A lot of names are being thrown around in Vancouver as which Canucks players could be traded ahead of the March 3rd deadline. Captain Bo Horvat and forward Brock Boeser have been top targets this season, as the latter would certainly benefit from a change of scenery to get back on track of the 29 goals in 62 games he put up in his first NHL season.
As for Horvat, the Canucks essentially made a choice last summer, inking J.T. Miller to a long-term extension before extending their captain. Horvat answered with having a career year and has landed on the trade block seeing that negotiations have gone nowhere. Vancouver cannot lose him for nothing this summer if the Canucks can’t ink him to a new deal before the trade deadline.
Add to this drama the one brought forth by JT Miller, and it sounds like another issue is getting piled onto the Canucks.
On last night’s Insider Trading on TSN, Pierre LeBrun explained how the situation between the Canucks and pending unrestricted free agent Andrei Kuzmenko is getting curious and how it could mean that the Russian forward could also land on the trade market with clubs calling for him.
“There haven’t been any contract negotiations, although the expectation is that should happen within the month here, but what’s interesting of course is that teams are calling. Why wouldn’t they be? He’s got a cap hit. Teams that are going for it, that are a contender, have almost no cap room – he would fit the bill both in terms of what he can do offensively and the fact he doesn’t take up a lot of room on the cap. But for now, the Canucks aren’t even sure they want to move him. They want to try and see if they can sign him. I think the price starts at at least $6 million per year on a bridge deal for Kuzmenko to stay in Vancouver, where by all accounts he is quite happy.”
Earlier this month, Kuzmenko commented on the pressure of playing for a big hockey market in Canada, and we wonder if his answer also applies to the trade market now that he could be a top bait on it:
“But I like this situation because I like to play in pressure. It is full focus on ice, full focus on game, full focus on winning because it’s a difficult time for me and for my team.”