What team isn’t dreading expansion, right? Adding another team to the growing list of expansion concerned teams is the Vancouver Canucks. The Nucks are a team with seemingly no direction. Their once highly-skilled roster is aging and their youth hasn’t developed enough to compete yet, which is why the Canucks ownership and front office are fearing June 17th.
I was talking to Murray Craven, just from the Vegas group and theres so many variables in there. I think there’s two real spots where teams will look to fix that problem and that will be deadline and that will be leading into expansion draft. And then you get into said value of player based on what teams can acquire and protect can really change the way things look, we’re going to do what we can to avoid that situation. -Trevor Linden, Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Ops
Linden joined TSN Vancouver to discuss the upcoming trade deadline and the looming expansion draft. He was asked how will it feel losing a player for nothing to Vegas.
We’ve certainly modeled a lot of different scenarios out. We’re going to do what we can to avoid that situation. Obviously, losing a young player, or any player, would be tough to stomach, so we’re still a ways from getting to where we want to be there. -Linden
Linden would rather make his roster more expansion-friendly but he’s not rushing to make a trade at the deadline. Although, losing a player like Luca Sbisa or Jannik Hansen would be a devastating blow. Linden will try and minimize the damage but won’t force a trade.
There’s no question we won’t be in the rental-player market, regardless of what that looks like. If there’s an opportunity with a young player that we feel is an upgrade, we’ll certainly look at that. But there will be no situation where we’ll go and mortgage any future pieces.” – Linden
Only three spots are available for four forwards and Hansen seems to be the man left off the list. Linden mentioned his concerns losing the Danish forward but is hoping to prevent that. If Hansen is exposed, George McPhee would certainly take a look. The injured 30 year-old Canuck believes he can still make an impact on a team.
I’ve got a lot of hockey left in me. I feel like I’m still trending in the right direction the last couple of years, feeling more comfortable and starting to produce more (offensively) than what I had in the past. -Jannik Hansen, Vancouver Canucks
The Great Dane has had a tough season filled with injuries, only suiting up for 18 games this season. Currently he’s nursing a knee injury suffered on December 23rd. With one year on a modified NTC at $2.5M, Hansen is a great fit for Vancouver or Vegas. He’s clearly appealing, when he’s healthy. An affordable 15-20 goal winger is tough to find. He’s motivated to get back on the ice and contribute.
If the Canucks keep Hansen the Golden Knights next most likely option would be Markus Granlund. Not a bad backup selection for Vegas. The 23 year-old is on pace for career highs in games, goals, points and TOI. It won’t be easy for Linden, but most importantly, VGK will seriously benefit from the Canucks loss. So keep whining Captain Canuck.