There is no shortage of rumours surrounding the Vancouver Canucks ahead of Monday’s trade deadline. Here’s the latest.
Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning made a big splash when he traded for Los Angeles Kings forward Tyler Toffoli on Monday, but he may not be done shopping.
The Canucks have lost six of their last eight games, and they’ve fallen down to third in the Pacific Division. With Micheal Ferland (done for the season) and Brock Boeser (likely out until the playoffs) sidelined, Benning may feel the pressure to make another move.
Vancouver could certainly use another capable top-nine scoring forward, and another depth defenceman would help aplenty.
The biggest trade talk on the west coast is centering around Adam Gaudette, who has surprisingly popped up in the rumour mill. Patrick Johnston of the Vancouver Province had this interesting tidbit to share on Wednesday:
For what it’s worth, Pierre LeBrun appeared on TSN 1040 and said that he hasn’t heard Gaudette’s name in trade discussions.
Vancouver already gave up a potential future No. 2 or 3 centre in prospect Tyler Madden to Los Angeles, so it’d be surprising if they wound up dealing Gaudette. That would seriously jeopardize their long-term depth at centre.
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TSN’s Bob McKenzie also said there has “been a lot of trade talk emanating out of Vancouver” regarding Stecher.
Stecher is a pending RFA, and the Canucks have to decide if he’s worth keeping beyond this season. If not, they’d probably be better off getting something, rather than risk losing the fan favourite for nothing.
At the same time, trading Stecher also wouldn’t make much sense unless Vancouver added another blueliner at the deadline. Ideally, Benning would bring back a top-nine forward or a defenceman in a Stecher trade.
McKenzie reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs told teams they deal could defenceman Tyson Barrie “under the right set of circumstances,” though they’d want another blueliner in return, or picks and prospects to help them find a replacement for Barrie. McKenzie said Vancouver is among the interested teams in the right-handed rearguard.
Unless the Canucks package Stecher and other assets, a trade for Barrie is extremely unlikely and wouldn’t make sense. It doesn’t help that Vancouver lacks a second-round pick, and their 2020 first goes to the New Jersey Devils if they make the playoffs. Hard to envision a scenario where Vancouver acquires Barrie.
Many fans will argue that Benning is better off retaining as many future assets as possible, since Vancouver isn’t quite a Stanley Cup contender yet. But the team is oh-so-close to ending a five-year drought, and the Canucks may simply decide that now’s the time to finally go all-in. We’ll just have to wait and see how things play out here in Vancouver.