Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman surprised a great many fans around the league on Wednesday when he revealed that not only were the Erik Karlsson trade talks back on in full force but that the Vancouver Canucks had also entered the mix. That of course left two questions as it pertains to the Canucks, why and how?
When it comes to why the answer may be a very complicated one. The Canucks have now for at least the past few seasons been moving in the direction of a roster rebuild under the guidance of former team president Trevor Linden and many members of their fan base that the Canucks should continue to stay the course. The team already has a lot of up and coming talent and even break out star Brock Boeser and those fans want to see the team continue to develop their young talent and build from the bottom up even if it means another, or possibly even a few, losing seasons on the horizon.
Unfortunately for that segment of the fan base and for Linden it seems that notorious Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini has other ideas in mind. Although it has never been confirmed the shocking resignation from Linden earlier this summer is believed to have been prompted by meddling ownership as well as a mandate to once again focus on making the playoffs in spite of the very mediocre state of their current roster. Many believe that Liden, who very much wanted to maintain his focus on a rebuild, was so furious with the meddling that he decided resigning was the only viable option for him. A push for a player like Karlsson would certainly better fit the vision of Francesco Aquilini but it would likely cost the Canucks some of their best young talent, it fact it's almost guaranteed to do so if this trade ever materializes.
So is there a world in which the Vancouver Canucks can even pull this off? Well NHL analyst Steve Dangle of Sportsnet appears to believe that there is in fact a way and he broke down exactly how the Canucks could make this deal a reality. First and foremost Dangle begins with the assumption that the Canucks would be able to sign Karlsson to a long term contract extension, a one year rental makes no sense for them at this stage, and here are the pieces he believes would have to go back the other way.
Sven Baertschi: The 25 year old Canucks forward is a former top 15 pick in the NHL draft and although he has never recorded more than 35 points in a single season he remains a valuable, and more importantly young, commodity for a rebuild Senators team.
Jonathan Dahlen: The former Ottawa Senators 2nd round pick was traded to the Canucks in an ill conceived trade for veteran Alex Burrows and this would allow the Senators to correct what has been widely regarded as a rather poor trade. Dahlen is only 20 years old and his age combined with his potential also makes him a valuable asset in a rebuild.
Olli Juolevi: Canucks fans may balk at the idea of giving up the former 5th overall pick in this trade but if you want a player like Karlsson you're going to have to pay up big. Juolevi not only fits the criteria the other 2 players did but he also plays on the blue line. He will never be a replacement for Erik Karlsson but he could be an asset to the Senators blue line for many years to come which is pretty good when you consider you are only giving up a guy who you have under contract for one more year, even if he is one of the best in the NHL.
Jett Woo: An early second round pick and another blue line prospect/. Much like Juolevi Woo could go on to have an impact on the Senators blue line for years to come and best of all he shoots right, if he develops into a quality NHLer he is the kind of player that is very hard to come by.
2019 2nd round pick: A pick to round out the deal and likely a fairly early 2nd round pick at that. The Senators have no 1st round pick in 2019 and this would likely look very sexy to a team that won't be picking early otherwise.
Now Senators fans may be thinking this isn't enough and they may very well be correct, but there one more key factor to this potential trade. With all these pieces in place the Canucks could also take on the contract on veteran forward Bobby Ryan, a catastrophic contract that the Senators have been desperately trying to dump along with Karlsson.
What do you think of Dangle's proposed trade? Do you pull the trigger if you're the Senators? Do you do it if you're the Canucks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Daniel Lea-CSM-Zuma