Ask Katie About the Canucks: What to do with the ‘D’?

[Every Monday, Katie Maximick takes your questions and gives her take on the Canucks in her own cantankerous style. If you have any questions about the Canucks, send it to her via Twitter (@KMaximick)]

Lee Sweatt

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If the theme of last week’s Ask Katie About the Canucks was the shootout and Vancouver’s recent slump, this week’s theme is about trades as the Canucks suffer from an injury-plagued blueline and the NHL’s February 28th trade deadline looms around the corner. But rather than speculate a lot (because frankly that’s all we can do when it comes to trade rumours), I’ll answer one and move on to the others.

Tyler (@ChiefsFanTy) asks: Should we trade for Gonchar or another d man for the Cup run?

Personally I don’t think we need to trade for a defenseman at all. We have enough; they’re just injured at the moment (Alberts, Rome, Salo, Edler). That being said we should be okay whenever they return, especially Salo and Edler, obviously the sooner the better. The blueline has a lot of depth and surprisingly I’m not worried (yet), mostly because I believe either Edler or Salo will be back in time, maybe even both if we’re lucky. It’s not time to hit the panic button because the team seems to be doing okay despite the injuries. What needs some work is secondary scoring. But that’s a different answer to an already asked question.

And speaking of Edler…

Chris (@Chris_Withers) asks: What powerplay configurations should the Canucks go with in Edler’s absence?

It’s most likely that Bieksa will be joining Ehrhoff on the top power-play unit for pretty obvious reasons. Bieksa has a right-handed shot and has had a great season so far. In my opinion he’s earned the spot over the others until either Edler or Salo return. Samuelsson played the point in the last game, and he could do so again if that’s what AV’s looking for. Also if Salo returns first obviously he’ll be on the top unit, but who knows when that will be. Ballard and Hamhuis clearly on the second unit, but Samuelsson could fit in there on the point as well. AV is unpredictable and could start juggling here. Some fans think Lee Sweatt (aka Rudy) should be given a shot on the second unit, but is that realistic or risky? What do you guys think?

Al (@theALmighty66) asks: What’s the name of the song played in Rogers Arena when VAN goes on the PP? I dig it!

I know one of them is a remix of Wolfmother’s “Joker and the Thief”, but can’t find the name (or footage) of the other one they play. You’ll have to ask DJ Dave for that one.

(@BEcanucks) asks: Could you try to explain why, according to the NHLPA survey, [NHL players] all want to play in Vancouver and think it’s overrated?

Because being “overrated” doesn’t take away from the team’s overall success or the liveability of the city they play in. Vancouver is considered overrated because it talks the talk during the regular season but doesn’t walk the walk in the playoffs. Unless the Canucks can get past the second round, they won’t be taken seriously by NHL players or fans of other clubs.

That being said, Vancouver’s a great city to play for in many ways. It has a fantastic, passionate fan base, the arena sells out every game, the city itself is one of the most beautiful in the world and the winters are mild. The team consistently makes the playoffs and is only getting better every year, so of course most players would want to be on the roster of a Cup-contending team. But to not be considered overrated the team has to go deeper in the playoffs, something I think all of us are hoping happens come April. “Overrated” is one of those words we Canucks fans hear quite a bit, whether it’s about our team or our #1 goalie (who was voted #1 in the same survey as the most difficult goalie to score on in the league). All we can do is hope to prove everyone wrong by going all the way.

There’s no hockey until Tuesday, so enjoy the rest of the All-Star break, Canucks fans!

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