NHL: Canucks will trade Lack or Markstrom, looking for 2nd rounder

The Vancouver Canucks will have to act fast ahead of June 26's NHL Entry Draft, where they own just one selection in the first 60 picks.

Eddie Lack has made huge strides

Eddie Lack has made huge strides

The Vancouver Canucks are about to look very different, while remaining pretty much the same.

Because by the time the NHL Draft rolls around next week – and with July’s free agency period arriving on a speedboat – the Canucks may have decided to move on from one or two key-cog players on expiring contracts, like the versatile, lanky Shawn Matthias or Brad Richardson, the swiss army knife who missed nearly half of last season with a foot injury.

Both players will want money or term, and the Canucks may not be able to offer either.

Then there’s the goaltending. Despite massive strides by both Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom last season – Lack supplanting the bruised Ryan Miller as Vancouver’s No. 1 for months, Markstrom ascending to all-star status with the Utica Comets – and a comparably stale year from Ryan Miller, it appears Jim Benning is committed to trading one of his younger netminders.

And by appears, I mean, it’s happening.

“I want to keep an older, experienced goalie in Ryan, as that guy,” Benning told TSN 1040 radio on Wednesday. “And then we’re gonna decide on (keeping/trading) either Lack or Markstrom. I don’t feel comfortable going into the season with two younger goalies that haven’t had the experience of being the No. 1 guy, especially in this marketplace.

Read: ‘Taking on Vancouver’s New Goalie Controversy, and Its Absolute ‘Lack’ of Controversy‘ by Kolby Solinsky, Black Press (May 13, 2015)

“Ryan will for sure be back,” Benning continued. “I think there’s like three goalies that are backup goalies for other teams, that are in the marketplace. Outside of maybe one other goalie, I think our goalies (Lack/Markstrom) are the next best.”

Benning lamented for a second on the difficulty of moving goaltenders in the National Hockey League, where desires are high but the nerve is soft – “Even though teams need goalies, they don’t want to give up a lot to get them,” he said – before concluding that the Canucks will do what’s best for the organization. And what’s best is recovering something for either of their youngest goaltending assets, it seems.

(The Canucks also have Joacim Eriksson in the AHL, and drafted American national Thatcher Demko in the second round of last year’s NHL Draft. Demko was the top-rated junior goalie in 2014 and has completed two stellar years with the NCAA’s Boston College Eagles.)

It’s believed the Canucks are seeking a second-round pick for this year’s draft in return for Eddie Lack – maybe something more, depending on what the Swede’s value is around the league – after they traded away their own after-30 pick to the Calgary Flames in March, for Sven Baertschi.

But as Benning notes, shopping either Markstrom or Lack will be tricky and the finished product may have more to do with what’s happening elsewhere than what the Canucks are offering. Ottawa is expected to trade either Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner, the L.A. Kings will either trade or re-sign able backup Martin Jones, and the Rangers have stud second-fiddle Cam Talbot to dangle, with Henrik Lundqvist a lock between New York’s pipes.

In a draft this deep, where once-predicted first-rounders could easily slip to the middle or maybe the end of the second round, getting back any selection in the first 45 is a notable haul. Teams won’t take losing their second-rounder likely – most wouldn’t have given up one for Sven Baertschi, even if the temptation was there, back in March.

So if another club in desperate need of a goaltender – Edmonton, Carolina, maybe even Calgary (according to Eric Duhatschek) – can pry Talbot from New York or is comfortable settling with Lehner or moving picks for Anderson, Vancouver will have to account for that.

That makes trading either Lack or Markstrom priority one for Jim Benning, with the draft just days away (June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida).

“From what I understand, the organization is happy with Markstrom – saw a lot of progress, has some confidence,” said analyst and former player Aaron Ward, also to TSN radio in Vancouver.

“What you have is a pretty good body of work by Eddie Lack, where if you’re interested in advancing something for your team – you want to get something of value to address something right now – I think Eddie Lack would get that return you’re looking for.”

VIDEO: Markstrom Stick Save (May 31, 2015)

VIDEO: Eddie Lack sticks it to Brad Richards (November 30, 2013)

VIDEO: Jacob Markstrom’s daylight robbery on Tyler Bertuzzi (June 1, 2015)

VIDEO: Eddie Lack denies a sure Jets goal (December 22, 2013)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

Central Saanich will investigate ways in which the municipality along with funding partners Sidney and North Saanich can financially support the Panorama Recreation Centre. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich to spell out options for financially supporting Panorama Recreation Centre

Municipality looks for best use of COVID-19 restart grant worth some $3.5 million

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Most Read