Although the Stanley Cup Final is still underway, the Vancouver Canucks seem to be extremely busy and gearing up for an offseason full of moves.
From calling the Toronto Maple Leafs to see what the asking price for Nikita Zaitsev is, to being rumoured to go after one of Jake Gardiner or Tyler Myers, the Vancouver Canucks are in on almost everyone this offseason.
We’ve mentioned before how this was going to be an extremely busy offseason for the Canucks, and how General Manager Jim Benning has discussed the need to repair his team’s subpar blueline this offseason, but it seems every rumour that’s come out so far has the Canucks linked to it one way or another.
All the way from the Canucks being considered part of the group of front runners to land Erik Karlsson, to Artemi Panarin showing interest in signing with the Canucks, the NHL rumour mill has a whole lot of Canucks in it so far. Thus far, I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Benning. As most of you know, I’m already a fan of a lot of the moves Benning has done, and am hoping he makes more good moves this offseason.
Benning is standing his ground in the Alex Edler contract negotiation, which I admire immensely. It seems Edler wants longer term and expansion draft protection, but as Benning likely already knows, and Edler will soon find out, there won’t be another team on July 1st willing to give Edler more than what the Canucks are willing to give him.
On top of that, Benning seems to be working around the clock and doing his due diligence checking in on almost every single player teams are making available. He truly is exploring all of his options, and no matter what direction the Canucks go, it is seeming like they will almost certainly make a big splash this offseason, we will just have to wait and see which move they choose to pull off.
Speaking of trade options, I mentioned above that the Canucks called about Nikita Zaitsev from the Leafs. Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal reported the following yesterday afternoon:
"Source: Canucks interest is high in Zaitsev but do they have what Toronto would take back. Could a deal happen yes it’s possible but not there yet."
Further, Elliotte Friedman said that he believes the Canucks are one of the teams who are more interested in Zaitsev. Aside from Zaitsev, the Canucks are also reportedly interested in Bruins forward and pending UFA Marcus Johansson, who as The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported, the Canucks were interested in at the trade deadline. Who knows what tricks the Canucks have up their sleeve this offseason? Buckle up, because we will soon find out.
Will it be signing a free agent? A big trade on draft day? There are a ridiculous amount of rumours currently circulating, and it will be a fun ride to see which moves the Canucks pull the trigger on. For now, all we know is that they seem to be a part of almost every single rumour currently circulating the NHL. My question for you all today is, what are you most excited for? The draft or free agency? Let me know in the comments section below!