TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the Vancouver Canucks are “open for business” at the NHL’s trade deadline.
That’s a sharp turn from even last week when general manager Jim Benning said that he was considering acquiring players at the deadline to help his young players get valuable playoff experience.
Among the names that McKenzie says are being on the block: Linden Vey, Chris Higgins, Matt Bartkowski, Ronalds Kenins, Yannick Weber, Brandon Prust and Adam Cracknell. That’s a big list, and should be a tip-off that the Canucks are no longer aiming for a postseason run.
Both Vey and Kenins are RFAs at the end of the season. Higgins has a year left on his contract. The Canucks tried to trade Higgins via press release earlier in the season and then waived him. He went unclaimed at a point when teams could acquire him for essentially nothing.
Bartkowski, Weber, Prust and Cracknell are all UFAs on Jul. 1.
Vey, 24, hasn’t continued his growth from last season, but also hasn’t seen a lot of ice time this year. He’s one of the more surprising names on the list, with the team attempting to rebuild around a young core.
If Vancouver manages to move a good portion of those players it could go a long way towards a rebuild.
The trade deadline is Feb. 29.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.