Trade flurry not expected

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

Vancouver Canucks' general manager Dave Nonis wants a centre and a defenceman, but don't look for him to be as active tomorrow as he was on last year's trading deadline. His rookie performance was an exciting one - for all of one day.

Canucks picked up defencemen Eric Weinrich, Keith Carney and Sean Brown and goaltender Mika Noronen in a series of rent-a-player deals that cost the Canucks second and fourth round draft picks. Nonis' desperation to make the playoffs was an unmitigated flop. Carney had two points. Weinrich (since retired) and Brown had none. Noronen's only win in four appearances was the irrelevant season finale.

Nonis has draft picks and prospects to spend, but other GMs would probably ask about Matt Cooke and Brendan Morrison. Their names were bandied about in early-season trade rumours. With the playoffs around the corner, Nonis isn't likely to part with either of them.

Nonis seems content with the rarely used Dany Sabourin, last year's top goalie in the American Hockey League. Rookie Sabourin got his first NHL win last week, but is he good enough to step in at a moment's notice should Roberto Luongo get injured? Unless Nonis changes his mind and finds a veteran rent-a-goalie, the only option would be promoting Wade Flaherty from the Manitoba Moose.

Nonis needs to find another stay-at-home blueliner like Willie Mitchell to patch the porous defence. Luongo is the third most fired-upon goalie in the league after Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff and New Jersey's Martin Brodeur.

At the other end of the rink, the Canucks need more scoring down the stretch to secure a playoff berth. Goalscoring is even more vital in the playoffs where a two-goal, third-period lead can be insurmountable.


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