3 under-the-radar trades that could reinvigorate the Canucks at the deadline

The Canucks have hit a speed bump in February, so one of the NHL’s best teams could use another asset or two at the deadline to become almost unstoppable.

Jan 24, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Alex Laferriere (78)
Jan 24, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Alex Laferriere (78) / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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With very little cap space for the trade deadline, it would be tough for the Vancouver Canucks to pull off a blockbuster deal. And while it would be great to see a familiar face like Chris Tanev return to British Columbia and help Vancouver win a Stanley Cup, it wouldn’t be the most feasible move unless the Calgary Flames were willing to trade the blueliner and retain some of his salary. 

But there may be more affordable players looking to be moved shortly before or on March 8th, and they too could help reinvigorate what has for the most part been an awesome Canucks team despite their recent mediocre play. So, which under-the-radar moves could help Vancouver stay consistent until perhaps June 2024? 

Casey Mittelstadt would make an elite scoring team unstoppable

Few players have fared as well as Casey Mittelstadt since December 2022, and this late-bloomer is looking every bit like the former first-round pick the Buffalo Sabres used on him. While trading Mittelstadt would make little sense for Buffalo for a variety of reasons, if the Canucks offer the right price for the surging center, then even a team looking to hold onto their young talent like the Sabres would probably send him to British Columbia. 

For one, Buffalo has an outstanding prospects pool, so they can easily replace Mittelstadt. And for another, the 25-year-old is in the final year of his deal. He also wouldn’t cost the Canucks a ton of money in cap space to bring aboard, and the Sabres can afford to retain some of his remaining salary. 

Numbers-wise, Mittelstadt has 44 points and 13 goals in 55 games this season, and while he struggled with injuries earlier in his career, he’s also played in 137 straight contests between October 13th, 2022, and February 19th. That said, Mittelstadt has shed the injury-prone label.