Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Cookie, Nazzy and Some Trade Rumors

VCOE and stick in rink have posts today on Vancouver Canucks trade rumors circulating the internet.

First, VCOE posts a rumor from Spectors's involving Matt Cooke and the Pittsburgh Penguins:

“According to CKNW 980 AM radio out of Vancouver the Canucks are in talks with the Pittsburgh Penguins, to seal a deal that would send LW Matt Cooke to the Penguins for RW Michel Ouellet. This would free up $1 million in cap space for the Canucks and would bring some more grit and leadership to the Penguins.”
This rumor is intriguing because the Canucks don't have a lot of offensive forward prospects and this trade would address that problem. Besides freeing up cap space, Ouellet also brings some scoring touch. Last season, his rookie season, he had 32 points (16G-16A) in 50 games, though exactly half of those points came in his first 13 games.

The flip side of this trade is that the Canucks would lose the intangibles that Cooke brings. Last season's injury-plagued season aside, he has been one of the Canucks' grittiest and most versatile players. He has also proven to be a clutch playoff performer (video opens in new window) - the brutal, honest truth is that we can't say that about too many players on the team.

I understand that a trade like this, like an increasing number in the NHL's salary cap system, is about money. However, I don't think Cooke, who will make an average of $1.5 million per season for the three more seasons, is grossly overpaid. Considering what he brings to the team, I personally hope they keep him in the Free Willy jersey.

stick in rink also posts another rumor from Spector's, this one involving captain Markus Naslund and the still-unsigned Simon Gagne:

The stalled contract talks between Philadelphia Flyers GM Bob Clarke and the agent for center Simon Gagne has given rise to speculation Clarke may attempt to trade rather than re-sign Gagne.

Internet speculation last month claimed Gagne would be shipped to the Vancouver Canucks for Markus Naslund, but that makes little sense for either club.

The Canucks currently have almost $39 million committed to 17 players and must re-sign promising Ryan Kesler, find an affordable backup goalie for Roberto Luongo, and fill out the remainder of their 23-man roster. Dumping Naslund's $6 million in exchange for Gagne's anticipated $5 million per season saves the Canucks all of $1 million, not substantial enough to flesh out the roster and still allow for suitable "wiggle room" under the cap for next season.

As for the Flyers, it simply doesn't make sense for Clarke to trade away a 26-year-old who's seeking over $5 million per season for a 33-year-old winger who'll earn $6 million in 2006-07.
Why the Canucks do this trade:

Forget sentimentality in a salary cap system. Gagne is cheaper, younger and still has his best years ahead of him. Naslund's no-trade claus is a non-issue here as another rumor mentioned that he was willing to waive it to go to the Flyers.

Why the Canucks don't do this trade:

How much change is too much change? Already, 14 players that suited up for the team last season have switched jerseys. Does Dave trade his best player and captain as well? There must be some room for loyalty in this business, right?

Why the Flyers do this trade:

Forsberg has one year left on his contract and it's possible the Flyers want to make one big push for the Cup. They may be willing to give up a young player or two for Naslund to help themselves do so.

Remember when the Dallas Stars traded Jarome Iginla for Joe Nieuwendyk, then won the Cup? I bet the Stars don't regret that trade one bit.

Why the Flyers don't do this trade:

Bobby Clarke remembers that Gagne is cheaper, younger and still has his best years ahead of him.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 10:55 PM


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