There's been a lot of chatter about a Vancouver Canucks trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for winger Jake Guentzel. However, a report suggests that the Canucks' focus could be on a center instead.
In an ideal world, the Canucks would be able to deploy J.T. Miller on the top line with Elias Pettersson. However, the Canucks' lack of center depth hasn't allowed Rick Tocchet to do such a thing. However, if general manager Patrick Allvin is going to push all of his chips to the middle of the table, a second-line center makes Vancouver that much deeper, and more dangerous.
According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the NHL Network insider explains why a Canucks trade for a center makes more sense.
"With all the talk in Vancouver surrounding the Canucks’ interest in Jake Guentzel, it wouldn’t be shocked if they focus on a second-line centre, instead," Pagnotta wrote in his latest. "If Pittsburgh stays in the playoff race, moving Guentzel might not fly too well with captain Sidney Crosby and Penguins ownership – even in a walk-year. Elias Lindholm is on their radar and could be a prime rental addition."
Adding a center and moving Miller up makes a ton of sense. The Canucks need more from Ilya Mikheyev, however, he just might not be able to provide what they're looking for in such an elevated role. We already know of Vancouver's interest in Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm. Other names that make sense are Sean Monahan, Adam Henrique, and... wait for it...
The face of the matter is this isn't an urgent issue. It's more likely to come to fruition closer to the March 8th trade deadline. The Canucks are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games and have collected at least a point in all of them. This could very well come down to what Kyle Dubas and the Pittsburgh Penguins decide to do in the spring.