2013 NHL Trade Deadline Winners #9: Vancouver Canucks

At 3:00 PM Pacific Time today, an NHL trade deadline that saw only 15 total trades (on deadline day) passed. Here, I will take a look at the deadline’s winners (including deals that were consummated leading up to the deadline), starting with #9, the Vancouver Canucks, and counting down to #1 with each blog.


The Canucks are winners because they desperately needed to add a player like Derek Roy, at minimum, and they did, without giving up anything too significant (a 2nd round pick and defenseman prospect Kevin Connauton), although Connauton is said to be a decent prospect. Roy, much like Mike Richards for the Kings except worse, has been progressively declining the last few seasons, going from “he might actually be better than just a second-line center–he might be a first line center!” to “well he’s definitely a second line center!”, to even the Canucks’ General Manager who acquired him, Mike Gillis, describing his acquisition by saying “We really needed to add a third-line center,” or a “third or second line center.” (Quotes are paraphrased, by memory, not exact).

That’s right, Derek Roy has fallen all the way down past second line center, to somewhere in the limbo between 2nd and 3rd. I still think it’s a good acquisition because at the very least, even if he’s not a second line calibre center anymore, Roy still has the talent to be a really good third-line center (besides the faceoff ability), which is likely where he will be slotted in the Canucks lineup once Ryan Kesler returns from injury. And if Roy can be the guy that completes and ignites a third line of, say, Chris Higgins, (Derek Roy), and Jannik Hansen, that’s still a great pick-up for the Canucks because if that line can perform as well on the ice as it looks on paper, and if Ryan Kesler and the overrated David Booth can find some magic together on the second line, and if the Sedins can halt their apparent decline which no one is talking about this season and get back to winning games by themselves, which they don’t seem capable of doing anymore, the Canucks will be a very scary team.

Of course, that’s a lot of if’s, but the bottom line is that the Canucks desperately needed another top-six forward, and while they didn’t necessarily get one, a top-seven or top-eight type forward like Roy is really the least they could afford to add, and so luckily for them they did, and he should help them.

Unfortunately for the Canucks, they could have used a heck of a lot more help than just Derek Roy, and Mike Gillis let the team down by failing to add anyone else of consequence, even if just for the fourth line. He really should have been all over players like Jussi Jokinen, Steve Sullivan, Matt D’Agostini, and Raffi Torres given the cheap asking prices for all those players, but remarkably he wasn’t. What was he thinking? I can’t begin to answer that question. And I haven’t even gotten to the awful Roberto Luongo mess, which I touch on in my blog on Jonathan Bernier and the LA Kings, and the fact that Gillis should have already had the Canucks’ forward depth problems fixed months ago by trading Luongo (or Schneider).

But I can’t judge teams on what more they should have done but didn’t. Well I guess I could, but for the purposes of these blogs, I’m not. All I’m judging is what teams actually did, and Mike Gillis added a piece in Derek Roy who should, at least marginally, help his team, and in a trade climate as pathetic as the NHL’s recently, that’s more than most teams can say.

Written by Shark Circle