End of #21?
Is this the last year of Mason Raymond as a Vancouver Canuck?
The end may be near for Raymond in Vancouver.
After six years in Vancouver, Mason Raymond may be finishing his last season as a Canuck.
Nothing is set in stone, but it seems evident that Raymond will be a victim of numbers as the organization attempts to manage their contracts. Given that next year's salary cap will decrease to $64.3 million, the team needs to shed money and contracts considering their $62.9 million payroll for 2014.
This year Raymond has, at times, shown flashes of brilliance with his speed and hockey sense. But this year, like many others previously, the 27-year old has struggled with consistency and was quiet when the team needed his offense the most.
To date, Raymond has enjoyed four-game point streaks on two different occasions. Once in February and another in March. But the games in which Raymond utilizes his deadly speed have been far and few between. And with the team having just recently extended forward Chris Higgins to a 4-year contract, it puts Raymond in a pickle.
Given his natural talents and the lack of top-6 forwards for next year's free agency, it could also put him in a good position as an unrestricted free agent.
In past years, Raymond has been a 20-goal and 50-point player with the Canucks. And the fact that he should now be hitting his prime at 27, there could be serious cash thrown at Raymond that Vancouver won't be able to compete with.
With all this in mind, it's certainly possible the Canucks will trade negotiation rights for Raymond during the upcoming prospect draft. If Vancouver is willing to acknowledge that they may lose Raymond in the market, it's always wiser to get a draft pick for those negotiation rights than nothing at all.
As of now, Raymond is currently mired with a 4-game pointless streak and has been hampered by an injury. However, with the addition of Ryan Kesler expected soon, it could be the spark he needs to produce more offensively.
It just should be noted that in the next few weeks, Mason Raymond could very well be playing his last games as a Vancouver Canuck.