Photo credit: Sportsnet
Not that GM Mike Gillis needed to be reminded of the Canucks’ lack of depth at center, but just to be sure, it was put in plain view in their 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks last night. Alain Vigneault tried Alex Burrows, Chris Higgins and his pack of gum at center. Even Henrik Sedin took some defensive zone faceoffs, which, if you’re aware of the team’s use of zone starts, flies in the face of their *ahem* process.
Gillis finally pulled the trigger on a trade this morning, acquiring Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars. In return, the Canucks sent prospect Kevin Connauton and a 2nd round draft pick to the Stars.
At 5’9″, Roy is a small center, but can provide offense for the offensively-starved Canucks. Despite his size, he’s averaged 0.77 points per game in the NHL, including a 4-season stretch with the Buffalo Sabres in which he recorded 20+ goals and 40+ assists in each one. This season, he has 18 assists and 22 points in 30 games with the Stars, including an active 4-game point streak in which he has 6 points (1G-5A). More importantly, it gives Vigneault additional options, especially with Ryan Kesler expected back in the next week.
The Canucks do give up a once-promising offensive prospect on defense in Connauton. But with the defense core of Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison and Alex Edler all signed long-term, Chris Tanev sure to re-signed to an extension this summer, and 2011 5th rounder Frankie Corrado progressing leaps and bounds this season, Connauton’s opportunity to move up to the big club was limited.
Roy is a rental player. His contract, which carries a $4 million cap hit, expires at the end of the season, and he’s expected to test the free agent market this summer. In the end, the Canucks gave up some future depth to hopefully fill a present need.
You be the judge: Was this a good trade?