Mike Gillis armed with assets, options
The NHL’s April 3rd trade deadline fast approaches and the Vancouver Canucks have a number of spots on the roster worthy of attention heading into this year’s playoff push.
With trade asset Roberto Luongo on the roster, general manager and high blood pressure suffering Mike Gillis has plenty of options when it comes to upgrading the Canucks heading into the 2013 playoffs.
Of all trades Gillis could pull off, below are five of the most likely pieces headed to Vancouver this week.
A right-handed defenceman
The Vancouver Canucks carry only two natural right-handed defenceman in Kevin Bieksa and Chris Tanev heading into spring hockey, and have seriously struggled earlier this season when one of the two are out of the lineup. The Canucks need at least one right handed blue liner, but could easily a pair to play it safe.
The Canucks simply cannot afford to head into the playoffs without at least three right-handed rearguards.
A third-line center
With Ryan Kesler still in crutches, the Canucks could use another center heading into the post-season. While Jordan Schroeder has played well as Vancouver’s second-line center, only Andrew Ebbett and Maxim Lapierre remain behind him on the depth chart.
Players like Toronto’s Tyler Bozak and Florida’s Marcel Goc have been brought up in trade talks, but will likely depend on a Luongo deal for a change in scenery.
A scoring winger
What NHL general manager wouldn’t love to add a scoring winger to their lineup? David Booth‘s ankle injury has left another hole in the Canucks’ top-six, and there are a number of ways form the lineup in his absence.
The first domino dropped when Jarome Iginla joined the
Bruins , err Penguins last week, however a number of serviceable UFA wingers remain available.
A big, depth defenceman
It’s no secret that GM Mike Gillis like heading into the playoffs with defensive depth. Vancouver’s blue line begins with a solid top-four, but becomes shallow quickly after Bieksa, Edler, Hamhuis, and Garrison.
While a right-handed blue liner is a must, the Canucks could also benefit from another big depth defenceman capable of playing hard minutes along the wall and in front of the net, where the Kings dominated the Canucks during last year’s playoff series.
A true backup goaltender
If Mike Gillis is able to move Roberto Luongo before Wednesday’s trade deadline, another backup goaltender will be necessary to take his place in Vancouver.
Eddie Lack is scheduled to compete for a backup position next season with the Canucks, but will not be available to play until next fall after undergoing hip surgery in January.