It appears the Vancouver Canucks are ready to move on from forward Jake Virtanen. Two separate reports this weekend have mentioned the player’s name in trade talks and discussion centers around the idea that the Canucks need to do something to shake things up. Virtanen would be the piece that’s moved to do so.
First, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet said during Saturday’s Headlines report that he wonders if Virtanen is someone the team considers “giving a fresh start to.” Johnston mentioned that the winger has struggled out of the gate this season, often been a healthy scratch — including Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs — and that moving him might be a short-term decision that could shock the team and get them going in the right direction.
Most believe the Canucks need to do something. They are playing incredibly bad hockey and there’s doubt all over the place when it comes to the organization, both with players and management.
Patrick Johnston of The Province notes that the struggling Canucks have tested the trade market for Jake Virtanen. He says the team has also looked a moving Adam Gaudette. Unfortunately for the Canucks, no one is biting.
The Canucks have floated his [Virtanen] name on the trade market but there hasn’t been a taker. Hard to imagine what might change. (Adam Gaudette is also on the block but, similarly, given his poor play, there doesn’t seem to be interest.)source – ‘The Skate: Exegesis’ – Patrick Johnson – The Province – 02/07/2021
The scribe writes that Virtanen has battled to find consistency with the Canucks and not reached his potential as a second-line scorer. Meanwhile, he says Gaudette has struggled to produce strong offensive numbers since posting 12 goals and 33 points during the 2019-20 regular season.
Virtanen for Bennett?
Brian Burke was asked during the Canucks and Leafs broadcast on Saturday if he thought there could be a fit between Calgary and Vancouver and if a one-for-one trade could be possible considering Virtanen and Bennett carry the same salary. He responded no.
Saying that Bennett is a proven playoff performer who plays hard even when he’s not producing, it’s unlikely the Flames would be interested in shipping out a winger who can also play center. Virtanen can’t do both and he’s been far more inconsistent.
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