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Rumor: Big changes coming for Canucks

GM Jim Benning is going to be a busy man!

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According to multiple online reports, there could be BIG changes coming for the Vancouver Canucks this offseason, specifically on the blue line.

Earlier this week NHL insider Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported that the team is considering walking away from pending free agents Ben Hutton (RFA) and Alex Elder (UFA) and is also considering moving Chris Tanev.

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What is Vancouver planning on the blue line? Derrick Pouliot out, Luke Schenn expected to get an extension. It’s possible only one of Alex Edler, Ben Hutton and/or Chris Tanev is back next season. The Canucks are going to investigate countless possibilities.

Edler was the team’s leading scorer from the back end in 2018-19 with 10 goals and 34 points in just 56 games. He’s 33 years old and slated to hit the open market as a free agent for the first time in his career if he and the team can’t come to an agreement before July 1st. Tanev, who has yet to play a full season in his nine year NHL career due to injury, was limited to just 55 games this past season… which is actually an improvement from his previous two campaigns. It’s no surprise that the Canucks’ season went off the rails once Edler and Tanev both went down with injury.

As for Hutton, he’s an interesting case due to the fact that he has arbitration rights.

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Interesting. With just 20 points in 69 games it’s not likely that Hutton will break the bank through an arbitrator, but it seems likely that he receives a modest raise on his current $2.8 million salary. If that’s the case, is he worth qualifying come June 30th?

Add into the fact that rookies Quinn Hughes and Olli Juolevi are expected to crack the Canucks’ squad for 2019-20 and things get even more confusing.