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Could the Canucks and Blackhawks cook up an Andrei Kuzmenko trade?
By Mike Gould21 days ago
Trade rumours have swirled around Vancouver Canucks winger Andrei Kuzmenko pretty much all season long, and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman poured a little more gas onto that fire during his appearance on Donnie & Dhali on Monday.
Kuzmenko, 27, is signed for this year and next at a $5.5 million cap hit but has just eight goals and 21 points in 43 games this year. He’s been made a healthy scratch numerous times and doesn’t seem to be a fit in Rick Tocchet’s system.
In an episode of 32 Thoughts: The Podcast released earlier on Monday, Friedman speculated that the Chicago Blackhawks could be a natural landing spot for Kuzmenko. He expanded upon that thought in his appearance on Donnie & Dhali.
“I think that the Canucks are going to be looking to open up some cap room,” Friedman said. “For you to go out and get a player like a Guentzel or like a Henrique or a Lindholm or anyone else, there’s going to have to be money going out.
“Look, we all kind of see where this is going a little bit with Kuzmenko, and the reason I named Chicago is that they really need some scoring. Especially with Bedard out, they have all sorts of trouble scoring, and if you look at them, they are looking for players who don’t have a lot of term. They just extended three guys — Foligno, Dickinson, and Mrazek — but it’s only for two years.”
As Friedman alluded to, the Blackhawks have been decimated by injuries this season. In addition to Connor Bedard, Chicago is currently without Taylor Hall, Andreas Athanasiou, and Tyler Johnson. They’re also missing Anthony Beauvillier, who they only just acquired from the Canucks back in November.
Friedman went on to note that in the hours after he linked Kuzmenko with the Blackhawks on the 32TP, he heard from multiple people who indicated that there could be more to the situation under the surface.
“Kuzmenko can score — he’s struggled this year, but he can score — and he only has one year left. And look, again, you guys have already made a deal with Chicago, you made a Beauvillier deal, so you guys have proven that you can do trades with them.
“I think that Kuzmenko is a player that should be on Chicago’s radar. Ever since I blurted it out on the pod this morning, Rick, I’ve had a couple people say to me they think it’s a little more than that, they think Chicago has looked into the possibility of it. We’ll see if it goes anywhere, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence, but it makes a lot of sense for both the Blackhawks and the Canucks.”
Through 124 career games over two seasons with the Canucks, Kuzmenko has racked up 47 goals and 95 points. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2025.
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