This should come as no surprise that I’m writing something of this nature; the Canucks will most definitely trade Radim Vrbata by the deadline and a strong month or so would yield a hefty return from a contender. Fellow Canucks Army and Vancity Buzz writer, Ryan Biech, wrote an article detailing a few destinations Radim Vrbata could land at the deadline. Moving Vrby to Washington for Madison Bowey tweaked my interest.
Yes, he was a Kelowna Rocket and yes he’s a promising defensive prospect and YES the Caps would be stupid to trade him but this early in his career would be the Canucks best chance to land him. Let’s discuss shall we?
So Radim Vrbata is still able to help someone this postseason but after seeing him go Patrick Swayze last season (and I’m not talking about Point Break) he clearly isn’t a Western Conference playoff performer. He’s having an average season considering he hasn’t been on the top line with the Twins and one would think the Horvat/Baertschi success would rub off eventually.
Last season with Henrik and Daniel, Vrby put up a 31 goal campaign and was a threat when they just let him shoot the puck. It doesn’t seem like he’s getting those same chances this year and when you don’t produce the way coach wants you to on the top line you lose opportunities to get back to that spot.
Don’t get me wrong, Vrbata still has that shot and his setups to Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi have led to their success. As Biech stated, the return for Vrbata is likely a 2nd and a B prospect. The Canucks need to accumulate picks again and after the first round you are just taking depth and starting to throw the darts at the board. With Washington as a trade partner, the 2nd rounder would most likely be towards the end of the round but honestly who cares? Flip it at the draft if you wanna move up in the first.
The Capitals will be a threat this year for the Cup and a natural goal scorer like Vrbata could help Washington in their journey through the East; you don’t actually think Ovechkin will score ALL their goals do you? Rental players tend to net quite a feast to the right team every year and overpaying is common, kind of like the current housing market in BC. Radim Vrbata won’t have to bang on that Capitals team so he can focus on putting pucks on net.
This B type prospect you speak of, well I don’t know how high Madison Bowey is on their depth chart but if the Canucks can manage to land this stud, they won’t regret it.
Bowey Captained the Kelowna Rockets within one goal of the Memorial Cup last season, eventually losing to Cole Cassels and the Oshawa Generals in OT of the Final. Madison has a heavy Shea Weber type shot and holds the line quite well.
This season Bows already has 3G and 13A through 39 games in Hershey; not bad for a first year pro. He isn’t afraid to get dirty and is very smart with the puck. A future power play QB, Bowey can instantly be put in the Canucks plans upon his addition. His last 2 seasons in Kelowna were pretty special and the puck often found the back of the net when he was on the ice.
Just going off the regular stats in Kelowna last year, Bowey had 17G and 43A, including 6 PPG and 2 SHG. He averaged just over a point per game with 1.03. He’s a leader in the dressing room, a fancy dresser and I hate the word but he’s a gamer. There were a handful of guys on that popular Rockets team that went above and beyond and he was near the top.
In Hershey this year, MB is having a pretty good advanced stat season as well. His GF% is 59.16 and he has a GF%Rel of 10.75, thanks AHL Prospect Stats! Vancouver should make this move soon, it kind of just makes sense.
The Canucks tend to miss out on natural talent right in their back yard year after year(Duncan Keith, Shea Weber, Milan Lucic) so at the very least, a second chance to redeem themselves is fine by me. I already went into great detail why they should have drafted Nick Merkley right here. Damon Severson from Devils was another miss they could have stolen but what do I know? He’s only on their top D pairing.
As the trade deadline inches closer, teams will get desperate but if the Canucks are smart, they offer this up early and get Bowey into the system. Frank Corrado wishes he had this opportunity. Missing the playoffs would be worth getting Bows in a Nucks uni and seeing this kid play all the time in Kelowna, he passes the eye test and we’ d be on the right path with him playing for us.
Knowing the Canucks, this won’t happen.
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