Trade Deadline Day: Which Vancouver Canucks will be moved?

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Since November, it’s generally been agreed upon that Vancouver Canucks fans have two things to look forward to this season: Brock Boeser’s Calder Trophy run and Trade Deadline Day, where GM Jim Benning would surely be able to recoup some assets for expiring contracts and veterans.

      However, it’s fair to say that expectations for the deadline have since been tempered, as the Canucks re-signed defenceman Erik Gudbranson and made public statements that they might not want to or be able to trade Chris Tanev, Alex Edler, Ben Hutton or Thomas Vanek.

      With that in mind, let’s go down the list and see who may or may not still be in a Canuck uniform when the deadline rolls around at 12 p.m. PST.

      Thomas Vanek

      Vanek has had a good season for the Canucks, turning a $2 million contract into 41 points in 61 games. It’s actually favourable to what Rick Nash has done this year and while Nash got the New York Rangers a bounty from the Boston Bruins, don’t expect Vanek to get the same kind of return if he’s moved.

      Chances he’s dealt: 5/5

      We’re going to say it’s a certainty the veteran forward is moved. His contract expires at the end of the year and Jim Benning is already under the gun for signing UFA-to-be Erik Gudbranson. He absolutely has to get something for Vanek.

      If traded, what does he get in return?

      Last year, Vanek was having a better season before the deadline than he is now, and he fetched an AHLer and a third-round draft pick. Not bad, but certainly not the home run Canucks fans have been hoping for. Another third-round pick would be found money for the Canucks and they had better take it if it’s on the table. A fourth seems more likely.

      Chris Tanev

      One of the Canucks’ best players, there have been rumblings about whether Vancouver needs to deal the defenceman as he’s 28 and has two years left on his contract. It’s fair to ask whether the Canucks will be ready to contend when his deal expires and so moving him when he’s at his most valuable is for the best.

      Chances he’s dealt: 1/5

      He’s hurt, which complicates things, but even more important is the fact that Benning and Linden seem incredibly averse to moving on from one of their best players. Maybe they change their tone in the offseason, because he’s a valuable asset they can’t afford to lose for nothing in two years.

      If traded, what does he get in return?

      It would be a good haul, as the Canucks would have to get something in the neighbourhood of a first-round pick and a decent prospect. That return will only get worse as he gets closer to his deal expiring.

      Alex Edler

      There were rumblings around the league that Edler could be traded, possibly to Tampa Bay. He has one year left on his contract after this season. He’s turning 32. And while he’s been an absolute rock for the Canucks, it’s fair to ask whether his value is currently as high as it’ll ever be.

      Chances he’s dealt: 1/5

      Unlike Tanev, he has a full no-trade clause, and has indicated that he doesn’t want to go anywhere, which is well within his rights.

      If traded, what does he get in return?

      You’d have to think it’d be a first or second rounder, along with a solid prospect.

      Michael Del Zotto

      Another defenceman with a contract that will be up sooner than later (although not soon enough for many Canucks fans). If he’s not dealt today, Benning and co. will have to listen to radio shows trying to force him to move DZ for a calendar year. His contract expires after next season, and while he’s been somewhat of a whipping boy for Canucks fans, there was talk that he’d garnered some interest around the league.

      Chances he’s dealt: 3/5

      If Benning were able to deal Del Zotto and get out of the logjam that’s currently blocking up the Canucks’ blueline, Canucks fans would be thrilled, even if the return were subpar.

      If traded, what does he get in return?

      A fourth-round pick. It’s hard to think there’s a huge market out there for a defenceman with 18 points in 62 games and rough underlying numbers.

      Ben Hutton

      The 24-year-old rearguard has been firmly ensconced in Travis Green’s doghouse this season, having been scratched numerous times.

      Chances he’s dealt: 2/5

      Jim Benning would rather not deal his 24-year-old asset. But some contend that something must be done on the crowded blueline. If he’s not able to move some of his veterans, shouldn’t Benning pull the trigger on Hutton, who the team seems to have lost some faith in?

      If traded, what does he get in return?

      A team on the bubble of playoff contention might be tempted to throw a second-rounder to the Canucks for the puck-moving defenceman, who’s posted some of the best underlying numbers among Canucks blueliners.

      Anders Nilsson

      Is there a market for the Canucks’ backup netminder? There might have been when the Philadelphia Flyers saw both their ‘tenders go down with injury, but the Detroit Red Wings swooped in and dealt Petr Mrazek to Philly.

      Chances he’s dealt: 2/5

      It would be a good idea for the Canucks to see what they could get for Nilsson, who’s had an up-and-down season. But there doesn’t seem to be much of an appetite out there for any goalies, much less a backup who has been inconsistent.

      If traded, what does he get in return?

      A fifth-round pick.

      Sven Baertschi

      A mainstay on the Canucks’ first line for much of the year, the team needs to decide what to do with Baertschi, who becomes a restricted free agent this July. There’s been talk that management won’t want to give him the raise he’s going to command.

      Chances he’s dealt: 2/5

      There hasn’t been much talk about the Canucks moving Baertschi, but if the team gets a decent offer for the forward, they’d have to consider it.

      If traded, what does he get in return?

      It would take something pretty attractive to get Benning to move Baertschi, as the deal that brought the forward to Vancouver is generally regarded as one of Benning’s best. But his 29 points in 50 games is somewhat underwhelming for an NHL first-liner. It could be hard to get a return that Benning would be satisfied with.

      Maybe a second-rounder and a prospect? Hard to see a team parting with that, though. 

      Follow @ncaddell on Twitter, and feel free to call him out when he's wrong about all this.