Canucks Ramblings – UFA's and possible trades

The Vancouver Canucks are in a very interesting position this off-season and could potentially be looking at acquiring a new starting goalie and first line winger and possibly trading one of the most dominant players in the game.Up front, the Canucks have Todd Bertuzzi and Trevor Linden signed and are expected to resign the Sedin twins, Brendan Morrison, Matt Cooke, Artem Chubarov and Jarko Ruutu without issue. Of course, Bertuzzi may still have to sit out a few games to start the season due to his still pending suspension, but I don’t see this as affecting the team too much this off-season. I highly doubt Bertuzzi will be traded, the fans still love him to death in Vancouver and a change of scenery will NOT help him in this situation. Also, apart from Joe Thornton and Jerome Iginla, I can’t find too many players in the league who Nonis would deal Big Burt for anyway.

The Canucks first priority is to resign Markus Naslund. There is a good chance this will happen, as Markus loves the city and the Nucks will do everything in their power to bring him back. Peter Forsberg coming to Vancouver is a long shot at best, but is possible if he takes a pay cut to play with Markus and the other high profile Swedes already on the team. Paul Kariya has also been rumored to be interested in playing for the Canucks next year, which makes sense because Kariya is from North Vancouver. If Nazzy is resigned, Kariya might not be playing in his hometown next year, but if Markus signs elsewhere, you better believe Nonis will ensure he snags Kariya. Miro Satan has also been rumored to be interested in playing in Vancouver next year, but again, I only see this happening if Markus leaves. Other free agent forwards with a chance to be signed by Nonis this off-season include: Darren McCarty and Cory Stillman.

On the blueline, things are just as fascinating as they are up front. Ed Jovanovski, Mattias Ohlund and Bryan Allen will be back for sure, but one or both of Brent Sopel or Marek Malik may not be resigned. Scott Neidermayer has been rumored to be looking into playing in his home province and if he takes a pay cut that is a very real possibility. If the Canucks do not land Scotty, look for them to go after either former Canuck Adrian Aucoin or the Devil’s Brian Rafalski. The Canucks have a couple blueline prospects that might break the opening day roster as well, so I would expect them to sign one free agent defenseman at most.

The biggest question for the Canucks is in goal. Alex Auld may one day be a very good NHL goalie, but I don’t think that day is here yet. Also, as much a I like Dan Cloutier, he has been unable to lead us past the first round of the playoffs and I doubt he will be resigned. The Canucks are interested in Nikolai Khabibulin, but so are about 10 other teams and there is only a minute chance he will be playing in Vancouver next year. Sean Burke, however, is a much more realistic option in net. He has played for the Canucks before and still has a few good seasons left in him. I also expect he would come at a relatively cheap price (at least compared to the Bulin wall). CuJo has also been rumored as a possible successor to Cloutier, but I cannot see that happening. Two goalies with outside chances of winding up in Vancouver next year are Chris Osgood and Roman Cechmanek, but I think the Canucks would rather resign Cloutier than add either of those two.

In conclusion, much of what the Canucks do this summer rest on whether Nazzy returns for another season in Vancouver. If he does, Forsberg could join him and the forward lines will be basically set. If the Canuck’s captain leaves town, look for Paul Kariya to take his place. The money Naslund’s possible departure would save the Canucks would then be used to bring in either Neidermayer or Aucoin, or even a starting goalie. The only Canucks that are realistically on the trade wire are: Brent Sopel, Dan Cloutier and Sami Salo. It is easy to picture the Canucks making a big splash in the free agent market in the coming months, but it is highly doubtful a blockbuster trade will occur over that time period. Whatever happens, look for Nonis to make the club bigger and grittier to help the Canucks thrive in the post season (provided they make it there, of course) come next spring.

15 Responses to Canucks Ramblings – UFA's and possible trades

  1. Scruffy05 says:

    If Fozzy and Nazzy sign a package deal I highly doubt it will be as much as everybody expects. Definetly under 10 million but who knows how much. Also, it is highly doubtful Nazzy would turn his back on his other good friend Bertuzzi.

    Niedermeyer has also been quoted being willing to take a pay cut to play with “a couple of teams.” He was too classy to let loose WHICH teams exactly, but Vancouver is widely accepted as the first choice. Numbers as low as 3.5 Million have been tossed around but have not been confirmed.

    Satan and Kariya would most likely sign for 3 or under. Satan was due 3 million and so was O’Neill. If O’Neill signed for 1.5 Million per year I see these two in the 2-3 Million per year range. We could possible snag one of them but I believe only if we do not acquire Nieds or Fozzy.

    Nazzy is more than expected to sign with Vancouver, but if he does not expect some big names to come over as Nonis tries to make a name for himself (Read: all of the above except Fozzy.) If Nazzy goes then expect a trade request by Bertuzzi (Thornton is available) and maybe even a Murray.

    Take it from me though, Canuck fans want their captain back. If he turns his back on the team and signs with somebody else there is a very good chance he will be villified by everybody in BC. If he just retired and played in Sweden we would be okay with that but if he signed anywhere else (apparently 18 teams want his services) he will be slayed by the Vancouver media a la Pavel Bure.

  2. Gretzkin says:

    The big unanswered question is of course Naslund.

    Once that is solved, we’ll see.

    Kariya as his replacement??? Don’t count on him replacing the likes of Markus. Not in a milliion years.

    Neidermayer. Only if Naslund doesn’t resign. But I personally think he’s not going to be a priority with what they’ve already got.

    It will be all about replacing Naslund (if he goes), and Bertuzzi (if he goes)

    The new face of the run & gun NHL will need a hot goaltender. That’s where you ‘Nucks are in deep trouble.

    Cloutier. I’m sorry. Sucks. No reliablilty

    Alex Auld. Not ready.

    Chechmanek. Same as Cloutier. CHOKER!!!

    CuJo. Will he just go away? he followed me from Edmonton to Toronto, and same result. Almost. Anybody else have any money? Go Away Joseph.

    His days are done anyhow. Glad he finally screwed himself. Nice work for Team Canada! Embarrasing.

    Sean Burke. Solid. 5 years ago. Old Man. He’s not going to be any saving grace, as much as I’d like to see it.

    Maybe they should go after Niedermayer. They are going to need all the help they can get back there.

    Good Luck Kariya!

    God Luck Canucks. You guys could be in for a disappointing year. I’m sorry to say it…

  3. Gretzkin says:

    Boo Hoo!

    I’d hate to have a whole bunch of Hippies on my back. That would be terrifying!.

    Do you think Bure thought twice about Vancouver?

    Chances are, Naslund will go back to Vancouver. But. These guys want to win the Stanley Cup.

    It’s not going to happen in Vancouver anytime soon.

    Niedermayer playing for 3.5 million??????????


    He’s due much more than that, and he’ll get it. Somewhere else most likely. If he takes a paycut, it will be in 5 million range. Possible if the Swede and his Swede friend don’t sign in Van. But not if they do.

    If you knew you were worth 7+ million, would you play for 3.5 in a city that isn’t going to win the cup????

    As a defenseman, albiet, not of NHL calibibre. Infact, far from it.

    You go to a team with offensive promise (Vancouver has this). BUT, you want to defend a bonafide staring goalie.

    It’s been years since the Canucks had one of these.

  4. Scruffy05 says:

    hippies? Obviously you are mistaking Canucks fans for the Art freaks in North Van and that area…. They cheer for Anahiem. This is not a shot against the ducks but actually quite true… They think the duck is “Like, righteous….”

    Canucks fans are on the same level with Leafs fans except we don’t expect to win as much as they do, however coincidentally we win more…

  5. Scruffy05 says:

    Cloutier is actually one hell of a good goalie who has had some bad luck and injuries in the playoffs. He is an amzing goalie during the season and is starting to really come into his own in clutch games. I believe the problems stem from a less than perfect defense on an offensively minded team.

  6. vanstan says:

    hi, im new to posting here so bear with me if my grammar offends you or my ideas sound insane….

    My family has had an ice pack for the last few years so im somewhat familiar with the canucks and their players. I have a few thoughts on the above article and was wondering what people thought.

    1st: gtweb is right. Todd Bertuzzi isnt going anywhere. Even if he asks for a trade, Nonis will not accomidate his request. There is no market for Todd at the moment. Plain and simple. No market for his services means poor compensation. Thus, no trading Todd.

    2nd: There is not a good chance Naslund will return to Vancouver. There is “a” chance. An ok one, an average one. Im sorry canucks fans, but the truth hurts. As Don Taylor said less than an hour ago on sportsnet news, 18 different teams have inquired about Naslund’s services in the last 12 hours. 18! Of them, I’d say Vancouver still has the best chance of signing him, but does that mean they have a good chance? Not by a long shot.

    3rd: Just because Kariya is from North Van (incedently where i live) doesnt mean he’d prefer to play for vancouver any more than another team. I have Never heard Paul say he wants to play in vancouver. Correct me if im wrong on that. That being said, i agree that if Naslund goes, Kariya is a strong possibility for the canucks. As for Satan, McCarty, and stillman, they are all viable options but im guessing those are just players that came to the poster mind when writting the article.

    4th: Jovo, Ohlund, Allen and SALO will be back. 100%. Salo isnt going anywhere. Period. The canucks organization (they might be the only ones) realize how good this guy is. Sure he had injury problems in Ottawa, but he only missed a couple of games in 03-04, and for his realatively low price, you get an intelligent D-man how has a howizter of a shot and above all else, Never, or at least almost never makes a mistake in his own end. Sopel and Malik may not be back on the other hand, but remember both were qualified only a few days ago.

    5th: Neidermayer is a long…. long shot at best. Though he has stated a desire both to play near Cranbrook (read: Van or Calgary) and to play with his brother (as of this moment in Anehiem), the canucks would be wiser to invest the money he would cost in Naslund or his replacement(s). Although Scott’s agent has mentioned a shortlist of teams he might consider signing with for less, this does not mean he’ll sign with Vancouver for 3-4 mill a year. It means 5.5-6 per year. I dont believe the canucks will pay that much when they have 3 D-men who can shoot and score more than most (Jovo, Salo, and Sopel).

    6th: Cloutier will be in goal come Oct. 5th. He was qualified. At 2.3 if im not mistaken. Nonis, like Burke before him, have a soft spot for Dan, don’t ask me why. I don’t like him. Also, it is known that Nonis and Tambellini don’t have the confidence in Auld that Burke did. I have heard the Burke rumor as well and believe it makes sense. We’ll see. I dont think the canucks will spend more than 1mil ish for a backup with Auld down on the farm. Just a thought. The other names mentioned… Cujo, not bloody likely… Chechmanek and Osgood… made up by the poster i can only assume.

    Finally, the conclusion is spot on. What the canucks do is soley determined by what Naslund decides to do. However dont bet #1 goaltending change and i garuntee Salo isnt going anywhere.

    Thanks for reading

  7. Scruffy05 says:

    Anybody who thinks the Canucks will have a dissappointing year is forgetting their medication. Even if we field the exact same team as last year they are now against a much weakened Colorado team for division supremacy. Look for Vancouver to be a force either way.

  8. dave1979 says:

    hey vanstan,

    i am pissed drunk and it is about 2 30am so i wasnt going to bother posting but i HAVE to after reading youre post (i live in langley by the way) i am also a life long diehard canuck fan, and i have to say….it is finally good to see another diehard fan that is so fcuking honest and realistic….i wont get into the details but i agree with you on most points and yet again nice to see another fan (of any team) be so honest and real HEY LEAFS FANS …take note assweeds….anyways i need to put my kokanee down and go tobed so more in depth chat tomorrow….cheers

  9. Eric86 says:

    Ottawa will be in need of a goaltender as well as they will no longer have the services of Prusek, and with Haseks health issues I think they should try to pick up Dan Blackburn, who was left unsigned by the Rangers, probably to make room for Montoya and Lundqvist. I don’t see Blackburn going to the Canucks as they are more in the market for a proven goalie, possibly Joseph.

  10. Eric86 says:

    Ottawa will be in need of a goaltender as well as they will no longer have the services of Prusek, and with Haseks health issues I think they should try to pick up Dan Blackburn, who was left unsigned by the Rangers, probably to make room for Montoya and Lundqvist. I don’t see Blackburn going to the Canucks as they are more in the market for a proven goalie, possibly Joseph.

  11. NemiNA says:

    I think your very right on that one.

  12. NemiNA says:

    I still think Osgood will end up with the Penguins. They need a veteran to groom Fluery.

  13. habsoverserver says:

    TSN reporting Aucoin to Hawks four years $16 million.

  14. Flyer_Dman says:

    Hahaha. Well done.

  15. edmontonrules says:

    The Canucks are about one defender and one great goalie away from winning the cup. Why wouldn’t anyone want to play there if they got Khabibulin (or an equal caliber goalie)? Don’t underestimate hometowns. There are a lot of people who also would love to play in/around their hometown.

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