VANCOUVER – a shop for Toronto Maple Leafs Jake Muzzin can set up a veteran market before the deadline for the Hockey League, but that does not change anything Vancouver Canucks and the upcoming unlimited free agent Alex Edler.
Canuck CEO Jim Benning repeated in an interview for Sportsnet that the priority remains to negotiate the extension of the contract for Edler and that there is enough confidence in the player's relationship that the deal does not have to be completed before February 25th.
Benning also said he would not sell any winning awards for 2019 before the deadline and that if the surprise Canucks stay in the West Conference race, the current players continue to fight.
Veteran wing Last week, Antoine Roussel said he hoped the Canucks would be good enough to be "buyers" within the deadline, perhaps adding a deep defender or another attacker who could hit a goal to boost the team's victory.
"Antoine is an emotional player and a competitive man," Benning said on Wednesday. – He's like Alexandre Burrows for us. He is our emotional leader. He wants our team and our organization to be successful. By saying this, I'll make hockey shops. If a shop is made, players are players, and we can improve the team, I'll look at something like that.
"But we have a plan and I do not move the elections from this year's draft to make the team better." It will be a boy in that room that is gathering and running well. And it will dictate whether we are playing or not. "
Canucks did not make a play since 2015 and did not win in the finals since the Stanley Cup final in 2011.
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Benning said he would meet Edler and agent Mark Stowe this week to begin talks on the extension for a 32-year-old veteran who spent his 13-year NHL career in Vancouver and unambiguously stated he wanted to stay. A Swedish contract expiring at six, a $ 30m contract contains a ban on trade ban, so Canucks will need Edler's consent to trade it.
Benning agreed that purchasing the Los Angeles King Music on Monday as a replacement for the first round and some second-tier prospects, one of them unsigned, establishes a market for veteran defenders who can trade in the next 3 and a half weeks.
But he said, Muzzin, a 29-year-old who has a year after contract, Stanley Cupa's ring, and was good enough to make the World Cup team list in Canada in 2016, may be at the "top of the market". Even then, noted Benning, there is no guarantee that the chip at the end of the competition will turn into NHL players at the end of the first round.
"The numbers speak for themselves if you look at the history of the draft," he said. "If you look at the top five, they have a chance to become more influential players over time, but if you look at the first five in the first round, some of these guys do not play.
"But I think the teams, even the best teams trying to win the Stanley Cup, are now more willing to give up on their choice two years ago. But it's still early (for this year's trading period) and maybe I'm wrong. "
With Edler not in the market, defender Vancouver Chris Tanev is still a year away from a potentially unlimited free agency and upcoming UFAs Anders Nilsson and Michael Del Zotto have already traded (for Ottawa and Anaheim) due to late elections, in 2019 there might be a different trading deadline for Benning over the last few years .
GM probably was never more popular on the West Coast than in the late 2017 when he used Canuck Jannica Hansen (San Jose) and Burrows (Ottawa) to perspire Nikolay Goldobin i Jonathan Dahlen. And he was never more condemned than the last year's deadline when his failure to get the lead draft for Thomas Vanek's leader hurt many fans and some in the media.
Winger Tyler Motte, proclaimed for Chicago Blackhawk Benning, was the regular fourth-line player for Travis Green's Canuck trainer throughout the season.
"Our team is now healthy and (schedule) the break came at the right time for us," Benning said. "Talking to some of our players, our group was tired. But now we have had this break and we have almost four weeks to the deadline and we will see where we are. We will make decisions based on our long-term plan. "
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The Canucks are back on Thursday afternoon, and Saturday in Denver completes a nine-day layoff. There are eight separate six-point teams fighting for a total of three seats in the West Conference: the third in the Central Division and two substitute positions.
The whole race is a bit confusing because you .500 hockey can enter the mosh pit, but you will certainly not be able to play after the Stanley Cup tournament race accelerates over the last two months of the regular season.
But at 23-22-6 and the worst schedule – and injury, they hope – behind them, Canucks are better this season than anyone expected, led by convincing newcomers Elias Pettersson.
This competitiveness and culture Green is trying to build around Pettersson, Bo Horvat i Brock Boeser is also a reason why Benning can not afford to take his team back in the default time by trading parts from his list for the future.
"It was our goal when we talked during the summer. … to have a team that plays great games in February, "said Benning." With the way Petey came here, the way he played gave everyone the confidence and the boost we have, you know, a player who can be a deliberate difference to we're together with Brock and Boom. The webbing starts to fall into place. "
What does that mean?
"I think he says we're on the right track."