The losing skid has been broken, we cover the Mats Sundin topic once again, try to figure out why the seats in the lower bowl have a variety of noticeable lack of bodies lately, wonder why our PK is lacking, and try to answer the question of why we just traded Mike Brown away to Anaheim in order to get Nathan McIver back (not that there is anything wrong with that).
Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have acquired defenceman Nathan McIver from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for right wing Mike Brown. McIver will report to Manitoba.
I’ll post more of my thoughts on this trade tonight.
[update: 02/04/2009, 6:54 PM]
Earlier this season, the Canucks waived Matt Pettinger because Mike Gillis was worried that someone would claim Mike Brown if he was waived instead. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was a money issue or an assets management issue. I mentioned that Pettinger was a decent NHL’er capable of putting a regular shift while Brown was on the roster purely for his toughness. And that’s pretty much how their seasons have played out.
That said, I’m as unsure today as I was 3 months ago whether that was the right move. I’m inclined to think that move was based purely on organizational need. Jannik Hansen made Pettinger redundant – plus, Hansen is turning out to be the more versatile player – and Brown’s 5 minutes and 0.55 fights per game played is no longer needed.
What the Canucks need now is some depth on defense and Nathan McIver provides that. Shane O’Brien is still in the doghouse or perhaps trade bait if you believe Pierre McGuire, who mentioned it on TEAM 1040 this morning. Rob Davison is only okay as a no. 6/7 defenseman and Lawrence Nycholat seems to follow in Sami Salo’s footsteps injury-wise. There’s not a lot of options from Manitoba either besides Nolan Baumgartner and Zach Fitzgerald.
Or more simply, maybe this is a roster management move. Nycholat is on the IR right now, but if he’s healthy, the Canucks need to clear a roster spot for him. Instead of waiving Brown and losing another player for nothing, they traded him and filled an organizational need at the same time.
By the way… To play the “Cam Neely game“, consider this – the Canucks traded Matt Cooke to get Pettinger, waived Pettinger to keep Brown, and now traded Brown for McIver, who the Canucks also waived in the preseason. So in the end, we traded Cooke for McIver.
Because I’m on the road, I missed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. I’m not complaining (it was probably a good thing). Still, here are some random thoughts on what has transpired so far this week.
On the injuries:
It took all of two weeks before Sami Salo and Pavol Demitra suffered their first injuries of the season. Like Alanah said, only Kyle Wellwood benefits from those injuries. And maybe Jason Krog (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province). The scary thing is, the top part of the Canucks lineup is already becoming reminiscent of last year’s.
Darcy Hordichuk was at practice yesterday and should be ready to go tomorrow which means Mike Brown will probably return to the press box.
And speaking of Mike Brown…
Part of the reason Matt Pettinger was sent to the Manitoba Moose was because there were rumblings that a few teams were interested in Mike Brown and that Brown would be claimed if he was sent down. Brown stayed, of course, but has only appeared in 2 games with ice-times of 3:16 and 3:37 minutes. Because Tampa Bay claimed Pettinger off re-entry waivers, the Canucks are on the hook for half of Pettinger’s salary and cap hit.
There are a couple of ways to look at this.
If Pettinger had stayed, his cap hit would have been $1 million. Brown’s cap hit is $522,250, but add $500,000 the Canucks are on the hook for (half of Pettinger’s $1 million cap hit) and that 13th forward roster spot now comes at a cap cost of $1,022,250 plus losing Pettinger as an asset.
The other way to look at this is that the team actually saves money from this transaction. Combined, the team was paying $1,622,250 for one player on the Canucks roster and one player on the Moose roster. Now, they only need to pay out $1,072,250 (Brown’s $522,250 and Pettinger’s $550,000), a savings of $550,000.
However, I think the bigger issue is the asset management issue. Is Brown that much more valuable than Pettinger?
Brown’s value to the team is his energy and toughness, and besides getting into a couple of fights in the two games he’s played so far, he hasn’t provided much else. Plus, with Hordichuk and Rypien already on the team, did the Canucks need a third “enforcer” on the roster? In an ideal scenario, we should never see all three in the lineup at the same time.
At least Pettinger is capable of playing a regular shift. He’s not flashy by any means, but he can adequately play on the third or fourth line and the penalty-kill. He might not score 20 goals again, but I would dare say that he has better hands than Mike Brown.
After the Canucks lost Nathan Maciver to waivers, Mike Gillis said he didn’t want to lose another player to nothing. Well, oops. I suppose either Brown or Pettinger would have been claimed. The question is, did the Canucks try to keep the right one?
- Luongo regains his calm, focus (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks add grit, hope goals will follow (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks will bar the door (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- Brown goes here, there and everywhere… (Vancouver Province)
- Brown, Wellwood survive (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun)
- Wellwood makes final cut (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- O’ Brien shakes off road rust in practice (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- Hodgson has high hopes for next season (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- Better picture on PPV, but higher price (Vancouver Sun)
- Home renovation (Guts Mctavish, vancouver.24hrs.ca)
- Sniper a good fit for Moose (Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun)
- Bourdon remembered by teammates, club (Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun)
- Canucks, Lightning complete four-player swap (Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail)
- Not a Jovo Cop, more a Shane O’Cop (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- Scorer Michel Ouellet in minors for now (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- GM rethinks final roster plans (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- An about face move for an in-your-face guy (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province)
- Prized first-round pick Hodgson sent back to junior for ‘a little bit of seasoning’ (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Luongo’s C could stand for many things (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province)
- The C still has plenty of shine (Tim Wharsby, Globe and Mail)
- What to expect (24 Hours)