Vancouver Canucks Rumblings: Stamkos and Desharnais

Mar 26, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais (51) before the game against New York Rangers at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais (51) before the game against New York Rangers at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

Should we be surprised that the Vancouver Canucks are in the thick of the rumors?

The 2016 NHL Entry Draft is less than ten days away for the Vancouver Canucks. There are just 16 nights of sleep left to the opening of this year’s much-anticipated class of free agents, and the trades are starting to trickle in.

The Chicago Blackhawks got the action started on Wednesday. Forward Bryan Bickell and his $4.5 million contract were moved to the Carolina Hurricanes, who are still millions of dollars below the salary cap floor. The Blackhawks also sent high-profile winger Teuvo Teravainen to Carolina and received this year’s 2nd-round pick and next year’s 3rd-round pick in return.

While this was happening, the Canucks have constantly floated around in the rumor mills.

MTL Calling? Desharnais and the No. 9 Pick

The Montreal Canadiens have allegedly called for the No. 5 overall pick, with forward David Desharnais one of the supposed returns to Vancouver. Desharnais is a 29-year-old center who is well known for his small stature — just 5-foot-7 and 174 pounds. He was on pace for 37 points this season.

Despite his small frame, Desharnais loves to drive to the net and oozes with playmaking abilities. Albeit a rumor from a relatively unproven source, Desharnais’s strong skating ability and his strong work ethic make him a player that GM Jim Benning will not mind trading for.

Desharnais has just one more year left on his contract and would cost the Canucks $3.5 million. He has had four consecutive seasons on pace for 50+ points leading up to last season. The “more going back with Desharnais” part should be interesting.

Jim Benning Sticking to No. 5 Overall

But despite these rumblings, Jim Benning seems to have other things in his mind, according to Dan Murphy of Sportsnet. Trading down doesn’t seem like a big possibility at this point.

Trading up to the No.3 spot seemed possible for some time, but Vancouver may be wise in staying put with the No. 5 pick.

This tells me that Jim Benning is content No. 3, whether it means Pierre-Luc Dubois, Matthew Tkachuk, or Logan Brown. Nevertheless, I would have to think that when the Edmonton Oilers are done picking fourth overall that Jim Benning will have second thoughts if Dubois is gone.

Steven Stamkos on the Move? Trading UFA rights?

And it seems that Vancouver cannot free itself from the Steven Stamkos rumor mills. With free agency approaching, Toronto, Detroit, and Buffalo seem to be the destinations for Stammer come July 1st, at least according to the seemingly general consensus from around the league.

But July 1st is still so far away. Other teams, apparently, are objecting.

Trading for the rights of UFAs has been uncommon lately, but those teams are apparently looking to make a splash for the right to negotiate with Stamkos. Although the post-draft negotiation period allows teams to talk with all UFAs, it is true that the agents and the managers won’t be able to suggest specific terms and dollar figures for the player.

As for the price, the Tampa Bay Lightning seem very keen on getting assets back:

Quite frankly speaking, the Canucks could look to move players like Brendan Gaunce, Emerson Etem, Markus Granlund, or even Sven Baertschi to fit that bill. GM Jim Benning should be careful with such a trade.

Next: TRADE PROPOSAL: Ways to Move the No. 5 Pick

Whether it be Desharnais, Jesse Puljujarvi, or Steven Stamkos, this is the time of year that always has Canucks fans nervous. GM Jim Benning should be really careful out there on the trade front.