Nothing is confirmed, but the Vancouver Canucks are still rumored to be open to multiple moves.
Over the past weeks, the Vancouver Canucks have been repeatedly connected to veteran forward Jiri Hudler and a few other options for the second-line left wing. Reddit user WaterDrop24 now claims to have inside knowledge from a friend with “close ties to multiple members in the Canucks organization.” We obviously don’t want to spread any false rumors, but I found some of the mentioned players and deals interesting enough to discuss them here.
Take this as free agency and trade discussion, not news or rumors from a legitimate source.
"Vermette – Canucks have called to see if he is interested in coming to Vancouver, Right now there are other teams that are showing more interest."
Analytics show Antoine Vermette had a rather negative impact on the Arizona Coyotes over the past few seasons. However, he could still be a valuable player and leader in a bottom-six role. Now, do the Canucks need another center?
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I’ll just ask you to think about a Canucks’ lineup with Henrik Sedin, Brandon Sutter or Bo Horvat out with an injury. After seeing the past season, imagine the lineup with two of Sedin, Sutter and Horvat out. With Jared McCann gone, two of Brendan Gaunce, Jayson Megna, Michael Chaput and Mike Zalewski would have to jump in. Sutter-Granlund-Chaput-Megna doesn’t sound like great depth, and Vermette could certainly help that cause.
However, it would also make sense to have other teams showing more interest. The Canucks are close to the cap already and, barring two major injuries at center, they should be fine with what they have.
"Matt Cullen – This is a player that is being discussed, and has been offered a contract, As per a few days ago."
Same as Vermette, although Cullen is not a player I would want in the top six if Sedin and Sutter went down. He is a terrific bottom-six player but that’s all. If the Canucks feel they need more center depth, fair enough. But Cullen is probably nothing more than a fourth-line player long-term.
"Hudler – Canucks are big time in the mix, should hear about his decision in the next few days, It’s down to Two teams, 1 in the west (Canucks), and another team. Europe is his back up option. Canucks have offered a multiple year package, with a mid/low cap hit."
This has been reported by NEWS 1130 Sports twice now, and it wasn’t true the first time. That doesn’t mean it can’t be true this time around, it just means we shouldn’t believe this is true until it’s official.
That said, Hudler is definitely a player who could help. He can play all three forward positions, move up and down the lineup and help on the power play. If you are looking for a versatile forward with scoring potential, Hudler is your guy.
But, I personally wouldn’t take him on a multi-year deal. Hudler is 32 years old and won’t get any better than he was last season. One year at $2 million or two years at $1 million would probably make sense, but more money and more term would hurt the club eventually.
"Radim Vrbata – Canucks have double backed on Vrbata, originally had no interest, now they are thinking of bringing him back for a 1 year / 3m type deal. Vrbata has other teams with interest, but wants multiple years."
If Vrbata is really an option again, the Canucks must be quite desperate. One year at $3 million? Wow.
"Trades – Canucks made a significant offer to the Montreal Canadians for PK subban. While he does not know the exact piece, the Package did NOT include the 1st rounder this year. Benning wanted NO part in trading it, due to how high he is on Olli. What WAS offered tho was Bo horvat, and another prospect (He belives it was Jordan Subban) he could not find out who, and multiple 1st round picks (assuming 2017/2018)."
Hmmmm… Back when Subban was a topic for Canucks trade discussions, I made the following offer for Subban:
The goal of that proposal was to be fair. But, Montreal probably wouldn’t have accepted it, and if they were indeed offered Bo Horvat, Jordan Subban and two first-round picks, that confirms the assumption.
Having Subban would be great, but still having a Subban, a Horvat and two first-round picks is also more than awesome.
"Here is another interesting tidbit: Canucks offered the 2017 1st Rounder to Philly for a prospect I can’t figure out for."
A first for a Philadelphia Flyers prospect. Three that would make sense are Ivan Provorov, Samuel Morin or Travis Sanheim. They are three of the Flyers’ top prospects and would be worth an early first-round pick.
However, Provorov is most certainly worth more than a first that could easily end up being in the 15 area, and the Flyers would probably want more for the other two as well. Those players are just three I would be interested in from the Canucks’ point of view but, again, nothing is confirmed here.
Of course, the Flyers also didn’t take that trade (if it was indeed offered), which would make sense, given the value of Provorov, Morin and Sanheim.
The NHL has been quiet over the past weeks, so we are jumping at everything we can get — that’s what fans do, right?
All of the above would make sense and none of it comes out of the blue. However, it is also all stuff anyone can make up and there is no proof this Reddit user indeed has inside information. So, all we can do is wait and see.
The Canucks have confirmed to be looking for second-line help but even that doesn’t seem necessary. There is a chance that players like Alex Burrows, Emerson Etem, Jake Virtanen and Derek Dorsett will have to be rotated in and out of the lineup, being regular healthy scratches, so I’m not sure if adding more NHL forwards makes a lot of sense. Especially with fringe NHL players like Chaput and Megna on the roster as well.
Then again, you can never have too much depth.