UWSaint wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:24 pm
The Canucks need to upgrade on defense; I personally think we are seeing about as good as EG will ever be (I hope to be wrong on that), and all that is a slightly tougher (though less sneaky dirty) right-handed version of Lucas Sbisa. I would trade him. If you need the equivalent player on the FA market, get him on the FA market and pocket the deadline-acquired prospect or pick.
MDZ is under contract for another season. Let's presume another year of upswing before getting to the "competitive" zone. MDZ isn't under contract for that, so not signed up for the plan (though could be), and yes, tradable. But, like EG (and unlike Vanek), EG is young enough to have productive years post-transition. He's been around forever, so it might seem like he's a dinosaur, but he is only 27. For all his warts, and there are many, I think he is probably the 3rd most effective defenseman on the team (behind Tanev (obviously) and Edler (who I actually think has played well during this stretch that the team has been awful). (This observation that MDZ seems like #3 says a ton about how bad this defense really is). I also think that he is going to have some value next year -- there is always value for a 4-6 D at the deadline -- so if the Canucks aren't making it, it is not now or never to turn him into assets if they don't wish to resign him. I'd be okay trading MDZ for the right price now, but I think that it would likely be unwise in a world where the Canucks are and that is one
legitimate NHL prospect in the system and he is still a question mark.
Edler has been his usual up and down self. There have been some true stinkers and also some strong outings where he's been clearly the best defenseman we have. With Edler the problem will always be the perception of apathy. Even when he's having a strong game he just looks as if he's merely going through the motions. He doesn't respond well to pressure, and when it comes to sticking up for his teammates in a scrum he's about as apathetic as they come in his weight class. I have said this before, but I do think it is very telling that despite the number of injuries we have seen over the years, Edler has never been given a letter on his jersey, never been considered an alternate/assistant captain. While he is more responsible with the puck, and a better skater than Gudbranson, he is the only other big frame we have on the back end but he possesses none of the snarl or leadership that EG has in spades. All players, but young ones particularly, respond well to guys who will "jump the boards" to defend a teammate and demonstrate the solidarity and compete that is often necessary for a team to have when the chips are down. Edler is the first piece that should be moved off of that blueline because he does nothing for team chemistry and accountability.
Tanev is a lanky and savvy defender, he's not big, but he's smart and effective. The miles are starting to show on him though due to his smaller frame and the amount of physical punishment he absorbs.....he's one of the best and absorbing it efficiently, but the toll is still taken. He is the second piece that should be moved simply because the return would be so good and where we are at as an organization the need to sell high is paramount.
Hutton can stay or go. He's not small, but he's not physical. He makes a ton of mistakes with the puck, and gets caught out of position way too often. He's smooth skating, and he has talent that just isn't being brought together. I don't know that he brings a massive return in trade at this point, but given his age and the flashes we've seen from him he wouldn't go for nothing. If he stays he's at best the #4, and would probably make for a solid bottom pairing puck mover.
Stecher is like a short, right-shooting, version of Hutton, but he has more fire in his belly and seems to be a faster skater. He's a small guy though, and to be a small guy on today's NHL blueline requires tenacity and smarts. Stecher has the former in abundance, the latter is inconsistent. For him to be effective he needs a Methot type of guy on his left side and a coach and team with a gameplan that his style works with. I think we lack the players for that at times, I don't think we lack the coach.
I would keep one of Hutton or Stecher, but they would be my 3rd choice in making a trade.
I haven't watched enough full games this year to have much of an opinion on MDZ, but if UW is saying he's our #3 guy then I trust that assessment and agree that our blueline is indeed lacking both top end skill and effective depth. If we can make moves that let him become the number 4 or 5 guy then I think he's got value to this team.
Gudbranson is exactly what we need on our team in terms of compete and attitude. Unfortunately his advanced stats don't fit, and he is probably going to price himself out of what the Canucks should commit to for what we've seen him bring so far, especially considering how often he has been injured. Big guys who are getting sidelined this often with nagging issues are risky. Ideally he gets kept and paired with an excellent puck mover like Campbell, and more importantly he is signed for $4M and no more than 6 years.....but I doubt he's willing to sign for less than $5M.