Sports: Canucks will seek higher-profile names in free agency this summer - PressFrom - Canada
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SportsCanucks will seek higher-profile names in free agency this summer

15:06  12 june  2019
15:06  12 june  2019 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

Free agent focus: Vancouver Canucks

Free agent focus: Vancouver Canucks Free agency is now a little less than a month away from opening, and quite a few prominent players are set to hit the open market while many teams have key restricted free agents to re-sign. Vancouver has one of the better forwards in the RFA class and one of the better defenders among the unrestricted free agents. Here’s a closer look at the Canucks' free agent situation. Key Restricted Free Agents: F Brock Boeser – The 22-year-old had a nearly identical sophomore season compared to his rookie year.  While some stagnation can be cause for concern, that’s not the case with Boeser.

Where do we begin? You all remember the story. Peter Chiarelli spend big bucks to get the big man in Edmonton during the free agent frenzy of 2016. Rumours of off-season moves have already been swirling, with one of the most common ones being that the Vancouver Canucks are interested in

Vancouver GM Jim Benning continues to be honest and open with the media this offseason about the direction of the Canucks and his upcoming plans. In a media session yesterday, the veteran executive spoke on a number of topics, including the positions he will try to fill in free agency .

Canucks will seek higher-profile names in free agency this summer© Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Vancouver GM Jim Benning continues to be honest and open with the media this offseason about the direction of the Canucks and his upcoming plans. In a media session yesterday, the veteran executive spoke on a number of topics, including the positions he will try to fill in free agency. Per NHL.com’s Kevin Woodley, Benning was happy to reveal whom he may target:

Going forward now, if we are going to add through free agency, we want to try to add top-four defensemen or top-six forwards, so I think our needs in that way have changed. I haven’t been shy about stating that we would like to improve our defense. There are different avenues to try to do that, so we’re looking at all those avenues.

Benning: Canucks looking for help on defence heading into draft, free agency

Benning: Canucks looking for help on defence heading into draft, free agency Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning has a lot of balls in the air these days. There's the upcoming NHL draft — which his team just happens to be hosting — plenty of meetings, and preparations for the opening of free agency July 1. With young stars like Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser, and presumed captain-in-waiting Bo Horvat up front, Benning feels pretty good about Vancouver's forward group. That's why his focus heading into the big month ahead revolves around shoring up a defence with some nice pieces, and just as many question marks.

Free agency is now a little more than a month away from opening up and there are quite a few prominent players set to hit the open market while many teams have key Here is a breakdown of Vancouver ’s free agent situation. Canucks will seek higher - profile names in free agency this

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The “change” that Benning is referring to is in contrast to last offseason, when the Canucks spent on bottom-six depth in free agency, targeting Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel and Tim Schaller. This year, the names that the Canucks will seek will be more high-profile. Up front, Vancouver has already been linked to Marcus Johansson, while British Columbia native Brett Connolly will also likely be in consideration. On the back end, Jake Gardiner is known to be a free agent target, although Benning’s comments make it seem as though the Canucks could also scour the trade market for a top-four defenseman as well. One way or another, it seems this summer will be more exciting than the last for Vancouver.

  • That “top-four target” could also come internally, as Benning acknowledges that Vancouver is still working through contract talks with Alex Edler. The longtime stalwart is an impending free agent who asked not to be traded at the trade deadline this past season in hopes of an extension with Vancouver. Months later, a deal has not yet been signed. It appears that term and trade protection appear to be the sticking points, especially as the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft looms. Edler would like protection from a possible Seattle selection, but Benning and the Canucks would rather use one of their limited slots on a key young piece. Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre relays some honest words from Benning on the subject:

I think it’s fair to say we don’t have the appetite to do that. We had to do that last time with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. But we’re going to have some good young players that we need to protect or we’ll lose them.

Benning confirms Eriksson trade a possibility for Canucks

Benning confirms Eriksson trade a possibility for Canucks Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning might trade forward Loui Eriksson after the 33-year-old said he and Canucks coach Travis Green "don't really get on 100 percent." "I am going to talk to Loui this week and get his thoughts on everything and why he made the comment he did, but (a trade) could be something that's real," Benning said, according to Kevin Woodley of NHL.com. Eriksson, who has three years left on a six-year, $36-million contract, made the comments to Swedish website HockeySverige.se while playing for Sweden at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.

He's an unrestricted free agent . His name has 22 letters in it. For those who are curious, Michael Carter-Williams is the second biggest name in free agency this summer Semi Ojeleye should be high up there. His real name is Jesusemilore Talodabijesu Ojeleye, and I count 14 unique characters.

In this week's edition of the Vancouver Canucks mailbag, we answer your questions relating to the draft It’s also tough to factor in which free agents the Canucks could sign. So I’ll try to keep it short and We’ll have a better idea after the first few days of free agency what the Canucks will look like.

  • Edler could be gone if talks don’t improve, and so could another veteran, Loui Eriksson. Benning spoke to Eriksson’s comments to a Swedish newspaper earlier this offseason, when he stated that he did not trust or get along with head coach Travis Green. Benning said that he plans to talk with Eriksson soon, but that those comments are a true cause for concern and a trade could be a real possibility. This isn’t the first we’ve heard Eriksson trade rumors, with many linking him to the Edmonton Oilers and former head coach Dave Tippett in a possible swap for fellow expensive and underperforming forward Milan Lucic. However, Benning’s comments would imply that a trade could happen even if it isn’t with Edmonton. The Canucks might have trouble finding a taker for the remaining three years and $6 million average annual value on Eriksson’s contract, but if it’s a matter of team chemistry, the Canucks might have to do whatever it takes to move the seasoned winger.
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NHL rumors 2019: Tkachuk, Boeser and the top restricted free agents in NHL's Pacific Division.
Between now and July 1, Sporting News will break down the NHL's top free agents. Here's a look at the top restricted free agents in the Western Conference's Pacific Division.

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