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One pie in the sky and one realistic trade target for the Canucks: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:© Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
5 months ago
On Thursday’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal discussed which players they think would be the best fit to boost the Vancouver Canucks’ Stanley Cup chances.
To start, the guys looked at which player they’d pick of the most likely big-name targets at this year’s deadline.
“Jake Guentzel,” said Harm. “If you forget about acquisition cost for a second, he’s the real deal. This is the best winger Sidney Crosby has ever played with. A player that has put up 40-goal seasons, played at a point-per-game pace, and has elite hockey sense. I’m confident he’d be the perfect fit next to Elias Pettersson. Some players have the scoring ability, but you wonder about the stylistic fit, and that’s not a question on my mind with Guentzel at all. You watch the Penguins play, the way he and Crosby play off of each other in the offensive zone, some of the passing plays they can pull off is unreal. And it’s not just Crosby driving the bus himself and Guentzel riding his coattails, no, legitimately, Guentzel makes Crosby better too. Think about how happy [Pettersson] would be to have a winger of Guentzel’s caliber, plus he’s a proven playoff performer. His playoff numbers are unreal. I don’t know for certain if the Penguins are going to pull the trigger on moving him, but if they do, he’s the best piece available at the deadline.”
Quads: “Do you think he goes for more than (Elias) Lindholm?
“I don’t know if he’d go for more; they’d probably be similar,” Harm answered. “I’d put Guentzel over Lindholm, even though I love Lindholm and his two-way chops, but I don’t know what type of player he is without elite talent. He had the year where he was a point-per-game, but that’s when he was playing next to Gudreau and Tkachuk and was the clear third wheel on the best line in hockey. For a contender, he’s a perfect 2C, so don’t get me wrong, he would have a similar type of impact; I just think Guentzel is more of a sure thing in that he’s performed at an elite level in the playoffs before, and that matters because this Canucks team doesn’t have much playoff experience.”
The guys then discussed a player who may realistically be a target for the Canucks before the deadline.
“Frank Vatrano was a name that Rick Dhaliwal threw out today,” said Quads. “He connected the Canucks to Vatrano, said the Canucks spoke to his agent, and that they were in on him two off-seasons ago, in 2022 where he eventually signed a three-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks. He’s got a cap hit of 3.65m, maybe a little more realistic than the Guentzel-Lindholm tier, still a point-per-game player having a fantastic season in Anaheim, wouldn’t be too hard to fit that cap-hit in, and I think he’d be a nice addition to this team… I look at that extra contract year as being something the Canucks really like. 19 goals and 10 assists through 40 games this year, those are solid numbers, and I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest that if he’s playing on the Canucks he puts up more points.”
“[The cap hit] is a definite selling point. You kind of have to temper the expectations of what he is; he’s riding a sky-high shooting percentage this year,” countered Harm. “Realistically he’s the type of player you look at for 20-25 goals in a season, 40-ish points. Definitely doesn’t have much playmaking impact but a complimentary finisher. What stands out about him is he also had a positive experience as sort of a rental for the Rangers where in their trip to the Eastern Final, I think he had 13 points in 20 games, which at least gives you evidence that he’s made a mid-season transition work before. But the extra year of term is absolutely a selling feature.”
You can watch the full segment in the video below:

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