Last minute bargains?
As we near the February trade deadline, the rumour mill has heated up, linking the Vancouver Canucks with possible moves for Cory Perry, George Parros, or Travis Moen.
The Canucks will probably be tinkerers at the deadline, adding some depth to complement their core, like last deadline when they picked up Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre or the deadline before when they picked up Andrew Alberts.
Sure, there are the pipe dreams like Zach Parise or Shea Weber (or uh, Cory Perry) but let’s be realistic here. You might as well ask for a Pony.
Now that we’ve established realism let’s abandon it. Forget I mentioned it at all. Let’s have some fun.
Pretend that Kyle Wellwood, noted enigma and probable polymath, spent his time in Vancouver tinkering in his secret underground workshop underneath Rogers Arena. No one realized it at the time but in between trips to Subway, Wellwood was working on a time machine.
He finished it just before the Canucks let him go a couple Summers ago but never told anyone, except possibly his trusted sock monkey lab assistant.
Last week, Mike Gillis headed down into the basement just to see how Steve Tambellini feels in Edmonton. To his shock, he stumbled upon the time machine.
Gillis is a man who recognizes opportunity when it’s stashed in his basement and realized the potential to make a very unique move at the deadline: bringing back a former Canuck to round out the team and win that elusive Stanley Cup.
But who? The machine only has enough power for a single use.
Which ex-Canuck could most benefit this team?
1. Gino Odjick
This one is easy.
Concerned about team toughness? Bring back Gino and we’ll see how tough Shawn Thornton really is.
The Chief was one of the most feared enforcers in his day and much beloved among Canuck fans. He’ll definitely make opponents think twice about taking liberties with Canuck players.
Giiiiiiino is still the all-time Canucks penalty minute leader and bleeds black, orange, and yellow.
Doesn’t just the idea of bringing him back put a smile on your face?
2. Kirk McLean
Captain Kirk was the best goalie in franchise history before Roberto Luongo came around, but the difference between McLean and Luongo is that McLean was a playoff warrior.
A vintage 1994 Kirk McLean would have schooled Tim Thomas in the finals.
Who can forget his save off Robert Reichel in overtime of Game 7 against the Flames? It might be the greatest save in Canucks history.
Similarly, his 52 save performance in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals is the greatest performance ever by a Canuck goalie.
When he’s playing at his best, Roberto Luongo may be a better goalie than Kirk McLean, but if we’re playing for keeps I’m taking Kirk McLean every time.
3. Trevor Linden
Speaking of 1994, let’s also think about plucking a prime Trevor Linden.
This pick needs little explanation. Just think about Trevor lifting the Cup.
Like Gino and Kirk, Trev was a heart and soul guy who bled for the Canucks both literally and figuratively.
Can you imagine Trevor and Ryan Kesler on a line together? Magic.
If you could bridge the passion of the ’94 team with the skill of the 2011 team, there would be no stopping the Canucks.
4. Cam Neely
The Canucks could use a big bruising power forward to wreak havoc up front, like Milan Lucic does in Boston.
Lucic is a former Giant but not a Canuck, and it’s tempting to select the West Coast Express era Todd Bertuzzi, but let’s do one better and get the guy who invented the power forward position, Cam Neely.
There’s little to be said about Cam that you don’t already know and this move allows the Canucks to reverse their worst trade of all-time while sticking it to Boston.
Sedin-Sedin-Neely? Yes please, here is my first born child. Do you want my second born too?
5. Mattias Ohlund
If we’re going strictly by needs, the Canucks need a hard-nosed top four defenceman to play with Alex Edler. Sami Salo is great in this role but has this habit of getting injured. When Salo is out, there’s no one really to fill his role and the defensive zone becomes a fire drill.
So let’s bring back Mattias Ohlund in his prime to pair with his fellow countryman.
Ohlund is probably the most complete defenceman the Canucks have ever had. He’s big, he’s smart, and when he left he was the highest scoring defenceman in Canucks history.
Just ask Jarome Iginla how effective Ohlund was in shutting star players down.
His steady presence on the blueline would help the Canucks greatly and give them another option on the point for the powerplay.
However Mike Gillis plans to use Wellwood’s wayback machine, we can all agree on one thing: don’t use it to bring back Messier!