Brian Burke–Pull the trigger

The Vancouver Canucks find themselves in a precarious position headed down the home stretch of the regular season. Having lost 7 of their previous 9 contests, five of which were against teams out of playoff positions.Brian Burke has made very little noise when the trade deadline has come around over the last 2 years. After last seasons playoffs the Canucks were ousted by the Minnesota Wild. 2 areas of concern surfaced.

1. The lack of depth on defence.

2. The lack of a second scoring line.

While Brian B did not do a lot in the previous 2 trade deadlines, he did address the problems by signing Jiri Slegr and Magnus Arvedson before the current season started. He is however, back to square one. He virtually gave Slegr to Boston and lost Arvedson for at least this season due to injury. Now he has the same 2 problems, a lack of depth on D and no one of note on a second scoring line.

Compounding these problems are injuries to Ed Jovanovski and Markus Naslund, two oof the Canucks three Stars.

The solution to these problems could be a significant trade with either the Rangers or Washington. Or landing a top 4 Dman from 1 club and a top centre from another. Brian B has the resources in a few prospects and draft picks and the fact that both Cooke and Ruutu are not needed along with Brad May on the same team. Wade Brookbank has done an excellent job as enforcer and a surprisingly good job as a winger, more than holding his own against the opposition he has played against. This allows Burke to trade away either Cooke or Ruutu and a few prospects coupled with a draft pick. Also the Canucks should have some cash to play with as Slegr and Arvedson are gone, as well as the fact the club should make a significant profit this year.

So if Brian B could make that big trade, the face of the Canucks could change in a heartbeat. The play of the Sedins has seen them move along at a point a game since Christmas, turning whoever plays with them into a point producer as well. If the play of young Fedor Fedorov ( Sergei’s brother ) continues, he will be a threat on the third line. Adding someone like Robert Lang as a top line centre to Naslund and Bertuzzi will boost their offensive output while moving Morrison on a third line with Fedorov. Also the inclusion of a Gonchar or Leetch to the blue line will bolster an already potent offensive back end.

At some point Brian B is going to have to gamble with making this team better. Either he takes a chance at a run for the cup now while giving away something for the future. Or he puts his faith in the future and gambles with the window of opportunity that has presented itself this year and may not present itself again.

I think I can speak for most Vancouver fans in saying PULL THE TRIGGER


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