Vancouver – Commerce of the Toronto Maple Leaf "for Jake Muszin can set the defense market before the deadline for the national hockey league, but does not change anything Vancouver Canucks and forthcoming unlimited free agent Alex Edler.
General Manager of Canucks Jim Benning, in an interview with Sportsnet, confirmed that the priority remains to negotiate the extension of Edler's contract and that he has enough confidence in the team-player that the deal should not be completed before the February 25 deadline .
Benning also said he would not trade the 2019 proposal before the deadline and that if the surprising Canucks stayed in the playoffs during the Western Conference, current players should continue the fight.
Veteran wing Antoine Russell said last week that he hoped the Canucks would play well enough to be a "buyer" in the deadline, perhaps adding a defensive defender or another striker who could score a goal to boost the playoffs.
"Antoine is an emotional player and a competitive person," Benning said on Wednesday. "He is like Alexander Barrow for us He is our emotional leader He wants the team and our organization to be successful By doing this I will make a hockey division If there is trade, players for players and we can make the team better, I'll see something similar.
"But we have a plan and I'm not moving from this year's elections to make the team better. It will be for guys in that room to pull together and have good progress, and that will dictate whether we are a playmaker or not."
The Canucks did not make the playoffs from 2015 and did not win the playoffs after losing the Stanley Cup final in 2011.
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Benning said he would meet this week with Edler and agent Mark Stow to begin talks on extending the 32-year-old defense attorney who spent his 13-year career in Vancouver and said he unequivocally wants to stay. The six-year-old six-year deal with the Swede, worth $ 30 million, contains a full non-trade clause, so Kanuks will need Edler's consent to sell.
Benning agreed that the acquisition of Muzzin's "Maple Leafs" by the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, in exchange for the first round of draft selection and several second-round prospects, one of them unsigned, establishes a market for veterans defenders who could be traded in the next 3½ weeks.
But he said: The 29-year-old Muzzin, who has another year under contract, the Stanley Cup ring and was good enough to make Canada's World Cup list in 2016, could be at the "top of the market" . And even then, Benning said there was no guarantee that a draft kick near the end of the first round would turn into an NHL player.
"The figures speak for themselves, if you go through the history of the draft," he said. "If you see the first five choices, they have a chance more often than not to become influential players over time. But if you look at the bottom in the first round, some of those boys do not even play.
"But I think the teams, and even the best teams that try to win the Stanley Cup, are more willing to give up their choices perhaps two years ago. But it's early (this year's trade deadline), and maybe I'm not right. "
With Edler not on the market, Vancouver defender Chris Tanev another year from potential unlimited free agencies and upcoming UFA Anders Nilsson and Michael Del Zoto have already traded (for Ottawa and Anaheim) for late picking, 2019 could be a different trading term for Benning in the last few years.
GM was probably never more popular on the West Coast than in the deadline in 2017, when he used aging Canucks Jannik Hansen (San Jose) and Burrows (for Ottawa) on prospects Nikolai Goldobin and Jonathan Dalen. And he was never more dangerous than the last deadline last year, when his failure to get a draft choice to rent forward Thomas Vanek has offended many fans and some in the media.
Winger Tyler Mote, the chance for Chicago Blackhawk Benning resolved, was the fourth team of Canuc's coach, Travis Green all season.
"Our team is now healthy and the breakdown (schedule) came in good time for us," Benning said. "Talking to some of our players, our group was tired, but now we have this break and we have four weeks 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 will end the nine-day decline. There are eight teams separated by six points who are fighting for a total of three playoffs in the Western Conference: third in the Central Division and two in the joker position.
The whole race is a little wrong because the .500 hockey will strike you in the moss of the mush, but it will surely not lead you to the playoffs after the Stanley Cup race will be accelerated in the last two months of the regular season.
But in 23-22-6 and the worst of their schedule – and injuries, they hope – behind them, Canucks improved this season than anyone was expected, ostensibly offensive with a remarkable rookie Elias Pettersson.
That competitiveness and the culture of Green is trying to build around Petterson, Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser is also the reason why Benning can not afford to take his team back in the deadline with trading pieces on his futures list.
"This was our goal when we talked about summer … to have a team that plays important games in February," Benning said. "By the way Pete entered here, the way he played he gave all the confidence and elevator we have, you know, a player who can be a difference for us along with Brock and Bo. The basic pieces begin to fall into place."
What does that mean?
"I think he says we are on the right track."