Canucks News & Rumors: Kuzmenko, Hintz, Rathbone & More

In this edition of the Vancouver Canucks News & Rumors, there are talks on Andrei Kuzmenko’s extension in Vancouver. Additionally, the Dallas Stars extended centre Roope Hintz which offers Bo Horvat a contract comparable. Meanwhile, the organization sent Jack Rathbone to the Abbotsford Canucks and what his future with the club looks like.

Kuzmenko Apart of Canucks Future Plans

Kuzmenko’s impressive play to start his NHL career has led to speculation on his extension. The forward signed a one-year deal worth $1.8 million. John Shannon discussed the Russian’s future with the club on Sekeres & Price. 

Andrei Kuzmenko Vancouver Canucks
Andrei Kuzmenko, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“We’re going to hear a little bit more around the All-Star break,” Shannon said. “They’re not trading Kuzmenko, are you crazy? That’s not happening…he’s part of the future, long-term.”

Related: Canucks Should Target 3 Avalanche Players in Horvat Trade

Kuzmenko has scored 11 goals and posted 21 points in 21 games this season. As Shannon noted, the 26-year-old is likely a part of president Jim Rutherford and general manager (GM) Patrik Allvin’s plans for the team moving forward. However, extending him isn’t easy, as the Canucks have a projected $13.593 million in cap space this next offseason. Additionally, captain Horvat is due for a contract extension. Therefore, the organization will have to shed some salary, which either comes in the form of trading Horvat or one of their other wingers, Brock Boeser or Conor Garland.

Impact of Hintz Extension to Horvat

Speaking of Horvat, the forward now has another contract comparison in Hintz. The Stars extended the centre to an eight-year, $67.6 million deal. Elliotte Friedman joined the Jeff Marek Show and noted the same price point can apply to the Canucks captain. 

Roope Hintz Dallas Stars
Roope Hintz, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Although Hintz is a year younger than Horvat, the Stars forward has a higher point per game (P/GP) at .74 compared to the Canucks captain’s .66 P/GP. Horvat has also played 334 more games than Hintz in his career. However, aside from the games played, the statistical difference between the two isn’t too big, and Horvat can still use Hintz’s new contract as a comparison. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun notes if Horvat was offered the cap hit of $8.45 million per year, he is confident the forward would sign it.

Doerrie’s Human Rights Complaint Against Canucks

Rachel Doerrie filed a human rights complaint against the Canucks. Doerrie joined the organization in January and worked as an analytic specialist and assistant video coach. The club promoted her in August, but the two sides parted ways in September. She alleges she was fired due to her mental illness and physical disability – a heart condition.

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The complaint filed on November 22 read, “Ms. Doerrie suffered damage to her dignity, self-esteem, and physical and mental health resulting from Ms. Castonguay’s comments, and her subsequent treatment by Ms. Castonguay. She also suffered financial losses arising from her unexpected loss of employment.”

Doerrie reposted positive comments on her Instagram from Bruce Boudreau about her in an article published by The Province in September. The complaint notes assistant GM Emilie Castonguay called Doerrie into her office and made discriminatory comments about her mental health, which Castonguay denied.

“I take a lot of pride in my work with the Vancouver Canucks, being a good leader, a person of high moral character, and always respecting and putting my co-workers first,” Castonguay said. “These allegations by Ms. Doerrie are absolutely not true and her allegations of what I said to her are false and inaccurate. At no time was Ms. Doerrie treated differently due to gender, a mental disability or a physical condition.”

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Canucks Sports & Entertainment also released a statement on the allegations on Monday. 

“Our organization provided Ms. Doerrie with all the necessary resources, support and opportunities to succeed in her role. We acted in good faith and abided by our contractual obligations, both during and after Ms. Doerrie’s employment with the organization.”

Rathbone’s Future in Vancouver

The Canucks sent Rathbone down to Abbotsford on Monday. Friedman joined Donnie & Dhali on Tuesday and discussed the young defenceman’s future with the club. He stated the Canucks know either they’ll have to commit to Rathbone as a player in Vancouver, or he moves on. Friedman adds the blueliner is at a point in his development where he has to play and get a shot to prove he is an NHLer. Additionally, he’ll need a stretch of games, not just one or two games in a row. Friedman says if the Canucks can’t give him that opportunity, it’ll have to be somewhere else.

Rathbone has played 23 games over three seasons with the Canucks. He’s had a tough time cracking the lineup consistently in Vancouver, and when he has, he hasn’t shown off his offensive skills. In the American Hockey League with Abbotsford, he scored 10 goals and posted 40 points in 39 games last season. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, he has one point in six games this year. Additionally, he has one goal and four points in 23 games throughout his NHL career.