Hello Canuck fans. As we approach my favourite national holiday, the NHL Trade Deadline, anticipation grows and grows to a boiling point. Last year Nux GM Mike Gillis slipped a couple deals, that at the time appeared to be complimentary, in at the 11th hour. Max Lapierre and Chris Higgins ended up being instrumental parts of a Cup Run that fell just one game short. He chose not to make a blockbuster swap which probably would've included either, or both, Cory Schneider and Cody Hodgson, who are now two of the teams best players. This year, they might not be spaired, and the Vancouver fan base may just get that big-name player alot sooner than February 27th as well.
Rick Nash is being shopped. Full on. If this is true, he won't be on the shelf for long, and with injuries mounting and a month or so of uninspired played by his team, Gillis is likely preparing his best and highest offer, and it will have to be a high one.
If Nash is being shopped, 29 other teams in the league will throw their hats in the ring, and their are some pretty nice hats available.
Chicago has a plethora of young talent, as do the the Kings, but the major player has got to be Toronto. Leaf GM Brian Burke has assembled the deepest collection of young talent in the NHL, particularly on the blue line. A player like Nash, under contract no less, isn't often dealt, and you can bet he'll fetch a lot more than what Doug Wilson paid to scoop Joe Thornton from Boston. Howson can shoot the moon with Burke, and he'll happily empty the cupboards, but does the potential to add both parts of a top D pairing, two top six forward prospects and picks beat out Gillis' trump card: Cory Schneider?
The Leafs have more quantity and quality in all departments, except net, and if there is oen position that can take you from cellar dweller to playoff threat, it's goalie, and, if there's one goalie to do it, it's Cory Schneider.
In the next 24 - 72 hours Cory Schneider could be headed a little closer to his home, along with a prospect and pick or two, and this move still allows the Nux to hold on to the best third line centre in the league, Cody Hodgson.
If Howson asks for Schneider, prospects and picks, Gillis has to do it. What does keeping Schneider do anyway when we have already seen he won't get the playing time he deserves.