Canucks tried to swing bigger deal: Nonis
The Vancouver Canucks put forth competitive deals to upgrade their roster before Tuesday's trade deadline, but general manager Dave Nonis said teams decided to take other offers.
Nonis, who spoke to reporters after the Canucks' lone deal brought gritty winger Matt Pettinger from the Washington Capital for Matt Cooke, said he wasn't going to significantly overhaul his roster to add a big name.
Marian Hossa (Pittsburgh), Brad Richards (Dallas) and Brian Campbell (San Jose) were all traded Tuesday, but not to Vancouver.
"First of all, I'm not going to comment on any individual players, but we put packages out there that in our mind were superior to some of the packages that were accepted," said Nonis.
"I wasn't about to take significant young roster players off of our team at this point in order to land a player. I think that would've set us back."
The Canucks sit seventh in the Western Conference with 72 points, yet are only two points behind the Calgary Flames, who are currently in third.
While Nonis said the West has gotten tougher with Tuesday's trades, he refused to admit the Canucks have fallen back. He also has the full support of coach Alain Vigneault.
"Both of us were comfortable with the players we have," Nonis said. "We could've added four or five guys in the last hour easily that became available and that weren't going to be expensive, but you look at your lineup and say they're not better than what you have.
"So you're trying to force people into your lineup where there's some guys [on our team] that work pretty hard in that room and deserve to carry the ball the rest of the way. When you start adding players that aren't necessarily going to be an upgrade, I think you've done your team a great disservice."
As for Pettinger, Nonis explained it was important to get a player who wasn't in the final year of his contract, as Cooke is.
Pettinger, in his seventh year with the Capitals, scored two goals and five assists in 56 games with Washington, and will add grit to the Canucks' lineup.
An Edmonton native who grew up in Victoria, he scored 16 goals last season and 20 goals two years ago. The 27-year-old winger has another year on his $1.1-million contract.
"He's put up some numbers over the last couple of years and he scored 16 goals last year in an injury-riddled season," said Nonis.
"We expect him to come in here and contribute immediately. Another positive for us is that if we were going to move Matt Cooke, I wanted to find a player we would get for more than the next month or two. I was trying to find somebody that we thought could help us for the rest of the year, but also would be around next year."