Canucks stumble, again, at trade deadline

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Time to restart

First, a confession: hearing that Roberto Luongo had been traded had me quite excited. Not because I dislike him—to the contrary, he’s been one of my favourite Canucks since his arrival, and when it was trendy to hate Luongo and call Schneider our guy, I was in deep in Luongo’s camp.

However, despite my article just over two weeks previous saying that the Canucks could still make the playoffs, it has become apparent that the Canucks’ holes are too big to fix; now it seems all but impossible that the Canucks make the playoffs.

Something about the team seems irreparably broken, with an inability to score, and an even more frustrating penchant for giving away goals. This, along with rumours of Ryan Kesler wanting out, makes it more and more apparent that this team needs a rebuild, or at least some kind of reboot.

I thought that the trade of Luongo was the trigger of this new beginning. The Canucks actually got a fairly decent return for the formerly untradeable Luongo with prospects Shaun Matthias and Jacob Markstrom, who will battle fellow young goalie Eddie Lack for starter, in return.

Much of that excitement evaporated on the following day, trade deadline, when GM Mike Gillis made no further moves, unless you consider moving recently acquired depth d-man Raphael Diaz for a fifth round pick a major move. Either General Manager Mike Gillis or Canucks ownership were too scared to pull the trigger, or no teams were willing to offer the returns that Kesler should be able to grab, despite reports before the deadline claiming the Pittsburgh Penguins would do anything to nab the former Selke winner.

Now, the Canucks are in some unfortunate middle ground; they are certainly at least slightly worse than before the Luongo trade, giving up one the best goaltenders in the league for two role players. Although much of the core is intact, the team at this point seems lucky if it wins a game. And on the other hand, despite adding two young pieces from Florida, they are not much closer to the inevitable rebuild having done nothing to trade for picks or prospects (aside from Diaz for a fifth.)

Gillis is playing this as if he still pushing for the playoffs, even though a recent shutout loss to Phoenix and a 6–1 whopping from Dallas — teams the Canucks need to catch — make this seem all the more a pipe dream. The just looks more and more dejected every game.

But with little choice else, I will still cheer for the Canucks to make the playoffs, defying all probabilities at this point. They are not yet building for the future, so hopefully some kind of positive comes out of this season. Or at least some wins.

Or at least some goals.