dbr wrote:I guess the management group either thinks they are going to turn Barker's career around, or much more likely they think the depth chart spot they have in mind for him is so unimportant that if he stinks as badly as he has everywhere else they can replace him with a better player before the playoffs.
Actually to some extent they probably think both of those things.
I do think they see some potential upside in Barker, but this is more about loading up on veteran D-men in a likely injury riddled short season.
You can look at Barker and Vandermeer as fringe NHL players with NHL experience that are around or just below league average for depth players.
If the Canucks don't have these guys in the system and the youngsters aren't ready, then they have to give up assets, whether it's a low level prospect or a late round pick, to bring in a fringe guy with no familiarity with the team to fill a short-term need.
Also, neither Vandermeer nor Barker are highly thought of enough that Gillis won't look to add another top 4-6 D-man in a potential trade. If there is to a significant improvement to the defence, it's gonna come through trade, not $600-700K signings.
Like I said before, this is just depth but it's not easy to convince a player who is seriously wanting a top 6 job to sign here to fight for a spot and play for relative peanuts. So like you said, it's easy to want someone like Campoli instead, but he might not be as willing to come to a team with a crowded blueline.