For the second time in as many years, the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks have made a trade. The Flames sent 2011 second round pick Markus Granlund to Vancouver for 2013 first round pick Hunter Shinkaruk.
The initial online reaction I’ve seen has been “LOL Canucks,” but that was followed by “Why would they made that trade?”, referring to both sides. Here’s a quick glance at why each side would want to make the swap.
Weisbrod was CGY AGM when Baertschi/Granlund were there and Shinkaruk passed over by CGY to draft Emile Poirier. Weisbrod now VAN AGM.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 22, 2016
John Weisbrod was Calgary’s assistant general manager from June 2011 until December 2013, having been hired just after the 2011 NHL Draft. While he wasn’t with the Flames when they drafted Granlund (or Sven Baertschi), he was the main player development contact and the guy in charge of the farm system.
He joined the Canucks as vice-president of player personnel in July 2014 and since then the Canucks have acquired a pair of players – Baertschi and Granlund – that Weisbrod saw a ton of when he was with the Flames.
Granlund? He’s a fantastic AHL player and has probably earned a shot at a full-time NHL job, but he’s probably run out of runway with the Flames and will be subject to waivers next season. If he wasn’t going to be a regular NHLer, it was probably time for him to go, and the Canucks have an immediate need for centers.
Hand? Meet glove.
The John Weisbrod connection is pretty obvious, but here’s one on the Shinkaruk front: Brad McEwen.
Who? Well, he’s a Flames scout who joined the organization in August 2014. His previous job was with the Medicine Hat Tigers, where he served as assistant general manager and director of scouting. While the Flames saw a ton of him during his tenure in the WHL, it’s likely that McEwen would have a ton of insights first-hand. Oh, and Shinkaruk’s father is the team dentist for the Calgary Hitmen.
And on a Stockton Heat team that’s been deluged with injury, and a Flames farm system that doesn’t have a lot of players that seem immediately NHL ready (aside from Derek Grant, who is injured), Shinkaruk joins the team and immediately becomes their top scorer. Not that you don’t want to rely on Kenny Agostino and Emile Poirier to win games, but hey, giving them some help will definitely make things easier on them down the stretch.
It also likely helps that Brad Treliving made his mark as a very hands-on assistant general manager in a resource-starved Arizona Coyotes organization. I don’t doubt that he saw a ton of Shinkaruk during his draft year, and I don’t doubt that he has a good idea of his potential ceiling.
SUM IT UP
The Canucks get a center that’s too good for the AHL and will require waivers beginning with next season. The Flames get a talented (if not huge) winger that gives them some short-term talented help in the AHL and won’t require waivers for a couple more seasons.
It’ll take awhile before know who “won” the trade, but both teams seemed to get what they needed for the short-term.