Canucks GM talks strategy heading into NHL trade deadline
Gary Rutherford, CTV News Vancouver
Published Friday, February 22, 2019 2:44PM PST
Last Updated Friday, February 22, 2019 7:18PM PST
The Vancouver Canucks' general manager says the team is keeping their draft picks, but will consider a player swap at the deadline to improve their playoff chances.
Jim Benning spoke with the media ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline, saying the team’s priority is to re-sign defenceman Alex Edler to a contract extension.
"Alex is a player that has been here a long time. He's an important player in our group as a mentor to Petey and some of our young players. It's important that we try to get it figured out," Benning said Friday.
With the injuries piling up on the Canucks roster, the team faces a problem – it's hard to move a player who is injured, especially when there's no timeline for their return. That leaves only active players on the table.
"We're listening on what we can get for maybe some established players. If we can get younger players that fit the age group of our team and our core players, those are deals we will listen to," Benning said.
One young player Benning is excited about is the Canucks' top pick from last draft, defenceman Quinn Hughes. He's playing hockey with the University of Michigan and the Canucks organization is patiently waiting for his season to end.
"He needs to decide to leave school. That will be a decision his advisor and family make, and soon as he makes that decision, if he wants to turn pro he'll be on the next plane out here,” said Benning