With Kevin Bieksa lost to a hand fracture(s) for another month, and now Alex Edler maybe gone for an extended period as well, the Canucks are in trouble. I’m not sure they might not be sellers at the deadline, trying to amass picks and prospects. Jim Benning is all about developing the farm system.
If they decide to trade for a defenceman to hold the fort and help through the playoffs, I wonder if there’s a trade fit for the Canadiens. It’s been bruited that Alexei Emelin might be a trade chip for Marc Bergevin (that’ll learn him to talk to Davrren Dronis), and he would actually be the kind of guy they’re looking for, they want a bit of toughness, some hitting on their blue line. Only Kevin Bieksa brings an edge back there, and he can’t do it all by himself.
These rumours have cooled off with Alexei on the shelf himself, but after sensationalized reports that he was out a minimum of six weeks, it's now revealed that his shoulder ailment will keep him out 'week to week'.
That pretty much squelches any chance of a trade involving Alexei, but if the trade talks had led anywhere, would the Canucks have flip;ed back a forward like Zack Kassian? He’s started producing again, but it’s still not unicorns and rainbows there. He might respond to a change of scenery like Dale Weise did. He’s apparently not keen to be pigeonholed as the team’s answer to any opposition heavyweight who wants to fight.
Shawn Matthias might be a good depth addition as a centre for the fourth line, or a winger who can skate and bang. He also has started producing again, so his trade value may be going up.
Could Chris Higgins make a comeback in Montréal? Would Marc Bergevin be interested in a defensively-oriented forward? Probably not.
Maybe Alex Burrows might be able to contribute, he’s healthy and having a better season than his nightmare last year, but I don’t see him as palatable to the Canadiens unless the Canucks retain some of his salary, his long-term deal is a bit of an albatross, but looks better this season now that he’s back on the top line, and Radim Vrbata has been moved off the Sedin line and down to the second.