Canucks additions at the trade deadline: speculations

Don’t look for Canucks GM Mike Gillis to make any big moves during tomorrow’s trade deadline. If the Canucks we’re going to pick up Rick Nash for 8 draft picks and the entire Chicago Wolves roster, they would have done it by now.

If recent history is any indication, Gillis will make a few tinker trades, a la previous years (Chris Higgins, Max Lapierre and Andrew Alberts).

Here are a few low cost, depth players that might be wearing a Canuck uniform come 12 o’clock tomorrow:

Travis Moen, LW/RW, Montreal Canadiens: The Canucks have more forward depth this season than at other point in their 40 year history. But with the rash of injuries that beset the team during the playoffs last year, Mike Gillis is now acutely aware that depth wins out in the ‘war of attrition’ that is the Stanley Cup playoffs. Moen has good size, offensive upside, playoff experience and he kills penalties – sounds like the perfect deadline addition for a team looking toward a long playoff run.

Mark Eaton, D, New York Islanders: Eaton is a big-bodied, defensive defenseman who is often criticised for his lack of physical play. A character guy, with a Stanley Cup ring, Eaton makes an attractive, low cost option for the Canucks. He’s a stretch to play in the top four, but a great insurance policy for the top six.

Steve Ott, W/C, Dallas Stars: The Province had a seven page write up on the possibility of Steve Ott joining the Canucks today, and although he would make a great fit, the Dallas win over the Canucks on Sunday put the Stars in the eighth, and final playoff spot. It’s hard to imagine the Dallas is too anxious to part with a key, top six forward who is signed at a reasonable contract for the next two seasons – unless of course, someone is willing to over pay.

Mikael Samuelsson, RW, Florida Panthers: Sounds crazy right? But I’m not sure Mike Gillis ever wanted to get rid of Samuelsson. He’d bring some nice scoring punch to the third line, added depth, and familiarity with the system. 

Bryan Allen, D, Carolina Hurricanes: Given the steep prices paid for Hal Gill, Nik Grossman and Pavel Kubina in the lead up to the deadline, Allen could go for a first rounder, plus. Although the Canucks would love to add another top four defenseman, the asking price for Allen might be too steep for a traditionally deadline stingy GM like Mike Gillis.

Ryan Malone, LW/RW, Tampa Bay Lightning: He’s a little pricey at 4.5 million, and it would cost a lot to get him out of Tampa Bay, but he is exactly what the Canucks are missing up front – a 20 goal, 50 point, power forward.

Paul Gaustad, C, Buffalo Sabres: His addition would certainly answer critics that say the Canucks aren’t big enough or tough enough. Gaustad is a great faceoff man who can play both wing and centre. Add some decent scoring punch with 17 points in 56 games, and you’ve got one of the most sought after players at this year’s deadline. However, the Sabres are only six points out of the playoffs, and it’s unclear if they’re going to be sellers.

Prediction: Canucks acquire Mark Eaton for 3rd and 5th round picks, and Travis Moen for a 2nd tier prospect and a 3rd round pick.

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