08 June 2010
So this past weekend was my buddy's bachelor party weekend. Not just one night, no, it was a whole weekend; and a glorious one at that.
The majority of the large group that I spent the weekend with are all huge Canuck fans. That maybe be actually one of the reasons we are all so close to each other, as we spend so much time together watching games together. So the topic of the team came up more than once in conversation throughout the weekend. On most offseason moves we'd like to see Gillis make, there was usually an overall agreement but I got quite a bit of backlash when I suggested that Mike Gillis trade away Mason Raymond.
First off, it's not because I don't like Raymond but my suggestion came because he may be one of the Canuck players that has the greatest trade potential.
Raymond is coming off a career year with 25 goals and 28 assists in 82 games this season. To put that into perspective, he only had 23 points total in 2008-2009. He spent most of the year on the second line with Kesler and Samuelsson and used his speed well for most of the year. It seemed when Raymond played well he looked confident and was driving hard to the net, if he hasn't playing well you could see him going wide. His speed allowed him to draw tons of penalties when the opposition couldn't contain him.
The downside that most people noticed was his post-season. In 12 games played he had 3 goals and 1 assist. While that may not be bad during the regular season, when the top line is being shut down, there comes a time when the 2nd line has to step up and make up for the lack of goals and I didn't feel that Raymond did that.
He's an RFA this year and made $760 000 this past season. I expect he's going to make somewhere in the range of 2 - 2.7 million dollars in his new contract.
When I suggested trading away Raymond to the group that I was with this weekend they were appalled by the suggestion. They acted like I almost suggested that we trade away Kesler.
So why did I suggest to trade him away?
With the emergence of the speedy Grabner, and *if* the Canucks can't sign a top 2 defencemen through free agency, then Mason Raymond may be one of the most attractive players that the Canucks could trade away.
Yes I will lament his loss of speed, but if that meant that we would get a good defenceman in return then maybe the trade would be worth it. I can get past my love for Raymond to see his trade potential and to me he's not untradeable. Unless Gillis thought Raymond was a key piece that was required to win a cup next year, I don't see why you wouldn't at least consider what he could be worth in a trade.
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