Oct 092010

Amidst much anticipation, elevated expectations and dreams of the team’s first Stanley Cup, the puck finally drops tonight for the Vancouver Canucks’ 2010/2011 season.

Can the Canucks live up to their top billing or will they wilt faster than Kate Gosselin’s career? They won’t answer those questions tonight. This team will be judged on the games they play this spring. But they need to get there first, and tonight is step one of that process.

As we count down the minutes to game time, here are some links to tide you over:

Oct 052010

Cue Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA”.

The Canucks have traded Shane O’Brien and Dan Gendur to the Nashville Predators for Ryan Parent and Jonas Andersson. The Canucks have placed Parent on waivers.

I realize it’s odd to have traded for Parent and then immediately placing him on waivers so there may be more to this transaction than meets the eye. But for now, let’s assume that this is a pure hockey trade, plain and simple.

Assuming Parent doesn’t get claimed on waivers, this is some shrewd asset management by Mike Gillis. SOB cleared waivers yesterday and seemed destined to spend the season in Manitoba. Because he would’ve had to pass through re-entry waivers – and the Canucks would’ve been on the hook for half of his cap hit ($800K) if claimed – it was unlikely he would have seen NHL ice this season.

In Parent, the Canucks get a former 1st round draft pick and a player perhaps known more for his leadership qualities than anything else. (In other words, he’s the anti-O’Brien.) Nashville drafted him 18th overall in 2005, the same draft class as the late Luc Bourdon. In fact, Parent was on Team Canada with Bourdon in 2006 and 2007 when they won gold at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

But the kicker in this trade is that Parent is only 23 years old. While he hasn’t been able to translate his success in junior into an NHL career yet, he’ll at least get a good opportunity to develop under Gillis’ program. IMHO, he vaults to the top of the Canucks’ defensive prospects depth chart. Unlike SOB, who’s scheduled to be a UFA at the end of this season, Parent is signed until the 2011/2012 season at a cap hit of $925K and is still an RFA after that. In a couple of years when Alex Edler’s contract comes up, we could very well see guys like Parent, Lee Sweatt, Kevin Connauton and Chris Tanev pushing for a roster spot as well.

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