The Vancouver Canucks need to improve considerably if they hope to contend in a serious way this season. Just don't expect them to be buyers at the trade deadline, or at least not buyers in the traditional sense.
According to ESPN's Pierre Lebrun, the Canucks organization has come to the realization that their club "is no longer among the elite clubs in the league after knocking at the door for a half decade." Lebrun adds that there's an awareness that the club must "inject more youth into its lineup to remain on the right track."
The Canucks have managed to snag just 10 of a possible 32 points during the 2014 calendar year. While they've battled a multitude of injuries throughout the lineup during that stretch, the club's issues go deeper and management (and the coaching staff) knows it.
So how does this epiphany impact Vancouver's trade posture ahead of the Olympic roster freeze and the trade deadline? Lebrun explains:
So, forget any trades for a rental player to help get a few more wins this season. While the Canucks still hope to get healthy and win a round or two this season, management's focus between now and the March 5 trade deadline, but probably especially in the offseason will be move some veteran bodies out the door and get a bit younger. It's the smart thing to do.