An NHL GM is always open to ways of improving their team. A roster may look set or a cap-crunch too restraining for any movement but then a miraculous trade is pulled off. Last year we saw the return of the player for player trades made by teams who could mutually improve their rosters in the now, like the Colorado/St.Louis swap last season.
So who has what the Canucks need right now in ample supply, and what do we have to offer?
I could see Lou Lamoriello inquiring about either of our goalies and Keith Ballard when the playoffs get out of reach for NJ and he realizes that not even the captain's C is enough to keep Zach Parise in the swamp.
How would that break down?
Ideally the Canucks could rid themselves of two bad contracts in Ballard and Luongo in return for Parise, Johan Hedberg and Anton Volchenkov. I know, it's a pipe dream, not even Mike Gillis is that good, right? Well, hold that thought. Volchenkov for Ballard is a saw-off. The Canucks could use Volchenkov's shot blocking and physical play and New Jersey desperately need someone on the back end who can carry the puck. Luongo's lengthy deal might actually be a good thing as Jersey might actually appreciated having a player commited long term, and Lou might waive his NTC to go to a team that's not too far from playoff contention and situated in the Eastern time zone. Hedberg needs to be moved to offset the crease shuffling on both sides, and his professionalism and work ethic would be nice for Cory Schneider to work with. Martin Brodeur is a UFA next season and is looking like he may have held on too long. They have to be looking for a succession plan in net in NJ.
Parise and Volchenkov for Ballard and Lou might sound lopsided to Canuck fans but consider that there's a risk Parise walks at season's end as a UFA, and if you think you're disappointed in Ballard's performance check the NJ message boards for their thoughts on Volchenkov.
Lamoriello's hands might be tied right now because of Jersey's financial issues but this looks like one of a couple places Gillis might be able to offload Luongo and there's no way both Canuck goalies can stay past this season.