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Increasing Canucks Trade Talk Makes Lots of Assumptions

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Vancouver Canucks, Conor Garland
Vancouver Canucks forward Conor Garland.

Paraphrasing, Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night twice mentioned an unconfirmed report that the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils were just two of the teams interested in Vancouver Canucks forward Conor Garland and that there was also interest around the NHL for other unnamed Canucks players.

Everyone seems to be getting rather excited by this and by apparent talk about the Canucks leading scorer JT Miller being in high demand.

“Trade talk sells newspapers,” or at least what used to be known as newspapers. It’s also good for podcast traffic.

That’s fine, but trade talk generally involves assuming action will be taken to meet those interests or rumours. Let’s take a look at a few of those assumptions.

Ass-u-me 1: Fifty-one days before the trade deadline and just four days after hiring a new general manager the Canucks are going to gut a roster that’s been playing its collective heart out for a new coach to get back into a playoff race with a Covid-protocol ravaged line-up.

Ass-u-me 2: Garland to his hometown (Boston, technically Scituate) makes sense doesn’t it? Well let’s see. So the Canucks are going to trade one of the few players actually scoring at his expected goal pace, with an impressive Corsi rating, who’s drawn a remarkable 42 minutes in PIMs compared to 18 PIMs of his own, who’s making just under $5-million a year for four more seasons and is a 25-year-old shift disturber with an upside everyone has raved about.

Makes sense doesn’t it.

Ass-u-me 3: The Canucks have decided to trade their leading scorer Miller who has ten more points than the next guy, wins 54% of his face-offs, can play centre or wing, plays with an edge, comes up big in key moments, and turns 29-years-of-age in March. Oh, and he has an entire season remaining at the discount price of $5.5-million.

Jeepers, can’t get rid of that fast enough! I mean did you see that backcheck?!

Ass-u-me 3B: The child prospect and the middling 1st-round pick they receive in return will be able to replace those qualities within the next four years, just in time for goalie Thatcher Demko to turn 30. At least they’ll also get a decent second-pair defenceman (one would hope) and another high pick for later.

Ass-u-me 4: The Vancouver Canucks fan base will be thrilled with these developments. Sure, let’s rebuild, re-tweak, refurbish, re-brand, re-ignite, recalibrate the roster just when we’re about to start having a good time again. Pick a “re”, any “re”. What fan doesn’t love watching his or her team with vultures circling.

Anyhoo, if the Canucks don’t win in Chicago AND Nashville the next two games, the chatter will increase during the six day All-Star break prior the club returning home for six of their next seven. Perfect time to give up on the season, right before the fans file in to watch the dismantled death march.

That’s of course assuming again that the chatterers and the ‘insiders’ are completely familiar with the team’s short and middle term mandate. What is the Vancouver Canucks short and middle term mandate?

By the way, problem in the room? All bets are off. Trade away. Not getting that feeling but then again I’m not in room. And neither are those talking about the trade rumours.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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