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Golden Knights Trade Talk

Golden Knights Could Benefit From Canucks’ Mess

"We're in a pickle right now," said Vancouver Canucks president Jim Rutherford in his mid-season media availability. 

The Vancouver Canucks, a team that was expected to…

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"We're in a pickle right now," said Vancouver Canucks president Jim Rutherford in his mid-season media availability. 

The Vancouver Canucks, a team that was expected to challenge for a playoff spot this season, are having a disaster year with just 39 points at the halfway mark. Injury controversies, trade rumors, and coaching change speculation have surrounded the team all year.

Despite being a division rival to the Canucks, the Vegas Golden Knights could benefit from the current state of VAN City.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman says that everyone on the Canucks not named Elias Pettersson and likely Quinn Hughes are available for trade. Rutherford backed this up by saying that even core players could be moved out in the Canuck's inevitable re-tool.

"There could be core players that have to move out. It may be the only way that we can get significant players back… We are not looking towards a rebuild; I would rather call it a re-tool. My preference for when we make these deals is not necessarily for draft picks… I would prefer to get younger NHL players," said Rutherford, who also stated that he was not fully against getting back picks and prospects.

A couple of intriguing names are on the Canucks current roster that could be of use to the VGK. The big name is Bo Horvat, who in the midst of his contract season, has 30 goals in 48 games played. The Canucks have offered a contract extension to Horvat, but nothing has been signed.

"We have taken the best shot. The contract we have on the table right now I believe is a fair contract for what he has done up until this year. But it is certainly under market value for what he has done this year," said Rutherford.

Horvat would cost the Golden Knights a high price and his $5.5 million cap hit would cause the team some problems. The Canucks reportedly want back a young NHL centreman and a young NHL right-shot defenceman according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

The Golden Knight's defense is pretty set with six quality NHLers and Daniil Miromanov and Ben Hutton as spares. But with injuries continuing, Luke Schenn could be a cheap option for the VGK. The two-time Stanley Cup Champion is a pending unresitricted free agent.

Cheap contracts are best for the Golden Knights, which lead us to Andrey Kuzmenko, a first-year NHL'er who came over from the KHL. He has 38 points in 42 games played with a cap hit of just $950,000. But based on Rutherford's comments, Kuzmenko could be resigned by the team soon.

"He's still adjusting to the league… I think he is making that adjustment. He is a pure goal scorer, sees the ice well, he loves Vancouver, he loves the Canucks, he wants to be here, we want him to be here, and we have started the process on an extension, and we hope we can keep him," said Rutherford.

Oliver Ekman-Larrson, Brock Boeser, and Tyler Myers could all be traded as well, but given their contracts, the Golden Knights will more than likely not be interested. 

As we inch closer and closer to the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, keeping tabs on the Canucks is a must-do as they will likely be big sellers.

The Golden Knight's next game against the Canucks is slated for March 21st which is after the Trade Deadline on March 3rd.

Here's the full press conference from Rutherford.

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