Sports

Should Canucks Trade Mason Raymond?

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So, come on and let me know, should Raymond stay or should he go!? Seriously, I’m a little bit torn on this one. Gillis? Gilman? Somebody...

Like I said, I’m a bit torn on whether the Canucks should trade Mason Raymond or not. I - much like the rest of this city - have been rather harsh on Raymond over the years. Be it with his inconsistent play or inability to stay on two feet, I was just never really sold on the guy.

Then he goes and nearly becomes a quadriplegic during the Canucks cup run, and has a season like last year... I can’t describe in words how bad it was, but I think his stats give you a good idea. During the 2011-12 campaign Raymond had 10 goals and 10 assists in 55 miserable games for the Canucks. Those numbers came primarily playing in the top six too. This drop in production had little to do with poor linemates or a lack of opportunity.

Fast forward to January 19th of 2013 and for reasons beyond most of this city Raymond’s still on the Canucks for the lockout shortened 48 game season. Assistant GM Laurence Gilman hit him with reduced salary arbitration in the summer to keep him in town. Didn’t even know such a thing had existed to that point...

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With Raymond stuck on the roster, and his trade value at the beginning of the season non-existent, all I could do was hope for the best. I didn’t expect it, but god damn I sure did hope for it. And by god, he delivered. He’s having arguably his best season in the NHL as a matter of fact, and he’s doing it all without Kesler. Hell, he even did a little of it playing in the injured Kesler’s center spot on the second line.

Now I’m torn on whether I want him on the team or not. Sort of. Speculation is rampant that he could be on his way out. Especially after he missed Monday’s game against the Sharks with a phantom upper body injury that came out of left field. This has me wondering if it’s worth it, or whether it’s in the Canucks best interests to keep him. They’ve less than 24 hours to make that decision. I can only hope (I really shouldn’t) that they read this piece before making their decision. I’ll settle for you - whoever you are - reading this right now though.

Raymond’s Stats

Career: 363 Games Played 79G 95A 174P +22

2012-13: 35 Games Played 9G 9A 18P +7

Fancy Stats ‘13: Corsi Rel Qoc: 0.062 Corsi Qoc: -0.930 Corsi Rel: -3.2 Corsi On: 3.42 On Ice SH%: 10.5 On Ice SV%: 918 PDO: 1023 Pens Taken/60mins: 0.7 Pens Drawn/60mins: 0.4 Offensive Zone Start %: 61.5 Offensive Zone Finish %: 50.2

Why The Canucks Should Keep Raymond

As the Chicago Blackhawks proved in their Stanley Cup run, you can never have too much depth. Even on the wing. At the rate David Booth gets hurt, not to mention Kesler, the argument could be made that the Canucks need to have Raymond just in case either happens during the playoffs. And by just in case, I mean when it happens. Hope i’m not jinxing things, but seriously, it’s getting ridiculous.

He’s proven he can play relatively well at center, if needed. His run at center wasn’t great, but (correct me if I’m wrong) I’m pretty sure he had two goals during his time at center. Oddly enough he didn’t look out of place either.

After spending all this time developing Raymond, and putting up with some bordering on AHL level play along the way, it doesn’t make all that much sense to let him go. If I was GM (be thankful I’m not), Raymond would have been gone a long time ago. But noooooooo, Gillis shows faith and it pays off. He’s been one of the Canucks best players all season. Trading him before what we all hope is a long playoff run seems kind of, well, dumb. ish.

Why the Canucks Should Trade Him

Admit it, even when Raymond had that 25 goal season in 09-10 he kind of sucked. Other than this year, Raymond’s time with the Canucks has been... trying. If this season is a flash in the pan, and he’s not capable of keeping up this level of play, why not take advantage of his hypothetically inflated trade value?

Raymond is set to become a UFA this offseason. His value’s never been higher. Whether it’s with Vancouver or somewhere else Raymond’s in for a considerable raise. Due to the Canucks cap situation, I have my doubts he stays in Vancouver. Unless he gives Vancouver a serious hometown discount, which I also doubt will happen if he’s ever read twitter. We’ve been pretty hard on the guy the last two years, haven’t we...

When Booth comes back from injury, if he ever does, the Canucks will have way too many marginal second line wingers. The ceiling with Booth is a lot higher than it is with Raymond, and there’s that whole long term commitment thing too.

If Ryane Clowe can land two 2nd round picks and 3rd with his 0 goals this season, just imagine what Gillis could get for Raymond’s 9...

He could be the trade chip that lands a third line center. Need I say more?

The Verdict: Unless moving Raymond lands the Canucks a top notch third line center, somewhere in the neighbourhood of a Steve Ott kind of guy, I’m not too keen on his being traded. When the Blackhawks won the Cup, it was because they had three scoring lines. There was no shutting them down offensively. If the Canucks are in a position to keep Raymond, and play him on the third line, that’s serious depth. Besides, it doesn’t get brought up very often, but this guy is an amazing penalty killer.

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