Grading the Vancouver Whitecaps trade of keeper Jay Nolly

Assessing the Whitecaps newest move

In an interesting move, the Vancouver Whitecaps traded goalkeeper Jay Nolly yesterday to Chicago, opting to retain the older Joe Cannon instead. The move raises several possibilities, but was it a smart transaction?


Let’s take a look at five considerations, both positive and negative.

The first issue to consider is that the signing of the elder Cannon (36 years old), and the trading away of Nolly (29 years old) is likely a cost saving measure.

Cannon is a very capable keeper, but his salary costs would not impact the Vancouver budget to the same degree.

The second thought here is that the shedding of one of the senior netminders opens up an opportunity for the Whitecaps to start developing a younger player. The next prospect in the pipeline is Brian Sylvestre, a strapping 6’5” talent who has been playing with the Whitecaps Residency development program.

He has also represented the United States at both the U-17 and U-20 international level, earning a cap against France. The Nolly trade allows the team to test the mettle of Sylvestre and whether he would fit in with new coach Rennie’s plans.

Whitecaps Trade Jolly

The Signing of the Cannon, and trading away of Nolly is likely a cost saving measure

The thirdissue to examine is the good relationship that Joe Cannon has cultivated with the Vancouver media.

Cannon is a well-spoken, eloquent interviewee who puts the team first and his presence is a positive image for the ‘Caps.

A fourth consideration is that the dispatch of Nolly has provided a first round pick in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft in return.

This allows the team the opportunity to scout and pick up another player for roster depth. In the 2011 Supplemental Draft, Vancouver was able to use the first selection overall to obtain Michael Boxall, a New Zealand international who played in several matches during the 2011 season.

The fifth and final note here is less positive.

Jay Nolly was a reliable presence in the Vancouver goal, who played well and was in the prime years of his career.

If Joe Cannon is unable to prove to be reliable, injury free and effective at 36, and the younger prospect Sylvestre cannot fill the position capably, then this trade will be less advantageous.

This is a risky move for Vancouver that, barring the arrival of another keeper through other means, could dramatically impact the Whitecaps 2012 year in either direction.

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About C-Mac

Born in Northern Ireland. Lived in Japan. Resides in BC. Followed the Canucks through thick and thin his entire life, while also trying to grow his Dave Babych moustache. He's a Seahawks 12th man, and since he's played the 'Beautiful Game' for 30+ years he's a Vancouver Whitecaps diehard as well. Connect with C-Mac today!
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