Defenseman Ryan Suter (Nashville Predators).
While the Canucks weren’t able to land any of these players for various reasons such as money, or just swinging and missing in the case of Shultz, the real hurt lies in where the players ultimately ended up.
The Northwest Division.
The Canucks have dominated the division in recent years, while the other teams simply looked like also-rans, but that could be changing now with this injection of quality players into the mix.
Does this mean Gillis needs to do something now to make the team better? Is that something taking a run at Nashville Predator Defenseman Shea Weber?
The Canucks could desperately use a player like Weber
Weber is a Restricted Free Agent, and becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent next year, so landing him could be tricky, but not impossible, and if Gillis is serious about making another cup run, he will have to take a long hard look at how to land him.
Nashville Predators GM Dave Poile intimated that Weber may not want to sign a long term deal with his team now that Suter has gone to the Wild, but alternately, with Suter gone, Polie will no doubt be working his tail off to try to keep at least one of his prized D-men in the fold.
What do the Canucks have to offer Weber?
They are a team that has won the President’s Trophy two years running. They have a group of Defensemen that would compliment him well, and in need of a number #1 guy on the blueline to lead them.
They play in B.C., where Weber is originally from.
It is a hockey-centric market in Vancouver, and that could appeal to him.
Does Weber Want The Canucks?
Tennessean beat writer Joshua Cooper was on Team1040 Radio in Vancouver today and said “Weber really likes the relative anonymity that living in Nashville affords him, he enjoys the market and the city. Says outsiders can’t underestimate the city of Nashville.
It’s L.A. East.”
Pierre LeBrun on ESPN today wrote today on ex-teammate Suter’s departure, ”He’s still in disbelief,” Kevin Epp, one of Weber’s agents at Titan Sports Management, told ESPN.com Thursday. “They were so close this year in terms of the team’s chances. They really had a shot. Shea believed there was a good chance that Ryan would stay there.
So right now, Shea is still processing this news.”
The jury is still going to be out for a long while on this BIG question in my opinion.
What would they have to give up in a trade?
If Weber is to be had via the trade route, the Canucks had better not think they can just give up a “Raymond” and a “Ballard” to land him.
They would have to put together a package that looked something like Defenseman Alexander Edler, Forward Alex Burrows, maybe a defensive prospect like Kevin Connauton, plus a pick or two.
Players like Weber don’t grow on trees, so there would have to be substantial worth going the other way, but at the same time, the Canucks aren’t going to send say, the Sedins to Nashville.
If Poile knows he can’t sign Weber long-term, this may be the best way to get at least something for him.
Could they sign Weber to an offer sheet?
They certainly could go the route of signing Weber to an offer sheet, a move that usually infuriates rival GMs, but I doubt Gillis cares too much about Polie’s feelings.
If they did send the offer sheet along, it would probably be in the $7-$8 million dollars/year range, which would mean the Canucks give up 2 first round draft picks, a 2nd round pick, and a 3rd round pick.
The NHL is one of the toughest leagues for young players to develop, so this doesn’t seem too substantial for a guy like Weber seeing as how some of the recent picks for the Canucks have fared, and the Canucks must be hoping they don’t draft that high in the next few years anyway.
Yes, Gillis needs to really think about making a move for Shea Weber now that the Northwest Division is getting better and the Canucks are standing pat.
He need only look at what Drew Doughty, a true number one Defenseman with the L.A. Kings, did to his team last year on his way to winning the Stanley Cup.
We’ve seen too many deals like this not happen in our city.
Vancouver Canuck fans to Mike Gillis: “Make the move!”