Make it four in a row that the Vancouver Canucks have lost and officially label the team’s season as one that has spiraled out of control. Pretty much everyone knows something in Vancouver needs to change and reports are that GM Jim Benning is feverishly trying to make that happen.
As per a report by Pierre LeBrun on the latest Insider Trading for TSN, Benning has been busy. While a trade hasn’t materialized, LeBrun notes there “isn’t a single team that hasn’t heard from Jim Benning over the last couple weeks.”
Really: this is more about doing his due diligence and knowing what’s out there ahead of April 12, still lots of time. But right now, with so many teams in LTIR it’s so difficult to make an ’apples for apples’ trade, but if he can, what he’s looking for is a top-nine forward in that age 25-and-younger group that can fit with his young core.
Interestingly, both Virtanen and Gaudette — who have been rumored to be on the trade block — fit the under 25 description. Still, it seems the Canucks have determined neither have a long-term future with the organization. It’s possible the Canucks are looking to flip either or both for players around the same age, but whatever the case, Benning is trying to do something.
As LeBrun points out, one of the biggest hurdles is LTIR and the salary cap. Vancouver has players of their own on LTIR (such as Micheal Ferland, and Tyler Motte), but so do other teams and every deal is more complicated this season than it’s ever been in the past.
At What Point Does It Not Matter?
If Benning can’t make a trade soon, there will come a point where the Canucks need to revisit their plans to close out the rest of the season. Time is winding down and with just over 30 games remaining, it would take an incredible run for the team to be contenders.
Things are getting to the point now where it’s about more than just stopping the bleeding. The Canucks need to turn things around in a hurry and swapping one struggling forward out for another younger forward might not be enough.
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