Canucks strike out at NHL trade deadline

 

Adam Cracknell only player on the move, to Oilers, as supposed prime trade bait Dan Hamhuis, Radim Vrbata stay put

 
 
 
 
The Vancouver Canucks lost forward Adam Cracknell on waivers to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
 

The Vancouver Canucks lost forward Adam Cracknell on waivers to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

Photograph by: DARRYL DYCK, THE CANADIAN PRESS

More on This Story

 

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks hung out the For Sale shingle, but could not find any takers as the NHL trade deadline passed Monday without any deals.

Houses apparently sell much better than hockey players in Vancouver.

The Canucks were hoping to trade pending unrestricted free agents Dan Hamhuis and Radim Vrbata, but general manager Jim Benning could not consummate a deal for either player.

The only action from a Canucks perspective on what was an extremely quiet deadline day around the league came when the Edmonton Oilers claimed Vancouver centre Adam Cracknell off waivers.

Hamhuis, a 33-year-old defenceman who played on Canada's last Olympic team, was regarded as one of the top players available. But Hamhuis has a no-trade clause in his contract that may have hampered the Canucks' ability to deal him.

The Dallas Stars were said to be suitors, but they chose instead to trade for Calgary defenceman Kris Russell.

Vrbata did not seem to generate any interest around the league. Vrbata, who has a modified no-trade clause in his contract, had given the Canucks a list of eight teams he was willing to go to.

A 31-goal scorer last season, Vrbata has just 12 goals this season for the Canucks.

Benning, who figures to receive considerable heat over failing to deal Hamhuis and Vrbata, had also let fellow GMs know that several other players were available. That list included the likes of Linden Vey, Yannick Weber, Matt Bartkowski and minor-leaguers Brandon Prust, Chris Higgins and Ronalds Kenins.

Cracknell played a career-high 44 games with the Canucks this season, registering five goals and 10 points. Cracknell, 30, was a surprise to make the team out of training camp and spent much of the season filling the fourth-line centre role.

The Oilers will be Cracknell's fourth NHL team.

Cracknell's departure should free up more ice time for rookie centre Jared McCann, who has been a healthy scratch in four of Vancouver's last 12 games.

Cracknell, a Victoria native, said today he had mixed emotions when he learned he had been claimed by the Oilers.

"This is where I always wanted to be, I had a great season here," Cracknell said. "To go through waivers is always a tough 24 hours.

"You know when you get picked up you get an opportunity to keep playing in the NHL and to go to an organization like Edmonton with McDavid, Eberle and Hall, there is so much great young talent there. To go and be part of that atmosphere for the rest of the season will be exciting and I hope I can prove to them I can stick around for a year or two."

Cracknell said he appreciated the opportunity the Canucks gave him to establish himself as a NHL regular.

"Being 30, I think it was my last chance to prove I could play in this league and Vancouver gave me the opportunity to do that," he said. "It was a dream come true to be a kid from Victoria playing in your home city and home province and I can't thank them enough for what they did."

bziemer@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/bradziemer

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
The Vancouver Canucks lost forward Adam Cracknell on waivers to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
 

The Vancouver Canucks lost forward Adam Cracknell on waivers to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

Photograph by: DARRYL DYCK, THE CANADIAN PRESS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice