Vancouver Canucks news: Pettersson, Benning’s future, Gudbranson trade

WINNIPEG, MB - DECEMBER 11: Daniel Sedin
WINNIPEG, MB - DECEMBER 11: Daniel Sedin /

The Vancouver Canucks are off Friday as they prepare for the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow. In the mean time, here are the latest news tidbits on the team heading into the weekend.

They may not have been winning much these days, but the Vancouver Canucks will surely be dominating a handful of headlines over the next few months. Brock Boeser may be the first Canucks rookie since Pavel Bure to win the Calder Trophy. General manager Jim Benning — on the final year of his contract — could leave at the end of the season.

The trade deadline is also less than two months away, and the Canucks will have a handful of trade chips, including Thomas Vanek and Erik Gudbranson. We’ll also find out if the Canucks get lucky with the draft lottery for once, and if generational star Rasmus Dahlin comes over to the west coast.

Though there have been a few bright spots in the season, the Canucks are about to miss the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. There’s no doubting that some changes will happen at the deadline and in the off-season, so there’s a ton to follow in the coming months.

Those are for another time, however. On a quiet day for the Canucks, we’ve gathered some of the latest news and tidbits about the team. Have a happy Friday.

USA Today: Kevin Allen lists five teams who should make a trade soon, including the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs. Allen believes both teams should be in play for Gudbranson, and that he would be “the best fit to fill the defensive need” in Toronto. (You can read my take on this here).

Vancouver Courier: Following president Trevor Linden’s press conference, Daniel Wagner writes that it’s time for management to take responsibility for the team’s struggles. Linden said he likes the job Benning’s done, but wouldn’t discuss much beyond a possible extension.

“All I’m saying is that it’s time to stop talking about the challenges he faced to start his tenure as GM, and to take ownership of the current state of the franchise and move forward,” Wagner wrote.

Elias Pettersson shining: Though a handful of Canucks prospects have played well at the World Juniors in Buffalo, Elias Petterssson stands out the most. The fifth overall pick from last year’s draft is up to seven points in the tournament. His Swedish squad faces Canada tonight in the gold medal game.

Needless to say, the future is looking very bright in Vancouver.

Sven Baertschi: On pace for a career year, Baertschi suffered a fractured jaw back in December, and was ruled out four-to-six weeks. The team got a little bit of good news from head coach Travis Green, though:

Next: Canucks: Where they stand in 2018 power rankings

The Canucks seven-game road trip begins on Saturday in Toronto, and ends on Jan. 21st against the Winnipeg Jets. Baertschi’s return couldn’t come at a much better time for a Canucks team that has scored two goals or less in seven of their last 12 games.