The Vancouver Canucks made a headscratcher of a trade with the Florida Panthers. The Canucks sent a 2016 second and fourth round pick, and forward Jared McCann to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Florida’s 2016 fifth round pick as well as defenceman Erik Gudbranson. The Canucks have essentially traded another (previously traded Shinkaruk to the Flames) prospect of the future for a piece that leaves fans wondering why Benning is still general manager of the team. But is the trade that bad?
In trading Jared McCann, the Canucks lose a left-winger, who scored nine goals and nine assists in 69 games. McCann didn’t get a reasonable amount of ice-time with the Canucks, and will almost surely see a more prominent role on the second line with the Panthers.
The Canucks receive a defenceman that was sought by the Panthers as their future captain upon Gudbranson’s rookie year. With the Panthers, Gudbranson played the second pairing behind Michael Matheson and Aaron Ekblad. He can easily fit on the second pairing, being a solid defensive partner to a young Ben Hutton.
Ben Hutton just gained a great playing experience in playing for Canada at the world championships. Although he did get replaced by Nashville Predators’ defenceman Ryan Ellis, Hutton must have learned to be quicker in all facets of his game.
Chris Tanev also played in the world championships for Team Canada, but in a much more prominent role. Tanev played alongside Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly on the first pairing, being a reliable defensive force.
With the acquisition of Erik Gudbranson, the Canucks have solidified a top-four defensive core. Vancouver now has Hamhuis-Tanev and Hutton-Gudbranson in their top four defensemen.
The main concern for the Canucks now becomes the forward group. While Henrik and Daniel Sedin continue to be offensive producers, their health throughout the season continues to be a concern. The Canucks need to add more forwards that can boost the team’s offensive production, especially in replacement of once important prospects, Hunter Shinkaruk and Jared McCann.
Vancouver looks as though they’re resorting to prospects in Mike Zalewski and Ronalds Kenins. However, it is important that the team plays the right forwards in the right position, especially in Jake Virtanen and Bo Horvat.
The Canucks are in the middle of a retool, and refuse to commence a rebuild. The organization believes that something can be built around the Sedin twins. However, when you trade two promising prospects, you leave your fans wondering if the team will be any good.
Check out the recap of the Eastern Conference finals!