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Pretend Time - APR.18.08


Mike the Yankee

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<table border=0 align=center width=80%><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/07/mikeblog.gif border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>Pretend you're Dave Nonis and it's the trade deadline. Your team is floundering left and right, your defense corps is a mess and Jay Feaster gives you a call. You guys get to talking about the kids, golf averages and this last season of Lost and then come up with a wacky idea: he'll trade you his 51 point getter (and nifty -25 +/- guy) Brad Richards for Luc Bourdon, Cory Schneider and the first, second and third round picks in the (presumably) 2008 draft.

Feaster, sensing he's dealing with a desperate man, soon counters with adding Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler to the mix [note: since no one knows what the proposed new offer was, let's assume for the sake of argument that Edler cancels out Bourdon and Kesler replaces the 1 and 2 picks, so now it's Richards for Edler, Kesler, Schneider and a third rounder. Feaster chucks in an extra winger or, more likely, some defenseman for good measure.]

End result is as you know: Richards/Holmqvist move for to Dallas for Smith, Halpern, Jokinen and a fourth rounder in next year's draft. Nonis does nothing, the Canucks miss the playoffs and Nonis now misses (maybe) his job.

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/03/mar1508_stars02_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=1 hspace=4>My question: would anyone fault Nonis for not pulling the trigger on this?

This isn't a knock against Richards, he's definitely worth the high package. But since we know Vancouver is damn near in shambles and was going to go through some significant upheaval before Nonis was let go anyway, would anyone have been happy with the few bright beacons in this darkness all being moved at once? Kesler and Edler should be building blocks for the next chapter of this team. We know Schneider is projected to be an future blue chip goaltender and his first season numbers in the AHL would indicate he's on track. And then anywhere between one and three picks to compensate because we can't add a player like Jokinen to the final counter offer?

All for one guy? A guy who was having a horrible season on a team with a lot more offensive talent then Vancouver did. A guy who in Vigneault's defense-first system could have become just like Naslund?

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/02/jan3108_bolts11_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>I certainly don't blame Feaster for trying and I really don't blame him for coming back to the table to ask for proven players. I don't even blame him for rejecting Vancouver's final offer whatever it was.

But by not budging on a trade with these names at this point in the Canuck's history knowing what we know now? We owe Nonis a huge, huge "thank you".

Thank you Dave. </td></tr></table>

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