On the Vancouver Canucks …
Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province: The Vancouver Canucks should be looking for a short-term option down the middle for insurance on their longer-term investments.
“It’s going to be about our young players and how we best get them up and developed,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said Monday. “We have cap space available for whether it’s taking on a player or making a trade to get our young players a more proven centre. We’ll look at everything.
“We like Gaudette up the middle and Pettersson has played wing most of the year (in Sweden) and would probably start there with us.”
While he played a reduced role with the Dallas Stars and saw his production drop to 26 points, center Jason Spezza could be an option for the Canucks to consider.
The 34-year old Spezza has a year left on his deal at a $7.5 million salary cap hit, and the Stars could be willing to retain some salary. The Stars won’t buy him out at a $2.5 million cap hit for the next two years, so they’ll be looking to move him.
Would the Stars be willing to retain $3 million and take a minimal return? Would the Stars not want to eat that much salary, and would the Canucks ask for a draft pick or prospect to take on the salary?
Spezza also carries a 10-team no-trade list.
Toronto Maple Leafs pending UFA center Tyler Bozak has been mentioned as a potential fit for the Canucks, but he could be looking for more than his current $4.25 million and could be looking for term as well.