Canucks do nothing on trade deadline day

Dec 19 2017, 8:27 pm

One of the most important trade deadlines in Canucks history has come and gone, and the Canucks have done… Nothing.

Well not nothing, they did lose Adam Cracknell on waivers to the Edmonton Oilers. But nothing positive.


GM Jim Benning had a chance to set his team up for the future by dealing some valuable players on expiring contracts. Dan Hamhuis was the best defenceman available, but he did not move. Radim Vrbata, the team’s MVP last season, did not move.

Benning was also unable to get anything for the so-called “garage sale 7”: Adam Cracknell, Linden Vey, Matt Bartkowski, Yannick Weber, Ronalds Kenins, Chris Higgins, and Brandon Prust.

To walk away without any draft picks or prospects is a colossal failure on the part of Canucks management. These are harsh words, but sadly, it’s the truth.


Hamhuis has a no-trade clause, but was willing to move, albeit to only a couple of teams. Vrbata has a limited no-trade clause, but was also willing to move.

Getting something, anything, for these players is better than nothing. Nothing is what the Canucks will get in four months when Hamhuis and Vrbata become free agents.

There is a chance that Dan Hamhuis could be re-signed, but he also spoke candidly with reporters about being open to leaving and coming back.

Dallas appeared to be the team most interested in Hamhuis. They were in need of defence, but in the end settled for Kris Russell from the Flames.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that Boston and Pittsburgh were interested in Hamhuis. Meanwhile, Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy reported Chicago’s interest in the veteran blueliner. Pierre LeBrun reported that Washington had interest too.

Hamhuis had right to pick his destination. Bob McKenzie reported on TSN that Hamhuis was willing to go to Dallas or Chicago, but deals from Eastern Conference teams were better.

*Update: TSN’s report has been confirmed by Hamhuis and the Canucks. Hamhuis was willing to go to Chicago or Dallas.

I hope that fans don’t turn on Hamhuis. The product of Smithers, BC has been an excellent player for six seasons in Vancouver. He turned down more money from elsewhere to become a Vancouver Canuck back in 2010, and negotiated a no-trade clause. His contract, no-trade and all, has been a bargain for the Canucks.

It’s not Hamhuis’ duty to waive his no-trade clause to a large list of teams. This is not a Ryan Kesler situation. Hamhuis wants to stay, it’s management that wanted to move him. If his list consisted of Chicago and Dallas, two contenders with interest in him, that is more than sufficient.

News on Radim Vrbata was a lot quieter from insiders today, but he had to submit a list of eight teams to the Canucks. Of course, that can be any eight teams, including teams that aren’t interested in him. If Vrbata lists just non-playoff teams, will they want a 34-year-old on an expiring contract? Highly unlikely.


So the Canucks will carry on, status quo, 8 points back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 21 games remaining.